DTNS 2308 – Discourse Remorse

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comMolly Wood is back and ready to talk Hyperlapse’s in app-maker’s judgements along with why we’re scared to talk on the Internet.


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Show Notes

Today’s guest: Molly Wood, columnist and deputy technology editor at The New York Times. s


Instagram released a new app called Hyperlapse that lets you record up to 45 minutes of video and then choose a rate to speed it up with options as fast as 12x. The video can be saved to the camera roll and you can do whatever you want with it There are buttons that will launch the Instagram or Facebook apps for easy sharing if you have those, but they’re not required.

ZDNet reports that Google is acquiring Zync, whose main product is Zync Render,  a cloud-based rendering and storage platform for both 2D and 3D applications. Zync Render has been used on a number of Hollywood films, including Looper, Star Trek: Into Darkness and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. No word yet on how much Google paid. The service will be moved to Google’s Cloud Platform.

Vice president of Amazon games, Mike Frazzini talked with Fortune about Amazon’s newest $970-million all-cash acquisition Twitch. He said, “First and foremost, we want Twitch to just keep going.” I’m sure they do. Meanwhile Forbes’ Ryan Mac heard from a source that antitrust fears played a part in the deal going to Amazon instead of Google. Google allegedly wanted a breakup fee in case the acquisition was not approved because it already owns YouTube. 

GigaOm passes along details about a US NSA tool called ICREACH, revealed by the Intercept Monday. ICREACH apperss to be a search tool used to share data with 23 US government agencies as well as foreign intelligence agencies in Canada, the UK, New Zealand and Australia. The data shared included emails, phone calls, faxes, internet chats, and text messages, as well as location information collected from cellphones.

BitTorrent’s Dropbox competitor Sync got a little more Dropbox-like today according to GigaOm. BitTorrent sync can now make Web links for shared files and folders expanding it beyond simple folder synchronization. Previously users had to exchange cryptographic keys or QR codes to share links to files. The new Web links automatically expire after three days although you can set them to expire faster.

According to Ars Technica, Microsoft is under investigation by Chinese regulatory authorities for bundling its Internet Explorer browser and Windows Media Player app with its operating system. If you sense that all this has happened before, you might be remembering similar complaints from the European Union and South Korea which led to the creation of separate software packs for each country. Microsoft says it will fully comply with the investigation.

News From You

Kelleyb alerted us to the Ars Technica report that California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a law requiring all smartphones in the state come with a kill-switch. While I had hoped the law meant all phones would be required to go into kill mode to defend you when attacked, it actually means as of July 1, 2015 all smartphones sold in California will have to have a remote wipe feature. The kill switch and new civil penalties of $500 to $2500 for stealing phones are hoped to reduce phone theft.

tm204 shares the Ars Technica report that Microsoft has reduced the prices of the Surface 2 Windows RT tablet by $100. The least expensive 32 GB unit now costs $349, the 64GB unit costs $449, and the 64GB model with LTE version costs $579. With the price cut, the 32GB 1920×1080 Microsoft Surface is now less expensive than most other tablets, with the exception of the non-Retina iPad mini. The discounts are available through Microsoft’s physical and online stores, as well as through some other retailers such as Amazon. 

ancrod2 pointed out the SlashGear writeup about RoboBrain, a project led by robotics researcher Ashutosh Saxena, to organize information from the Internet to make it easier for robots to learn. RoboBrain would be a cloud based storage system integrating 100,000 data sources and various types of supervised and unsupervised machine learning algorithms The idea is to give robots access to a remote system that provides a more complex understanding of the world. In other words the individual robot’s NET would be in the cloud or rather— SKY.

Discussion Links: 



Plug of the Day: The Sword and Laser Anthology collects 20 amazing stories from new writers in the Sword and Laser book club audience. 10 SciFi and 10 fantasy stories with an introduction by Patrick Rothfuss. Get a copy at swordandlaser.com/store http://swordandlaser.com/store/

Pick of the Day: Go Contact Sync Mod  via Rolando- from the Paraguay, the heart of South America

I’ve using Outlook since the 90s–a critical component of my workflow was an easy wireless way to sync desktop and phone for contacts and calendar. The magic was accomplished then by Nokia Suite through bluetooth. When modern smartphones became a thing, a new component (“the cloud”) was needed in the mix. So I used Google Calendar Sync and a little great desktop app called Go Contact Sync Mod to have Outlook-Cloud-Phone two-way wireless sync nirvana: my contacts, appointments and notes were available to me in my desktop, phone or cloud in perfect harmony. But the Microsoft-Google fight has gotten in the way of my sync heaven, first by stopping support for Exchange ActiveSync and then Google Calendar Sync. Luckily, the wonderful guys of Go Contact Sync Mod came to the rescue by updating their app and providing 2-way sync (Outlook-Google) for Calendar, Contacts, Notes. Best of all, it’s free and opensource. Finally, my workflow equilibrium has been restored.

Wednesday’s guest: Dan Patterson, technology journalist

6 thoughts on “DTNS 2308 – Discourse Remorse

  1. I think there’s another angle on the social media & political statements story. Often I don’t bring up those types of topics in general settings in “real life” anymore either, but for a different reason. Thanks to Facebook/Twitter, in many cases I already know where most of the crowd stands on an issue thanks to their other posts on hot topics. In many cases, if it’s clear that I’m in a crowd where I’ll gain no traction, and maybe not even have my ideas heard, I’m unlikely to bring it up. But at the same time, it’s also helped me find reasonable, thoughtful people (some who share my opinions, some who don’t) with whom I’d be willing to bring up things in a smaller group. But in general, I already can “read the room” in the advance in many cases because enough of the people in the room have posted on enough topics in the past that I know what kind of reception it will get.

    p.s. On an unrelated note, I still love Molly Wood. Molly Mondays, Darren Fridays, and Veronica Wednesdays would still be pure awesomeness in my book.

  2. This episode really got me thinking about that how and why I personally disengage from discussions like this. I too think the survey focus of Snowden is a bad subject because even though it was initially reported as telephone metadata, most people I know at least suspected there was more involved and Tom I think you alluded to this. That aside, your personal relations to this experience did highlight the ways I have experienced this in my own life. sTim makes a great point about knowing where the crowd stands on an issue, which seems similar to Molly’s fatigue with the motions of the argument knowing ultimately how it will play out. If anything, I feel like the default response has become “agree to disagree”. Passionate or not, the “full weight of Google” as Molly says allows everyone to argue their own perspective ad infinitum, to the point of either general apathy or direct opposition to the idea that there IS a correct answer, even in cases where it has been proven. For me it’s a case of “pick your battles” given the opportunity to argue at every turn, I have decided to expend that energy when it won’t simply be thrown into another pit of entropy.

  3. RE: “Why would anyone be against kill switches on their phones”


    Imagine how tempting it would be for an over-empowered police force to broadcast a kill command to all phones within range of the towers near a protest suppression. If they’re already hiding badges and arresting journalists, why not just shut down all the live streams while you’re at it? You could probably get a court order to shut down the towers, but this would be even more effective because those phones wouldn’t be coming back at all.

    Yeah. Hyperbolic. Hopefully unlikely. But, also imagine this becomes standard issue on phones internationally.

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