Tag Archives: California

PTJ 279: The Long Arm of the Law

In that quiet time of the year between developer conferences and the back-to-school sales, product announcements are scarce — but the hazy, lazy days of summer are no vacation for the legal world! As El Kaiser and J.D. discover on this week’s episode, court rulings and decisions by lawmakers dominated the news this week, with a few bug revivals thrown in for good measure. J.D. also explores the new Windows 10 Timeline feature in Microsoft’s latest operating-system update, so beat the heat and find a cool place to settle in with Episode 279!

Links to News Stories on This Week’s Episode

Windows 10 Timeline

PTJ 277: Magic to Do

It’s been a week of heavy legal news, deals and global affairs — almost enough to make you want to escape to a fantasy realm to take a break over a pint of butterbeer. El Kaiser and J.D. sort through the stories of the week before moving on to a discussion of how the Harry Potter franchise is keeping active far beyond the original seven books. PTJ 277 awaits behind that Play button — Alohomora! 

Links to Stories on This Week’s Show

Harry Potter in the Digital World

 

PTJ 276: Game On!

A judge cleared the way for AT&T and Time Warner to merge, Apple plans to reinforce its iPhone security, Microsoft made a bunch of announcements — but hey, here comes the annual E3 event to bring in the fun. El Kaiser and J.D. sort through it all before a discussion about the VPNFilter malware — you know, that one the FBI was warning about the other week — and how to protect your router from it. Spin up PTJ 276 to hear it all!

Reset Your Router

PTJ 274: Golden State

Even without the NBA finals in the mix, it’s been a busy time out in California with a fierce net-neutrality bill passing a hurdle in the state senate and Mary Meeker’s mega-slideshow on Internet trends. El Kaiser and J.D. surf through the week’s tech news before stopping to ponder life without Twitter — if only just for a little while. Punch up Episode 274 and have a listen!

Downshifting Twitter

PTJ 271: Hand of F8

Fresh off the latest Facebook user-abuse apology media tour and visit with the U.S. Congress, Mark Zuckerberg made a slew of announcements at this week’s F8 Developers Conference in California, which El Kaiser and J.D. discuss on this week’s episode — along with other news from the tech realm. Episode 271 also sports a quick look at the big geek movies headed into theaters this summer and an explanation of “malvertising.” Spin up this latest installment of Pop Tech Jam to hear it all!

Links to Stories Discussed on This Week’s Show

Tech Term

PTJ 270: On the Hook

California fires a shot across the bow of the FCC’s net neutrality repeal, Amazon’s Alexa has a new do-it-yourself project for users and even aquariums aren’t safe on the Internet of Things. El Kaiser and J.D. sort through the technology news of the past 10 days before discussing a great vacation destination for aviation and NASA nerds: The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virgina, home to the National Air & Space Museum’s big collection of airplanes and spacecraft. Jump into it all here in Episode 270 of Pop Tech Jam!

Links to Stories Mentioned On This Week’s Show

Geek Vacation Destination

A Sopwith Camel
A Hawker Hurricane
A Mercury-era capsule
The space shuttle “Discovery”
The space shuttle “Discovery”

PTJ 207: Show Time

“Hey, where’s all those Batmans going on 11th Avenue?” Mass Invasion maestro Janifer Cheng stops by on her way to the New York Comic Con extravaganza to share her thoughts on cosplay and other convention fun with El Kaiser and J.D. (who is moderating three panels at the expo this weekend herself). In the news segment, we discuss Google’s fancy new Pixel phones, Facebook’s Marketplace’s problems, and the fact that some nice people from the government want to talk to Yahoo about its “security” issues. Oh, and two other words: Luke Cage.

Want to know where we got these stories? Check out the links below:

PTJ 180 News: Down to Earth

From coast to coast, Apple is having quite a time with the legal system. The company may still be at a standoff with the Justice Department about unlocking a terrorist’s iPhone out in California, but here in New York’s Eastern District court, a federal judge has ruled that the government can’t use the 227-year-old All Writs Act to force the company to unlock the phone belonging to a drug dealer. The New York case is separate from the ongoing fight in California and the two situations involve different aspects of iOS encryption, however. In California, Apple filed a motion in court last week to vacate the order that it cooperate with the FBI. One of Apple’s lawyers spent his Tuesday in Washington, testifying in front of the House Committee on the Judiciary.

9to5Mac and other sources are now reporting that rumored Apple’s upcoming spring event has moved back a week from around March 15th and will now be in the week of March 21st. No invitations yet, though! It’s not real until you see the invitation!

In app news, Google has also given iPhone users a bit of parity with its Android peeps by adding the “pit stops” feature to the iOS version of Google Maps. And, in a reverse for the Reuters TV app we talked about a few months ago — the one that was that was only available for iOS — the company has now released an Android version.

One of Google’s self-driving cars smacked into a city bus in California last month, which has the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority investigating things. Google admitted its Lexus RX450h auto-piloted vehicle bears “some responsibility” for the incident.

Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset looks like it’s actually becoming a reality for developers. The dev kit edition is now available for pre-order from the company, with a chunky $3,000 price tag and delivery on March 30th.  Also new, but slightly cheaper: The Raspberry Pi 3 barebones computer is now on sale for a mere $35.

drone4

In drone developments, a new model from DJI has the ability to sense and avoid obstacles in its way, and also, to track people and animals. The DJI Phantom 4 costs about $1400 and follows its subjects automatically using cameras, sensors and ActiveTrack technology. Also tracking: Sleep cycles. Over on the Medium site, a Danish developer posted the results of a little project he did that used the Last Active timestamp data gleaned from the web-based version of Facebook’s Messenger service to figure out the sleeping patterns of his Facebook pals. Facebook was not too happy about his work and someone else using the same data they collect about you themselves, and was fussing because he posted the code for the project online.

McDonald’s has noticed the low-budget virtual-reality craze brought on by the Google Cardboard viewer and is busting a move of its own — in Sweden. The fast-food giant is launching a promotion there over the next couple weekends, and it lets kids fold their Happy meal boxes onto VR viewers to see a smartphone-based VR game especially created for the occasion. These special meal containers are called Happy Goggles and yes, you get fries with that.

The Brita filter people have joined up Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service to create the $45 Wi-Fi Brita Infinity Smart Water Pitcher that automatically orders more Brita filters when it needs them. No word on if the pitcher has any tiny cameras embedded in its lid so it can scope out what else in in your fridge and report back to Amazon.

Sony has a new beta out for its PlayStation 4 software. Although the version 3.5 beta doesn’t contain the feature that allows you to remotely play PS4 games on a Mac or PC, the feature is coming along sooner than many anticipated.

And finally, Commander Scott Kelly is back on Earth this week after 340 days aboard the International Space Station.  Welcome home, sir!

scottkelly

PTJ 106: Guardians of the Geekery

Summer fun is over and El Kaiser has something to get off his chest in his Tech Term this week and JD has tips on how to stream local newscasts from most of the U.S. directly to your television.

In the news, Facebook tinkers with user newsfeeds once again; Instagram releases a new app for creating time-lapse videos;  Fashion designer Ralph Lauren tests out iOS-connected nylon shirts that track the wearer’s fitness stats at the U.S. Tennis Open Championships; Hackers take down the Sony PlayStation Network; Amazon buys the game-video streaming company Twitch; the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) sounds a warning about a new Backoff malware version; Apple begins a huge push for its Beats Music app; and Hewlett-Packardrecalls its LS-15 model AC power cords due to fire and burn hazards.

(Hopefully) Helpful Hint: Worldwide Local News

If a major disaster or event happens across the country from you, wouldn’t it be useful to just flip on your TV and watch an on-the-scenes newscast from a local station near the scene instead of waiting for the national networks to get there? With a TV streamer like a Google Chromecast or an Apple TV, plus the Web and your home network, you can do just that.

The basic recipe: Find a local TV station streaming the breaking news video online, pop it up to your television set from your computer or mobile device — and shazam, you and your family members can gather around the big screen to watch the story unfold, even if the national news outlets like CNN or the broadcast networks aren’t on it yet.

Take, for example, last Sunday morning when Napa Valley and the northern California Bay Area were rattled with a 6.0 earthquake. If you had friends or family there, your first thought was probably for their safety and you wanted to know what was going on. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube can report early eyewitness accounts, but you’d probably like a semi-comprehensive news narrative as well, right?

appletvIn the case of the Napa quake, I jumped online and quickly found KGO, San Francisco’s ABC affiliate, which happened to be streaming its live broadcast to the Web. It took me about 30 second to find the stream, start playing it in the web browser on my late-model Macbook Pro and then send it on up to the Apple TV connected to my Sony flatscreen using Apple’s AirPlay technology.

googlecastYou can do similar things with one of Google’s $35 Chromecast  sticks and the Google Cast extension for the Chrome browser. Other devices and ways to get the picture on big screen — like AV cables between laptop and television — are also out there.

quakebotThe San Francisco station was actually cutting to a reporter who was minding the social media feeds so they could use the crowd-sourced photos, videos and personal accounts to help tell the story. Having all these news sources in one place really helps fill in the details. Dedicated Twitter feeds for weather or natural incidents, like the SF Quake Bot with updated from the US Geological Survey or the National Weather Service, are also quite informative.

Live streaming radio is another great source of news — WBUR in Boston and stations like it were a vital source of information for people around the world during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

Local stations pop up quickly with a quick Web search. Try something like “San Francisco live new video” or something similar. If there’s a breaking news event in that area, odds are the local stations will be streaming their feeds.

You can also find sites that aggregate big lists of TV stations with streams from all over the world. If you want to browse for future reference, check out sites like the Live TV Center, Streema, WWITV or Live TV Café. Some aggregator sites may ask you to create an account or sign it with your Facebook credentials – that’s up to you. Sites like UStream and Livestream often carry news channels too.

ustream

So if something happens, check out a local source for the details. Newsgatherers there can often get on the scene faster, are more apt to cover the event for a longer period of time and you can zoom in from your part of the globe to get the information you need. Knowledge is power — and it can also make you feel better when you find out your peeps are okay.