Tag Archives: European Union

PTJ 360: All Hailing Frequencies Open

El Kaiser and J.D. are back with a new episode and the opportunity to praise the work of Nichelle Nichols, the trailblazing actress who portrayed Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek as she retires from public life. Also in the mix: a discussion of recent headlines, including Big Tech’s increasingly warm seat in front of government regulators, and El Kaiser takes a listen to a new pair of Bowers & Wilkins Bluetooth headphones. All this and more on PTJ Episode 360 !

PTJ 345: At Last

What day is it? Does it matter? Time may be a flat circle that got hit by the Covid Truck for many people, but things have happened this month: Apple finally rolls out its four iPhone 12 models, Facebook finally bans Holocaust-denial content and and a House committee finally produces its report on Big Tech and monopoly. El Kaiser and J.D. muse upon it all, along with with a new set of headphones that gets the Rosado Review. Hear it all on PTJ 345!

Six Russian GRU Officers Charged in Connection with Worldwide Deployment of Destructive Malware and Other Disruptive Actions in Cyberspace (United States Department of Justice)
The Citizen Browser Project—Auditing the Algorithms of Disinformation (The Markup)
Facebook says it rejected 2.2m ads for breaking political campaigning rules (The Guardian)
Twitter, Responsibility, and Accountability (Stratechery by Ben Thompson)
Apple Launches ‘Apple Music TV,’ a 24-Hour Music Video Livestream (Variety)
Apple introduces iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max with 5G (Apple Newsroom)
Apple announces iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini: A new era for iPhone with 5G (Apple Newsroom)
Apple introduces HomePod mini: A powerful smart speaker with amazing sound (Apple Newsroom)
Removing Holocaust Denial Content (About Facebook)
Why Facebook Can’t Fix Itself (The New Yorker)
The new Nest Thermostat: more energy savings for more people (Google Nest)
Amazon’s Latest Gimmicks Are Pushing the Limits of Privacy (WIRED)
Amazon launches an AR app that works with new QR codes on its boxes (TechCrunch)
The House Antitrust Report on Big Tech (The New York Times)
Google’s merger with ITA helped it grow into the giant that the Justice Department is scrutinizing (The Washington Post)
EU targets Big Tech with ‘hit list’ facing tougher rules (Financial Times)
Exclusive: TikTok rival Triller explores deal to go public – sources (Reuters)
Disney reorganizes to focus on streaming, direct to consumer (CNBC)
AKG K553 MKII Headphones

PTJ 344: Power Plays

Labor Day has been here and gone for weeks now, so El Kaiser and JD get back to business with a pile of news, including the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles arriving on November and recap of Apple’s September event. And because the year is only going to get more intense from here, this week’s episode also offers suggestions for science-fiction television entertainment to temporarily make you forget the current state of this world. Come on along for PTJ 344!

Science-Fiction TV Shows for Escaping Reality

PTJ 294: Location, Location, Location

Of course, your apps are tracking you! El Kaiser told you that years ago, but The New York Times now fills in the details. J.D. rounds up the headlines from the past two weeks for discussion and also offers a (Hopefully) helpful Hint about recording your family’s history in audio and video this holiday season. Pull up a chair and join us for PTJ 294!

Links to News Stories on This Week’s Show

(Hopefully) Helpful Hint

PTJ 291: Walk This Way

There’s been a lot of movement in the tech world the past week — Google employees got to their feet to protest the company’s treatment of women, Apple rolled out new hardware and Facebook got slapped officially with a big fine for misuse of customer data. El Kaiser and J.D. discuss the tech news from the past 10 days or so, and with the U.S. elections looming, also offer a few resources for voters. Roll on over to PTJ 291!

Links to News Stories Discussed This Week

GO VOTE

PTJ 281: The Jet Set

In this week’s show, J.D. and an overworked El Kaiser discuss the week’s news, including Google’s big fine and Amazon Prime Day’s big fail. There’s also an exciting turn of events for those wishing rocket jet-packs were real. J.D. also has a (Hopefully) Helpful Hint about making your Windows PC or Mac clean up after itself. Hear it all now on Episode 281!

Links to Stories Discussed on This Week’s Episode

 (Hopefully) Helpful Hint

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 273: Still the Right Stuff

Yanny or Laurel? El Kaiser was too busy mixing up podcasts to weigh in, and J.D. thought the whole thing was dumb and tuned into Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Zydeco Band instead — but The New York Times built a handy little tool to demonstrate how audio frequencies factor into the matter. Beyond all that, Episode 273 serves up the week’s tech news, pours one out for Tom Wolfe and contemplates the strange notion of secure and private email. Give a listen!

Links to Stories Discussed on This Week’s Episode

(Hopefully) Helpful Hint

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 203 News: Irish Wakeup Call

Nothing like a $14.6 billion bill for back taxes to get your attention, eh? That’s the hefty sum Apple is facing after a European Commission ruling this week found the company’s tax deal with Ireland was illegal under European Union rules. Apple and Ireland are both vowing to appeal the ruling, and in a letter released publicly on its website, Apple stated the ruling would have an impact on investment and job creation in Europe.  The EU is also investigating Amazon and McDonald’s for similar practices.

Apple may have other legal woes brewing on this side of the pond as well. A nationwide class-action lawsuit was filed against the company by plaintiffs who claim that their iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones suffer from defecting screens that make them unresponsive. The defect was dubbed Touch Disease by the repair site iFixit, who has looked at the issue and found hundreds of ailing iPhones with flickering gray bars on glitchy screens.

ifixit

Apple has set the date for its annual Fall Media Monopoly Event. As some predicted, it’ll be early this year — September 7th and at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. New iPhones and an arrival date for iOS 10 are expected to be announced for sure, and updates on macOS Sierra, watchOS, and tvOS could be in the mix, as well as hardware news about Apple Watch, the MacBook Pro laptops, the iPad Pro and other gear. But will there be One More Thing?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California tossed out a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission in 2014 that accused AT&T of bandwidth-throttling customers who still had unlimited data plans after those customers went beyond customary allowances.

Twitter and Facebook may get more if the hate speech headlines, but Microsoft is stepping up its efforts to smack down the extremists and Troll Legions roaming on own online properties. In a post on one of the company blogs, Microsoft’s Chief Online Safety Officer Jacqueline Beauchere, writes, “Today we’re announcing a new dedicated web form for reporting hate speech on our hosted consumer services, and a separate web form for requests to reconsider and reinstate content.”

hatespeech

Facebook’s Trending Topics section has had its ups and downs this year with charges of political bias in story selection and promotion and last week, Facebook reportedly decided to get rid of the humans who were writing story descriptions for trending list and just have the algorithms start listing popular topics based on what users were sharing. However, a lot of Facebook users were sharing a false story about broadcaster Megyn Kelly getting fired from Fox News for being a liberal — so the fake story made it onto the trending list. Whoopsie!

On to the Department of Democracy Nightmares, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says it has evidence that hackers breached two state election databases this summer. While actual vote-counting systems were not involved YET, foreign-based hackers targeted voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois. Paper ballots for all this year, please.

While test drones are buzzing around the countryside of merry old England, here in the States, the Federal Aviation Administration just started giving the drone pilot’s-license test this week. More than 3300 people signed up to take the test on the first day. The Wired site has a study guide for wannabe drone jockeys.

In other drone news, Jennifer Youngman, a 65-year-old woman in rural Virginia, took down a drone in one blast from her 20-gauge shotgun earlier this summer. She lives near the actor Robert Duvall. She also chatted with the CBC about the incident.

bangbanglady

In product news, Sonos and Amazon are hooking up with a new strategic partnership. What this means is that people who own both voice-activated Echo speakers and Sonos sound systems will be able to tell the Echo speaker to play music through the Sonos system.

FitBit announced two new exercise trackers this week, the Fitbit Charge 2 and the Fitbit Flex 2. You can even swin with the Flex 2, they say.

russiaAnd finally, the Centauri Dreams blog devoted to deep space exploration noted a radio telescope in Russia (shown here), had picked up “strong signal in the direction of HD164595” last year. HD 164595 is a star with at least planet in the system within the constellation Hercules, all about 95 light years from Earth. The site merely said the signal was interesting and deserved further scrutiny. Astronomers at the SETI Institute have already written a brief paper on the matter.  Seasoned experts around the web were skeptical, with one noting the signal was on the part of the radio spectrum used by the military and another posting, “It’s not our first time at this rodeo, so we know how it works,” on a SETI message board. Sure, the signal may be nothing — but it kind of makes one want to haul out the Contact DVD for some Hollywood science and reinstall the SETI@home software on your current computer, you know?

Opening shot from Contact (1997) from Single Shot Film Festival on Vimeo.