As more states and cities tell citizens to stay out of public places and do their part to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, El Kaiser and J.D. fire up the microphones in their respective recording bunkers to discuss the latest tech news. El Kaiser also offers his pro tips for looking and sounding better on those office video-conference meetings, and J.D. has a few ideas for parents trying to keep the kids busy after they’ve finished their online lessons for the day. It’s all here on PTJ 329 — right in the comfort of your own home!
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#StayHome Projects to Keep You (or the Kids) Busy
Can Big Tech get busted up and does Facebook’s pivot to privacy seem legit? El Kaiser and J.D. roll through the recent news, stopping to ponder the “Save the Internet” Act, a slew of new streaming channels and the success of Captain Marvel at the box office — despite concentrated efforts from certain quarters to drag down the film’s ratings. It’s all here on PTJ 303, where we also have our annual guide to helping your friends and family avoid tax-season scams this spring.
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on This Week’s Show
Be On Guard This Tax
While the tussles between politicians and Big Tech heat up as August sizzles to a close, El Kaiser and J.D. sip fizzy water in the shade and explore the accusations and rebuttals coming from both sides of America’s political divide. Apple’s latest acquisition, Twitter’s recent experiment and a blockchain that few people realized was hiding in plain sight are also in the news mix this week, and J.D. has a (Hopefully) Helpful Hint about hopefully helping friends and family with their computer problems, even when you’re miles away. Crank up the air conditioner and PTJ 285!
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(Hopefully) Helpful Hint
El Kaiser and J.D. are back this week with the usual suitcase full of technology news to unpack, including Samsung’s announcement that its Bixby virtual assistant is open (source) for business. And while Blue Apron is folding up a bit of its workforce, and Google’s DeepMind A.I. software is folding proteins. Oh, and let’s not forget, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update started to show up on PCs everywhere this week. Now, if only we can get to the sweater weather…slip on your flip-flops come on along for Episode 251!
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Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
On this week’s show. El Kaiser and J.D. discuss Google and Twitter’s current wave of privacy-policy changes and data-sharing with advertisers (all taking place before Facebook’s latest flap). Also in the news this week: patent trolls, resolution motion-sensor camera, Russian hackers actually hacking Russians and Iris, the data-sniffing dog. Buffer up and have a listen to Episode 236 of Pop Tech Jam!
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Mobile World Congress brought in the new and the old this week, Twitter and Facebook are stepping it up to help users in need and Amazon Web Services had a sad day this week. El Kaiser and J.D. discuss it all — and YouTube’s big week of views and cord-cutting measures — on this week’s weatherproof episode of Pop Tech Jam.
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On this week’s episode, El Kaiser and J.D. discuss the collision of the technology industry with the government, smart television sets that watch you, the ongoing battle with fake news and the demise of the message boards on IMDb.com. Get out of the winter weather and fire up Episode 221!
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Twitter, which has had its critics over its inability to police online harassment, is trying to step up its game in protecting its users from abuse — while still promoting free speech. In a company blog post this week, the bird-themed microblogging service announced new weapons in the defensive arsenal. The post reads, in part:
“Because Twitter happens in public and in real-time, we’ve had some challenges keeping up with and curbing abusive conduct. We took a step back to reset and take a new approach, find and focus on the most critical needs, and rapidly improve. There are three areas we’re focused on, and happy to announce progress around today: controls, reporting, and enforcement.”
Twitter’s post goes on to explain the upgraded toolkit, which includes:
- A beefed-up Hateful Conduct policy that clearly explains what is acceptable and makes it easier to report bad behavior.
- Retrained support teams who should be better equipped to shut down abusive users.
The company says it doesn’t “expect these announcements to suddenly remove abusive conduct from Twitter.” The post went on to say, “No single action by us would do that. Instead, we commit to rapidly improving Twitter based on everything we observe and learn.”
Whether the civility upgrade here goes far enough remains to be seen, but try it out if you need to. And let Twitter know how it goes so they can “observe and learn” even more about how the service is used.