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Category: Technology

The podcast for nerds who like science, gaming, entertainment, space exploration, energy, and anything else tech-related.

October 31, 2016

Tesla wants to power your home - CoT 050

00:0000:00

Today on Citizens of Tech, we bring you a candle that smells like the tears of a Chinese sweat shop, floating vinyl, Jeff’s iTunes, a tin foil hat for your body, and Tesla’s home invasion, along with content we like and today we learned.

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A candle that smells like a new Mac.

https://9to5mac.com/2016/10/06/twelve-south-new-mac-candle-apple-hardware-video/

  • You’ve heard of new car smell. Now there’s a candle that promises “new Mac” smell.

  • Put out by Twelve South, makers of fine Apple accessories such as the BookArc and the HiRise iPhone dock.

  • Does is really smell like an oddly enticing brew of fresh chemicals?

  • 9to5 says not exactly. But it does evoke that memory, according to the writer.

  • “a bouquet of mint, peach, basil, lavender, mandarin and sage.”

Bring your vinyl into the anti-grav age.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/245727224/mag-lev-audio-the-first-levitating-turntable

  • Turntables are their own special mystique.

    • Heavy platters.

    • Clamps that hold the vinyl tight against the platter.

    • Thick vinyl that’s resistant to warping.

    • Belt-driven vs. direct drive motors.

    • Diamond styluses of various shapes that sit in a record groove just so.

    • Cartridges holding the needle make from magic dust.

    • Weighted arms that cause the needle to sit in the groove with a specific amount of pressure.

    • Anti-skate knobs that tweak the counter-active pressure of the record groove pushing the needle towards the center.

    • There are even fancy arms that can tweak the changing angle of the needle as it pivots across the record face in an attempt to keep the needle presentation consistent.

  • And now we have a platter that’s rotated via magnetic levitation.

  • Kickstarter project.

  • The turntable has standard features you’d expect. A phono stage. Selectable 33 and 45 rpm. Semi-automatic tone arm. Etc.

  • Unusual features include…

    • Platter feet. When the platter is not spinning, these feet rise up from the chassis to give the platter something to rest on.

    • A built-in UPS. If there’s a power outage, the system will lift up the tone arm, stop the platter from spinning, and raise the platter feet.

    • Sensor regulating software makes sure that the mag-lev platter is turning at the proper speed.

    • Power consumption is 12W.

    • No moving parts inside, as implied by the feature “no wear of parts.”

  • No word on whether or not the MAG-LEV turntable will damage your cassette collection.

  • As of October 29, 2016, there are 509 backers for a total of $380,953 pledged. The goal was only $300K by November 21, 2016, so this one is definitely going to run.

  • Your cheapest way in is the $780 early bird, which gets you the black finish. Prices go up from there.

  • Find out more about them and join their mailing list at https://maglevaudio.com/.

Amazon streaming music.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/10/amazon-music-unlimited-spotify-rival/

http://pitchfork.com/news/67863-amazon-launches-new-streaming-service-undercutting-spotify-and-apple-music/

  • Amazon has a new music service meant to compete with Spotify and Apple Music.

  • Called “Music Unlimited”.

  • I must admit to being open to other music streaming services, as my Spotify experience on CarPlay is annoying. And the Mac client has been dodgy lately. The iPhone experience itself is still good.

    • Sometimes Spotify won’t start from the CarPlay console. Once it starts, it works. But starting it is unpredictable. Maddening when the point of CarPlay is to not have to interface with your phone while you’re driving.

    • No shuffle control setting in CarPlay. If you want to play an album straight through but were in shuffle mode, you’re out of luck unless you interface with the Spotify app on the phone.

    • The Mac client doesn’t update consistently when playing tracks now. Skipping to other songs, especially when playing to remote sources, has gotten strange. Time progress bar won’t update. Moving back and forth between tracks sometimes doesn’t work.

    • Client software updates used to be frequent. Now they are rare.

  • I love Amazon shopping. I am an Amazon Prime customer. The Prime video service is consistently amazing. The best video streaming tool on my Roku. I’m guessing that if they can get video right, then they can get audio right, too. Thus, I’m open-minded.

A tin foil hat for your body.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/872955472/anti-surveillance-coat-protects-you-and-your-priva

  • The tinfoil hat keeps the bad guys out of your head, right?

  • Of course, that’s silly, but this new Kickstarter is more or less on that idea.

  • The “Anti-Surveillance Coat blocks every in- and outgoing signal. Keeping you safe in an information-driven environment.”

  • The coat looks sort of like a modern take on the rain jacket. It falls about 3/4ths of the way down your body, to roughly your knee. It has a hood.

  • It’s made of metalliferous fabrics (a polyester, copper, and nickel blend), that the maker claims works like a Faraday cage. No signal in or out.

  • If you want signal to/from one device, there’s a black breast pocket on the front just for that.

  • Wut? WHY? Well…”We as humans are creating an enormous invisible network on top of our existing biosphere; the infosphere. This infosphere consists of networks and radio waves. It’s our new, ever expanding environment that grows at a staggering rate. Yet we roam around unprotected with privacy-sensitive data. This data might easily be tracked and misused by virtually everyone; random people, but also companies and governments. It has become impossible to control which information about us is revealed and what stays hidden. We are not in control of our own privacy anymore. And privacy is what makes us human.”

  • Ridiculous. But, if you want to take part, you’ve got until November 12 to contribute to this Kickstarter and protect yourself from the pervasive infosphere taking over our souls. They need €15K. As of this recording, they aren’t even close.

Tesla Powerwall 2.0 / Solar Shingles

https://electrek.co/2016/10/28/tesla-powerwall-2-game-changer-in-home-energy-storage-14-kwh-inverter-5500/

  • We’ve discussed the original Powerwall several times

  • We generally concluded that it was a great idea, but wasn’t *quite* “there” yet.

    • It had a storage capacity of 7 kWh with ~ 5.6 kWh usable

    • $3,000 (without the inverter)

    • You can daisy-chain them to increase total storage capacity

  • Enter the Powerwall 2.0:

    • 14 kWh storage with ~12.5 kWh (AC) ~12.85 kWh (DC)

      • Handily more than 2x the energy density

    • $5,000 USD

      • So not quite double the price for double the storage

      • And it includes the inverter

    • Still daisy-chain-able

    • Sleeker, flatter, more futuristic looking.

    • Interior or Exterior mounting options

  • Again, this is all part of the Solar-City / Tesla power play to get their new shingle panels on your roof, PowerWall in your garage and an electric vehicle in there next to it.

  • So how about those newly unveiled solar shingles / tiles?

    • They appear to be highly durable in the impact demonstration

      • Only tile that didn’t crack or shatter

      • Question is: how will those dings affect the electric generation output?

      • Even partial shading often renders an entire cell nearly useless

    • They look great.

    • No real word on pricing yet

      • “Less than a new roof and the cost of electricity over the life of the panels.”

      • That life is supposedly 25-50 years…

      • So probably pretty darn expensive.

    • Again, a step in the right direction, but this isn’t the first time this has been attempted; there have been other solar shingle products that were pulled from the market for lack of interest

      • They were expensive and far less efficient than “regular” PV cells

  • Interesting days ahead. As someone who is looking at the prospect of having to re-shingle my house, I’m academically interested, though I likely won’t be in a position to move on it, since again, it’s probably pretty darn expensive

Content I Like

A16z Podcast

http://a16z.com/podcasts/

  • High level perspectives on technology from the venture capitalist firm of Andreessen Horowitz.

  • Some inside-baseball about Silicon Valley.

  • They get to the point and keep it usually 30 minutes or less.

Rocksmith

http://store.steampowered.com/app/221680/

  • Electric guitar required

  • USB adapter required

  • Remastered version (in 2014) was $39.99 plus the adapter $35 or so

  • Lead, Rhythm, Bass

  • Teaches you how to hold, attach your strap, navigate the frets, do bends, slides, chords, etc.

  • Teaches you to play songs ranging from Elvis to Bob Marley to Muse and Poison

  • Intelligently helps you with riffs you kinda suck at

    • If you continue to suck at it, it will progressively slow the tempo down until you get it, then ratchet the speed up as you get better.

  • Real feedback on your performance

  • One note: if you don’t read music, this won’t really teach you to (at least that I’ve seen so far) - this is moreso aimed at learning to play via tablature.

  • Like guitar hero, except with a real guitar, so harder.

  • Bottom line: It’s really fun, but not a replacement for actual music theory.

Exponent Podcast

http://exponent.fm/

  • Ben Thompson and James Allworth (tech writers)

  • They pontificate with strong opinion about what’s going in the tech world, news items, big company moves.

  • They play well off of each other as co-hosts. Easy to listen to.

  • About 60 minutes.

Triangulation Podcast

https://twit.tv/shows/triangulation

  • Leo Laporte finds uber nerds and interviews them. The triangle is Leo, the guest, and the listener, since Leo records his content live via twit.tv and has a chat room where you can comment and ask questions while the show is being recorded.

  • Fascinating people turn up. Jerry Kaplan, a pioneer in AI, was a recent guest, for example.

  • About 60 minutes.

Today I Learned

The world’s largest corn maze is, supposedly, the Richardson Farm Corn Maze in Spring Grove, IL. 33 acres, 5 different mazes. Even if they aren’t the largest, they have a Star Trek maze that, from the air, looks amazing. Get lost in the Kirk-Spock bromance one last time.

http://www.richardsonadventurefarm.com/richardson-adventure-farm-corn-maze.htm

A stacked ring of self-supporting Pringles potato chips is called a “ringle.”

http://www.blazenfluff.com/one-pringle-to-rule-them-all-how-to-make-a-stacked-ring-of-pringles

October 24, 2016

Our Electric Future w/ Tony Posawatz - CoT 049

00:0000:00

Today on Citizens of Tech, we interview Tony Posawatz, President & CEO of Invictus iCAR LLC. Tony’s had a long history in the automotive industry and electric vehicles specifically working at GM, Fisker, and currently Invictus.

BACKGROUND

  • Please introduce yourself and what you do to the CoT audience.

  • You’re at Invictus now, which appears to be a engineering consultancy with expertise in electrification of vehicles. Is that about right?

  • When companies seek your expertise, what are the challenges they are typically facing?

  • We noticed in your Twitter feed that Ben Franklin coined the term “battery.” Do you happen to know the story behind that? (Leyden jar.)

GM & THE VOLT

  • You spent a lot of years at GM, one of the largest automotive manufacturing concerns in the world. What drove GM to bring electrified drivetrains into their lineup?

  • Tell us about the conception and eventual decision to “go” with the Volt. Was there doubt? Internal opposition? Competing projects that lost?

  • You’re a Dartmouth MBA and a PE (professional engineer). As you led the teams you did on the Volt project, which skills did you bring to bear more?

  • The Volt drivetrain is complicated. We’ve talked about in some detail on the show, as Eric is a Volt owner. What do you remember as the biggest engineering hurdles to overcome with gen 1 Volt?

  • Sometimes you hear that the Volt sells (at least sold) at a loss. Is this actually true? And is that still true, as far as you know?

THE STATE OF THE EV

  • Weight is the enemy of efficiency when it comes to cars. Yet, EVs weigh quite a bit. A Tesla Model S is well over 2 tons, and a model X is pushing 3. Do batteries ever get lighter or storage capacity denser?

  • EV charging infrastructure is spearheaded by Tesla, but Tesla chargers don’t work for all EVs. I’m banging my head in frustration. Don’t we need standards here? Shouldn’t we be de-risking build-out of charging infrastructure?

  • Can you explain why the multi-gear transmissions & CVTs that we’re used to in traditional drivetrains don’t make sense in electric vehicles?

  • What sorts of skills does the EV industry need right now?

  • What do you see as the role of governments in the EV marketplace?

  • Who are the most interesting EV-related companies we’ve never heard of?

    • Momentum Dynamics

    • Ytricity

    • Qualcomm (Halo IPT acquisition)

    • Battery tech -- silicon anode tech companies -- Nexiod, Amperus, along with big companies like LG

EV FUTURE

  • Is EV tech interesting to the aeronautics industry? eg: Solar Impulse

  • What about for big transportation -- ships, trucks, and trains?

  • Will on-board solar ever become a useful technology to electric vehicles?

  • A Tesla-imagined future seems to be solar cells on residential roofs, power stored in batteries mounted on our walls, and an electric car charged from this infrastructure. Is that a realistic view of the future? Why or why not?

  • Let’s say I want to get into the EV business. Does it make sense to design & build my own EV? Or should I be a supplier? IOW, why the heck is Apple building a car?

  • Do you see the autonomous car and electric car movements as related or even interdependent?

  • What does climate change tell us about the future of the EV?

Outro

We hope you learned something today on CoT. If you like what we’re doing, please share this podcast with your friends, rate us on iTunes, and send us some upvotes in the /r/citizensoftech subreddit. Until we show up in your podcatcher again, visit citizensoftech.com, where you can become a Patreon patron.

October 17, 2016

Why are we such cheapskates?! - CoT Episode 048

00:0000:00

In this episode we discuss: Why are we so reluctant to pay for stuff on the internet, iOS 10 Bluetooth woes, hacker economics, 2.5Gbps Cat 5e cabling, Blackberry pivoting to fend off the reaper, Civilization VI may ruin Ethan's life, and much more!



What are you willing to pay for?

  • Content isn’t free. It costs time to make, the most valuable resource we have. It costs money to host.

  • We hate ads, but the alternative is to pay. We like privacy, but we often give it away to use a service costing no cash out of pocket.

  • The question is why we are cheap about online services? We’ll drop fat cash to eat out, no problem. But $5 on a service? Or $10? Or $20 each month? That throws us off.

  • And it’s true that a bunch of little services do add up…

  • But still. Are we cheap when we shouldn’t be when consuming online services?

iOS 10 Bluetooth Issues

https://9to5mac.com/2016/09/29/iphone-7-ios-10-bluetooth-connectivity-issues/

  • More than half of iOS 10 users are reporting issues.

  • C65GYI7OvTI2LGiXLv3dg0nNXsH6E5sUbgYhRDNa

  • Yep, I’ve been having issues with iOS 10.0.2 connecting to my Garmin Fenix 3 watch specifically. Although it has been better since the 10.0.2 update.

  • Random disconnects. Solution is to reconnect via the iPhone Bluetooth interface, although that doesn’t always work.

  • Rebooting the watch or the phone doesn’t impact the behavior.

  • One rumor suggests that forgetting and re-pairing the device can stabilize the connection. I did just that this morning, and so we shall see. FOR SCIENCE!

  • Eric’s Galaxy S7 got an update that actually just fixed my bluetooth.

Civ VI - Maybe the one you’re looking for.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/09/civilization-civ-6-preview-hands-on/

https://www.civilization.com/

  • I’ve played the Civ series casually.

  • Enough to know I like it. Not enough to be branded a true fan, unlike AoE, which I played every version of, with most or all of the expansions.

  • New look. Same hexagons, but more of a cartoon-y feel. Reportedly beautiful, particularly in motion.

  • So detailed, the author reports pausing to just stare at the landscapes and cityscapes, zooming in just to admire.

  • All of the religious & cultural features of Civ V and expansions Gods & Kings and Brave New World.

  • Tech tree split. Now a science tree and a civics tree. Separate evolutions.

  • “New to both trees is the excellent Eureka! system, which essentially gives you small quest objectives to complete in order to boost the research of every technological advancement.” In short, every little thing you do impacts game play. Kill a barbarian, cut weapons research time down. Explore the ocean, move faster towards sailing. “Everything makes sense, because everything is directly influenced by what your civilisation is doing in the world. More importantly, it opens up new ways to play, encouraging you to throw away tired and tested methods and try something new. I love this change—it might even be my favourite in the game.”

  • There’s so much more, and in the preview version, the game wasn’t even done yet.

  • Release date is October 21, 2016. Available for pre-order on the PC platform (Windows).

    • The standard edition is $59.99 (you know, $60) on Amazon. Also Steam, Green Man Gaming, and Best Buy.

    • Digital deluxe edition is $79.99 (you know, $80). That gets you the 4 DLCs when they come.

    • The 25th anniversary edition I didn’t see an Amazon price, but Best Buy had it for $89.99 (you know, $90). That gets you all the other stuff, plus a hardcover book and commemorative coin set.

IEEE 802.3bz-2016 injects new life into your old cables.

ARTICLE URL

  • 2.5Gbps over CAT5E at 100m.

  • 5.0Gbps over CAT6 at 100m.

  • Good for homes and office cabling plants.

  • “The physical (PHY) layer of 2.5G/5GBASE-T is very similar to 10GBASE-T, but instead of 400MHz of spectral bandwidth it uses either 200MHz or 100MHz, thus not requiring a super-high-quality mega-shielded cable.” < Like CAT6a or CAT7.

  • Drivers for this include 802.11ac, although keep in mind that APs are not meant to be saturated, and don’t typically operate that way. What you’re really getting are faster bursts.

  • Longer term drivers could be FTTH.

  • Financial play here. Manufacturers can rollout 2.5Gbps and 5.0Gbps Ethernet switching gear, knowing that the vast majority of existing cabling plants can support it.

  • In the near term, this doesn’t accomplish much for home users. Internet is rarely over a few hundred Mbps, let along Gbps. Traffic in the home isn’t that high, either.

  • Even 4K streaming is in the 25Mbps ballpark.

  • The bottleneck remains our Internet pipes and their data caps.

Hacker economics. Find a zero-day. Get paid.

https://9to5mac.com/2016/09/30/zerodium-ios-exploit-bounty-1-5m/

  • Zerodium is a company that looks for vulnerabilities in Android and iOS, and then sells them to governments and corporations.

  • They are a digital arms dealer.

  • Since iOS 10 just got tougher to hack, they have raised their bounty to $1.5M from $1M.

  • Why not get paid by Apple? Because they only pay about $200K. Although their standards are not as rigorous to get paid.

Deathwatch

No more Blackberry hardware. But perhaps a software resurrection?

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/09/rip-blackberry-hardware-company-pivots-to-software/

http://fortune.com/2016/09/23/blackberry-radar/

  • BlackBerry CEO John Chen said, "The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital."

  • Chen also said, “In Q2, we more than doubled our software revenue year over year and delivered the highest gross margin in the company's history. We also completed initial shipments of BlackBerry Radar, an end-to-end asset tracking system, and signed a strategic licensing agreement to drive global growth in our BBM consumer business."

  • What is Radar? “BlackBerry announced its first big order on Thursday with Canadian cross-border transportation firm Caravan Transport Group, which has deployed 500 units of the Radar on its trailers, according to Bloomberg. The device is said to be a self-powered, two-piece box that’s appended to the rear side of a container and is able to dispatch updates to the network every 15 minutes. BlackBerry did not disclose how much the sale was for.”

Content I Like

Rogue Legacy

http://store.steampowered.com/app/241600/ $15

https://www.gog.com/game/rogue_legacy $3.74 (On sale) (DRM Free - YAY!)

  • Metroid / Castelvania exploration action game

  • RPG elements

  • Humor galore

  • When you die you select an heir from your family tree, they then inherit the cash you collected and have various traits:

    • Near-sighted

    • ADHD - move faster

    • Glaucoma - Stuff is dark

    • OCD - cleaning rooms (breaking stuff) gives health or mana points

    • Etc.

  • Classes

    • Mage

    • Barbarian

    • Paladin

  • Basically a retro gaming experience brought with a modern twist and a sense of humor

  • Highly playable, tight controls

  • Xbox 360 or other nice controller advised.

  • Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux / SteamOS

Regular Car Reviews

https://www.youtube.com/user/RegularCars

  • Brilliant.

  • Fun.

  • Bizarre.

  • Unexpected locker room references.

  • Cars from the past. Cars from the present.

  • Much less about numbers and much more about culture -- fitting the car into the world in a way that makes sense to real people, and not automotive journalists living inside their own sphincters.

Today I Learned

The entire scale, and then some, of a bass clef can be played in the first five frets of a bass guitar. All those other notes are totally extra.

The Perhapsatron was an early fusion power device in the 1950s. James Tuck named his device whimsically on the off chance that it might be able to create fusion reactions. After multiple revisions... it remained the Perhapsatron, never to become the In-fact-a-tron.

Outro

That does it for this episode of Citizens of Tech. Thanks for listening to the show, if you liked it, by all means share it with a friend. Also, don’t forget that you can support the show via Patreon or just by shopping on Amazon through our referral link. citizensoftech.com/amazon.  That just helps us get the word out to likeminded folks that enjoy the topics we can’t shut up about.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go rewire the grav thruster because somebody won't replace that crappy compression coil.

October 10, 2016

Go home, you’re drunk - CoT 047

00:0000:00

HP printer ink & vendors of evil

http://boingboing.net/2016/09/19/hp-detonates-its-timebomb-pri.html

https://www.buzzfeed.com/higgypop/top-10-most-expensive-liquids-on-earth-6qcr

http://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/GetPDF.aspx/4AA5-7018EEE.pdf

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/09/hp-should-apologize-and-stop-sabotaging-non-hp-ink-cartridges-eff-says/

http://visual.ly/ink-costs-more-human-blood

  • As of Sept. 13, HP printers no longer accept 3rd party ink.

  • HP OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X are impacted.

  • Printer ink costs $2K - $3K approximately.

  • HP has an official position marketing on non-HP ink cartridges.

    • Myth 1: Non-HP cartridges are just as reliable as Original HP cartridges.

    • Myth 2: Non-HP cartridge page yields equal those of HP cartridges.

    • Myth 3: Non-HP inks perform just as well as Original HP inks.

    • Myth 4: Non-HP cartridges are better for the environment.

    • Myth 5: Non-HP ink cartridges save you money.

    • Myth 6: The ink cartridge is simply a container holding “coloured water”.

    • Myth 7: Ink dries out if you don’t print on a regular basis.

  • “Nearly 8,000 people have signed an EFF petition calling on HP to restore the full functionality of its printers.”

Virtual machines as security

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/09/windows-10-will-soon-run-edge-in-a-virtual-machine-to-keep-you-safe/

  • Microsoft is working on keeping you safer in their new browser, Edge

  • The only problem is that you don’t use Edge do you?

  • Statistically speaking you don’t.

  • 4.20% market adoption as of September 2106 according to netmarketshare.com

  • This is actually a pretty novel idea. Kind of.

  • This takes a page from the book of “Spin up a VM for your browsing of dubious safety”

  • It also takes a page from Microsoft’s “Don’t name anything in a succinct and meaningful way.”

  • Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge

  • It’s a “lightweight VM” - an extension of Windows 10's Virtualization Based Security

  • Let’s talk briefly about current security methodology: Sandboxing.

    • Each tab gets its own process which is (in theory) isolated from the other executable instances

    • Very limited interaction with the rest of the system & processes

    • Breaking out of that sandbox is the challenge, and it can be done - usually via OS exploits

    • This leads to privilege elevation and/or remote code execution

  • Application Guard takes this a step further, with large portions of Edge running inside a stripped down Windows VM.

    • It can’t see other processes, storage, applications, or interact with the kernel

  • Sounds pretty cool.

  • Windows 10 Enterprise only, as with VBS

  • Compatibility issues:

    • Requires virtualization extensions on your CPU (Intel-VT

  • Performance Issues:

    • Microsoft hasn’t been forthcoming with that info yet

  • Availability

    • Late 2016 on “Insider” builds of Windows 10

    • Stable release slated for 2017

Drunk people don’t know how drunk they are

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/09/science-shows-that-drunk-people-dont-know-how-drunk-they-are/

  • A group of scientists went bar-hopping in Cardiff over several nights, asking every seventh person they ran into the following questions.

    • 1) How drunk are you right now, on a 1 (totally sober) to 10 (completely drunk) scale?

    • 2) How extreme has your drinking been tonight, on a 1 (not at all) to 10 (completely extreme) scale?”

    • 3) If you drank as much as you have tonight every week, how likely is it that you will damage your health in the next 15 years, on a 1 (definitely will not) to 10 (definitely will) scale?

    • 4) If you drank as much as you have tonight every week how likely is it that you will get cirrhosis of the liver in the next 15 years, on a 1 (definitely will not) to 10 (definitely will) scale?

  • Then, they’d take their actual blood-alcohol level.

  • Overall, people’s sense of their drunkenness was driven by a comparison to others around them.

  • If they were buzzed while others were sober, they knew it. But if they were wasted, while everyone else was passed out, they didn’t think they were so bad.

1TB SDXC Card Announced by SanDisk

https://9to5mac.com/2016/09/20/sandisk-introduces-the-worlds-first-ever-1tb-sd-card/

https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extreme-512GB-Memory-SDSDXPA-512G-G46/dp/B00NP699ZI/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XJRX01M/

  • It’s mostly for photographers and videographers. 4K wants all the storage.

  • Not available as yet. I did not see a date announced.

  • The 512GB version of the card from SanDisk is $346 from Amazon.

  • A card with identical performance from PNY is $192 from Amazon.

  • Speculation, the 1TB card from SanDisk will start at a premium, but under $1K, then will drop in price over time.

Enhance. Enhance. Enhance. Forensic evidence is far less scientific than you think

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/09/obamas-science-advisors-much-forensic-work-has-no-scientific-foundation/

  • It’s not as accurate as CSI: Miami would lead you to believe - “In looking over past cases, the feds discovered that agents had systematically overstated the method's accuracy in court, including at least 35 death penalty cases.”

  • Hair Analysis: “best left to a scientific agency, not a legal one”

  • DNA Analysis: The basic technique is sound, but human error is the biggest factor in this.

    • I’m reminded of a wrongful conviction that my wife and I discussed. The DNA analysis was performed by an apparently improperly trained, under-supervised technician, which led to the wrongful conviction and eventual pardon of an innocent man.

  • Fingerprints: Confirmation bias is a major issue “it looks really close and there’s other evidence that seems to fall in line”

    • Proficiency testing is lacking, overall

    • The good news is that this one is largely being converted to computer analytics, taking it from subjective to objective comparison

  • Firearm markings: “Different guns are thought to leave distinctive marks on cartridges fired in them. PCAST finds that we only have a single study rigorous enough to define this technique's error rate, which may be as high as one-in-46. That's a far cry from practitioners' claims that the technique "has near-perfect accuracy." More studies are needed to define an accuracy rate that can be used in testimony, and again, computerized image analysis may convert this from a subjective to an objective technique.”

  • Footwear analysis: It turns out it’s really, really difficult to use footwear to identify a suspect. The one area that it could be useful would be when there are distinctive wear markings on the footwear. There really haven’t been any studies to be of any use.

  • Bitemarks: The worst of all, pretty much completely subjective, according to the studies.

  • “Overall, the PCAST report finds that most of the forensic techniques it looked at needed to be put on a more firm scientific foundation. For subjective ones, this would involve testing trained practitioners to determine their error rate; for objective ones, we'd need studies that showed the underlying principles behind the technique actually apply to it.”

  • NIST should look into how to measure and certify error rates, etc.

  • The FBI responded that “the FBI disagrees with many of the scientific assertions and conclusions of the report."”

Content I Like

Free (really, do whatever you want with them) photos

https://unsplash.com

  • I work on websites a lot

  • This site has come in very handy many times

  • Seems like it’s sort of “listen to my mixtape” for photographers…?

Today I Learned

Verizon wireless caller ID is worthless.

Outro

October 3, 2016

Less Human Than Human - CoT 046

00:0000:00

On Citizens of Tech today, a thought experiment. Eric and I are going to discuss whether or not our lives immersed in technology has made us less human.

I Used to Be a Human Being

http://nymag.com/selectall/2016/09/andrew-sullivan-technology-almost-killed-me.html

  • Let’s move to the web.

    • When were you first introduced to the web, in whatever platform? Doesn’t have to be a browser.

    • What did you like about it?

    • How is the web experience different from what it used to be?

    • What would you change about the web if you could?

  • Your first social media platform.

    • What’s the first social media platform you remember?

    • What do you remember about it?

    • What did you like?

    • What did you dislike?

    • Were you anonymous or not?

    • When did you quit that platform, and why?

  • This thing of interconnectedness.

    • We are connected to each other.

    • We’re connected to our things…

    • ...that are connected to each other.

    • But are we truly connected?

    • What different about a meatspace interaction compared to an online one?

    • Why do people who only know each other on Twitter want to meet IRL?

    • Is there something deeper that happens when we meet in real life.

    • The issue of trust. Of tribe. Of acceptance.

    • What happens when we have augmented reality? When facial recognition can bring up an augmented reality profile and online persona of the person we’re meeting in meatspace? That won’t even be hard to do. What is is we’re trying to find out?

    • Religious people who de-convert tell stories of needing a place to belong.

    • History of rural NH and frontier have an undercurrent of people relying on others for survival. Trust was required in this society.

    • How do you trust a digital connection? We can authenticate. We can identify. We know who a person is at that level. But we don’t know WHAT they are. Or what they might do in a given situation.

  • Technology addiction & the time suck.

    • Why are we addicted to our tech, and in what ways?

    • Has technology eaten up portions of our lives, preventing us from doing other things?

    • Is it generationally biased to criticize the young as overusing technology, because we think it takes too much time?

    • Are non-techie things somehow “better”?

    • Or more human?