Turns out our smart devices don’t actually know that much about talking to one another, and that’s a problem.
I’m glad Microsoft doesn’t make cars.
I’ve been buying used cars my whole life. In fact, every car I’ve ever owned was bought used and I’ve never even considered buying a new car. Until this E3, I didn’t realize that I was doing something so egregious, that it must be stopped by all technological means necessary.
Per Microsoft, used items shouldn’t be resold because I’m being selfish and really need to have more consideration for corporate profits. Microsoft says if I buy something, it should only be resold once - and if I try to resell something I bought from someone else, Microsoft should be able to hold it hostage so no one gets it until someone pays them a ransom.
According to Microsoft, the problem here isn’t that the video game industry has become reliant upon planned obsolescence through yearly incremental releases that serve specifically to commoditize and set up franchises for disposability; the real problem is that there are still some outliers who don’t immediately purchase (or pre-order) those yearly installments. And Microsoft just wants us to know that we’re are all being really selfish by thinking that we can just sell something we bought willy-nilly without giving them a couple dozen bucks; multi-billion dollar yearly revenues don’t just make themselves, you know.
So I’m really glad that Microsoft doesn’t make cars. In fact, I’m really glad that Microsoft doesn’t make any product I’d consider purchasing.
Sanchez said that what lawmakers learned ”is significantly more than what is out in the media today,” which is interesting when considering previous reports by journalists and whistleblowers.
Here’s a rundown of the reports and the allegations:
- In 2006 NSA insiders told Leslie Cauley of USA Today that the NSA has been collecting almost all U.S. phone records since shortly after 9/11.
- In 2010 Dana Priest and William Arkin of The Washington Post reported that “collection systems at the [NSA] intercept and store 1.7 billion emails, phone calls, and other types of communications” every day.
- According to a 2007 lawsuit, Verizon built a fiber optic cable to give the “access to all communications flowing through the carrier’s operations center.”
- In April 2012 Wired’s James Bamford reported how the U.S. government hired two secretive Israeli companies to wiretap AT&T.
- AT&T engineer Mark Klein discovered the “secret room” at AT&T central office in San Francisco, through which the NSA actively “vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary Americans with the cooperation of AT&T” through the wiretapping rooms, emphasizing that “much of the data sent through AT&T to the NSA was purely domestic.”
- Former NSA executive and whistleblower Thomas Drake testified that the NSA is using Israeli-made hardware to “seize and save all personal electronic communications.”
- A classified program called Prism, leaked by Snowden, appears to acquire information from the servers of nine of the biggest internet companies. The Washington Post reported that the government’s orders “serve as one-time blanket approvals for data acquisition and surveillance on selected foreign targets for periods of as long as a year.”
- NSA Whistleblower William Binney that the NSA began using the program he built (i.e. ThinThread) to use communications data for creating, in real time, profiles of nearly all Americans so that the government is “able to monitor what people are doing” and who they are doing it with.
- In July the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), established to “hear applications for and grant orders approving electronic surveillance,” found that the NSA violated the Fourth Amendment’s restriction against unreasonable searches and seizures “on at least one occasion.”
- BONUS: In March CIA Chief Technology Officer Ira “Gus” Hunt said: “It is really very nearly within our grasp to be able to compute on all human generated information.”
If there is “significantly more” to the NSA’s domestic snooping, then we’re all ears and eyes.
I guess the only good thing that’s come from this whole NSA issue is that those of us who read and repeated that “the NSA has been aggregating and monitoring all internet traffic using AT&T and Verizon fiber splits since about 2006” look a lot less crazy. I mean, it was always accurate information - it’s been widely reported and well sourced for almost a decade, as the above demonstrates - but now it seems a lot more people are finally paying attention to the implications.
What did you think a $4 Billion, 65 Megawatt-powered, data storage and analysis installation in Utah was being used for? Bitcoin mining?
This is just about 100% accurate.
iOS 7 Beta update
Update: Been running the beta since yesterday afternoon on my Verizon iPhone 4 and have had no major problems thus far. It’s a little slow, and not all of the features shown are available on my hardware, but that’s to be expected with 2+ year old hardware running beta software. I’ve had non-Apple apps freeze twice so far (Facebook, which seemed to Freeze randomly before this anyway, and Instapaper) which is frankly better than I expected, considering they haven’t had time to be updated for the new OS. I’ve also had one system lockup while playing in Settings which necessitated a full hard restart. The first sync also took about two hours, for some reason. Since then, they’ve been pretty quick, but downloading my existing apps onto the device took forever.
One interesting iOS7 bug: I recently switched from using the default Mail app to using the Mailbox app. With iOS7, whenever I get a new email Mailbox decides to completely refresh my inboxes, and tells me that the number of existing email threads I had in all my inboxes is the number of new emails I’ve just received. Basically, it treats all of my existing emails as new emails and buzzes once for each, regardless of them having already been in my inbox. While this is admittedly a real incentive to get to inbox zero (and I’m certainly glad that I only have 11 emails in my inbox right now) it also gets old quick when your phone flips its shit every time someone responds to a correspondence.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed. It looks and works *really* well for beta software thus far. There’s so much polish and thought that’s gone into the UX. It’s a genuinely better user interface, and it really makes my 2+ year old phone feel like a new, and more useful, piece of hardware.
Things are getting interesting.
University of Washington computer scientists … have shown it’s possible to leverage Wi-Fi signals around us to detect specific movements without needing sensors on the human body or cameras. By using an adapted Wi-Fi router and a few wireless devices in the living room, users could control their electronics and household appliances from any room in the home with a simple gesture.
This is so. fucking. cool.
Moffett’s worry for the cable guys: If people really do move away from pay TV in significant numbers — or even pay less for TV, with some sort of smaller TV bundle or a la carte option — and shrink the video revenue the cable guys are getting, they’ll want to make it up with higher broadband fees.
Whether or not Google Fiber becomes a bigger thing, we’re 5-7 years away from wireless options that conceivably replace home broadband - think cell phones replacing home lines. and you’re getting the analogy. For a preview, look up the AVS spectrum (deploying this summer) and see what kinds of speeds it’s already capable on today’s hardware. So Cable Cos who feel like they’re sitting pretty in a win-win situation might have to come to a really uncomfortable realization in the next few years.
A Trojan horse is slowly rolling into town, and it’s bursting at the seams with data. Wheeling it along is none other than Google.
Indeed, if the data-fueled success of Netflix’s House of Cards is as crucial to TV’s future as many believe, what Google is most likely planning will make the transformation we’ve witnessed so far look like early innings in a very long ball game.
If you squint at it, you can imagine that Xbox One can help Microsoft dislodge the cable guy one day. But, for now, Microsoft is simply trying to take up a little more space. More precisely: Its box won’t let you watch live TV unless you have a pay TV subscription. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as Microsoft has already signaled for some time that it wants to work with the pay TV guys, not boot them out.
This is the important point: XboxOne (terrible name by the way, and I anticipate a LOT of disappointed Ebay purchases of ten year-old consoles come Christmas) is a layering device, not a replacement device. It works with and indeed requires you to shell out money to another entity to “enhance” the television experience. More specifically, another of a very small set of American entities, as most of the TV features won’t work outside of the major US cable providers at first and maybe ever.
Will it always be this way? Who’s to say. Depends on whether or not there there’s a revenue stream there and how far down that piggybacking road Microsoft goes. But it’s aways easier to start down the right road from the beginning because once you’re locked into a multi-billion dollar revenue stream, it’s hard to pivot even if the pivot takes you off a sinking ship.
With that title, how can you not click?
Samsung on Sunday announced that it had developed a core component of its 5G network by solving a problem that has stymied the wireless industry, Yonhap News reported. Using the 28GHz waveband, Samsung says [it] has achieved download and upload speeds of tens of gigabits per second (Gbps). Current 4G LTE networks top out at around 75 megabits (Mbps). In practice, that speed would allow wireless users to download a full HD movie in seconds.
…Samsung used 64 antenna elements in order to accomplish the high-speed data transfer, and said the company expects that it can commercialize the technology by 2020.
Here’s to hoping that’s also a solvable problem. But a jump from ±20Mbps to 10+ Gbps in seven years is amazing. WIll wireless bandwidth follow Moore’s law as well?
What are you doing to combat piracy?
One of the things is we get ISPs to publicise their connection speeds – and when we launch in a territory the Bittorrent traffic drops as the Netflix traffic grows. So I think people do want a great experience and they want access – people are mostly honest. The best way to combat piracy isn’t legislatively or criminally but by giving good options. One of the side effects of growth of content is an expectation to have access to it. You can’t use the internet as a marketing vehicle and then not as a delivery vehicle.
Jesus, every single line in there could serve as an article headline in and of itself. This, right here, is almost a tl;dr of why Netflix is becoming the dominant player in television.
MIcrosoft’s Illumiroom - There’s been a lot of gimmicky ideas about how to change gaming and make it more “immersive,” but I have to say that this may be one of the coolest and most likely to catch on. If you haven’t seen their earlier tech demo, definitely click this video. If you have, this video shows you how it worked and how far it could go.