April Fools BALEETED

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April Fools BALEETED
Number 2203
Broadcast Date April 1 2014
Episode Length 32:26
Hosts Tom Merritt
Guests Natali Morris

Natali Morris joins the show and we get to the bottom of all this April Fool’s Day nonsense. Also it’s Gmail’s legit 10th birthday.



Today is April 1st. April Fools’ day which the Internet first made amazing and then risked ruining. How did the Internet do this year? Google Japan gave us a robot hand you can use to type. Google+ introduce auto awesome photobomb which inserted David Hasselhoff into your pictures. Richard Branson played along with Nest for flights, giving Virgin airline passengers climate control. YouTube decided to stop producing the memes and let people do it this year. And SwiftKey for physical keyboards, Roku Watch, Samsung, Toshiba, AND HTcC’s smart gloves, CERN changing to comic sans as the official typeface, Sphero’s selfiebot, iFixit bought by Apple, AND the inevitable raft of awesome, possibly soon to be real fake products from ThinkGeek.
April 1st is also Gmail’s birthday. Harry McCracken has an excellent piece on Technologizer about the origins of Gmail and why it was launched on April Fool’s day. It mostly had to do with Sergey Brin’s sense of humor. Happy birthday Gmail! You did better than the email system I was using ten years before you, called PINE.
Reuters reports Apple suppliers will begin producing displays for the next iPhone in May, which would be about right on schedule for a fall release of the phone. Reuters source says Japan Display, Sharp and LG Display have all been tapped to make screens. The screens being produce in May are supposedly 4.7-inches, a big jump up from the current 4-inch screens in the iPhone 5S. Apparently a 5.5-inch screen is in the works but hit a snag and won’t be produced until later this year.
Engadget reports its sources say Google is testing a new camera app for Android with a background-blurring effect for portrait shots and improved panorama and Photo Sphere modes. Also photo framing gets a tweak so that what you see in the viewfinder is what you get in the picture. Nothing creeping in at the edges. And support for third-party filters is also supposedly on the way. The improvements would come in a standalone app so Android device owners wouldn’t have to wait for a carrier update to their OS.
Finally, Microsoft gave us a peek at the future, including the holy grail of universal apps. Universal Windows apps makes the Windows runtime available for phones for common code, providing a consistent user experience across devices including the Xbox. IN addition DirectX 12 will be the shared platform for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox. Universal Windows Apps will run in their own Window on the Desktop, new for Modern apps. No more jarring experience between Desktop and Metro/Modern. And Microsoft is getting more open. Windows Library for javascript is going cross-platform and open source. And Windows for IoT will be free as will Windows for phones and tablets with screens less than 9 inches. Oh and next update will bring the Start menu back, with new added live tiles alongside a more familiar looking list.
TechCrunch reports that Pavel Durov, founder of Russian social network Vkontakte, announced he has resigned as the company’s Acting Director General. Durov said said it became “increasingly difficult” to run the social network after ownership changes put pressure on the company’s freedom of speech ethic. Durov has become increasingly outspoken about mass surveillance and freedom of speech in Russia. He sold his remaining stake in the company in January. Mail.ru owns 52% of Vkontakte.
CNET’s Jeff Bakalar reports select Xbox Live members will get invites to early access to a few new features for the Xbox One. Among the features are the ability to set DVR recordings and watch recordings from a tablet or smartphone. Also coming is “Rent Once, Play Anywhere” which lets you stop playback of a rented video on one device, say your Xbox and pick up where you left off on another, like a Windows Phone.

News From You

BBC story on OKCupid dissuading its visitors from using Firefox, in protest over CEO Brendan Eich’s previous support of antigay marriage law in California. Visitors to OK Cupid’s site who use Firefox receive a screen asking them to use another browser, with an explanation of why. However a link does allow Firefox users to continue on to the main site. Mozilla told the BBC it has not been contacted by OKCupid and said “Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples.”
Submitted by fja
Verge story that HP has settled a class action lawsuit that alleged the company misled investors. The plaintiff’s claimed HP publicly said it would flood the market with WebOS powered devices after acquiring Palm in 2010, but that privately the company never actually planned any such thing. HP will pay $57 million as part of the mediated settlement.
Submitted by LifeDownloaded
GigaOm story that Google+ users can now see a stat telling them their total views adding up profile, post and photo views since October 2012. The number will show up on the profile page. Number-hungry companies desperate to show some kind of reach on their brand pages are calling this addition ‘analytics.’
Submitted by KAPT_Kipper


Pick of the Day

f.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.
It's even possible that you're staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better.
Mentioned by Natali Morris



Preceded by:
"Mo Money Mo-torola"
April Fools BALEETED
Followed by:
"Lamarr Douses the Fire"