Congestion question

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Congestion question
Number 2228
Broadcast Date May 6, 2014
Episode Length 56:36
Hosts Tom Merritt
Guests Allison Sheridan

Allison Sheridan joins me to talk about the rising maker revolution, open source hardware, and Google’s advance on the classroom.



CNET reports Google and Intel announced more than 20 new devices running Google’s Chrome OS on Intel’s Bay Trail and Haswell processors. PC makers: Acer, Asus, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, LG, and Toshiba will all make the devices. Lenovo had their own Chrome OS announcement including a 64-bit Bay Trail powered Yoga Chromebook. Samsung was notably absent. All announced devices use conflict-free metals in their construction. I haven’t seen this many non Wintel PCs since the OS/2 Warp days.
Remember we said the jury awarded Apple $120 million in the latest Apple-Samsung patent dustup? Well surprise, suprise, Samsung is plans to challenge the verdict as “unsupported by evidence,” according to Bloomberg. Samsung will tell the court they would rather pay a lower amount, according to Samsung lawyer John Quinn. Zero. They would like to pay zero please. Both companies will also likely pursue bans on each others devices.
Want to know why Samsung and Apple are at each others throats like this? Go read Kurt Eichenwald’s excellent in depth writeup at
CNET reports Microsoft sent out invites to the press for a “small gathering” on the morning of May 20th in New York City. It could mean Microsoft just wants a few of their favorite journalists to have brunch, or it could mean Microsoft is being clever and wants to announce a smaller Microsoft Surface tablet.
CNET reports Flux, once a part of the secretive Google X labs has raised $8 million in Series A funding. Flux is developing and testing its collaborative-design software for the building construction industry. The idea is to help build sustainable structures that reduce energy consumption. It hopes to launch the product in early 2015.
Gigaom reports Dropcam will launch a line of sensors called Tabs, that can tell when a door or window has been opened as well as detect movement. The Tabs work with the dropcam cameras and will sell for $29 starting in August. The cameras themselves will also get an upgrade in August, being able to use the cloud to tell when a human is in its view and eventually tell which human that is. More details to follow at the GigaOm Structure Conference June 18th and 19th.
The Next Web reports Google Maps for Android and iOS got an update with several new features including the ability to tell you which lane to be in so you don’t miss your exit off the highway, as well as avoid high traffic lanes! Maps also gets an easier way to take an alternate route while driving as well integration of Uber alongside other transit options.
TechCrunch reports Google is rolling out a new Classroom app which uses Docs, Drive and Gmail to make it easier to hand out track and accept student assignments. The system is free and Ad-free but will be invite only to start. Educators can apply to the preview program at and the first group of testers will be notified in about a month.

News From You

Gizmodo article about a series of email exchanges revealed by Al Jazeera News between the US NSA director at the time Keith Alexander and executives from Google. The exchanges from 2012 were obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request. The meetings indicate Google along with Microsoft, HP, AMD, Apple, and others were working on cybersecurity issues such as efforts to secure BIOS on enterprise platforms and participation in “classified threat briefings.” The meetings were part of seomthing called the Enduring Security Framework and don’t seem to have any relationship to programs revealed by Edward Snowden’s leaks.
Submitted by AtomicSpaceGun
Engadget story that Dropbox closed down many of their shared links after realizing a security flaw could unintentionally expose those documents. Apparently Dropbox was not doing anything about blocking referrer links from being logged. Let’s say Allison sent me a document via a dropbox link that had a link to in it. Then I open that document from the dropbox link and click on the link to The sysadmins at Apple could look int heir logs and see that someone was referred to their site from the dropbox link. Then they could access that same document using that link. Dropbox says they have patched the problem.
Submitted by the_corley
Ars Technica reports that a ban on drones announced by the US National Park Services does not appear use a legal basis that could apply to drones. Instead of creating a new regulation and holding the public comment that usually comes with it, the Park Service cited an existing regulation that restricts “delivering or retrieving a person or object by parachute, helicopter, or other airborne means.” So no riding your drones into or out of Yosemite people!
Submitted by HouseOfBrick
Gizmodo story of a man who accidentally received a $400,000 unmanned aerial vehicle delivered to his door by UPS. Not by drone. Reddit user Seventy_Seven. said he called UPS who said it was up to him whether to keep it or not. A card in the box said it belonged to NOAA Aircraft Operations Center in Tampa, Florida, whom Seventy_seven said would get a call next.
Submitted by by TVsEgon


Pick of the Day

“We have been using iPads for business for about two and a half years now and the key tool we have found is Goodreader. As there is no native file manager on the iPad you need a way to manage, present and share files. After trying a number of others we have found that Goodreader is the best for what we do. It handles almost any standard file type (PDF, MS Office, video, images, etc.) and allows you to manage and display them in a manner very similar to the typical file manager on the desktop. It populates from cloud services like Dropbox, Box, the Microsoft cloud service and a variety of others. Documents can also be added from email attachments and it links to your email to send documents from the app. One other really nice feature is that it has a fairly robust markup tool for PDF files. We utilize this in meetings quite a bit when the iPad is connected to a projector. It allows for real time markups and speeds the consensus building on projects.”
Submitted by Russell Manthy



Preceded by:
"A mighty solar wind"
Congestion question
Followed by:
"Wii U buy me?"