Diet Phone

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Diet Phone
Number 3231
Broadcast Date MARCH 2, 2018
Episode Length 29:34
Hosts Tom Merritt, Sarah Lane
Guests Brian Brushwood

Light Phone, last year’s crowdfunded phone, is getting a sequel including a bunch of new features. Plus, Toyota sets up a new venture to develop automated-driving software, and Angry Birds developer Rovio is shutting its London studio after disappointing Q4 earnings.


Quick Hits

Instagram may have plans for voice and video calling, based on Android Application Packages (APKs) that show files and icons called “Call” and “Video Call.” Back in January, an image of a video call button was spotted by the blog WAbetainfo. If we're keeping score, Snapchat first launched video calling in 2014.
On Wednesday, a 1.35 terabits per second DDoS attack hit GitHub. It's the most powerful distributed denial of service attack recorded to date. Github sought help from its DDoS mitigation service, Akamai Prolexic. After eight minutes, the attack dropped off.
Yesterday, we mentioned software engineer Loretta Lee was suing her former employee Google and recapped suits from James Damore and Tim Chevalier. Add another one to the list. Former YouTube recruiter Arne Wilberg claims he was terminated in retaliation for complaining to HR about hiring practices.

Top Stories

Rovio, the maker of the Angry Birds games, reported Q4 earnings below estimates and announced it will close its year-old London-based games development office. The head of its games unit, Wilhelm Taht will also be leaving the company. The earnings report cited heavy competition and an increased cost of user acquisition as two reasons for the shortfall. Full year revenue was up by 56% and the company made a profit in Q4. Rovio said it will continue to invest in Hatch Entertainment, its subsidiary that's building a cloud-based streaming service.
The Light Phone, a crowdfunded product released last year as a simplified handset without internet access, texting, email, or photography, is adding a few features. The Light Phone 2 will include an E-Ink touchscreen, 4G support and text support. Light doesn't expect to ship the new model until April 2019, although it's worth noting that the original handset was delayed. The Light Phone 2 is available to back on Indiegogo for the earlybird price of $225. It will eventually be $400.
Sources tell Cheddar that Snap will launch a second version of its Spectacles glasses this year, and then a third version with two cameras in 2019. The 2nd gen Spectacles are said to be water resistant, will come in new colors, and have performance improvements, while the 3rd version may feature a new design and two cameras to allow 3D-like depth effects in videos. Snap announced last year that it had lost $40 million on its original Spectacles, selling 150,000 pairs with a huge inventory of unsold units.
Toyota is investing more than $2.8 billion in a new Tokyo-based venture to develop software for self-driving cars. A thousand employees including new hires will staff the operation and English will be the main business language. Toyota will have a 90% stake with parts suppliers Denso Corp and Aisin Seiki Co each holding 5%.
A market research report from OC&C Strategy Consultants predicts voice shopping will grow $40 billion in the US and UK by 2022. Right now it's at $2 billion. 13% of US homes have a smart speaker and 36% of those homes use them to buy stuff. In the UK, 10% of households have the speakers and about 16% of those shop on them. Smart speaker owners tend to be young, wealthy and have kids.



I had to write in about the teacher from Ghana as this region is the same region we are working in to put in solar microgrids. Our office is in Kumasi, the major city nearest to where Richard Appiah Akoto teaches. This is not just a digital divide, but there are many schools in villages without electricity just 1 or 2 hours from Kumasi. Also, on a side note, Kumasi is actually home to one of the best technical universities in Africa (the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology).

Despite the obstacles, some students (hopefully many) will go onto university and there will probably have to use a computer. So the students of Richard Appiah Akoto having this visual of a desktop would have a little preparation at least. However, it seems crazy to me that these students have to pass an ICT exam without access to electricity or a computer.

When I use my laptop in one of our communities, it is interesting to see kids try to gather around and observe what I am doing. As we have electrified communities, we have had some people bringing computers in to the community (often it is easier to get access to movies and videos for a computer). It would be great to get students exposure to using a computer whether it is a laptop or even a Raspberry Pi. The fact that desktops are needed for this exam is also frustrating as they use much more energy than laptops, and there are options like the Pi which could be more affordable and provide a better educational experience. The other issue is that since implemented in 2011, the exam has not been updated from what I understand. Teachers are forced to teach to something that may no longer be relevant.

I also wanted to share this picture of one of the schools in a community just one hour away from Kumasi that I took when we first arrived in 2015. They have recently just finished a much nicer school in the same community and the town now has electricity from our solar microgrid. I would love to see them have access to computers in the future. Ghana is progressing forward and hopefully will be able to bridge these divides in the coming years.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling

P.S. Kwadwo is pronounced Kojo, like saying Joe Joe twice, just with a K. This spelling threw me off for the longest time.
Sent by Joe (the solar engineer)

Hello Tom and Sarah!

My name is Jason Ebner, proud Patreon Member, and Academic Advisor for a high school Anime Convention called ASAHi. The Anime Society of Antioch High is unique because it is completely student run, and this year ASAHi has invited both Justin and Patrick to be a part of our show. Justin will be appearing live to play his two card games in our game room and Patrick will be appearing online to talk about Overwatch and Nintendo gaming with our con goers. The cool thing is that we will be streaming these events live. We would love if you could help us out by giving us a shout out or possibly making us a segment on your show? If not, we more than understand. We just wanted to try as teaching students how to market is one of the more difficult things to do.

I LOVE the show, listen every day, and look forward to hearing you later today.

Thanks for your time!

Sent by Jason Ebner (Blameebner), Academic Advisor, Antioch High in Antioch, CA



Preceded by:
"Twitter: Toxic or Tonic?"
Diet Phone
Followed by:
"A Notch is Not a Feature"