DTNS 2350 – Ello is it meet you’re looking for?

Nate Lanxon is on the show today. we’ll talk about Ello making it illegal for themselves to sell ads, Facebook’s attempt to recapture the message board spirit of 1999 and the future of community on the Web.


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Show Notes
Today’s guest: Nate Lanxon, editor of wired.co.uk, ed-in-chief of Ars Technica UK

Facebook launched another independent app from their Creative Labs called Rooms. TechCrunch reports the app will allow users to set up Rooms devoted to a particular discussion topics. While users can choose any screenname they wish, participants must be invited by QR code. also moderators can ban users by device. Facebook will also have the ability to unilaterally delete posts ban members or take down entire rooms if they violate its community guidelines. Rooms will be available for iOS only in the US, UK ad a few other countries, with an Android version coming in 2015.

Ello raised another round of funding, $5.5 million this time, but made a more unusual move. The company has filed as a Public Benefit Corporation in Delaware. This means the company is not only beholden to its stockholders return but also to benefitting the public. Transit agencies, port authorities and government entities like the US Post Office and Corporation for Public Broadcasting are examples of Public Benefit Corporations. Ello made its investors sign a letter committing to never taking ads, never making money from selling user data and forcing any new owners that might acquire Ello to do the same.
The BBC reports that Mark Zuckerberg was in Beijing and gave a speech in Mandarin during a meeting with students at the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management. The reviews are in: Quartz said he sounded “like someone was stepping on his face”. Isaac Stone Fish at Foreignpolicy.com wrote “he can communicate like an articulate seven-year-old with a mouth full of marbles.” Zuck himself said “The Chinese language is difficult, and I speak English, but I like challenges.” Zuckerberg set a goal in 2010 to learn Mandarin, in order to better communicate with his in-laws. And maybe also China’s 641 million internet users. And the Chinese government, which does not currently allow those users access to Facebook.
GigaOm reports Amazon launched its sAWS region in Germany, its second in Europe, the other being in Ireland. The region is run out of Frankfurt. The location will improve reliability and latency for many customers and also make it easier for Germany companies to use AWS. Germany has the strictest data protection laws in Europe.
TechCrunch reports Google has hired by acquisition the teams behind deep learning startups Dark Blue Labs and Vision Factory which both spun out of Oxford University in the UK. Google will also partner with Oxford on wider research efforts int he area of AI. The teams will join Google DeepMind which Google acquired in January. The teams specialise in natural language understanding algorithms that help robots process 3D objects and movement.
Engadget reports that Canonical released Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn today in celebration of 10 years of Ubuntu. The update is very minor featuring a developer tool center that makes it easier to write Android apps, as well as support for zero-setup printers and 64-bit ARM chips. So enjoy your ‘humanness’, you 25 million Ubuntu users–it’s your special day. (If you want to read more about the ten year history of Ubuntu Ars Technica has a great writeup)
If you, like me, and almost nobody else were following the story of China cornering the market on rare Earth minerals, you can rest easy. Vox has a story showing that a combination of stepped up production in the rest of the word and reduction of dependence on the minerals in manufacturing has combined to avoid a crisis. Rare Earth minerals like Neodynium and Dysprosium are used in the manufacture of many electronics. In 2010 China produced 97% of the world's rare earth minerals and began restricting exports.
TechCrunch reports Microsoft earnings are in and they are good! Revenue was $23.2 billion in the fiscal first quarter with earnings per share of 54 cents. That beat analysts expectations of $22.02 billion and 49 or 50 cents a share. Surface revenue was a bright spot with $908 million. And the phone line was $2.6 billion a rise from Q4.Office 365 for consumers grew to 7 million subscribers, up 25 percent from the preceding quarter. Devices and Consumer revenue was up 47 percent to $10.96 billion. Its Commercial revenue was up 10% to $12.28 billion. Windows.

News From You
KAPT_Kipper pointed out the Ars Technica article that driver update deployed through Windows Update for USB-to-serial chips made by FTDI is causing some Arduino microcontroller to become unresponsive. Bricked. The twist is the drivers actually only affect counterfeit chips. This may be an accident, it may be a side effect that FTDI doesn't mind, or it may be on purpose. FTDI has recovery software that enables chips to be reprogrammed, and when used with some older drivers, it appears possible to reset the bricked chips.
swiftpawz sent us an Android Central report that Chromebook shipments increased by 67 percent in the second quarter of 2014. ABI Research, the company that rounded up the data, predicts total 2014 shipments will double those of the previous year. The US accounted for 78% of Chromebook purchases. In emerging markets, especially in Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe, business-purchasing entities account for 75 percent of Chromebook sales.
In space, no one can hear you scream, but on Soundcloud, you can now hear the sounds of space. Or at least the sounds from things that flew into space. thisisnotjr sent us the BBC report that NASA has released 60 sound samples of historical audio from NASA missions on Soundcloud, including the immortal words of Neil Armstrong when first stepping onto the moon, and Apollo 18’s “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Commencing download in 10, 9, 8…

Discussion Links: 

Pick of the Day: on{x} via Christian W
You were mentioning Microsoft Garage…
I believe one of the most exciting things to come out of that endeavor is on{x}.
It can best be described as Tasker on steroids. Using javascript you can make your Android phone react to certain situations.
Just got home? Text someone.
Geolocation near anything matching the bing search “Science museum”, get a notification.
If you can code it, it works.
I used it when I had an android phone. Now I have a Lumia 930, and the sucker is more locked down than an iPhone.
Love the show.
From wet, cold and currently sucky, Trondheim Norway.
Christian W.
Friday’s guests: Sean Hollister, Reviews Editor at Gizmodo and Len Peralta, DTNS artist in residence

Episode: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/173544655-tom-merritt-dtns-2350-ello-is-it-meet-youre-looking-for.mp3