DTNS 2480 – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Button

Richard Stroffolino joins the show to talk about Google's new patent marketplace. Should you sell all your patents to Google? do you want Google to own all the patents?

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Show Notes
Today's guests: Rich Stroffolino
Google announced a Patent Purchase Promotion today in an effort to supposedly remove friction from the patent market and apparently try to keep patents out of the hands of trolls. Anyone who has a US patent can list their patent for sale between May 8th and May 22. After the close of the market Google will let sellers know if they're interested by June 26th, finish up the details by July 22 and pay out by late August. Patent sellers set the sale price and get a license back tot heir patent.
TechCrunch reports Facebook added a free video calling feature that works over cellular or wifi- inside Messenger for iOS and Android today. Messenger will adjust quality based on your connection. However you can't make calls to desktop users and you can only call one person at a time. Video calling in Messenger is availablein 18 countries today with other regions to be added in the coming months.
According to data gathered by Slice Intelligences' consumer panel app, 376,000 of the 1.7 million Apple Watches ordered were delivered to U.S. consumers this weekend. A remaining 547,000 watches are expected to ship between April 27 and June 11; leaving 639,000 people waiting for word ofon when their watches will ship. The data was gathered based on a survey of more than 2 million online shoppers.
TechCrunch reports that Instagram has added three new image filters called Lark, Reyes, and Juno. Instagram plans to release new filters at a faster rate. But, smiley face kitty cat rainbow, that's not the most exciting part! Instagram also added support for emoji in hashtags, which means you can now click on hashtag little poop guy and see what other fine images have been tagged with that emoji.
Apple Pay is now supported by Discover Financial Services the last of the four major credit and debit card issuers in the United States according to the LA Times. Of course not every bank supports Apple Pay yet but the number of cards supported is certainly growing.
Following up on the forum post from last week where the makers the SeaNav claimed their app had been kicked out of the iOS app store for mentioning Pebble, Apple confirmed to Wired that it was a mistake. The SeaNav update will be accepted, as will any other apps rejected in similar circumstances. The company does not plan to reject apps that support the Pebble watch.
PC World clarified a statement Nokia made over the weekend. Responding to reports that Nokia would manufacture smartphones in China, Nokia said "These reports are false, and include comments incorrectly attributed to a Nokia Networks executive. Nokia reiterates it currently has no plans to manufacture or sell consumer handsets." However the ReCode report we mentioned claimed Nokia would design and license handsets not manufacture and sell them. In any case Nokia still can't do any of this until 2016 thanks to its agreements with Microsoft.
Reuters reports Judge Theodore Essex of the International Trade Commission in the US ruled Microsoft's phones infringe two wireless cellular patents owned by patent licensor InterDigital Incorporated. The decision must be reviewed by a full commission before an import ban can be enacted.
Apple didn't top its record profit of last quarter, but they did just fine. Today they posted earnings of $13.6 billion on $58 billion in revenue, above both what it forecast and what investors were expecting. For the three months ending in March, Apple sold 61.2 million iPhones, 12.6 million iPads, and 4.5 million Macs. All told, its gross margin for everything was 40.8 percent, which came in well above the 38.5 and 39.5 percent Apple expected. Apple's next quarter will be the first to include sales of the Apple Watch, but don't expect the company to reveal any numbers. The watch, along with sales of the iPod, Apple TV, and Beats accessories are all lumped into a catch-all category called "other products."
News From You:
KAPT_Kipper sent us the Ars Technica report that there was a brief moment in time back in 2011 when an 87-year old Pauline McKee from Illinois thought she won 41,797,550.16 dollars on a slot machine called Miss Kitty. The Isle Hotel Casino in Waterloo, Iowa declined to pay the money claiming it was a computer glitch. Ms. McKee sued, but the Iowa Supreme Court sided with the casino. The user-agreement on the touch screen slot machine, said the maximum payout was $10,000 and "bonus" awards were not allowed. The court ruled Pauline McKee was owed one dollar and 85 cents.
Bad news for people in search of rare flair on Reddit's The Button game. Bishma posted that "The Button" ran into technical difficulties Sat morning with the Cassandra server that tracked button clicks. During that time many people including The Button's creator got extremely rare flairs. Although the issue was resolved there was a point in time when the button reached zero allegedly revealing a spoiler. As of Sunday, red flair is more common and often looked down upon. Some Button enthusiats have decided to try to choose their favorite color rather than go for the lowest time count. Others have targeted getting a time of 42 as their new goal.The Button however is still active and posts are centering around quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide.
Discussion Section Links:
http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/27/google-launches-a-marketplace-to-buy-patents-from-interested-sellers/?ncid=rss#.7yzb2u:Ysp0 http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2015/04/announcing-patent-purchase-promotion.html http://www.google.com/patents/licensing/ http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/04/27/google-to-disarm-trolls-by-buying-patents-before-they-become-weapons/
Pick of the day:
Andy from increasingly spring like CT:
Hi Tom,
Pick of the day for you – Mountek smartphone mounts.
If you're like me and are always disappointed with in car Nav systems, and still have a car radio with a CD slot, the sit in woe no more! Mountek makes a great smart device mount that clips in to the CD slot and uses a very thin magnet on your device to attach to a magnetic pad on the mount. For me, this was a fantastic solution to my broken GPS unit in my car and allows me to use Waze or Google or whatever on device GPS app I like without chasing the phone as it slips and falls all around my dash console. Problem solved! Instead of $600 to repair the cars's GPS, I spent $30 for the Mountek Snap+ and I couldn't be happier. It holds my iPhone 6 or my iPad Air easily, and keeps them in line of sight so that I can see maps and directions without looks down and taking my eyes off the road. Safe and convenient! www.mountek.com – really great stuff.
Great show Tom, you and the crew are my conduit to the Tech Zeitgeist. Without DTNS I'd be lost, uninformed and Beja-less, a truly unhappy state.
Co-executive producer of the show Mike's father and brother have owned an automotive repair shop for 30 years. He worries that If the auto industry is successful in their DMCA petition, it could put them and others like them out of business. He sent a quote from autoblog.com.
"Hypothetically, the EFF says, the likes of General Motors, Honda and Ford could supply ECU codes only to repair companies they contract with – or steer that business entirely to authorized dealerships. Car owners' power to choose where they want their car repaired could be diminished."
BUT Chris (mrforgetful on Patreon) works in IT for a motor manufacturer and gets involved in building the software systems that enable technicians to update the software in vehicles. He says:
"Right to Repair legislation is coming into force in the US in 2017 that requires automotive manufacturers to make available the tools necessary to update vehicle software. Similar legislation has been in Europe for about 6 years (I am from the UK).
Although he adds: Carrying out home-made modifications to the software is out-of-scope (you must apply the software from the manufacturer).
Which leads us to Alan who pointed out:
"diesel nerds" are aware that most modern diesel engines are sold with a number of different levels of output. Naturally, the more powerful versions are more expensive than the lower output versions. There is normally no physical difference between these engines, it's all software governed.
By now I'm sure you can see where this is going - there's a whole industry dedicated to re-flashing vehicle ECUs to "liberate" those extra horsepower for significantly less cost than buying "The fancier model". This will be what John Deere and GM are really trying to crack down on as they move towards greater physical commonality in their model ranges.
Randall pointed out:
"I'm not sure that your aware, but Linux is use by many major car manufacturers. There is even an automotive grade Linux project that many of them contribute to. https://www.automotivelinux.org/about/members"
Daryl Sensenig writes:
I'm an amateur vehicle hobbyist, and I enjoyed your discussion of John DeeRM. You mentioned Linux for cars. There is just such a thing. You can find a popular supplier here: http://bankspower.com. The way some vendors make it legal us by replacing the entire computer hardware.
Harry The Airline Pilot commented on the story about Chris Roberts' tweet on a United Boeing 737-800. Harry writes:
" I have been an Airline Pilot for 36 years for many airlines, and most recently I flew a Boeing 737-800 for 10,000 hours at United Airlines. There are many inaccuracies in all the commentaries about this story. First off, he concedes that his research only pertains to the most modern airplanes – the Boeing 787, Airbus A350, and Airbus A380. This is a very small part of the current airline fleet. None of his research applies to the B-737-800 because it has no internal network. This plane is old school – it was developed in 1967. The latest versions being built today are essentially the same as back in 1967. Only new avionics and some structural and engine changes. For example he talks about taking over the fuel balancing systems. There is NO such system on the 737. It is done by looking at the fuel quantities in the tanks and manually turning pumps off and on – old school. The passenger entertainment systems on these aircraft are just after market bolt on. The only connection to the aircraft systems is the power source – literally an on-off switch in the cockpit. Also, there is no way to turn on the passenger oxygen system on the aircraft electrically. The only control, is to drop the oxygen masks. No oxygen will flow until the mask is physically pulled down. Then a chemical oxygen canister will start a reaction to produce oxygen for that row of seats for about 12 minutes.
So basically, when he says "Find myself on a 737/800, lets see Box-IFE-ICE-SATCOM, ? Shall we start playing with EICAS messages? "PASS OXYGEN ON" Anyone ? :)", it is total bull. As far as the freedom of speech argument for defending this tweet, see how far that will get you if you joke about having a bomb next to a TSA person at security."
Tuesday's guest:  Patrick Beja

Episode: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/202847044-tom-merritt-dtns-2480-hitchhikers-guide-to-the-button.mp3