Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which it was Google.IO, the big G’s developer conference, and they had a lot to announce… so we take a deeper dive into some of the upcoming stuff and what we think.
- [00:00:45] General feelings and the overall feel
- [00:02:25] Duplex: Google Assistant making phone calls to real people to book hair salon appointments and the like. This was by far the thing which got the most press from this IO, and… we have some thoughts. Lots.
- [00:25:00] Android P: swipe gestures are coming (again)
- [00:27:05] Digital wellness: helping people unplug, a bit, from their devices. This is an interesting turn from Google, whether done for cynical reasons or shining ones, and the sort of thing that the Center for Humane Technology have been talking about a lot
- [00:36:40] Google News are planning to use (say it with me) AI and machine learning to curate news and automatically pull in other reads of a given story from different points on the political spectrum
- [00:44:00] Smart Compose is a new Gmail feature which will make writing suggestions to you when writing a mail; we’re still arguing about Smart Replies, the pre-canned single-button responses, which Stuart bizarrely doesn’t like for no good reason and Jeremy and Jono point this out at some length
- [00:51:10] Smart displays with Google Assistant, and the Echo Show
- [00:53:00] Google Photos automatically picking up foreground objects by using AI and machine learning (ya rly!), potentially bringing the “portrait lighting” mode from the iPhone X to Android natively rather than a million manual apps in the Play Store
- [00:54:16] Maps now has augmented-reality walking directions, with a little cartoon fox for you to follow. And some discussion of whether integrating lots of stuff into Maps is a good idea or not
- [01:02:00] A grab-bag of extras: Leap to translate menus with AR, Chromebooks being able to run Linux apps, and overall thoughts on Google’s direction
Come chat with us and the community in our Slack channel via https://badvoltage-slack.herokuapp.com/!
Discuss this show in the forum!
Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which you must be this tall to ride the HTTP, loads of things are related directly or indirectly to Facebook’s F8 conference, and:
- Comcast bump speeds for cable subscribers (if they take TV services too) up to as much as 400Mbps… the US state of Georgia start legalising “hacking back”; Microsoft and Google implore them to not… UK MPs threaten Zuckerberg with a formal summons to appear in front of UK Parliament… Facebook is launching a dating feature… the Oculus Go, a standalone VR headset from Facebook; is this the last hope for this iteration of VR?… a new device policy to allow Linux VMs on Chrome OS for the purpose of running containerized Linux desktop GUI applications… Google releases another chat app, but this one’s a bit different… The .app top-level domain is now open for business… US mobile phone operators T-Mobile and Sprint merge to form a rival to the larger US operators… 4chan captured Shia LeBoeuf’s hidden “He Will Not Divide Us” flag, as if we couldn’t see that coming… why HTTP GETs must be safe, or “my garage door keeps opening“, a cautionary tale
Come chat with us and the community in our Slack channel via https://badvoltage-slack.herokuapp.com/!
Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which Jono can’t stop laughing, you too are affected by the GDPR, and:
- [00:01:55] Various antivirus, browser, and backup companies embed tracking info in their installers… Microsoft release their own Linux distro as was foretold by the prophecy… a WhatsApp drug dealer is IDed from his fingerprint in a photo of his hand… the Bully Hunters anti-harrassment CounterStrike vigilante organisation starts up and shuts right back down again… ex-FBI-director James Comey complains about encryption and the FBI “going dark”… Google loses a “right to be forgotten” case in the UK… a man was caught by facial recognition at a Chinese pop concert… Tesla says Model 3 production has been shut down temporarily…
- [00:42:30] There are quite a lot of “interesting” situations going on right now where legal requirements are conflicting with internet services. Service providers are now increasingly responsible for the content on their sites, which has caused Craigslist and Backpage to shut down their sexual advertising services amid accusations of sex trafficking, the GDPR is coming very soon to the EU and requires radical changes in organisations’ data-handling policies, upcoming copyright laws may be widely-drawn enough that they require Github to Content-ID everything that’s uploaded. Are these laws good in concept? More importantly, are they good in execution? Are we as a society treating the symptoms rather than the disease? Are the consequences of these laws reaching way beyond where they should, and is this accidental overreach by non-tech-savvy legislators or a deliberate attempt to curtail the spread of free culture and bring the internet under control? Lots of angles in this one…
Come chat with us and the community in our Slack channel via https://badvoltage-slack.herokuapp.com/!
Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which we are raided, we sell the forum (temporarily) to Alan Pope as part of the Papal Weekend, we are the youth gone wild, and:
- [00:05:00] Cloudflare spin up a new DNS service at 184.108.40.206… Google launching mid-range Pixel – likely focused on India… Revisiting our Mycroft review in the light of their 18.02 release: Stuart comments in detail, while Mycroft calls Jono a fool (really!)… Apple to move to ARM chips made by themselves in laptops, from 2020… Mark Shuttleworth talks about Canonical IPO… US restaurant PaneraBread leaks millions of customer records… Mozilla Reality: a browser, in VR… Profile Engine scraped hundreds of millions of users’ Facebook profiles in 2007-2010… Google vs Oracle: Google loses appeal, APIs are copyrightable… we’ve been playing with the MarcoPolo “video walkie-talkie” app, and review it…
- [01:01:00] Jeremy and Stuart and others have been working on building Measure, a tool for people who manage open source projects. It helps you know what’s going on in the community, who’s contributing and who isn’t, and generally gives you more visibility, while being easy to understand and opinionated in which things it shows you. We talk about it here, and Jeremy spoke about Measure at SCaLE 16x in more detail still if you want to know even more.
Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which space is raided, beans are endless, and:
- [00:01:55] News: An Uber self-driving car killed a pedestrian… Google announce the “Google News Initiative“, which seems to be some sort of subscription service, an attempt to fact-check fake news, and a way to help journalists connect privately and securely to the internet… Cambridge Analytica and Facebook are under a great deal of fire about data harvesting and influence over election proceedings and public perceptions in the UK and the US… WebOS is open source (again)… NVIDIA and Microsoft collaborate on RTX, some real-time raytracing in DirectX to produce “cinematic quality” real-time games… and RIP Stephen Hawking, legendary physicist and actor in Star Trek: The Next Generation…
- [00:37:26] Mycroft are working towards their Mark II release: fully funded on Kickstarter in six hours and got up to nearly $400,000, but can this be good? Some thoughts on the Mark 1, and prospects for the Mark 2, and what Mycroft will need to succeed. Just don’t ask it “Mycroft, what are beans?“
Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which brick-and-mortar shops go under, brick-and-mortar shops go from strength to strength, things are a bit delayed after a very tough week, and:
- [00:01:18] News: Blast from the past UK electronics store Maplinare in talks to sell the business, along with rueful speculations on how Radio Shack are doing too… In an unoracular move, beneath the market’s din, Oracle open sources DTrace under the GPL… Google removes “view image” from the Google Image Search after a settlement with Getty Images, inspiring a whole bunch of rage and/or plaudits… Snapchat updates UI, 1.2 million people sign a change.org petition complaining about it, Snapchat responds and says things will get easier, honest… FreeBSD release their new code of conduct, which takes a much more detailed approach to listing acceptable and unacceptable behaviour than most projects do… some thoughts on Amazon’s real-world bookshops…
- [00:32:20] In the last show, Jeremy asked this question: “if success on the Linux desktop ends up meaning that we have to move to a paid app ecosystem, with a mixture of closed and open source apps, would you prefer that we have that success, or stay with what we have now?” We said, “this is a big enough discussion to deserve a whole section of the show to itself”, and… this is exactly that discussion.
Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which our denials fall on deaf ears, nobody is gallivanting around the world, and:
- [00:02:05] News: 50 Cent lets people buy 2014 album with bitcoin, forgets about it, goes bankrupt, then remembers the bitcoin account and finds it’s now worth eight million dollars … Fractal Audio release the actually-more-interesting-than-you’d-think Axe FX III guitar amp modeller … Nintendo release Labo, a bunch of cardboard peripherals for a Switch, possibly enabling a whole new community of creators and possibly just enabling people who want to become cardboard Liberace … elementary OS change how they’re handling upgrades for paid apps you didn’t pay for, in a new approach as a business model, leading to lots of conversation about money in the world of open source, and what the best direction is … Intel release Vaunt, a pair of glasses which are smart but don’t look like they are, in accordance with the prophecy … and the EU loosely word proposed law so that anyone who hosts files might have to implement Content ID, causing sighs and/or panic across the tech industry …
- [00:41:38] Building computers, not buying laptops: despite the world largely moving to buying prebuilt laptops, it’s still possible to build your own desktop machine, and it’s actually rather fun, according to us. Here’s the story of a venture into this field for the first time in fifteen years!
- [01:00:45] Deepfakes: software gets released which allows replacing one person’s face in a video with someone else’s. While this has been possible for years if you’re Industrial Light and Magic, now it’s also possible if you’ve got a high-end nVidia card and a few days to let your Windows machine chug away at the problem. Of course, the internet seems to have taken this amazing technology and used it for pornography (and the r/deepfakes subreddit was banned in between us recording the show and releasing it!). What’s the deal with this sort of tech? Is it going to undermine our faith in video footage generally? Were we wrong to have that faith anyway?
Discuss in the community at http://community.badvoltage.org/t/2×26-shining-emerald-city/11478
Jeremy Garcia, Stuart Langridge, and special guest presenter Steve Walli from the Microsoft Azure team present Bad Voltage, in which Walli is to his relief not the star of the sting before the intro, and:
- [00:02:20] Stuart thinks that people are now so averse to the GPL and reciprocal licensing that Apple were prepared to write a browser mostly from scratch and Google may be replacing Linux with Fuchsia from scratch just to avoid the GPL. Jeremy and Steve are not all that convinced. We look at why GPL use is trending down, and what it means
- [00:24:38] Steve Walli is a Principal Program Manager at Microsoft, has spent his career working with open source, and also worked at Microsoft back in the early 2000s when they were certainly the enemy of Linux. But now MS are the fifth biggest contributor to the Linux kernel, half the developers in the world are using VS Code as their editor, and so the ship seems to be turning. Is it just lip service, or is this something real? We take the opportunity to bombard Walli with questions and concerns about whether Microsoft are actually really into open source or if it’s a fair-weather friendship. We have lots of questions. And Steve’s agreed to answer _your_ questions in a similar vein; go to community.badvoltage.org if you want to ask things about Microsoft and open source that we didn’t get to
Jeremy’s speaking at FOSDEM on February 3rd, so say hello and watch his talk if you’re there.
Also, we’ve set up a Slack channel! We’ll be talking about this in the next show, but if you want to get in early and hang out with the BV community, sign in to our Slack channel via https://badvoltage-slack.herokuapp.com/!
Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which we look down the barrel of 2018, 2018 gazes back into us spectrally and meltdownily, nobody shines Jono’s shoes for him, and:
- [00:02:30] The news: the Spectre and Meltdown security vulnerabilities are here to eat the world — you know that a security issue is serious when it gets its own Wikipedia article… one of the lead engineers (perhaps) behind the VW emissions scandal was sent to prison, and we’re not sure (and discuss in some depth) just how responsible he was and how culpability applies to engineering staff as well as decision-makers… the US state of Oregon allows you to fill your own car with petrol, Oregonians freak out about it, the internet are beside themselves with laughter… Amazon patent “watch a video ad for a product and the more of the ad you watch, the more the price of the product drops“, everyone agrees that nobody watches the ad… eHarmony claim that their dating algorithm is scientifically proven, get slapped by the Advertising Standards Authority who take a very dim view of this sort of thing… Amazon release Linux 2 on premises… Linux Journal saved from the jaws of destruction by Private Internet Access, leading to discussion about getting magazines on paper…
- [00:29:10] Predictions for 2018! What do we think will happen? Jono looks into Facebook VR, Red Hat’s finances, Google’s Flutter, and the PlayStation; Stuart has things about augmented reality, healthcare and tech, Microsoft and Linux, and Twitter and Trump; and Jeremy’s seeing stuff in 2018 for Tesla, harmful IoT devices, Bitcoin, and AI!
- [00:02:30] Apple buys Shazam, for reasons as yet unstated… Nintendo have sold 10 million Switches in nine months… Windows’s AFD.SYS, the “Ancillary Function Driver”, was actually named when one of the team leads of the Windows network team learned they had to write a driver in kernel mode and said, “what? Another f***ing driver???”. LOL, etc… The French government is planning to ban students from using mobile phones in the country’s primary, junior and middle schools… A six-year-old makes $11 million reviewing toys on YouTube… 129 million Americans only have one option for broadband internet service in their area, which explains some things about the whole net neutrality debate… The man program no longer says “gimme gimme gimme” after midnight… Hilarious extra wrinkle to the “Uber get hacked, pay blackmailers to get the hacked data back” story: to further conceal the damage, Uber executives also made it appear as if the payout had been part of a “bug bounty”…
- [00:31:50] In show 2×01 we gave our predictions for what would happen in 2017. Now, let’s look back and see how we did in our role as Cassandras. Place your bets now on who did best: Jono, Stuart, or Jeremy!
Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which we still don’t have a trillion bitcoins, Bitcoin still don’t have a trillion Bad Voltages, and:
- Google will remove Play Store apps that use Accessibility Services for anything except helping disabled users, which is a good idea from a security point of view but has a pretty far-reaching effect on some automation and scripting capabilities… Mozilla work on Project “Common Voice”, a crowdsourced speech project to collect a voice corpus, work on speech recognition, and so on… Mozilla release their all-new faster version of Firefox, named “Quantum”, which we’re all going to try for the next show… Should third-party Android ROM creators be responsible for ensuring that emergency calls work? Or is it caveat emptor? … Someone accidentally burns $300m in cryptocurrency, Bitcoin splits into Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, leading Del Boy to point out that we can double our money on this, and lots of other cryptocurrency goings-on… the Compuserve forums are shutting down, for those of you still using it: hope your 10285789,4963 address isn’t too much of a loss, but maybe you can win a Toyota to take the edge off… AOL still have millions of dialup users… Intel now base their “Management Engine” on Minix, so the invisible chip-within-a-chip now runs open source code, which you can’t change; Andrew Tanenbaum, Minix author, writes an open letter saying “hey, you might have mentioned it!”… Apparently 65 out of the 100 most cited papers are paywalled; whether you read this as “35% of the most cited papers are Open Access!” or a searing indictment of the current academic publishing industry or both depends on where you sit, perhaps, especially whether you have access to Google Scholar or not and what your views on academic copyright are… Reddit may go public in 2020, leading to asking: what benefit is there to the vast majority of Reddit users if this happens? Your thoughts invited… a rather disturbing article about bots creating autogenerated YouTube videos aimed at kids which are actually quite disturbing in a very unfeeling robot way which doesn’t seem to understand what makes things funny rather than creepy… and finally, Iron Maiden are going on tour (and Bruce Dickinson has a new book out); anyone going?
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and special guest presenter Alan Pope from the Ubuntu podcast and Canonical and Ubuntu (standing in for Jeremy while he tours Europe) present Bad Voltage, in which popey has a hundred job titles, we race to put out the show before the Ubuntu Podcast people do, and:
- [00:42:35] Ubuntu release the new 17.10 release, and we talk to Alan about it . This leads into discussions of being data-driven when planning, what the deal with snaps are, and upstream relationships
- And news on recent conferences: Jono at Open Source Summit Europe, Alan at Freenode #live, and Stuart at Hackference
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which some people watch Star Trek Discovery and some emphatically do not, some are at conferences and some are not, and:
- [00:02:45] Every wifi device on the planet is broken by a fully-branded attack named Krack, suggesting that nobody listened to the plan to “Just say no”… Google Maps now also covers various planets and moons across the solar system, giving whole worlds of alien customers to be asked to add their photos of the venue they’re in… Microsoft add support for Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Theora to Windows, not a moment too soon… Essential the phone people are sued by the bloke who set up Nest over the external-devices connector… Netflix adds 5.3 million subscribers in Q3, presumably from all the people on Europa who now have Google Maps as well…
- [00:28:25] The Purism Librem 5 hits its crowdfunding target of $1.5 million with a week still to go, so lots of people are certainly sure it’s viable enough to be worth buying. New entrants into the phone market are fairly common, and them dying having had little-to-no success is equally common, but the Librem 5 might be different; are they going after the mass market? Can a “security and privacy-focused phone” hit sustainability while only selling to people who are already convinced by the ideas it embodies? And can it be any good? We dive in
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we are all Google all the time, all news all the time, and:
- [00:03:00] News: Apple open source the kernels for iOS and Mac OS, with obvious discussion about how useful this is and the nature of open sourcing… the new wheeze is web ads that mine bitcoin and Stuart’s controversial defence of why that’s actually not as bad as everyone seems to think it is… Evan Prodromou releases Evancoin, a cryptocurrency where you can buy hours of his time or possibly create a new market… Elon Musk proposes speeding up intercontinental flying by shooting people across the sea in ICBMs, which literally everybody thinks is mad, so we’ll find out in fifty years when you take Saturn V down to the shops… the US Senate approves self-driving car legislation and bans the states from creating regulations to stop it… Google scrap their First Click Free policy, to cautious applause from every newspaper with a paywall… Bill Gates switches to Android, which might be the real death knell for Windows Phone, not that that wasn’t obvious already… and in more Microsoft news, they will release their browser, Edge, for iOS and Android, prompting discussion about what makes a browser beyond its rendering engine, and how to do tab groups in both Chrome (ish) and Firefox (entirely)…
- [00:40:30] Google release a slew of new hardware in their Made by Google event for October 2017. There are home assistants in three different sizes (the existing Google Home and the new Home Mini and Home Max), a new(ish) Daydream VR headset, a Google Clips camera, Pixel Buds (better named as “puds”) headphones, a new high-end Chromebook called the Pixel Book, and the next iteration of the Google phone, the Pixel 2. We’re gonna take a look at what the deal is with all this shiny new kit and whether we’d buy any of it
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we have not podfaded for one hundred shows (count ’em, a hundred), two-thirds of the team are at the Open Source Summit in LA, there is literally no news about the iPhones 8 or X, and:
- [00:03:00] News: the “BlueBorne” bundle of bluetooth attacks in which everything is vulnerable except iOS 10… the Linux Foundation announce CHAOSS, a project to make toold to measure open source community health, in the world’s best example of choosing the name and then finding a project to fit it… Equifax get hacked, expose 143 million users’ details, hilariously issue people PINs which are just the date through a pseudo-phishing website, cause end of the world… a mobile phone powered by radio waves which can make Skype calls on three microwatts (!) of power…
- [00:22:15] Jono and Jeremy are as mentioned at the Open Source Summit in LA; what’s the deal with it? Fun conference? We review what’s going on and what it’s all about, as well as some thoughts on the hallway track at conferences and what some tips on being a good public speaker
- [00:37:45] HitRecord (that’s “hit record”, not “hit record”) is “a new kind of online community working together as a production company”, set up by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, to be a movie/music/creative arts production company where people collaborate together to make things, or possibly to Fight The Power but in a way where everyone still gets paid. Sounds sorta Creative Commons-y, maybe… but is this one more dead idea powered by stardom, or the new way things will get made? We’ve got some thoughts. Generally positive ones. And maybe there’s some Bad Voltage things we could do on HitRecord? Tell us your ideas!
Stuart Langridge and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which Jono is away (and not fired, promise), there is too much news, and:
- [00:02:00] News: Juicero has run out of juice in the latest high-profile IoT market exit… Reddit close their source, igniting entirely atypical Redditor drama frenzy and prompting questions about whether anyone can stay open after getting millions of dollars… Oracle basically close down Solaris (gave it “a bullet in the head”, says James Gosling), so pour out a valedictory drink for Sun, now essentially gone away…
- [00:20:33] The Essential Phone: the hot new kid on the Android block. Lots of love and anticipation, and then a terrible tale of missing shipping and CCed photo IDs: is this going to be the next big thing? Would it have been the next big thing if they’d got the release right? Jeremy holds up his newly acquired phone and we look into the story around a product launch… and what you should do with goodwill when you find some
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which the Samsung Galaxy S5 is too big (unless it’s too small), it’s certainly too old (unless we’re too old), and:
- [00:02:00] News: DJI make over-the-air firmware updates for their drones mandatory, community spend only an hour working out how to circumvent it, 59 minutes of which was watching the eclipse… Stuart still harping on about being “forced” to listen to a U2 album one time years ago… the new Android Oreo release is out, along with the now traditional news blitz of articles explaining why you don’t have it and how to force it anyway… how big your phone ought to be and intemperate rhetoric thereof… Github CEO Chris Wanstrath steps down to spend more time with his text editor, help find new CEO to “lead Github into the next stage of growth”…
- [00:24:45] Jeremy reviews the Jarvis Bamboo standing desk from Fully, along with a bunch of discussion about whether standing desks as a whole are actually worth it and what the feature set you really need is
- [00:41:10] What’s the deal with AI and robots? On our forum, paulgault talked about killer robots and asked: “will mankind terminate itself with its own creations?” We’ll get into that, AI, and what this all means for our jobs and the future of the species. It’s a big topic, this one. (And we’d love to hear your thoughts on it too.)
- [00:02:09] The news… Google “manifestbro” posts a screed about Google’s internal attitudes to diversity and opposing affirmative action programmes, says that the way to fix the gender gap is to stop alienating conservatives, gets fired (and we have a discussion thread going on this already)… Creators of GRSecurity Linux kernel security patches sue Bruce Perens after he says that using their stuff might lead to legal trouble… UK data protection people worrying about government employees use of Slack because it makes freedom of information and transparency harder…
- [00:19:40] What should you use to run your website? Lots of people reach for WordPress, and that’s got a broad community; what else is out there? If you are using WP, are there a good set of plugins and themes that you might find good? Also including a whole discussion about IFTTT and Zapier and “glue code” for tying many services together
- [00:44:33] Ben Thompson put forward the idea of “curated journalism”: that publishers stop being employers of creators and start instead being curated publications of creators who already exist, in a detailed article for Stratechery. Does this idea actually hang together? Is it just the obvious next step? And are we likely to see new companies spring up or existing companies pivot to becoming the service provider to creators rather than the owner of them?
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we do not have “excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance”, we mention that Oggcamp is coming up in the UK and you should volunteer to be on the crew, nobody buys any illegally traded goods, and:
- [00:02:00] The news… Adobe kill Flash and Stuart defends it (up is down, down is up)… the police cooperate internationally to shut down two major darkweb markets in order to deny our previous assertions that the rozzers know nothing about technology… Microsoft kill MS Paint, internet erupts with sadness, Microsoft
wire the corpse to the mains, er, and put it in the Windows Store, which is not quite the same thing as death…
- [00:15:15] Is there too much screen time in our lives? Are we spending too much time looking at things on screen and not in reality, or is this merely more old man yelling at cloud? And are we seeing some more long-term psychological effects — narcissism, shallowness of affect, shortness of attention span — which have come about because our relationships are now mediated in 140-character bursts? It’s a worry. Or maybe it isn’t. We have… many thoughts
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which the po-po are f***ed, accusations of posh schooling are levelled, and:
- [00:02:00] The news… Someone raises $80k for a Jolla tablet… meanwhile Jolla themselves raise a startling thousand times as much to “develop Sailfish OS as the rival of Android”… Fedora 26 arrives for your full crimson headgear goodness… Ubuntu on Windows is now in the Windows Store, as the prophecy predicted…
- [00:20:22] System76 release Pop!_OS, “a powerful operating system just for creators”. What’s the deal here? There seems to be some confusion, and we’re here to sort it out. Or be more confused. Do we like the idea? Do we like the company? Do we like the name? Two out of three ain’t bad
- [00:49:37] In a previous show we referenced computers from our childhood, and here, a bit more depth. What did we use? What did you grow up with? Let us know on the forum!
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we don’t chop anyone’s Endless in half, we measure immeasurable things, and:
- [00:01:58] The news… Google get fined €2.4 billion for antitrust violations by the EU (who have a different approach to antitrust than the US)… the Five Eyes (of Sauron) countries are now all thinking of banning encryption… you can now circumvent the DMCA to repair stuff, although you’re not guaranteed to succeed… the word of 2017 seems to be randomware with the new amusingly-named but not amusingly-functioned “Not-Petya”… a report on FOSS Talk Live and charity runs ending in New Era Field at the weekend… Mycrofts are starting to arrive, in accordance with the prophecy, so look out for a review…
- [00:21:58] The Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act (or AC⚡DC Act, let there be rock) is a proposed US government bill which gives permission to companies and individuals to try and identify the computer or location of a cyber-attack against them. That is: if you’re being hacked, it makes it explicitly legal for you to “hack back”; to attack the perpetrator’s computer. Is this empowering people to help themselves in the face of an unhelpful government, or a romanticised view of the Wild West as applied to the internet? Crime prevention control a la the Guardian Angels or legitimisation of vigilanteism? There are some pretty nuanced outcomes from this law…
- [00:41:57] Wikipedia and Benjamin Mako Hill invent a gamified tutorial for new wikipedia contributors; everyone who takes it likes it and lots of people take it but it doesn’t actually achieve the goals of increasing the number and richness of Wikipedia contributions from participants. Some thoughts on how to (and whether to) gamify your community, and how to decide on and track metrics, and doing proper statistics (referencing Evan Miller’s work (not Evan Williams, sorry))
- [00:64:10] In the last show we asked you for your blue-sky suggestions for skills for Alexa and other home assistants… and we got a zillion responses, thank you all! We list a few of our best, and choose our winner, and they will be receiving their Mission One in due course. Thank you to Endless for giving us the prize to give away; now, skill developers, never complain again that you don’t have a good idea for a skill…
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we command Alexa to play our podcast and it works, Jono turns off his phone so it doesn’t explode with helpful comments every time we say “OK Google” (you may wish to do the same), and:
- [00:01:55] The news… Verizon spends $4.5 billion on Yahoo for reasons we don’t understand… Pinboard buy Delicious, hilariously… Apple add podcast analytics with possible big implications for the advertising industry… and Apple also confirm that they’re working on self-driving cars… while losing a bunch of value in their share price, along with everyone else in tech…
- [00:18:35] Voice controlled “assistants”, on phones (“OK Google”, Siri, Cortana) or on in-home devices (Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home, the upcoming Mycroft and Apple devices) are a whole new platform in its early stages. We’ve been testing out some of what’s on the market, and experimenting with how they fit into our lives and with how one might use them in the future. Are they a revolutionary new thing like smartphones? Or a flash in the pan like smartwatches? The Bad Voltage verdict…
- [00:51:15] You can win an Endless Mission One computer, which the Endless people have given to us to give away! Simply enter our competition: think up the best idea you can for a “skill” or plugin for voice-controlled assistants like Alexa or OK Google. You can aim to inspire us with a great idea, or make us laugh with a daft one. (And you don’t have to _write_ it, just think of the idea.) Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 26th June 2017 and we’ll choose the best suggestion from somewhere in Europe and they’ll win the Endless Mission One! (You have to be in Europe to win, here. Loose definition; if you think you’re in Europe, you probably are. But this competition is only open to people in Europe, because the previous one was only US and Canada.)
- and finally, if you want to hear Stuart answer a particular question, he’s doing a live “mashup” show as part of FOSS Talk Live in London on June 24th 2017; Stuart, Joe Ressington, Dave Megins-Nichols, and Marius Quabeck will be answering your questions, so fill in a question you want their views on!
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which wifi is a problem, updating is a problem, and:
- [00:02:10] Real news… WannaCry (or WannaCrypt; did the name just get cut off by a tweet?) ransomware worm infects 400,000 machines… Microsoft call out the NSA for hoarding 0-days… will anyone change their update policy… Android O focusing on “vitals”, modular updates, battery life… Stuart’s net connection dies and he receives a bunch of mean abuse for it…
- [00:15:03] Fake news… it’s a problem. But maybe there’s a community solution? Jono has a plan for how a crowdsourcing karma-based approach might help provide balance to news articles. There is scepticism, certainly, but this also throws up some much deeper discussions about what “fake” news is, and who decides it’s fake. Can collective action help with this sort of problem? Stack Overflow may be an example of where it does work (and we spoke to Jeff Atwood about that); Reddit might be seen as an example of where it works or an example of it not working. And perhaps this is something worth building? A long-form discussion of how this might work, and a call to people who want to build such a platform
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we are secure, we wear the juice, we get to the choppa, and:
- [00:02:15] The news this week, including going to prison in Portland for calling yourself an engineer without permission, more fast-food incredulity at the KFC Double Down, robbing banks while invisible, and Intel’s chips are all vulnerable to a security exploit and you should check and get it fixed if it needs fixing
- [00:12:38] In a world where Intel and ARM are massively dominant, is there space for some more open architecture? OpenPOWER and SuperH could be candidates technologically, but what’s standing in the way of this from a business point of view? Would anyone make hardware on these less-popular architecture? Should we even want them to?
- [00:28:21] VPNs are the hot topic right now, for all sorts of reasons. Protecting your privacy from governments or your work from your client’s network, connecting to your employer’s systems from elsewhere, getting around geoblocking… there are all sorts of reasons you might want to use a VPN, but which ones out there are actually good, and how do you make a decision? A good place to start may be thatoneprivacysite.net, and we’re currently using some combination of Opera Browser’s built-in VPN, Lantern, PrivateInternetAccess, ExpressVPN, and Nord VPN; we certainly also want to hear recommendations for other providers and why you’re using those in particular; there are lots of different reasons why people want a VPN, and lots more why people should
- [00:44:23] We were asked by a listener to talk about working for oneself: all three presenters either work for themselves right now or have done so for over a decade, so we’ve got quite a few thoughts and war-stories about all this. Herewith, some ideas on why working for oneself is good (or why it isn’t), and what we’ve learned (sometimes pleasantly, sometimes less so) along the way…
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which Jono is repeatedly smug about Facebook VR, nobody urinates on a laptop, we devote almost the whole show to one topic, and:
- [00:02:30] In the news: Google settle an antitrust case in Russia by basically removing all their monopoly rules, but only in Russia… 90% of drivers admit to using smartphones behind the wheel despite how you really really shouldn’t do that… and a “Garadget” IoT garage door device was deliberately remotely bricked by the company after a customer left a bad Amazon review, with worrying implications for the future of dissent..
- [00:21:15] Canonical have said that Ubuntu will dropping the Unity desktop and a bunch of associated technologies. The conversation around this has got a bit heated at times. What does it mean for Ubuntu and for the free desktop more generally? Is this the right thing to do? And what’s next?
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia, present Bad Voltage, in which there are packs of hacks, backs are waxed, Aq has snacks, and:
- [00:03:25] The first “hack” — suggestions and tips for little bits of software that we use and are amazed that others don’t — from Jeremy, which is a clipboard manager. Jeremy uses Diodon, but there are loads of others!
- [00:06:24] In the news this week: the US Congress voted to allow US internet service providers to sell the browsing habits of their customers to advertisers, we solicit your opinions on which VPNs are good (tell us on the forum), Amazon’s physical staffless shop beta is a disaster, AT&T join the Linux Foundation, the Linux Action Show close their doors, and Google publish a site listing all their open source software
- [00:23:50] Stuart’s “hack”: KDE Connect, which connects your Android phone and any Linux desktop (KDE or not) to show notifications, send files, control music, and generally tie them together
- [00:26:15] Jono reviews the Garmin Vivosmart HR+ activity band, and whether it’s better than the rivals and whether you should get it if you wear an activity band like everyone does these days
- [00:40:35] Jono’s “hack”: how does he edit the Bad Voltage show to get the audio production that he requires, and how do we record so that other people can use the same techniques for recording a remote podcast if they want to
- The competition to win a Dell Sputnik laptop will close before the next show! So if you’re in the US and you haven’t already entered, go to badvoltage.org/fruit and get your fruit-based entries in!
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, Jeremy Garcia, and special guest presenter Jeff Atwood present Bad Voltage, in which we all had baby hacker names, burner phones are probably not required, and:
- [00:04:00] In the news this week: the 2038 problem, advertisers start boycotting YouTube over ads on hate speech videos, Apple and augmented reality, and speaking passwords out loud with your lips used for authentication
- [00:21:23] Open Source Project Communication: historically open source projects used mailing lists and IRC. These days people use Slack and forums. What’s the future of communication for these kinds of projects, particularly given the balance of openness vs convenience?
- [00:46:00] Ads vs Recommendations: Google Home devices start doing ads for films, and everyone’s pretty upset. But these aren’t ads! They’re recommendations. According to Google at least. Is this a legit argument? Where is the blurry line between an advert and a helpful suggestion?
The Bad Voltage live stage show, from SCaLE 15x in Pasadena, March 2017!
An epic time was had. Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge, live on stage, in which there was some downright unfair quizzing of Jono, a one-sh*t trumpet, the brightest suit that’s ever been seen, a machine to count eggs, Perl abuse, a hollow burrito, pies, more pies, hammer pants, the Phantom Zone, no air horns, the products of the Chevy company, and a reappearance of Bryan! As well as:
- [00:07:00] The news! Featuring the Amazon S3 outage, Snapchat being worth $33 billion, System76 bringing manufacturing in-house, and how swimming pools have dustbins full of urine in
- [00:11:30] Cloudflare had a pretty serious security flaw identified by the Project Zero team at Google, where sensitive data from all sorts of Cloudflare sites was leaked — passwords, auth tokens, and the like. What’s the deal with this sort of issue? It’s surprising how much of the internet turned out to be behind Cloudflare, and this sort of centralisation is a problem… but equally, there’s a reason we go to experts in the field and outsource services to them! So, what’s the best approach here?
- [00:20:00] Quizmaster extraordinaire Jeremy plays Much Taboo About Nothing, in which team opensource Jono and Rikki team up to battle heroic ginger team Stuart and Hannah in a game of wit, erudition, vocabulary, guesswork, and trying to not be too nasty about Ruby people. Partially successfully, depending on your attitude on rule-bending and wide appreciation of cultures…
- [00:33:20] Why are all our amazing technological advances being used to make stupid pointless gadgets that nobody should buy? Paper towel dispensers that magically detect your hand movement and then still dispense a bit of brown paper to dry your hands on; amazing iPad-based payment systems which still require you to sign your name with your finger; endless pointless stupid Internet of Things devices. Stuart rants, and Jono and Jeremy respond with various degrees of defence or agreement as to where we’re going and what to do about incredible technology put to wasteful ends
- [00:43:00] Ig-NOT — it’s like the Ignite talk series, but… not. The presenters each do a talk, on an unknown subject chosen by the audience, using unseen images suggested by the community and the other presenters. And… well, see how they get on. Featuring some properly unkind choices, a brief and magnanimous appearance by Bryan, and a very weird old guy with an axe…
Many thanks to the extra participants in the show: Chris Smith for warming up, the ever-wonderful and ever-supportive Ilan Rabinovitch, and show guests and guessers Rikki Endsley and Hannah Anderson!
We are hugely grateful to the companies who helped make this show happen: Linode for getting us there, SCaLE for inviting us again, Dell and Endless for providing prizes, and Ticketmaster for putting on the show and venue and tacos and many many beers and the band afterwards!
And… if you want to enter the competition announced in the outro and win that sweet Dell XPS laptop… you want badvoltage.org/fruit…
Watch the show here:
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which pies are not permitted to be stored in the checked baggage. In this show:
- [00:01:50] In the news: the city of Munich are preparing a switch back from Linux to Windows, Chrome are preventing users from disabling their DRM and PDF plugins, UPS are working on a “rolling warehouse” by launching delivery drones from their brown vans, and Bad Voltage burger correspondent Jono announces the release of a new “bigger Big Mac” from McDonald’s
- [00:14:22] Disassembled: Gitlab. At the end of January Gitlab had a fairly major outage and lost data, and dealt with it in an unusually transparent way; a live video stream and live documentation of the fix investigation and progress, and afterwards a detailed technical post-mortem of what went wrong and why. We dig into the incident and the response.
- [00:30:15] The elementary team are crowdfunding a sprint to work on their app distribution story. But what’s the deal with the story they’re planning? We’ve got some thoughts saying that they’re doing it right… and some maybe that don’t.
- [00:54:40] Some updates on Bad Voltage Live, _next week_ (!!!) at SCaLE in Pasadena, California on 3rd March at 8pm. Buy your SCaLE tickets, come for the show, stay for the open bar and the taco trucks and the Spazmatics. And the show.
- We’ve also got a few questions for the audience — things we’d like to know. Come to our forums and help us discuss methods for the US border patrol and guest presenters!
- [00:03:12] In the news this week: Vizio get fined $2.2m for secretly collecting everything you watch on their TVs and lying about it, police use someone’s pacemaker data to help prove that they committed arson, Uber hire a NASA person and start talking about flying taxis, and Streetmap lose their appeal after suing Google for unfairly pushing their own map product
- [00:17:00] In honour of our special guest being @film_girl on Twitter, we’ve put together a list of “the good, the bad, and the ugly” in film: films that are really great, secretly great, and idiosyncratically terrible
- [00:39:30] Jeremy reviews the Pico Brew, a device for brewing your own beer easily without having to buy all the glassware and a forty foot mash tun
- [00:56:35] Is there actually a space for a successful “third player” in mobile phones? Microsoft, Ubuntu, Sailfish, Palm, RIM, all have foundered in pursuit of this market. And if there’s no space for it in phones, who will shift the market to some new _type_ of product, and what will that product be?
Also, Bad Voltage are returning to SCALE in Pasadena in March for a live show! With free food and an open bar, and the 80s nerd rocker band the Spazmatics, the show’s gonna be great. Buy your SCaLE tickets now!