Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we take ourselves up on a challenge we set a couple of episodes ago.
Social media. There’s pretty wide agreement that there are issues with it; that it fosters divisiveness and a lack of nuance, it amplifies the narcissistic, that it’s easy to harass and bully people, that there are ways in which it’s had a detrimental impact on society. But is that the fault of the social media networks, or the fault of humanity who just didn’t have an audible voice before? And if that’s the case… what can be done about it? Anything?
We have some thoughts, and have been reading up about social media, engagement, and the “techlash” more generally, and the motives behind some of these actions. So, why’s it happening, and can it be fixed?
Come chat with us and the community in our Slack channel via https://badvoltage-slack.herokuapp.com/!
Stuart Langridge and Jeremy Garcia present an abbreviated Bad Voltage, in the lead up to Bad Voltage Live at SCaLE in Pasadena, California on March 8th! With some thoughts on what makes a good conference, some confusion as to what the hell Essential are doing releasing a paid-for email app, and a slightly different take on Apple’s Facetime bug where at least one of us thinks that maybe it’s been blown a little out of proportion.
Come chat with us and the community in our Slack channel via https://badvoltage-slack.herokuapp.com/!
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we look forward for the year and describe what we think will happen in tech in 2019! Our predictions are:
- These companies will IPO: Uber (the largest IPO ever), Peloton, Lyft, Slack, Cloudflare
- Netflix will start selling films/programmes for a one-off cost, not part of your Netflix subscription, a la, Amazon Prime, or…
- Netflix will launch a streaming gaming service
- Jim Whitehurst will be announced as IBM CEO
- Zuckerberg will no longer be Facebook CEO (half a point of whining for this), and Sheryl Sandberg will be CEO
- Facebook Spaces will continue to be a thing nobody cares about
- A CEO will be fired for a data breach
- The world finally embraces USB-C
- The first high-profile deepfake video (not porn; politics or celebrity somehow) will happen and mislead people
- The world will not care at all about folding phones
- The US will pass at least one major nationwide piece of privacy legislation (akin to the GDPR or similar)
- The US goes into a recession (by someone’s definition, for example two consecutive quarters of decline, or the NBER’s definition)
- Foldable phones will outsell true 5G phones, despite the latter getting much more hype
- Sheryl Sanderg steps down from Facebook to become the CEO of Disney
- The PS5 will not ship in 2019
Now it’s your turn to get involved! What we want you to do is go to community.badvoltage.org and tell us which one of our predictions is most likely to happen, which one is least likely to happen, and one of your own!
And in a real prediction of something that will happen in 2019, we bring our fantastic live show back to SCaLE in Pasadena, California on March 8th 2019! Keep listening for more details, but if you haven’t yet got your tickets for SCaLE, we’ve got a discount code to give you so that you can see Bad Voltage Live and all the rest of SCaLE as well. See you there! Go to badvoltage.org/live for more details and to see the trailer!
Come chat with us and the community in our Slack channel via https://badvoltage-slack.herokuapp.com/!
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we look back on our predictions for 2018 and see how we did. Not wishing to give anything away, but if you were expecting clairvoyant genius… you might want to tone down your hopes a bit.
And in a real prediction of something that will happen in 2019, we bring our fantastic live show back to SCaLE in Pasadena, California on March 8th 2019! Keep listening for more details, but if you haven’t yet got your tickets for SCaLE, we’ve got a discount code to give you so that you can see Bad Voltage Live and all the rest of SCaLE as well. See you there!
Discuss this episode, and vote in the poll for who you think won, on the forum!
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which there are more rants than expected, there are seven seconds of panic, and:
- [00:02:00] Google drop the latest on Messages, Allo, Duo and Hangouts, where “the latest” is “we’re cancelling Allo”, which both people on Allo are presumably sad about
- [00:16:40] Microsoft are dropping EdgeHTML, their browser rendering engine, and rebuilding Edge to be based on Chrome, which is a more nuanced thing than it might at first appear
- [00:25:51] NASA’s InSight landed on Mars. Nice one, NASA. Six and a half months of travel and it will study the interior of the planet, and “Marsquakes”. Watch the launch video, and then spend some time contemplating ancient technology and admiring this excellent Twitter bot of old 80s home computer magazines
- [00:32:50] Apparently smartphone growth is actually starting to decline, which we think may be at least partially because there’s nothing left to make with phones any more. See Jono’s views on the “notch” for details
- [00:44:00] Someone patents the concept of formal software verification, as long as you’re doing it to financial software, at which all we can do is roll our eyes
- [00:50:10] NHS told to ditch ‘absurd’ fax machines, to which at least some people say “hey, they work”, and others say “shut up grandad, we don’t care”
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and special guest Alan Pope standing in for Jeremy present Bad Voltage, in which Tiger Tokens are a more viable currency than you think, AI gets things wrong again, and:
- [00:02:20] A popular open source dependency in use by many packages, with two million weekly downloads, was “compromised” in maybe a new and interesting way. The maintainer handed over the package to another developer… who then published an update which stole cryptocurrency wallets. The problem was identified and handled pretty quickly, but this has ignited a great deal of conversation and controversy about the role and responsibilities of open source project maintainers, npm, and the like. We get into it.
- [00:15:40] Jaywalking is a crime in China, and they have cameras to detect it and then publish the pictures publicly to shame the jaywalker. Dong Mingzhu, head of a major Chinese company, got shamed… because the cameras took a picture of a picture of her on the side of a bus and thought it was her. Is this just lulz, or a(nother)cautionary tale about the increasing role of flawed AI in decision making?
- [00:25:40] Google employees ask their bosses to cancel Project Dragonfly, the big G’s planned search engine for China which obeys the Chinese government’s requirements on blocking certain search terms around human rights and banned religions. Amnesty International have weighed in, and there will be protests. This all speaks to a larger discussion about the power of collective bargaining, and a culture which gives (or doesn’t) employees the ability to speak up about high-level decisions they disagree with.
- [00:39:25] The Android hacking community are alight with speculation after a Huawei developer adds a commit to Google’s Fuchsia kernel to enable their Kirin 970 board. The Internet Extrapolation Engine is in overdrive, speculating this means the so-called “Android replacement” is being tested on the “Honor Play” series of Huawei devices. Is this a thing? And a detour into the nature of Android replacements; why do Samsung have Tizen and bada?
- [00:49:00] Twitter: some are specifically recommending that you screenshot, not quote-tweet, controversial tweets that you disagree with because Twitter sees a quote-tweet as an implicit “this is worth sharing” vote and adds credit to that controversial message. Some thoughts on whether this is a good idea, and how small decisions can lead to behavioural bad choices, along with more dodgy AI decisions as Twitter spend some time banning people who tweet about killing Sean Bean in Hitman 2. We’re interested in feedback on how to solve this problem without taking your ball and going home by opting out of social media entirely; let us know on the forum or Slack. Can social media be used as a force for good without also enabling this sort of thing?
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which the show was recorded in slightly unusual circumstances because people are travelling at our normal time, phones are now literally twice as big as they ought to be if you like tiny phones which apparently nobody does, and:
- [00:02:15] Samsung unveil their new foldable phone, which we are, to be honest with you, not all that impressed with
- [00:11:35] In an update on a previous segment, phone companies in the USA have been slammed by FCC for not doing more to handle robocalls, and a whole bunch of information about call screening and automatically routing scam calls to voicemail if you can manage it. How should such things be fixed, or regulated, if at all?
- [00:22:25] Motorola are the first major phone manufacturers to sell official DIY phone repair kits, which is somewhat against previous phone vendors’ approaches to who is allowed to repair their devices. Is this a good thing, or too little too late? And would you buy a Motorola just to get it?
- [00:32:30] Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, says we need to regulate facial recognition tech before ‘the year 2024 looks like the book “1984”‘, which prompts quite a lot of discussion about the role of companies and research in the 21st century and how societal norms may change and may have already changed
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which a proof through poetry is presented and utterly fails to move the audience, Red Hat maintains a ton of things, and:
- [00:01:20] IBM acquires Red Hat; let the hot takes begin
- [00:24:30] Microsoft deal to acquire Github completes, and Nat Friedman is now CEO
- [00:29:23] Working around DRM in the US is now OK, as long as you keep the tools a secret
- [00:35:47] The Google Home Hub is deeply insecure, says a Techcrunch article
- [00:39:50] A global Google staff walkout over misconduct and inequality concerns
- [00:49:25] ExMedicus, an apparently revolutionary health smartwatch, looks a bit fishy to us
- [00:57:40] System76 explain about their factory setup and release shots of their new “Thelio” desktop which has a wooden case and they plant a tree for each one they make
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we appeal for Colgate corporate sponsorship, nobody adds a fake notch, and:
- [00:01:30] Google release the Pixel 3 phone and Pixel Slate ChromeOS tablet/laptop, with no surprises given all the press leaks ahead of time
- [00:16:30] Google announce the upcoming shutdown of Google Plus, citing “low usage and engagement”. It also seems they had a privacy leak of G+ user data which it’s being claimed they covered up to avoid looking bad and might also have contributed to the decision. Something of a eulogy is required from us, G+ users in the past
- [00:31:48] Microsoft contribute 60,000 software patents to the open source world, which is pretty much an unambiguously good thing, surely?
- [00:41:26] Tim Berners-Lee unveils Solid, his new plan to upend the World Wide Web. Some thoughts on the philosophy it’s trying to bring, and whether it’s going to overturn everything (spoiler alert: no)
- [00:52:18] GDPR seems to be changing things, but in unpredictable ways: website trackers are down 4% in the EU, but up for US users. What’s that all about?
- [00:56:05] A call to our community: Almost half of US cellphone calls will be scams by next year, and Jeremy’s seeing this up at the sharp end. Are you also experiencing this radical rise in scam phone calls? Is this specific to the USA? We’d like to know: tell us on community.badvoltage.org or @badvoltage on twitter
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which the hardest part of being a developer is personal development, the BV team average two-thirds of a workout per day, and:
- [00:02:10] Apple release the Apple Watch 4 with a bunch of health additions, and iOS 12 is apparently pretty good, while at the same time they reject iPhone apps which mention the new Apple phone models … Signing into a Google thing now signs you into the browser whether you want it or not, although it can at least be turned off in later versions if you don’t like it … Elon Musk is in the early stages of McAfee syndrome, according to a chap on Twitter … Jono’s got a Peloton exercise bike and has a mini review…
- [00:38:50] Linus Torvalds writes that he’s taking some time off to get some assistance in understanding people’s emotions and apologises for his past behaviour, vowing to try to do better. The community welcome this new personal insight, or condemn other people for unduly influencing Linus into this decision, and everything in between. We have some thoughts on how we got here, and what’s next.
Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and special guest presenter Alan Pope present Bad Voltage, in which there is temporarily less Jeremy, everyone should have a figurine on their desk which watches over them (tell us on the forum what yours is!), and:
- [00:03:05] Debian are discussing packages in their distro which have problematic names. The main one is weboob, “Web Outside Of Browsers” and there are others. Issues were recently raised in Ubuntu and Plasma, among other places. Do people care, are these names actually a problem? Should these packages be removed or renamed?
- [00:13:00] NVIDIA launch RTX real-time raytracing graphics cards
- [00:27:45] If you own a car and can access it from your phone, that doesn’t get revoked when you sell the car, and you can continue to access it afterwards. Do people use this stuff? Is this worrying, or just caveat emptor? And does this apply to other consumer electronics as well — Teslas, Alexas, connected houses, orthopaedic pillows…?
- [00:40:44] The National Library of Scotland produce a “side-by-side” map viewer of the UK, which shows a modern map and old maps from the early 1900s together, so moving one moves the other. Everyone in the UK immediately looks up where they live and their home town, and it’s fascinating. Nice one, NLS. Also mentioned, pretty minimalist US city map posters
- [00:47:10] The Google Pixel 3 is coming, and we know this because there have been a million leaks. A suspiciously high number of leaks, actually… we’re starting to think that these aren’t leaks at all but a carefully managed PR campaign
- [00:56:55] Twitter remove their facebook app; every cross-posted tweet gets deleted. Er, hooray? Although good luck getting that to happen for your Facebook app…
- [00:59:30] According to a Microsoft-commissioned survey, 50% of parents in the U.S. with children aged 18 and under believed coding and computer programming to be the most beneficial subject to their child’s future employability… but interestingly major tech company CEOs tend to limit their children’s use of tech and want them to read books. Which may or may not be the same issue at all…
Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which there is more GDPR but not as much as there is on every website everywhere, there is discussion of rolling pins which is probably taking the retro-technology trend a bit too far, and:
- [00:01:49] News: Python community generally feel that having no leader is gonna be OK, at least for now; Bad Voltage team say, this is our sceptical face … Facebook to start reviewing people on their “trustworthiness”; also debates changing logo to a black pot surrounded by 2.2 billion kettles … and London “fake news is not our friend” FB ads get “adapted” by Protest Stencil to say “it’s our business model” … the FBI decide they can solve crimes by just demanding Google tell them everyone who was nearby at the time; Google say: pull the other one, J. Edgar, it’s got bells on … and according to the Verge, $1000 phones have become normal, although it’s not clear anyone knows what normal is, these days …
- [00:40:25] Slack. What is it good for? There are companies with a three-person team all in the same room who communicate through a Slack with six channels, and there are some trying to run a 10,000+ people community through it (or deliberately stopping doing so). What’s it supposed to be for? And is it succeeding? Has it stopped being trendy now, or are these merely growing pains?
Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which we know what time it is, maybe we should set up a startup called Votr, yet another Google Pixel goes in the toilet, and:
- [00:02:18] Some time ago, Jono and Stuart built BBQPad, a service to track your barbecue cooks, and now we’re closing it down. But we’d like to open source the code, maybe see a new community grow around it, so… how do we best do that? What do we do about the licence? Maybe someone out there is interested in taking it on? We’ll cover our thoughts on what we’re doing here
- [00:17:50] Patrick Volkerding from Slackware is having some financial problems, and Cassidy Blaede is going full time on Elementary; some thoughts on the perennial topic of how open source projects get money, and what this might mean for each of these OSes
- [00:44:08] ARM Chromebooks, and how installing Linux on them is nowhere near as trivial as you may have thought
- [00:52:08] News: Android 9, “Pie”, is released, and the first phone to get it is Jeremy’s Essential PH1, rather surprisingly … The American FCC admits that the “hack” that they claimed happened to their comment system over net neutrality never actually happened, blames the previous CIO … Google Pixel 3 is coming in October and specs are now out there, including a “Pixel Stand” which basically turns your phone into a Google Home … the name of Palm rises from the dead with a new upcoming phone, the attractively-named PVG100, which is just running Android, after HP sold Palm in 2014 … West Virginia in the US plan to introduce mobile phone voting for midterm elections, via the services of a startup called, depressingly, Voatz, who are also using a blockchain, for extra lolz; this is an idea so stupid that it even hit xkcd … Apple may be replacing the keyboard with a touchbar style screen in the future … and Jono discovers Public Enemy, thirty years later …
Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which we answer a question from @peterrenshu about what a Linux expert is, we are unsurprisingly loath to upload all our passwords to a startup with a big smile and a Bootstrap website, and:
- [00:02:25] News: Equity firm finds the “buy the company” section of YaST, buys SUSE Linux for $2.5 billion … the cryptocurrency bubble declines enough that people who want to process graphics can afford to buy graphics processing units again … Google is now a platinum member of the Linux Foundation … Bloke gets banned from Airbnb and they won’t tell him why: if you’re big enough to be a utility, maybe you should have to adhere to utility rules and can’t just do what you like as private companies do … Google issues all 85,000 employees two-factor-auth Yubikey devices, completely eliminates employee phishing, according to Google at least … PeerTube provides a way to share out bandwidth costs for videos you post on your website like BitTorrent does; not all of us think this is useful … Guido van Rossum steps down from being Python BDFL, at least partially because the arguments (in the Python community, of all places) are so unpleasant; next presumably comes dogs and cats living together and the end of days … Officials of the UK Labour Party ran a microtargeted FB ad campaign which showed ads demonstrating they were doing the thing that party leader Jeremy Corbyn wanted, but only to JC himself and people he trusted; we can’t decide whether to laugh or cry about this …
- [00:44:05] What do you do with your data when you die? Give your family access? Delete it? Google have an Inactive Account Manager; LastPass and Dashlane both offer “emergency access” to your password manager passwords; Facebook let you appoint a “Legacy Contact”; Twitter/LinkedIn/Instagram allow “memorialising” an account. What about your phone login? Or your desktop machine? Is only stuff in the cloud important? How much prep do you and should you have to do before death to account for this? And… is anyone doing that? It seems not. Should we be?
Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which vertical video is truly a thing, editing doesn’t happen as much as it should, and:
- [00:03:22] News: Ubuntu release a first analysis of the data they collect about user hardware … WHO add “Gaming Disorder” to their disease classification manual … Gitlab move from Azure to Google Cloud … symbolics.com is the oldest domain, from 1985, according to Frederic Cambus … Akon wants to build a “techno city” in Senegal and fund it with cryptocurrency to make “a real-life Wakanda” … Tencent joins the Linux Foundation … the US supreme court declares that protection from searches applies to cell tower tracking … Instagram are estimated to be worth more than $100 billion …
- [00:38:30] In January, Microsoft published a blog post proudly boasting of the contracts it had signed with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement division. Recently, ICE have been in the news a lot over border control issues and separation of children from parents; MS therefore got a bunch of pushback about this, and Satya himself commented, walking it back. Google were part of a US military AI project and in April 3100 employees signed a petition requesting that they pull out; they walked it back. The Open Source Definition specifically says that there will be “No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor”. Should tech companies take ethical stances, or is the software industry merely a neutral provider of technology and the users have to deal with all the ethical questions?
Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which people apparently are allowed to just set up a company about rockets now, we don’t have HBO’s budget, and:
- [00:02:30] Microsoft buys GitHub, which is all the tech world talked about for a whole week; now the dust has settled a little, our thoughts on the whole thing
- [00:19:00] Apparently, all accredited journalists at the Kim Trump summit got a free USB fan. We hope that nobody plugged them in…
- [00:21:10] Famous actor
Bandicoot Tennismatch Bumberslam Censorbar, er, fights off four muggers
- [00:22:40] Apple’s WWDC conference was on, after ten years of the iOS App Store, and a question arises: do you cruise the app store just looking for apps to install? More people do this than you may think… but maybe not all that many
- [00:29:10] The FBI asked everyone to reboot their router, to track the spread of possibly-governmental router malware VPNFilter
- [00:32:30] Open Source Security, maker of the grsecurity Linux kernel patches, has been directed to pay Bruce Perens and his legal team almost $260,000 following a failed defamation claim
- [00:36:30] After the “John Oliver effect” directed millions of people to object to the US FCC’s net neutrality changes in May 2017, the FCC’s website went down, unable to take comments and they claimed this was due to a distributed denial of service. Looks like they might have just made that up.
- [00:41:50] Another Bitcoin exchange is hacked, drops $42b in market value, while it’s revealed that Bitcoin consumes as much power as Ireland, and Wells Fargo now won’t let you buy cryptocurrency on their credit cards at all
- [00:47:20] Jono’s bought a Fitbit Versa: what makes it different from previous Fitbits? And is it any good? Bad Voltage review a piece of technology that was actually released recently, for a change
- [00:52:00] The FOSS Talk Live open source podcast conference was on in London, and Stuart was there representing Bad Voltage (his longer review), which prompts some thoughts on small conferences, or large meetups, and doing things for fun rather than business
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
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
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…
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 188.8.131.52… 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