Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks

YouTube Shames Slow Internet Providers

Posted by JenThorpe at 8:39 PM on July 5, 2014

YouTube logoHave you ever wondered why a YouTube video is taking a long time load, buffering, or refusing to play? YouTube has started pointing people towards the answer to that question. A blue bar will appear underneath the video that asks, “Experiencing Interruptions?” Click on the button that says “Find out why”, and the answer is revealed.

YouTube will automatically send you to Google’s new website, which is called Video Quality Report. It will show you the video streaming quality results for your provider in your area. Quartz describes it as “like a report card for your delinquent ISP”.

The notification system that YouTube has started using reminds me of what Netflix used to do. When a video was loading too slowly, Netflix was displaying a notification like: “The Verizon network is crowded right now”. Verizon threatened legal action, and Netflix has stopped doing that.

It has been said that efforts like what Netflix used to do, and what YouTube is doing now, are an attempt to shame internet providers who offer shoddy service. It is also a way make consumers acutely aware of which providers are better than others. That will enable people to switch to better ones (in areas where more than one choice is available).

It is also a way for YouTube (and previously, Netflix) to subtly point out what would happen if internet providers were allowed to create a “fast lane”. Those who didn’t get how net neutrality might affect them could have the “lightbulb” go on after seeing how a slow connection from their internet provider directly affects them.

GNC #961 Guest Host The Gadget Professor

Posted by geeknews at 4:47 PM on July 3, 2014

Today we welcome the Gadget Professor as the Guest Host of Geek News Central. A big thanks to Don for hosting the show while I am on vacation. Be sure to check Don’s show out!

I cover the rest of the tech news and update you on my Transformation.

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TGP # 164 Aukey IPAD Clamp Mount/Flexible Arm & Adjustable

Posted by Gadget at 11:41 AM on July 3, 2014

Welcome to The Gadget Professor Show #164 hosted by Don Baine, produced by Mike Baine.

Celebrating 3 years!
aukey stand
Simple and elegant design, well fitts your iPad Mini / Mini 2 and perfect for your iPad life at home or in the office.
A strong arm (22in of length) that flexes in all directions. A ball tip holds the iPad clip, allowing you to swivel and tilt it, giving you additional viewing angles and options.
With the sturdy anti-slippery silicon cushion padded to the clamps, secure mount to Mac, table, cabinet, speech lectern, or other places you like, and won’t cause any mark or damage.
4 cable clips, fixing the USB cable on the gooseneck arm when charging your iPad – an intimate gadget ensures you a perfect product experience, say goodbye to the annoyance caused by the messy cables hanging in the air.
Easy to install – no drilling, no screws, no furniture damage and no commitment. Package contents: Aukey AK-3D iPad Clip, Clamp Arm, Washer, Collar, 4xCable Clips. – 18 Months Warranty
Get $5.00 off use code GET5DOFF at Amazon!

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Robot Underpants: 07.02.14 (160) “Chocolate Skulls”

Posted by Langley at 1:03 AM on July 3, 2014

Baron Mathew “Langley” Luschek and “Starman” Michael Gaines discuss “Boy Meets World” “Girl Meets World” , “Explorers movie” “Sherlock” “Transformers: Age of Extinction”, “Jaws”, “Hocus Pocus 2″, The Redskins, Emoji Social Network, Death Metal and Chocolate Skulls and more!

http://youtu.be/vcz8NtMZKO0
* “Explorers” remake
* “Community” on Yahoo!
* Transformers stop motion
* Transformers 4 FAQs
* Sherlock
* Jaws Beer Remake
* Sharktopus vs Pteracuda
* “Hocus Pocus 2″
* Redskins
* Emoji Network
* Chocolate Skull
* Skull Lyre
* Death metal band in a box

Angry Birds Go gets multiplayer mode

Posted by Alan at 8:20 AM on July 2, 2014

Angry Birds, the Rovio franchise that brought mobile gaming to the forefront, has released many iterations of its titles, and all continue to be updated with new levels. One of the newest is Go, which takes a different approach to things, bringing Kart racing to the franchise, and lots of interesting features with it.

Now the game is finally receiving multiplayer mode, allowing gamers to test their skills against others. “This is the first part of Angry Birds Go! Multiplayer, and brings the quick race mode where you’re matched against the performance of three other players. Will you come out on top and leave them in your dust? For an even more personal experience connect to Facebook and you’ll be pitted against your friends to show them who’s the boss”, the official announcement states.

angry-birds-go

You can grab the update now, though if you already have the game installed, then you should get it automatically. It’s free, but there are in-game purchases that can be made.

Songza is “Thrilled” to Become Part of Google

Posted by JenThorpe at 3:36 AM on July 2, 2014

Songza logoSongza has announced that they are becoming part of Google. They stated that they are “thrilled” to make the announcement and that they “can’t think of a better company to join in our quest to provide the perfect soundtrack to everything you do”. Not much else was said, other than that no immediate changes to Songza are planned (“other than making it faster, smarter, and more fun to use”, that is.)

Google announced that they, too, are “thrilled” to welcome Songza to Google. In its brief announcement, Google gave users some assurance about potential changes. “We aren’t planning any immediate changes to Songza, so it will continue to work like usual for existing users”.

So, Google is thrilled, and Songza is thrilled. Will current users of Songza be equally thrilled? That remains to be seen.

Time reported that Songza did not reveal the purchase price. Time also noted that The New York Post, “citing unnamed sources”, reported that Google was offering about $15 million for Songza. I’m never certain how much trust to give to “unnamed sources”, but there we are.

Of course, the discussion about Google buying Songza must include a mention about Apple’s announcement (in May) that it would buy Beats Electronics. And, let’s not forget about Google’s ownership of YouTube. It appears that there is a fight going on between Google and Apple as each attempts to capture the attention of music lovers.

GNC #960 Facebook is Experimenting on You

Posted by geeknews at 1:19 AM on July 1, 2014

Facebook is Experimenting on you, and if you think it sounds evil, it really is evil when you get into the nuts and bolts of what these maniacs where doing. Nothing like a good old brain washing to start your day courtesy of the Facebook evil scientist!

I cover the rest of the tech news and update you on my Transformation.

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Apple Discontinues Aperture

Posted by JenThorpe at 12:27 AM on June 30, 2014

Aperture appApple has announced that it is ceasing development of its Aperture and iPhoto apps. Instead, Apple will be replacing them with its new Photos app (that was announced during its Worldwide Developers Conference).

Jim Dalrymple, at The Loop was given the following statement from Apple:

With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture. When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X.

The Aperture Blog notes that Apple has said they will provide an update so that Aperture will still work with OS X Yosemite. This will give Aperture users some time to make a decision about where to move their photos to.

New Media Show #52 David Plotz Editor in Chief Slate.com

Posted by geeknews at 2:19 PM on June 29, 2014

Rob and Todd have a great conversations with David Plotz Editor in Chief of Slate.com we talk about their new media / podcast strategy. Rob and Todd also talk about signing exclusive deals and the plus and minuses. We cover some recent news in the podcasting space as well that has been called into question.

Contact the show: Rob or Todd @ newmediashow.com

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Were you Part of Facebook’s Psychology Experiment?

Posted by JenThorpe at 8:17 PM on June 28, 2014

FacebookMuch has been said about how Facebook utilizes the information that its users choose to post. There have been many blogs regarding privacy issues (especially when Facebook makes changes to it). People are aware that their photos or posts could be included in Facebook advertising. Were you aware that Facebook can also use your data for psychology experiments?

Scientists at Facebook published a paper that appears in the current issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The paper is titled “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks”.

The psychological experiment on Facebook took place for 1 week (January 11 – 18, 2012). Participants were randomly selected based on their User ID. There were about 155,000 participants who posted at least one status update during the experimental period.

The experiment manipulated the extent to which people were exposed to emotional content in their News Feed. The scientists were looking for something they refer to as “emotional contagion”. By this, they meant that they were watching for signs that emotional states can be transferred from one person to another without direct interaction between people (and in absence of nonverbal cues). What they discovered is that “emotional contagion” really can happen. From the abstract:

When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts. When negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks.

It is a very interesting finding. Unfortunately, it was discovered as a result of scientists secretly manipulating some Facebook user’s emotions by tweaking whether they were shown positive or negative posts during the experimental period. It feels like a really horrible thing to do to random people who have no idea they were being used as a “guinea pig” in a psychological experiment.

If you are on Facebook, then you have agreed to be part of experiments like this one when you clicked that you agree to the Facebook Data Use Policy. Part of it says that potential uses of your data include “internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, and service improvement”.

The scientists stayed within those boundaries to do the experiment. They used machine analysis to select positive and negative posts. This enabled the experiment to be done without having human researchers read user data that contained personal information. I cannot help but wonder how many other psychological experiments have happened on Facebook (or if more will happen in the future).