Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web



Todd Spangler / Variety:
Comcast unveils XiOne, its first streaming device, available to Sky Q customers in Italy and Germany and rolling out to Xfinity Flex customers in the US  —  Comcast has launched a new wireless streaming device — the XiOne — that will become the company's standard platform across the globe.


Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Hands-on with Microsoft Surface Duo 2: addresses obvious problems with the first model, adding modern specs and a far better camera system, but starts at $1,500  —  Duo, part deux  —  Today, Microsoft is unveiling the Surface Duo 2, a new Android-based smartphone with two screens and a raft …





Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Hands-on with Surface Laptop Studio, which starts at $1,600: new hinge offers three modes, under-device pedestal is strange, and screen is very nice  —  That's one way to put something on a pedestal  —  Alongside the new Surface Pro 8, Microsoft is introducing an all-new computer: the Surface Laptop Studio.



Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Hands-on with Surface Pro 8: Thunderbolt is welcome, familiar design, new keyboard is great, but base model is underpowered; starts at $1,099 without keyboard  —  A new screen, new keyboard, new processors, and more  —  With the new Surface Pro 8, Microsoft has finally gone and done …






Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft unveils Surface Laptop Studio, replacing Surface Book, with 14.4" 120Hz display that can slide into new positions, Thunderbolt 4, and haptic trackpad  —  The successor to the Surface Book is here  —  Microsoft is announcing the Surface Laptop Studio today, a successor to the Surface Book line of powerful laptops.


The Dems should run ads saying how much the average retirement account will go down if the Repubs crash America's credit. Make it concrete. Estimate how the market will react. Now is the time to run those ads. If the campaigns didn't go to sleep between elections...

Dan Seifert / The Verge:
Microsoft unveils Surface Duo 2 with 8.3" 90Hz dual displays, three 12MP rear cameras, Snapdragon 888, 5G, Android 11, curved screen for exterior notifications  —  5G, better cameras, and bigger screens  —  Microsoft has officially announced the new Surface Duo 2, its second attempt at an Android-powered folding phone.





Monica Chin / The Verge:
Microsoft announces 10.5-inch Surface Go 3 with updated Intel CPUs for up to 60% better performance, Windows Hello, and more  —  Same RAM, storage, ports, and screen as the Surface Go 2  —  Microsoft's Surface Go 2 is one of the best cheap laptops you can buy, and it's gotten a sequel today: the new Surface Go 3.


As an experiment, I created a blog post out of a tweet stream, with no editing. Copy/paste.

If only we had journalism covering itself we'd probably learn they've been doing the exact same thing since the dawn of journalism. This is a big defect in our system, no one is watching journalism. (link)

  • For example, what do you think the Pulitzer Prize is, other than a bunch of ads they do about journalism every year. No doubt the awards are highly politicized, and stories looking too deeply into corrupt journalism probably don't stand much chance of getting an award.
    • Until there's some way for journalism's corruption to be exposed, why would any intelligent person think there's anything but corruption in journalism? In an Occam's Razor sort of way. I'm watching The Wire, about to start Season 5, btw, if you know what that's about. ;-)
      • There's this great scene at the end of Season 4, with Bodie and McNulty on a park bench. Bodie is talking about how fucked up the bosses are in the drug mob in Baltimore. It sounds just like what McNulty would say about the police department. That's the point.
        • Here's the scene with Bodie and McNulty. (link)


Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft announces Surface Pro 8 with a 13-inch edge-to-edge 120Hz display, Thunderbolt 4, Surface Slim Pen 2, up to 32GB of RAM, and more  —  The Surface Pro we've been waiting years for  —  Microsoft is announcing the Surface Pro 8 today, the biggest upgrade to its Intel-powered Surface Pro lineup since the Surface Pro 3 in 2014.


I remember what I was doing at 24 and it wasn't dying of a completely and easily preventable disease.



Yesterday's Now & Then podcast, about the history of NYC, was the first one that was disappointing. At one point Heather Cox Richardson said, almost proudly, that the only thing she knows about NYC is the line in the song New York, New York "If you can make it there you can make it anywhere." This is one of my big problems with podcasts, the thing that tunes me out, when people speak from a position of false expertise. They're having a grand time, and while I (the listener) am deciding whether or not to cut them off, based on the probability that they'll ever say anything interesting before the end. Yesterday I cut them off and listened to music for the second half of my ride. It's the same reason I can't watch any MSNBC show for more than 3 minutes. They're filling the air, meantime I know there are things going on they should be informing me of, and add to things my mind can think about. Okay so N&T had a bad episode, not the end of the world, the other most recent episodes are totally worth listening to, I highly recommend them, and I will keep listening in the hope that the NYC episode was just a bad idea they followed through on instead of canning.

We are now all complete newbies when it comes to understanding how networks can be used to spread misinformation. We might look back in a few years and realize that our first line of defense was Facebook, Inc. Maybe tearing them down is like the press tearing down HRC in 2016. I don't trust their judgement on this stuff, do you?

Microsoft:
Livestream of Microsoft's Surface event  —  We use cookies to improve your experience on our websites and for advertising.  Privacy Statement Accept all Manage cookies Microsoft Microsoft 365 Office Windows Surface Xbox Deals Support All Microsoft Join us to see what's next Watch live below or on Twitter.


The Verge:
Live blog of Microsoft's Surface event, where Surface Duo 2, Surface Book 4, Surface Go 3, refreshed Surface Pro X, and more are expected  —  Surface Go, Surface Book, Surface Duo, Surface Pro X... a lot of Surfaces  —  Microsoft is set to announce a whole bunch of new Surface computers today.





Cory Doctorow:
Review of the Framework, a $999 modular 13.5" laptop that pulls off a relatively sleek design while also being easy to repair and upgrade  —  Sustainable, upgradeable, repairable and powerful.  —  The Framework laptop is the first laptop to ever score a 10/10 from Ifixit for repairability.





Aria Alamalhodaei / TechCrunch:
FLYR Labs, which uses ML to help airlines better predict ticket prices, raises $150M Series C led by WestCap  —  Airlines have a relatively straightforward goal — getting people in seats — but they've traditionally relied on inefficient and outdated statistical modeling methods to predict …



Monica Chin / The Verge:
Teachers say many students, brought up with search features on their computers, are unfamiliar with directories and folders, forcing a rethink of lesson plans  —  Catherine Garland, an astrophysicist, started seeing the problem in 2017.  She was teaching an engineering course …





Rachel Lerman / Washington Post:
On Saturday, Square's automatic tipping screen in its app disappeared for three hours due to a bug, costing restaurant workers and others hundreds of dollars  —  Baristas across the country said Square was not bringing up a screen allowing customers to add a tip.






ProPublica:
Investigation details how safeguards for Facebook's Marketplace, which has 1B MAUs, can fail to protect buyers and sells from scams, fake accounts, and more  —  The Social Machine  —  How Facebook Plays by Its Own Set of Rules … For years, Carman Alfonsi relied upon Facebook Marketplace …








The debt limit vote is filibusterable you say? Perfect time to nuke the filibuster.







































1996: "How much happier we would be if instead of crippling each other with fear, we competed to empower each others' creativity."

Om Malik: "In increments the civilization is built. In haste it is dismantled." A concise description of my experience in tech, I gather Om sees it that way too. We labor for years, often lifetimes, to build a community of software and users, and it's all gone in an instant, replaced by people who didn't take the time to understand what was learned, wanted to do it again, themselves. It's much more honorable, imho -- to use the best of what's already been done, as much as possible. That way you don't have to always start over. Another wise man once said be conservative in what you send, liberal in what you accept.


Zapata, 1932.





Have you tried Bose SleepBuds? What do you think?


















One thing that makes The Wire so watchable is the huge number of fully developed characters interacting with each other.

I love to write. ❤️

As summer winds down (tomorrow is the last day), I chose to listen to music instead of a podcasts on today's bike ride. I am loaded up with new ways of thinking from having gone through the archive of the Now & Then podcast. If you find your podcast fare is repetitive or shallow, dive into that podcast. It's a great college course in the history behind current affairs. Anyway, I've loaded up my iPhone SE, a very middle-class iPhone thank you, with lots of music history, and set it to shuffle the songs. The songs of my childhood. As this summer winds down, it feels like a metaphor for the summer of my own life winding down. The feelings from childhood that I re-experience with the music were the "other side" of the experiences of adulthood which is now passing just like summer. The dreams of a child were of the future, full of possibilities, are now balanced by the regrets of an old man. I'm doing my best to stay fit, but it gets harder every year. This fall, esp because the pandemic is now going into its third winter, has a grim feel to it. I know winter can be beautiful in the Hudson Valley. But this winter, unlike recent past winters, there's a sense of dread that hasn't been there before.

Omar Little is the most likeable character on The Wire. Marlo Stanfield is the coldest. For some reason I think of Marlo as Matt Mullenweg. I know that's weird. Matt is a very nice fellow. But I guess the parallel is that I am Avon Barksdale to his Marlo Stanfield? The Wire is good, but it's Season 1 that's great. The remaining four seasons kind of coast a little after the spectacular creative success of the first.

All kinds of "twitterpro" names are available, somewhat amazingly. I've learned to control my domain name buying fetish, somewhat. I bought drummer.land recently. I found myself using that term when writing docs. I had to have it. Anyway. My name is Dave and I'm a domain name buying addict.

The next round of changes in Drummer will be about organizing tweets, using Twitter as a source for your writing work. Here's the use-case. You're out and about, and get an idea that belongs on the to-do list for your latest project. Open up Twitter, and post a note about it. When you get back to your desktop the note will already be in a Drummer outline, ready for you to act on it. It doesn't matter what kind of writer you are, whether you write for yourself, as a note-taker, if you write docs, research, news reporting, a blog, or a great novel. If you're a writer and and a steady user of Twitter, and interested in tools for thought and outliners, I'd like to add you to the Drummer test group in a few days because I want to groom the product to your use of it. Send me an email, let me know if this interests you and we'll get you on board soon.

Twitter Pro probably seems like a weird idea. Could there be professional Twitter users? There are. It's a writer's platform. The name they chose makes such an idea uncomfortable, perhaps. But it's a for real idea.