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September 2016
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Yahoo reveals a major hack, Apple looks to advance Project Titan by possibly purchasing McLaren and/or Lit Motors, Alexa is going everywhere, Google's Jigsaw would like to control trolls with AI monitors, Nintendo NX rumors and what they need to do, to be different.

Today's episode is sponsored by Mail Chimp: Send more emails, sell more stuff.

Our latest weekly episode of Trends with Benefits features Jeffrey Van Camp, Caleb Denison, Holly Smith and Greg Nibler.

Our topics this week:

  • Yahoo reveals a MAJOR hack: It's been uncovered that up to 500 million email accounts from Yahoo were hacked and being sold online by a hacker named "Peace". This is a huge security breach and we wonder what this means for Verizon's upcoming acquisition of Yahoo.

  • Apple shifts focus to McLaren & Lit Motors: Project Titan has been shrouded in mystery over the last few years, but it's been clear that Apple has plans to get into the automotive market. Now rumors are circulating that they are looking to jump start this by purchasing McLaren and possibly a bizarre motorcycle-like car.

  • Alexa pushes third-party development: Amazon has been encouraging third-party developers to create apps for it's platform for a while and it seems the market has responded. From adaptable watches, to push-notifications, to plans to have Alexa initiate conversation, we discuss where Amazon is heading and how it will compete with Siri and Google Now.

  • Google's Jigsaw looks to control trolls with AI: A branch of Google's parent company has developed a program called Conversation AI. It's touted as being able to accurately and quickly filter up to 92% of comments on sites that are deemed as offensive. Can this possibly control trolls?
  • Nintendo NX rumors: The new system from Nintendo is rumored to be some sort of a bridge between mobile and console gaming. What will they have to do, to stand out in a market dominated by Sony Playstation and XBox?

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 pm PST.

Please don’t forget to check out our other live-streamed shows, Between the Streams and Close to the Metal!

Direct download: dtpodcast101.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm PDT

Uber takes autonomous cars to the streets of Pittsburgh; Apple and Samsung deal with differing phone release woes; Futuretown's Totalmotion VR interface aims to up the game; The Dutch release trained Eagles upon unsuspecting Drones; LinkNYC shuts down as New Yorkers prove we can't have nice things.

Our latest weekly episode of Trends with Benefits features Jack Phan, Nick Mokey, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler.

Our topics this week:

  • Uber takes the next step to driverless-cars: Riders in Pittsburgh can now officially get a free lift in a self-driving vehicle. Uber has released a handful of the cars around the city, in a step toward eventually developing a whole fleet of 24-hour a day, autonomous taxis.

  • Apple and Samsung deal with phone fiascos: In addition to iOS 10 issues, Apple's iPhone release has not gone off without a hitch, as it appears no stores will have the iPhone 7 Plus in stock for quite some time. Samsung on the other hand has just been forced to issue a 100% recall on all of the Galaxy Note 7's, whether they have exploded or not. How will this effect sales for each?
  • Totalmotion aims to bring VR to Arcades: A company called Futuretown has come up with a unique concept (albeit a bizarre video) to help revolutionize Virtual Reality gaming. They are hoping to bring their modular platform to theme parks and stand-a-lone VR attractions. It looks like it may be fun, but would you want anyone to see you "riding" it?
  • Dutch used trained Eagles to intercept DronesThe struggle for security agencies to regulate drones has so far spawned some interesting attempted solutions, including ray-guns and interceptor drones. The Dutch have implemented theirs, which is to use highly trained Eagles to intercept and incapacitate the violating machines!
  • LinkNYC shows why we can't have nice things: LinkNYC was designed to provide free internet kiosks to New Yorkers, allowing them to save on data plans, recharge their phones, etc. However, it was recently shut down after they essentially became hubs for watching porn, instead. What does this say about the future of free internet?

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 pm PST.

Please don’t forget to check out our other live-streamed shows, Between the Streams and Close to the Metal!

Direct download: dtpodcast100.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm PDT

Recap and reaction to the Apple Announcement, including the absence of a headphone jack and the revamped Apple Watch; PlayStation previews the PlayStation Pro with some noted omissions; Caleb provides a recap of IFA; A new Chinese theme park will include balloon rides to space.

Our latest weekly episode of Trends with Benefits features Caleb Denison, Ryan Waniata, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler.

Our topics this week:

  • iPhone 7 headphone jack and the Apple Watch: After all that anticipation, Apple finally unveiled the new iPhone 7. The lack of a headphone jack was widely predicted, but there were still some surprising developments. We also go in depth with the new Apple Watch and whether it is now more appealing.

  • PlayStation Pro goes VR: PlayStation held their annual "Meeting", finally revealing details about the newest version of their iconic console. One of the biggest additions will be Virtual Reality. Will it be good enough to convince Gamers to make the switch to Sony?

  • The Best of IFA: Caleb gives us a recap of his week-long trip to Berlin for IFA. It seems like a lot of companies refrained from big announcements this year; What does this say for the upcoming CES?
  • China is building a balloon to almost space: A new $1.5 billion theme park being created by KuangChi Science will include a unique "ride". A special high-altitude balloon ride will take passengers 15 miles up into the air. Would you be willing to be a test rider?

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 pm PST.

Please don’t forget to check out our other live-streamed shows, Between the Streams and Close to the Metal!

Direct download: dtpodcast099.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm PDT

iPhone will have no headphone jack and other Apple rumors; Giant monitors and new VR takeover IFA in Berlin; Twitter to begin streaming NFL games; A bad day for SpaceX as the Falcon 9 explodes; Digital Trends puts on TechPOP on Thursday, September 7th.

Our latest weekly episode of Trends with Benefits features Ashley Salter, Brad Bourque, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler.

Our topics this week:

  • iPhone 7 sans headphone jack & other Apple rumors: Apple's big announcement event is on September 7th and rumors are starting to go crazy! We'll discuss the latest in iPhone 7 news leaks and speculate about what else will be announced from San Francisco.

  • The GIANT LG Monitor & other IFA revelations: Digital Trends is on the ground in Berlin and we discuss the latest and greatest announcements from the huge tech event. Included: Samsung Gear S3, GIANT monitors & much more

  • Twitter begins streaming NFL Games: Twitter has had an up and down year, but that could be about to change. They beat out Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon and many others for the right to stream 10 NFL games. Will you watch games in this format?
  • Bad day for SpaceX: The company founded by Elon Musk hit a setback today, as the Falcon 9 rocket exploded during tests on it's launchpad. We discuss how the fallout and how this will effect the future of commercial space travel.
  • TechPOP: The Drone Show: On September 7th, join Portland's DT office at Hotel deLuxe for the latest TechPOP Event! Watch Drone demonstrations, get hands-on with the HTC Vive, enjoy free food and beverages and much more. Register now!

 

 

Direct download: dtpodcast098.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm PDT

Tesla claims quickest car in the world, WhatsApp just got a lot less private, A new edible medical battery; World's largest aircraft crashes on 2nd flight; A preview of IFA; Digital Trends sponsors Project Pabst music festival.

Our latest weekly episode of Trends with Benefits features Caleb Denison, Nick Mokey, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler.

Our topics this week:

  • Tesla upgrades the Model S and X: Tesla announced a new battery pack called the P100D that allows for incredible speed and increased range of the Model S and X. They are even claiming the Model S is now quickest production car in the world! Would these improvements be enough to influence your decision when buying your next car?

  • WhatsApp may not be so private: WhatsApp has announced some new changes to it's privacy agreement, allowing parent-company Facebook to access phone numbers and more. The biggest selling point of WhatsApp was the privacy features and now Facebook plans to use the information it gains for ad-targeting purposes. Is WhatsApp now just Facebook Messenger?

  • A new edible medical battery: Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Bettinger Research Group are working on a new biologically-derived battery. The purpose would be to avoid the ingesting of toxic batteries currently used with biosensors, stimulators and other controlled-release devices.

  • World's largest aircraft crashes on 2nd flight: The Airlander 10 is a giant blimp-like aircraft, designed to help in cargo transportation, aid delivery and passenger travel. Hybrid Air Vehicles stated that everyone was alright physically, but the blimp still managed to "crash land" on only it's second attempt.

  • Digital Trends heads to IFA: The Internationale Funkausstellung is one of the largest Industrial Tradeshows in the world. It takes place September 2nd-7th in Berlin and Caleb gives us a preview of what to expect. Be sure to check out extensive coverage at Digital Trends!

  • Digital Trends sponsors Project Pabst: If you're in the Portland, Oregon over the weekend of August 27th-29th, be sure to head down to the Project Pabst music festival. DT is a sponsor of the event and will have charging stations available, as you watch Ice Cube, Duran Duran, Ween and many other bands perform.

 

 

Direct download: dtpodcast097.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm PDT

Uber puts self-driving cars on the streets of Pittsburgh; Hyper Loop One takes another step toward becoming a reality; Elon Musk has new plans to teach AI how to communicate; A new octopus-shaped robot could be the origin story for sentinels from The Matrix.

Our latest weekly episode of Trends with Benefits features Ryan Waniata, Brad Bourque, Greg Nibler and special guest Kielen King. Kielen is a tech-enthusiast and genre-busting musician. Be sure to check out his epic Sci-Fi/Hip-Hop series of albums called Star Pilot!

Our topics this week:

  • Uber launches autonomous rides: Uber has confirmed it is launching self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, as early as this year. While they will have drivers on board to monitor activity for safety, the goal is to replace humans altogether. However, despite how awkward some Uber rides can be, would you hop into a car with no one behind the wheel? In addition, they have acquired Otto, a company that is working on a self-driving kit, to possibly retrofit commercial trucks.

  • Hyper Loop One looks to the Middle East: The dream of the Hyper Loop is alive in Dubai, as the company has signed a partnership with UAE port and terminal operator, DP World. While starting with a study, this is the first step toward implementing a commercial version of the groundbreaking technology.

  • Teaching AI via Reddit: OpenAI is a nonprofit Artificial Intelligence agency, backed by Elon Musk. Their ambitious plan is to use a DGX-1 supercomputer developed by Nvidia for a unique purpose. They will be feeding it message threads from Reddit in an attempt to teach it how to conduct “polite” conversations on it's own. This is a truly ambitious plan, but we have to wonder; is Reddit really where you think AI will learn polite speech?

  • An Octopus-shaped Robot: The Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies is re-imagining what we would view as a “conventional” robot. They believe the soft bodies of living organisms are the ideal model, since they provide more ways to exploit and interact with the environment around it. The result is a robot that appears to be very functional, while still creating ample nightmare fuel.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 pm PST.

 

Please don’t forget to check out our other live-streamed shows, Between the Streams and Close to the Metal!

 

Direct download: dtpodcast096.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:22pm PDT

Topics: Hackers just gained access to 100 million Volkswagens, Alexa is looking to become your new backseat driver, worry less about crashing your drone into a condo with on-demand Drone Insurance, turning yourself into a Cyborg is a lot closer to becoming a reality and a Chinese spaceship!

There is no denying that Volkswagen is having a pretty bad year. First came the revelation that they cheated on the emissions test for their diesel vehicles. Now, researchers at the Usenix security conference have revealed a way to hack into the remote key fobs of nearly every VW produced since 1995! This leaves up to 100 million vehicles vulnerable. As technology is increasingly incorporated into all newer cars, security will become a huge issue going forward.

 

BMW has announced a partnership with Amazon, to incorporate Alexa into their cars. The program will be called "BMW Connected" and will help users gain real-time traffic information, find their car in a parking lot and even have the AC running before they get to it. The potential is great, but would you want your car to be so interconnected with your electronic devices?

Apple is also reportedly partnering with BMW for a potential "Apple Car". Dubbed Project Titan, details are a little sketchy. The rumors state that they could have a car on the road by 2020. This leads to a big debate on the show, of why Apple would even need a car in the first place.

Switching to Drones, we all know the dangers of accidentally crashing yours into a building, tree, the ground, your friend, etc. Now there is a company that is trying to offer you some protection. Called Verifly, they are offering up to $1,000,000 of insurance protection, at an hourly rate. For as little as $10, you could be protected from causing damage to other property. One caveat; your drone itself is not covered, so far.

A very forward-thinking company named Cyborg Nest has developed a device called North Sense. It is a miniature, chip-like device that attaches to your body, like a piercing. It will then vibrate every time you face toward magnetic north. Why you would want this, we are not sure. The company has stated it wants to add "extras sense", to humans.

Finally, after discussing a Chinese Bus last week, we have a new idea from China. They want to create a hybrid plane/spacecraft that will travel at hypersonic speeds and be able to break the orbit of the Earth. This kind of technology could be revolutionary in both industrial and commercial travel. 

Also, Dixie Carter. You'll have to listen to find out why.

Today's episode features Caleb Denison, Drew Prindle, Ryan Waniata and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 pm PST.

Don't forget to check out our other live-streamed shows, Between the Streams and Close to the Metal.

 

Direct download: dtpodcast095.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm PDT

Topics: Streaming Olympics and VR Content, Facebook "Area 404", Xbox, Nintendo NX and retro-gaming, China unveils the bus of the future.

On today's show we're joined by a special guest. Andrew Mayer is a 25-year game development veteran, who has some fantastic insight into today's topics. He regularly contributes to Digital Trends and you can check out his page at Level Up Design!

The Olympics get started on August 5th with the opening ceremony and there is a lot more than the Zika virus to grab our attention. Comcast has promised 6000 hours of footage via their X1 box, comprising both traditional cable/On-Demand coverage and streaming content. The Gold Zone in particular will allow viewers to hone in on the award ceremonies themselves. 

Virtual Reality will also play a huge part in Rio for the first time, as Samsung will be delivering a plethora of content. They are partnering with the NBC Sports app to provide VR highlights, Basketball, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and a number of other events. Will viewing the activities in VR, be enough to bring you into the fold and watch more of the games?

Facebook has made it clear that it intends to invest heavily in Virtual Reality, Drones and a myriad of other technology. They made a step to foster that growth, by opening up a 22,000 square foot facility in Menlo Park, called "Area 404". Combining Oculus, Aquila and even a secret R&D group called Building 8 (headed by former Darpa director Regina Dugan) they feel that each group will be better served, by working together.

The Gaming Industry has been going through an interesting trend of new console releases, while at the same time fomenting nostalgia with the re-release of classics. Microsoft's Xbox One S is looking to be a great example of some modest gaming improvements with a GREAT 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray player. The goal of Microsoft seems to heading toward eventually aligning PC Gaming with console gaming.

Nintendo is also preparing to release the NX system before the end of this year. This system seems to more readily align a console with mobile gaming. How it will all work is left to a bit of speculation, but with Nintendo being the "wildcard" of gaming systems, they could pull it off. The initial releases for the system will be new versions of Mario, Zelda and Pokémon.

On the retro-gaming front, the Nintendo Classic will clearly be a hit this winter, with 30 classic games being readily available. Disney also made a partnership with GOG to bring Aladdin, The Lion King and The Jungle Book 16-bit games to PC's. The price is $9.99 per game. Will the nostalgia factor be enough for you purchase one of these?

Finally, we take a look at a......Chinese Bus! However, it's no ordinary bus. Looking more like something straight out of a SciFi movie, the bus is designed to carry 1400 passengers OVER regular traffic. The electric bus straddles two lanes of a road, towering at 7 feet tall to allow traffic to pass underneath. It's pretty cool looking, but do you think this is actually feasible as a solution to traffic woes?

 

Today's episode features Andrew Mayer, Nick Mokey, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 pm PST.

Don't forget to check out our other live-streamed shows, Between the Streams and Close to the Metal.

 

Direct download: dtpodcast094.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm PDT

Topics: Apple invests in AR, Updated Playstation and XBox, Flyboard Air goes military, Solar Impulse 2 goes around the world.

The huge success of Pokémon Go appears to be kickstarting Apple's foray into Augmented Reality. With the new iPhone 7 coming out on September 12th and a billion devices already in possession of potential AR fans, the company is set to rake in huge profits. Tim Cook announced that a whole department of Apple will be opened up for just this segment alone. We discuss whether Apple will be the company to lead further development in AR technology for the masses.

With Apple's success in coming out with a new "must have" product every couple of years, we turn to an op-ed written for DT about the advancement of gaming consoles. It appears that Sony and Microsoft may be looking at that model for  Playstation and XBox. With adequate backward-compatibility we could see newer updated consoles hitting the shelves rapidly. Would you be willing to purchase a new system in that short of a time span, to keep up with the latest gaming technology?

Zapata Racing became a topic of hot debate a couple of months ago, when they released a video of their Flyboard Air hoverboard. They proved to be legitimate, by setting a Guinness World Record for longest distance traveled. Now, they have been acquired by a military technology company, called Implant Sciences. They claim they will be working on jetbikes, floating rescue stations, scaffolding and unmanned heavy payload drones. While at best this seems very ambitious, is this just another instance of a company blowing smoke? In reality, how possible is it to even create something of this magnitude?

Finally, a milestone was reached in solar-powered flight this week and it doesn't seem to be getting very much attention. The Solar Impulse 2 flew completely around the world (in segments) without the use of any fuel, other than what the sun provided. Conceptually this is a monumental accomplishment. However, with the rapid advancement of so much technology in the last couple of years, are we reaching a point where this just doesn't have a big enough "wow" factor to garner interest? Are we becoming tech-jaded?

Today's episode features Brad Bourque, Drew Prindle, Caleb Denison and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 pm PST.

Don't forget to check out our other live-streamed shows, Between the Streams and Close to the Metal.

Direct download: dtpodcast093.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30pm PDT

Topics: Pokémon Go is making billions, Sony Z series television, Cardinal Robotics security drone, Amazon Prime Air delivery strategy, the Modobag motorized luggage.

Our special guest on today's episode is comedian Nariko Ott. Nariko just won Helium Comedy Club's Portland's Funniest Person competition. He beat about 150 other comedians, to win the title! Check out his website, to find out where he'll be performing next.

We start off with, what else, Pokémon Go. The app is making billions of dollars for multiple companies, not just Nintendo. Apple takes a 30% cut of all apps downloaded in it's store and stands to make $3 billion alone, over the next 2 years. In addition, there are a myriad of other services being offered around the game, including a Pokémon Go dating app!

Caleb Denison recently went to Culver City at the behest of Sony, to take a look at their new television. The new Sony Z series uses Blacklight Master Drive to make their line of LED televisions approach OLED levels of blackness. He was truly impressed with this new line and it gives us all a glimpse of where televisions are heading, in the near future.

A company called Cardinal Robotics has come up with a unique way to improve home surveillance. They have a drone that is designed to patrol the perimeter of your house, from the air. It has a 14-megapixel camera, with near infrared capabilities. While a little stingy on the technical details, the company will allow you to pre-order one for $4000. Would you be willing to pay that much, for the added home security?

There was some background noise during our recording, due to someone bouncing a basketball, in the room next door to our studio. Caleb attempted to pound on the wall to "alert" the bouncer. The reaction was swift, as we found out the perpetrator was none other than Jeremy Kaplan, Editor in Chief of Digital Trends! He confronted Caleb over the issue and then joined us for the rest of the show.

Amazon was awarded a patent this month, for their potential Prime Air delivery service. The plan is to turn street lights and even church steeples, into drone docking stations. The stations would allow for neighborhood delivery and may even act as a drop-off point for packages. It's definitely forward thinking, but would you want a drone station across from your house?

Finally, we discuss the latest in luggage technology. The Modobag is part carry-on bag and part motorized vehicle. With a 200-watt electric motor, you can actually sit on the bag and tool around the airport, or your neighborhood at 8 mph. Would you be interested in purchasing one of these? Side note, Rick Stella would be very interested in testing out one of these, if Modobag happens to be reading this......

Today's episode features Nariko Ott, Caleb Denison, Rick Stella, Jeremy Kaplan and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 pm PST.

Don't forget to check out our other live-streamed shows, Between the Streams and Close to the Metal.

 

 

Direct download: dtpodcast092.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm PDT