Tech tAUk Reloaded #44: So Long for Just Awhile

Just over five years ago, we started a quirky new technology-focused TV show at American University’s ATV, and called it Tech tAUk. Nearly four years-worth of episodes later, we spun off that show into this podcast. And now, as we begin the year 2015, we say a fond farewell to the Tech tAUk franchise for the last time.

It’s our final episode of Tech tAUk Reloaded, and it’s also our 2014 Year in Review episode. Following a special throwback to the very beginning of Tech tAUk, we take a look at the top tech stories of 2014:

  • FBI blames major hack of Sony Pictures on North Korea; Sony retracts, and then re-releases the controversial movie, The Interview
  • Apple and Google frustrate feds with new device encryption functionalities in iOS and Android; aftermath of Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations still largely unresolved
  • Apple’s Year: iPhone 6 & 6 Plus get bigger screens and record sales, OS X Yosemite gets new interface, Apple Pay service launches, iPad Air 2 gets thinner
    Also: Apple blamed for iCloud hack leaking nude celebrity photos, Apple wins iPod antitrust lawsuit in court, free U2 album debacle, Tim Cook becomes first major U.S. CEO to come out as gay
  • The “wearables” market launches: Google Glass (which was on general sale for one day), Samsung and Android smartwatches… plus, Apple Watch announced, and coming soon
  • DRONES… enough said, but stay safe out there!
  • FCC proposes internet regulations opposed by net neutrality activists, and by Netflix, Google, Facebook, and other major websites (even after Netflix signs bandwidth deal with Comcast and Verizon).. John Oliver piece on net neutrality causes FCC website crash
  • Comcast announces merger with Time Warner Cable, which is still pending
  • T-Mobile’s “Uncarrier” strategy sparks increased competition, major business practice changes in cell carrier industry
  • Amazon suspends pre-orders of Hachette book titles, and products of other companies that it doesn’t like
  • Uber faces down protests, regulatory hurdles, and PR disasters as it continues to grow its services

There were of course many other big stories of the year which we mention in passing, and we offer a couple of predictions about what tech stories we think will be big in 2015.

Then, Douglas and Josh take a stroll down memory lane, reflecting on many of the funnest (and strangest) gags and infotainment segments that we enjoyed during Tech tAUk’s long run. Most notably, Josh honors our longest-running segment, FLUNKS!, by revisiting the most notorious FLUNK-worthy moments of the past five years in his FLUNKS! Hall of Fame.

Finally, in our last Byte of the Week, Douglas gives a shout-out to Google’s “No-CAPTCHA ReCAPTCHA” in this week’s installment of “A Very Tiny Bit of Awesome!”

Thanks to all of you who have watched and listened to Tech tAUk and Tech tAUk Reloaded over the years, and to the many friends and contributors who made these shows possible. Have a fantastic new year.

Episode Duration: 1:56:41
On This Episode: Douglas Bell and Josh Feldman
Download: Tech tAUk Reloaded #44 (56 MB MP3)

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About Douglas Bell

I live in Washington, D.C., and work as a Broadcast Technician at WAMU 88.5 FM, the local NPR affiliate in the Washington metro area. My primary shift is to engineer the local feed of NPR’s Morning Edition, including local news and weather, long-form features and station breaks… and yes, the shift starts at 5 am, so I’ve got the whole quasi-nocturnal thing going on. I am also the Coordinating Producer for Ken Rudin’s Political Junkie, an independently-produced podcast and public radio program. Extracurricularly, I play cello, and participate in a church choir and a handbell choir. I enjoy discovering new places, and am constantly searching for the perfect cheeseburger. I am also known as a frequent teller of puns.