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.
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
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.
It’s become a familiar pattern: Apple holds a big product launch event in September, then follows it up with another press event in October, which they did again on Thursday. And while they may not have made a huge splash like they did with the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, they did give us a nice counting lesson with the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, and iMac 5K, plus the final release of OS X Yosemite. As we always do, we break down Apple’s announcements and try to distinguish the differences between the FIVE models of iPads now available.
With Apple’s iOS 8.1 update rolling out to phones this week, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users will begin getting to use Apple Pay, which will also be coming to the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, plus next year’s Apple Watch. Douglas offers an in-depth overview of the Apple Pay service, how it works, why it actually is secure, and why certain Apple devices only offer certain Apple Pay features but not others.
There’s so much news in the world about threats that are scary, things that are depressing, and people who are incompetent. It’s nice to break away from that and check in on the latest goings-on in the tech industry… news that seems so tame and relaxing by comparison. Well, we’re happy to help.
Well, this has been a banner week for Apple, hasn’t it? When we recorded this episode a few days ago, Apple had launched a webpage for users to remove the free U2 album from iTunes, and facing media allegations that the new iPhones were prone to bending.
In a slightly-renamed segment, “Be Patient… Let’s Make This Less Confusing,” Douglas extrapolates one of the points of Tim Cook’s open letter on privacy to discuss the business models of user data, and what they mean in terms of how different companies use your data in digital cloud services, social media, and the specific case of payment management services like PayPal, Google Wallet, and Apple Pay. Josh then acknowledges the 125th anniversary of Nintendo.
Surprise, we’re back! We have come out of hiding, hiberation, hiatus, whatever you want to call it, and finally back on the web with a fresh episode, ready to cover Apple’s huge, gigantic, mind-blowing special event (their words, not ours). Best of all, if you’re still subscribed to our show in iTunes, then this episode has already been deposited in your iTunes library for free, whether you want it there or not!