Technology


Legends News Stream June 22nd, 2015

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The entertainment news for the week ending June 22nd 2015 as seen by the Operator, Wing, Beef and the crew ofDEFECTIVE GEEKS. In this 3rd crossover we discuss the news in the world of entertainment from movies to TV, web and more, plus some surprise along the way! Spoiler Alert Spoiler Alert \ these discussions will be spoiler filled and will use explicit language so consider yourself warned.

 

For moregeeky podcast visitGonnaGeek.com

You can find us on iTunes under ”Legends Podcast”. Please subscribe and give us a positive review. You can also follow us on Twitter@LegendsPodcast or even better, send us an e-mail. You can find all our contact informationhere on the Network page ofGonnaGeek.com Our complete archive is always available atwww.legendspodcast.com

Source Article from http://legendspodcast.libsyn.com/legends-news-stream-june-22nd-2015


Apple Pay could come to Canada soon!

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apple_payFellow Canadians who may have bought the iPhone 6 for it’s Apple Pay feature are likely disappointed to discover that the service which launched last October is currently in the United States only.

Apple’s reports so far is that the service has “been a favourite” of both merchants and customers; however, Canadians are still itching to get a taste of this. Well good news Canadians, recently 9to5Mac reported that Apple is preparing to launch a Canadian version of the service in 2015.

Has there been anything official from Apple about the Canadian expansion? No. I guess this means we just have to wait to see if this rumour is true.


Microsoft to Ditch Internet Explorer?

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By now we all know that some of the changes Microsoft made in Windows 8 were so bold that they made a difficult experience for users. With rumblings that about Windows 10 will help undo some of these changes it’s a little surprising to hear that the latest rumor is that Microsoft may be working on an exit strategy for Internet Explorer.

Allegedly there’s a project code named “Spartan” which will be a new browser packaged alongside Internet Explorer when Windows 10 arrives. The new browser is expected to look more like Firefox and Chrome but will apparently use some of the Microsoft’s technology found in IE (Chakra JavaScript and Trident rendering engine).

With many corporations so dependent on Internet Explorer, my guess is that even if they are successful with Spartan, IE will follow the often-extended deathclock that was seen with Windows XP.


Could I Recommend My Wife Switch To Android?

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ios-vs-androidIf you’ve heard me on the GonnaGeek.com Podcast you likely know that I’m an avid Android user. With all the passion I have about Android what you may not realize is that I’ve only been using an Android phone for about a year.

There are several reasons why I prefer Android over iOS and in my experience I’ve found that sticking native Android is quite an enjoyable experience, solving many of the quirks that many iPhone users fear about making the switch. I fully admit that when I left iOS for Android I expected have a signicantly less stable experience than I had with my iPhone but I quickly discovered this was not the case with my Nexus 5. This leads me to believe that a lot of the irritants that plague the Android are because of manufacturers modifying the OS (Nexus 5 runs stock Android). How stable has my experience been? Well let’s put it this way – when my wife needed to select a new phone she was very tempted to make the leap to Android herself.

It’s important to note that many of the features that I use regularly and prefer of Android are geared toward the tech-crowd; however, there was still many I used daily which I think appeal to non-techy alike. For example, if your primary email is Gmail already, there is so much easy integration to Google such as auto-backup of photos, contacts and other data. Another big feature that I love is that there are also a variety of apps that allow users to send SMS messages from their desktop – not just Mac users (as recently introduced in iOS). Of course one of the biggest things that appealed to my wife was the increase in the amount of related accessories becoming cheaper than their i-equivalent (ie. Chromecast is only $35, LG G Watch is $149). There is one feature that is perhaps a bit more niche that really had Mrs. Jondrew interested in the phone, and that was the ability to display photos on our TV (through the Chromecast) directly from Google Drive. Customizability was another thing that caught her attention and although the latest version of iOS has been the most customizable experience to date, it still doesn’t compare to that of Android.

So, what ended up being my recommendation to her and what did she decide on her own? In both cases it was the iPhone 6. It was a really close race on both accounts, but ultimately there were a few things that stopped her from making the jump (and those same things would in turn stop me from recommending Android to someone who uses their phone in the same manner as my wife).

The first feature lacking from Android is one that while it may not be a frequent used featured, when you want to use its really nice to have – SIRI. ‘OK Google’ is about as close as it gets to SIRI for Android (at least stock) and while I feel it actually does better than SIRI in many cases, there are a couple “personal assistant” features that make the SIRI experience a little better for the average user. For example, when I go to text someone hands free ‘OK Google’ does not read back my message to me, which makes voice-texting next to impossible to do without taking a risk every time you send a message. The second half of this is that SIRI has the ability to read back your messages, which is something that is lacking from the Android equivalent.

The next feature follows closely with the first and it’s quirkiness in the Bluetooth hands free functionality. My Dad has a Samsung Note 2 and he has the same issues that I have on my Nexus 5 – the Bluetooth handsfree has jumped between different interfaces at what seems like random times. For example, the majority of my experience when using hands free dialing is a rudimentary system which asks to select contact phones numbers by actually saying “Select 1” to select home, “Select 2” to select mobile, etc. However, from time to time the handsfree has popped in to full “OK Google” mode which is quite an enjoyable experience – when that rarely happens. A quick search on the internet finds that we aren’t the only two with this quirk.

The third feature that Android was missing was an important one, which I’m should be up Google’s alley considering they own YouTube, lack of easy video sharing. There is quite a comparable iMessage equivalent in Android (which I actually prefer) – Google Hangouts. With KitKat the experience even bridges the Hangouts conversations in the same window as SMS conversations, just like iMessage does. However, a big feature it lacks is sending video through Hangouts. Having a newborn and a 2 year old, you can imagine how often my wife sends her contacts short videos and this was a deal breaker for her. We looked at alternative messengers and came across another problem, Android doesn’t have built in trimming and auto compression like iOS has. What does this mean? Well lets say you find a messaging app that many of your contacts use (in her case it was Viber), if that software developer hasn’t incorporated their own use a separate app. There is one messenger that we found that does handle video very similar to iOS which is WhatsApp, but then came the problem that many of her contacts don’t use that messenger. It’s important to note that the iOS equivalents of those messengers lacking built in trim/compress support (ie. Viber) appear to have the capability in iOS which leads me to believe that is actually a feature courtesy of Apple.

Ultimately the videos issue was the biggest thing that prevented the switch to Android but it’s important to note that I think my wife may have gone another way if it hadn’t been for that. In any case this is something that I’m truly surprised Google hasn’t dealt with yet – whether they simply add Hangouts video sending support, or better yet add a video trimming/compressing feature right into Android. Of course, each individual user always has to evaluate their use case, and in mine I don’t see myself switching back to iOS anytime soon (even if I do have to use third party app to compress my videos). Personally, there is so much techy-appeal in Android that iOS just can’t offer which is why I’m willing to deal with the quirks mentioned above. Of course, iOS is not perfect either but I won’t get into those details as this is an article about whether or not my wife had a reason to switch to Android.


GonnaGeek.com Podcast #068 – Chris Hardwick Played in the NHL

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This episode the infamous John D/Nightwing finally returns and we celebrate with a tease of Just the Tip with Doctor JS. Then we discuss how Robert Downey Jr has one hell of *A* gift from The Avengers. Then we discuss how iCloud may have been hacked again, this time via China and how one game developer really pissed of Steam. Later in a brand new segment we discuss the LG G Watch which takes a completely unexpected turn for a couple of our hosts. Finally, we discover a talent about Chris Hardwick that we didn’t know….

Want to chime in for a future show? Tweet @gonnageek, email podcast@gonnageek.com or like us at Facebook.com/Gonnageek.


GonnaGeek.com Podcast #066 – There Will Be An Iron Man 4… maybe?

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This week we discuss how Robert Downey Jr Confirmed there will be an Iron Man 4… kind of. Then we discuss Facebook back tracking on their name policy and how Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo glides through test run. In Stephen’s Geek Stuff he discusses Autosync for Drive by MetaCtrl and finally we discuss the Better Call Saul teaser song.

Want to chime in for a future show? Tweet @gonnageek, email podcast@gonnageek.com or like us at Facebook.com/Gonnageek.


GonnaGeek.com Podcast #063 – Surge is Back

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Jay Witten from Gallifrey Public Radio joins us to discuss the iPhone 6/6 Plus launch, Nasa decides on Boeing and SpaceX, Kristy Kreme has a Ghostbuster donut and Surge Cola steals the news as it makes its triumphant return. We play another edition of Know Your Geek and then we wrap up with Geekback and the Highlight from the website.

Want to chime in for a future show? Tweet @gonnageek, email podcast@gonnageek.com or like us at Facebook.com/Gonnageek.


Not Sure What iPhone You Want? It’s easy to compare…

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While most people in the iPhone market dream to have the latest and greatest, sometimes going a year or so older is just more affordable. Because of this each year when there’s a new iPhone announced I find myself educating someone about the easiest way to compare models. Comparison articles always seem to be the norm for geek sites after the Apple announcement but the problem lies that sites pick and choose what areas to feature which often leads to certain specs being left out of the article. That’s why my recommendation is to go straight to the horse’s mouth and compare phone directly on the Apple site.

Apple has done a great job of posting feature by feature comparisons of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. If you’re unsure which you want to go with have a look and maybe this will help you decide.

Apple US Comparison
Apple Canada Comparison


GonnaGeek.com Podcast #061 – When A Pig Flies

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This show we discuss the real life Japanese Armageddon-project, Apple denies iCloud being hacked as a cause of Fap-gate 2014, Patrick Warburton set to reboot The Tick and John brings some non-news news to the table. We debut WTF with Chris Ferrell where he rants about the Full House revival and finally geekback brings us to discussions about the new Agents of SHIELD trailer for Season 2.

Want to chime in for a future show? Tweet @gonnageek, email podcast@gonnageek.com or like us at Facebook.com/Gonnageek.


So You’re Afraid of Facebook Messenger Privacy? Look at these other app permissions…

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Facebook has come under some intense scrutiny this past week with their drive to move their messaging component out of the main Facebook app. While I’m a firm believer that users should know what they’re getting into when they install apps, for many geeks such as myself it’s been clear all along that this recent move has been blown out of proportion.

If you’re note familiar with the controversy – the issue is that the Facebook Messenger app requires a lot of permission to install, and many people are worried with wording such as the following

  • “Allows the app to record audio with microphone. This permission allows the app to record audio at any time without your confirmation”
  • “Allows the app to call phone numbers without your intervention. This may result in unexpected charges or calls. Malicious apps may cost you money by making calls without your confirmation.”

Of course it’s very easy for the uneducated to blame Facebook on these terms and condition but what many don’t realize is that the referenced security warnings are actually standard Android permission verbiage.

Android operates differently than iOS when an app is installed. With Google’s Android all of the disclaimers/permissions are granted when an app is first installed; however, with Apple many of the permission requests are displayed later when a user actually tries to use the feature which requires the authorization. Now while Google’s verbiage can be perceived as scary, the fact of the matter is that many applications require these permissions but they don’t actually use them in a scary way. For example, let’s say you’re using any messenger that allows you to take a selfie and send it to your chat partner. Most messenger apps have a built in feature to simply access the camera, take the photo and attach it your conversation. If users did not grant the app permission to use the camera, how would it take the photo without exiting the app and taking the photo separately? That seems like an inconvenience. Now you may be concerned about apps reading your contact and their phone numbers, right? Well one of the greatest features of different messengers is the ability to easily add contacts to these apps by matching up their phone numbers to their messenger profile. If the app did not have permission to access your contacts it would be impossible to locate your friends without manual input. So perhaps by now you understand those two points but are saying “Stephen, isn’t it creepy that Facebook can listen and record my audio?” Have you noticed that little grey microphone button at the bottom of Facebook Messenger? Yes, I’m referring to the one that allows you to send an audio message to your chat partner. How exactly is the app going to record your voice-messenger if it doesn’t have permission to use your microphone? Simple – it can’t.

Now while I’m not making any guarantees that Facebook couldn’t (in theory) use the permissions for their own gain, the reality is that this standard permission wording is found on many applications – may of which you may even have installed right now. Every day people sign up for services and agree to terms that they don’t read and the same goes for installing apps on your device and not reading the permissions. If you don’t believe me I’ve compiled some not-so-pretty (my apologies) screenshots of a variety of popular apps and the permissions they require. If you look through the photos you’ll see a lot of the same permissions that Facebook Messenger requires.

Once again I do always think that people should be aware what they’re agreeing to when they use services but I also do think that that in this instance with Facebook things have been greatly blown out of proportion because of some media sites running the story with the “big brother” overtone. While its ultimately up to you whether or not you install the app – I’m won’t be uninstalling my Facebook Messenger anytime soon.