Episode 060219

So once again it’s IT Stuff, the least worst technology show on BCB Radio. And once again we’re short handed, left in the lurch by Kriss and Shi, so thanks to John the Sage of Calderdale for popping in. Er, sorry about the cat.

Local Events Bradford Coder Dojo Saturday, 16 February 09:30 - 12:00 Venue: Innovation Centre in Little Germany

Google Digital Enterprice Conference, 19 February Venue: Great Victoria Hotel

BCB IT Stuff recording 6 February 2019 transmission 7/8 February 2019 [0] So once again it’s IT Stuff, the least worst technology show on BCB Radio. And once again we’re short handed, left in the lurch by Kriss and Shi, so thanks to John the Sage of Calderdale for popping in. Er, sorry about the cat. [2 Min] Let’s establish the tone of the show with news about the durability of USB storage sticks. Come with me to the chilly islands of New Zealand where zoologists have nothing better to do than examine frozen seal turds. One of them noticed something unusual in the poopsicle: a USB stick. And it still works! and it contains a video of a kayaker making friends with a seal. If it’s yours, get in touch with @niwa_nz on them twitters. And the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York think it’s a good idea to put your toilet seat on the interwebs, so it can rat you out about your blood pressure, heart rate and oxygenation. It worked, except that the experimental subjects weren’t allowed to errr “go” cos that affects your blood pressure and heart rate. [4 Min] Cryptocurrency news the first one even hit the mainstream media. The founder of exchange QuadrigaCX in Canada has died and nobody knows the passwords, end result, $190M has gone to Sto-vo-kor. Some of it is real actual money too! Also, Zcash just fixed a bug that would have allowed infinite quantities of counterfeit Zcash. And Berkeley lecturer Nicolas Weaver has laid into the whole crypto scene, saying like you can’t buy real stuff with it, transactions are too expensive, they are deflationary, they’re hard to keep safe, they’re not decentralised, and blockchains are rubbish (proof of work is too energy intensive). “The entire cryptocurrency and blockchain space is effectively one big fraud. Cryptocurrencies are not fit for purpose unless you need censorship resistance, are fundamentally incompatible with modern finance, and are unfixable. They are, however, destroyable as they have technical, legal, and social weaknesses that can be exploited.” How’s our fantasy bitcoin investment doing? we pretend bought it at fifteen grand (in quids) is now two and a half grand (in quids). And here’s the funny thing, whenever people talk about how much it’s worth, they never say “in Zcash” do they. They say “in dollars” or pounds. Funny, that. [8 Min] Couple of random things to mention Leeds Hospital is in the news for replacing all its fax machines (350) ... with a virtual fax machine app. And the European Commission has pressed the abort button over a kids smartwatch that was insecure and let anybody locate the little darlings, this is the first time ever there’s been a full on product recall over a software security problem. [10 Min] Commerce news Hotels are evil. And the TSB celebrated the final reckoning of last year’s disaster (£330M, 200,000 complaints, 80,000 lost customers) by going down again for the morning. And a load of celebs you’ve never heard of agreed to stop peddling stuff on the sly for money on the twitters. [12 Min] You're listening to BCB 106.6FM, this is IT Stuff dot org dot uk. Funny story, there was this seller of errr things called Yes Yes Yes dot org. The sales exec thought shifting to dotcom would put sales up, the bosses said don’t do that, he did anyway, sales tanked, they sacked him, it ended up in a tribunal. Another funny story, yonks ago South Sudan (new nation) got allocated SS for its country code. Oh no said the internet, dot SS might attract some dodgy folk. Well, South Sudan got a bit sidetracked what with wars and stuff but now it’s back and asking where we got to with that dot SS thing. Hmm. Another affront to national sovereignty, YouTube has been flagging the Kenyan National Anthem as copyright infringement in the Kenyan government’s own channel. Written in 1963, so out of copyright anyway. [14 Min] It’s time for Anniversary Corner [ANNIVERSARY] Fifteen years of Facebook, here’s a couple of The Zuck’s greatest hits. On top of more scandal about conning young people into turning over everything for research and a few dollars, and the post-Cambridge Analytica factcheckers quitting, and Nick Clegg being wheeled out to do his first sincere apology, you can’t have missed the ever growing controversy and calls for regulation in the news this week. And in the face of fifteen years of ethics fail and technical fail it’s hard to argue with that, but the politicians have grabbed onto this idea of banning images of self harm. And I have to ask a few questions, like, how should they find these images? And if your child is already seeking out or even posting stuff about self harm, surely things have already? And if we can have Prevent for terrorism, why not Prevent for self harm? Seems to me it’s the Magritte thing all over again. An image of a pipe is not a pipe, and banning the image of a pipe doesn’t abolish the pipe. [18 Min] Now it’s time to catch up with John’s reading That’s “Three Funerals and a Wedding”, John Thorp, ISBN 9781912362721 it’s on Amazon but I think we’d all prefer if you got it somewhere else. There’s a goodreads page on John Thorp, “Information Paradox” is that one of his? [22 Min] Local events Coder Dojo, 19 Feb - https://bradford-coderdojo.github.io/ and Google Digital Enterprise, 19 Feb - http://bit.ly/digital-enterprise-google [24 Min] Go home Elon you’re drunk Our fave controversial tech billionaire, dunno whether he’s been doing Dry January, nothing too weird, just a test firing of the new engine for the Mars rocket he’s building. (Raptor). Oh, and he denies that he’s been using his executive jet for like 20 mile hops. Er, no, the fact is the jet has been making 20 mile hops to pick up Elon. Totally different. [25 Min] To play us out For no particular reason from the Fat Wreck compilation album, Fat Music vol 3 Physical Fatness, and for all the kids at Coder Dojo here’s Screeching Weasel, preceded by Snuff with their amazing singing drummer. Whatever happened to em?
Broadcast 7th & 8th February 2019