Apple sure knows how to make commercials

Say what you say about Apple, overpriced, dumb users, whatever, but you have to admit that they do know how to make a commercial, at least their ad agency does. Saw this one last night, and I have to admit, it did soften my robot heart and right after it was over, some dust got into my eye.

“Hackers” use tape to “defeat” Keurig’s “DRM” coffee pods

Yes, I did use quotes three times in the title of this post. Mainly because I find it ridiculous that Keurig’s new K-Cups that are designed to work on the new machines, have been labeled as to having a “DRM” system. DRM, or digital rights management, just like the system Apple used to use so that you could only play the songs you bought from the iTunes store on an authenticated device. That’s just an easy example. This DRM system was forced by the record labels and eventually Apple killed it because it was more of an inconvenience for customers than a deterrent for piracy.

Let’s change markets: one-time use disposable coffee pods, more specifically, the ever so popular K-Cup system by Keurig, who announced that their newest coffee makers would only work with official, licensed coffee pods. This apparently had become a problem because companies were making Keurig-compatible coffee pods with out paying the licensing fees to Keurig. Keurig fans everywhere cried foul! Their sacred coffee maker will now come with DRM! Oppression! Injustice! Turns out, the new Keurig machines have a little sensor that checks to see if the cup is licensed, but this sensor can be triggered forever by using a piece of tape. And this “DRM” has already been circumvented by coffee pod makers. And as far as I know, there is no firmware to download and no patch that Keurig can apply to correct this flaw.

Keurig changed the design of their cup and their new machines would only work with licensed pods. But lets just not call it DRM. The D in DRM stands for digital and it sort of implies that each k-cup has a little chip that authenticates itself. Nope. Just a different design and a sensor that checks for it. If all it takes to be a “hacker” is a bit of tape, then I’ve been hacking since I was in diapers.

Hackers Trick Keurigs Into Making Uncopyrighted Coffee | WIRED.

The controversy behind getting to the Hollywood Sign

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Gizmodo has a great article about the ongoing controversy on what is perhaps California’s most iconic symbol, the Hollywood sign. If you try to get directions to get to the actual sign using Google Maps, Mapquest, Apple Maps and others, it won’t actually give you directions to the sign, but rather to the Griffith Observatory.

Even though Google Maps clearly marks the actual location of the sign, something funny happens when you request driving directions from any place in the city. The directions lead you to Griffith Observatory, a beautiful 1920s building located one mountain east from the sign, then—in something I’ve never seen before, anywhere on Google Maps—a dashed gray line arcs from Griffith Observatory, over Mt. Lee, to the sign’s site. Walking directions show the same thing.

Even though you can very clearly walk to the sign via the extensive trail network in Griffith Park, the map won’t allow you to try.

Head on over to Gizmodo to read the full article and don’t forget to read the comments. Make me wanna go trollin’.

Why People Keep Trying to Erase the Hollywood Sign From Google Maps.

6 links that will show you what Google knows about you

I came across an interesting article via Reddit, but to my surprise it was taken offline by the page hosting it, Medium.com, for reasons unknown. Luckily someone on that Reddit thread saved the main link. Click and find out for yourself.

https://www.google.com/ads/preferences/ – Ad preferences

https://maps.google.com/locationhistory – Where you’ve been

https://history.google.com – Search history

https://security.google.com/settings/security/activity – Devices you’ve used

https://security.google.com/settings/security/permissions – Apps that use your info

https://www.google.com/takeout – Export your data

What does Google know about you?

via 6 links that will show you what Google knows about you : technology.

Here’s an additional “mirror”

Tesla’s SUV – Model X – further delayed

tesla-model-x

Tesla was scheduled to release their newest car, the model X, on the second quarter of 2015, but they have just announced that they are further delaying the release until the third quarter of 2015 and if you reserve yours now with a $5,000 deposit, you will be receiving yours by early 2016. The Model X will have the same battery system as the Model S, 60 or 85kWh and will weight about more, so, my prediction is that is will do about 15% less range-wise than the Model S.

Aparently, the reason fur the further delays are the unconventional doors:

The Model X features gull-wing doors for the rear passengers (called Falcon wing doors in Tesla-speak), and news of the delay was greeted with questions about whether the doors are to blame.

Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter this afternoon to confirm that the Model X will keep its funky opening hatches, bemoaning the fact that production cars so often disappoint compared to concept cars.

Stupid doors!

Tesla’s electric SUV delayed until late 2015 | Ars Technica.

You won’t believe the 5 things I’m going to say next. Click now to find out.

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Dear click-hungry writers: if your article’s title has the following:

  • “You won’t believe…”
  • “You have to…”
  • “The funniest thing you’ll see today…”
  • The words “awesome”, “great”, “incredible”

or anything else that might indicate that your title was specifically designed to attract clicks, fuck you. You won’t get me to “click here” to “find out more”. If your online publication has some sort of reputation, you’re losing it (Yes Boy Genius Report, I’m pointing my fingers at you). I’ve been on the internet long enough to know when an article is written just for clicks and has no substance.

On a related but separate note, how hard is it to NOT click on the “You might also be interested in” section at the bottom of online articles? I mean, I do want to find out how I can eat all the chocolate in the world without gaining weight, about how Obama has ruined America, how Emma Roberts, Jessica Lawrence or Kate Upton feel about Ebola, and the latest ways to avoid paying taxes. Seems like a great way to invest a click.

Getting back into tech blogging

IBM Keyboard

So after a 2 year hiatus from technology blogging, I’m going to start to write my again, here in this space. At this point I have four places where I’ll be (hopefully) writing on a consistant basis:

  • FliteReport.com: This is the blog where I’ve been writing the most, where I chronicle my RC hobby.
  • UAVnotDrone.com: My newest blog where I share interesting information, videos and advancements in the world of unmanned aerial vehicles, just don’t call ‘em drones

I’ve also decided to redirect my main domain name, jjmelo.com to my About.me page, where I have a quick overview of myself.

Photo Credit