Wise Guys on WHO Radio - May 14, 2016

Brian Gongol

The WHO Radio Wise Guys airs on WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa on 1040 AM or streaming online at WHORadio.com. The show airs from 1 to 2 pm Central Time on Saturday afternoons. A podcast of show highlights is also available. Leave comments and questions on the Wise Guys Facebook page or e-mail them to wiseguys@whoradio.com.

Please note: These show notes may be in various stages of completion -- ranging from brainstormed notes through to well-polished monologues. Please excuse anything that may seem rough around the edges, as it may only be a first draft of a thought and not be fully representative of what was said on the air.

In the news this week

Computers and the Internet Instagram channels 2002 for its redesign

Their new logo and application icons depend heavily on gradients, which are pretty passe in the design world today. The new look really isn't all that new-looking.

But first...

I have long argued that the best way to lose an argument is to overstate your case. I am about to knowingly violate that rule. Facebook's new live-streaming option is going to be a disaster for Western civilization.

There. I said it. Overstating the case and all.

We'll dial it back a bit and see if I can persuade you.

Everything I've been told about criminal justice says that three things go into proving guilt: Means, motive, and opportunity. You have to be able to do what you're accused of doing, have a reason for doing it, and have the moment available to you to act.

That same set of conditions applies, really, to whatever we do -- if we're doing it consciously. You can't really take credit for the good things you do if you don't satisfy the same conditions.

But we've entered a new realm -- rather abruptly, by the standards of history -- in which people are going to make really bad decisions (maybe not criminal, but bad decisions nonetheless) without having to do a lot of work to satisfy two of those conditions.

Obviously, we've made a giant leap in terms of means. I went to college at a time when the idea of live-streaming what you did on the Internet was so new that there were only a handful of people who did it. The infamous Jennicam was such a revolution that we spent entire class sessions discussing it in college. But even for the subsequent 15 years or so, if you wanted to stream anything live onto the Internet, it took some deliberate technical knowledge and skill.

At first, you had to figure out how to configure a webcam with a high-speed router and somehow set up a hosting configuration, usually by enlisting some professional-grade assistance.

Then, webcasting-in-a-box came along. It got a little easier, but there was still some work involved.

Then, enter YouTube live streaming (for which you still need to be "verified", at least). That was about five years ago. Pretty easy, fairly low hurdles, but at least there was still some commitment required to the process.

Now, enter Twitter's Periscope service. And Snapchat. And Meerkat (which is already surrendering in the face of overwhelming competition). And so on.

But Facebook enters this as an 800-lb. gorilla. Everyone's on Facebook. Literally, almost everybody, at least in the United States. And it's on everyone's phone.

And now it's so easy to live-stream that I accidentally launched one last night just by jostling my phone in the wrong way.

In other words, the means are now totally ubiquitous. And so much so that Google is fighting back with 360-degree livestreaming on YouTube and aiming for head-to-head competition with Facebook and Periscope.

So, now, in order to stream to the world, you only need the motive and the opportunity.

The motive, though, is obvious. Too obvious. We have two likely nominees for President who both got to where they are mostly via universal name recognition. Everybody wants to be famous, and nobody knows why.

Security update

Computers and the Internet Microsoft to turn off service to share WiFi passwords with contacts

Definitely one of the items that people should have been disabling when setting up Windows 10

Dispatches from the flying-car future

Science and Technology Using a slipstream of bubbles to make ships more efficient

Adding bubbles to the water at the bow of a ship could permit the rest of the vessel to pass through the water with less friction

Science and Technology A closer look at the Hyperloop

Tested successfully over a very short track for a very short time this week, it may be in line for real implementation in the future

Money and technology

Computers and the Internet Walmart sues Visa over EMV cards

Chips don't make a lot of difference to security without PINs. And nobody's using that part of the card yet.

Listener questions

A listener called with questions about running a dual-monitor configuration with Windows 10. It worked on his previous OS, but the upgrade to Windows 10 killed it. He had tried several troubleshooting options, and we left him with the advice to check directly with the manufacturer of the monitor to see if they had any known driver issues with Windows 10. That seems to have been a common issue for many users, and direct contact with the manufacturer is probably the best option.

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