1x75: Surround Meatballs


#1

Jono Bacon, Jeremy Garcia, Bryan Lunduke, and Stuart Langridge bring you Bad Voltage, in which there is a ginger Columbo, the Buffalo Bills come in for more hassle that even their performance warrants, Google release a release announcement for a new phone, and:

  • 00:02:20 Apple have elected to remove the headphone jack from the upcoming iPhone model. This is a harbinger of things to come: will this flood across the industry as a whole? Some thoughts on what this means for iPhones, for phones, for Apple's philosophy on technology, Bryan's philosophy on Apple, all our philosophies on Bryan's philosophies, and how the technology industry works as a whole. Plus, lots of slavering Bacon love for the Google Pixel range (send us review units!)
  • 00:38:34 Jeremy reviews smart lightbulbs from both the Philips Hue and LifX ranges. Are they good examples of the breed? And more generally: are smart bulbs a good idea? What's the point? Who uses them and how can they be used? Is security necessarily something you have to give up for convenience? And which team's successes should cause your bulbs to flash?

Download the show now!


#2

Picking up on the iPhone 7 the lack of a standard headphone jack would be a deal breaker for me. I am not a big fan of apple but was persuaded to buy my daughter an iPhone because some of her teachers had written Apps for the subjects they taught and while it wasn’t impossible to learn without one it did make things easier.

She listens to a lot of music etc while on the bus to school and uses cheap headphones for this and I would resent being told I had to buy expensive wireless ones.


Edit I’m also interested in the Lunduke Bacon scale of where we all stand on the security. I would suggest you create a new thread with a poll in it.


#3

You don’t have to buy new headphones. It comes with a pair and an adapter in the box. And the adapters are $9 which is reasonable considering the headphone DAC is inside the adapter.


#4

As always, love the show and listening to you all gives me a major case of the giggles. I just wanted to give my thoughts on the iPhone 7 segment.

First, it is quite obvious that Bryan has a deep and indescribable love for Apple and their products. But I always wonder if Bryan may still hold on to opinions he developed based on a bad experience he had a long time ago (late 90s or early 2000s, I forget. He talked about it in a very early BV podcast. Something about an application that he developed and Apple came in and destroyed it). And Bryan mentioned that he has had “an intimate knowledge of Apple for the last 25 or so years and worked with them really closely.” So in the recent past, have you had terrible experiences like you mentioned a while back ago? Do you think Apple has improved at all over the last 10 years? If not, do you ever think your opinion of Apple will change? What would make your opinion of Apple change? (Obviously, they will not go open source or change their business model. I am asking if there will be a point where your deep hatred of Apple will become more somewhat -neutral, say like your view of Microsoft).

Also, I agree with Jono. Apple obviously cares about their design (that is what they are known for). Saying that removing the audio jack wasn’t partly (obviously there are multiple reasons, as you all mentioned) a design decision is ignoring the obvious. They removed that internal component for the jack to allow for more internal space. Although that amount of space is small, I can see the reasoning behind it.

I think the adapter, although not appealing, will work for most people who miss the audio jack. But I do agree that most people will find it really annoying not being able to charge their phone and listen to something.

Thanks again all for another good show.


#5

On letting the CIA monitor which lights you have switched on… you can have all the functionality without any of the ‘cloud’ by using smart switches and dumb bulbs. My switches are pretty much all Z-wave, talking to a RaZberry Pi, all within the house.

That then has https interface to the outside world, but that’s my job to secure!


#6

'nuff said. :slight_smile:


#7

I usually love listening to you guys discuss things, but I felt like you went in unprepared for the iPhone segment and were throwing around ideas without having the details correct. Many things that plugged into the iPhone using the headphone jack (like Square readers) should still work if you use the adapter (which is $9, not $20). W1 chip is an apple chip but still uses Bluetooth and they can be used with any kind of phone that supports that standard, etc. Just felt like an aimless segment and the fact it lasted so long made it hard for me to listen to, especially when many other podcasts have already spent weeks discussing this issue.

Otherwise it was a great show. Sorry to come on here just to be the whiny guy. I’ll try to comment when I’m not complaining, also!


#8

On the Lunduke scale, I want to be the south pole but aren’t very good at it. Webcam cover no - although I only really use a laptop in public anyway, in which case it is pointless. My desktop does not have a webcam. Microphone, no. Router, all ports outside are disabled automatically unless I open them. Inside, I really don’t see the point, the only other people I share wifi with are my family members of which I trust. Why close ports? Here’s what I do do - Full disk encryption and PGP email signatures (encryption I wish, but none of my contact have a public key for me to encrypt with.) Now in regards to lightbulbs. The only way I would get one is if it was completely libre Software and hardware, using open well encrypted data transfer protocols going to my own server. The same with security cameras, with the only difference being that my own server must be inside my house, without any data leaving my LAN and my server would keep the data in an encrypted format.

<rant>Headphones, okay, I have wireless headphones. But what if I want to use these on an aeroplane. I specifically got an overhead type that have an AUX input plug. And oh I need it. Use with desktop, or older laptop? ever consider that, of course not, keep everyone Dependant on your ecosystem. Sorry, I have one pair of headphone, no one for each device. And that works, because it still accepts 3mm input. Wireless on the go, wired everywhere else. And what if my battery runs out, I just pop the cable out of my pocket and plug it in, not a bulky dongle, but simple, lightweight double ended cable. And look at the all the creative ways the 3mm jack is used besides analogue sound data. I have a USB serial to 3mm jack that is used for programming picaxe microcontrollers. And that creativity and multiple uses are made possible with open standards. Something apple will never do. There not invative or ‘risk takers’ but simply stop everyone else, or at least the people who buy into their ecosystem, from being that. By all means, if a phone came out with 2 USB C ports, one for headphones, and the other for charging, that would be fine. But one, proprietary port for both, NO. And about that, why do phone only have one port, besides the headphone jack. There are plenty of sleek laptops out there that have an array of ports. If a phone appear with I full sized USB and HDMI, or even mini HDMI, provided it’s within my budget and not from apple (like that would ever happen) I would buy it in a heartbeat! </rant>


#9

In general@home, I have 2 subnets, one with statically assigned IPs, and that’s for NAS, dektops, laptops that never move outside of the flat and Raspi that works as HTPC with Kodi. The second one has DHCP and it’s used for mobile devices. I exercise a lot of control over what is allowed to talk to what inside the network, treating the subnet for mobile devices as sort of a DMZ. Same applies to open/closed ports and firewall rules. Kind of having a hard time understanding people who worry too much about microphones and cameras, yet do not exercise proper network separation and security.


#10

I both agree and disagree with Bryan. Apple is primarily motivated by money, but I also think they have a knack for aesthetics and market the heck out of that angle in an attempt to divert away from their money grubbing.

Every single person I know (save for perhaps one who is a programmer) that purchases an iPhone does so because that’s what they see other other trendy people doing. These people are average consumers, they wouldn’t know the iPhone specs if you asked them (they probably don’t even care) except for the size of the screen. As far as the guts go, the hardware inside the phone, they don’t care.

People, basically, are lemmings.

Personally I’ll never own an iPhone, so the headphone jack issues doesn’t impact me, other than make me angry as a trend that will develop. I’m a reluctant Android user as it is. That being said, the market isn’t for me. It never was and never will be.


#11

Luckily I don’t do any business (of any kind) with Apple. In days-of-old I did… well… a lot. Regular (more than once a week) conference calls with developers there, many on-site visits to work through things, at every WWDC (back when WWDC was actually about software development)… plus a lot of friends that have worked there for a long, long time.

So my current knowledge of the inner workings of the company, over the last few years, comes from my remaining friends that are there. Most of them have escaped, but there are a few left. :slight_smile:

Oh, it’s possible that Apple will stop being such raging ass-hats (as a company… there are good people internally that are fighting the good fight). But I’m not holding my breath. The corporate culture there is pure poison and about as anti-human and anti-freedom (big F or little f… take your pick) as it’s possible to get. The changes they would need to make to cause me to think “Gee… Apple’s not so terrible” are pretty extreme. But I always try to keep an open mind. :slight_smile:


#12

Re: paranoia about stuff watching me in my home.

I’m actually quite paranoid about this topic, but I’m also kind of bad about it. I don’t cover cameras or microphones (though I might do in the future), and I recently caved and began using Google Now with the “OK Google”, though it only works when the device is unlocked. I need to stop it, but I have some RSI, and typing on the phone is pretty bad for it, so I find the voice recognition to be very useful. :frowning:

On the other side, I’m sort of an exhibitionist, and I kind of get a kick out of the idea of people secretly watching me naked. I doubt anyone else gets a kick out of the idea of watching me naked, but, eh, they are welcome to do so.

I don’t forward ports on my routers ever. They came without any ports open, and I haven’t changed that. The only way into my home network from the outside is through one server I have reversed tunneled to a VPS, and it’s only available on that server if you log in from localhost, so you’d have to have my private keys and are prepared to do a lot of SSH inception to get very far. I have to forward the port with the reverse tunnel on the VPS to the remote machine, and then ssh into that port. It’s kind of a pain/kind of awesome.

I do the same with web-based administrative interfaces for services, even on my LAN. You can only access them remotely through tunnels, the exception being the Emby server, but that’s on a different NAT than what I give guests, and I’m not sure there is a way to stop it. The one really insecure thing on my home network is my NFS share, which accepts any IP address and has no other protection. That’s on the same private NAT as the media server, though, plus security by obscurity. Only people who know what NFS is and are specifically looking for it (and get on my private NAT with a password of 40 random characters) are going to find it.

Other than that, I only use syncthing for sync, have no IoT “things”. All my passwords for things that matter are randomly generated and stored in a keepass vault with a 30 character passphrase (the vault is only shared over syncthing), Browser doesn’t get to store my passwords. Cookies from all websites I visit are automatically destroyed when I leave the site, except those I whitelist (i.e. not Facebook, Google or Amazon). I still have JavaScript and Flash enabled, like an idiot.

I do the majority of my communication with friends and family over Telegram. I have a Facebook account that I never use, and what I do post (like, on a less-than-monthly basis) is all public to avoid the delusion that there is such a thing as privacy on facebook. I read things from G+ and Twitter, but I post, like, once a year. I don’t SMS much and call even less. I do email (with Gmail, no less), but I never use it for anything I wouldn’t want to be in the public record… anymore… (yikes!)

I use Arch Linux exclusively on all my PCs, so I know what’s happening in the background because I enabled all the services myself, and I don’t have any game consoles since the PS2, so I’m safe there. I also dabble with Ubuntu occasionally, and I kinda mostly trust it also. I even leave the ads turned on.

So, I’m pretty good in general, but pretty bad when it comes to my phone, which is probably the worst thing of all. Luckily, I’m moving to Europe in a few days, and I’ll be out of phone service for a bit, so I’ll have a chance to re-evaluate my habits with regards to the phone. I can’t completely give up navigation, though. New city, terrible sense of direction, too lazy to read maps (and not great at it anyway). Google is probably the scariest company on the planet if you think about it for more than a few seconds, but their ability to present helpful data at the right time and tailored to my terrifyingly specific needs is soooooo useful. When they give me route information about somewhere I was actually heading or remind me to pay my bills on time, I’m both freaked out and thankful.

P.S. Caring about any form of sports-ball is so not geek-chic. Some of you people are in danger of loosing your l33t h4x0r cred! Repent and get ye a calculator watch!

edit: holy balls. This was going to be a “short post.”


#13

Am I the only one not seeing the latest show in Google Music Podcasts?


#14

I still can’t check because “Podcasts are not available in your country”, but perhaps someone else can.


#15

Something about when @jonobacon was diminishing the concerns over networking light bulbs and @bryanlunduke says “are you screwing with me?” struck me as quite funny.


#16

It appears as expected for me. For those interested, here the link: https://goo.gl/app/playmusic?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Iddfgbebk6dkl3mbklt3tc36izy?t%3DBad_Voltage

–jeremy


#17

I was surprised to hear no mention of iPhone’s refusal to pair with Android over Bluetooth; the proprietary headphone protocol appears to be the same exact thing - a deliberate #$%^-you to everyone who has not paid Apple for the privilege of talking to their phones, tablets, etc. Is there really any dimension to this design other than money?


#18
  1. Yes, wires are pain. Whenever I lift something, or move my head, they get caught in something and the pop out, and I have to rewind my podcast.
  2. No, bluetooth is not the same. Bluetooth is such a pain to connect to on my iPhone. I have to go into settings. Yes, it’s bad because Apple makes it bad, but that doesn’t matter to those who are loyal to Apple. They will only experience a shift from something painful to something pleasant and think Apple has done it again.
  3. Apple is mostly a technology as fashion brand. And if you have white wired headphones, you will look outdated. People wont consider this consciously, they’ll just feel it. They’ll be bored and embarrassed with the old outdated wired phones, and want the new, pretty ones.

So this will be popular with both regular and rich people. Apple will make a lot of money. And music lovers will get to brag about how much better the audio is in their new lightening headphones (since they never used, nor will use, wireless) than in your analog mini jack headphones you use with your Android.


#19

Interesting. It’s there, even if I don’t follow your link and navigate myself to my podcasts.

But on my phone there’s nothing!


#20

To confirm, it also works as expected on a phone for me (Nexus 6P with Nougat).

–jeremy


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