14 Year Olds Driving Cars – Knee-Jerk Reaction to 9/11 Leads to Germanwings Crash – Shownotes March 28, 2015

France Is Letting 14-Year-Olds Drive an Electric Car

Beg your parents to buy you a Renault Twizy, a $7,600 “car” that 14-year-olds can now legally drive.

The Twizy is a quadricycle, a 1,000-pound, two-seat electric car meant for zipping around cramped European cities. It’s designed to be a safer alternative to bicycles and scooters for the urban set, sporting a 13-horsepower electric motor and enough batteries to take you 60 miles at a maximum speed of 50 mph.


Andreas Lubitz: Knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 enabled mass murder

[I’ve been saying this for more than a decade. We may be up to 3 crashes caused by our stupidity.]

Andreas Lubitz used his expertise to lock the captain out of the flight deck of the Airbus A320. He knew that the procedures implemented since 11 September 2001 enabled someone on the flight deck to take total control.

After the terrorist attacks, airlines began to install reinforced doors. Costing hundreds of thousands of pounds each, they are intruder-proof and bullet-proof. The system includes a keypad that is intended to allow authorized crew to enter the flight deck if the pilots become incapacitated. But a promotional video made by Airbus demonstrates how easy it is to deny access even to fellow crew who know the emergency code.


Exclusive: TSA’s Secret Behavior Checklist to Spot Terrorists

Fidgeting, whistling, sweaty palms. Add one point each. Arrogance, a cold penetrating stare, and rigid posture, two points.

The checklist ranges from the mind-numbingly obvious, like “appears to be in disguise,” which is worth three points, to the downright dubious, like a bobbing Adam’s apple. Many indicators, like “trembling” and “arriving late for flight,” appear to confirm allegations that the program picks out signs and emotions that are common to many people who fly.


Media Giants Are Ready to Publish Inside Facebook’s Walls. Will They Ever Get Out?

As the late David Carr poetically wrote when first breaking the news of Facebook’s publishing plans in October, “For publishers, Facebook is a bit like that big dog galloping toward you in the park. More often than not, it’s hard to tell whether he wants to play with you or eat you.”


Is Internet Addiction a Real Thing?

Is it possible for someone to actually be addicted to the Internet? I mean, we all love our phones, and maybe I check mine whenever it buzzes, but is that the same as being addicted to alcohol or drugs? I’ve heard of people being so addicted to video games that they forgot to eat or feed their kid. How much of it is real psychology and how much is technophobic hype?


Tim Cook Named ‘World’s Greatest Leader,’ Reflects on Leading Post-Jobs Era at Apple

Cook brings a different leadership style to Apple, placing more trust in others instead of being as impulsive and manipulative as Jobs often was. The results have been favorable, as Apple has grown to become the world’s most valuable company during the three-and-a-half years since Cook took over the helm.


Arrogant? Facebook unveils platform to integrate third-party apps, customer support for businesses into Messenger


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Netflix Popularity/TV Down – Apple Research Kit Good, Bad and Evil – Show Notes for March 14, 2015

Americans are moving faster than ever away from traditional TV

More homes have turned to online video with 40 percent of U.S. homes subscribing to a streaming service such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or Hulu.


Netflix is now in 36% of homes across the United States

Nielsen’s 2014 Total Audience Report confirms what many already assumed: Americans are becoming more enamored with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.


New-Age Bootstrapping Is Not A Money Problem, It’s A Product Opportunity

The tendency for entrepreneurs is to build big products. The problem with big, feature-rich products is that they take substantial time and money.


Stanford’s ResearchKit app gained more users in 24 hours than most medical studies find in a year

At least a few thousand people are interested enough in Apple’s new ResearchKit framework to participate in a medical study.


Apple’s Researchkit Could Be Gold Mine for Hackers

Apple earlier this week announced ResearchKit, an open source framework that will let medical and health researchers gather data through iPhone apps. ResearchKit will be released in April. Millions of users provide a huge attractor.


Cortana Could Edge Out Siri, Google Now

Microsoft later this year will offer its Cortana personal assistant as a standalone app for iOS and Android devices. The engine behind Cortana is “arguably better than [Siri or Google Now]”


State Department announces temporary computer system outage

The State Department announced a temporary outage Friday to upgrade its computer system. A statement from Jen Psaki, the department’s spokeswoman, announced the “short, planned outage” as a means…


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Sony Hack, Facebook Thinks You’re a Product, Artificial Intelligence

Sony Hack…

Sony Hacked

In 2007, Sony’s executive director of information security (Jason Spaltro) said in an interview that he wasn’t willing to put up a lot of money to defend the company’s sensitive information. He also talked about how he convinced a security auditor, a year before in
2006, that the company’s use of very weak passwords wasn’t such a big deal.

“It’s a valid business decision to accept the risk I will not invest $10 million to avoid a possible $1 million loss.” Tens of millions lost already from stolen movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy.

It will be the lawsuits that will be the big deal. Top-billed film stars, movie theaters, retail chains and streaming services all
stand to lose out on something if people download Annie and Fury, he said.


Are You a Product or a Client?

According to Apple, if You Use Facebook, You’re a Product and Have No Right to Privacy. Mark Zuckerberg defends free Facebook, fires back at Apple and Ello.


Artificial intelligence eventually could bring about mankind’s demise

renowned physicist Stephen Hawking said in an interview published earlier this week.

Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and futurist Ray Kurzweil all share a vision of autonomous artificial intelligence that will begin evolving and adding capabilities at a rate that we mere humans can’t keep up with.

It is a nightmare scenario, and probably will have truth to it in the 2030 time frame.


How far should the NSA go to get our private information?

The NSA is spying on the internal emails of cellphone companies employees to determine security weaknesses. The NSA is also trying to get around newer and stronger cellphone encryption technologies.

Quite apart from the ethical considerations, security experts consider these NSA efforts as dangerous — because if the NSA finds a flaw in a technology without alerting its makers to fix it, it means anyone else could exploit the flaw too.


Google for Kids

Beginning next year, Google plans to create specific versions of its most popular products for those 12 and younger. Email, search, and YouTube could lead the charge.

Good, or bad for our kids?


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Are Black Friday Deals Worth It? Here’s What I’ve Found Around the Internet…

If last year’s Sales were any example, we are looking for some great deals this Black Friday! But.. the best sales were almost all online, and they were such great sales that they weren’t repeated all year! So far this year, current discounts we’ve found:

JCPenney: 65.44%  Macy’s: 53.52%  Rite Aid: 53.34%  Meijer: 50.85%  Sears: 50.19%  Walgreens: 46.74%   OfficeMax: 43.89%  Ace Hardware: 41.01%  Kohl’s: 39.89%  Staples: 38.56%



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Apple’s Ability to Innovate is On The Way Out – Insider

Yukari Iwatani Kane has published so many Apple (AAPL) scoops in the Wall Street Journal, including the 2009 story about Steve Jobs‘ secret liver transplant, that her new book due March 18th is likely to carry some serious clout.  And she’s not reporting much good news this time, either.

She’s written a book about Apple’s prospects without Jobs at the helm. When she started, she thought that if any company had a chance to survive the death of its powerful co-founder, Apple did. She doesn’t think that anymore, as her piece in the current New Yorker illustrates:

When Jobs was ousted in 1985, the impact of his absence on Apple’s business was not immediately obvious. After a slow start, Macintosh sales began rising. Two years after Jobs left, Apple’s annual sales had almost doubled compared to three years earlier, and its gross profit margin was an astonishing fifty-one per cent. Outside appearances suggested that Apple hadn’t missed a beat.

Inside Apple, employees knew differently. Something had changed. “I was let down when Steve left,” Steve Scheier, a marketing manager at Apple from 1982 to 1991, recalled. “The middle managers, the directors, and the vice presidents kept the spirit alive for a long time without his infusion, but eventually you start hiring people you shouldn’t hire. You start making mistakes you shouldn’t have made.” Scheier told me that he eventually grew tired and left. The company had “become more of a business and less of a crusade.”…

So what about now? Apple’s supporters point to the company’s billions of dollars in quarterly profit and its tens of billions in revenue as proof that it continues to thrive. But Apple’s employees again know differently, despite the executive team’s best efforts to preserve Jobs’s legacy. People who shouldn’t be hired are being hired (like Apple’s former retail chief, John Browett, who tried to incorporate big-box-retailer sensibilities into Apple’s refined store experience). People who shouldn’t leave are leaving, or, in the case of the mobile-software executive Scott Forstall, being fired.

Mistakes, in turn, are being made: Apple Maps was a fiasco, and ads, like the company’s short-lived Genius ads and last summer’s self-absorbed manifesto ad, have been mediocre. Apple’s latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 7, looks pretty but is full of bugs and flaws. As for innovation, the last time Apple created something that was truly great was the original iPad, when Jobs was still alive. Although the company’s C.E.O., Tim Cook, insists otherwise, Apple seems more eager to talk about the past than about the future. Even when it refers to the future, it is more intent on showing consumers how it hasn’t changed rather than how it is evolving. The thirtieth anniversary of the Macintosh—and the “1984” ad—is not just commemorative. It is a reminder of what Apple has stopped being.

Pretty devastating piece. We’ll see how things go.  With a new CEO at Microsoft’s helm and an un-battle tested CEO at Apple’s helm we’re in for another showdown.

Yukari Iwatani Kane’s book is titled Haunted Empire: Apple after Steve Jobs and is due March 18.  It’s available by pre-order from Amazon and Apple’s iBookstore (irony?)


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