[02-08-17] The WGAN Morning News
Joining Ken and Ande talking about the Super Bowl tech half-time performance by Lady Gaga with the drones, and why it wasn’t flown live on the day of the event.
Also, an update on the Privacy Bill that the House of Representatives passed, how this can work for the people.
The Super Bowl halftime show drones weren’t flying live
Intel unveils a drone made for aerial light shows
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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 02/08/2017
Super Bowl Tech – House Passed Privacy Bill – Jeff Sessions Nomination
Ken Altshuler: It’s 7:38 on the WGAN morning news. Ken Altshuler, Matt Gagnon has a day off. Ande Smith sitting in for him and as we do every Tuesday. At this time we welcome in our Tech Guru, Craig Peterson. Good morning Craig. How are you?
Craig Peterson: Hey good morning. Doing really well.
Ken: Well I’m sure you enjoy…
Ande Smith: Coz he’s not driving in Portland, I think.
Ken: It’s because he’s…
Craig: Well I just got over the flu so man, do I feel good.
Ken: Well I certainly hope that Sunday you were able to watch the game despite your fluness.
Craig: Yeah. What a game eh? You know I’m not a big sports fan. I’m one of those geek-type guys. But I watched it and I didn’t regret watching it. I almost, almost lasted about half-time after the whole Lady Gaga thing.
Ken: I did saw drinking at the half-time. But I didn’t stop watching it. And my drinking was fortuitous because it numbed just long enough to see the greatest comeback in history. There were some tech issues that were in the Super Bowl. Can you tell us about the tech issues that came up in the Super Bowl?
Craig: Yeah. There were a couple of interesting things. First of all, talking about Lady Gaga. You know, you saw her at the beginning of her performance. She looked like she was standing on top of the stadium. And behind her was, you know, the American flag. All of these stuff all lit up. I’m just, I’m sorry to disappoint everyone but that was fake news. That actually did not happen. The FAA refused to allow them a permit to fly zones over the stadium. Absolutely refuse them. I can see why. The vice president was there certainly. But in addition to that, any of those drones could have fallen to the ground. And yes indeed there were drones. There were about 300 of them and they were controlled by a single person but they flew the week before the Super Bowl. So that’s really kind of a very, very big deal. So she was not up on there. That was also pre-recorded. Her opening number was pre-recorded. It looks like they superimposed her in front of the drones because if you noticed she looked, I noticed all of these stuff by the way, right? Talking about a geek. If you noticed, she looked back at the flag. But she didn’t look back far enough. She only looked about 45 degrees over and the flag was supposedly behind her that was made with all of these drones. It’s really cool. It’s brand new technology that our friends over at Disney now have been using for the last few months. It’s called Shooting Stars. And it’s designed to allow a single person to control a really kind of a whole drone airshow. And this is a new business for Intel. Intel of course now, they’re doing well. They still have the best big processors out there. But they’re losing ground big time and fast. Now people aren’t buying PCs anymore. It was down 6% year over year last year. So that means there’s not as many Intel processors being used for PCs. People are buying tablets, they’re buying smartphones. Whether you’re an
Android fan or an Apple fan, neither one of them are using Intel CPUs in their devices. So Intel’s doing a little branching out and I thought it was really cool.
These quadricopters are very neat. This technology bodes well by the way. Think about right now, look at our weather here in Portland. We’ve got a nasty night. And I don’t know Ken if you knew this Ande, but for 10 years I was a volunteer paramedic. And as such we would see people, older people who had mental issues and they would walk outside. They would wander around. They’d be in the woods and every year unfortunately a few people die from exposure like we’d have today if someone was outside. Think of a whole army of these drones going out trying to find people. Trying to find people that might be lost climbing the mountain, you know, the presidential range or wherever. People who are just having mental issues, who are wandering out there. This type of technology is going to save lives. And on the other side of the coin, the other edge of the sword, is a military application as well. But it was a great game. They used some great tech. They had tech also that was being used to try to keep everyone there safe. I didn’t know this, coz I’ve never gone right? But apparently this whole Super Bowl thing is a 10 day event. They had a whole huge area set up outside the Super Bowl with massive display ad things going on. And they had set up infrared cameras, regular cameras. All being monitored and watched by artificial intelligence to try and find people that are trying to sneak around. The tech there was crazy.
Ande: Yeah. No doubt about that though. You know it’s funny we talked about those drones and people should grin that maybe it wasn’t live the way it appeared. I think we forget when the Chinese hosted the Olympics. They faked the fireworks show that went off over the top. At least these drones were flying at some point in time.
Craig: At some time.
Ande: Right. But hey Craig, I was gonna ask you. It’s funny you talked about surveillance that was used there and I think that technology is somewhat old and had but yesterday, I don’t know if you caught this, but in the US House of Representatives, they voted to modify an old law way back in ’86. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act that changes how people can get an email. I don’t think that many people understand that under the old law, if the federal government want to go to the cloud where many people’s email is and get a hold of, say your email that was greater than a 180 days old, all they had to do is get a subpoena. Which is crazy.
Craig: Ande, you’re right. Yeah, yeah. You’re absolutely right. Yeah, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act made some assumptions coz technology keeps changing, right? So let’s roll back the clock and turn on the way back machines sound effects and think about what was happening then. Back then we used a protocol on our mail devices that downloaded all of the emails from the server on to our computer. And that’s how we read email. So back then when they passed the ECPA, it was designed to say hey listen. If you did not pick up your email within 90 days, it was considered abandoned. So it was kinda like the abandoned property that the police would have or at your local Walmart or Target store right? It’s up for grabs at that point. Today things are a lot different. Now we’re using different protocols. People expect privacy in their emails. Expect privacy in their electronic communications. So the House passes bills as quick as can be. And that bill says, hey listen. You have to have a court order. You have to go through the whole process now in order to gain access to that email. What’s interesting is the House passes a similar bill to this during President Obama’s administration and it got killed in the senate. The Republican-controlled senate. Do you know who the backer was for killing the bill in the senate?
Craig: This bill on privacy? This guy, I don’t know if you heard about him before. Jeff Sessions.
Craig: Jeff Sessions. Now, this Jeff, Ken, I thought that might…
Craig: Because of course Jeff Sessions right now is up. His nomination is being heard. And Jeff Sessions is also the guy that says we need to have “adult conversation” about security.
Ande: Well you know it’s funny. Ken really likes Jeff Sessions. So you may have knocked him down a notch here but you know the process of getting a warrant as you point out for this is not a huge legal hurdle. At least then you’ve got to make some kind of showing in front of a court kinda like Ken does when he’s breaking up marriages. But a subpoena is way too low a bar and it’s interesting that Jeff Sessions has been a real, I’d say, a hot on the idea of compromising in the balance between privacy and national security. He comes down hard on the national security side traditionally.
Craig: Yeah. And me being, the libertarian in me comes out and says hey listen. I don’t like that. So you know, we have this balance of interest. And Jeff Sessions, and as you’ve pointed out, has always come down on the side of we’re the government, we’re here to help. Let us help you by giving us access to everything. And that’s what he’s been saying for a very long time. So he opposed this in the senate last time. President Obama dramatically increased the surveillance state from what President Bush had. Of course all of those laws, most of those laws anyways, had been in place since just after 911. And I’m concerned that Jeff Sessions is going to dramatically increase those surveillance authority if you will. These star-chamber proceedings. These secret courts that the federal government has to go after things. I like the fact that the House just passed this law. I like the fact that bar has been raised. I like that a lot. And I really hope the senate’s going to pass it because the potential problems here of having backdoors into our encryption, which is what Jeff Sessions is really wanting are incredible. The NSA just 3 weeks ago, all of their tools they use for spying on people. All of the tools the NSA, the National Security Agency uses to break into bad guys’ systems, foreign governments etcetera, were stolen again and are for sale right now to anyone who pays the bad guys $800,000. How are they gonna keep the backdoors safe? How are they gonna keep the backdoors secret when they can’t even keep their emails secret? Let alone the tools they use to hack us?
Ande: I wouldn’t throw the rock just at Jeff Sessions. I mean this has been an issue that’s raged in congress for a long time. And really came to the forefront I think after the Snowden leaks when we understood what these huge data centers in Utah were all about. But it’s a hard thing for us to grapple with it and I don’t necessarily think the mature conversation that was called for was about us swallowing a pill. I don’t think the outcome has to be that we swallow the pill and we have to give up our privacy. I think that’s a mistake for us to assume that. But it is time for a big conversation on that.
Craig: We do. We need to have an intelligent, open conversation. You’re absolutely right Ande. Ken, thanks.
Ken: Craig Peterson. http://CraigPeterson.com by the way. You wanna get his newsletter, which is always great and informative. Thanks Craig. We’ll talk to you next week and have a great weekend.
Craig: Take care gentlemen.
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