In This Episode: Will the U.S. government nationalize the 5G network? Probably not. Celebs/politicians buy Twitter followers to look more important. How to tell Google to stop showing you ads and articles that don’t actually interest you. Online memes can be valuable. HomePod, and more on Spectre.
This Week’s Hosts
- Randy Cassingham, founder of This is True and the Internet Spam Primer.
- Leo Notenboom, “Chief Question Answerer” at tech education site Ask Leo!
- Kevin Savetz, web site publisher and Computer Historian at Atari Podcast.
- Gary Rosenzweig host and producer of MacMost, and mobile game developer at Clever Media.
- Longer Bios on the Hosts page.
- Gary wonders if the Trump Administration really wants to nationalize the 5G network. It doesn’t make sense to us, but that was the big scare headline from the last couple of days. Here’s an example from USA Today, but all of the stories seem to be based on a leaked memo that Axios got hold of. (Axios is a news site founded by one of the founders of Politico.)
- Randy mentioned the two-way radio replacement for First Responders called FirstNet, or the First Responder Network Authority, which Congress appropriated $7 billion (and 20 MHz of spectrum) for in 2012. All 50 states (and 6 U.S. territories) have opted in to use the system, according to the FirstNet web site.
- A list of chip fabs on Wikipedia does show a number of fabs (semiconductor chip manufacturing plants) do operate in the U.S.
- Kevin reports that people are buying Twitter followers?! Say it ain’t so! But it makes celebs and politicians look more prominent if they have lots of followers, even if they’re fake. (New York Times)
- Leo notes exactly where you can see what Google thinks you’re interested in — for purposes of pitching you ads and articles: https://adssettings.google.com. Why? Because you can fine-tune the topics, removing those Google thinks you want to see but don’t, and adding others you’d like to see more of.
- Randy notes Grumpy Cat won a big lawsuit against a coffee beverage company. News outlets (e.g., Business Insider) said all but $1 of the $710,001 award was for copyright infringement, but with some research, we found that’s not true. The award actually breaks down this way: $230,000 for copyright infringement, $480,000 for trademark infringement, and $1 for breach of contract.
- You can see the also-often-infringed-on product Randy mentioned, his Get Out of Hell Free cards.
- Gary reports Apple’s $349 HomePod is finally on sale — Apple’s first new product since the Apple Watch. More from Tidbits.
- Intel admits its Spectre patch isn’t quite ready for prime time. Leo gives his recommendations on What To Do, and here’s an article from ZDnet.