TEH 030: Virtual Pollution

In This Episode: Yes, steam engines are tech, and this week’s special guest host shows her chops with them. Breach of the Week: your information can be lost even if you don’t do business with a company. You won’t believe who is doing closed captioning on videos. More on Github, and how did a STORK (the bird!) run up a huge phone bill?!

This Week’s Hosts

  • Leo Notenboom, “Chief Question Answerer” at tech education site Ask Leo!
  • Kevin Savetz, web site publisher and Computer Historian at Atari Podcast.
  • Quinn Dunki, game engineer and tinkerer at BlondiHacks.
  • Longer Bios on the Hosts page.

Show Notes

  • In the warmup, Kevin is interviewing more users for the Atari podcast, Leo spent a lot of time doing website work that no one will really care about, and Quinn made awesome stuff — like a steam engine in her garage, and “testing” the blow-off valve (video). Leo had a toy steam engine back in the day: photo. A bit of a discussion of steam engines and technology peaks followed, as well as Quinn’s upcoming prep work for the Kansas. We share our guilt and gratitude at looking up simple things we should know (like programming language syntax) since we can do that now online, making room for other things in our minds. The discussion also veers into programming languages we don’t need to know, and what good programmers are capable of.
  • Breach of the Week: a hotel booking service is breached. The take-away? You might be impacted by breaches at companies you’ve never heard of because they provide services to the service you do use. (Bleeping Computer) Similarly, Exactis exposes the records for 340 million U.S. Citizens — larger than the Equifax breach. (c|net) Quinn and Kevin share some hacking stories and social engineering examples.
  • Kevin says PornHub is beginning to close-caption some of its material, leading us to wonder whose job it is, will AI replace it, and what happens if you feed porn audio into Siri (Engadget).
  • Quinn asks about the Microsoft acquisition of GitHub, as we discussed in Episode 027. The ramifications are unknown, but we discuss some of the many risks associated with using cloud services. While there’s competition, you’re kind of locked in when you choose one. Cloud services are less risky in some ways compared to having your own servers in a data center, but Leo points out that you’re trading one type of risk for another (and, naturally, manages to work in backing up).
  • Kevin tells the story of a Polish environmental group that used a cell phone module to track the migration of a stork. But the stork got lost in the Sudan — and someone found the cell chip, put it in their phone, and ran up more than $2,600 in phone calls (AP).

1 Comment on “TEH 030: Virtual Pollution

  1. Finally got to listen to the episode while coming home from my trip, and it’s about time there was a nerdy woman on the show! Would love to have her back — especially when I’m there. She puts a lot of male geeks to shame: programmer, blogger, steam engines, welding, and that’s just the warm-up? She’s got the chops.


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