GeekSpeak for 2014-10-25

Tesla's High Pressure Ads Fall from Space

A chat about electric cars, Verizon selling data to advertisers, BitTorrent sync and more week in geek news.

How Verizon’s Advertising Header Works | Web Policy

In short, Verizon is packaging and selling subscriber information, acting as a data broker on real-time advertising exchanges. Questionable. By default, the information appears to consist of demographic and geographic segments.2 If a user has opted into “Verizon Selects,” then Verizon also shares behavioral profiles built by deep packet inspection.

Catherine Rampell: Tesla runs into trouble, again - The Washington Post

To clarify, none of these states has explicitly singled out Tesla in legislative language; instead, they just require anyone wishing to sell a car to consumers to do so through an independent dealership. The middleman, you see, wants his cut.

Barometers in Phones

Atmospheric pressure sensors offer the chance to get a extraordinary density of pressure observations, which  provides the potential to describe small scale atmospheric structures.  Structures we need to know about if we are to predict key weather features like strong thunderstorms.

OS X Yosemite Sends Data to Apple :(

This repository provides a corpus of network communications automatically sent to Apple by OS X Yosemite; we’re using this dataset to explore how Yosemite shares user data with Apple.

Google Inbox

Years in the making, Inbox is by the same people who brought you Gmail, but it’s not Gmail: it’s a completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters.

Google Adds USB Security Keys To 2-Factor Authentication Options

Google today announced it is beefing up its two-step verification feature with Security Key, a physical USB second factor that only works after verifying the login site is truly a Google website. The feature is available in Chrome

How To Write Unmaintainable Code

In the interests of creating employment opportunities in the Java programming field, I am passing on these tips from the masters on how to write code that is so difficult to maintain, that the people who come after you will take years to make even the simplest changes. Further, if you follow all these rules religiously, you will even guarantee yourself a lifetime of employment, since no one but you has a hope in hell of maintaining the code. Then again, if you followed all these rules religiously, even you wouldn’t be able to maintain the code!

You don’t want to overdo this. Your code should not look hopelessly unmaintainable, just be that way. Otherwise it stands the risk of being rewritten or refactored.

The race to archive Twitpic before 800 million pictures vanish - The Globe and Mail

Right now, a collective of Internet archivists and programmers is trying to do the impossible: save more than 800 million pictures uploaded to the Twitter photo-sharing service Twitpic before they disappear down the memory hole after the company’s scheduled shutdown on October 25.

Snapchat will roll out its first ad in the U.S. this weekend

Snapchat announced plans to roll out its first advertisement to its users this weekend. The ad will appear in “Recent Updates” and will only be sent to U.S. users.

Alan Eustace Jumps From Stratosphere, Breaking Felix Baumgartner’s World Record

A well-known computer scientist parachuted from a balloon near the top of the stratosphere on Friday, falling faster than the speed of sound and breaking the world altitude record set just two years ago.

A piece of Apple history sells for $900,000

One of the few remaining examples of Apple Inc’s first pre-assembled computer, Apple-1, sold for $905,000 at an auction in New York on Wednesday, far outstripping expectations.

Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M

Social media site Ello is presented as the anti-Facebook, promising an ad-free social network, and that they won’t sell private data. Today, they’ve also announced that Ello has become a Public Benefit Corporation, and that the site’s anti-advertising promise has been enshrined in a corporate charter.

BitTorrent Performance Test

Now that its file synchronization tool has received a few updates, BitTorrent is going on the offensive against cloud-based storage services by showing off just how fast BitTorrent Sync can be. More specifically, the company conducted a test that shows Sync destroys Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive, and Dropbox.

Nissan Leaf

In this episode I chat a bit about my new Nissan Leaf and how I love driving an electric car.

Nissan Leaf - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You can read some of the stats about the Nissan Leaf from Wikipedia. Including this factoid about the environmental impact of the car:
bq. In February 2014, the Automotive Science Group (ASG) published the result of a study conducted to assess the life-cycle of over 1,300 automobiles across nine categories sold in North America. The study found that among advanced automotive technologies, the Nissan Leaf holds the smallest life-cycle environmental footprint of any model year 2014 automobile available in the North American market with minimum four person occupancy. The study concluded that the increased environmental impacts of manufacturing the battery electric technology is more than offset with increased environmental performance during operational life. For the assessment, the study used the average electricity mix of the U.S. grid in 2014.