GeekSpeak for 2016-05-11

Qubits Cause Podcast Cancer

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Miles is getting sheep, Lyle cuts grass with a scythe, Aussies share a great brain cancer study, podcasts are popular, game reviewer gaming the YouTube Content ID, and more geek news of the week.

Podcasts Surge, but Producers Fear Apple Isn’t Listening

Promotion within iTunes, which is still one of the only reliable ways to build an audience, particularly for a new show, is decided by a small team that fields pitches and does its own outreach. Interviews with people inside and outside the company make it clear that Apple’s small podcast team has been hearing — and assuaging — such concerns for years.

The question for podcasters — and for Apple — is about what comes next. Apple has at least two obvious choices: to rush to accommodate an industry that is quickly outgrowing its origins, or to let podcasting be, at the risk of losing its claim over a medium that owes its very name to the company.

A 29-Year Study Has Found No Link Between Brain Cancer and Cellphones

The study examines the incidence of brain cancer in the Australian population between 1982 to 2013. The study pitted the prevalence of mobile phones among the population—starting at 0 percent—against brain cancer rates, using data from national cancer registration data.

Game Critic Uses Brilliant Workaround For YouTube's Copyright Bullshit 

The problem is, Content ID is often abused by YouTubers who try to lay claim to footage that isn’t really theirs. It’s especially difficult to fight off Content ID claims from big companies, who may not be receptive to the woes of a smaller unknown channel. Fighting against a Content ID claim is also risky, because if the dispute isn’t resolved amicably, a channel may gain what is known as a “strike.” One strike is enough to strip a channel of certain YouTube privileges, annoyingly enough. Three strikes will cause YouTube to terminate your channel outright.

User ratings are unreliable, and we fail to account for that

User ratings are often a good way to make choices about a purchase, but they come with some inherent weaknesses. For a start, they suffer badly from sampling bias: the kind of person who writes a review isn’t necessarily a good representative of all people who bought the product. Review-writers are likely to be people who have had either a very positive or very negative response to a product. And often, only a few people rate a particular product. Like an experiment with a small sample size, this makes the average rating less reliable.

IBM opens first quantum computer cloud

On Wednesday, IBM scientists will make a quantum computer available to the public as a cloud service for the first time.

Though the cloud service is geared mostly toward scientists and students, anyone interested in this strange new computer will be able to give it a try, Jerry Chow, one of the scientists leading the project, tells Business Insider.

The IBM Quantum Experience represents the birth of quantum cloud computing, offering students, researchers, and general science enthusiasts hands-on access to IBM’s experimental cloud-enabled quantum computing platform, and allowing users to run algorithms and experiments, work with quantum bits (qubits), and explore tutorials and simulations around what might be possible with quantum computing. -IBM

The End of Prison Visitation

You may have heard of the prison industrial complex, but the companies that provide corrections facilities with their communications technologies are an industrial complex all their own. Three companies dominate the prison comms business: Securus, Telmate and Global Tel Link, also called GTL — the Verizon, AT&T and Sprint of jails.


Episode 19 of the 16th season.