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NC #609 CES Fun, Akoustic Arts Directional Audio, Belkin, Kwikset Premis Locks, Luma Mesh Router, Security Bits

Steve and I are back from CES with tales of adventure. We’ve got interviews with Akoustic Arts who are developing a highly directional audio antenna, Belkin with a Thunderbolt dock and more, Kwikset with their HomeKit-enabled locks called Premis, and Luma with their mesh routers. After that we have an installment of Security Bits with Bart Busschots.


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mp3 downloadHi this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Mac Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Macintosh bias. Today is Sunday January 8, 2017 and this is show number 609. Steve and I are back from four days of CES, and it was fantastic. I’m not even exhausted, I’m energized! I’ll tell you a bit about the show and the fun people we met, then we’ll have four interviews from the show. We like to parse these out a few at a time instead of barraging you with a zillion all at once. The interviews will be in audio here, but if you want to watch the videos Steve produces, those will all be in blog posts over on podfeet.com. I do want to acknowledge how hard he works on these. He carries all of the equipment, records the videos, separates out the audio files, produces the polished videos on YouTube and creates the blog posts. I’m pretty much the on air talent, and that’s about it!

Anyway, after the interviews this week we’ll have Bart Busschots with an edition of Security Bits.

CES

Steve and I drove to Vegas for CES on Tuesday and went to press events for the couple days before the show really opens. We get to go to these miniature show floors, with maybe 100 vendors and close up access to them. Some are better than others, but it’s where we get our best interviews.

We also love CES because we get to hang out with a bunch of good friends, like Dave Hamilton, Jeff Gamet and Bryan Chaffin of the Mac Observer, and Chuck Joiner of Mac Voices.

Allison, Dave Hamilton, Chuck Joiner & Steve
Allison, Dave Hamilton, Chuck Joiner & Steve

Tom Merritt was also at CES and he did Daily Tech News Show from his hotel room. He had Scott Johnson on the Hangout on Air, but then had me and Raj Deut from The Reckoner sitting on the couch next to him (on pillows) for part of the show. Then he swapped us out and had Shannon Morse of Hak5 and Patrick Norton of TekThing take our places.

Raj Deut, Allison, Tom Merritt doing DTNS
Raj Deut, Allison, Tom Merritt doing DTNS

The best part of that for me was after we were on the air, Steve and I had lunch with Patrick Norton. I’ve been a fan since his days on the ScreenSavers on TechTV. I expected him to be intelligent and informed and funny, what I didn’t realize was what a kind and considerate man he is. It was a joy to meet and hang out with him.

Allison & Patrick Norton
Allison & Patrick Norton

We got to meet some other people I’ve always wanted to meet. Mikah Sargent of Mobile Nations and I have been on Clockwise there times together and always have a blast, so I was thrilled when I was walking through an event and I heard him holler out “Allison!” He was easily as delightful in person as he is on the air. Even better, I’ve booked him for next week’s Chit Chat Across the Pond to talk about the differences between Siri and Alexa and how we feel about them. Should be a blast.

Steve, Allison & Mikah Sargent
Steve, Allison & Mikah Sargent

Good friend of the show Shai Yammannee’s wife Jess Lane was working a booth for a company called PAI and we snuck over to see her and did a fantastic interview you’ll hear later. It was cool to surprise her there and know she was teasing Shai that she’s more geeky than he is because she’s been to two CESs and one Comicon and he hasn’t! She applied for honorary NosillaCastaway status and her application has been accepted.

Allison, Jess Lane & Steve
Allison, Jess Lane & Steve

We ran into Chad Johnson and Dick DeBartolo of TWiT and had a fun time chatting. Dick doesn’t remember me from each time we meet but Chad has been on the show and he was delightful. He’s still got that crazy red clown hair but he’s grown up and bought a house and gardens and cooks. He was troubled by his grup status but had come to peace with it.

Chad Johnson, Allison, Dick DeBartolo, Steve
Chad Johnson, Allison, Dick DeBartolo, Steve

Then we ran into Raj Deut again when he dragged over Peter Wells from Daily Tech News Show as well. They’re both from Australia so it was a rare treat to get to meet them in person.

Allison, Steve, Peter Wells, Raj Deut
Allison, Steve, Peter Wells, Raj Deut

Another treat of the show was meeting Joe LaGreca. You may remember him from a recent review and many contributions over the past couple of years. We hung out with him a lot on the actual show floor and had a great time geeking out with him. Steve and I mentioned at one point that we were looking for the NASA booth, hoping to get an update on the Space Launch System. Joe pinged us to tell us he’d found them, so even though we were 3/4ths of a mile away (CES is HUGE), we hoofed it down there.

Sadly the guys were closing up but we started bothering a guy named Bob Floyd. He was really interesting and seemed so excited still to keep talking about what they do at NASA. I suggested we go get a beer, and after a bit of arm twisting I talked him into it. Joe, Steve, Bob and I hung out for over an hour while Steve picked his brain and discussed things like capturing asteroids and bringing them into a cis-lunar orbit. Steve was in absolute heaven and Bob couldn’t have been more fun.

Bob Floyd, Steve, Allison, Joe LaGreca
Bob Floyd, Steve, Allison, Joe LaGreca

Two things disappointed me about CES. The first is that we went out of our way to travel to the Sands convention center about two miles away just so we could go to what they called the “Accessibility Marketplace”. It was a joke. There were about a dozen booths, and mostly junk I wouldn’t give the time of day. We did get an interview with a hearing aid manufacturer which was pretty interesting but other than that it was a complete bust.

The other disappointing thing about CES is how little exercise I get. While everyone else is complaining about how much walking they have to do, I actually get less than what I do on a normal day! I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot more standing but at home I get 15-19K steps a day when I’m at home, but at CES I was getting more like 10-13K steps. At least I ate and drank a lot to make up for it!

Chit Chat Across the Pond

In Chit Chat Across the Pond this week, Bart is back with a much lighter lesson on Programming By Stealth. He introduces us to HTML forms. These are how you allow users to interact with your website. I’ve been itching to get into this so it was a lot of fun. He also backed up a bit on our homework, giving us some simple and easy tasks to accomplish in order to reinforce our skills through repetition.

I say “simple and easy” as in “only took me three hours to do the first one, but I DID the first one, all by myself. That’s huge. I sent it off to Bart and Jill for some pitty pat pat on my little punkin’ head and Jill found some conditions I hadn’t tested for, which let me go back and fix my code for more error correction. I have managed to break the entire thing so that’ll be fun to fix again. Anyway, check out the latest episode in your podcatcher of choice, or you can find it at podfeet.com.

Live Chat is Now Secure

I talk about the live show every week, and one of the fundamental pieces of it that makes it super fun is that the live audience gets to chat with each other and with me using a very old technology called IRC, or Internet Relay Chat. A while ago I decided to host my own chat server. It’s been working great, and you can get to it from a client or via the web interface at podfeet.com/live.

That was pretty cool, but then Joe LaGreca challenged us to make it a secure interface for user login. For most people they just choose a silly nickname, and there’s no login but for Steve and me as moderators, making this SSL became a priority. Bart and I spent an hour or two working on it (mostly Bart but he let me type) and we now have secure chat at chat.podfeet.com.

We even added a very light web server. I’m not going to do much there, but when people hear “chat.podfeet.com” they might think they can type that into a browser and have it be the chat room. It’s actually the url you tell your IRC client to go to in order to talk to the chat server. But by adding a tiny web page, I can explain that in the html and direct them on how to get to the right place.

Anyway, it was fun setting this up with Bart and I want to also thank Joe for pushing me to do it.

Patreon and Amazon

This show is supported by you, with no advertising. There’s two ways you can help. The easiest way that’s zero cost is to go to podfeet.com/amazon when you want to buy something on Amazon. Anything you purchase in that session will send a small percentage to help the show.

If you’re feeling flush and could afford a dollor or two a month and you think the show provides you that much value, you can go to podfeet.com/patreon and sign up to be a patron of the show. I want to give a special shoutout to Philip from Australia for joining the ranks of patrons of the NosillaCast. We actually met Philip when we went to Australia with MacMania and you couldn’t hope to meet a nicer guy. Good sense of humor too!

Blog Posts

CES 2017: Acoustic Arts Highly Directional Speakers

CES 2017: Kwikset Premis HomeKit Smart Lock

CES 2017: Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock & More

CES 2017: Luma Home Mesh Router

Security Bits

Important Security News

  • AT&T have announced a free network-based service to give subscribers control over unwanted calls – hailed as a positive step in tackling phone-based scams – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/… & www.macobserver.com/…
  • European Court of Justice rules Britain’s Snooper’s charter unlawful (“general and indiscriminate”) – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/…
  • US House Judiciary Committee report finds that encryption back doors are ‘against the national interest’, but also sends out some mixed messages – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/… & www.macobserver.com/…
  • Nook 7 tablet updated to remove ADUPS backdoor, but still vulnerable to Stage Fright – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/…
  • Despite much criticism since first proposing the move last June, US Customs and Border Patrol have gone ahead and updated the forms foreigners fill in when applying to enter the US to include social media profiles – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/…
  • Apple have posted their public GPG key on their support site, and encourage users to use it to verify that emails really are from Apple – www.macobserver.com/…
  • Research finds that the common-sense intuition that real-name policies online lead to less harassment are wrong, and actually, the inverse is true – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/…
  • Intego warn of Denial of Service scams being emailed to Mac users – www.intego.com/…
  • Ransomware takes another new turn – deleting misconfigured MongoDB databases and extorting money to get them back (previously misconfigured MongoDB databases were a big cause of data leaks) – arstechnica.com/…
  • The report on US election interference by Russia commissioned by President Obama has been released (there are two versions, a public version with much detail removed, and a highly classified version with all the details in) – arstechnica.com/…
  • RELATED – US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has officially designated US election systems as ‘critical infrastructure’ – arstechnica.com/…
  • PSA – if you run a website, you need to check if your code, or any of the apps you have installed on your website, or any plugins to those apps, use PHPMailer – a nasty zero-day bug has been found in this popular open source library. Expect a lot of updates to PHP-based apps and plugins over the next few days and weeks, and apply them promptly – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/…

Notable Breaches

Suggested Reading

Palate Cleanser:

  • The Chart of Cosmic Exploration – a big poster showing the paths of all our spacecraft through the solar system – www.popchartlab.com/…

That’s going to wind this up for this week. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at allison@podfeet.com, follow me on twitter @podfeet. Remember, everything good starts with podfeet.com/. podfeet.com/patreon, podfeet.com/facebook, podfeet.com/googleplus, podfeet.com/amazon! And if you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

4 thoughts on “NC #609 CES Fun, Akoustic Arts Directional Audio, Belkin, Kwikset Premis Locks, Luma Mesh Router, Security Bits

  1. Philip From Australia - January 17, 2017

    Hi Allison,

    I’ve been travelling (about Oz, sorry), and am behind. Just heard this podcast…

    I never met you here in Australia. I never got to do a Mac Mania cruise (sigh).

    We met at the penultimate Macworld Expo. I was going to go to the one 2 years after that, was just waiting for the date, when it was stopped.

    Oh well…

    How was the wine?

    Philip

  2. Allison Sheridan - January 17, 2017

    Oh wow! Then who was that nice Australian guy from Leo’s meetup before the cruise? But now I remember you properly (because of the wine!)

  3. Philip from Australia - January 17, 2017

    So, I’m not nice and funny? 😉

  4. Allison Sheridan - January 18, 2017

    Well of course you are, Philip! I went back through my photos to try and remember who it was on the cruise. It was Doug Ingraham. You guys should meet. And be nice and funny together.

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