Digital Zone 293: The Perfect Poo

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In this edition of the Digital Zone, we talked about:

  • The Perfect Poo
  • City Councilman resigns in Klingon
  • HP slashing jobs in 2014
  • Bigger iPhones and iOS adoption
  • The NSA and Apple products
  • The Microsoft CEO search…continues
  • Top 10 most pirated movies of 2013
  • Banished words and phrases of 2013

Press the ‘PLAY’ button to listen to Digital Zone 293: The Perfect Poo

If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717.

In May 2012, Hewlett-Packard announced that it would be cutting about 27,000 jobs through fiscal year 2014 in a move expected to save the company as much as $3.5 billion. That number ticked up to 29,000 by July 2013. However, the company released its annual report and said they will be cutting an additional 5,000 jobs, for a total of 34,000 cuts by the end of fiscal 2014. As of the end of October 2013, HP employed 317,500 people. This is down from almost 350,000 in May 2012; by the time the layoffs are over, HP will have shed at least 10 percent of its total workforce. HP cites “continued market and business pressures” as the reason behind the creeping layoff numbers. HP’s 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission also shows that the company ended the year with a profit of $5.1 billion. HP lost about $12.6 billion in 2012, but made just over $7 billion in 2011.

Apple will reportedly launch bigger iPhones this year, with displays that measure both 4.7 and 5.7 inches diagonally, according to Chinese social network Weibo. The information apparently comes from unnamed Foxconn executives, who supposedly said that Apple will make a “one-time exception” this year by launching two new iPhones with bigger displays. The bigger iPhone models should also come with biometric features such as the Touch ID fingerprint scanner that’s already found in the current iPhone 5s flagship.

Apple’s iOS 7 launched in September and is now installed on 78 percent of all iPhones, iPads, and iPods, according to Apple. That leaves 18 percent for iOS 6 and 4 percent for earlier versions. The stats were measured by the App Store during the seven-day period ending this past Sunday. The new numbers show continuing growth for iOS 7. In mid-October, iOS 7 was installed on 64 percent of all iOS devices. And earlier in December, Apple’s App Store data noted 74 percent adoption.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717.

The Wall Street Journal wrote that unnamed sources say CEO candidates are worried about the potential influence of Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer, both of whom are likely to remain on the company’s board of directors even after the new CEO is chosen. Specifically, one source says that CEO candidates “know that part of what they are negotiating for is the level of engagement” that Gates and Ballmer will have with the company after they’re hired. The Journal’s sources also say that “some candidates for the top post at Microsoft seem to be particularly uneasy about Mr. Ballmer,” who has made “several recent decisions that have altered the company’s strategy and generated controversy among managers and investors.”

The NSA could access almost all data stored on an iPhone, including location, text messages and contact lists – including the ability to activate both microphone and camera, according to a presentation by security researcher Jacob Appelbaum at the Chaos Communication Conference in Hamburg, Germany. Appelbaum showed what he said were leaked NSA documents in which the agency claimed to have a “100 percent success rate” at installing spyware on iPhones. The documents date back to 2008, at which point the NSA needed physical access to an iPhone to install the spyware, but a remotely-installable version was said at the time to be in development. Even needing physical access to the phone was seemingly not a barrier to the NSA. An earlier leak described an NSA team known as Tailored Access Operations, whose job was to intercept technology shipments between supplier and customer in order to install spyware and reseal the packaging in a way that would be undetectable to the recipient. Reportedly the NSA could even install spyware in the firmware of hard drives, so that even reformatting the drive would not protect it. Appelbaum says it is unclear whether Apple cooperated in allowing the exploit on which the spyware relies. Either [the NSA] have a huge collection of exploits that work against Apple products, meaning they are hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce, and sabotaging them, or Apple sabotaged it themselves.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717.

According to TorrentFreak, here are the world’s 10 most pirated movies in 2013 based on “several sources,” which includes download statistics from public BitTorrent trackers.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 8.4 million downloads
Django Unchained: 8.1 million downloads
Fast and Furious 6: 7.9 million downloads
Iron Man 3: 7.6 million downloads
Silver Linings Playbook: 7.5 million downloads
Star Trek Into Darkness: 7.4 million downloads
Gangster Squad: 7.2 million downloads
Now You See Me: 7.0 million downloads
The Hangover Part 3: 6.9 million downloads
World War Z: 6.7 million downloads

Lake Superior State University’s 39th annual list of banished words:
— Selfie
— Twerk/twerking
— Hashtag
— Twittersphere
— Mr. Mom
— T-Bone
— On steroids
— -ageddon
— -pocalypse
— Intellectually/morally bankrupt
— Obamacare
— Adversity (as a sports reference)
— Fan base

If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717.

Dog owners are familiar with the sight of their dog sniffing, hovering, rotating, and then finally settling in to do their business. It may seem like quite a production, but the pup may actually be getting into proper alignment with the Earth’s magnetic field. A team of scientists is behind a new study published in Frontiers in Zoology and titled “Dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earth’s magnetic field.” The researchers started off by observing dog behaviors such as resting and feeding, but soon zeroed in on excreting as the main focus. The study concludes that, “Dogs preferred to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis under calm MF [magnetic field] conditions.” When the magnetic field isn’t calm, that directional behavior evaporates and the pooches aim any which way. The Earth’s magnetic field is only calm for about 20 percent of the daylight period, so you may have a hard time replicating the study’s findings with your own fuzzy test subject. The study shows a high level of dedication, with the researchers logging 1,893 dog-defecation observations using breeds ranging from beagles to mutts. The data was collected outside in open fields so dogs wouldn’t be biased by routines established during regular walks. The study reads, “alignment during excreting was apparent under conditions of quiet magnet field, irrespective of the time of day or month.” If the scientists’ discovery of magnetoreception in dogs holds up, then dogs could start to play a new role in research, perhaps even in the biomedical sector, the study suggests. It may also help impatient dog owners come to a new understanding of why it takes so long for their pet to complete their business.

It takes a special kind of politician to end his term by signing a resignation letter “chaq DaHjaj QaQ jaj paj.” That’s “maybe today is a good day (to) resign.” In Klingon. David Waddell, a city councilman for Indian Trail, N.C., decided to send his resignation letter to Mayor Michael Alvarez written in Klingon as an inside joke. The politician used the Klingon translator on in case the mayor wasn’t fluent in the well-known “Star Trek” language. In fact, Waddell didn’t just write his resignation using standard Klingon, he chose the beautiful, pointy-looking written Klingon language of Kronos.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Utah, please call or text me (Patrick Wiscombe) at (801) 874-7717.

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