Welcome to Bits & Bytes episode 3! Today is January 18 2015 and I am your host Jeff Weisbein! And today I’m joined by a very special guest, Mandy Wiltse aka ev aka my girlfriend.

Before we begin this week, I just want to say sorry to anyone who was expecting an episode of Bits & Bytes last week, I forgot to mention that I would be traveling and unable to record. But we’re here now so let’s dive into the show!

Take a listen! Of course, you can leave feedback here in the comments or tweet at me on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Bits & Bytes on iTunes!

Episode 3 Show Notes

I’m a happy New Yorker

– Governor Cuomo announced a new broadband initiative that will entice providers to meet the state’s new speed standard of at least 100 Mbps.

– In the past I wrote about how my Internet connection speed put me in the 1% of Internet users in the U.S. and how I felt that the government should step up and figure out a way to get ISP’s to provide better speeds to its customers.

– It’s increasingly important that people have access to high speed Internet. As new web services/products and Internet/tech companies emerge, the more devices we have in our house utilizing our Internet connection. Plus, services like Netflix require fast Internet to stream content at optimum quality and playback. Even YouTube benefits by having a fast Internet connection.

I had a brilliant idea this morning

So most weekend mornings, I wake up, make a bowl of cereal (usually Special K — don’t judge) and sit down and watch Law & Order reruns on TV. This morning, neither TNT or USA were playing Law & Order reruns, so I thought to myself… well, Netflix has some Law & Order episodes.

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And that’s when it hit me. I thought to myself, “MAN I WISH NETFLIX HAD A RANDOM EPISODE BUTTON!”

You know, so you could just click a show, click the randomly select button and it chooses an episode for you.

One of the reasons I like watching Law & Order reruns on weekend mornings is because they’re just on. I don’t have to think about what episode to watch, I turn on the TV and they’re on and then I get sucked in. So, Netflix if you’re listening, please make this happen.

Self-driving cars seem amazing, are they?

A report from Reuters says Chris Urmson, the director of the self-driving project, who says that Google has been chatting with car companies like General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Daimler, and Volkswagen about partnering up to bring self-driving cars to the roads.

The article also cites Jon Lauckner, the CTO at GM, who says that General Motors would be open to working with Google on the project.

Now, before self-driving cars become a real thing, a few questions need answers. Obviously there’s the regulatory and legislative questions, but to me, those are a bit boring so I’m going to skip those. There’s also questions of liability for when things go wrong, and questions of ethics in those same scenarios.

And as one of my senior writers, Brian Rubin pointed out, there’s also business ended questions. Will these cars be sold to individual owners? Will they exist as a fleet of on-demand car rentals, that simply ferry anyone and everyone to and from their destinations for a nominal fee? How will insurance work?

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Brian also made some excellent points about safety. And in case you weren’t aware in the thousands upon thousands of miles logged by Google’s own self-driving cars not one accident occurred.

Benefits of self-driving cars include many things, but perhaps the biggest three are that a computer can’t drive drunk, can’t be distracted by a cell phone, and can’t get road rage.

And then as Brian points out, on the other hand, human drivers can’t be hacked (though they can be influenced by alcohol and/or drugs). But even more true is that humans can’t contract computer viruses, leaving us with the question of: how well can self-driving cars be protected against threats like that?

Cool new website

ProductChart.com – easiest way to find the best smartphone, laptop, mp3 player, solid state drive, or flash drive.


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