Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss the US Army’s plan to microwave drones out of the sky, Lenovo’s Google Assistant display, Alexa Cast, a partner eliminating gaps between streaming songs, Alexa Answer Update, social media is losing users, and more.
Matt in Marshall, Texas listens on KTBB asked: “You said earlier on the show that Apple is fixing to become the first trillion dollar company. I heard on another show last night that Google already hit the trillion dollar mark. Is that true, or not?”
Google, or rather it’s parent company Alphabet, has not yet reached that milestone. However it has come close.
According to market cap data from Macrotrends, Alphabet’s value has been pretty steadily rising over the last 10 years. Back on July 26th, they reached their highest ever value at about $964 Billion. As of earlier this week, they were back down to only about $928 Billion. Boo-hoo.
And Apple must be doing something right. Just 10 years ago, the company was worth about $66 billion. In a decade, they were able to hit a trillion. So, like their products or not, as a business – they don’t seem to be hurting. Of course, part of that is probably because they charge over $1,000 for an iPhone X!
Both companies market capitalizations are pretty much the equivalent of saying “infinity” anyway, and they are the reason those companies can try ridiculous things like self-driving cars and spaceship-shaped campuses and if it goes wrong, oh well.
At the other end of the spectrum you have MoviePass which current has a market capitalization that, if you own a house you’re probably worth more than they are. Tech is not exactly homogenous these days.
Sally in Carey, North Carolina listens on NewsRadio 680 WPTF and asked: “The question I have concerns the Skylink Antenna. Supposedly an antenna capable of receiving up to 100 channels free and legally, within a 30 mile radius, as long as one is within a broadcasting tower rang of it. It offers channels, movies, shows for free and you just plug it into your TV then you do a channel scan. I was wondering if that works well. We have a tall antenna on our house where we tried to pick up stations locally and that didn’t even work because we are surrounded by trees. I was wondering if this just plugs into a TV, if it would work for our situation.”
Sally, don’t even waste your money.
There is no way an antenna like the one you mentioned will outperform your antenna on a tower.
For starters, it won’t pick up 100 channels with movies and shows unless someone is putting them out. So go to AntennaWeb.org and see what they have listed for your region, odds are that it won’t be anywhere near 100 stations.
Also, this is the modern version of rabbit ears, they’re square now, but they’re the same thing, and they cannot pick up signals from 30 miles away unless you live in the perfect environment with no obstructions, which we know is not your case.
Frankly, you’d be better off paying for a month of Hulu Live or YouTube TV instead of spending money on an antenna like that. It just won’t get you what you’re after, and you can see that even in the reviews online.
Buddy in East Texas asked: “We live in a very rural area in east Texas. We have a very poor cell signal. We have internet with Hughes net internet. We bought new I phone 7’s so we could use Wi fi calling. Our cell signal is still very weak and drops calls. Do we need a booster of some type. Please help. My wife is a realtor and is panicking over being able to conduct business. Please let me know. No one else seems to be able to help.”
Buddy, it sounds like you may not be using WiFi calling at all. WiFi calling bypasses your local signal, so you wouldn’t be using it at all in the presence of WiFi.
That aside, as long as you have better signal outside your house than you do inside, you can use a signal booster. WeBoost and SureCall are probably your best bet for boosters, but keep in mind that they will need a signal to boost.
If you don’t get useable signal outside your house, the booster won’t be able to create it.
If all else fails, some phone companies will let you buy a device that will connect to the internet and act as its own little cellphone tower for your house.
The bad news there is that those have become very uncommon since most phones do WiFi calling now, which is the same thing without the need for an expensive extra device.
Mark in Houston, Texas asked: “Is shortwave radio a thing of the past?”
Mark, pretty much. Do you know any young people that would even know how to listen?
There’s no audience, and when a show doesn’t have an audience it doesn’t usually have a way to make money either, so it’s not very attractive to anyone.
Shortwave was also more fun when people could hear broadcasts from thousands of miles away, but these days you could listen to a live Chinese station by using your phone, so there’s less of a draw from shortwave. Shortwave is one of the dinosaurs created by digital technology…
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