Geek Bytes 5/7/15

Episode 9 –Good Apple, Bad Apple

 (music one)

Welcome to another episode of Geek Bytes, the podcast that brings you all this week’s interesting and Geeky News.

I’m Ramon Mejia…….I’m Edgar Acosta

This Week in our news section we talk about the Oculus Rift announcement, Apple’s attempt to kill Spotify, Self-Driving trucks, Disrupt New York 2015, the recently released Suicide Squad photos,  News from the audience and more

In Discussions we’ll talk about our impressions of the recently released Avengers: Age of Ultron.

We Begin our show with Geek News

(music two)

Geek News

The gaming announcement we’ve been waiting for: Oculus announced that their consumer VR headset will release in the first quarter of 2016.

·        Take pre-sales in 2015

·        They plan to give details of the headset and types of input to be supported next week.

·        Can they compete with HTC Vive which has a consumer release date of Nov. 2015?

o   Amazing reviews of the product

GOG's DR M-free Steam competitor is finally open to everyone

o   Initially known for their selection of classic, or Good Old Games.

o   GOG announced last year they’d open a new venture GOG Galaxy,

o   The service is an online gaming platform that includes Steam-like community features and tools like auto-updates to keep your games up to date without any hassle

o   Different from Steam that their games are DRM free and can be played off line.

o   Currently in open beta, so anyone can test the system out.

Disney announces Disney Infinity 3.0

·         officially announced that Disney Infinity 3.0 is coming and will include Star Wars™ characters and worlds along with even more Disney and MARVEL!

·         All-new multiplayer Toy Box Expansion Games will allow you to play with all of your Disney, DisneyPixar, MARVEL, and Star Wars™ characters from Disney Infinity 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 together.

·         Rise Against the Empire features galaxy-spanning missions with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader. This Play Set is set in the timeline of the original trilogy and will send you piloting X-Wing Fighters and the Millennium Falcon to planets like Tatooine, Hoth, and Endor.

·         TRON characters Sam Flynn and Quorra will be available as physical figures at the release of 3.0

·         Play Set based on Disney•Pixar’s upcoming film Inside Out featuring all five Emotions Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust as playable characters. Fan-favorite characters Mickey, Minnie, Mulan, and Olaf will also be joining Toy Box 3.0.

·         Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition Starter Pack will now sell for a lower suggested retail price of $64.99

o   Starter characters - Twilight of the Republic Play Set, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano Figures, and the new Toy Box 3.0. In addition to that, 3.0 Power Discs will come in labeled packs instead of blind packs.




9 to 5 Mac reports that Apple is beginning a new program to allow 3rd parties to create watch bands for the Apple watch

·        Ramon Commentary- Great move for Apple.

o   Problem with a lot of smart watches is that they’re ugly or that aren’t a fashion piece in addition to a tech device.

o   This will allow the Apple watch to stand out and appeal to the fashion conscience.

o   Imagine having three or four watch bands of different colors.

o    Now the watch becomes something you can wear with any outfit.


According to the Verge, Apple has pressured the music industry to kill the free tier of Spotify ahead of the re-launch of Beats music

·        Attempt to lessen competition in the music streaming arena

·        Both the department of Justice and Fair Trade Commission are investigating Apple for this.

·        Ramon Commentary: I love Spotify’s response to this tactic-offer its customers 3 months of premium service for 99 cents.


Nintendo announced they are partnering with Universal to create theme park rides

The World’s First Self-Driving Semi-Truck Hits the Road

·        Freight truck producer Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, claims that it’s automated Semi will make long-haul road transportation safer, cheaper, and better for the planet.

·        Technologically packed as Googles self-driving cars

·        Have driver in the truck on stand by

o   Only uses human if there is an emergency or a condition the truck can’t handle

·        Test vehicle that still has to pass a lot of tests to clear Nevada DMV protocols but shows clearly that there is a demand for this type of automation. (10 year process)


·        Ramon’s Commentary: Automation is going to be a growing choice for businesses, especially transportation.

1)     Saving lives:

o   In 2012 330,000 large trucks were involved in crashes that killed nearly 4,000 people, most of them in passenger cars. About 90 percent of those were caused by driver error.

2)    Humans don’t want the job:

o    The American Trucking Associations predicts the industry could be short 240,000 drivers by 2022. 

3)    Increase efficiency:

o   Once you eliminate human driver then able to have fleets of vehicles going 100s of miles an hour only feet apart communicating with each other and safely driving.


Disrupt New York 2015 happened this week

·        Disrupt NY is a massive event where hundreds of tech startups from around the world present their ideas in front of venture capitalists and potential investors.

·        Tech Crunch live streamed the keynote presentations and they have a ton of great detailed articles on the event

·        24 hour Hackathon- Participants have 24 hours to form groups and code working projects

o   Guberie-App you open in a restaurant to see the menu and order. Once your done eating you also pay from the app. Never talk to a waiter again.



·        Start Up Battlefield- Hundreds of startups applied only 24 startups selected to participate in the Startup Battlefield of Disrupt NY 2015. Over three days these companies will present and compete on the massive stage for $50,000 and the Disrupt Cup. Present product or idea and questioned by panel of judges.

o   7 finalists include companies

§  BioBots- builds 3D bio printers and bio inks. They enable users to build 3D living tissues for scientific research, high-throughput drug screening and implantation.

§  Bitfusion- developing unique software technology to transparently and automatically accelerate existing applications by orders of magnitude. Bitfusion unlocks hardware acceleration without requiring application rewrite.

§  Cloudwear-developed a powerful authentication solution that is easier and more secure than two-factor authentication. Cloudwear offers a free API that enables developers to quickly and easily add advanced security to any website and mobile app, and the team comes from Google, Microsoft and SpaceX.

§  DigitalGenius-enables Fortune 500 companies to automate repetitive intelligent labor. This enterprise-grade platform leverages proprietary artificial intelligence and well-engineered natural language processing to automate human-like conversations at scale.

·         AI customer service that scales to the technical level of the user

§  Liquidity-make the world’s best consumer water-purification filters. Their vision is a family of products that delivers cleaner, healthier drinking water to the entire planet.

·         Create water filter that doesn’t need a pump, chemical treatment, or UV light.

·         Uses nano filter system that doesn’t slow flow rate of water. Pour the water through the filter and now it’s drinkable.

§  Nucleus Scientific- developing a suite of technologies that will fundamentally change the way energy is utilized in transportation and related industries globally; the first of these innovations

·         rapidly charges batteries

o   (cellphone in 3 min)

o   (Charge electric car battery in same time to fill gas tank and

·         increases battery life by monitoring how they’re charged.

§  PageCloud- re-imagines web publishing, and says it will change the web forever. For the first time, the power of desktop publishing has been brought to the browser – not some hacky approximation. Integrated with desktop apps, but native to the cloud, open the browser, hit New Page, and go!

·         Make creating webpages as easy as drag and drop

§  Winner: Liquidity is a water filtering system. This bottle uses a very precise dense mesh of fibers. The bacteria get stuck, but the water flows. You just need to change the filter every 2 or 3 months. The company is thinking about licensing its filters for other products. It’s cheap, practical and efficient. It’s also the result of 15 years of patented university research. A well-deserved win.


·        Start up Alley- early stage companies showing off their talent and technology to attendees. Each day participants vote one of these companies to present in the Battlefield event under the “wildcard” or audience choice position.

·        Nikola Labs launches case to harvest electricity from the air

o   Recapture radio frequency energy and converting it to electricity

o   Not an extra battery but tech that Increase battery time by 30%


·        Phind wants to change the way you search (audience choice)

o   Take photo and app aggregates all the information on it from Wikipedia, Yelp, Uber and other services. Lets you book and buy from there. Shazam for images.



Marvel announces cast line up for Captain America: Civil War

1)   Chris Evans - Steve Rogers/Captain America along with

2)   Robert Downey Jr. - Tony Stark/Iron Man,

3)   Scarlett Johansson  as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow,

4)   Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier,

5)   Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon,

6)   Paul Bettany as The Vision,

7)   Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye,

8)   Don Cheadle as Jim Rhodes/War Machine and

9)   Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch.

10)        Paul Rudd as “Ant-Man,”

11)        Chadwick Boseman (“42,” “Get on Up”) as T’Challa/Black Panther,

12)        Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter/Agent 13,

13)        Daniel Brühl (“Inglourious Basterds,” “Bourne Ultimatum”),

14)        Frank Grillo (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Warrior”) as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones,

15)        William Hurt (“A History of Violence,” Marvel’s “The Incredible Hulk”) as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross and

16)           Martin Freeman (“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”).


We got our first look at the Suicide Squad cast in costume

·        The Suicide Squad is an antihero team of incarcerated supervillains who act as deniable assets for the United States government, undertaking high-risk black ops missions in exchange for commuted prison sentences. The group operates out of Belle Reve Penitentiary, under the directorship of Dr. Amanda Waller

·        The first pictures of this team includes the characters:

·         From left to right- Adam Beach (Slipknot)Jai Courtney (Boomerang), Karen Fukuhara (rumored for Plastique, but clearly playing Katana), Cara Delevingne (Enchantress)Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag – with ONE ‘g’), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn)Will Smith (Deadshot)Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Killer Croc) and Jay Hernandez (El Diablo).

·        Release date Aug. 2016


Variety reports that CBS has officially picked up the tv series Supergirl for its 2015-2016 line up

·        There were early rumors that the CW was going to add the show to their DC line with Arrow and Flash but CBS beat them.

·        The series stars Melissa Benoist (“Glee,” “Whiplash”) as the title character.

·        The TV show follows Kara Zor-El (human name Kara Danvers), Superman’s cousin, at age 24, when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be, after leaving Krypton and hiding her powers.

·        The cast is includes regulars

o   Calista Flockhart, who will play Kara’s tough boss at CatCo, Cat Grant;

o   Mehcad Brooks, who will co-star as Kara’s love interest, Jimmy Olsen;

o   Chyler Leigh, as Kara’s doctor sister, Alex Danvers; and

o   David Harewood, as supervillain Hank Henshaw, known as Cyborg Superman in the DC world.

o   Laura Benanti will play Kara’s birth mother, Alura Zor-El, in a major recurring arc.

·        Special Guests will include

o   Helen Slater, who starred in the 1984 “Supergirl” film, and

o   Superman vet Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”).


New Trailer for the Wachowskis’ Netflix series Sense8

·         It is the story of eight different people across the globe who suddenly find themselves connected, able to tap into each other's minds, skills, and physical abilities.

·        All 12 episodes will be available on June 5th in 4K

·        Ramon Commentary: The trailer looks pretty good. Maybe the longer format of a series will let the Wachowskis (made the Matrix) tell the story just how they want to.



From the Audience-News stories submitted by the audience

Listener Jerry W. suggested we talk about the Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice movie is set to release March 25, 2016

            Original Trailer came out April 17th

            Got to see the dark future where Armor-suited Batman (Ben Affleck) stares down a hovering Man of Steel (Henry Cavill) in a rainstorm. We get to hear the new Batman’s first lines “Tell me, do you bleed? You will…”


            Re-make of the trailers

            Batman Animated series style


            Lego Version


            Speculation: Themes taken from the Dark Knight Returns comics by Frank Miller but not the same story line. In that story Superman plays a small part and only in the last book.

            Dark Knight Storyline: 1986 four-issue comic book miniseries tells the story of Bruce Wayne, who at 55 years old returns from retirement to fight crime and faces opposition from the Gotham City police force and the United States government. There was a very unique art style and mature story that appealed to a grown up audience.

            There is a great animated adaptation of the same name produced by DC that brings this story to life faithfully.

For a review of the topics we covered and any of the links in show notes for this episode visit our site

If you have any comments or suggestions for discussion topics please e-mail us a

Onto our Discussion section

(Music 3)


Our impressions of Avengers: Age of Ultron

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD, for a spoiler free review see our website


·        Sure there were some places we felt the story could have been done better but overall it was a great action film that only enhanced our love for the characters.

o   The addition of the characters Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch didn’t add anything to the movie for us.

§  Their backstories felt threadbare and flimsy.

§   The film would have been almost exactly the same if those characters weren’t in it.

o   Ultron.

§  There was a missed opportunity to make Ultron a really relatable villain or a cautionary tale in artificial intelligence.

§  Instead he comes off like as a robot gone haywire.

§   He is still a good villain for the team to take on but he could have been a great one.

·        Additionally the film does a great job at setting up future plot lines for upcoming movies.

o   Tony Stark taking actions without talking to the team “for the greater good”

o   Captain America Versus Iron Man setup for Captain America: Civil War (2016)

·        It’s this connectedness between Marvel movies that takes the franchise to the next level.

o   A brief mention of the Claw and Wakanda sent us into convulsions because of the Black Panther connection. That movie is slated to come out 2018.

o    There are infinity stone references to plot lines that will be fulfilled in Avengers: Infinity Wars. (Two movies 2018, 2019)

o   There are teases for the possible plot for Thor’s new movie Ragnarok, release 2017. 




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(Music 4)

Music Credits

"Happy Bee", "Movement Proposition", "Theme for Harold (var.3) ", "Take the Lead"

Kevin MacLeod (

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0