The technology we were promised as kids, what we got, and what's coming next.
Series Finale Intern Appreciation Livestream
COVID-19 killed Geeks & Beats. While Alan and Michael are still healthy, so is the demand for business to business podcasts and a documentary series. Join The Internet's Favourite Dad, Brittlestar, as he hogs the virtual open bar while we thank members of the World's Worst Intern Program one last time as we talk about 8 years of The World's Most Popular Podcast (with Alan Cross and Michael Hainsworth)
Raffi vs. Fascism, Black Lives Matter, and Augmented Reality
The children's musician Raffi on fighting fascism, supporting Black Lives Matter, taking piano lessons at 75, and the science of writing children's music. Plus: why he's not answering the Augmented Reality call on Bananaphone 2.0
Neil Peart and the Apple Announcement
Rush fans don't need to be told Neil Peart is a percussive hero, but on what would have been his 68 birthday. A Chinese smartphone maker eclipses Apple after Cupertino fails to release a new iPhone. And an American fighter pilot claims aliens have committed an act of war. Wait, what?
The Elmo is Back
It’s finally happening: A beloved Toronto music venue, the El Mocambo, is coming back to life, palm tree lights and all.
Delayed by COVID-19 and the cruel hands of fate, the El Mo will livestream its first concert on September 10, a performance from Big Wreck on the venue’s second-floor stage.
How COVID-19 tech changed society and sex
Sex Tech CEO Lora Dicarlo joins us to talk about what COVID-19 has changed in society and sex, and why the last thing you want is your Internet-connected dildo hacked by the Chinese.
QR Codes, Video Conferences and Sex: Covid-19 Really Did Change Everything
by Amber Healy Think back on the state of the world in January. Filled with the optimism of a new year, all bright and shiny with possibility, we went about our lives, maskless, taking for granted things like going out for dinner or drinks, watercooler chats with coworkers and maybe even the giddy anticipation of first dates.
We were all unaware suckers.
With the type of fury saved for mothers whose children have hung up on them angrily, or the historic trope of the “woman scorned,” COVID-19 giggled at our innocence and optimism and smacked us all around.
We’ve changed since then. We’re weary and cautious, knowing germs are everywhere and anywhere. We spent a good portion of the year inside. When was the last time you shook someone’s hand? If the answer isn’t “Um...March, I think?” you’re doing it wrong.
But not all is lost! There are some ways in which COVID might have a positive influence on our world, at least from a technological standpoint.
QR Codes: Those weird little boxes now tell you what’s for dinner QR -- or quick response -- codes have been around since 1994, believe it or don’t. Invented by Denso Wave, a Japanese company, QR codes were designed to be a faster kind of barcode for products, parts and other items. Among the first adopters were auto manufacturers to make shipping and production more efficient. Eventually that grew from internal corporate uses, including food safety tracing following an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, aka mad cow disease, QR codes were slowly introduced to consumers in the early 21st Century
But no one knew what to do with them. You’d have to download a special app to read them. Sometimes they worked, most often they didn’t. After a while, they were just boxes that looked odd and were ignored.
When COVID-19 hit, throwing everything into a tailspin, some retailers got smart. If customers are supposed to stay socially distant, and if controlling and limiting the spread of germs is of the utmost importance, could QR codes be used to point and shop instead?
QR codes are perfect for a pandemic-stricken world. Bars and restaurants have embraced with joy using QR codes taped or otherwise affixed to tables, doors, windows and other surfaces to allow patrons to read their menus without having to print out and sanitize them daily. Some are making it possible to incorporate online ordering via QR code-enabled functions, with patrons receiving a text when their order is ready. This not only limits interactions between customers and waitstaff -- angels and brave souls who do NOT get paid enough to risk their health in these times, by the way -- but it also allows establishments to have fewer staff on hand at any given time. This saves financial resources at a time when every dollar counts.
It’s an elegant solution, really, and one that’s likely to survive into the future. Not having to print menus saves money and time. It’s more sanitary. It’s easier to update an app or website linked to a QR code, and so much faster, than having to create new tangible menus when seasons change.
Some customers had grown a little more comfortable with QR codes, pre-COVID, as retailers like Starbucks, Macy’s, Whole Foods and some drug stores began using them as contact-free payment methods or linked with their loyalty rewards programs.
It also helps that it’s gotten easier to use QR codes -- no longer is a special app needed to make them work! Most newer smartphones have QR code readers integrated into t
Digital vs. Analogue Audio with Glenn Schick
We take a deep dive into your Dad’s stereo with Grammy winner Glenn Schick. We also find out why Alan can’t listen to Classical music on Compact Disc, and discover why an audio format that couldn’t beat the CD in the ’90s may be the next big thing in the ’20s thanks to 5G.
The show will go on!
If you stay subscribed, the show will morph into a whole new podcast about the technology we were promised as kids, what we actually got, be what’s coming next. Stay tuned for Michael Hainsworth’s Where’s My Jetpack on this iTunes feed!
Really sorry to hear this podcast is ending. I’ve really enjoyed listening the banter between Allan and Chris. I will miss the weekly podcasts. Maybe rethink the format and content for a more general podcast about technology geared towards a general audience on a less frequent basis. Thank you gentlemen.
Lots of Fun
These 2 are great together. Looking forward to the return after Labour Day. And to the guy who disputes that it is the world’s
most popular podcast...have you heard of tongue in cheek?