To Google, 'No' Means 'Yes'

Adrianne Jeffries for The Outline:

In 2014, Warner got an email from Google asking if he would be interested in giving the company access to his data in order to scrape it for Knowledge Graph, for free. [...]

If approved, this meant that any Google search for a celebrity’s net worth would return that pullout answer. The answer would include a link to Warner’s site, and Google promised him it would be good for his brand. But it would also drastically cut his traffic. Most people just want the number; they aren’t as interested in the breakdown of the math. So Warner said no.

“I didn’t understand the benefit to us,” he said. “It’s a big ask. Like, ‘hey, let us tap into the most valuable thing that you have, that has taken years to create and we’ve spent literally millions of dollars, and just give it to us for free so we can display it.’ At the end of it, we just said ‘look, we’re not comfortable with this.’”

“But then they went ahead and took the data anyway.”

I guess the days of "Don't Be Evil" are over.


'The Last Jedi' Trailer Released...Chills

The first trailer for "The Last Jedi" has been officially released. First screened this morning at the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando.

This is our first glimpse of the movie that many of us have been waiting for since the end of "The Force Awakens" in 2015. You can see it below, and there's a great frame by frame break down by The Verge here.

I, for one, am really excited. I was downright giddy when I first watched this. And had a genuine "WTF" moment when the last line of the trailer was spoken. The countdown has begun: 245 days and counting.

Nobody Has to Use the Internet

John Brodkin at Ars Technica:

A Republican lawmaker who voted to eliminate Internet privacy rules said, “Nobody’s got to use the Internet” when asked why ISPs should be able to use and share their customers’ Web browsing history for advertising purposes.

US Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) was hosting a town hall meeting when a constituent asked about the decision to eliminate privacy rules. The person in the audience was disputing the Republican argument that ISPs shouldn’t face stricter requirements than websites such as Facebook.

This is why term limits on members of congress are a good idea. These lawmakers have no idea how the real world works.


Government Now Using Self-Destructing Messaging Apps

Adi Robertson for the Verge:

Trump administration members and other Republicans are using the encrypted, self-destructing messaging app Confide to keep conversations private in the wake of hacks and leaks, according to Jonathan Swan and David McCabe at Axios. Axios writes that “numerous senior GOP operatives and several members of the Trump administration” have downloaded Confide, which automatically wipes messages after they’re read. […]

It’s also difficult to say how much this is a specifically Republican phenomenon, and how much is a general move toward encryption. Encrypted message apps like Signal, Telegram, and WhatsApp apparently spiked in popularity after Trump’s election, and the Clinton campaign reportedly adopted Signal after the DNC hack was discovered.

I wonder how much this will affect all the “Back-Door” laws that were floating around last year.


All Trump. All the Time.

This last week has been a rollercoaster. Trump’s first full week in office has been…exhausting. It started with the inauguration, and was followed the next day by an argument with the media over crowd size. Then there was the Women’s March. Then the week kicked off with a flurry of executive orders, including the grant freeze and gag order on scientific research. The middle of the week brought Climate Change facts from the National Park Service, then deletion of those tweets, then Rogue NPS Twitter accounts. And the end of the week brought more executive orders, including the ban on refugees and visas issued to people coming from certain countries, which in turn, sparked more protests and action from the ACLU. Like I said, it’s been exhausting, and it’s only been one week!

Because of all of this, my Twitter has gone from being fun stuff about tech, Apple, the Rams, Star Wars, Disney, and other random things to being all Trump, or outrage about something Trump has done, all the time. And that’s how my brain has shifted. It’s what’s been on my mind. All my brain power has been occupied following our new Commander in Chief. My own tweets and retweets have largely been about these same things (I’ve lost a few followers because of this). I tried to fight this, and I haven’t written as much here because I wanted this blog to be about Apple and Technology mostly and other things secondarily.

Trump is happening, however. Trump is on my mind. So while I’m going to definitely try to stay on message, I can’t pretend that I don’t feel that my country is falling apart. I can’t pretend that everything is fine, because it’s not. So if this causes me to lose followers, oh well. If this causes me to lose readers, I’m sorry to see you go, but that’s your prerogative. I’m done staying silent because I can’t stay on topic. Trump is the topic. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the world we live in.

National Parks Twitter Leads The Resistance

Alyssa Berznak for The Ringer:

Around the same time news broke that the Trump administration had instituted a gag order on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture’s research department (rescinded Tuesday night), @BadlandsNPS fired up a tweetstorm about increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and ocean acidification. After a few glorious hours of onlooker praise, the climate-change-related tweets were unceremoniously deleted. [...]

In the case of the Badlands National Park account, a few simple tweets about science sparked a small movement among other government accounts. The National Parks account — despite the fact that it had just returned from its temporary suspension — quoted a @BadlandsNPS tweet in solidarity (it was also later deleted). [...]

It’s terrifying that posting scientifically proven facts is one of the many things considered to be “brave” in 2017. But here we are.

It's crazy that after so much progress in openness and transparency over 8 years, It can all be undone in a matter of days.

Title of Star Wars Episode VIII Revealed

The official Star Wars Blog:

We have the greatest fans in this or any other galaxy. In appreciation of the fans, we wanted them to be the first to know the title of the next chapter in the Skywalker saga: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. [...]

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is scheduled for release December 15, 2017.

Mark Hamill took to Twitter to officially state that the wait for VII has begun. I don't know about anyone else, but the wait for me officially began the moment 'The Force Awakens' ended. To say I'm excited would be an egregious understatement.

As rumors and theories start to pick up in the months leading up to the release, I will try to stay spoiler free as I love going into these things fresh. Hopefully, the release of the title means we'll get a teaser trailer some time soon, maybe during the Super Bowl? We'll have to wait and find out, but in the meantime, this already has me pumped.


AT&T Raises Activation Fee Again

Zach Epstein for BGR:

Less than two weeks after Verizon increased its upgrade fee from $20 to $30, AT&T has confirmed that its upgrade fee and its activation fee will rise from $20 to $25 each. The fees apply to new customers when they activate a smartphone, or to existing customers when they upgrade to a new smartphone. This marks the second time in just nine months that AT&T has increased these fees,seizing the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of its top rival, Verizon, which also just increased its upgrade fee for the second time since last April.

Activation / Upgrade fees are arbitrary. Raising them is an obvious money grab by the carriers. I doubt that the cost of the phone talking to the network and the network robot verifying and connecting the phone has gone up at all in the last few years, much less by $10

Streaming TV is beginning to look a lot like cable

Walt Mossberg wrote a piece this week lamenting the direction that TV streaming services are heading. In particular he reviewed AT&T’s “DirecTV Now” and Dish’s “SlingTV":

On Sling, for instance, you start at about 30 channels for $20 a month. On DirecTV Now, it's 60 channels for $35 a month. Both offer other, costlier plans, with more channels, or add-on plans for HBO, or for specialized programming such as sports, or kids' shows. Both are working on DVR offerings.

In other words, while the bundles may be cheaper and skinnier, they're still bundles, not unlike the tiers of programming offered by traditional cable and satellite services. And you can't assemble your own custom bundle. For instance, on DirecTV Now, if you're on a budget and opt for the $35 a month "Live a Little" bundle, you'll get Bravo, even if you hate it, but not the Cooking Channel, even if you love it.

The core of his argument, that AT&T and Dish are merely trying to port the cable model to the internet, there merely changing the medium by which live TV is sent to our homes, is spot on. Channel bundles aren’t bad in and of themselves, there are ways to make that work. The problem, as Walt points out, is that these bundles aren’t customizable. If I were able to pay $20 for 30 channels, that may be worth it, if I was able to pick those channels, instead of having them picked for me.

The blame for this falls more on the content providers (Disney, Viacom, Time-Warner) and less on the actual cable companies. The way content deals are structured, in order for a cable company to be able to offer it’s customers CNN, Time-Warner may require they they also bundle in ‘truTV' and 'Cartoon Network’. This then gets passed on to the consumer. So it would seem that the cable providers are in the same boat as us.

So maybe the real answer is in tearing away the content from the network / channel model. I’m more than willing to pay those $35 per month, or even more, for a service that works like Apple Music or Spotify, but for television content and movies. Give me access to an entire library of content from all the different networks, including a back catalogue, and the networks get paid per stream. This was the promise of entertainment on the internet. Watching what I want, when I want and where I want.

The networks need to open their eyes and move to the future instead of holding on to the past while they still hold some leverage. If they wait until they’re forced into a position to accept terms just for survival, like the music industry did with digital music, then they could end up trying to figure out how to make money with unfavorable terms and off of fractions of a penny per stream.

Ten Years Later: iPhone

Today is the tenth anniversary of the introduction of the iPhone. I remember vividly how excited I was for this product. I had just jumped on the Apple train with my first iPod in 2005, and had followed what Apple rumor mill there was (it definitely wasn’t as extensive as it is today) and knew that there was likely some kind of phone product coming out soon. What Steve Jobs introduced that day went way beyond anything that I could imagine.

It’s hard to believe or really remember all the staples of modern smartphone interactions that were introduced that day. The many advances that were made, not only in technology, but also in UI and Hardware design. Watching the keynote again last night I was reminded of life before iPhone, and my wife was shocked at how many things didn’t exist prior to it. One that stuck out to my wife was Visual Voicemail. “Wait, that didn’t exist until iPhone?” That's right. Before that you had to listen through 4 potentially meaningless voicemails just to get to the 5th which is from your mom. Barbaric, I know, but that’s how it was done.

There are many other moments where Steve explains why they made certain decisions. Why sync iPhone through iTunes and the same cable as an iPod? Well, because everyone already knows how to do that, it’s one less thing to learn. Pinch to zoom in your photos or webpages, why not, that makes perfect sense. A full HTML Web browser, responsive and powerful native applications, Slide to Unlock (because they wanted a motion that wouldn’t trigger by accident in your pocket). So much about the iPhone seemed impossible, and now just seem quaint in their ubiquity or even out-datedness.

It wasn’t without it’s shortcomings. This first iteration didn’t have 3rd-Party native applications, there was no App Store. All you had was web apps and native suite of apps that Apple included. But over the next 10 years, Apple would address all the original gripes and more. You can compare for yourself by watching the keynote and comparing that first iPhone to the marvel of modern technology that is iPhone 7.

I encourage you to watch the keynote. It’s a wonderful example of Steve Jobs in his finest and his favorite element: introducing an impossible product that he is genuinely excited about. It’s also a reminder of how far technology and Apple have moved in the last decade, and it makes a geek like me hopeful for all the cool stuff that will come out, not just from Apple, but from all of the technology sector, over the decade to come.

2016 LA Rams Season Wrap-Up

I wrote [earlier this year][0] about how my Rams fandom started, and that my wife and I had bought season tickets for their return to LA. Needless to say the season hasn't gone quite as I or any other Rams fan had hoped. The excitement of having my team back in my city that had grown during training camp and the first two games of the pre-season quickly faded during the disaster that was the Monday Night Football game agains San Francisco. That 28-0 loss quickly grounded me back in reality and reminded me that these were still the Rams, and a move to a new city wasn't going to change that.

The home opener against Seattle was a slog to a 6-3 that would be the only home victory Fisher and the Rams would produce to date. The two wins that followed were hard fought, but were enough to create some excitement. It was the first time that we'd go into week 5 with a 3-1 record since 2006. I'll let that sink in for a little bit.

The 30-19 loss to the Bills at home stung, but if I'm honest with myself, I saw it coming. They were coming into the game emboldened by the shut out they had handed New England the week before. The game in Detroit the following week, I think, is where I realized that this wasn't going to be the season that I'd hoped. It showed me that it didn't matter if the offense finally found it's flow. That game would be the best game of both Case Keenum's (QB) and Kenny Britt's (WR) careers. Yet the defense couldn't hold the Lions back, and ended up losing the game 28-31.

The "we get in our own way" losing continued against the Giants in London, losing 17-10. But then we had a sweet respite, the bye week, followed by their return to LA for a home game agains the Carolina. But again no dice, The defense kept the Panther's score low, but the offense couldn't deliver the goods in front of a frustrated home crowd who booed each dropped pass and began calling for Jared Goff. This 13-10 loss cemented the fact that Case Keenum would not be starting at the Coliseum again.

In Case's final game as the starter in New York against the Jets, the defense kept the Jets to 6 points, but the offense was again anemic, winning the game on the leg of Greg Zuerlein (K) who scored 9 points. The following week it was announced that the prodigal son, the #1 overall draft pick Jared Goff was finally ready to make his grand debut in front of a home crowd in LA to take on Miami. The Weather and the Dolphins had other plans. We were ahead until the last 5 minutes of that game. It was pouring down rain, and when the Rams were on offense, you could hear the thundering “DE-FENSE clap clap” Chants from the Miami fans at the game. To be honest, it was demoralizing as a fan, I wanted to melt in my seat.

The two road games against New Orleans and New England were equally demoralizing, we didn’t even stand a chance. We were outclassed in every sense of the word, losing the games 21-49 and 10-26 respectively. Our next home game against Atlanta was equally embarrassing. The Rams’ performance was so bad, that even Falcons fans were confused and began to feel pity for us, celebrating a Rams touchdown with us. We would lose that game 42-14.

The Monday after this game, the Rams decided to fire Jeff Fisher, which is something all of Rams fandom had been calling for for Months (or a couple of years if they followed the team in St. Louis). It took a while for me to wrap my head around the idea that this was a real thing. Elation took over my Twitter stream. John Fassel (our ST coach) was named interim head coach, and he was a breath of fresh air during press conferences. A Stark contrast to the obviously rehearsed and tired and retreaded lines Jeff Fisher would feed us ever week. Hopes were high, even if not for this season, we had something to look forward to next season.

Following the short week and coaching change, we met Seattle in Century Link Field to be publicly embarrassed by personified highlighters on Thursday Night Football, losing 3-24. The following week on Christmas Eve we played San Francisco at home. This game was reminiscent of the Miami game, and Coach Fassel said as much in his press conference after the game. Even with the 21-22 loss, this game was quite enjoyable. There something to be said about sharing a stadium with fans who are just as beaten down and dejected as you are.

Our last game of the season was the New Years Day home game against Arizona. And while the game was a 6-44 blowout, I have to say, I couldn’t even be mad. There were a couple of plays during that game, the direct snap to Tavon Austin that got called back due to illegal motion (bullsh*t?) and the lateral to Pharaoh Cooper who then threw it (quite well I might add) to Todd Gurley, which was intercepted, that made the game exciting, even though they didn’t work out as intended. And also, after waiting a whole season, we saw a successful punt fake throw from Johnny Hekker. And I just don’t hate the Cardinals, I know they’re our division rivals, but I actually kinda like them. And the fans weren’t like other fans, after the game, there was no chanting in the tunnels, there was not snap-chatting of Rams fans while asking them how they feel about losing to "X" team. They just went home happy.

Like I said at the top, Overall, the season isn’t what I’d hoped. I don’t think it was what any fan hoped. While a part of me knew that with Fisher at the helm at the beginning of the season, it’d be more of the same, I wanted to believe it’d be different. Obviously it didn’t turn out that way, it’s the worst season we’ve had since Fisher took over, but it was still fun to be at the games. As I noted when I bought my season tickets, being there in person and FEELING the excitement in the air during the pre-season, and during the flashes of brilliance throughout the season, was well worth it. I know some of it is the fact that it was they’re first season back, and I’m the first to admit that a lot of my negative feelings about this season are downplayed by the joy of having the team back in Los Angeles. So while the season was sh*t, I had a great time. And I’m definitely hopeful for the future.

See you next season Ramily. Horns Up.

Star Wars: A New Hope in 4K...Maybe

Chris Smith at BGR:

Star Wars: A New Hope is the movie that started it all, and this summer fans will celebrate its 40th anniversary. Disney and Lucasfilm may have a special treat in store for Star Wars fans, a new 4K version of A New Hope that could be shown in select theaters. In fact, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards revealed in an interview that he has already seen a 4K cut of the movie, which apparently existed while he was preparing for the first Star Wars spinoff movie.

At this point, this is all rumors and speculation. Disney / Lucasfilm may have no intention of releasing a 4K version of the film this summer, or ever. But if they do, you can bet your tookus I'll be in a theater giving them my money. If for nothing else, just to experience the original trilogy, or any part of it, in a theater again.


Rogue One Originally Had a Different Ending (Spoilers)

Ok, if you haven't seen Rogue One, stop right here. First, what are you doing with your life, go out and see it, it's amazing! Second, don't read any further unless you don't care about some pretty major spoilers.

Ok, you're still here? Moving on.

The ending that made it to the theatrical release of Rogue One was, in my opinion, the only one that made sense. The entire central cast dies. Even Jyn Erso, the main character meets her end via the Death Star's destructive super weapon. But according to an interview Directer Gareth Edwards did with Empire , That wasn't always the plan. When asked about the ending that mad the final movie, here was his response:

The very first version, they didn't. In the screenplay. And it was just assumed by us that we couldn't do that. 'They're not going to let us do that.' So I was trying to figure out how this ends where that doesn't happen. And then everyone read that and there was this feeling of like, 'They've got to die, right?' And everyone was like, 'Yeah, can we?'

We thought we weren't going to be allowed to but Kathy [Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm] and everyone at Disney were like 'Yeah it makes sense/ I guess they have to because they're not in A New Hope.' And so from that point on we had the license.

I kept waiting for someone to go, 'You know what? Could we just film an extra scene where we see Jyn and Cassian, they're okay and they’re on another planet?' And it never came. No one ever gave us that note, so we got to do it.

Personally, I feel this was for the best. Chaim Gartenberg wrote a great piece at The Verge about how one of Rogue One's strengths is that it ends. I agree with that assessment. With everyone dying for the cause and setting up the events of A New Hope the film has closure, and the reference to them as the team of rebel spies works. Had they survived and had Disney / Lucasfilm tried to make a sequel that ran parallel to the original trilogy, it would have been harder to explain why they weren't in the main saga, or even mentioned again.

I already felt like Disney would be a good steward of the Star Wars universe. Marvel was a great example to me for how Disney would likely approach the Lucasfilm properties. Hands-off, let the people that know the property best chart the course forward. This act of restraint, choosing the story, and by extension, the fans, over the potential to make more money off of a sequels makes me all the more certain that the future is bright for the Star War franchise.

Note: The podcast containing the interview with Empire has since been taken down, but should be back up next week according to Empire

Congress’ Encryption Working Group agrees Back Door Laws are harmful

The House Judiciary Committee & House Energy and Commerce Committee Encryption Working Group released their year-end report on the ongoing encryption debate between tech companies and law enforcement. While the debate has been going on since encryption became a thing, it was intensified last year after the FBI tried to force Apple to create a backdoor to it’s iOS software on the phone of the San Bernardino shooter’s phone.

The whole document is worth a read, but there are a few things in particular that stood out:

Representatives of various private companies told the EWG that a mandate compromising encryption in the U.S. technology sector would simply shift consumers to products offered by foreign companies. These forces might incentivize larger companies to leave the United States, and render small business and other innovators in the field obsolete. If a U.S.-based company moved operations to a country with a more favorable legal regime, the law enforcement and intelligence communities might lose access to everything in that company’s holdings—encrypted or not.

Congressional action in this space should weigh any short-term benefits against the long- term impacts to the national interest. Congress cannot stop bad actors—at home or overseas— from adopting encryption. Therefore, the Committees should explore other strategies to address the needs of the law enforcement community.

This has been the crux of the technology sector’s argument. Even if congress were to weaken encryption at home, or force US based companies to install backdoors for law enforcement, those laws would only affect companies in the US. That would affect their bottom lines and create an incentive for them to leave the country. Not only that, but there are plenty of other options for bad guys to encrypt their data.

Overall, the considerations of the committee are very smart, and it’s clearly falls on the side against backdoor encryption.

Congress should not weaken this vital technology because doing so works against the national interest.

Rogue One Review (Spoiler-Free)

Now I’ve seen Rogue One twice and feel like I’ve had enough time to let my general thoughts on this percolate around in my head. So let’s start with the TL;DR. Rogue One is amazing, and if you’re even a half-way dedicated Star Wars fan and you haven’t gone to see it, what are you doing?

When Rogue One begins, there’s some mandatory exposition into the central character's backstory, and introduction to several other supporting characters. When I first saw the film, this part made me feel like this movie wasn’t going to work out. It was a bit slow going with alot of transitioning from location to location. It also felt like the only thing Star Wars about this movie was some superficial set dressing and Storm Troopers. Man, was I wrong.

Once the movie gets past setting up the story points, everything starts flowing, and it gets a familiar Star Wars feel. From the humor, to the action, to the way the symphonic music plays to the action happening on the screen. It was mesmerizing. There also plenty of call backs and Easter eggs for anyone paying attention, all the way from some blue milk on a counter top to a few blink-and-you’ll-miss-it references to the Star Wars: Reblels animated series. X-Wings and Star Destroyers and mentions of the Force are the big rocks that make this a Star Wars movie. They could have stopped there and been done, but those little flourishes are what fill out the gaps in between. As a long time fan, it makes the film that much more fulfilling. And if you aren’t hard core enough to catch something like a one second call out to Star Wars: Rebels, there are other little cameos and throw away lines that fill in the gaps.

The difficulty for Lucasfilm & Co. with Rogue One was always going to be two-fold. One, Creating a compelling, completely self-contained story to which the majority of moviegoers already know the ending, and two, create a cast of several brand new characters who the audience feels they know over the course of a single film. I’m going to start with the characters. The central cast of characters are people who we have never seen or heard of in any previous Star Wars property, so the writers had to create connections to the audience completely from scratch. In my opinion, they excelled at this. We don’t get complete back stories for every single character, that’d be impossible for a single film. But we get enough through dialogue and interactions that we understand the relationships between characters, and their individual personalities.

On the story front, all the writers had to go on was somehow, the rebels obtained some plans to the Death Star. Man, did they do an awesome job to flesh that out. There are so many ways they could have messed this up. I was looking, waiting for that moment where I say “…but in Episode 4, they say this, but now they say this.” Hell, George Lucas fell prey to things like this in the prequels. Like Obi-Wan clearly knowing who C-3PO and R2-D2 are, but in A New Hope saying, and acting like, he didn’t know them. Or Leia saying she remembers what her real mother looks like, but Padme dying as she was being born. Things like that seem trivial, but they gnaw at my mind. There was no such flaw that I was able to notice here in my two viewings. The story is fun, action packed, and transitions beautifully into A New Hope. It kept me engaged from beginning to end, and though I knew the ending, I didn’t know what was happening next.

In the run up to this film, I was cautiously optimistic, just like I was for The Force Awakens. I’m not a prequel hater, I actually enjoy the prequels. But those were my first full on Star Wars at the theater experience. I was born in 1985, after the release of Return of the Jedi. I didn’t have a mom or dad who enjoyed the films. I first watched them at a cousin’s house, I was bored and they happened to own all three movies, so I popped in A New Hope. I devoured them in one sitting. Every time I went to their house, it’s all I wanted to do. I never owned my own copy until the Special Editions were released. So while I admit, that even though the prequels were clean and didn’t have the same “this is a real place” feel that the originals had, I did and still do enjoy them. But the Originals are my favorites. Hands down.

The Force Awakens was a step in the right direction, an admission that Star Wars had lost it’s way, a sort of re-centering of the franchise. An apology of sorts in film form. Rogue One, I believe, is a statement. It says that Lucasfilm and Disney understand what makes Star Wars feel like Star Wars so well, that they can make a film set in that galaxy without the story centering on the Skywalker family. There’s more to it than just the Skywalkers and the Jedi.

The galaxy can be and is much bigger and filled with hundreds if not thousands of interesting people. The Force Awakens made me excited to have another Star Wars movie again. Rogue One made me feel like I was watching Star Wars for the first time again.

Apple AirPods Are Now Available

Apple announced via press release this morning that the long awaited AirPods are now available. It didn't take long after the announcement for the shipping times to begin slipping. The earphones is available on Apple's website to order, as of this writing, the ship times were holding steady at 4 weeks. So if you were looking to give these as a holiday gift, good luck. The only way to do that now is to stake out your local Apple Store and hope for the best. the PR said that AirPods would be made available at retail locations "Next Week".

Originally scheduled to ship by the end of October, Apple delayed indefinitely because they just weren't ready. The reasoning I've heard tossed around by various people, including John Gruber of Daring Fireball, is that the AirPods were extremely difficult to manufacture at scale. Whatever the reasoning, this definitely seems like a black eye for Apple, who famously doesn't announce anything until it's ready to ship, precisely to avoid these issues. Even so, I'm personally glad that Apple decided to take the potential blowback rather than release a sub-par product.

Now I just need to get my hands on a pair.

CBS All Access to Stream NFL Games Starting Tomorrow

Chris Welch for The Verge:

But don't celebrate just yet, football fans. There are two important asterisks here, though. First, you can only watch live NFL games if CBS All Access streams live programming from your local CBS station. Currently it does in 150 markets — but not everywhere. Go here to check. And second, don't expect to do any streaming on your iPhone or Android handset; Verizon's lockdown on mobile NFL games prevents CBS from broadcasting them on smartphones. You're good to go on pretty much everything else, though.

This is a great step for cord-cutters. Verizon still having a strangle-hold on mobile streaming is unfortunate, but it’s a step forward none the less.