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Marc Sanchez is the technical director and associate producer for Marketplace Tech Report where he is responsible for shaping the sound of the show. 

Sanchez started at Marketplace in April of 2011, but has worked for American Public Media since 2005. During that time, he was the director and associate producer of Weekend America, produced a season of American RadioWorks, worked in the Minnesota Public Radio newsroom and helped out with Speaking of Faith, now called On Being.

Sanchez believes that the everyday people around us often have the most interesting stories to tell.  In 2010, Sanchez started a project called Minnesota Sounds, which captures Minnesota, his home state, from an audio perspective.

Sanchez received his degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University. 

In 2008, he received a Minnesota Excellence in Medical Journalism award for “Donation Day,” a story inspired by his experience being a marrow donor.

Sanchez is originally from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., but currently calls Minneapolis home. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his wife and daughter, playing music, record shopping and continuing his quest to find the world’s best tacos.

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Features by Marc Sanchez

High-Def x 16

Here’s a hot tip for those of you trying to figure out what to do with your lives. Make up. You know, like powder, foundation, mascara - yeah, make up. If a newly approved television broadcast standard, which allows TVs to produce pictures with 16 times more resolution than current HD systems, is an indication of what’s to come, make up artists stand to strike it rich and be in high demand.
The new standard, called Super Hi-Vision 8k, was ushered in and ballyhooed by Japanese broadcaster NHK. The technology was recently showed off for spectators wanting to catch the Olympics in “just like being there” quality, who gathered around giant screens broadcasting in Super Hi-Vision. The BBC writes:


NHK has used a 145-inch (3.7 metre) prototype display co-developed with Panasonic to show off its footage.
But it will be some time before such models become commercially available.
TV makers are currently focusing efforts on launching 4K enabled devices offering half the resolution. This is the format currently used by most digital cinema cameras.
LG unveiled the biggest 4K television set to date earlier this week - an 84 inch screen costing more than $22,000.
But manufacturers are likely to want to offer 8K screens by 2020 when NHK aims to begin its first experimental broadcasts in the standard.


2020 might be too long a wait for your budding make up career to take bloom, but I’m pretty sure beauty schools will be accepting college savings plan money by then. So maybe you should just save your pennies and push this career path on your middle-schooler. 

Everything’s coming up Windows Phone

There’s an endless amount of speculation as to what Apple’s victory over Samsung in its patent lawsuit will mean for the tech industry. Some say Apple is gearing up for an even bigger fight against Google, while others think the $1 billion judgement is a pretty cheap price to pay to become the #2 handset maker. And while Apple may have come out on top in the verdict, there have got to be a lot of sly grins in Redmond, Wash, home to Microsoft. The Boston Herald writes:


Microsoft was smart enough to pursue a cross-licensing deal on patents with Apple. So Apple won’t sue them and vice versa.
Samsung may well rethink its hardware relationship with Android and start making more Windows Phones, which get rave reviews from customers but suffer a continual problem with market share and branding.
What’s more, Apple has essentially indemnified the Windows Phone platform from litigation, at one point holding up a Nokia Lumia to illustrate, as they put it, “Not every smartphone needs to look like an iPhone.”


And while they’re at it, Microsoft employees might be seeing the hands of Nokians for a long-distance high five. Nokia is expected to unveil the first phone running on Microsoft’s newest operating system early next month. From Reuters:


Nokia has been fighting for survival after losing vast ground to Apple and Samsung. In 2011 it forged a software alliance with Microsoft, which had also fallen behind in smartphone software.
Nokia is now the largest maker of Windows Phones, but the market share of the software has stayed at below 5 percent.
"We think that the real winner hear will be Microsoft and the Windows Phone ecosystem," Nomura analysts said in a note.
"As Android and Apple tear each other apart, Microsoft has been waiting in the wings and is in a very good position to move in and entice users to switch from Android to Microsoft, as we have already seen that user loyalty is low," they said.

Face paint can help beat the heat

If you were wearing face paint that scientists recently developed for the Department of Defense, you would totally let me put a cigarette out on your face. But smoking is bad, so never mind. Hot poker? The face paint was developed by a team of researchers from the University of Southern Mississippi, who were tasked with helping soldiers bear the brunt of heat waves shot off from bomb blasts.

The BBC writes:

Heat-resistant paint for equipment with high operating temperatures, such as boilers, fans and ovens, has existed for some time, but the new substance is also waterproof, non-irritating, easy to apply - and it repels insects.

Hear that flame-throwing mosquitoes? You are no match for this paint!

The team didn’t use the traditional wax base for the paint (that stuff will melt and stick to skin); instead, they worked with silicon, which reflects heat. Also according to DoD regulations, all military face paint - OK, they call it camouflage paint, which I guess is probably more proper - is supposed to contain the bug repellent Deet. Problem there is that Deet is really flammable too, but the researchers have also figured out a way to water it down so it doesn’t, you know, burn your face off. Again from the Beeb:

The lead researcher, Robert Lochhead, said the paint could also be used for fire-proof clothes, tents, and even tanks, and the team was working on a colourless version for firefighters.

In summary, we should just paint the planet in this stuff and never have to worry about fire again.

 

Keep buying slip-ons and getting pedicures, because new TSA foot scanners don’t pass muster

Even though we’ve come to expect the sound of swishing feet as they shuffle passengers to an airport scanner, we have trouble accepting the fact. It’s the biggest complaint people have about airport scans. TSA workers don’t like it either, saying it slows down the screening process. For the past year, the TSA had been testing four different scanners that would allow people to keep their shoes on, but nothing has quite worked out.

The New York Times reports:

The Transportation Security Administration said it had rejected all four devices because they failed to adequately detect explosives and metal weapons during tests at various airports. One of the scanners is now used in airports in 18 countries.

Tests revealed that machines were good at detecting metal explosives but fell short when it came to plastics and gels. So back to the drawing board we go. Again from the Times:

The government has a $1.4 million contract with Morpho Detection, a subsidiary of the French defense giant Safran, to develop a shoe-scanning machine.
Morpho’s scanner can detect chemical compounds and metal objects, said Brad Buswell, the president of Morpho and a former Homeland Security official. “Our device can detect items to see if there is an explosive in a shoe or simply a pair of Dr. Scholl’s inserts,” Mr. Buswell said.
He said the company will be testing a prototype with the T.S.A. this year.

Keep on shuffling!

Facebook’s mobile facelift

It was about six months ago when Facebook introduced an updated version of its app for iPhones and iPads promising faster speeds and a more enjoyable experience. Here’s the first sentence in a press release from Big Face yesterday: “Today we're announcing an update to the Facebook app for iPhone and iPad that makes keeping up with friends faster and easier.” So what gives? Well, according to Facebook, it was busy ramping up its mobile site across all platforms (it’s not an ALL-iPhone world, you know), and in doing so, it wrote code for the site in HTML5. The app looks pretty much like it did before yesterday’s update, but there’s a brand new engine under the hood. Engineers at Facebook rewrote the entire app in Objective-C, which is Apple’s code of choice.

From the Guardian:

The move, says Facebook's Jonathan Dann, "signals a shift in how Facebook is building mobile products, with a focus on digging deep into individual platforms". The blog post hints that versions written specifically for Android and other mobile platforms are on the way.

Previously, Facebook’s strategy had been to invent cool, new things for the site, then figure out how to roll them out on mobile platforms later. But there’s huge pressure for the company to make money on the mobile playing field, so to that end, the company has begun chanting a “mobile first” mantra.

From the New York Times:

Developing mobile products has been made a priority, they said in recent interviews, and every team inside the company has been reorganized with the goal of inserting mobile into its DNA.

An Apple vs. Samsung case is decided (in South Korea)

A jury may be deliberating in San Jose trying to decide if Samsung copied Apple’s designs and infringed on patents, but in South Korea, at least, a decision has been made. The outcome is for both sides to pay up.

From Reuters:

The judge ordered Samsung to immediately stop selling 10 products, including the Galaxy S II, and also banned sales of four Apple products, including the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.
The court ruled that Apple infringed on two of Samsung's wireless technology patents and was ordered to pay Samsung 40 million won ($35,400). Samsung was fined 25 million won [$22,000] for violating one patent relating to so-called bouncing-back function used when scrolling electronic documents.

To be clear this means Apple owes Samsung $13,400, or roughly what Tim Cook’s cat coughed up during breakfast this morning. Is this what you guys are fighting for - 13,400 bucks? The stakes are drastically higher in U.S. case, but there’s the possibility for a similar outcome since Samsung is countersuing Apple. Ultimately, the ruling won’t impact what’s currently on the market either.

You too can fly a military drone

The New York State Fair opens today and, besides fried food on a stick, visitors will get the chance to take a turn at drone warfare. The fairgrounds in Syracuse are only a few miles away from the Hancock Field National Guard base, where the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Fighter Wing controls drone missions in Afghanistan. Dvids writes:

The interactive cockpit will allow fair viewers to get some idea of what it is like to be a pilot providing air support to American and allied troops on the ground halfway around the world.
The wing will also display a 1/6th size scale model of the MQ-9 Reaper aircraft the unit flies, as well as models of the bombs carried by the aircraft.


Although important, the drone simulator will likely be no match for the NASCAR simulator, also run by the National Guard (go #88 - Dale Earnhardt Jr!).
Other less popular simulators I’d like to see:
1. Sleeping in a dark hole mole simulator
2. “I Love Lucy” simulator (complete with bon bon assembly line and that guy that says “yyyyyyeeees”
3. Snagglepuss simulator, which is kind of lame - it’s a door set off to the left of a stage that you just exit through.

Test drive an iPad at the airport

Terminal D, and soon terminal C, at New York’s La Guardia Airport has recently been remodeled. How? Think iPads. Lots of iPads. OTG Management, the company that runs all the concessions at the airport sprung for the $15 million dollar facelift, which gives travelers access to what looks like rows of cozy library tables and chairs, each with its own iPad. Just punch in your flight number for access to a tablet. In addition to getting flight status updates, you can order food and drinks to be delivered to your seat (see where OTG comes in now?).

From the Wall Street Journal:

OTG Chief Executive Rick Blatstein says he saw boarding-gate areas as an untapped sea of potential customers—lots of people sitting around, unhappy, with money to spend. "You look at people in gate-hold areas and it looks like they are waiting for a root canal.''

When the remodeling project for terminal C finishes up, OTG says there will be 2,000 iPads in rotation. the company has plans for a similar projects in Minneapolis and Toronto, adding 2,500 tablets to each. Somebody needs to do a follow up story in a year, when all the iPads have seen the abuse of millions of greasy finger swipes.

Sussing facts via app

SuperPacApp is a new app for iPhone and Android phones that says it can help you tell whether a campaign ad is being truthful. The app comes out of the MIT Media lab and the folks at Knight Foundation and works similar to music identifying apps like Shazam or SoundHound. So, like those music apps, when you see or hear an ad, you hold your phone up and SuperPacApp “listens” then searches databases for honesty. Oh, I wish there was a database of honesty.

Tech Crunch explains:

The app pulls in data from non-partisan watchdog groups, such as PolitiFact and FactCheck.org, which routinely rate the accuracy of ads and political statements. Since there’s no central database, the app team has to find all of the commercials manually. “We’re plugged in with those journalists and they’re feeding us ads on a one-off basis. And then, separately, on our own, we’re signed up for all the newsletters and press sheets that alert us to when new ad’s are put out there,” Siegel told CNN.


Cool but clunky, because unless you sit around with the app open waiting to hear a commercial, you’re probably going to miss out. I suppose people have DVRs now, though, so I guess you could not skip all the commercials and wait around to fact check political ads, if that’s your thing.

Fans will make your landspeeder dreams come true

Next to Tattooine, the best place to test out a flying bike that kinda looks like a Star Wars landspeeder is probably the Mojave Desert. That’s where Mark De Roche and his team at Aerofex tested theirs. The design uses two big fans, pointed towards the ground, to lift the bike up to 15 feet in the air and send it whizzing at speeds that tops out at 30 mph. Gizmodo points out that it doesn’t look like it takes much training or effort to hop on one of the bikes and go for a spin.

The human pilot just have to lean and balance in a natural way, much like you do while driving a bicycle or a motor bike. It's all instinctive, says De Roche: “since [the pilot's] balancing movements are instinctive and constant, it plays out quite effortlessly to him.”


Sadly the speeder bike isn’t for public consumption, at least not yet. Aerofex hopes they can sell a finished version to the military. Again from Gizmodo:

The company thinks that it can be used for heavy lifting in rough terrains, without having to care about wheels or caterpillar tracks. And, unlike helicopters and other flying devices, this one can go in between trees and canyons: “they have unique performance advantages [...] as they have demonstrated flight within trees, close to walls and under bridges.”

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