Recently, privacy advocates have become aware that US Customs and the TSA are demanding travelers turn over passwords to their social media and demanding travelers open up their laptops and mobile devices to gain your data. Leo says that is clearly a violation of privacy and the fifth amendment. That passwords and fingerprint ID should be protected. Leo recommends turning off all your devices while you're re-entering the country. But they may detain you until you do. So be ready to call a lawyer.
This Week in Tech News
Leo says that Samsung's new convertible Chromebook Plus is an excellent option for kids in school and college. It flips over to become tablet, and it has a great screen and long battery life. The only drawbacks are that the speakers are misplaced and the touchpad seems dainty. It's also Android compatible. It's also a bit pricey at $450, but he really likes it.
While touring Europe this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview that Augmented Reality will be as big as the iPhone. Calling it a "core technology," Cook envisioned augmented reality, and not Virtual reality, to be everywhere.
With the new chairman and his anti net neutrality views, the FCC has changed direction on a rule that would require cable companies to allow users to use third party set top boxes. Leo said it was a great idea, but in reality, cable companies were starting to see the handwriting on the wall that cutting the cable is gathering speed. The FCC has also allowed for zero rating, where you can get free data if you watch streaming from partnered services.
Facebook/Oculus will have to pay ZeniMax a half billion dollars for copyright and patent infringement in the development of the Oculus Rift device. Leo says that is a clear indicator that virtual reality may be succeeding, since companies are suing each other now.
Protests broke out at airports across the country in response to Trump's executive order to ban people from certain countries. The reaction from the tech community was loud as well. One of the founders of Google, Sergey Brin, went to San Francisco International Airport to protest. Google CEO Sundar Pichai made a statement as well, and nearly 200 Google employees were affected by this. Google is considering a recall of all employees currently outside of the country. Other tech companies responded equally to the ban.
Leo has Comcast at home and he got a warning that he has exceeded his bandwidth cap of 1TB. Leo says he hasn't done anything different than before, however, and he wonders if the metering is accurate. Additionally, Leo has discovered that Comcast uses a man in the middle scheme and can take over his screen if they so desired. That's bad news because privacy issues abound.
Ransomware has always been a terrible plague of the internet, where bad guys inject software into your computer through phishing emails. They usually trick you by saying it's from your bank, the IRS, or even your boss asking you to open something. When you do that, it's an application that runs and scrambles all of your data and asks you to give them money to get the data back.
An interesting fact emerged from the US Highway Safety Investigation of the Tesla on Autopilot that killed its driver. While it didn't save the driver in this case, the data from all Teslas with autopilot show that it does save lives. The driver of the vehicle in question wasn't paying attention, and as a result, was the victim of his own negligence.
Many publications including The Guardian reported that the messaging app WhatsApp was insecure and hackable. The creator of that encryption protocol, Moxie Marlinspike from Open Whisper Systems, posted on his blog that this was incorrect. Now a large number of security professionals have written an open letter to The Guardian asking them to retract the story. There is no back door in WhatsApp, and the article was wrong. It was written in a sensational way to drive traffic.