This Week in Tech News

Apple's September 9th Event Official

Episode 1114

Apple HQ

Apple has issued invitations to a special event on September 9th, and Leo says that the closer we get to the event, the more accurate the rumors become. We're going to be seeing two new iPhones, including a 5.5" model, and recent reports suggest the iPhone will even be able to pay your American Express bill. Apple will also announce a "wearable" computer, which is being referred to as an "iWatch", but it could be much more. While it is expected to be announced at this event, it likely will not ship until next year.

Telecoms Are Trying to Prohibit City-Run Broadband Access

Episode 1114

Autumn small town America

There isn't much competition among broadband providers in the United States. Most people only have a choice between a cable company and a phone company, and both act like monopolies; both have poor customer service. We know that the answer to protect net neutrality isn't government intervention, which carries potential risks, but in competition. If there were several internet service providers, there would be better prices and better service.

Microsoft Refuses to Turn Over Emails to Government

Episode 1114

Microsoft

Pending appeal, Microsoft has refused to turn over emails stored in Ireland to the US government. If Microsoft loses on appeal, it'll have to turn over the emails however. This is a scary thing because it could mean that the reach of the US courts extend beyond our shores, and around the world. In the view of Microsoft and many legal experts, federal authorities have no jurisdiction over data stored in a foreign country, and this would violate the sovereignty of Ireland.

Leo thinks that companies like Microsoft and Apple will see this as an opportunity to fight for user privacy.

Apple Invitation Hints at Huge Product Roll Out

Episode 1113

Apple HQ

Apple's invitations for the September 9th event have gone out, and it could hint at a huge product rollout. The event, which returns to the Flint Center in San Francisco, also includes a custom built, large structure, which Leo says will be a demo area. Leo says the conventional wisdom is that Apple is moving to a 5.5" iPhone 6, along with a 4.7" version. But there's also talk that Apple will finally reveal the iWatch.

Users Take to Twitter in Wake of Napa Earthquake

Episode 1112

Earthquake

At about 3 am Sunday morning, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck Northern California. Leo awoke from his bed and immediately went to Twitter, where he found tons of breaking news. Leo says that if you want to know what has happened, Twitter is the place to go. CNN didn't announce the news of the earthquake until 40 minutes later, while Twitter had the magnitude, epicenter, and other details within a few minutes. Leo says that Twitter is great for breaking news because you get details practically as they happened from people who are witnessing it. It's like the first draft of history.

Study Finds People Are Remembering Things Less Because of Google

Episode 1112

Brain

Our memory may be negatively impacted by the instant access of information online. The authors pose one simple example: Ask yourself how many countries have flags with only one color. Regardless of the answer, was your first thought about flags? Or were you thinking about where you could find the answer? In the old days, you may have thought about all of the flags that exist and which ones have one color. Now, you may be thinking about your Google search term. This is called "transactive memory" and it's been going on long before the internet.

The Windows App Store is a Cesspool of Scams?

Episode 1111

Microsoft may be so anxious to get numbers up in its Windows app store that they aren't policing it. At least that's the story from How-ToGeek.com, which says that Microsoft doesn't care about app security. If you search for VideoLan's app, for instance, you get dozens of copycats which sell "help" to download the free app. It's a total scam! There's an app for the iTunes Player app for $9 that offers to help users download that free app as well.

FoxConn Confirms Specs for Larger iPhone

Episode 1111

Apple Headquarters

FoxConn has apparently confirmed the specs for both a 4.7" and 5.5" iPhone. Leo says that's the most credible intel yet. If this is true, the iPhone will be as big as a Galaxy Note. You can bet Leo will buy one if that's the case. There's also talk that Apple is having trouble making them because they want the phone so thin, that they've had to change the manufacturing process yet again.

Motorola to Announce New Moto X and Android Wear Watch Next Week

Episode 1111

Motorola Moto X

We're expecting an announcement of the new Moto X Android phone and Android Wear watch from Motorola on September 4. The new Motorola X will probably have a bigger screen, at 5 inches, and should have a better camera and higher resolution display. Like the first Moto X, it will likely run mostly stock Android with a few useful additions, like the ability to just talk to the phone to wake it up at any time. It knows when you're awake, sleeping, in a meeting, or driving automatically and will adjust its settings accordingly.