This Week in Tech News

State Transportation Departments Encourage the 'Zipper Merge'

Episode 1104

Merge

Motorists often find it rude when other motorists merge at the point of a lane closure, instead of merging ahead of time to wait in the line that has formed. But Washington and Minnesota State Departments of Transportation have now made this "late" or "zipper" merge the law, and are encouraging motorists to do this. The zipper merge actually increases the highway's capacity, which helps traffic to move faster. The key is that motorists in the lane being merged into, allow one car go ahead of them from the other lane.

Net Neutrality Comment Period Closes with Record 1 Million+ Comments

Episode 1104

typing

The net neutrality issue is whether ISPs should be allowed to charge to have access to us, their customers. But Time Warner claims the controversy over fast lane access is a red herring. They claim that the shoe is actually on the other foot, and that Google and Netflix could demand payments from the cable company. Leo says that's why Net Neutrality is important. It protects both sides.

Microsoft Now Requires Users Run Latest Version of Skype

Episode 1103

Microsoft bought Skype about 2 years ago, and since then we've been waiting for Microsoft to really put its stamp on the product. First it changed how Skype worked with the super nodes, and now it's requiring users to run the latest version in order to use the service. There's a couple of reasons Microsoft may be requiring this. It could be to ensure that the same technologies are used when calling other Skype users. Or it could be because Microsoft wants to put ads into Skype, and it has to make sure that everyone will see them.

Hands On With the Amazon Fire Phone

Episode 1103

Amazon Fire Phone

Leo finally got his Amazon Fire phone, after only receiving the phone's box last weekend from AT&T. If you had ordered it the day it came out, you could have gotten it on Thursday, which is a day earlier than originally scheduled. If you've used the Amazon Fire tablet, then you'll already be familiar with the phone's interface. It's very Amazon specific. It has a few interesting things, like a dedicated camera button.

First Look at the OnePlus One Smartphone

Episode 1103

OnePlus One

There's a new Android phone with an interesting marketing strategy. It's called the "flagship killer" -- it's a top of the line smartphone, with the latest Qualcomm processor, a gorgeous, very high res 5" screen, and a great camera -- but you can't buy it. You can't go to a store, Amazon, can't order online, and there's limited availability. When it first came out, you could enter a contest by sending them a video of you destroying your current smartphone, and they'd send you a OnePlus One phone.

Rumors Suggest Apple Plans Mid-September iPhone 6 Launch

Episode 1103

Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac writes that we'll see the iPhone 6 in the second or third week of September. That doesn't mean it will become available then, however. Usually Apple announces the phone, and then it goes on sale a week later.

Apple ‘tentatively’ plans mid-September iPhone event as iOS 8 nears completion (9to5Mac)…
http://9to5mac.com/2014/07/23/apple-tentatively-plans-mid-september-iphone-event-as-ios-8-nears-completion/

Apple's Quarterly Results Show iPhone Sales are Strong

Episode 1103

Apple's quarterly results were posted, and they sold 35.2 million iPhones in the quarter ending in June. They made the most money of all on the iPhone, and are clearly an iPhone company. They hoped to sell slightly more, but it's still higher sales than compared to last year. Apple claims sales are down because of "rumors" of a new iPhone coming out in the Fall.

Revenue is pretty strong, profits are good. Apple has sold more Macs than they had in quite some time, but that could be attributed to new Macs coming out.

Forensic Scientist Finds Security Holes in iPhone

Episode 1102

iPhone 5S

At the "Hackers On Planet Earth" (HOPE) Conference in New York this week, forensic scientist and security expert Jonathan Zdziarski identified several holes and back doors currently on the iPhone. There's even a packet sniffer that's running all the time. Apple has yet to respond to it. It's important to understand that whenever you're using a connected device, whether intentionally or unintentionally, it could reveal information to interested parties. In his presentation, Zdziarski revealed some of the data that is constantly leaked out by the iPhone.