This Week in Tech News
Disney+ launches November 12th, for $6.99 a month. This will include more than 25 original series and 10 original films, plus the entire Disney catalogue of 7500 TV episodes and 2500 films, content from National Geographic, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Fox, ESPN, and more. Rich adds that Disney will also probably offer a bundled deal with HULU, which offers LiveTV as well.
Rich says that by comparison, that will put tremendous pressure on Apple and Netflix who are charging more.
AT&T has launched its 5G service in 17 cities around the country, but Rich says good luck trying to use it. First, you can't find a map of 5G coverage to see where it's available, plus you need a $500 hotspot device to use it if you do. Also, 5G doesn't travel very far, requiring even more towers.
Meanwhile, Verizon has launched in Chicago and Minneapolis for everyone, but in very small areas. Rich says that while 5G is the future, it's just not the future now.
A Sad Week in Google, as Google killed off a ton of services this week. Google+ closed down. Google Chromecast Audio was discontinued. The InBox in Gmail is now gone. Leo was really sad that Google+ never really grabbed the kind of attention from users that Facebook has. The sad part is that Google+ was very popular with photographers since images posted weren't as compressed as other social media sites do. They could upload uncompressed, or hi-resolution versions. But no more.
Leo says that while 2018 was the year Ransomware, 2019 is even worse. Arizona Beverages got hit by ransomware last week. The attack shut down sales operations for days, scuttled their networks, and servers. The network was hacked and encrypted, targeted by hackers with a ransom note posted to their website. Leo says that Arizona struggled with trying to rebuild their operations for five days. Most of their servers hadn't been given security patches in years and their backups didn't work.
Lyft went public this week, and on shares, it was worth $23 Billion. Leo thinks that Wall Street is banking on a future when these ride-sharing companies will have driverless vehicles. Until then, Lyft has to share the fare with its drivers and even subsidize nearly 40% of what cabs would normally charge. But once driverless cars are the norm, Wall Street believes the profits will come. But the real question is, would you get into a driverless car and trust that the computer will get you to your destination safely? Especially with other human drivers on the road with it?
Two years after it announced the surfboard like Qi charging station known as AirPower, Apple announced today that it was cancelling the product, citing engineering issues. Leo says that according to iFixIt, Apple probably never would've been able to get it approved by the FCC. Apple did release the AirPods 2, which now has wireless charging. So while you can't charge your iPhone and your AirPods at the same time, you can now charge both wirelessly.
The City of Los Angeles will now allow rented scooters on the streets, but there's a catch. The scooter rental companies must transmit location data to the city within 24 hours to ensure code compliance. As one can imagine, there is a privacy issue and the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other privacy groups are getting involved. Leo says that the data would be anonymized, so it won't point to any specific person. Companies also have the option of saying no to the data, but they would have only 3,000 scooters.
This week, Google joins Sony and Microsoft is creating a streaming gaming service. The service, called Stadia, is similar to the defunct Onlive streaming game service but will enable gamers to play from any platform anywhere, with all the heavy graphics lifting being done in the cloud. There is also no announced price or launch date. Leo says that your ISP will likely jump on the gravy train by charging extra for the privilege. Leo says that there will be latency issues to overcome.
Google announced STADIA, a new streaming gaming service that will enable gamers to play games using even the simplest of devices. The cloud is your platform. Leo says though, that while interesting, Google didn't announce a price or a date the service will launch. But when it does launch, it could be quite tempting to the casual gamer who doesn't want to invest in a lot of hardware to play games. But it'll really impact data caps and will be a non-starter for people living in rural areas. And if your internet connection has a lot of lag (latency), you'll hate it.