This Week in Tech News

Google Developing Censored Browser for China

Episode 1515

It wasn't that long ago that Google pulled out of China because of the country's authoritarian demands and acts of censorship. Now, reports are that the company that once said "do no evil" as their slogan, is now developing a special Google browser for China that will allow the country to strictly control the flow of information online. So much for doing no evil.

Intel Hits Wall in Making Processors Smaller

Episode 1515

Intel has run up against a wall in Moore's Law that said that the number of transistors in a processor would double every 18 months.In the last few years, Intel has been up against a wall, not being able to double the speed. But a recent breakthrough, has created a transistor using a single Atom! That will enable processors to become faster and smaller, using very little energy.

Samsung Announces Galaxy Note 9

Episode 1514

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 9 on Thursday morning, and it'll be out already on August 24. Leo says the Note phone has a lot of devoted fans, but there's also a lot of people who think it's too big and too expensive. It starts a $999, and goes even higher if you want to get more internal storage. It's a beautiful phone, and slightly larger than the old Galaxy Note 8. Samsung has put a very big 4,000 mAh battery in the Note 9. They're putting in water cooling, though, so it won't get too hot and won't explode. This is the largest battery ever in a Note smartphone.

Is Twitter No Longer for Free Speech?

Episode 1513

Twitter

Leo says that when it first began, Twitter called itself the "free speech wing" of the free speech party. But after recent bans of Alex Jones, Leo ponders what happened. The bottom line is, if you are for the first amendment, you have to be for unpopular speech as well. But make no mistake, Twitter is a private company, and it can ban anyone for any reason.

Apple Becomes First Trillion Dollar Company

Episode 1511

Apple Park

This week, Apple's stock rose to the point where Apple became the first company on Wall Street worth a trillion dollars. Leo says while that makes for a great headline, it's really a dubious barometer, because Apple has all the money it's gotten from stock. Any further rising and lowering of the stock is beneficial for those who buy and sell it. But what the value does indicate, is that when Apple offers stock to talent as a perk, it's worth far more to them. And engineers are thinking about that. Still, Apple is the first to do it, so it's historic.

First Impressions of the Microsoft Surface Go

Episode 1511

Microsoft Surface Go

Leo just got the new Microsoft Surface Go tablet, and he calls it the cutest computer ever. Leo loves the screen, but he doesn't care for the huge bezel around it. The current state of the art is to reduce bezels. It comes with Windows S, which is a secure version of Windows, but it's still a full version of Windows. You can, however, only use apps available in the Windows app store, which isn't much.

New York State Kicks Out Spectrum Cable

Episode 1510

Charter Spectrum logo

The state of New York has voted to kick cable provider Spectrum out of the state, after the ISP failed to create a high speed network in rural areas. The company will also have to pay a $3 million penalty, and continue to operate until the New York Public Service Commission finds a company to replace them. New York made a provisional approval of the merger of Spectrum and Charter Communications, but without the rural internet agreement, the state has revoked that approval and kicked them out.

Amazon's Face Recognition Mistakenly Identifies Congress Members as Felons

Episode 1510

Amazon logo

Amazon's "Rekognition" face recognition software, which is being rented to police, has identified members of congress as felons. When the ACLU ran the software, designed to match people to a database of mugshots, it identified a total of 28 congressional members as felons. Amazon claims that the software was used incorrectly, and should have been set to a 99% confidence level instead of the 80% that was used.

Read more at arstechnica.com.