This Week in Tech News

Latest Scam Involves Extortion Emails

Web danger

Episode 1515

The latest scam to hit the interwebs is an email saying that you've been hacked and spied upon, viewing porn online and unless you send thousands in Bitcoin, they will send the information to everyone you know. If an email plays upon your fear or strong emotions, don't fall for it!

Read more at krebsonsecurity.com.

Samsung Announces Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Episode 1514

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?

Twitter

Episode 1513

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

Apple Park

Episode 1511

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

Microsoft Surface Go

Episode 1511

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

Charter Spectrum logo

Episode 1510

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

Amazon logo

Episode 1510

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.

Twitter & Facebook take stock hits

Episode 1509

Twitter banned a ton of fake accounts this quarter, and as a result, not only lost 1 million active users, but also saw their stock take a dump. Even though they made $20 million in the process. But Wall Street says that Twitter isn't growing, and as a result, the value declined. Even Facebook took a hit this week, in the single largest stock loss in Wall Street trading history. $120 Billion in lost value. Mark Zuckerberg lost over half his personal wealth. But Leo says he'll likely bounce back over time.

The MacBook Thermal Throttling Issue Is Over Blown

Episode 1509

Leo says that he's been using the new MacBook Pro for a week with Apple's firmware fix to solve the thermal throttling issue of its i9 processor during heavy use applications. Leo says it's now mighty fast and is running as it should. The problem as a simple missing piece of code called a digital key. Now everything is as it should be and the internet needs to stop piling on the new MacBook Pro.