This Week in Tech News

Virtual Reality Is Popular at South By Southwest 2018

Episode 1469

SXSW

With Ready Player One set to come out later this year, Leo says there are a ton of virtual reality exhibitions at the annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival this week in Austin. Leo also saw a mockup WestWorld outside of Austin. Tickets sold out in minutes.

Learn more at sxsw.com

Photo: 2017 SXSW Conference & Festivals | Photo by Samantha Burkardt

Twitter Retweets Drive Fake News

Episode 1469

Welcome to Twitter

According to a new study, the more outrageous fake news tweets you see on Twitter, the more likely it will be retweeted, while actual news only gets retweeted about 1/4 of the time. Leo says that this is driving many to give up the social media app altogether. And those who have stayed, Leo says it works as an outrage engine to rage at the machine.

The Owl Cam Is a Sophisticated, New Take on the Dash Cam

Episode 1468

Owl Cam

Leo has been testing the Owl Car Cam, and he likes it so much, that he's tucked all the cables inside his car, meaning he's keeping it. It isn't cheap, however, at $350, but it's packed with features. It has dual cameras, front facing and rear facing, GPS, and its own LTE internet access, so it can upload any footage after it happens. It will also notify you via text if the car has been hit while you're not in the car, using motion sensors. It also plugs into the diagnostics port of the car and gets powered by it.

'MOOCs' Offer Online College Courses for Free

Episode 1468

Programming

Lately, Leo has been taking advantage of MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses. These are college and university courses that are available online for free. There are a lot of ways to do this — iTunes U is a great way to find free courses on the Mac or iOS device. MIT has its CourseWare, and there are even courses provided by Yale and Harvard. There are also commercial MOOCs like Udacity and Kahn Academy. A lot of high school students looking for help on difficult subjects like Calculus and Physics can go to YouTube and watch Kahn Academy videos.

New Social Media Study Shows Shift in Social Media Usage

Episode 1467

Social Media

Pew Research Center on Internet and Technology did a study on social media and the stats for early 2018 were surprising. 78% of 18-24 year olds use Snapchat, and most of them visit the platform many times a day. 71% of 18-24 year olds also use Instagram, and only 45% Twitter. Roughly 2/3rds of US adults say they use Facebook, and 3/4 of that number on a daily basis. Facebook is easily used by the majority of Americans every single day. YouTube's numbers were even higher. 73% of adults say they use YouTube.

Apple Watch Best Selling Wearable

Episode 1467

Apple Watch Series 3

With 1 in 5 wearable devices sold last quarter, the Apple Watch is the best selling wearable device. Leo says that in spite of Android Wear, Apple sold eight million in the last quarter, making the smartwatch war albeit over.

Mobile World Congress Opens with Samsung's Galaxy S9

Episode 1466

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus

Samsung announced the Galaxy S9 at Mobile World Congress this morning. Leo originally thought that Apple's $1,000 price tag on the iPhone X would influence mobile phone prices moving forward, but Samsung chose to only raise the price a bit, by comparison, starting at $720 for the 64GB version. You can trade in your older models to get a better price. You can also get $100 off if you buy from Best Buy. Leo says, however, that you don't get any benefit by paying more for larger storage considering the Android phones have a microSD slot for additional storage.

Apple to Store iCloud Keys in China

Episode 1466

Tim Cook

In a move that is causing concern with privacy advocates, Apple has announced it will store iCloud recovery keys in China. Leo says that it's really no different from what Apple does here, but it will make it easier for the Chinese government, or any government for that matter, to gain access to someone's data. Apple does protect your privacy from selling to advertisers, but if the government really pushes, Apple will cave to what they consider an "appropriate" law enforcement request.