This Week in Tech News

Google Home Can Now Make Phone Calls

Episode 1416

Google Home

In what Leo calls a simple application of machine learning and data translation, Google Home can now make phone calls to any number in your phone's contacts. Leo adds this is the benefit to offering free services like Google Voice and Google Photos. It's able to take all that data that Google has access too and apply it to applications that make our lives easier.

FBI Has Been Pushing Companies to Not Use Kaspersky AVS

Episode 1415

The FBI has been contacting companies to tell them not to use Kaspersky AntiVirus Software because it represents a security threat, especially to power companies and other key industries vital to national security. Leo says it would have been better to just get the word out through the media and shows like the Tech Guy so that everyone could benefit from the warning. But truth be told, Leo isn't a fan of any antiVirus because it gives you a false sense of security. If you must use one, just use the one that comes with Windows. It's called Windows Defender and it does a good enough job.

Amazon Recalls Glasses for Solar Eclipse

Episode 1414

Amazon has issued a recall alert and cancelled all orders for glasses told to view the upcoming solar eclipse. The glasses were counterfeit and has the proper ISO certification printed on the items, even though they weren't. Not knowing which ones were real and which were counterfeit on it's face, Amazon decided to cancel ALL sales and issue a recall.

Google to Release Android O

Episode 1414

Google is announcing Android O Monday, and we'll find out what the "O" stands for. Usually it's dessert names, and it's hard to imagine it would be anything other than Oreo. That is a brand name, however, so Google would have to get permission to use it.

Android O will bring some new features, and many users will not get it. One of the biggest problems with Android right now is that companies who make Android phones and carriers that sell them are slow to update, if ever. The only people who will get it right away are Google Pixel owners, or those who have Nexus phones.

Samsung to Launch Galaxy Note 8

Episode 1414

After the disaster battery explosion issue with the Note 7, Samsung is about to relaunch the phone line with the Galaxy Note 8. Leo says it will probably be the safest phone on the market because if Samsung blows it with this one, it'll probably be the end of their phone business. He expects it to be a popular seller, especially for long running Note users.

Consumer Reports Downgrades Microsoft's Surface Line

Episode 1412

Microsoft Surface

Consumer Reports has been seeing poor long term reliability in the data they are collecting from readers on Microsoft's Surface line of products. It's so bad that they've downgraded their recommendation to "Do Not Buy." Leo says that long term reliability is something that Consumer Reports goes to great expense to analyze and that they're probably on the money with their decision.


Have Hackers Managed to Create Malware in DNA?

Episode 1412


Wired Magazine is reporting that hackers have managed to encode a computer virus into DNA, which can then infect any computerized instrument that is used to analyze the strand. If hackers are now creating malware in our DNA, how can it be fought? Fortunately, though, it's not a very practical or widespread application. Yet.


Are DJI Drones Spying on the Army?

Episode 1411

This week, the US Army issued a directive ordering soldiers to not use DJI drones and other UAVs due to cyber vulnerabilities and the potential for spying by the devices on the battlefield. DJI is shocked by the move without consultation. What would be the threat? Leo says that drones have radios and GPS, and often have internet connectivity. So it's possible that drones could be taken over by a third party and used for spying, especially for mapping terrain. But Leo says it's also likely there's could be a certain amount of paranoia at work here.