This Week in Tech News

Phone Radiation Can Cause Cancer in Rats, New Evidence Shows

Cell phone in the dark

Episode 1475

We now have evidence that cell phone radiation can cause cancer in male rats. It is not cause for concern yet, as we are waiting for recommendations from the FDA and others. As always with these kinds of studies, the rats were exposed to a lot of radiation over two years. The original federal studies from the US National Toxicology Program, which uses labels to suggest how strong the evidence is, labeled the evidence "equivocal." That's the second lowest on the scale that the NTP uses, meaning there wasn't enough evidence to really make a connection.

Driver of Fatal Tesla Crash was Using Autopilot Mode

Tesla Model X

Episode 1475

The driver of the Tesla Model X that crashed on March 23rd did have the autopilot mode engaged. This comes after Uber's deadly crash with a pedestrian, where it has been determined that the self-driving car had not been operating safely. Tesla responded that the driver should have put his hands on the wheel to intervene. Strange curves and barriers can cause problems for the autopilot mode. It's important that any safety driver stay alert when the car is in self-driving mode.

Beware of IRS Scams Over the Next Two Weeks

Confidential Tax Information Authorization

Episode 1475

It's tax time and Leo says that this is the time of year for what's called the "IRS Tax Scam." Users may get an email or voicemail with a warning that the police are coming to arrest you unless you pay your tax bill. Don't fall for it. The IRS will not contact you via voicemail, email or text message. The IRS only uses the US Mail.

Why Leo Quit Facebook

Facebook

Episode 1472

Tired of the intrusion into his privacy, Leo decided to quit Facebook last night. Leo says that when Facebook users take quizes on Facebook, the quiz maker gets access to all of your personal information, as well as the information of your friends — without their consent. Leo says Facebook refuses to do anything about it.

Leo Got the Samsung Galaxy S9 and HP Envy X2

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Episode 1471

This week, Leo got the Samsung Galaxy S9. Not only does it have one of the best cameras ever, DxOMark says the screen is practically perfect in every way. Leo also says he's pleased that the fingerprint reader was finally put in the right place. But what's strange for him is that there's not much difference between the Galaxy S9 and the Note 8. It may have a faster processor and is slightly smaller, but they're practically the same.

Will Magic Leap Be the Next Big Thing for Augmented Reality?

Magic Leap

Episode 1470

Magic Leap has been a company that's been all hype and no action for years, despite all of the great demos they have on their website. Now the company says it's making a prototype that looks like welder's glasses for augmented reality. This means it would put virtual things on top of the real world, so you're not completely isolated like you would be with virtual reality. Magic Leap says it will release its system to developers sometime this year. It features glasses, a small Discman sized computer that can attach to your belt, and a controller.

Virtual Reality Is Popular at South By Southwest 2018

SXSW

Episode 1469

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

Welcome to Twitter

Episode 1469

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.