This Week in Tech News

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.

Post Millenials Safer, But Depressed

Episode 1410

Studies show that post millennials, dubbed the iGeneration, are safer because they tend to spend more time at home and online. But they're not working, not going out, and frankly, they're more depressed and isolated. They're not hanging out with friends. They're dating at a later age. They're driving at a later age. And they're more likely to feel lonely. They also get less sleep as they stay up late at night. You can see more about the study in Atlantic Magazine.

Apple Employees Begin to Move Into Space Ship Campus

Episode 1409

Apple Park

Apple employees have begun to move into their circular spaceship campus designed by Steve Jobs and Jony Ive. The campus has open area offices with no closed doors. The idea was to encourage collaboration, but some are complaining about not being able to have privacy or a quiet place to focus on their work. The building is also one floor and you can get anywhere in the building in less than a 1/4 mile.