Most of the exploits and listening techniques reported by the information from Wikileaks Vault 7 indicate that the CIA can use to eavesdrop are mostly targeted tools, and not the blanket surveillance hacks that were originally reported.
This Week in Tech News
Wikileaks has announced Vault 7, a massive collection of documents that show how the CIA uses malware and other hacking techniques to spy online. Some of the techniques includes using smartTVs as a spying device since they use cameras and microphones built into the TVs. Samsung warned of this in their terms of service for their TVs last year. But Leo says that the CIA doesn't really have a switch to turn on all TVs, and if they did, the data they'd receive would be so massive and 99.9% of it would be useless. It could be used for targeted eavesdropping, though.
Leo spent a couple of hours playing with Zelda on the Nintendo Switch and he was lefty pretty impressed. However, for adult hands, he found the controllers to be a bit small and uncomfortable. Battery life is pretty good at about 3-4 hours of steady play. The big problem right now is that the Switch doesn't have a lot of games at the moment, and of what it does have, most are dumb like Milking Cows. But it was launched with Zelda and Mario is coming. So there's plenty of people to play with until games get ported over.
Snap's IPO was launched yesterday, selling at $17 a share, with total value of $34 Billion. That's a heck of a lot for a single app called Snapchat. But is it worth more than Marriot? Leo says it's rather over valued. Why is it so high in value? Leo says that people wants to know how to reach young people and Snapchat is where the kids are. Kids don't watch TV anymore, they watch YouTube and talk amongst themselves. And Snapchat is their platform.
Sensing a market for people who just want a phone, or a burner, Nokia announced at Mobile World Congress 2017 this week the return of the 3310 phone, which has over 21 hours of talk time on a single charge. It will cost just $51.
Meanwhile, Blackberry returned with the standard Blackberry keyboard on an Android phone, and Motorola is putting out a new version of the Moto G5 with a 13MP camera and faster snapdragon chips, larger screen, and more. That will retail for $200.
In the hopes of avoiding a repeat of the mistakes made with rushing a product out to market, Microsoft has announced that development of their mixed reality HoloLens device will be deferred to at least 2019. The hope is that they can avoid any similar mistakes that made the launch of the Kinect camera so problematic. Meanwhile, people can still get the current developer edition for $3500.
Recently, privacy advocates have become aware that US Customs and the TSA are demanding travelers turn over passwords to their social media and demanding travelers open up their laptops and mobile devices to gain your data. Leo says that is clearly a violation of privacy and the fifth amendment. That passwords and fingerprint ID should be protected. Leo recommends turning off all your devices while you're re-entering the country. But they may detain you until you do. So be ready to call a lawyer.
Leo says that Samsung's new convertible Chromebook Plus is an excellent option for kids in school and college. It flips over to become tablet, and it has a great screen and long battery life. The only drawbacks are that the speakers are misplaced and the touchpad seems dainty. It's also Android compatible. It's also a bit pricey at $450, but he really likes it.
While touring Europe this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview that Augmented Reality will be as big as the iPhone. Calling it a "core technology," Cook envisioned augmented reality, and not Virtual reality, to be everywhere.