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.
This Week in Tech News
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.
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.
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 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.
This week was the annual DefCon hackers convention in Las Vegas and Leo says that hackers are now more interested in creating hacks for the government, where they can make more money than hacking online. They also created a 3D printed robot that was able to crack a safe in 30 minutes. Leo says it's not super practical, but still cool.
This week Apple announced that the iPod Nano and Shuffle would no longer be made. The iPod Touch will be the only iPod made now as Apple continues to push users towards the iPhone.
The Chinese government made using a Virtual Private Network a crime this week. Microsoft and Apple moved quickly to remove any VPN software from their Chinese App Store. These companies have to obey the law in China if they want to do business there. So both are supporting the censorship, whereas Google still leaves things wide open.