Tech news

SpaceX Launches the Falcon Heavy

Episode 1461

Space X StarMan - Tesla in Space

Leo says that the Space X Falcon Heavy rocket launch, with two boosters automatically landing afterwards, was a triumph of engineering (even though one crashed in the ocean). The fun part was using Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster as ballast with a mannequin dressed in a spacesuit, playing Bowie's Space Oddity on the stereo. What a great test, and the PR stunt of the century for Tesla, with hundreds of thousands watching the live stream of StarMan orbiting the earth before heading off to Mars.

Day Before Big Game Is the Biggest TV Buying Day of the Year

Episode 1460

LG B7A OLED

The day before the Super Bowl is the biggest TV buying day of the year — even bigger than Black Friday. That's because it's also the end of the model year and they want to clear out the old models to make room for the new models. Leo says that there are some times you want to wait for the latest and greatest, but right now is not that time. LCD and OLED TVs are still dominant and will be for a few more years until MicroLEDs take hold. So if you were waiting, don't! If you have an HD TV and wonder if you should buy 4K, now is the time because of HDR 4K TVs.

Kasperky AntiVirus Now owned by Russian Security Services

Episode 1457

Kasperky AntiVirus was caught in the middle of a battle between the company's owners, and the Russian Security Services government agency. The company lost and now the Russians are now in charge of the Kaspersky Security Network. Leo says that he hasn't recommended Kaspersky for awhile now and even the US Federal Government recommends not using it because of the potential for spying. But it's more than a potential espionage tool, as there's a hole in the Kaspersky Network that would allow an employee of the company, or a hacker to snoop into your system.

Processor Flaws Give Hackers Access to Your Data

Episode 1452

Processor

2018 brought about the news that every processor built in the last ten years have a flaw in them that could give hackers access to sensitive data. Initially believed to affect just Intel processors, the latest is that this affects every single processor made, regardless of platform.

The flaws utilizes a technique called "processor speculation," which enables the processor to speculate what the user will do next in order to accelerate performance. But the feature also gives hackers access to sensitive L2 cache data like passwords. It's especially true for networks.

RIP Net Neutrality

Episode 1448

Ajit Pai

In a strict party-line vote, the FCC voted 3-2 to kill Net Neutrality rules, in spite of overwhelming support to protect it. Leo says that while the rules were in place in 2015, we've really had it since the beginning. Leo says he believes the smaller ISPs will probably still keep the spirit of Net Neutrality, but he believes the bigger companies like Time Warner, Comcast and others will probably charge Google, Facebook, and others for access to their customers. He doesn't believe at this point that customers will see a direct impact, though.

Black Friday Sales Numbers Show Rise in eCommerce

Episode 1443

Online shopping

Though Monday is known as "Cyber Monday," the day people take to the internet to find great online deals for Christmas, Black Friday sales figures show a rise in online shopping, including a double-digit increase in using mobile devices to buy goods. The average order was $135, up from last year.

Phone sales were also big this year, with deals on the iPhone X that offered gift cards if you bought one. Walmart gave a $300 gift card.

Cyber Monday is expected to be even bigger, by 10-20%.

Net Neutrality Rules May Be Thrown out Next Month

Episode 1442

Ajit Pai

Leo says that the FCC has decided to completely ignore the comments of the public, which amounted to nearly 50 million, and apparently will toss out existing Net Neutrality rules. Most people just don't care that much about it. We have fought this back time and time again, but Leo says we're probably going to lose this round, and heaven only knows what will happen next.

Read more at nytimes.com.

Black Friday Vs. Cyber Monday

Episode 1442

Black Friday

We survived another Black Friday. Braving fist fights for deals on last year's models, Leo says that traffic was terrible for Black Friday, and there were plenty of deals to be had. Cyber Monday is coming, where people shop for special deals online. Leo wonders if after Net Neutrality rules are tossed next month if ISPs will charge a toll for visiting sites like Amazon next year.

Tech Bloggers Rush Out Reviews of Google Pixel 2

Episode 1440

Pixel 2 XL

Leo says that phone manufacturers like Apple and Google are taking advantage of the hyper-competitive nature of the tech blogging world by only giving out limited quantities of smartphones, and at the very last minute for only 24 hours. This strategy was pretty interesting because it gave bloggers limited hands-on time with their latest phones before they had to publish a review. As such, Leo says they didn't really have time to focus on bread and butter features like battery life or issues like screen burn-in. Instead, they're focusing on the newest features.