This week marked the annual Day of Action for Net Neutrality designed to lobby the FCC and Congress. Leo says that naturally, most of the broadcasters ignored or gave lip service to covering the event, because they are all tied to major internet providers who "have a dog in this hunt." Leo says that the internet needs to be treated like a utility, something that needs to be open and available to all.
Using a technique called "neighbor spoofing," a Florida man is being accused of making over 96 million robo calls selling time shares in violation of FCC Do Not Call laws. The FCC has suggested a fine is in the offing, but there's no word on if the perp is going to be arrested or if the robocalls have stopped.
This week during the gaming conference E3, Microsoft announced the most powerful gaming console ever made. It's called the Xbox One X, and it's smaller, heavier, liquid cooled and more powerful than any other console on the market. It also comes with a 4K Blu-ray player with HDR support built-in. Scott says that the HDR capability of the player is really more important than the resolution simply because most people won't really see the difference unless they have a screen that's 70" or larger. But HDR is really noticeable, even on sets under that size.
When a story came out recently that a JPL Engineer was detained and his work phone seized, it caused Leo to do some research about your legal rights coming back into the country. Turns out that the 4th amendment's protection against unlawful search and seizure has been suspended when you're in "international waters," and that's what an airport technically is. So the Border Patrol and the TSA have the legal right to take your phone, computer and tablets and demand the password to access all your data.
Using basic social engineering skills, hackers have managed to use the data on cell phone bills to get customer service reps to move service to a set up mobile phone, and then use that to get into CoinBase through 2 Factor Authentication. As such, one hacker stole 8,000 BitCoin from a user named Cody. Read the full article here.
Google has announced that it will put an ad blocker into the Chrome browser that will get rid of "annoying ads." Leo says more likely, since Google is in the ad business, they will block all ads but their own. Leo says that's terribly anti competitive, but since it's the number one browser, it makes sense that Google would do it.
Google I/O was this week and the keynote had a bunch of new products and services. Google Home, the Amazon Echo killer, now has the ability to make unlimited phone calls anywhere for free. Should you then get rid of your home phone? Leo says no, because if the power or internet goes out, you'll have no phone for emergencies.
Find out about all of the announcements from Google I/O at techradar.com.
A hacker by the name of "The Dark Overlord" broke into Netflix' servers and released the new season of "Orange is the New Black," after demanding payment not to. According to TDA, he also has shows from ABC, IFC, and other channels. Leo says that is a childish act that probably was perpetrated by an ambitious teenager and Netflix did the right thing by refusing to pay up.
Quarterly earnings came out this week and Microsoft, Google, and Amazon all posted record earnings in cloud services. Leo says that sadly, hardware earnings fell short for Microsoft whose tablets and laptops fell short. Leo says that's unfortunate because they make some nice hardware these days.
Leo also says that Google made a lot of money, up 49%, on their Pixel Android phone and their Google Home devices. Google's advertising revenue was also up 29% with nearly $2 billion a month in profit.
Facebook and Oculus had their big confab this week and they're focusing on Augmented Reality, which will bring virtual elements into the real world through a headset that shows you the real world, with virtual elements overlaid on it. Leo says that Facebook is looking to that because they are aware that everyone is getting into VR and they are worried about losing their edge in the genre. So look for Facebook to add AR to Oculus VR. Facebook is also going to add vanishing messages to Instagram in an effort to bury Snapchat since they couldn't buy them.