Tech news

Judge Approves AT&T/Time Warner Merger, Opening the Floodgates

Episode 1498

AT&T Logo

A federal judge approved the merger of Time Warner and AT&T this week, opening the floodgates for even more large mega corporate mergers. Comcast moved almost instantly to provide a massive bid on 21st Century Fox, outbidding Disney by over 15%, setting off a huge bidding war. Leo says that the judge got it wrong and this represents a serious problem for consumers, even though customers like it because it saves them money in the short run.

Europe's New Data Privacy Law has Teeth

Episode 1490

Data Privacy

Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR has gone in effect, and it has some teeth as companies who fail to comply will face a fine of 4% of their annual income. Leo says that larger companies could face fines in the millions. Leo also says that companies have 72 hours to report all data breaches and give customers the right to have their data deleted upon request.

Read more at money.cnn.com

Google IO Kicks Off Busy Developer's Season

Episode 1485

Google I/O 2018

Google I/O kicks off a busy developer season this week. Followed by Microsoft's developer conference later this week, then Facebook's F8 and finishing up with Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Leo says that both Google and Microsoft will have a message on Progressive Web Apps. These are apps that will be web centric, with the idea that you can download pieces of the app that will operate off line, but with the rest of the work on a backend in the cloud. Leo says that it's no longer about the operating system.

Bad month for self driving cars

Episode 1482

Google's Lexus RX 450h Self-Driving Car

April has been a bad month for self driving cars, as both a driver and pedestrian have died from accidents. Leo says that California is giving Google a permit for a self driving car called WayMo, which will have no safety driver. The irony isn't lost on Leo, and while he believes that self driving cars are better than human control, they're never going to be 100%. There's more testing that needs to be done and they should have a safety driver until the bugs are ironed out.

Signatures Will No Longer Be Required on Credit Cards

Episode 1479

https://pixabay.com/en/credit-card-signature-credit-card-1211408/

Now that pin numbers have been associated with credit cards via the chip, the major credit card companies have announced that effective today, they will no longer require a signature when using a credit card. Leo says that's not only not surprising, but merchants rarely check anyway. But those who do, can still require it for their own records.

Credit card signatures are ending in the US on April 13th

Apple to Store iCloud Keys in China

Episode 1466

Tim Cook

In a move that is causing concern with privacy advocates, Apple has announced it will store iCloud recovery keys in China. Leo says that it's really no different from what Apple does here, but it will make it easier for the Chinese government, or any government for that matter, to gain access to someone's data. Apple does protect your privacy from selling to advertisers, but if the government really pushes, Apple will cave to what they consider an "appropriate" law enforcement request.