This Week in Tech News

Are Google Ad Algorithms racist?

Google Ads

Episode 1593

Talya O'Shea has done some research, and she's found that African Americans are more likely to see clickbait with the term "arrested" next to it than whites. And what the bias is from, is Google's Algorithm, which the advertising is based on. Leo says that O'Shea wrote a book about it, concluding that Google needs to improve that algorithm to be accurate, because it can cause a lot of harm to people's online reputation. 

Huawei's reputation for Chinese Spying Causes Google to Suspend business

Huawei

Episode 1593

Recently, after the US banned sales of Huawei cell phones due to spying, Google has suspended all business with the Chinese telephone manufacturer over genuine concerns that Huawei phones have spying issues. Google will not be updating Huaweii phones, give access to the app store, or any other product support. Huawei has also been added to the US Department of Commerce trade blacklist. Leo says it's a shame because Huawei makes some great hardware. 

Google Agrees to Class Action Lawsuit

Google

Episode 1592

Google has agreed to a settlement that will pay original Google Pixel or Pixel XL owners up to five hundred dollars for a defective microphone in the phone that caused issues while calling. Other users may be eligible for up to $20.

NEST Goes all Google ... rebrands

Google Nest Hub

Episode 1591

NEST has officially become Google NEST, and will solely become a Google Product. Leo says that while Google has owned NEST for a while now, it had kept it largely autonomous, including the data it collected. No longer. No Google owns all the data it collects and will use it. Even worse, Leo says that Google is already phasing out support for other IoT devices and will solely be supported by Google Assistant.  Leo says it's annoying when a company encourages you to deep dive into a product's ecosystem and then changes it so that it can't be used with other products.

Microsoft Lauds the Cloud at Event, Barely Mentions Windows

Microsoft

Episode 1590

Focusing mostly on their Cloud applications, Microsoft didn't even mention Windows at their latest event. Leo says that Microsoft has acknowledged that the Internet has become operating system agnostic, and as such, it really doesn't matter what OS you use. So Microsoft focused on their Cloud services like Azure. Could the end of Windows be near?

Verizon is Selling Tumblr ... Porn Site Wants to Buy it

Tumblr

Episode 1589

News is that Verizon is selling Tumblr, and PornHub wants to buy it, promising to put the adult back into Tumblr. Tumblr banned porn accounts a few years ago, but will Verizon sell it? Leo thinks it would be better for WordPress to buy it and keep it alive for kids.

Firefox Extensions Stop Working

Firefox

Episode 1589

Yesterday, all the extensions for Firefox suddenly stopped working. Leo says it turned out to be that Firefox forgot to renew their certificate for security, causing them all to stop working. Now they're pushing out a fix to get things back up and running. 

Apple Cracks Down on Apps that Fight Phone Addiction

 Our Pact

Episode 1587

Relying on a policy that no app can duplicate a function that Apple offers, Apple has removed 11 of 17 screentime and parental control apps.  Some app makers have been shut down. OurPact, with 3 million downloads, was pulled, eliminating 80% of the developer's income. Kids Locks and Custodio have filed a complaint with the EU as a result. But Apple claims it's a privacy issue as the apps take too much personal information. Or are they just protecting their bread and butter? Leo says it depends on how you feel about it.

Samsung Delays Galaxy Fold Launch

Galaxy Fold

Episode 1586

The Samsung Galaxy Fold got delayed earlier this week due to concerns with the phone and its design after some review units were damaged due to design issues of the phone. Leo was relieved to hear about the phone being delayed after the issues got reported weeks ago. However, he's is upset that Samsung sent a decease and desist letter to the iFixit, the repair guide website, to take down their breakdown of the Galaxy Fold.

Samsung's Folding Phone Screen Failures

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Episode 1585

This week, several reviewers who got the Samsung Galaxy Fold folding phone experienced catastrophic screen failures after just a day or two of use. Leo feels bad for Samsung since many reviewers who were sceptical of the design had begun to praise it. But then four different reviewers experienced screen failures: One from a piece of debris that caught in the hinge broke the screen, two others who inadvertently removed the protective film of the screen itself, and several others just plain died. It's like battery-gate all over again.