This Week in Tech News

Amazon Announces a New Fire (Kindle) Tablet for Kids

Episode 1122

The Amazon Fire Kid Tablet comes with a two year warranty with replacement if it breaks, no questions asked. And it has a cool bumper design. $149.

Amazon also has Kindle readers starting at $79. And the Kindle Voyage, for $289, offers 300 dpi eink display. That's like paper. It'll be out for Christmas.

A Bad Week for Apple in Spite of Record Sales

Episode 1121

Apple Campus

In spite of announcing the sale of over 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smartphones within the first two days, Apple experienced a bad week this week as the update to iOS 8.0.1 ended up breaking iPhones by prohibiting users from making phone calls, getting data, or using Touch ID. Within a few hours, Apple yanked the update, but it left an untold number of users with a bricked new iPhone. Leo wonders if they even bothered to test the update. Apple has since released iOS 8.0.2.

Leo's Suffering From an "iPhone Hangover"

Episode 1120

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Leo stood in line starting at 3am Friday to buy the iPhone and he got both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Both have a beautiful design and are very thin. It's the first non Samsung chip running the iPhone as well. The chip is very fast with 2 Billion transistors and a 20NM process, so it's energy efficient. iPhone 6 is a little larger at 4.7", while the 6 Plus has a 5.5" screen.

Leo Gets in Line at 3 AM for iPhone 6

Episode 1119

Leo got in line at 3 AM to get the iPhone 6, and due to an amazing bit of marketing, people were waiting in line overnight to be the first to buy the new iPhone. Leo was 40th. Leo also noted that there were a fair amount of technical failures associated with this launch including the electronic reservation system and the pre-order system, which both failed.

Leo Tries to Get iPhone During the Wee Hours

Episode 1117

The iPhone 6 was previewed on Tuesday, with pre-orders to be handled starting on the 12th. Leo tried to pre-order at midnight and went to bed empty handed around 3am, just as he expected. The larger iPhone will be a huge interest and it's also the one with supply shortages. Leo wanted the larger one because of the larger screen, better image stabilization (optical), and better battery life. But aside from that, the 4.7" and 5.5" are the same. Leo was finally able to get the iPhone 6 Plus through Sprint for his mom and the smaller 4.7" iPhone 6 through Verizon for himself.

Apple's New Payment System Protects Credit holders

Episode 1117

Leo says that Apple's new payment system Apple Pay probably protects the credit card companies against credit fraud more than consumers since in the US, law protects consumers more. But Leo says it is more convenient because Apple Pay generates one time use temporary charge numbers that are tied to your account. So no one knows your account number but you. And that's neat. It also protects your credit cards and users won't have to cancel their cards if their phone gets stolen, they can just suspend the charging priviledges of the phone using Find my Iphone. And that's cool.

Celebrity Nude Data Breach Underscores Need for Second Factor Authentication

Episode 1116

With the breaking news that several celebrities who had their cloud accounts hacked and nude photos published on the internet, Leo says that this underscores the need for second factor authentication. Companies use secret questions so that you can answer them and get your password or reset it. But Leo says that people make the mistake of answering these questions truthfully. And for a celebrities, that's very easy to discover. Leo uses pneumonics and puts in bogus answers that only he knows and nobody can guess.

Yelp Sacrifices Credibility by Eliminating Negative Reviews for Advertising

Episode 1116

Yelp

Yelp has won the right in court to eliminate negative reviews from businesses that choose to advertise there. Leo says that by doing this, Yelp has sold out and sacrificed its credibility as a reliable review site.

Leo says that free and open reviews are vital in order to make an educated decision on where a customer will do business. Yelp has a higher responsibility to its users to make its reviews accurate and clean, rather than to shareholders. But now Yelp has permission to extort companies to get rid of negative reviews.

IFA Begins in Europe, and It's Becoming More Like CES

Episode 1115

Mobile Phone

The IFA convention is happening in Europe, and Leo says it's becoming more and more like CES. Right now is the ideal time for it as it as the holiday shopping season is right around the corner. Of course, there's always a lead-in of about a year from product announcement to seeing it in stores. So what's previewed this year will be out next year. Except for Apple, which typically releases its phones 10 days after the announcement.