In what could simply be a case of hitting a speed wall, the latest sales figures indicate that smartphone sales began a decline in 2017, with sales in the US declining for the first time in 2018. Market saturation is nearing 100%, and everyone who wants a smartphone has a smartphone. Phones are now like cars, which you don't really replace as often anymore, since the new phone won't be significantly better.
This Week in Tech News
259 selfie deaths in 137 incident globally, is the latest tech story going. Male deaths outpace females 3-1. With the majority happening in India. Most are falling to their deaths, or getting too close to a dangerous situation like traffic, or wild animals. So much so that parks are starting to carve out No Selfie zones.
The moral here ... be safe.
Parliament in Australia is pushing through an anti-encryption law that will make it not only illegal to use encrypted communications, but will also give law enforcement and other government authorities the power to use malware to crack an encrypted network. Leo says it will endanger the security of anyone using an online service and obvious violates an individual's privacy rights. Russia has a similar law, as does England.
For a long time, scammers have been calling or displaying a popup message on PCs with the threat that their computer access will be restricted if they don't call a number and make a payment. According to the New York Times, this official looking message is coming from a scam operation in Mumbai, India - which is the main hub for call centers. Leo says that's because the real tech support people are moonlighting with this scam.
Marriott just announced this week that it learned of a security breach from four years ago, and 500 million users are affected. For 327 million guests, the exposed information include names, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, and arrival and departure information. For millions of others, credit card numbers and expiration dates were compromised. Marriott says it will begin emailing guests affected by the breach.
Alphabet's life sciences company Verily has announced that it is discontinuing development on 'Smart Lens,' which promised the ability to read blood glucose levels using contact lenses. The company said that not only is this hard to do, but there's massive and potentially insurmountable technical and scientific problems with it.
Read more at blog.verily.com
The FCC has approved an application from Elon Musk's SpaceX to deploy 7,000 satellites into space that would offer global broadband internet access. Elon Musk wants a total of 12,000 satellites around the earth in Low Earth Orbit to provide internet to every square inch of the planet's surface. One of the problems with satellite internet is that there's a lot of latency, but Musk says they can get it down to 25 milliseconds, which could be faster than the internet many of us have at home.
Leo says that with its 8 core A12x Bionic Processor and 7 core GPU, the iPad Pro is indeed the computer of the future. It's more powerful than 92% of all laptops sold this year. But iOS is simply too underwhelming to take advantage of all that power. Things you should be able to do, like add an external hard drive or keyboard, you still can't. Sure, some creatives will be able to harness the power, but for most, you'll end up paying a ton of money for what amounts to an overpriced Netflix machine.
Leo got a 256GB iPad Pro this week, and Leo says the iPad Pro is a sexy piece of technology. It's so thin, they couldn't even put a headphone jack in it! But he also says that after buying the keyboard folio, the magnetic Apple Pencil 2, and the iPad itself, he was into it for over $1600. He also says it far surpasses a comparable laptop in many ways. It has the True Tone display, an adaptive Liquid Retina display, an eight core A12x Bionic chip which is 7nm small, the smallest processor ever, and 7 GPUs. It's incredibly fast. Faster than 92% of all laptops sold, according to Apple.
Apple announced an updated MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and a far more powerful iPad Pro with an 11" screen, that is faster than not only most MacBook Pros but just about every laptop on the market. This is thanks to the A12x Bionic designed by Apple. Leo says that Apple is signaling that desktops and laptops are on the way out, and iPads are here to stay. Apple is also planning to dump Intel in favor of their own chips in the future.