This Week in Tech News

Microsoft Announces New Xbox One X

Episode 1396

Xbox One X

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.

Phones Can Legally be Seized at the Border

Episode 1394

TSA

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.

Apple's WWDC Starts Monday with Keynote

Episode 1393

WWDC 2017

Apple's Tim Cook will take to the stage tomorrow from San Jose, in what may be the last keynote to be given before they move to the circular spaceship campus. Operations have already begun there, but the special theater for media events isn't done yet. Leo expects the 10th anniversary iPhone event to be there in September.

Google to Put Ad Blocker in Chrome Browser

Episode 1392

Google Chrome

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.

Apple May Announce Siri Home Device at WWDC

Episode 1392

Apple HomePod

There's plenty of credible evidence that Apple is going to get into the home connectivity game with an announcement of a Siri home speaker at WWDC. But Leo says that Siri is the dumbest of all the digital assistants, since Apple has systematically dumbed the service down since they acquired it. So he's not sure how beneficial it would be to have a Siri device over Amazon's Echo or Google's Home. Apple may have the edge with superior hardware, though.

WannaCry Ransomware Has a Possible Solution

Episode 1391

Encryption

WannaCry is ransomware that can lock up your data unless you pay the hacker who created it. WannaKiwi, however, finds the crypto key in your PCs RAM to undo the damage. It only seems to work about a third of the time, however. That's why Leo says to make sure you don't get it by altering your behavior, and by making sure you have current backups of your data should it happen. One thing you should never do is pay up, because you don't know if you'll get your data back, or if there's something even worse getting installed.

WannaCry is the Latest Phishing Ransomware Attack

Episode 1389

WannaCry

The latest ransomware attack is called WannaCry and it's spreading via phishing email attacks. The ransomware not only encrypts your data — it also has a built-in kill switch on websites. Security researchers may have crafted a fix to it, but there's a catch. The encryption is done using Microsoft's bit locker, and the fix is to take advantage of a flaw in the cryptographic memory that keeps the keys in RAM so it can harvest them and unlock your data.