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.
This Week in Tech News
Google is revamping GMail and adding new features, including placing the attachment at the top of the email thread, delayed replies (which will enable a user to snooze an email until another time), nudge to reply reminders, and smart replies. Some privacy geeks may be concerned that a machine is reading their Gmail and suggesting replies, but Rich says it's very convenient in the mobile app. Other features include Confidential mode, where the message will self destruct after being read. A new task app in Gmail. And the ability to read emails, tasks, calendar, and notes in one screen.
With Leo on vacation, KTLA's tech reporter Rich DeMuro fills in this weekend!
Rich has been a TV reporter for over 15 years and has covered technology for a majority of that time. Recently, Rich won a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award for his coverage of social issues related to technology. You’ll often see and hear Rich on various other media outlets including weekly on KFI AM 640. He has appeared on Entertainment Tonight, Home & Family, G4TV, CNBC, NBC’s Today Show, ABC News, Fox News Channel, the BBC and more.
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.
The IRS e-filing system was down for part of the day on tax day, which is a little strange. It is the busiest day of the year, but the IRS knew that ahead of time. A lot of people using software do the e-filing, such as TurboTax, H&R Block, IRS Direct Pay, and others were unable to file electronically.
Read more at arstechnica.com.
(Disclaimer: TurboTax is a sponsor)
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.
In light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has continued apologizing for allowing user data breaches that violated people's privacy. The problem though, according to Leo, is that he's been apologizing for the same thing since college. He's really learned nothing.
News has come out the US Department of Homeland Security is compiling a list of press, influencers, and bloggers to just keep track of what they report in pertaining to National Security. Leo says that this is something that we should be vigilant in watching because it could be very easy to misuse such data.