This week marked the annual Day of Action for Net Neutrality designed to lobby the FCC and Congress. Leo says that naturally, most of the broadcasters ignored or gave lip service to covering the event, because they are all tied to major internet providers who "have a dog in this hunt." Leo says that the internet needs to be treated like a utility, something that needs to be open and available to all.
This Week in Tech News
On Friday, Tesla launched its more affordable $35,000 car, the Model 3. The thing that's been keeping these cars so expensive is because of the batteries it requires. Teslas have a long range of 200+ miles, which means it needs bigger batteries. Tesla has put batteries in the chassis for this, which is a good place to put them because it gives the car more stability and keeps it out of the way. The price of these batteries has been dropping considerably, though.
Leo has had the Nest IQ camera for review this past week. It's an indoor 4K camera, but it doesn't necessarily stream 4K over the network. Because it has such a high resolution camera, it can zoom and pan, and also has face recognition. It can see a person coming to the house and identify whether or not it's someone familiar or a stranger. It's an expensive camera, but because it's a Google company, Nest cameras are among the most secure cameras on the market.
Leo got the Amazon Echo Show this past week. This has a 7" screen, with high quality stereo speakers in it. It also has a camera and microphone. This means it can do things like play video content in Flash Briefings, and has video calling. It also has a 'drop-in' feature, which is kind of like an intercom. When you drop-in on someone, you'll be able to hear the other person's audio right away, but they will have to accept to send video.
This past week marked the ten year anniversary of the release of the original iPhone. Leo remembers waiting in line for that iPhone. By today's standards it's tiny, but it was so much better than anything else that was out at the time. When Steve Jobs first talked about it in his keynote address, he introduced it as three new products — a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a phone, and an internet communicator. He kept repeating those three things until everyone understood it was one product, the iPhone.
This week is the tenth anniversary of the iPhone's initial release. Leo says he actually waited in line for it for a few hours, and was a part of the fun of that new product. But he also says that we don't see lines anymore. The head of Apple's consumer division says that it isn't good business to make people wait in line anymore, though it's good for PR purposes. Which is why Apple shifted to a preorder model.
Facebook celebrated surpassing two billion active daily users this week. Leo says that if you do the math, that's easily half of all the people who use the Internet. WOW.
Petya is the latest ransomware hitting millions of computers around the world. Most infected computers are in the Ukraine, where "patient zero" is believed to be. From there it branched out to Russia, Poland, Italy and Germany. It takes advantage of the same flaws in Windows 10 that WannaCry did. Fortunately, it hasn't really hit the U.S. yet, but we'll see more infections as time goes on. Our CIA intelligence service discovered it and didn't say anything because it could use it to spy on others.
Apple announced new iPad Pros at its event a couple weeks ago, and Leo has the new 10.5" iPad in studio. He's had it for a little more than a week, and he has thoughts on it after using it for awhile. It looks very familiar compared to past iPads, and the changes to the new one are incremental. There's finally a decent camera in it — it has the same camera as the iPhone 7. The new screen is remarkable as well, it has richer colors and is more accurate. It also has a snappy A10X processor, which is noticeably faster — it even bests the latest 13" MacBook Pro.
Using a technique called "neighbor spoofing," a Florida man is being accused of making over 96 million robo calls selling time shares in violation of FCC Do Not Call laws. The FCC has suggested a fine is in the offing, but there's no word on if the perp is going to be arrested or if the robocalls have stopped.