This Week in Tech News

Samsung to Lose 1.5 Billion Dollars in Note 7 Recall

Episode 1320

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Due to exploding batteries in 35 different Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones, the company has issued a mandatory recall of all phones for replacement or a full refund. The phone maker says it will cost them $1.5 Billion in losses. Leo says if you have a Note 7, to return it immediately. It's going to take a few weeks to get a replacement, so Leo says that Google's new Pixel phone is a worthy alternative, or the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Samsung Recalls Galaxy Note 7 Amidst Exploding Batteries

Episode 1319

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

This week, after reports that over 35 batteries in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 have exploded, Samsung has stopped sales of the Android phone and recalled them. Leo says that part of the problem may be the fast charge option. Leo recommends that if you have a Note 7, take no chances, and return it. T-Mobile is offering loaners until they have been replaced or refunded. Leo says that Samsung is doing the right thing, even though it will hurt the bottom line. Back it up, remove your SIM and bring it back to the place you got it.

San Francisco Company Selling Exploits to the iPhone

Episode 1319

Apple iPhone 6s

Remember when Apple refused to unlock an iPhone because to do so would unlock all phones? Well the company NSO Group has found several flaws in the iPhone operating system and they've been selling exploits to governments to spy on dissidents. They've apparently had the exploit for three years and have been selling it. Apple has moved to patch the exploits that have been reported, but the question is, have they gotten them all? Leo says there's something wrong about selling the ability to spy on people.

Apple to Announce New iPhone September 7th

Episode 1318

Invitations are believed to be going out for Apple's Fall iPhone event on September 7th. Rumors point to the iPhone 7 removing the headphone jack in favor of either wireless airbuds or via a new lightning connected airbuds. There will also be a dual camera array which will take images in color and black and white to use it to make a more accurate image.

New Exploit Gives Governments the ability to hack into iPhone

Episode 1317

Remember the legal battle that Apple fought against the US Government to prevent unlocking of the iPhone's encryption? The US Gov't ended up going to a third party company who had created a hack to do it. Now that hack is being used to unlock and peer into the mobile phones of dissidents and other undesirable elements that the government wants to keep tabs on. Even reporters. Leo says that Apple has pushed out a fix to block it, and everyone should install iOS 9.5.3 to stop it. Otherwise, you're vulnerable.

Android 7 Launches this week on Nexus Devices

Episode 1316

Codenamed "Nougat," Android 7 will launch this week on all Google Nexus devices. It'll take awhile for it to seed down to other phones, however, since both carriers and manufacturers will have to have their say. But Nougat is here.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Review

Episode 1316

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Leo has the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which he says Samsung rushed out before Android 7 launched this week in order to try and leach off the iPhone sales in the fall. It's got a nifty adapt sound feature that allows you to dial in the sound of the phone should you have hearing impairments. It supports microSD cards again. The TouchWiz interface is definitely lighter, so it's not as annoying as on previous models. You can't break the stylus in this one by putting in it wrong, either. All in all, Leo says it's an excellent phone and he likes it a lot.

Hacking Group Announces Auction of NSA "Cyber Weapons"

Episode 1315

A hacker group called "ShadowBrokers" may have gotten NSA exploits that could be used to target Cisco firewall systems. If these are real, did they hack the NSA to get them? The group is asking for 1 million Bitcoins in an auction for the best "cyber weapons" that the group hasn't released. It raises a lot of questions about the legitimacy of these exploits, how they got them, and how dangerous they are. It seems that they are real, though, because The Intercept released documents on Friday that effectively confirm that the ShadowBrokers preliminary data dump is real.

Microsoft's Anniversary Update to Windows 10 Breaks Most Webcams

Episode 1315

Microsoft had a public beta of the Anniversary Update, called the Windows Insider Program. That means millions of people used the Anniversary Update before it was released. So it's difficult to understand why there have suddenly been so many problems. You can't avoid the Anniversary Update either if you have Windows 10. Among the problems, the latest update breaks most webcams. The reason for this, apparently, is that it broke support for standard compressed video codecs MJPEG and H.264, the format those cameras use. There have also been reports of nonstop blue screens.

Microsoft's First Windows 10 Update Meets Widespread Criticism

Episode 1313

Microsoft Windows 10 Start Menu

Microsoft's first anniversary update has broken many peripherals and applications. Leo says that since it's more difficult to roll back now that the Windows 10 deadline has passed, it comes down to waiting for your device or application to fix the issue with a new update or driver. Leo says that Microsoft should take a page from Linux and have a stable version when their updates start crashing systems.

The chatroom also says that Microsoft has reduced the rollback window from 30 days to 10 days. Leo says that still should be enough to determine if you like Windows 10 or not.