This Week in Tech News

Android Has a Bad Exploit: QuadRooter

Episode 1313

A really bad exploit in the Android OS enables the installation of malware called QuadRooter. Google is working to push security updates, and promises to have an update by September. If your manufacturer or wireless provider is slow to push out updates, then you may be vulnerable for quite some time, especially if you have an old phone. If you're looking to get a new phone, make sure you're getting it from a company that's offering monthly updates.

Rumors Persist That Apple Will Drop Headphone Jack on Next iPhone

Episode 1312

Apple iPhone 6s

With the fall Apple event only weeks away, rumors persist that Apple plans to eliminate the headphone jack in favor of headphones that use the Lightning connector. Leo says it's been tried before. The Motorola Droid Z didn't have one. Leo says that people want a headphone jack and this is going to be a test of brand loyalty. But Steve Gibson says that using the Lightning connector could pave the way for Apple to add noise cancelling earbuds to the design. It could also transmit data like measuring blood pressure while you're working out.

Samsung Announces Galaxy Note 7

Episode 1312

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 7 this week. When the first Note came out, it was ridiculed for being way too big, but now it's common. It's popular for the bigger screens and for the improved battery life over smaller phones. People were surprised at the Samsung announcement because they expected the battery in the Note 7 to be smaller, when it actually will be bigger. While the original Note had a removable battery, the previous Note 5 did not. It also did not have an SD card slot for memory expansion.

Disney Releases Its Own Messaging App for Kids

Episode 1312

Disney Mix

Disney has released Disney Mix, a messaging app made for kids. Leo thinks that this could be an attempt at getting a new generation of brand loyalty to Disney, much like Sony did with its "My First Sony" Walkmen. This is a good idea for kids under 13 that want to use messaging. The app not only has messaging capabilities, but games, you can make meme-style images, share stickers, and more. Disney has a series of community rules about staying safe and staying respectful to others. There's also moderation, and Disney will ban any users from misusing the app.

Free Upgrade Period for Windows 10 Has Passed, but There Are Exceptions

Episode 1309

Microsoft Windows 10

The general public deadline to get Windows 10 has passed and if you want to upgrade now, it'll cost you $129. However, if you are reliant on assistive technologies like screen readers, and have to wait for those to be upgraded, Microsoft will give you some extra time to upgrade at no cost. Microsoft will update the OS two or three times a year from now on. The first big update is coming next week on August 2nd.

Vulnerability Found in Apple's macOS and iOS

Episode 1308

MacBook Air, iPhone, iPad

Cisco has found a vulnerability similar to the Android text exploit, which could take control of your mobile phone through a text message. Leo says that Apple has released a patch to close the hole before anyone else had discovered it. This affects iOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS. Mavericks and Yosemite users don't have a fix yet, though, so those users should disable iMessage until they do. If you can't get past Mavericks because your desktop is too old, turn off iMessages permanently.

Microsoft to Redesign Skype

Episode 1307

Microsoft has announced that they will be replacing the peer to peer voiceover IP scheme in Skype with a native server that will route the traffic in a more traditional way. And in doing so, they promise a “lighter, faster and more responsive UWP app for Windows 10, Skype for iPhone, iPad and Android." But it'll be a bumpy ride for Mac and Linux users, and even Windows phone users, until they do. Leo says that Skype has been improving in it's quality of late and it could be that Microsoft's tweaking of the code is a good thing.

Yahoo May Have a Buyer

Episode 1307

There may be a buyer for yahoo, one of the oldest websites online, and if it goes through, it could be the end of the line for the troubled search engine company. The prospective buyer ... is Verizon, which is looking to buy the company for $5 billion, which is a far cry from the $45 billion that Microsoft bid for it a few years ago. Verizon is not going to get the most valuable portion of the company, its search engine since they have been using BING for a few years now, but it will get the content channels that create ad revenue like tumblr, Yahoo mail, Flickr, and other services.