This Week in Tech News

Pokemon Go Responsible for Dramatic Spike in Fitness Tracking

Episode 1305

Fitness tracking apps have reported a dramatic spike in walking and movement since the launch of Pokemon Go. Leo says that the game is actually not only getting people out and about, but it's got them talking and working together. There has never been anything like it. Father's and sons playing the game together. People meeting each other at Pokestops. It's like a party. Leo also says that businesses are taking advantage by putting out lures to get people to come into their stores to get Pokemon and then maybe stop to shop.

Pokémon Go Is the Newest Gaming Obsession

Episode 1303

Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go is a new mobile game that's taking the US and Australia by storm. It uses augmented reality to motivate people to get out of the house and interact with the world around them. Leo says that what's great about the game is that it gets you out and moving, plus you meet other people playing the game. Leo tried it this week and walked five miles playing the game. It's kind of like Geo Caching meets Pokémon. Leo says that it's serious too, because shares of Nintendo have risen 15% in the last few weeks. The question is, will it be a fad with a quick burn out factor like Flappy Bird?

Putin Signs New Law in Russia That Increases Surveillance of Citizens

Episode 1303

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed anti-terrorism legislation, including increased electronic surveillance of Russian citizens. This effectively removes all privacy as telephone companies and internet providers will save and store private communications of its customers and make it available to the government upon request. Phone calls, text messages, and emails will be kept for 6 months, and all metadata will be kept for up to 3 years. This also will outlaw encryption.

Autonomous Vehicles Have First Reported Fatality

Episode 1301

Tesla has become the first car maker to have true autonomy in their cars, but they also now have the sad distinction of being the fist autonomous car to suffer a fatality. Leo says that while tragic, auto pilot is not perfect. Autopilot is better than human drivers who are honestly terrible drivers, but it won't ever be perfect in the fluid nature of driving in traffic. And crashes will happen. Leo also says don't treat autopilot like it's infallible and ignore what's going on. Think of it more as "driver assist." Pay attention. That way if anything happens, you can take action.

Tesla Model S Crashes Into Truck, Kills Driver While on Autopilot

Episode 1301

Tesla Autopilot

A Tesla Model S crashed into a truck at highway speeds, killing the driver, all while on autopilot. Tesla is the first car company to put true autonomy into its cars. Many cars today have some autonomous features, such as blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, lane control, and more. Teslas take it a step further, and can actually change lanes automatically and follow a route. Autopilot is disabled unless you opt-in for it, and Tesla says it's still in a public beta.

Microsoft Announces Xbox One S at E3 Gaming Conference

Episode 1298

Microsoft Xbox One S

Microsoft announced a new Xbox One console at the E3 Gaming Conference this past week. It's called Xbox One S, and the "S" stands for slim. If anything, this will be a good way to get one of the new UHD Blu-ray players. The current crop of Blu-ray players are 1080p, but now with 4K TVs becoming more common, the UHD Blu-ray players will be more sought after as well. There has been 4K content available for streaming, but it's highly compressed and isn't the best example of how 4K can look.

Apple Announces iOS 10 and 'Differential Privacy' at WWDC

Episode 1297

Apple had its WorldWide Developers Conference this week in San Francisco, and announced iOS 10, watchOS 3, and macOS Sierra. Among those announcements was the new Music app which has been slightly redesigned and a new iMessages app with many new features.

Apple also announced "Differential Privacy," which aims to gather data from users without sacrificing the privacy of each individual user. Apple also stated that it would be bringing more "deep learning" to iOS, but that it would only use data on the local device and not from the cloud.