This Week in Tech News
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 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.
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.
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 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?
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.
Leo watched a Broadway show streamed live from the Great White Way for the first time. She Loves Me was the show and you can stream it via BroadwayHD.com for only $10 on your smartphone for the next week, or $15 via AppleTV or Roku.
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.
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.