This Week in Tech News

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.

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.