Amazon

Buy a Home Automation Hub from a Dedicated Company

If you're going to buy a hub for home automation, Leo recommends purchasing from a tech company that's dedicated to IoT. Samsung SmartThings is a good, safe choice, and they use the Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols. Apple is making it difficult for companies to support Homekit, and Google has its own items that they may pull the plug on anytime. Unfortunately, a company like Lowe's just isn't big enough to support the breadth of the internet-of-things, which is why their IRIS service is being discontinued.

Is there an advantage to using an Apple TV instead of a Mac Mini as a set top box?

Apple TV 4K

Episode 1555

Bruce from Las Vegas, NV

Bruce upgraded to an LG C7 TV, and it's been the best TV he's ever owned. He has an older generation Apple TV, not the new 4K version that's out now. He's wondering if it would be better for him to get a Mac Mini instead. He wants to know what the difference would be between Apple's tvOS and macOS. Leo says the new Apple TVs support UHD and high dynamic range (HDR). One of nice things about using an Apple TV is that it's automatic, Bruce would just have to plug in the HDMI cable and everything would work. The other thing it does is Dolby Atmos sound.

Top Tech Stories of 2018

Facebook

Episode 1552

1. Facebook had a terrible year, starting with leaked information to Cambridge Analytica of up to 87 million users. It lost 19% value, up to $100 billion, the biggest loss in the history of the stock market. Mark Zuckerberg lost $40 billion personally. And there was congressional investivations. All told, Facebook had 21 scandals centered around privacy violations. It was as bad a year as Facebook could get.

2. Apple lost 20% of its value. It went from being the first trillion dollar company to no longer holding that title.

Why is Amazon so big in the Cloud, aren't they just a retailer?

Amazon

Episode 1547

Scott from Orange County, CA

Scott went to the recent ReInvent convention for Amazon services and he learned a lot about the power of data in the cloud. Leo says that Amazon is the clear leader in cloud based web services, trouncing Google and Microsoft. And the irony is, it was largely an afterthought to their retail business. Leo now thinks that Amazon's goal is to get a fraction of every financial transaction on the planet. Even a penny would amount to trillions of dollars.

Has China Hacked All Our Corporations?

Episode 1529

According to Bloomberg, China added a tiny chip, about the size of a grain of rice, to network motherboards that would allow China to Spy on corporations. The chip was discovered by Amazon Security, which notified federal authorities. The servers were created by Chinese company Elemental, and are on everything from network business servers to NAVY WARSHIPS. Investigators have discovered that the chips were installed by the PRC at the manufacturing plant. But here's the twist ... everyone is now denying it.

Amazon Hosts Surprise Alexa Event with 14 New Products

Episode 1525

Thursday, Amazon held a surprise Alexa event, announcing 14 new Alexa centered products, with nearly 75 new features. Rich doesn't think it's trivial that Amazon chose the day before the iPhone shipped to grab all the headlines. But Rich also thinks that companies want their customers to be exclusive, and you can end up becoming deeper into their ecosystem, making it harder to use other products outside of it.