Wikileaks has announced Vault 7, a massive collection of documents that show how the CIA uses malware and other hacking techniques to spy online. Some of the techniques includes using smartTVs as a spying device since they use cameras and microphones built into the TVs. Samsung warned of this in their terms of service for their TVs last year. But Leo says that the CIA doesn't really have a switch to turn on all TVs, and if they did, the data they'd receive would be so massive and 99.9% of it would be useless. It could be used for targeted eavesdropping, though.
Snap's IPO was launched yesterday, selling at $17 a share, with total value of $34 Billion. That's a heck of a lot for a single app called Snapchat. But is it worth more than Marriot? Leo says it's rather over valued. Why is it so high in value? Leo says that people wants to know how to reach young people and Snapchat is where the kids are. Kids don't watch TV anymore, they watch YouTube and talk amongst themselves. And Snapchat is their platform.
In the hopes of avoiding a repeat of the mistakes made with rushing a product out to market, Microsoft has announced that development of their mixed reality HoloLens device will be deferred to at least 2019. The hope is that they can avoid any similar mistakes that made the launch of the Kinect camera so problematic. Meanwhile, people can still get the current developer edition for $3500.
Facebook/Oculus will have to pay ZeniMax a half billion dollars for copyright and patent infringement in the development of the Oculus Rift device. Leo says that is a clear indicator that virtual reality may be succeeding, since companies are suing each other now.
With the new chairman and his anti net neutrality views, the FCC has changed direction on a rule that would require cable companies to allow users to use third party set top boxes. Leo said it was a great idea, but in reality, cable companies were starting to see the handwriting on the wall that cutting the cable is gathering speed. The FCC has also allowed for zero rating, where you can get free data if you watch streaming from partnered services.
An interesting fact emerged from the US Highway Safety Investigation of the Tesla on Autopilot that killed its driver. While it didn't save the driver in this case, the data from all Teslas with autopilot show that it does save lives. The driver of the vehicle in question wasn't paying attention, and as a result, was the victim of his own negligence.
The Russian hacking story is now all over the news, especially after the joint agency report about the hacking. Many security experts aren't basing their assessment on that report, and it was most likely misdirection for public consumption having nothing to do with the actual information. In the report, they listed about a hundred IP addresses that they believe were used by Russian government hackers. The problem with those IP addresses is that a lot of them are TOR exit nodes, which could have been used by anyone.
A local TV news segment told the story of a girl who talked to Amazon Echo and accidentally ordered hundreds of dollars in toys and cookies through the automatic ordering feature. In doing so, the radio station triggered homes all over San Diego that have Amazon Echo to do the same thing. Leo says it's important to make sure you have parental controls on to avoid this, and to train yourself to not use the "A" word when talking about things it may mistakenly use to order for you.
Leo says that for the first time in decades, driving fatalities are on the rise and the reason points to distracted driving as users of smartphones have their attentions divided. As such, California and other states are ratcheting up the fines for anyone who uses their smartphone while driving.