The day before the Super Bowl is the biggest TV buying day of the year — even bigger than Black Friday. That's because it's also the end of the model year and they want to clear out the old models to make room for the new models. Leo says that there are some times you want to wait for the latest and greatest, but right now is not that time. LCD and OLED TVs are still dominant and will be for a few more years until MicroLEDs take hold. So if you were waiting, don't! If you have an HD TV and wonder if you should buy 4K, now is the time because of HDR 4K TVs.
Kasperky AntiVirus was caught in the middle of a battle between the company's owners, and the Russian Security Services government agency. The company lost and now the Russians are now in charge of the Kaspersky Security Network. Leo says that he hasn't recommended Kaspersky for awhile now and even the US Federal Government recommends not using it because of the potential for spying. But it's more than a potential espionage tool, as there's a hole in the Kaspersky Network that would allow an employee of the company, or a hacker to snoop into your system.
2018 brought about the news that every processor built in the last ten years have a flaw in them that could give hackers access to sensitive data. Initially believed to affect just Intel processors, the latest is that this affects every single processor made, regardless of platform.
The flaws utilizes a technique called "processor speculation," which enables the processor to speculate what the user will do next in order to accelerate performance. But the feature also gives hackers access to sensitive L2 cache data like passwords. It's especially true for networks.
In a strict party-line vote, the FCC voted 3-2 to kill Net Neutrality rules, in spite of overwhelming support to protect it. Leo says that while the rules were in place in 2015, we've really had it since the beginning. Leo says he believes the smaller ISPs will probably still keep the spirit of Net Neutrality, but he believes the bigger companies like Time Warner, Comcast and others will probably charge Google, Facebook, and others for access to their customers. He doesn't believe at this point that customers will see a direct impact, though.
Though Monday is known as "Cyber Monday," the day people take to the internet to find great online deals for Christmas, Black Friday sales figures show a rise in online shopping, including a double-digit increase in using mobile devices to buy goods. The average order was $135, up from last year.
Phone sales were also big this year, with deals on the iPhone X that offered gift cards if you bought one. Walmart gave a $300 gift card.
Cyber Monday is expected to be even bigger, by 10-20%.
Leo says that the FCC has decided to completely ignore the comments of the public, which amounted to nearly 50 million, and apparently will toss out existing Net Neutrality rules. Most people just don't care that much about it. We have fought this back time and time again, but Leo says we're probably going to lose this round, and heaven only knows what will happen next.
We survived another Black Friday. Braving fist fights for deals on last year's models, Leo says that traffic was terrible for Black Friday, and there were plenty of deals to be had. Cyber Monday is coming, where people shop for special deals online. Leo wonders if after Net Neutrality rules are tossed next month if ISPs will charge a toll for visiting sites like Amazon next year.
Leo says that phone manufacturers like Apple and Google are taking advantage of the hyper-competitive nature of the tech blogging world by only giving out limited quantities of smartphones, and at the very last minute for only 24 hours. This strategy was pretty interesting because it gave bloggers limited hands-on time with their latest phones before they had to publish a review. As such, Leo says they didn't really have time to focus on bread and butter features like battery life or issues like screen burn-in. Instead, they're focusing on the newest features.
As the first president and CEO of Facebook, Sean Parker had the experience to make the social media network a success. Now, in an interview, Parker is essentially apologizing for letting the genie out of the bottle. Parker says that Facebook has literally changed our relationship with society, our families, and our children. He also says it's a tremendous time suck that impacts productivity.
Leo says that the iPhone X pre-order was a total mess, as it usually is. The iPhone 8 pre-order, on the other hand, was easy and Leo says that's because most people didn't want it. They waited for the iPhone X. It was also very difficult to get one on November 3rd because they are in limited supplies. Leo is getting his the week after. Leo says he's rather tired of the whole upgrade rat race, too, and he's embarrassed by the whole process. If he didn't have to review these things, he'd likely just get off the train altogether.