This Week in Tech News
According to a recent study that looked at over 400,000 adolescents, reports that there is no link between use of technology amongst teens, and their overall mental health. Leo says that the results are rather counterintuitive, but this generation is wired differently than those of us who grew up without technology.
For the first time, a computer using artificial intelligence named "Dr. Fill" has defeated all humans at an elite crossword puzzle tournament. Leo says that crosswords are very human with puns and definitions, so this may be a bigger deal than when a computer beats a human at chess.
Microsoft was planning on releasing Windows 10X soon, which would rewrite the operating system from the ground up. Now reports indicate that the project may be dead in favor of the current incarnation of Windows X. Leo says the problem is that Microsoft is obsessed with keeping the OS compatible with every computer out there, making it practically impossible to modernize it.
Amazon plans to use their Echo neighborhood network to making finding geotags accurately. The idea is to compete with Apple AirTags.
2020 may have been a rough year for us, but the top five tech giants had a banner year with nearly 2 Trillion in revenue. Those giants included Apple, Google (Alphabet), Microsoft, and others. Leo says that Apple, in particular, enjoyed a 42% profit margin. And a 78% margin rumored to be from the app store.
In a clear sign that things in the modern workplace will not go back to business as usual as we move out of lockdown from the pandemic, Google is using interesting but strange, new ideas to reinvent things. From camp-like meeting spaces to inflatable cubicles and walls to unique work schedules for employees, the company is looking for ways to reduce stress and improve efficiency by creating a more welcome and less corporate-like atmosphere.
Leo says that Apple's AirTags offer a legitimate privacy concern. A reporter who received a pair for review found that AirTags are scarily good at tracking users ... right on down to knowing the exact address they are at for up to three days. Leo says that Apple does claim there are stalking protections, but if a user forgets to revoke privacy permissions to people they know, it can be a cause for concern.
In a prerecorded event that lasted almost an hour on the dot, Apple held their annual Spring Event and introduced the latest M1 iMac, M1 iPad Pros, updates to AppleTV, and finally the launch of the Apple Air Tags. Apple also announced a purple iPhone, and the ability for customers to build credit through the Apple Card. The Apple Air Tags will signal where your lost devices are, from keys to just about anything. Apple also added that any time an iOS device comes within range of an Air Tag, the tag will phone home and let the owner know where they are. That's pretty cool.
Apple's Spring Loaded event was this week, coming in at under an hour for the prerecorded stream for all their product announcements. Leo thinks that Apple has really streamlined the format and that they really like it. So this may be the way they will continue to do it from now on. New products included a new iPad with the M1 chip, a new M1 iMac in six different colors, an updated Apple TV with color correction through iPhone, and the Apple Air Tags. Leo says that Air Tags are exactly what people expect, at $29, or $99 for four.