This Week in Tech News

Governments Using Smartphone Location Data to Enforce Social Distancing

Smartphone Location Tracking

Episode 1684

Countries are using cellphone location data to not only enforce mandatory social distancing but also to see who patients have been in contact with the virus, to find out how that patient was infected. Other countries are using facial recognition to punish those in defiance of the orders and gathering together.

So while technology can be used for the greater good, namely trying to stem the tide of the Coronavirus outbreak, it can also be used as a dreadful tool for the surveillance state.

Using Zoom has multiple security and privacy issues

Zoom

Episode 1684

While Zoom is helpful in keeping people connected during the Covid19 isolation, it also has huge privacy issues. Firstly, Zoom installed a web server on the background of Apple computers that would stay even if you uninstalled the software. Apple has fixed that, but Zoom was very slow to respond. There are also security issues with "Zoom bombing" where trolls are crashing meetings and posting offensive material.

Issues With Zoom Security for Users

zoom

Episode 1683

Zoom operates a web server on your mac when you use it, and if you uninstall it, the server stays on your computer and is a security risk. Leo says he understands why it was designed that way, but having to keep it on your computer makes your computer a bot, and that's a bad thing. Zoom was also reporting your personal data to Facebook if you installed it on a mobile device. VERY BAD. When initially apprised on it, they didn't act right away. Now they're saying they have halted development to fix the problem.

TWiT Poised to Celebrate 15th Anniversary

TWiT's 15 Year Anniversary

Episode 1682

Next month marks the 15th anniversary of the TWiT Netcast network. Leo started in the second story of his house, and now he's broadcasting all over the country from the TWiT Eastside Studios. What will the next 15 years have in store?

Google Classroom and Zoom Are Amongst the Top Apps

Zoom

Episode 1682

Because all the kids and college students are attending class online, Google Classroom went from being relatively unknown to in the top five apps now. Zoom is also huge, being besieged by tons of schools and businesses using their app to video conference for education and work.

China Proposes New IP Standard for Greater Control

China

Episode 1681

China has proposed that the internet adopt a new IP standard that would give governments greater control over its users. It has been met with support from Russia and Saudi Arabia, no surprise there. Leo says it also enables a government to use a new "shut up" feature that would enable them to lock out so-called "bad actors" or dissidents using the Internet to resist. But Leo says the only bad actors around are Governments seeking more control. 

New Apple Devices Announced, While Stores Closed

2020 MacBook Air

Episode 1680

This week, Apple announced the new MacBook Air and iPad Pro. But while Apple has new devices for users to buy, all Apple Stores are closed, except in China. But Leo says that people really don't need to try the latest devices, they know what they're all about. The new MacBook Air is the first refresh of the laptop in a few years, and it's very thin and light. The new iPad Pro has a 50-80% speed increase with a faster processor. The camera has two lenses: wide and ultra-wide.