This Week in Tech News

Leo to Sit Out Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day

Episode 1807

Amazon Prime Day is Monday, and Leo is choosing to sit it out. As always. Leo says that Amazon tries hard to make Prime Day the same as Black Friday with many deals. But Leo also points out that not all the deals on Prime Day are great deals.

Microsoft to Announce Windows 11 This Thursday

Windows 11

Episode 1807

Microsoft will announce Windows 11 this Thursday, and Leo says it's more of a cosmetic overhaul with the same back end. The real question will be, will Microsoft charge for it or initially give it away as they did for Windows 10? Leo says that most people upgrade their Windows when they buy a new computer, and the pundits may be right that Windows 11 will be a free download. But Leo thinks that Microsoft may charge about $35 for the upgrade, which the company gets from each computer that carries the OS. We'll find out Thursday.

Study: Contact Tracing on Mobile Phones Doesn't Work

Contact Tracing

Episode 1807

According to a recent study, up to 71% of mobile phone users have not used contract tracing apps, nor trust them because of privacy reasons. Apps developed were also poorly reviewed. Leo says the problem is, that the tech companies focus on privacy first, largely was counter productive to the whole idea of contact tracing. And maybe rightfully so.

Google Installs App without Asking on some User Phones

Massachusetts

Episode 1806

Up in Massachusetts, users of Android phones discovered this week that Google had installed the Massachusetts State app without their knowledge or permission. The app is designed to provide citizens with the latest Covid-19 information, as well as a QR code if you have been vaccinated. Leo says it's not a good thing to force an app, and how easy would it be to forge a QR code anyway? People have always sought to "game" the system, and it's even more so in the age of the Internet.

Did Apple Decide Not to Announce New MacBooks at the Last Minute?

m1x

Episode 1804

According to the metadata for Apple's WWDC Presentation on Tuesday, Apple may have been poised to announce new M1X MacBooks, and an M1X Mac Pro tower, but may have decided not to at the last minute. The tags had listings for both inserted into the metadata of the keynote on YouTube and at Apple.com.  But Leo says that according to The Supply Chain, production won't begin until Q2, making both ready for the Holiday shopping season. So look for announcements this Fall.

Apple Subpoena'd by the DOJ

Apple

Episode 1804

Apple was subpoenaed by the Trump Department of Justice to provide information on several key government figures and then was issued a gag order not to talk about it until late May of this year. True to Apple's commitment to privacy, they only provided metadata and no actual personal data. 

Software and Computer Chips Causing Car Prices to Rise

IEEE

Episode 1805

Software development and the use of computers in today's cars have contributed to the rise in car prices over the last few years. Leo says that up to 40% of a price of a car can be attributed to the development of car computers and software that operates them. Add to that, Leo says that the worldwide chip shortage, and not only are cars more expensive, but car manufacturers are making fewer of them.

Can Congress Reign in the Tech Industry?

House

Episode 1805

With five bills before the House, Congress is poised to reign in Big Tech, and a breakup may be required for Big Tech to continue to do business in the United States. The Big Nine - Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, Google, and IBM, plus Ali Baba, Tencent/TikTok, and Babu are so dominant in our society, that Congress is starting to be concerned that Big Tech has too much power, and they may require some of those firms to break up into smaller companies. 

Microsoft to Introduce Windows 11 on June 24th

Windows

Episode 1803

Reversing the stance that Windows 10 would be the last operating system you'll have own for your PC, Microsoft will soon announce Windows 11 (codenamed Sun Valley) this week with a completely redesigned app store. But Leo doesn't think that the new operating system would be anything too different from what users have now. And the app store? Well, YAWN.  Leo also says it will be aimed primarily at consumers since businesses are traditionally reticent to move to a new platform.