This Week in Tech News

First iPhone Announced 12 Years Ago this Week

First iPhone

Episode 1605

June 29, 2007, twelve years ago, Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone. Apple hadn't invented the app store yet, so the original iPhone didn't really have but a few very basic apps. In fact, Steve Jobs thought everything would be done through websites, not apps. It was listed at $499 and people lined up three days before it launched to get one. But a smartphone wasn't really new, what did change the world was having a full-time connection to the internet in your pocket.

Huawei is Back

Huawei is Back

Episode 1604

Leo doesn't really get what's going on, but it appears that Huawei is now allowed to be sold in the US. For the last few years, Huawei was declared as a "dangerous foreign entity," but now it appears that at the recent G20 summit, the President has officially lifted all restrictions. Which is puzzling, because recent news reports hint that Huawei has been up to no good. Huawei is much more vulnerable to hackers, perhaps even intentionally, according to a recent report. 

Twitter Will Put Select Questionable Tweets Behind a Wall

Twitter

Episode 1604

When political figures make questionable or controversial quotes that may violate Twitter's Terms of Service, the social media company will put them behind a "grey wall" with the note that the post violated their abuse rules. Leaving the reader the option to read it or not. Leo says it'll be interesting to see how this will be received or if it will just add to the problem.

YouTube Is Under Federal Investigation for Violation of Child Privacy Act

YouTube

Episode 1603

The latest news about YouTube is that the federal government is investigating the streaming video portal for violation of provisions of the Child Online Privacy Act. The problems are in the recommendation engine, which veers to strange videos, even in the YouTube Kids channel. Numerous complaints to the Federal Trade Commission questions if YouTube is collecting data on kids under 13. 

Harry Potter Finally Launches from Niantic

Potter

Episode 1602

Niantic, the creators of the successful mobile game Pokemon Go, has finally put out a game based in the universe of Harry Potter, called Wizards Unite. You play a wizard, using your wand to battle other wizards and catch fantastic beasts. All in Augmented Reality. Leo says that it was originally launched in Australia, and people went wild about it. Now it's been launched in the US and around the world, so MORE people are going wild. 

Facebook launches Libra Coin Crypto Currency and Everyone hates it

Libra 

Episode 1602

Facebook has launched Libra Coin, and already many countries have banned its use. The US will investigate Facebook over it, and banks will refuse to accept it. But companies like MasterCard, Paypal (of course) and others will be accepting it. Leo says that if governments hate it, it's a maybe a good thing. But only time will tell. The real problem is, Facebook wants to tie your account to your banking information, and even though Facebook says all transactions will be private, with Facebook's fantastic record of security and privacy, what could possibly go wrong?

Target Cash Registers Goes Down, Abandoning Customers

Target

Episode 1601

Target's computerized cash registers went down yesterday, leaving customers left holding the literal bag with no real way to pay for them. Some employees got around the problem by using their personal phones to check out using the online interface. Target assures it wasn't a data breach, but Leo isn't so sure about that. It has happened before.