This Week in Tech News

Google Goes Down in the North East

Google Goes Down

Episode 1597

Google is out on the Eastern Seaboard and the West Coast. NEST, Gmail and YouTube users are reporting that their devices are knocked out as well. Leo wonders what life would be like if Google didn't come back for a month or more.

Apple's Developer's Conference Comes This Week


Episode 1596

Ahead of Apple's annual World Wide Developer's Conference, Apple announced new MacBook Pros, and what may be the last iPod. The iPod is interesting because it hasn't been updated in 4 years. It uses the A10 processor and Leo says it's an iPhone minus the phone parts. But the iPod is rather a quaint anachronism now since parents can just give kids their old iPhones. So there really isn't much of a market for it anymore. There's also talk of a massive 6K video monitor, but we won't know for sure until Monday. 

Ransome War developed by NSA cripples City of Baltimore

Eternal Blue

Episode 1595

Hackers somehow got ahold of a malware exploit that was developed by the NSA and used it to attack the city of Baltimore. The malware, a ransomeware exploit known as Eternal Blue, was taken home by an NSA contractor, and Leo says that Kaspersky antivirus quarantined the malware and then sent it to the home office in Russia.

Are Google Ad Algorithms racist?

Google Ads

Episode 1593

Talya O'Shea has done some research, and she's found that African Americans are more likely to see clickbait with the term "arrested" next to it than whites. And what the bias is from, is Google's Algorithm, which the advertising is based on. Leo says that O'Shea wrote a book about it, concluding that Google needs to improve that algorithm to be accurate, because it can cause a lot of harm to people's online reputation. 

Huawei's reputation for Chinese Spying Causes Google to Suspend business


Episode 1593

Recently, after the US banned sales of Huawei cell phones due to spying, Google has suspended all business with the Chinese telephone manufacturer over genuine concerns that Huawei phones have spying issues. Google will not be updating Huaweii phones, give access to the app store, or any other product support. Huawei has also been added to the US Department of Commerce trade blacklist. Leo says it's a shame because Huawei makes some great hardware. 

Google Agrees to Class Action Lawsuit


Episode 1592

Google has agreed to a settlement that will pay original Google Pixel or Pixel XL owners up to five hundred dollars for a defective microphone in the phone that caused issues while calling. Other users may be eligible for up to $20.

NEST Goes all Google ... rebrands

Google Nest Hub

Episode 1591

NEST has officially become Google NEST, and will solely become a Google Product. Leo says that while Google has owned NEST for a while now, it had kept it largely autonomous, including the data it collected. No longer. No Google owns all the data it collects and will use it. Even worse, Leo says that Google is already phasing out support for other IoT devices and will solely be supported by Google Assistant.  Leo says it's annoying when a company encourages you to deep dive into a product's ecosystem and then changes it so that it can't be used with other products.

Microsoft Lauds the Cloud at Event, Barely Mentions Windows


Episode 1590

Focusing mostly on their Cloud applications, Microsoft didn't even mention Windows at their latest event. Leo says that Microsoft has acknowledged that the Internet has become operating system agnostic, and as such, it really doesn't matter what OS you use. So Microsoft focused on their Cloud services like Azure. Could the end of Windows be near?

Verizon is Selling Tumblr ... Porn Site Wants to Buy it


Episode 1589

News is that Verizon is selling Tumblr, and PornHub wants to buy it, promising to put the adult back into Tumblr. Tumblr banned porn accounts a few years ago, but will Verizon sell it? Leo thinks it would be better for WordPress to buy it and keep it alive for kids.