This Week in Tech News

Phantom Texts Happen!

text

Episode 1642

People are getting text messages out of nowhere from people you don't know or remember. Turns out that phantom texts are a thing, and they happen when a text message doesn't get delivered until up to a year later! 

SatPaq Turns Your Phone Into a Satellite Text Messenger

SATPAQ

Episode 1642

SATPAQ is a cool accessory for your cellphone that will give you the ability to send text messages via Satellite.  Check out Rich's story on it here - https://ktla.com/2019/11/08/satpaq-satellite-text-messaging-smartphone-accessory-review/. But it's not cheap, at $250 plus.30 cents per text, sold in $100 packages. As long as you can see the southern sky though, it can keep you connected. Uses Bluetooth and supports both Android and iOS.

Google Buys FitBit for $2.1 Billion

FitBit

Episode 1640

With everyone pretty much owning a smartphone now, Rich says the next great mobile frontier is accessories for mobile devices. Google knows this and they have bought fitness tracker FitBit for $2.1 Billion. More than they paid for YouTube. Rich also says that Google needs this because its Google WearOS Devices haven't really taken off as they should. And while Google says that they will never share your personal health data, he believes that Google will erode that promise over time. Information is what Google is into.

 

Google Announces Pixel 4 Mobile Phone

Google Pixel 4

Episode 1636

Google announced the Pixel 4 this week. Leo says that of all the features, the camera is the one that everyone is looking at. Leo also said that Apple was waiting for what Google announced before releasing the upcoming iOS 13.2 update to improve image quality. Leo also says that computational photography has reached a point where your mobile phone's camera is as good as a real camera, so there's no real need to own a separate one now. The phone will also use machine learning to teach the camera what different parts of the image look like, so it'll adjust the image accordingly.

Power Outages Threatened TWiT This Week

TWiT

Episode 1634

A mandatory power outage up in Petaluma this week nearly scuttled programming at TWiT and for the Tech Guy Show. The outage, designed to guard against wildfires, was enacted when high winds hit the area. But fortunately, by Saturday they had died down and we're still in business!

Microsoft to get back in the phone game with dual screen hinged device.

2019 Microsoft Products

Episode 1633

Microsoft has gotten back into the phone game with a new, hinged dual-screen mobile phone. Instead of running Windows though, it will run Android. It opens and closes like a book, and gives users dual screens that can work separately or together tablet-style. It's called the Windows Surface Duo. But here's the thing: the phone won't hit the market until late 2020. 

Microsoft Event Showcases Dual Screen Surface Products

Microsoft Event Showcases Dual Screen Surface Products

Episode 1632

At a surprise event, Microsoft announced two new Surface products, one like a digital book, the other a 5.5" dual screen mobile phone. Dubbed the Surface Neo and Surface Duo respectively, both devices will run on Windows 10X, a new mobile version of the OS, and will be available Christmas 2020. Microsoft says it will fold together like a book, or open up to be both screens on either side, or close facing each other. Unlike the overpriced Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Surface duo is hinged, rather than folding the screen.

TIVO To Put Ads on Your DVR Recordings

Tivo

Episode 1629

TIVO has announced that they are putting ads in front of every recording they make. Leo says that will be a death knell for the company, which has been struggling since the advent of video on demand. Leo also says it's ironic because TIVO also has a commercial skip button. It's outrageous because you spend hundreds of dollars for a TIVO, and then you pay for a monthly guide subscription. We shouldn't have to deal with ads from TIVO as a reward. Plus, we don't need DVRs anymore, and if we do, Leo says that Plex (a sponsor of the TWiT Network) on your Roku does just as good a job.

Leo got the iPhone 11 Pro Max

 iPhone 11 Pro Max

Episode 1628

Leo bought Apple's most expensive iPhone, the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Leo says it's a work of art, and he also says it's largely future-proofed for the next two years. He also says that the biggest change is the odd three-camera array on the back, which looks like a missile launcher. But Leo says it takes really NICE pictures since Apple's camera app now lets you zoom while recording video and going between each lens.