Giving police in the UK too much surveillance power online, the so-called Snooper's Charter passed by British Parliament will enable law enforcement to surveil everyone's online activity. The new power will give police free rein to perform fishing expeditions looking for evidence-based on what apps people use, what sites they visit, and more.
This Week in Tech News
This week, France and Spain passed a measure to levy a 3% tax on big tech's ad revenue. Google responded by raising their ad rates by 2%. The lesson here is that when taxes go up, the company will just pass that rate along to their customers.
People are moving out of San Francisco and into the mountains. 178% more residents have fled the city of the Golden Gate in favor of greener pastures (and cheaper rent). The report also noted that fewer people have moved into California than moved out, and that those fleeing the state has dropped precipitously.
In an unprecedented move by a Chinese National Hacking Group, called Hafnium, hundreds of thousands of Exchange servers have been compromised, with over 30,000 accounts hacked this week. Leo says it's worse than that Russian Solar Winds attack. The hack takes advantage of a quartette of "zero-day exploits" that take advantage of bugs in Microsoft's Exchange email servers. Microsoft has put out an emergency update to plug the holes, and users are advised to install the fix immediately.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, enable users to buy things online like digital video assets in games, video clips, and other virtual products. Sales using NFTs have been in the billions for video games alone. It's like digital currency akin to bitcoin, and Leo thinks it could be the new investment frontier.
Taking advantage of over 1.2 billion in stimulus grants, the state of Mississippi funneled a portion of the funds to create broadband internet access in the rural areas of the state. Leo says that will create co-ops that will benefit every from the individual to the business. A good use for the funds.
Citing the Covid-19 pandemic and a changing business landscape, electronics retailer Fry's has announced it will be closing down. The drawdown has begun this week and after 36 years, the retailer will close forever.
CryptoCurrency continues to rise in value as more people seek to acquire it and use it to pay for goods and services. Currently, BitCoin's value is over $55,000 as of 2/21. Leo says that bitcoin miners will only be able to generate 21 million bitcoin before it comes to an end as far as BitCoin is concerned. And the closer users get to that amount, the harder it will be to mine bitcoin, which is achieved by solving complicated mathematical problems. But that isn't stopping bitcoin miners from trying.
Google has made a deal with the Australian government to pay royalties to media companies for providing search results that drive traffic to their content. Meanwhile, Facebook has decided to turn off news links altogether. The result is that all traffic going to media sites in Australia will disappear overnight. Leo says it'll be interesting to see who blinks first.