Leo spent the week having Zoom meetings with friends, family, and business associates. He even had a virtual college reunion, and at the end of the week, he's all zoomed out. Effective, yes. But he's eager to get back to talking to people face to face.
This Week in Tech News
Leo picked up the new iPhone SE in white and says it really is adorable. It's nice and petite, has a great camera, and at $400 it really is the ideal smartphone for most people.
Quarterly earnings reports reflected a modest growth for tech giants this week in spite of the outbreak. Spotify, for example, stated that every day is a weekend now, as daily listenership was up. Microsoft reported single-digit growth as well. But Leo says that doesn't mean next quarter won't be the same.
Advertising revenues, by contrast, have plummeted online as advertisers pull back.
Thanks to a new feature in both iOS and Android, if you encounter someone who has been exposed to COVID-19, the phone will be able to alert you based on the person's location data, and that of others they have encountered. And if you're sick, it will enable medical professionals to track the path of infection through phone location data. It's called "contact tracing." The new feature has met with protest though, because Apple won't give governments all the information. It will also be a voluntary download.
A zero-day bug prompted a text message to Leo that caused his iPhone to crash. It's officially known as a "remote zero click." Apple is aware of the issue and is working out a fix for the next update to iOS 13. It was discovered by a security company in San Francisco this week, along with two other zero-day exploits. Leo advises updating to the latest iOS as soon as it comes out.
For the first time ever, 1 in 5 attacks on consumers are ransomware attacks, making them more common than credit card theft.
This week, Apple announced the new iPhone SE in black, white, and "product red," which proceeds will go to CoVid19 relief. The SE model has no headphone jack and costs $399. Leo says it's based on the iPhone 8 chassis and has the guts of the iPhone 11. But Leo is still bothered by a lack of headphone jack, meaning the money you save on the phone is eaten away by expensive Bluetooth AirPods.
It also comes with a single camera, which Leo says is a very good camera.
YouTube reports that advertising revenue for the streaming video portal has plummetted by as much as 15-50% since the COVID-19 outbreak. This is directly impacting the content creators who have made YouTube their full-time careers. It's interesting because everyone is at home. But Leo says that advertisers just aren't putting money into the portal right now.
After the news came out that Zoom was filled with security issues, the video conferencing company has hired a top security expert from Apple to lock down the platform and make it more secure. Leo says that Zoom is going everything they can right now, and while the app was designed to be easy to use, they are now working to make it more secure.
By tracking your movement, and everyone you encounter, Google and Apple have developed an app that will notify everyone and public health authorities if you get sick. All you need to do is press a button that you are feeling sick, and the app does the rest. But your privacy is promised to be protected. The challenge, though, is to get everyone to opt-in and download it.