This Week in Tech News

France and Spain Levy Tax on Big Tech

Big Tech EU

Episode 1777

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.

Residents Leaving San Francisco

San Francisco

Episode 1777

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.

Hundreds of Thousands of Exchange Servers Compromised by Exchange Exploit

Hafnium

Episode 1776

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 Worth Billions in the Virtual Market

Non-Fungible Token

Episode 1775

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. 

Mississippi Funnels Stimulus Money into Building Rural Internet

Money

Episode 1774

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.

Electronics Retailer Fry's To Close Doors

Fry's

Episode 1774

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.

Crypto Currency Continues to Rise in Value

Bitcoin

Episode 1773

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 Makes Deal to Pay Royalties for Search Results While Facebook Bans

Australian

Episode 1772

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.

Leo gets his Mach E

Mach E

Episode 1772

Leo got his Ford Mustang Mach E and one of the interesting things is that it doesn't come with a key or a key fob because his phone is now his key. He inputs a code to unlock the car and has to use a password to start the car.