In one of his first acts as President, Joe Biden will be elevating the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy into a cabinet-level position, and he's chosen a geneticist to be the first Secretary.
This Week in Tech News
Thirteen years ago, Apple introduced an Internet communicator, iPod, and a Mobile Phone, known as the iPhone. Three devices in one. Leo says that smartphones were a struggling category at the time, attempting to go up against the juggernaut known as Blackberry. With the iPhone's launch, the smartphone's place in technological history was secured, and Blackberry is just a footnote.
With Tesla's stock skyrocketing, Elon Musk has surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the richest man in the world. Leo thinks that Tesla's success may be what's pushing Apple to develop their own electric car.
Meanwhile, Elon is going to Mars.
Reacting to the recent SolarWinds hack by Russia, the US has created a new Cybersecurity for Emerging Technologies agency. Leo says that it will largely focus on security and diplomacy.
The annual consumer electronics show, known as CES, will be virtual this year with presentations via Zoom. Does Leo say "why even bother?" More companies are doing their own thing and doing it year-round. So why even waste the time? Let companies do their own thing.
January 3, 2004: seventeen years ago, the Tech Guy radio show hit the airwaves. 1759 episodes later, we're still going strong. Happy Anniversary Leo!
Facing a downward trend in the last few years, 2020 brought a surge of audio and eBooks as people looked for ways to pass the time during the Pandemic. The result was a 17% increase in sales. Leo also says it could signal a seed change back to people reading.
On December 31, 2020, Adobe announced that Flash had officially reached its end of life and will no longer be supported by the company. Apple hastened the demise of Flash several years ago when it announced it wouldn't support Flash, but it really was Youtube's abandoning the platform that put the last nail in the coffin, even though many websites continued to use it. But even Adobe saw that Flash's end was nigh and abandoned development, except for security updates. Now, it's at end of life, and Leo says it's the end of an era.
Leo says that Apple's new $550 Airpod Max Headphones are too cheap for high-end headphones, and too expensive for just about everything else. But he says that while these fit into a gray area that's going to use computational audio driven by 10 core processors. So customers have a supercomputer in each ear. It will support things like surround sound and will take an imperfect stream of audio and make it better. But Leo will never buy them, even though while they are pricey status symbols now, they may end up being worth the price down the line as the technology improves.
Russia may have hacked several local, state, and federal government agencies this week, according to the NSA and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. With all the hallmarks of Russian hacking group "Fancy Bear," Leo says that the hack was discovered because the group went too deep and too far and triggered security software designed to detect such attempts.