Tech news

Tesla Announces End of Round Steering Wheels

Tesla

Episode 1814

Elon Musk announced this week that Tesla will replace round steering wheels with a yoke-based design in X/S models starting immediately. Originally an option that customers could pick, the yoke will now be standard moving forward, with no ability to choose a round steering wheel. Leo says that not only is that a difficult proposition for those who were taught to steer at 10 and 2, but the steering ratio remains at 14-1, something the Yoke is not designed to accommodate.

Member of Mercury 13 Going into Space

Wally Funk

Episode 1810

Wally Funk, whose real name is Mary Wallace, will become the oldest person to go into space when she joins billionaire Jeff Bezos for a suborbital voyage onboard the Blue Origin New Glen spacecraft. Wallace is also a member of the famed Mercury 13 group on women who underwent the same battery of tests as the original NASA astronauts, but who were never able to make it into space. Now, 60 years later, Wally gets her chance.

Google Installs App without Asking on some User Phones

Massachusetts

Episode 1806

Up in Massachusetts, users of Android phones discovered this week that Google had installed the Massachusetts State app without their knowledge or permission. The app is designed to provide citizens with the latest Covid-19 information, as well as a QR code if you have been vaccinated. Leo says it's not a good thing to force an app, and how easy would it be to forge a QR code anyway? People have always sought to "game" the system, and it's even more so in the age of the Internet.

Can Congress Reign in the Tech Industry?

House

Episode 1805

With five bills before the House, Congress is poised to reign in Big Tech, and a breakup may be required for Big Tech to continue to do business in the United States. The Big Nine - Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, Google, and IBM, plus Ali Baba, Tencent/TikTok, and Babu are so dominant in our society, that Congress is starting to be concerned that Big Tech has too much power, and they may require some of those firms to break up into smaller companies. 

Supreme Court Narrows Use of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Supreme Court

Episode 1803

Going before the Supreme Court, the decades-long Computer Fraud and Abuse Act has been narrowed in its application on constitutional grounds.  Leo says that the act is only really used to prosecute when no other law applies, and the particular case was regarding a police officer who was prosecuted for improperly accessing a driver's license database.

Google Photos Unlimited Storage Ends Tuesday

Photos

Episode 1801

This Tuesday, Google Photos will end its unlimited storage feature, in favor of just 15GB per user account. After which, users will be charged $2 a month for 100 GB. But users can upload as many photos as they want until Tuesday and it won't count against that cap. So now is the time to take your day off and backup all those images to your Google Photos account before it's too late. Other options ... Amazon Prime Members get free unlimited storage. Shutterfly also offers unlimited storage. 

Google I/O Developers Conference Is a Boring Event with No New Products

Episode 1799

With the exception of an update to Google Wear smartwatches that now includes FitBit technology, Google had little to show off at their annual Google I/O keynote. Android 12 was also highlighted, as well as Lambda, a conversation technology between a human and a computer. But Leo says it's largely still experimental and in the lab. The bottom line is that Google is a search and advertising company, just as they have always been.

Up next is Microsoft's developer conference and then Apple's WWDC in June.