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.
PC sales surged last quarter, as users obeying COVID-19 stay at home orders are working from home. The result is a banner quarter for Intel and sold out PCs everywhere.
Countries are using cellphone location data to not only enforce mandatory social distancing but also to see who patients have been in contact with the virus, to find out how that patient was infected. Other countries are using facial recognition to punish those in defiance of the orders and gathering together.
So while technology can be used for the greater good, namely trying to stem the tide of the Coronavirus outbreak, it can also be used as a dreadful tool for the surveillance state.
China has proposed that the internet adopt a new IP standard that would give governments greater control over its users. It has been met with support from Russia and Saudi Arabia, no surprise there. Leo says it also enables a government to use a new "shut up" feature that would enable them to lock out so-called "bad actors" or dissidents using the Internet to resist. But Leo says the only bad actors around are Governments seeking more control.
This week, Apple announced the new MacBook Air and iPad Pro. But while Apple has new devices for users to buy, all Apple Stores are closed, except in China. But Leo says that people really don't need to try the latest devices, they know what they're all about. The new MacBook Air is the first refresh of the laptop in a few years, and it's very thin and light. The new iPad Pro has a 50-80% speed increase with a faster processor. The camera has two lenses: wide and ultra-wide.
Some news came out recently of computer security firms that there's an unfixable security flaw in Intel Processors.
A new bipartisan bill will greatly expand the surveillance state by giving government the power to decrypt anything. Leo says that the Graham Blumenthal EARN IT Act will end any notion of privacy that we have. It's happened in Russia, Australia, Sweden, and now the US. It'll also be interesting how it will affect the new iPhone.
Fresh off the heals of Google canceling Google I/O due to the Corona Virus outbreak, the movie, music, and technology festival known as South by Southwest in Austin has been canceled. It's making Leo wonder if NAB is next.
Intuit has bought credit reporting app Credit Karma for $7 Billion. Leo says that Intuit isn't really buying the app: they don't care. What they are buying is your personal credit data, which Intuit says is worth about $70 a head. Leo thinks that a person should be able to opt-out or at least get some value from their own personal data.
With the Corona outbreak causing factories in China to be shut down, there may be a shortage of new technology devices in the near future.