Tech news

DOJ and FTC to Investigate Google and Amazon

FTC

Episode 1597

After Google was slapped with a $5 Billion fine from the EU, the US Department of Justice has said it will open an anti-trust investigation on Google. Meanwhile, the FTC may be signalling the same for Amazon. But Leo says that it could do more harm economically than good, and maybe the best thing would be to break up both companies into smaller concerns that can compete.

Huawei's reputation for Chinese Spying Causes Google to Suspend business

Huawei

Episode 1593

Recently, after the US banned sales of Huawei cell phones due to spying, Google has suspended all business with the Chinese telephone manufacturer over genuine concerns that Huawei phones have spying issues. Google will not be updating Huaweii phones, give access to the app store, or any other product support. Huawei has also been added to the US Department of Commerce trade blacklist. Leo says it's a shame because Huawei makes some great hardware. 

Are Google Ad Algorithms racist?

Google Ads

Episode 1593

Talya O'Shea has done some research, and she's found that African Americans are more likely to see clickbait with the term "arrested" next to it than whites. And what the bias is from, is Google's Algorithm, which the advertising is based on. Leo says that O'Shea wrote a book about it, concluding that Google needs to improve that algorithm to be accurate, because it can cause a lot of harm to people's online reputation. 

RIP Google+ and other Services

 Google+

Episode 1581

A Sad Week in Google, as Google killed off a ton of services this week. Google+ closed down. Google Chromecast Audio was discontinued. The InBox in Gmail is now gone. Leo was really sad that Google+ never really grabbed the kind of attention from users that Facebook has. The sad part is that Google+ was very popular with photographers since images posted weren't as compressed as other social media sites do. They could upload uncompressed, or hi-resolution versions. But no more. 

Apple Kills AirPower Two Years After Announcing It

Episode 1578

Two years after it announced the surfboard like Qi charging station known as AirPower, Apple announced today that it was cancelling the product, citing engineering issues. Leo says that according to iFixIt, Apple probably never would've been able to get it approved by the FCC.  Apple did release the AirPods 2, which now has wireless charging. So while you can't charge your iPhone and your AirPods at the same time, you can now charge both wirelessly. 

City of LA to Allow Scooters on Streets, But ...

 Los Angeles

Episode 1577

The City of Los Angeles will now allow rented scooters on the streets, but there's a catch. The scooter rental companies must transmit location data to the city within 24 hours to ensure code compliance. As one can imagine, there is a privacy issue and the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other privacy groups are getting involved. Leo says that the data would be anonymized, so it won't point to any specific person. Companies also have the option of saying no to the data, but they would have only 3,000 scooters.