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Weekly Tech Update #431 - The Facebook Craptacular, Part Deux

We have just posted up Episode #431 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we will be discussing Facebook is on trial and it's not looking any better, Spotify and Hulu join forces and finally removing the sticker no longer voids warranty. We have those stories and more...

 

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Facebook's Financial Contribution to Lawmakers

With Mark Zuckerberg in the spotlight this week regarding security, user privacy and more, there has been a lot of scrutiny about what exactly is going on behind closed doors at Facebook over the past few years. It seems in fact, that Mark doesn't attend meetings regarding privacy, and he doesn't want to. What he does want to do is contribute money to lawmakers so maybe they can go easy on him and let things slide. While it is not a ton of money to any specific individual, the fact that Facebook donates to individual congressmen and women as well as to individuals in the senate seems a bit sketchy.

Cory Booker, who has received $44,025 from Facebook since 2014 (the largest amount), questioned Zuckerberg on the 2016 ProPublica investigation that showed Facebook allowed advertisers to target by race. Kamala Harris, who took the second largest amount ($30,990) grilled the CEO on why Facebook did not notify users in 2015 that Cambridge Analytica had misused their data, causing Zuckerberg to squirm uncomfortably.

Source: TheVerge

New iOS Update Kills Aftermarket Screens

If you have an iPhone and have broken the screen out of warranty, you know how expensive it is to get Apple to fix it. Thankfully there are a number of companies that can replace the screens for MUCH cheaper with units that are equal in vibrance, color, brightness and more. The downside is that if you have the nerve to let someone other than Apple touch your device, the latest iOS update may actually kill the digitizer on your device so touch input will no longer work. This is a move by Apple to protect you from yourself (and make sure they make way more money doing costly repairs). Thanks Apple!

According to Oberdick, every iPhone screen is powered by a small microchip, and that chip is what the repair community believes to be causing the issue. For the past six months, shops have been able to replace busted iPhone 8 screens with no problem, but something in the update killed touch functionality. According to several people I spoke to, third-party screen suppliers have already worked out the issue, but fixing the busted phones means re-opening up the phone and upgrading the chip.

Source: Vice

AMD Patches Spectre Variant 2

AMD is on the ball about as much as any company can be when it comes to trying to patch hardware flaws in their processors. The good news is that they've patched the Spectre issue that cropped up with the second variant, but the bad news is that you'll have to wait for a BIOS update for your mainboard - or system board in your laptop in order to apply the patch. Hopefully things get figured out sooner rather than later.

AMD's update has been made available to its hardware partners, with patches designed for processors going back to CPUs built on 2011's "Bulldozer" architecture. While that's likely most in current operation, it's not clear exactly which processors have received the patches. It's also not clear when end users will see the fix, as you'll have to wait for the maker of your desktop or motherboard to release a new BIOS with the patch wrapped in.

Source: Engadget

BlackBerry is BACK!

BlackBerry was pretty much out of the fight for a few years, but with TCL at the helm of the hardware ship, they are once again making pretty compelling hardware. The Passport was their big (emphasis on BIG) return to the physical keyboard and was followed up by the KEYone. Now they are following up the KEYone with the Athena. I've got a big of a soft-spot for physical keyboards and with a name like Athena, well, I'm sure it going to be great!

The rear looks to be made from a different texture from the KEYone and you can also see that Athena will have dual camera sensors and an LED flash. Furthermore, the physical buttons like the power, volume rocker, and convenience key - have all been moved to one side. The Athena will still have a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type C, and downward firing speaker. While things look good, we still do not have any information about a release date or a price.

Source: Neowin

Facebook admits data mining might be even worse

Not surprisingly, Facebook has admitted that their Cambridge Analytica data mining/breach was worse than the 50 million users that they originally thought claiming the number could be now closer to 87 million. 

Chances are good it'll probably end up being even more, seeing as they don't really know how many accounts were used chances are good this number will continue to grow. BGR has the story.

Facebook’s ongoing charm offensive following the Cambridge Analytica scandal took a hit this week as the company revealed in a blog post that far more users than originally reported may have been affected by the breach.

Initial reports, such as this one from the New York Times, estimated that more than 50 million users had their private information harvested by the political data firm. But now Facebook says that up to 87 million people may have been affected. We don’t have to do any complicated math to see how shocking of a correction that is.

Weekly Tech Update #430 - HTC Vive is Windows Phone

We have just posted up Episode #430 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we will be discussing Facebook still hasn't fixed its problem, Apple contemplates life after Intel and goodbye Steam Machines - the gaming system that never really was. We have those stories and more...

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Tesla on the verge of bankruptcy?

Analysts are scratching their heads on Tesla right now and some are even predicting that Tesla might be bankrupt in a matter of months. Tesla has had major issues getting their Model 3 cars to market in a timely matter, has seen their demand for their higher end vehicles decrease, and overall just keep losing money.

Interestingly enough, with Tesla's current stock prices, they are currently valued more than Ford. Here's another fun fact, in 2017, Ford produced 6 million vehicles and made $7.6 billion profit. Tesla produced 100,000 vehicles and lost 2 billion.

Marketwatch has the full story. 

Unless Elon Musk “pulls a rabbit out of his hat,” Tesla will be bankrupt within four months, says John Thompson of Vilas Capital Management.

“Companies eventually have to make a profit, and I don’t ever see that happening here,” he told MarketWatch. “This is one of the worst income statements I’ve ever seen and between the story and the financials, the financials will win out in this case."

Mario Kart Monopoly: Fist Fight Edition

Here's a recipe for success:

  • Add 1 part Mario Kart - The video game that has ruined many friendships
  • Then mix in 1 part Monopoly - The board game that ends in a fight and the board being flung across the room

And BAM!! You've got the new Mario Kart version of Monopoly that will most likely end with a fist fight and quite possibly multiple black eyes. 

Seriously, this is a bad idea and needs to be stopped.

Gameinformer has the detals.

 

Weekly Tech Update #429 - The Facebook Craptacular

We have just posted up Episode #429 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we will be discussing the Facebook crap-tacular, Apple's upcoming release event and Uber suspended from Autonomous vehicle testing in Arizona. We have those stories and more...

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