Venus is no Mercury, but it is in retrograde, and is wreaking havoc. The past two weeks have been an emotional drain. From mechanical to professional and personal issues, it’s been a gut check. My only solace is that it’s Thursday, which means I can spend a little bit of time sharing some of the more insane and overhyped stories from the tech industry. This week, Mark and I talk about Facebook, G+, and Bose’s new hearing aid LIVE on First News 570. Remember, to tune in every Thursday LIVE.
SAY WHAT? FDA APPROVES DIY, DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER HEARING AID
I’ll readily admit. Years of listening to rap music at 10 has done a number to my ears. I often find myself asking, “say what?” Earlier this week, the FDA approved a direct-to-consumer hearing aid made by BOSE. BOSE’s device is the first of its kind in that it allows users to fit, program, and control the device without a healthcare provider. The BOSE Hearing Aid is controlled and tuned using a smartphone app by the user. I think this an amazing development that could drive down hearing costs, and help many-a-Gen-Xer when the turn into a Geezer.
SMART SPEAKER PROVES WHAT EVERYONE ALREADY KNEW: FACEBOOK IS ALWAYS LISTENING
The thing about Facebook is that no matter how many people snitch on their data sales or how many 10 of millions of accounts are lost to hackers, they’ll keep finding ways to worm into your life. Suspected of listening to users through the Big Blue app and showing pertinent advertising, Facebook’s most audacious plan to spying arrives via its smart screen/speaker, Portal. Portal is an always-on, always-listening smart home device similar to Amazon’s Alexa product range that allows you to make calls, listen to music, and hopefully control lights using your voice. The device has a screen and comes in 10-inch and 15-inch sizes for $199 and $349. Facebook has included a kill switch for the front facing camera and is using encryption only Facebook can break. I’m sorry, but #nope!
EL GOOG CALLS IT QUITS AFTER G-PLUS HACKING COVER UP
Analysts calling this incident Google’s Cambridge Analytica are subjective to hyperbole. But this week, El Goog was caught covering up a data breach involving its Google+ service. Following the breach, Google said, “oh well, it ain’t like anyone is using it.” And decided to shutdown the service. Approximately, 496, 951 (I wouldn’t have shared that embarrassingly low number either) users’ private date was exposed due to how third party apps access G+ data. In response, like other social platforms, Google is paring down developer access to its platform to a handful of developers and closing the gates on app innovation. People who know me, know I’m not a fan of any of the social networks, especially given how consumers of these products don’t own their data. This latest breach demonstrates how big conglomerates are fine with allowing third parties to help push and spread their platforms until they get big enough to cancel the party.