Daily Tech Headlines – March 15, 2018

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Daily Tech Headlines – March 15, 2018
Number 459
Broadcast Date MARCH 15, 2018
Episode Length 4:47
Hosts Tom Merritt

Google opens maps, Twitter may target Snapchat, and Linus Torvalds targets CTS’s AMD report.

Headlines

Google released its Android Security 2017 Year in Review claiming 60.3% of potentially harmful apps were detected by Google Play Protect's machine learning. Play protect prevented 74% of harmful app installation attempts. Google says devices that only use the Google Play store are 9 times less likely to download a harmful app.
Google is opening up its Maps real-time data and offering an SDK to help developers build games with it. The kit can translate map info to the Unity game engine too. This lets developers turn real world buildings into customizable 3D objects.
CNBC reports that three senior ad agency executives tell it Twitter is developing a new function that combines location-based photos and videos with Twitter Moments around notable events. Companies would be offered sponsorship of events, something Snapchat has been doing for awhile in its Discover tab.
The US Attorney in Atlanta has indicted former Equifax executive Jun Ying for insider trading. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil insider trading charges against Ying on Wednesday. Ying found out about the Equifax data breach through internal memos in August and made his trades in September. Equifax investigated 4 other higher level executives and found their stock trades were pre-planned and not improper.
Linus Torvalds has criticized the CTS Labs security report on AMD chip flaws saying, "When was the last time you saw a security advisory that was basically 'if you replace the BIOS or the CPU microcode with an evil version, you might have a security problem?' Yeah." Torvalds agrees the bugs are real but are not critical. CTS gave AMD 24 hours notice before publishing its report rather than the industry standard 90 days. Torvalds also said, "It looks more like stock manipulation than a security advisory to me."
Sierra Leone used Swiss company Agora's blockchain to tally and validate elections results March 7th in the country, the first use of a blockchain in an election. The European Commission partnered on the effort and nodes were run by the Red Cross, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, University of Fribourg. Blockchain results were generally faster than the National Election Commission's.
Twitch Streamer Ninja, aka Tyler Blevins brought rapper Drake onto his stream to play Fortnite, setting a Twitch benchmark for concurrent streams at 635,000. The two were later joined by Steelers rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster and rapper Travis Scott. Ninja is the most popular Twitch streamer with 3 million followers and 160,000 paid subscribers. The previous record for concurrent viewers was 388,000 by Dr. Disrespect.
Reuters reports Amazon company documents indicate more than 5 million people worldwide joined Amazon Prime by early 2017 in order to watch TV shows. The internal documents indicate Amazon's US audience for TV is about 26 million, about half of Netflix's Q1 2017 US subscriber number. The Man in the High Castle had 8 million US viewers by early 2017 and attracted 1.15 million new Prime subscribers worldwide. Amazon estimated that show's cost meant each new subscriber it acquired cost $63.
Nest announced a temperature sensor that works with its thermostats scheduled to ship in April for $39 or three for $99. Up to six sensors can be paired with a Nest Learning Thermostat or Nest Thermostat E. The sensors do not work with first or second-gen Nest Thermostats. Nest also launched its wired Nest Hello video doorbell for $229, and the Nest x Yale door lock for $249.
Intel's next generation Xeon processors and 8th gen Intel Core processors shipping later this year will come with new architecture partitioning that guards against the Spectre vulnerability. This will provide protection without the performance hit that can occur with firmware updates to current chips. Intel also said firmware updates are available for all chips made in the last five years.
Google has officially renamed its Android Wear operating system for watches to Wear OS. The name change more accurately reflects the fact that the watch OS works with Android and iOS.

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Preceded by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – March 14, 2018"
Daily Tech Headlines – March 15, 2018
Followed by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – March 16, 2018"