Daily Tech Headlines – March 2, 2018

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Daily Tech Headlines – March 2, 2018
Number 450
Broadcast Date MARCH 2, 2018
Episode Length 4:06
Hosts Tom Merritt

Instagram may launch voice and video calling, Microsoft launches free app for the blind and visual impaired, Equifax says 2017 breach will cost the company $275M this year.


Sources tell Cheddar that Snap will launch a second version of its Spectacles glasses this year, and then a third version with two cameras in 2019. The 2nd gen Spectacles are said to be water resistant, will come in new colors, and have performance improvements, while the 3rd version may feature a new design and two cameras to allow 3D-like depth effects in videos. Snap announced last year that it had lost $40 million on its original Spectacles, selling 150,000 pairs with a huge inventory of unsold units.
Instagram may have plans for voice and video calling, based on Android Application Packages (APKs) that show files and icons called “Call” and “Video Call.” Back in January, an image of of a video call button was spotted by the blog WAbetainfo. If we're keeping score, Snapchat first launched video calling in 2014.
On Wednesday, a 1.35 terabits per second DDoS attack hit GitHub. It's the most powerful distributed denial of service attack recorded to date. Github sought help from from its DDoS mitigation service, Akamai Prolexic. After eight minutes, the attack dropped off.
Equifax announced that last year's massive data breach will cost the company $275 million this year, offset by $75 million in insurance proceeds, plus technology and data security upgrades, legal fees, and free identity theft protection and credit monitoring for the 147 million+ consumers affected by the breach. The company reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter profits beat analysts' expectations.
The Light Phone, a crowdfunded product released last year as a simplified handset without internet access, texting, email, or photography, is adding a few features. The Light Phone 2 will include an E-Ink touchscreen, 4G support and text support. Light doesn't expect to ship the new model until April 2019, although it's worth noting that the original handset was delayed. The Light Phone 2 is available to back on Indiegogo for the earlybird price of $225. It will eventually be $400.
Microsoft has launched Soundscape, a free iPhone app in the US and UK to help the blind or those who have low vision better navigate the world. Soundscape uses 3D audio to help users to better understand their surroundings, calling out points of interest through modes called "My location", "Around me" and "Ahead of me." Users can drop audio beacons at specific points of interest as well. Soundscape won't replace a cane or seeing-eye dog for object avoidance but Microsoft says it'll give users a more robust description of their surroundings.
According to a new report by Jon Peddie Research, in 2017 cryptocurrency miners bought more than 3 million GPUs worth around $776 million, with AMD selling the majority. JPR says gaming is still the biggest driver of GPU sales, and expects margins to drop in response to increasing utilities costs and supply and demand. Overall, GPU shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017 decreased 1.5% from the previous quarter, though JPR notes that's normal seasonal activity. For the full year, shipments declined 4.8 percent.
Uber co-founder Garrett Camp tells Fortune he's been working on a new cryptocurrency called Eco that could fix challenges faced by Bitcoin and Ethereum. Camp says it may be better to release a new project from a different philosophical standpoint by cooperating with universities, scientists, and research institutes. Eco’s blockchain is designed to run on “verified nodes,” rather than on the machines of an anonymous network of volunteers. Eco also proposes that each time a node confirms a block of financial transactions, the cryptocurrency reward gets dispensed across the network to all nodes and users.


Preceded by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – March 1, 2018"
Daily Tech Headlines – March 2, 2018
Followed by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – March 5, 2018"