In this week’s tech update, a whirlwind of developments unfolds across various sectors. Security concerns arise as government-backed actors exploit WinRAR vulnerabilities, while WhatsApp and Amazon bolster security with Passkeys, revealing the ever-evolving cyber threats. On the hardware front, Qualcomm and Google forge a partnership for RISC-V chips in WearOS, accompanied by new gadgets like the Elgato Teleprompter and Apple’s latest Pencil. Gamers rejoice as Netflix Cloud Gaming debuts in the US, while industry stalwart Pete Hines bids farewell to Bethesda. Meanwhile, Minecraft achieves a remarkable milestone with 300 million copies sold. In regulatory news, the EU reopens investigations into the Adobe/Figma merger, and the FCC allocates 6G Band to Wi-Fi for AR/VR devices while announcing plans to reinstate net neutrality. Dive into these tech highlights, including our “Interesting Thing of the Week,” in a condensed format due to the sheer volume of groundbreaking news this week.Read more: Cybersecurity Concerns, Hardware Innovations, and Gaming Milestones: Weekly Tech Roundup
In recent security news, government-backed actors have been taking advantage of a vulnerability in WinRAR, a popular file compression tool. This highlights the ongoing challenges of software security. Additionally, WhatsApp (specifically on Android) and Amazon have introduced Passkeys as an additional layer of security for their users. In a concerning revelation, new research by Outpost24 has unveiled that over 40,000 admin portal accounts are still using ‘admin’ as their password, underlining the critical need for stronger password practices. Furthermore, D-Link has confirmed a data breach, raising concerns about the privacy of their customers’ information.
This week, Qualcomm made an exciting announcement of a partnership with Google, focusing on the development of RISC-V chips for WearOS, which promises to bring innovations to wearable technology. In addition to this collaboration, hardware enthusiasts can look forward to the release of the Elgato Prompter, which features a 9-inch screen, is powered by a computer via USB-C, and is compatible with various camera setups, including DSLRs, mirrorless webcams, and smartphones, with a price tag of $279.99. Also, Apple unveiled is the new Apple Pencil, announced through a press release. It introduces USB-C charging, although it lacks wireless charging/pairing and pressure sensitivity, retailing for $79.
The gaming world has seen significant developments this week. Netflix has launched its Cloud Gaming service in the United States, entering the competitive realm of cloud-based gaming. On a more personal note, Pete Hines, who served as the Head of Publishing for Bethesda for 24 years, has announced his retirement. His departure marks the end of an era for the gaming company. Meanwhile, Minecraft, one of the most iconic video games, reached a remarkable milestone by surpassing 300 million copies sold, solidifying its position as one of the highest-selling video games in history.
In the realm of government and regulatory news, the European Union is reopening its investigation into the Adobe/Figma merger, demonstrating the scrutiny that tech industry mergers face from regulatory bodies. Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has made two significant announcements. It is allocating a portion of the 6G band to Wi-Fi for the benefit of augmented reality and virtual reality devices. Moreover, the FCC has declared its intention to reinstate net neutrality, a move that has long been a subject of debate and contention in the United States. These regulatory decisions will have far-reaching implications for the tech and telecommunications industries.
Interesting Things of the Week
- With a Switch 2 looming, Nintendo is sending out the original with a bang – The Verge
- I tested Meta’s Tom Brady and Kendall Jenner AI chatbots and it was weird – ZDNet by Sabrina Ortiz
- Beeper’s universal messaging app tries to corral WhatsApp, iMessage, Telegram, and more – The Verge by David Pierce
In other news, Amazon recently achieved a milestone, with their fleet of Rivian-made electric delivery vans reaching a staggering 10,000 in the United States, marking a significant leap towards sustainable and efficient delivery services. Concurrently, crowdfunding platform Patreon made a strategic move by acquiring Moment, a startup specializing in livestream ticketed events, indicating the platform’s intent to expand its offerings and enhance user experience. Meanwhile, YouTube, the giant in online video streaming, unveiled several feature updates, aiming to provide users with a more diverse and engaging content-watching experience. However, amidst these positive strides, the industry faced a setback as several major tech companies announced significant layoffs, causing ripples of concern throughout the tech community. Additionally, Google found itself at the center of a debate, as it appealed to Congress not to ban teenagers from accessing social media platforms, sparking discussions about online safety and digital privacy for younger users.
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