TWTW: March 25th – March 31st, 2018

The week that was (TWTW) takes a look back at the week’s most prominent tech stories from around the world.

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Lastly you can find a full transcript of this week’s episode below.

In the week that was March 25th to March 31st, 2018:

  • Google announces ChromeOS for tablets
  • Apple hold Education event to unveil new 9.7” iPads
  • Facebook woes continue
  • Firefox create an extension to contain Facebook’s tracking
  • MyFitnessPal suffers a data breach
  • FCC grant SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network a licence to use its spectrum

Intro

Hey everyone, Raj Deut here for Reckoner with a look back at the tech news in the week that was:

March 25th to March 31st, 2018.

Stories

Google beat Apple to the punch kicking the week off with the announcement of the first tablet running ChromeOS. The tablet is being made by Acer and aimed directly at the educational market. with virtually no differences in Chrome OS between its laptop and tablet installations.

The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 will be available to purchase in May for US$329 with no word on availability beyond North America at this point.


Apple’s education event, held a day later in Chicago heralded the arrival of a new 9.7″ iPad making use of the company’s faster A10 Fusion chip. The new iPad also gains the ability to work with the Apple Pencil, a first for iPads not carrying the “Pro” moniker.

Price wise the new iPad retains the same RRP as the last generation, base 32GB Wi-Fi units in Australia starting at $469. Educators and students will receive a modest discount but sadly the event did not make way for a heavily discounted product that many expected or one that would be a true price competitor with ChromeOS products.


Facebook continues to make headlines following it’s most recent user privacy scandal. The company this week announced initiatives to further restrict data sharing and access, closing down programs and indefinitely delaying the release of its smart speaker.

Rubbing salt in the wound a leaked 2016 memo by company vice president Andrew Bosworth repeatedly uses the word “ugly” to describe the company’s attitude in further connecting users despite the consequence. Both Bosworth and Zuckerberg have distanced themselves from the memo but the damage has already been done.

Looking to capitalise on Facebook’s folly Firefox released an extension for its browser that isolates the website and all of its tracking into its own container. The new extension deletes all of your Facebook cookies & logs you back in via it’s sandboxed environment meaning that Facebook can no longer track your activity beyond its own website.


Popular health and fitness app MyFitnessPal announced that its systems had been compromised in late February by an unauthorized party. It’s believe the attackers acquired the user details of over 150 million accounts from the platform and that the data included personal information such as email addresses and passwords.


And finally America’s Federal Communications Commission granted SpaceX a license to operate a network of 12,000 low-Earth orbit satellites this week. The company plans to use the micro-satellite network to provide high speed internet access without the major latency issues of existing higher orbit satellite services.

To be called Starlink, SpaceX is expected to launch up to 4000 satellites in the coming years that make use of an unused portion of FCC regulated broadband spectrum to provide internet access.

Outro

And that’s it for another week! Thank you so much for tuning in. As always be sure to subscribe and like the show on your platform of choice.

On the website this week. Don’t miss our exclusive in-depth preview of the Nintendo LA-BO kits, available April 20.

I hope you all had a great Easter break, all the best for the week ahead and bye for now.

Reckoner had its humble beginnings way back in June of 2013.

Founded by James Croft, along with Peter Wells and Anthony Agius they created what would go on to become one of Australia’s most highly regarded and award winning independent tech blogs.

With its uniquely Australian voice Reckoner is committed to offering a “no-holds-barred” approach to its writing. Beholden to no one but its audience. Reckoner’s goal is to remain completely transparent and honour the trust it’s built with its faithful readership.

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