This Week in Tech 1/26/18
- To start things off, while this wasn’t technically this week (we’re making an exception since this is our first this week in tech post!), you may have seen our very own Josh Ditto on TV recently providing some insights and advice on handling your children’s interaction with internet capable devices. Josh interviewed with WSIL TV3 reporter Hannah Gebresilassie about content filtering, restricting your child’s devices, and other tips on making sure your kids are developing safe habits while using apps, playing games, or browsing the internet. You can read the article and watch the clip on the WSIL website: goo.gl/TdcLK7
- It was recently announced that Apple is joining the standalone home assistant market with their new HomePod (available in early February). The HomePod introduces Apple’s Siri to established assistant product lines from both Amazon (Echo/Alexa) and Google (Home) as the market for in-home smart assistants is clearly gaining steam. You can find more information on the new HomePod at Apple’s website: www.apple.com/homepod/
- In other Apple news, it was reported last year that macOS High Sierra will be the last macOS release to support 32-bit apps. With the 10.13.4 build of High Sierra, users will see an alert the next time they open a 32-bit app warning of the impending end of support. On January 1, Apple put an end to new 32-bit app submissions in the App Store and plans to stop accepting updates from 32-bit apps this summer. You can read more on the situation over at ARS Technica: goo.gl/WMwe37
- If you’ve shopped for a new graphics card upgrade lately, you’ve probably thought “maybe my current GPU is still just fine.” If so, you’re not alone, as the recent cryptocurrency craze has caused demand—and subsequently, prices—for GPUs to skyrocket. Many crypto miners utilize your PC’s graphic processing power to run their scripts more efficiently, and with cryptocurrency currently enjoying such high publicity thanks to Bitcoin’s surge up to nearly $20k (it has since dropped nearly 45% off its peak), everyone’s looking for the “next” Bitcoin to mine for a quick buck. This has lead to GPUs fetching as much as double MSRP in some cases, and that’s only if you can actually find one in stock.
- Speaking of cryptocurrencies, malware using infected websites and internet-capable devices to mine for cryptocurrency—specifically, a cryptocurrency called Monero—is running rampant these days. Crooks are mostly targeting popular file sharing sites, a common technique for spreading malware and other nefarious wares, with modified EXE files that include mining software. This scheme was first outted this month by Palo Alto Networks, a leading provider of IT & network security devices and services. Palo Also reports the campaigns have been active as far back as August or September of 2017. Most reputable antivirus programs will likely protect users from these types of infections, but if you’ve noticed a recent drop in performance or your device seems to be louder/warmer or having to work harder to perform common tasks, these may be indications of a possible infection. If you suspect your device is infected with this or any other type of malware, you should address these issues as soon as possible! We’re happy to help, so if you’re in southern Illinois stop by the shop and talk with one of our techs about your options!
- Fans of Microsoft’s Surface line of laptops will be excited finally have the option of purchasing a Surface laptop with Windows 10 Pro already installed. Going with Windows 10 Pro over 10 S, at least through the Microsoft Commercial Store, will set you back an extra $100, so it’s up to you to decide whether or not dodging the manual upgrade process is worth it for the extra money, but professional users will surely see this stock option as long overdue. For more details on this long awaited release, click here: goo.gl/xspnH7
So that’s a wrap for our first edition of This Week in Tech! Hopefully you’ve learned something or at least enjoyed the stories. I can’t promise we’ll have a new list of tech news for you every week, but stay tuned nonetheless as we’ll do our best to keep you informed and up-to-date on the latest developments!