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Agnostic Tech Posts

Live Look at Samsung HQ

Face recognition tech still insufficient for security

“The phones can be unlocked by the face of a sleeping person, or even just by a photo,” an industry watcher said. “For now, the facial recognition technology is only intended for fun. It should not be considered as a foolproof security measure.”


As I said on the last podcast, sometimes Samsung can’t get out of their own way. I was talking about the fingerprint sensor location, but now we have this. They continue to push the limits while making the best looking hardware, and yet…


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Agnostic Tech Podcast 28 – Bezels are for Losers

Back with some discussion on the Samsung announcement, the Apple releases, and more!

Links to stuff we talked about:

Agnostic Tech Social Media

The Hosts

The Meta

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The Android Update Problem

This week Google announced the first preview of the next version of Android.

Since the first launch in 2008, the Android project has thrived on the incredible feedback from our vibrant ecosystems of app developers and device makers, as well as of course our users. More recently, we’ve been pushing hard on improving our engineering processes so we can share our work earlier and more openly with our partners.

So, today, I’m excited to share a first developer preview of the next version of the OS: Android O. The usual caveats apply: it’s early days, there are more features coming, and there’s still plenty of stabilization and performance work ahead of us. But it’s booting :).

Of course what followed online was all the jokes about how your phone will never see this update.  For a majority of users this of course is the case.  It’s time to start looking at Android updates in a different light. This is the OS that is made for phones launching a full year from now.  Over the last few weeks we have seen new flagship devices from LG, HTC, and others that are launching with Android N. This was the OS announced a full year ago.  Now some of those phones will get this update after the official release, but will most users know or care?  Apple’s release cadence with iOS is the exception, not the rule.

So for the people that know or really care about having the latest and greatest OS on their phone they have the Google line of phones.  For the rest of the world, a year from now a new version of Android will be on your phone.  Don’t worry you won’t notice as Samsung or LG will make it look just like the phone you are using now anyway.

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Agnostic Tech Podcast Episode 27 – We Back

After a few months we have recorded a podcast.  We are even doing show notes now!  See you in two weeks.

Links to stuff we talked about:

Podcasts We like:

Agnostic Tech Social Media

The Hosts

The Meta

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Microsoft Teams is a Go!

Microsoft today announced that Teams is now available to Office 365 customers.  Their answer to Slack has been in preview since it was announced last fall.  I have used the preview and was impressed with how quickly Microsoft got this service up and running.  If you are an Office 365 customer it might make sense to just use Teams since it’s included in many business plans.

Microsoft Teams rolls out to Office 365 customers worldwide

With more than 85 million active users, Office 365 empowers individuals, teams and entire organizations with the broadest and deepest toolkit for collaboration. Office 365 is designed to meet the unique workstyle of every group with purpose-built, integrated applications: Outlook for enterprise-grade email; SharePoint for intelligent content management; Yammer for networking across the organization; Skype for Business as the backbone for enterprise voice and video; and now, Microsoft Teams, the new chat-based workspace in Office 365.



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Android: Tastes Great or Less Filling?

Interesting new site put up by Google that helps you customize your Android device.  Many in the tech world pick Android for this reason, but when you see “normals” around town you notice most use the device how they found it.  To a majority of users the Samsung Touchwhiz UI is “Android.

Make Android yours

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The Google Dilemma

The Google Circle…

Google Fiber

Google Fi

Google Wifi Router (launching in Oct)

Google Chrome




Google reverses course on Allo privacy

Here’s the thing: Google’s team initially stated that all conversations of Allo users would be encrypted so that nobody could read them. Moreover, conversation logs were to be stored on Google’s servers only transiently, and Google promised not to assign identities to the logs.

But the developers changed their minds. Now Allo will store all non-incognito messages until users manually delete them. Messages are encrypted between the device and Google servers, yes. But they are stored, so Google has access to all chats in the app. It uses the chat logs specifically to make smart replies more accurate, relevant, and whatever else the company wants smart replies to be.

The Business of Google (GOOG)

From 2014 to 2015 Google’s annual revenue grew over 13%. During that time, revenue from Google websites has comprised a relatively consistent 67 to 68 percent of total company revenue. With the inclusion of the advertising network, Google earns about 90 percent of its entire income from advertising.

While other businesses contribute billions to Google’s income each year, Google makes most of its money through online advertising. Despite the company’s investments in other ventures, that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon.

I will just leave this here. When Google provided services for free in return for your information, most can understand that trade-off. Now we have another issue. Google is now in the internet service business with both Google Fiber and Google Fi. They are also selling a wifi router. Google is going to be able to paint a very clear picture of users that no other company can imagine. I am not saying not to use Google products, but go into it with your eyes wide open.

Many will reply that they trust Google. I get that, and in fact I even feel okay with the current group running the day to day operations. Don’t forget that Google is a publicly traded company, and a few bad quarters can lead to major changes. Just remember a few years ago when Radio Shack was going through the bankruptcy process we had this…

Bankrupt RadioShack aims to sell 67m customer names and addresses

Now the company is trying to determine how much it will be able to legally sell in an effort to keep creditors at bay. It has decided emails and addresses are probably what it wants to sell, specifically “67 million customer name and physical mailing address files together with any associated transaction data collected by the Debtors within the five (5) year period prior” to its bankruptcy, according to a recommendation by the court appointed fiduciary, Elise Frejka.

Your data is worth a lot of money, and it is worth more when they can connect more dots. Google wants to connect all those dots. This is why we need strict regulation of what can and can’t be done with our data. Without it we are getting closer and closer to the day where your potential landlord, employer, insurer, etc will have the full picture of who you are before they even meet you. How much would Progressive or Geico be willing to pay Google before selling you that insurance? We may soon find out.

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