Apple finally updates the Macbook
Gizmodo jokingly said it’s been 27 years since Apple released new MacBooks, but actually has been about four (which is long enough). The big “ooooooh-ahhhhhhhh” feature is the Touch Bar that replaces all of those function keys you never use. What is it? An OLED strip touch display that allows “app-specific commands to be displayed on the keyboard,” (plus it supports Touch ID and ApplePay). Apple is sticking with Retina screens, doubled the size of the trackpad and has changed the keyboard as well. There’s new guts too, but we’ll leave those details to the experts. The new hardware comes in multiple flavors, starting at $1,500 (no sexy Touch Bar) all the way up to $4,300 for the uber version. Initial hands-on reviews are positive.
How the whole internet got hacked
Last Friday the internet ground to a halt thanks to a giant, global hack. The perpetrators took advantage of common devices like webcams and digital recorders to make it happen—but how? They used a technique called distributed denial of service (or DDoS). Rather than reinventing the wheel, I’ll have you check out this great Mashable article that explains it well. This isn’t the first time DDoS has been used (by a long shot) but this round may have had had the biggest ripple. Let’s hope it’s not a sign of things to come.
Don’t leave fake reviews on Amazon
The online juggernaut is getting hard-core on sellers putting up fake reviews. Amazon already said no more free products in exchange for reviews, but now they’re taking more action. This week they announced they’re suing a handful of sellers for writing faux reviews just to try and woo buyers. While I applaud them for trying to fix reviews-gone-wrong, at the same time, let’s hope it doesn’t keep buyers from leaving hilarious ones.
Microsoft’s strange-but-cool desktop computer
Ars Technica said, “Microsoft has built a really strange computer.” But, by their account and others, it’s also really cool. The Surface Studio can be a screen, or it can be an interactive drafting table by pulling it down to your desktop. Grab the stylus, and it’s like digital paper. Microsoft also includes their Dial controller with built-in haptics for feedback which, if nothing else, also looks great but apparently also works well too. If you need a computer for drawing and working, this might be just the one for you.
Twitter’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week
The company made two not-so favorable announcements on the same day. First Twitter announced they’re cutting 5 percent of their work force because third quarter earnings weren’t so great. Then came the news that their video app Vine will be going away “in the coming months.” It probably didn’t help that just a few weeks ago there were rumors the platform was up for sale. And then there is Twitter’s troll problem. We’ll see if CEO Jack Dorsey can turn it all around.
Bring on the peanuts with new allergy tech
The NIH announced there could be hope on the horizon for those kids who suffer from peanut allergies. A new wearable patch slowly delivers small amounts of peanut protein through the skin—and while you’d think that would be a bad thing—in this case it isn’t. The patch works like a slow and long immunization to help the body tolerate peanuts. After a year with the patch, about half of the participants had success tolerating more peanuts. Granted, they may never grab a spoon and some Skippy, but this advancement might help reduce the severity of reactions (which could be life-saving for many). #winning (Image: DBV Technologies, Copyright 2016)
Throw a birthday party!
For your classic click wheel iPod—it just turned 15. Whether you love Apple or hate them, you can’t deny the impact of the original personal music device. Awwwwww, it’s so grown up now. Enjoy this little walk down memory lane: