Uber, Chrome, Apple & Mars

One hour equals 60 minutes. There are a lot of topics in the today’s news relating to technology. The home speaker appliance market has new competition. Elon Musk’s Mars-bound Tesla rocket launches successfully. The Olympics undergoes a cyber attack. Intellectual property theft. We have one hour to discuss as much as we can. Ready?

Mars Habitat

Research and development are underway to prepare for a Mars mission. Developing a Mars habitat as a place to live presents some unique logistical challenges. The first logical step would be to return to the moon and set up a base station. The moon has lighter gravity would provide a logical launching point to access the rest of the universe. Prototype habitats are in operation in Canada, Utah and Iceland. A fourth, to be built in Australia, is in the planning stages. In addition, there is a discussion of a habitat in North Dakota. The remaining question is how soon we will reach the famed red planet.

Apple Homepod

Unlike most Apple products, there has been relatively little hoopla surrounding the release of the Apple Homepod. While resembling Amazon Alexa and Echo Dot, the marketing of the Homepod suggests Apple looks to position the Homepod as a home speaker system, in competition with Sonos. High cost may cause consumers to balk at the $300 per speaker price. One significant disadvantage of the product is the low repairability factor. Fixing a broken Homepod is very expensive.  A major advantage is the high quality of sound.

Olympic Cyber Attack

The Olympics underwent a cyber attack.  Organizers have worried about possible attacks from North Korea or even Russia. The team speculated on how the vulnerability of venues like the Olympics would affect the cybersecurity industry. On a positive note, 12,001 drones lit up the sky during the Olympics. The technical work that goes into making a successful drone show results in amazing drone entertainment by Intel. A few episodes back we shared a video on the show Intel did in Las Vegas during CES 2018. Here it is again in case you missed it: Bellagio Lights Up the Sky & Meltdown and Spectre

Chrome Caution

Effective July, Chrome will mark every “http://” site as not secure to protect people using their search engine. Marlo, however, thinks it’s a good idea,as it serves as a deterrent against the bad guys with the viruses. A reputable company, he theorizes, will be willing to pay for the extra security as a positive gesture to its customers.

Uber and Waymo Settle on Intellectual Property Theft

Following a year’s worth of legal bickering Waymo (under the aegis of Google) and Uber reached a settlement in their lawsuit last week. It started when Waymo (Google’s autonomous-vehicle branch) accused Uber of intellectual property theft. Last week, Google asked for a settlement of $500,000,000. In what was only the fifth day of the actual trial, the two sides settled with Uber giving Google $245,000,000 in stock.

If you would like the “Guru of Geek” to do a product review for you and have it featured on The Tech Ranch, let us know! Leave us a comment on this episode or call 701-204-6674 for more information.

Join the “Guru of Geek” Marlo Anderson and “Tech Geezer” Jim Walsh every week for a new episode of the Tech Ranch.

Broadcast Date February 12,  2018  Episode 304

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