The Extra Mighell - August 14, 2020

Technology and Assorted News, Among Other Things

Welcome to issue #15 of The Extra Mighell!

It’s been a while since the last edition of the newsletter. A couple of quiet weeks for tech, and busy weeks for me. But I’m back with the tech stories I think lawyers and other legal professionals need to know.

On with the show….

Monopolies

Okay, that was an intentionally provocative headline. But it’s a label being applied to Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon. The latest salvo was fired just yesterday by Epic Games, developer of the wildly popular game Fortnite. Epic updated its game to bypass the standard fees charged by Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store. In response, Apple and Google banned Fortnite from their respective marketplaces. In further response, Epic posted this, well…..epic parody of the iconic Apple video - Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite:

Coronavirus

Although most of us aren’t traveling anywhere at the moment, some of you may be looking to get away on a vacation, or just somewhere that’s not the inside of your home. Google has been improving its search results to let you know COVID-19 travel restrictions for the area you’re searching, including information about hotels and vacation rentals with refundable rates.

Security

A group called the Content Authenticity Initiative, which includes companies like Adobe, Twitter, and the New York Times, outlined an open standard for authenticating photos and videos to detect deepfakes and other manipulated images. [Axios]

You think deepfake photos and videos are bad? AI-generated text is going to be the scariest deepfake of all. [Wired]

Tired of Alexa spying on you when you talk? Check out Alexagate, a….large yellow gadget that clamps onto the top of your Echo device, jamming the microphone. Massive, but effective.

Gadgets….GADGETS!!!

Lots of interesting gadget news over the past few weeks:

Microsoft’s new Surface Duo, a dual-screen phone, will be out in early September. Although it’s too expensive, and probably only die-hard fans will buy it, it’s nice to see this kind of innovation - look for future phones to learn from the Duo. [The Verge]

Google announced a whole gaggle of Pixels all at once - the Pixel 4A, Pixel 4A 5G, and Pixel 5. The Pixel 4A is already being called the best budget phone you can buy today. [The Verge, Gizmodo]

Samsung went crazy like it usually does, announcing a new Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, the next edition of the foldable Galaxy Z Fold 2, and wireless earbuds that look like beans. [9to5Google, The Verge]

If you’re going to hang on to your Android phone, then check out these 5 new things your Android phone can do, and maybe it might feel new again.

Apple announced brand new 21” and 27” iMacs, and although they won’t have Apple’s new silicon (which many are waiting for), there are at least 5 reasons why you should buy one. [Macworld]

And for those of you who are waiting for the next iPhone, you’ll have to wait a little longer - iPhone 12 is delayed to October. [The Verge]

For years, I have been able to back up my Android phone to my Google account, so whenever I got a new phone, I only had to press a few buttons, and the entire setup on my old phone was automagically transferred to the new device. Now Google is sharing the love, and iPhone users can back up their phones to Google, for free. Apple, where is your love for your Android neighbors? [Engadget]

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest trade shows devoted to the showcasing of the latest in…you guessed it, consumer electronics. For years, I have wanted to attend, but just couldn’t find the time. But this year will be different, as the show organizers announced that CES 2021 Will be an All-Digital Event. Now that we can all attend, maybe I’ll see you there….? [PC Magazine]

Productivity

I make no secret of the fact that I think Todoist is the best task manager out there. If there’s any chance that I have persuaded any of you into checking it out, here’s a resource to get you started: How to Use Todoist Effectively - The Complete Guide. It’s a very creative, visual way of learning how to use Todoist, and I think you’ll like it.

If instead you are using Microsoft’s task managers, you may have noticed they have a whole confusing mess of ways for you to track your To Dos. In this video, you can figure out which app to use, when:

Speaking of Microsoft….earlier this year, Microsoft gave Excel simple money management capabilities, for managing your financial and cash accounts. Now with the new STOCKHISTORY function, you can insert an automatically-updating list of prices for a given stock.

And the Microsoft tips just keep on coming….

Fun and Games

I’m completely addicted to Drive & Listen - the site pulls YouTube videos of driving tours around various international cities, and pairs them with live radio from that area. Makes me feel like I’m in the back of a cab on vacation somewhere - almost.

Finally….did you miss the tech leaders testify before Congress? If so, here’s a quick recap of Mark Zuckerburg’s statement:

See you next week!
— Tom