What’s new in tech
Giuliani’s cybersecurity fumble
Rudy Giuliani went to an Apple store to unlock his phone less than a month after he was named President Trump’s cybersecurity adviser, said Rich Schapiro in NBCNews.com. Giuliani sought out the Apple store in downtown San Francisco in 2017 after “he had forgotten the passcode” to his iPhone “and entered the wrong one at least 10 times.” While it’s a headache well known to many people, experts say Giuliani’s handling of the situation “calls into question his understanding of basic security measures” and shows that a member of “the president’s inner circle” is easy prey for hackers. To gain access, an Apple employee had to erase the phone and set it up again as new. Said E.J. Hilbert, a former FBI cybersecurity professional, “There’s no way he should be going to a commercial location to ask for that assistance.”
Social media help for teens
“Psychologists have a new directive for anxious teens: Post selfies on Instagram and Snapchat,” said Andrea Petersen in The Wall Street Journal. Kids with anxiety disorders often “worry excessively about posting the ‘right’ picture or comment, count the number of likes on their posts, or negatively compare their Saturday night at home” with friends. But by withdrawing from social media, they also “lose opportunities to make important social connections.” Programs that treat teens for anxiety and depression are working with kids on initiating text messages, speaking up in group chats, posting selfies, and leaving comments, and also helping teens cope with “the dread of being left ‘on read,’ when someone has clearly read your text but not answered.”
Google joins the wearables race
Google agreed to buy the fitness-tracking company Fitbit, bolstering its hardware business and filling a gap in its product lineup of smartphones, laptops, and smart speakers, said Gerrit De Vynck in Bloomberg.com. Google already “provides a wearable operating system called Wear OS for other companies to use” but did not have a smartwatch of its own. Fitbit, meanwhile, has sold 100 million devices but “has been struggling to compete with Apple and others in the smartwatch market.” That’s why Google was able to scoop it up it for $2.1 billion, just over half its valuation in 2015. “The deal is sure to attract regulatory scrutiny,” however, particularly regarding how Google plans to use the data that 27 million active Fitbit users have shared.