Tech Talk

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Tech Talk – March 3, 2023


  • Indoor air pollution is a common discussion and air quality testing is in demand, including for carbon monoxide and radon.  Ikea’s VINDSTYRKA is a smart indoor monitor that gauges air pollution and adjusts fan speed for STARKVIND purifier.
  • Privacy and security concerns have led Canadian and European governments to bar the use of TikTok.
  • Waymo has removed human safety drivers from its robo taxi fleet.
  • A white traffic light is being proposed for autonomous vehicles to understand traffic flow and coordinate the best traffic flow.
  • Netflix is testing price cuts in three dozen countries following the removal of password sharing.
  • Australian-Spanish scientists have developed the ability to reverse atoms in what they call the rewind protocol.
  • Chinese University students have developed an iPhone case with lips for long-distance intimacy.
  • Apple’s security is good, but it’s important to have instant locks and biometric information on your phone to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Scammers are using shortened URLs from LinkedIn to access banking information in a new email scam.
  • Air Canada is using NFC and contactless biometric boarding information at Vancouver airport for more efficient boarding.
  • Spotify is using artificial intelligence to personalize music choices with a feature called DJ.
  • Chinese phone maker XIAOMI is promoting its 300-watt fast charging technology.
  • SYGIC is gaining popularity as an alternative to Apple and Google Maps, offering more detailed street information and fuel prices.
  • Physicists in Switzerland have developed technology to control lightning better than lightning rods.
  • The Hacker Hoodie blinds surveillance cameras with infrared light, making it invisible to humans but rendering night vision cameras useless.

Indoor air pollution is going to be a common discussion. At VM we always get asked about air quality testing now you can test your carbon monoxide, radon and there’s a few other air system checks that you can look into. One of the benefits of having fluency duct cleaning is that it does help clear up some of the air systems. Jumping into our Tech talk there’s now a product from Ikea that you can put at your bedside table that gives you an indoor air pollution report.  The product is called VINDSTYRKA, a smart indoor monitor that gauges how much air pollution is in your home. It features sensors that can measure particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers, which can’t be seen with the naked eye. It then notifies you via a color-coding system—green, yellow, or red—whether the indoor air quality is harmful or not.  You can track the levels of pollutants on the company’s app, then VINDSTYRKA can trigger other products like the STARKVIND purifier to adjust its fan speed in correlation with the amount of PM2.5 in the air

The issue of privacy and security concerns with TikTok has been widely discussed. Recently, the Canadian government has banned the use of TikTok on all government devices, highlighting the seriousness of the situation. The collection and storage of user data by TikTok have raised questions regarding who has access to this information and how it is being used. This is not limited to Canada, as the European Union also prohibited its employees from using TikTok on their devices starting in December 2022. In addition, the FBI has warned that the data collection policies of TikTok can expose sensitive personal information to the Chinese government. TikTok is collecting various information such as operating system, mobile carrier, browsing history, keystrokes, wireless connections, age, personal contacts, and relationship status. It can also access the camera and microphone, violating children’s online privacy protection. Furthermore, in 2019 it was revealed that the information collected by TikTok was accessed by Chinese state interests.

Alphabet’s self-driving car company, Waymo, has removed human safety drivers from its robo taxi fleet in LA, marking a major milestone for the company. The electric Jaguars, which were tested with human safety drivers starting last October, will now be fully autonomous in the coming weeks in Santa Monica. This will be the first time a fully automated, non-human supported vehicle will be part of Waymo’s entire fleet. Meanwhile, in contrast to Ford and Volkswagen’s decision to withdraw from their AI project, Argo, Waymo, under Google, remains dedicated to advancing fully autonomous driving technology.

Speaking of self-driving cars get ready for our community to have a fourth light. Yes red yellow, green and now white. With the autonomous cars growing in the market a new idea of a fourth traffic light has been discussed to allow for the vehicle to understand the flow of traffic. It’s a concept that’s being proposed in a statement that could be used for how to control both human and autonomous vehicles to share the road safely. White light would tell human drivers to simply follow the car in front of them the autonomous vehicle would take over the intersection when the white light is on. And honest vehicles would be able to communicate with other cars around it determining locations in the next move in relation to what they’re doing. The white light would be able to coordinate the best flow of traffic and would tell humans to follow accordingly. During testing proved a 10% reduction in delay and as more autonomous cars increase so did the traffic speed.

About a week ago we were talking about Netflix removing password sharing however it’s already started to hit them. Netflix is trying to determine the next phase and the streaming service is apparently cutting monthly subscriptions in three dozen countries across the world. With the subscription price cut in almost half off the monthly subscription price. Countries included the middle east, Eastern europe, Latin America, Asia and the Philippines. With the introduction of password sharing being limited the idea that they could now double their cost by lowering the price by half is a test.

SPEAKING of the Big Bang theory… There was an episode where a phone case with lips on it was able to connect and allow for the interaction and intimacy with someone else on the other end. Chinese University students have developed  an iPhone case with lips. it connects to your phone with Bluetooth and when you speak with another individual on the other end with the app it gives a sensation of having a kiss. which apparently this new device is where the idea came from it gives a sensation that you can be in a long distance relationship with someone but still have the intimacy of a silicon lips.