Tech News Today for August 10, 2016

Tech News for August 10, 2016

Today Snapchat removed a filter that users on Twitter were calling "Yellowface," which looked a lot like an Asian stereotype. Snapchat told the Verge that the filter was inspired by anime and meant to be playful, but many users were not amused. Read more at If you're still wondering whether this is racist or not, check out the piece in Wired that goes through a good history of the offensive use of "yellowface."

State laws in some US states place restrictions on the potential growth of municipal broadband networks. And the FCC had voted to block those kinds of laws in North Carolina and Tennessee in an effort to remove barriers that would promote competition in the telecom industry. But in reality, the FCC has no inherent authority to overturn state laws and as such, both states took to the appeals court to push back on the FCC’s efforts. Today, the US Court of Appeals ruled unanimously with the States. What this means is that the States can continue to place restrictions on the boundaries and efforts of municipal broadband going forward. Read more at

Earlier this week critics claimed that Apple was beyond overdue for a laptop upgrade and today Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that those critics might have to wait a little bit longer. Gurman says people familiar with the matter expect new, slimmer, gaming-ready MacBooks complete with a touch screen strip for function keys and a touch ID sensor. Sources who asked not to be named say the laptops have been in testing at Apple since earlier this year. Sadly, those same sources also say the new machines are not due to be announced at the iPhone event scheduled on September 7. Read more at

PlayStation just announced a September event, where it will likely unveil the PlayStation 4 successor. Read more at

When a secure golden key exists, problems can arise. This has been at the core of the discussion around the idea of creating backdoors into secure systems for access by the feds when needed. If it exists, it might see the light of day in unintended ways, and then what? Driving this point home is Microsoft. The key to its Secure Boot system that protects Windows devices has been leaked by none other than Microsoft, giving a would be attacker direct access to protected devices the ability to bypass Secure Boot and make changes under to hood. This includes running a new OS, or worse yet, running bootkits or rootkits on the device. Read more at

Tech journalist Owen Williams has an op-ed on The Next Web today, entitled, "Please stop saying tech inventions are going to kill each other." Williams makes a good argument that our constant desire to search for the next big thing makes us want to assume that its going to replace the thing that's there now. Windows 10 didn't kill the Mac, the iPad didn't kill the laptop, just as Instagram is unlikely to kill Snapchat and Facebook is unlikely to kill Twitter. Read more at

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Elizabeth Howell from Ars Technica about amateur astronomy. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at You can subscribe to the show or download it later at

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