We didn’t even have to wait until August to find out who was behind that massive Twitter breach on July 15th. Florida authorities arrested a Tampa teenager as he and two others were charged with a litany of felonies in the attack that hijacked numerous high-profile accounts. Charging documents from the prosecutors claim the Florida teen conducted a spear phishing attack by pretending to be Twitter IT and convincing an employee to hand over credentials.
There are more details, but the whole episode remains as bizarre as it seemed when it occurred two weeks ago. Looking forward, we’re ready for some big news next week, with Google’s Pixel 4a poised to launch on Monday before Samsung’s big Galaxy Unpacked event Wednesday. Until then, you can tune in all weekend as SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule makes its first return trip home from the ISS.
The Engadget Podcast
Big tech goes to Washington.
This week on the show, Devindra and Cherlynn chat about Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon’s long-awaited antitrust hearing. Are they too big to compete fairly? Or is the tech industry being overly criticized? (It’s most likely the former.) Also, we dive into Garmin’s lackluster response to its widespread system outage, Quibi’s surprising Emmy noms, and Tenet’s international opening.
Donald Trump claims he will ban TikTok in the US
That escalated quickly.
Friday started with rumors that the Trump administration may try to force a sale of TikTok, and that Microsoft could be on deck as a buyer. On Friday night, however, the president told reporters he plans to ban the app somehow -- and it could happen later today.
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The best deals we found this week: MacBook Air, TCL Roku TVs and more
And Amazon’s Echo Dot bundle is down to $21.
This week is a good time to grab a new Apple laptop. Both Amazon and B&H Photo have the latest MacBook Air for $100 off, and those that need more power can grab the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro at Amazon for $200 off. Meanwhile two of TCL’s 8-series Roku smart TVs are discounted at Best Buy: the 65-inch 4K model is down to $1,000 and the massive 75-inch 4K model is down to $1,500.
We could see COVID-19 exposure notification apps in the US soon
On Friday, Canada released an app based on Google and Apple tech.
According to a Google blog post, apps based on exposure notification systems it built along with Apple have launched in 16 countries and regions. Canada’s COVID Alert app (iOS, Android) launched on Friday and is currently enabled in the province of Ontario.
We haven’t seen this type of digital contact tracing tech enabled in the US yet, but that may change soon. According to Google, 20 states and territories covering about 45 percent of the population are “exploring apps” based on the systems, and the first ones should launch “in the coming weeks.”