Bits+Bytes: chip emergency and Spotify's legal woes

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Photo: Flickr

It's official, your computer isn't safe! It turns out that most modern computer chips have flaws and are vulnerable to hackers - so what do you need to know and more importantly what can you do to stay secure?

Plus as Spotify gets ready to go public, what's the real cost of streaming music? Spotify is being sued for using unlicensed music by The Doors, Tom Petty and Neil Young, and it could cost billions.

Also, why Facial Recognition will be big in 2018, and a question about another faulty Apple product - this time an iPad keyboard.

Bits+Bytes: WeChat does everything, Twitter holds back

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Photo: WeChat

Apple has been slowing down processing speed on many iPhone models which led to consumers buying new phones when they could have simply bought a new battery. It's possible that Apple may have to compensate many of their customers.

Twitter has changed its guidelines to prohibit accounts that promote violence against civilians. But there are political exceptions...

Emily Wang from Datacom talks about China's continuing lockout on Facebook, and how WeChat has morphed from a messaging app to an absolutely everything app.

Data use on Christmas Day went up spectacularly, and Andrew from Nelson asks Peter some tricky questions about finding keys via Bluetooth.

Peter Griffin and Simon Morton present the latest from the world of technology as part of the RNZ summer season show Up This Way.

This Way Up for Saturday 23 December 2017

Bits+Bytes: Uber, Apple and VR/AR, China transport tales and Tamed: 10 species that changed our world.

Bits+Bytes: Uber, Apple and VR/AR

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Photo: Peter Griffin

This week a decision in Europe means that Uber will be treated as a transport not a technology company by regulators.

We look at what it could mean for the company's future plans, its listing prospects, and for the rights of Uber drivers.

Meanwhile, Apple admits to slowing down processing speed on many iPhone models after users upgrade to the new iOS 11 operating system.

Apple says it's just doing what's best for its users, but faced with a slow, poorly functioning phone they might take some convincing!

Finally, an overview of the current state of augmented and virtual reality; Magic Leap unveils its new headset the Lightwear amid news of job losses at a local AR/VR pioneer.

Goggles Must be Worn (Photo by Adam Birkett on Unsplash)

Goggles Must be Worn (Photo by Adam Birkett on Unsplash) Photo: Goggles Must be Worn (Photo by Adam Birkett on Unsplash)

Bikes, trucks and flying cars: China transport tales

Bike share, Chile

Photo: (Diego Duarte Cereceda)

Adam Minter of Bloomberg has transport tales from China.

This week, how consolidation in the haulage industry could improve traffic and congestion.

Nine million trucking companies, most of them only owning one truck, cause chaos on the roads and clog up parking lots on the outskirts of major cities.

A move to a more hi-tech approach to transport could help solve some of these problems, but not everybody's impressed.

Also ambitious plans for flying cars, a far-fetched sounding technology that has some big players interested.

And why bike sharing schemes are struggling.

"By 2012, there were 9 million trucking companies in China -- 6 million of which owned only one truck. Today, independent driver-owners represent roughly 90 percent of all commercial trucks on Chinese highways." Adam Minter

The ten species that changed our world

In her book Tamed, writer, broadcaster and anthropologist Alice Roberts explores ten familiar species with wild pasts.

Dog walking

Photo: (Matt Nelson)

Alice Roberts

Photo: (Photographer Dave Stevens)

Over many thousands of years, our hunting-gathering ancestors foraged and tracked down a whole host of plants and animals.

Then people learned that you could derive more value from nature by taming and domesticating it, and farming and civilisation as we know it began.

From dogs, apples and wheat to rice, horses and maize, she discusses how we shaped these species to our wants and needs and how the science of genetics is revealing surprising stories about the plants and animals we've domesticated... starting with the origin and evolution of our best friend, the dog.

Bits+Bytes: is your iPhone being throttled?


Photo: 2015

Things are heating up for Apple. Why did they intentionally slow down the performance of iPhones without telling consumers, or giving them the option to opt out? Is there a way to tell if your phone’s processor is being throttled, and if there is, what can you do to improve performance?

There’s more fallout from the world’s biggest hardware fault that affects most of our computers making them vulnerable to hackers. It turns out some patches that can be installed to fix it slow down your machine – how much slower will your PC run?

The World Health Organisation recognises video game addiction as a mental disorder.

And we hear why a Chinese electric car has everyone going ‘wow’ at the CES, the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, and answer listener's questions about why campgrounds and motels do not offer unlimited wifi data for their customers and which tech jobs are best for young people.

Please share your iPhone story with us, as we're planning to continue to explore why Apple did this, how you can tell if your iPhone is slow, and a remedy.  Please email 

Bits+Bytes: changes to Facebook and YouTube & the future of smart speakers

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Photo: 123RF

Why has Facebook changed its algorithm so now you’ll see more ‘meaningful’ posts in your timelines and less from organisations trying to sell you things or media outlets like RNZ sharing their content?

Alphabet (Google) is changing YouTube advertising rules to clean things up after complaints from advertisers.

2018 is set to be the year of the smart speakers - move over smartphones, interactive home speaker systems that can turn on the lights, order pizza and announce the cricket scores are about to take off as Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft launch new products for our homes. Emily Wang looks at the privacy issues for a device that’s recording voices and other sounds in your home.

Plus Simon and Peter have been testing out wireless home audio systems ( MusicCast and Sonos ), and your tech questions are answered.