Facebook to Update Privacy; Apple iOS 11.3 Features; Bitcoin & Real Estate

Facebook will roll out a global privacy settings hub later this hear. Techcrunch.com says. The social media giant claims it will put core privacy settings on FB in one place and make it much easier for people to manage their data. This has been expected due to their need to support the General Data Protection Regulation…or face penalties. Those standards go into effect for the European Union starting May 25th. Fines can reach 4%, which would be over a billion dollars based on 2016 revenue…so we can anticipate compliance!

Apple will roll out iOS 11.3 this spring, with controls to allow you to undo throttling of older iPhones to save battery life, new Animoji, and health record access. Macrumors.com reports that the new Animoji include a lion, bear, dragon, and skull, bringing the total to 16. Apple is expanding the Health App, and you will be able to view available medical data from providers who are participating including Johns Hopkins and Cedars-Sinai. That data is encrypted, and will be protected by a passcode. In addition to removing processor throttling to save battery on older iPhones, the updated software will give more info about the health of a device’s battery, including a recommendation that the battery be serviced (translation: replaced.)

In Bitcoin news, real estate has become a hot market. It may seem crazy to trade in the cryptocurrency with transactions involving pricey real estate, but properties are for sale and changing hands in the US, Canada, and Australia now using it. In fact, according to Mashable.com, At the end of 2017 a Miami condo reportedly sold for 17.7 bitcoin and actual cryptocurrency was exchanged between the buyer and seller. Not just bitcoin converted into cash, which is the more popular way to use the coin. Meanwhile, at the lower end, online payments company Stripe is dropping Bitcoin as a payment option effective April 23rd. They say it’s just too expensive for small transactions. Mining fees spiked at $37 per purchase in December.

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Bitcoin Tanking; 1st Million Apple HomePods Shipped; Galaxy S9 Release Date Leaked

As correctly predicted by ‘the Oracle of Omaha,’ Warren Buffett, Bitcoin is crashing. It’s now under 10,000, half of it’s high, according to bgr.com. Investors are selling off massive amounts of the virtual currency. Other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Ripple are also slumping. While this sounds apocalyptic, keep in mind that even of Bitcoin traders, most is held by a group of people numbering in the low single digits. It’s not going to trash lots of 401(k) accounts or the like. Much of the drop is based on worry of stricter regulations being considered by South Korea and China.

After missing the important holiday shopping season, Apple’s home pods have started shipping from supplier Inventec. 9to5mac.com reports the first million are on the way, with an expected run of between 10 and 12 million this year. Hon Hai Precision Industry is also making the HomePods for Apple. The delay has been blamed on fine tuning software and hardware integration. No release date from Apple yet, but it should be soon for the $350 smart speaker.

Trusted leaker Evan Bless Tweeted yesterday that a C-level executive at a major case maker spilled the beans on the release of Samsung’s Galaxy S9. The handset will launch on February 26th, pre-orders will open on March 1st, and the new hero phone will ship on March 16th. Limber up those fingers for some fast ordering!


Another Tech Player Rolls Their Own With the Cloud

Another huge player is getting into designing its own chips. Gigaom.com says Amazon has picked up several ARM chip engineers as they bulk up their cloud services.

Thenextweb.com reports that Yelp has added ‘accepts Bitcoin’ to the attributes of its business listings. Bitcoin fans will be raving about this in reviews.

Speaking of payments, Square will now let merchants collect payments offline and in advance for order pickup. Techcrunch.com says they will be offering a separate Pickup app, so you could order food on the web, then swing by and pick it up.