Technology
11.05.20

This Week in Tech



This past week in tech, there were a lot of changes from various services and companies that ranged from the latest hardware and software updates to the smallest micro-reactions on social media.

So here’s what’s trending:

Messenger Rooms

Facebook has been one of the most innovative companies in the tech industry and in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, demand for video conferencing calls has been surging; Zoom has been thriving in this area.

Image: Facebook

Facebook did not delay to spice up the competition as last week they slowly rolled out the free Messenger Rooms service that can cater for up to 50 participants and will let them use the platform even if they don’t have a Facebook account.

Facebook claims that its security features are superior to those of Zoom and are well encrypted. However, past Facebook issues around security can be a red flag that their claims of security-laden design may not be accurate at all.

Google Algorithms Changes

Google has rolled out an update to its algorithm that has had a major impact on search results.  It’s said that the impacts of the update may be felt over the next few weeks.

Google has stated that they are not promoting a certain industry but aiming to balance the surge in searches in health-related topics that have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some past algorithm updates, like BERT and EAT will also impact these searches.

BERT is the Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) update in 2019, where complicated keywords in searches with medical terms are understood better than before. With the enhanced search algorithm implemented during the BERT update, health results in Google became more specific in addressing obscure queries and worked to interpret people’s search intent and deliver the expected results.

This is coupled with Google’s “Medic” update from 2018 that values Expertise, Authority, and Trust (EAT). Google wants content to be more consistently reliable and to cite the credentials and expertise of the people who are authoring or reviewing the articles.  This intended to bring more trustworthiness to the content on the internet.

Image: Unsplash

New Facebook “Care” Reaction

Micro-reactions are a thing in social media and one of the frequently seen micro-reactions we interact with daily is the reaction on Facebook posts. Just this week, Facebook updated its set of reactions by adding a “care” button that has an emoji hugging a heart. This promotes connectivity among family members and friends who are separated due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Image: Unsplash

Meanwhile, Messenger has an updated heart reaction, which is now a beating heart. It should be noted, you can always choose what type of heart you want to see on the chat reactions.

New 13-inch Macbook Pro

Last week we just got a refresh of the Macbook Pro. In a nutshell, here are some of the changes with the new and improved 13” Macbook Pro:

External:

  • Scissors keyboard.
  • Dedicated escape button.
  • Inverted T arrow keys.
  • Better key travel.

Internal:

  • 10th generation processors.
  • Double the starting storage: 512GB and can be upgraded to 4TB.
  • 16GB LPDDR4 RAM – can be upgraded to 32GB.

But we have to take note that this update has 4 variants, 2 of which don’t have the 10th generation processors and are only available in the 2 high-end versions of it.

Image: Unsplash

Price-wise, this positioning of the 13” Macbook Pro is kinda awkward as the 2 lower ends of this are questionable for you can purchase the new Macbook Air at a lesser price with nearly similar specs.

Also, if you bump up the price to the higher end of this Macbook Pro refresh, you are knocking the base version 16-inch Macbook Pro range, which if you just add a little bit of money will give you bigger screen real estate, a better cooling system, and a dedicated GPU that helps you with graphics and video rendering.

With that, it is a good refresh on its own but is now positioned in a way that made you think twice if you really want this or a compromise with an Air or the 16-inch.

Leaks are showing that a 14-inch Macbook Pro will be dropping this year with an ARM-based processor. But that will be best discussed on one of the next updates in this Week in Tech.

As a digital disciple, knowing about these changes can position you to leverage new technologies and updates to further enhance your ministry’s effectiveness.

You can also improve your ministry’s team-building communications and have a talking point for people in your community.

Let us know the latest things you noticed this week in tech.

Compiled by Jan Amantiad, a graphic designer and assistant for the Digital Discipleship Ministry