Google Launches Virtual Genius Bar, Phishing the Anthem Hack Victims [Tech News Digest]
Google offers virtual tech help, from hacked to phished, free money for Chromecast owners, Evolve’s launch-day patch, Am I Going Down?, and Android promises Friends Furever.
Google Device Experts Lend a Hand
I love how @google glass became retro futuristic within two years… The future that never was.
— Andreas Klinger (@andreasklinger) February 9, 2015
Google has launched Google Device Experts, which is being described as a “virtual Genius Bar.” The Genius Bar is Apple’s help desk for customers in need of assistance . Google Device Experts sees customers shopping for hardware on Google Play offered buying advice for Chromebooks , Nexus devices, etc.
While Google isn’t currently offering tech support through this platform, this could be the plan for the future. Google could also introduce virtual help desks into retail stores, with potential buyers able to seek help and advice via video chat. In the meantime, Google told TechCrunch, “We’re in a limited trial of an experimental support feature and gathering feedback.”
Anthem Hack Victims are Being Phished
The unfortunate victims of the hack on health insurance firm Anthem are now being hit with phishing scams. According to security expert Brian Krebs, opportunistic cybercriminals are targeting Anthem customers with phishing emails and telephone calls designed to steal personal information.
It’s thought that these phishing attempts are random rather than as a direct result of the information stolen in the Anthem hack being sold onto third parties. However, anyone who has ever had dealings with Anthem needs to remain vigilant against anything other than official snail mail correspondence from the company.
Chromecast Owners Given $6 Credit
— Ken Gok (@Ken_Gok) February 9, 2015
Google is currently giving away a $6 Google Play credit to all Chromecast users in the U.S. (or £5 in the U.K.). This particular freebie is designed to allow Chromecast users to rent a movie to watch with their significant other on Valentine’s Day .
Grabbing the free credit is as easy as visiting the Chromecast Offers page using the same WiFi network as your Chromecast . These regular offerings from Google mean many Chromecast owners have now received freebies worth more than their dongle cost in the first place.
Evolve Requires 3GB Day-One Patch
Evolve, one of our games to look forward to in 2015 , is due to be released on Tuesday (Feb. 10). Unfortunately, as is the case with so many modern video games, Evolve requires a hefty day-one patch to fix the raft of bugs with which it has shipped.
The 3GB update for the innovative shooter will be required before heading online to battle against other players. As well as the necessary bug fixes, the patch is designed to improve matchmaking load times and optimize network bandwidth .
Am I Going Down? App Crashes Pessimism
There have been a number of horrific plane crashes over the last couple of years, but flying is still, statistically speaking, one of the safest forms of travel available. However, pure stats don’t always manage to counter fear-mongering media reports.
Perhaps Am I Going Down?, an iOS app which calculates the odds of your plane falling from the sky, will do a better job. Am I Going Down? uses historical data to determine how likely your next flight is to crash. Which is almost certain to be millions to one.
Android Wants to be Friends Furever
And finally, Google’s latest Android ad uses cute animals to grab your attention while subtly putting the boot into Apple and its legion of fans. Friends Furever shows examples of different species of animals forming friendships despite their differences.
The closing message, to “Be together. Not the same,” is meant to remind us that while Android powers a huge range of different devices, no two are quite alike. Unlike iOS , which removes an notion of choice or customization. Because Apple knows best. Apparently.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Would you ever utilize Google’s virtual Genius Bar? Have you ever fallen for a phishing scam? Would you rather remain ignorant to the risk of your plane crashing?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: ReynerMedia via Flickr