This week, the EU is reducing the bloat, Google is expanding the games, and Nikola is trying to hide their fraud.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.
Bloatware is not a new topic of discussion. Computers have come with unwanted software from the manufacturer for decades, and it has always been annoying. For the most part, this software on computers has been easily uninstalled (with the exception of Norton trials). When it comes to mobile devices, however, the behavior can be very different. So much of the software that comes pre-installed on a phone or tablet is stuck there forever, whether you like it or not. That could be changing, care of the European Union.
It's been just over a year since Google began testing Google Play Pass, a subscription service for gaming on mobile devices. Apple quickly announced Apple Arcade, a near copy of the service. However, like many of the new and exciting Google services, it was region locked to a small number of countries. Since coming out of preview, the list has not grown much, until now.
In 2020, the number of ransomware attacks has grown significantly. In addition to computers and mobile phones, we've begun to see internet-connected devices come under attack, including things as innocuous as coffee makers. All governments have always warned that paying these ransoms are dangerous for multiple reasons, from a likelihood that you won't get back what's been taken to the fact that you're paying criminals and encouraging it to happen again. In the United States, the guidance is changing, and it could become a crime to aide this criminal behavior.
If you've missed the news about alternate fuel vehicle brand Nikola, it's been quite a wild ride. The company has been exposed for being a Theranos-level fraud in all aspects. The design of their flagship truck was stolen from the 2010 concept by designer Adriano Mudri, who is now the head designer for the Croatian automaker Rimac. This is following a lawsuit against Tesla, claiming the company stole the design from them. Then, a partnership was announced with GM to produce the vehicle. Within short order, it was revealed that the sizzle video that was everywhere, showing the truck in operation was also a fraud.