5 non-health tech stories you should care about this week

Plus, the FCC opens wireless spectrum to future 5G services, while a report says enterprise augmented reality is on pace to outsell consumer virtual reality.


Happy Friday, and happy end of the month. It’s time once again to take a look at what you may have missed in the world of technology outside healthcare.

Here, we present this week’s list of five interesting general technology stories from the past seven days that people in healthcare should pay attention to. These issues could have an impact on health tech in the future.

1. “How to tell if you’ve been hit by fake ransomware” (InfoWorld)

It takes only a few seconds to confirm whether it’s a real infection or a social engineering scam.

If the ransom demand includes the name of the ransomware, then there’s no mystery, and you’re in trouble. Ransomware families that identify themselves include Linux.Encoder — the first Linux-based ransomware — which clearly says “Encrypted by Linux.Encoder.” CoinVault identifies itself by listing the support email address. TeslaCrypt and CTB-Locker are also among the well-known ransomware families that tell you who is holding your files hostage.

But there are plenty of ransom plays that don’t bother with names. For example, CryptoLocker simply warned that your files have been encrypted and never flaunted its name. Instead, you’ll have to look for other clues: Is there a support email address? Search the Internet for the bitcoin payment address or the actual ransom message and see what comes up on forums or from security researchers.

2. “FCC wireless auction hits spectrum target, paving way for fast, reliable 5G” (CIO)

This low-band spectrum, in the 600MHz band, is highly coveted by mobile carriers because it can cover long distances and penetrate walls and other obstacles. Mobile carriers have pushed for more spectrum as their customers’ network use keeps growing, and the low-band spectrum will help carriers roll out faster 5G service, supporters say.

3. “Enterprise augmented reality will bring in $46B in revenue by 2021” (FierceMobileIT)

By 2021, enterprise AR smartglasses will generate $46 billion in revenue compared to the $15 billion that consumer VR will bring, predicted the market research firm. Markets in which AR will be especially popular include healthcare, industrial, military and government.

Enterprise AR will be bringing in the most revenue, but ABI Senior Analyst Eric Abbruzzese said, despite the numbers, both AR and VR are not in the clear yet.

“While AR smart glasses will see a greater growth rate than mobile VR devices, this does not imply that the VR market is lagging,” Abbruzzese said in a statement. “It is only settling as Google Cardboard’s strong start tapers off and higher quality AR devices begin to drop in price. Despite recent advances, both the AR and VR markets have challenges to overcome in the months ahead.”

4. “CloudMagic can now tell you everything about the person who just emailed you” (TechCrunch)

According to CloudMagic’s founder and CEO Rohit Nadhani, 80 percent of today’s emails are read on mobile first, where Gmail extensions don’t work. Plus, he says that it can take up to 12 minutes to research a person while on mobile. That’s why he wanted to develop a feature like this for CloudMagic.

5. “The Feed Is Dying” (New York Magazine)

No one knows how little we respect reverse-chronological feeds better than the companies that produce them for us. Social media services have a vast amount of second-to-second information informing them of what people want to see and when; even the time we linger on a photo, or type something and delete it without posting, they know. You are not immediately aware of how much time you’re consuming flicking past dozens of posts waiting for your crush’s user name to stick at the top of the feed; Instagram is. Twitter knows which tweets from your feed you have clicked on, and maybe linked to in a DM, but never liked or retweeted. They know that your approach to the feed, even for an experience you yourself had a hand in creating, is not neutral. And they’re going to help you out.

And so: Enter the curated feed.

Photo: Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski