Digital Trends Live: Facebook scandals, the future of crypto, and axolotls

On episode 56 of Digital Trends Live, DT’s live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Adrien Warner surveyed the tech news of the day, picking out the juiciest stories to discuss. First up, Facebook is involved in yet another controversy. According to a report by TechCrunch, Facebook “has been secretly paying people to install a “Facebook Research” VPN that lets the company suck in all of a user’s phone and web activity.” The company has been targeting 18 to 35 year olds, paying them $20 a month to use the Research app.

According to the report, Facebook was using Apple’s Enterprise system, which is intended for circulating apps among a company’s employees. As it turns out, this violates Apple’s Enterprise development policies, so Apple has apparently banned Facebook’s research app. For a company that has already had a number of privacy-related PR crises lately, this is just another day at the office.

In less invasive news, Samsung is rolling out a new smartphone chip with a whopping 1TB of storage. That’s big news, given how phone cameras are getting better, taking higher quality photos and videos that use up more space. Samsung hasn’t given an indication of how much phones using this new chip will cost, although the price will likely be steep.

The humble axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) isn’t just an adorably weird-looking amphibian; it may also hold the key to eternal life (or at least a better knowledge of the healing process). This Mexican salamander has a remarkable ability to heal, regenerating even lost limbs. A team of scientists at Vienna’s Research Institute of Molecular Pathology have apparently sequenced the axolotl’s entire genome, which could lead to a better understanding of its superb healing abilities, and maybe even help researchers apply that ability to humans in the future.

Finally, Greg talked to Travis Wright, who is, among other things, one of the hosts of the Bad Crypto podcast. Although cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have been frighteningly volatile, particularly in the last year, the adoption rate is still growing and merchants are more interested than ever, according to Wright.

“In 2014, it was about 15 million dollars a day being traded in crypto …” Wright explained. “Then the next year it [tripled] to 45 million, then the next year it [quintupled] to 200 million, and then it [increased] to 2 billion in 2017, and then last year it was, on average, about $15 billion a day. And now, who knows how much it’s going to be per day in 2019, but it’s looking, still, around $15-20 billion a day is being traded in crypto.”

“Now, how much of that is fraudulent volume on some of these exchanges? That’s unknown,” Wright continued. “But just the amount of wallets that have been acquired by various different people over time? That number is at an all time high. It just keeps growing.”

Of course, cryptocurrencies are only part of the story. Blockchain, the technology on which cryptocurrencies are built, is a subject of great fascination in a variety of fields — we’ve covered a few promising applications in our series Blockchain beyond bitcoin.

Digital Trends Live airs Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. PT, with highlights available on demand after the stream ends. For more information, check out the DT Live homepage, and be sure to watch live for the chance to win occasional prizes.

Mobile

Learn how to make your iPhone play local radio in iOS 13

Find out exactly how to use the Live Radio in iOS 13: Our guide will explain how iOS 13 connects to live radio, what commands to give, and how to revisit past stations. Enjoy your favorite live radio right from your iPhone.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for August 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for August 2019.
How-To

What is live view? How to make the most of this feature on your DSLR

Live view makes a DSLR perform more like a mirrorless camera, showing you a live feed straight off the sensor where you can preview your exposure before you take the shot. Here's what you need to know about how to use it.
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best Apple iPad deals for August 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for August 2019.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Netflix loses subscribers, Uber’s in-car shopping, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including Netflix’s subscriber loss, Uber’s in-car shopping service, Microsoft’s HoloLens language translation, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Google Stadia update, 2020 Corvette, SpaceX Crew Dragon

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle discuss the biggest trending stories in tech, including the latest info on Google Stadia, the new 2020 Corvette, SpaceX tests of the Crew Dragon capsule, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Asus gaming phone, Hyperloop’s pod racing win, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we discuss the biggest trending stories in tech, including apps that bypass traditional app stores, a new Asus gaming phone, Hyperloop's pod race victory, A.I.-generated jazz, robot umpires, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Apple wants Intel’s modems, Toyota’s Olympic robots

On this episode of DT Live, we discuss the biggest trending stories in tech, including Apple’s plan to buy Intel’s modem business, Uber’s monthly subscription plan, Toyota’s line of robots and autonomous cars for the Olympics, and…
Digital Trends Live

On this episode of Jargon, we invest in learning the lingo of retirement planning

On this episode of Jargon, we invest some time to figure out the complicated lingo of retirement account planning. We break down the various confusing terms that are often thrown around when talking about savings and retirement.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Antitrust review of big tech, UPS goes drone, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we cover the biggest news stories in tech, including the Justice Department’s antitrust review of big tech, UPS' foray into drones, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Galaxy Fold fix, iPhone 11 video, Al Roker, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we discuss the biggest trending stories in tech, including Samsung’s Galaxy Fold fix, an iPhone 11 concept video, A.I. that turns your photos into paintings, a chat with TV legend Al Roker, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Apple buys Intel’s modems, Ford has Spin scooters, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we discuss the biggest trending stories in tech, including Apple buying Intel’s 5G modem business, another successful SpaceX launch, Ford’s Spin scooters, Sony’s wearable air conditioner, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: 5G iPhones, Fortnite World Cup, Siri is listening, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we discuss the biggest trending stories in tech, including rumors of 5G connectivity in upcoming iPhones, the Fortnite World Cup's $3 million prize, Siri 's eavesdropping, coffee-stirring robots, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Capital One breach, hands-free Pixel 4, Walmart’s robo-van

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, we dig into the biggest trending tech stories of the day, including a massive data breach at Capital One, the Pixel 4’s new hands-free controls, Tesla’s new pickup, Walmart’s robo-van, and much…