Trends with Benefits: Apple vs. FBI, space archaeology, the ultimate hard drive

One of the biggest public tech debates in years is raging as we speak, and — no surprise — Apple is at the center of it. In the course of investigating last year’s San Bernadino mass shooting, the FBI has asked Apple to create a “back door” into the shooter’s iPhone. Essentially, this would defeat the data encryption that Apple’s consumers have come to expect, and the privacy implications are huge. Apple CEO Tim Cook flatly denied the FBI’s request, and now everyone from Edward Snowden to Donald Trump has weighed in. Naturally, so do we. Let us know where you stand in the comments below.

The ultimate, everlasting hard drive has just been created, and it sounds like something out of Superman. It’s a tiny glass disk that can hold 360 terabytes of information, last up to 13.8 billion years, and withstand temperatures of 190 degrees Celsius! The idea is that scientists could potentially store all of human knowledge on the device. Are there actual benefits for us, or is this just the ultimate vanity project for humanity?

Have you ever heard of a space archaeologist? Soon you’ll be able to play one at home. In addition to being a leading space archaeologist, Sarah Parcak is a 2016 Ted Prize winner. Essentially, she uses satellite images to find ancient archaeological sites that aren’t necessarily noticeable on the ground. She will soon be launching a platform called Global Xplorer, which will allow everyone to participate in the field.

Humans are increasingly being outfitted with bionic limbs and robotic enhancements … so why not compete with them? A new athletic competition taking place in Switzerland, called the Cybathlon, is a championship for people with “disabilities who are using advanced assistive devices including robotic technologies.” It’s bound to be more exciting than the Olympics, but no word on if it will be broadcast when it takes place later this year.

There is no written description worthy of how today’s show ends. No need for a subscription to Tidal though, this release is free for everyone.

Trends With Benefits is a weekly tech podcast and live video broadcast. It brings together experts from Digital Trends to discuss the tech topics of the day and beyond. Today’s episode features Drew Prindle, Jenny McGrath, Matt Smith and Greg Nibler. Please subscribe to Trends with Benefits, share it, and send in your questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope, Facebook and YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 p.m. PST.


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