Tech News of the Week (10/29)


As always, I have you covered for the tech news that happened this week!


We have toyed with the idea of putting solar panels on our roof. Utah truly has a great climate to really take advantage of solar paneling, but A) they are ugly, and B) the direction the panels would need to face, there just isn’t much roof space right there. I saw the news this week though, of roofing tiles created by Tesla, and when I say HOLY SMOKES! I for sure mean it. These roofing tiles literally look like normal roofing tiles, and yet… they can store solar energy!



I talked about DirecTV Now briefly last week, and this week I was blessed to hear them announce a price and a release date (or more like time frame). AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said on Tuesday at the WSJ.D live conference in California that the new streaming service would be available in November (I’m hoping more like the beginning of November instead of the end… that’s a lot of Christmas movies I’ll miss!), and that the cost would be $35/month for over a 100 channels. Please let Hallmark channel be one of them… please let Hallmark channel be one of them… please let Hallmark channel be one of them!


Both Microsoft and Apple had launch events this week. Microsoft announced the Surface Studio…

And Apple announced a new Macbook pro, that does NOT have a touchscreen, but DOES have a weird little touch bar. It doesn’t look easy to use AT ALL.  Plus, if apps are going to take advantage of the bar they will need to program specifically for it. It may be hard for Apple to convince them to do it.

I’ve been saying it for years, but people are finally starting to see it too. Apple is NOT innovating, and if anything they are seriously lagging behind. The two events this week just completely showed it. Microsoft knocked it out of the park, Apple was left explaining why it’s only putting 16 GB of RAM in their machine.


Chatbooks released a brilliant commercial that is resonating with just about everyone I know.

Brilliantly written, amazingly acted, and the bonus is that it totally explains exactly how the service works, and lets you know how it’s going to make your life better.


You may have already noticed the new “Halloween” reaction faces that Facebook rolled out this week, but what you may not have noticed (if you are on iOS) was that they also released was face masks on your Facebook Live videos.  You may recognize them as very “snapchat”esque…


  • Tap the Live Video icon at the top of your Timeline, News Feed or Page.
  • Once you are live, tap the magic wand in the upper left corner of your screen.
  • Select the masks icon in the creative tools tray at the bottom of your screen.
  • Scroll through the options and tap on masks to have them automatically appear on your face when you are live.
  • To remove the mask, simply scroll left in the mask trap and tap the no mask sign.


The internet freaked out, and then kinda went.. well, that makes sense, with the news that Twitter was going to shut down Vine. The 6 second GIF-like video sharing service hasn’t had the best run, especially after the service got taken over with a whole lot of inappropriate content. If you did use the service, Giphy is letting you transfer your Vine’s over to their service so you can keep them alive. Long live the GIF!


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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website

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