Geekly Update - 02 January 2013
Why is a government agency that studies epidemics so interested in your landline telephone? Where is the best place to go to find out if the voices in your head are coming from outer space? And are we one step closer to the paperless bathroom? Get answers to these burning questions, and the scoop on the latest tech news, in this edition of the Geekly Update. It's guaranteed to make you 146% smarter, read on...
The AskBobRankin Geekly Update
"It's an epidemic!" Over half of American households either don’t have or barely use landline phones, according to a survey commissioned by... the Centers for Disease Control? Nearly 36% of households lack landline service, and another 16% have both wireless and landline but rarely or never use the latter.
No more lurking around electrical outlets in the airport or library. The BrightBox public charging kiosk locks your smartphone in a compartment while it recharges. You unlock it with the same credit card you swiped to pay the $2.95 fee.
"Actually, NO, I can't hear you now..." Allergic to WiFi, cellphones, and “smart” electric meters? Move to the National Radio Quiet Zone in West Virginia. Created by the FCC and the Independent Radio Advisory Committee, it provides an RF-free zone to avoid interference with radio astronomy facilities which “listen” for extraterrestrial signals.
Winning the war on paper. A Pew Internet Research survey finds the percentage of Americans who read e-books jumped from 16% to 23% in the past year. Meanwhile, the percentage who read paper books fell from 72% to 67%. The number of people who fell while reading ebooks is still under investigation.
"A diet rich in irony." A major online software store has been fined 1 million yuan ($164,600) for selling apps that distribute pirated copies of Chinese authors’ e-books. The seller: Apple.
Apparently, people are still trying to figure out Facebook. “Facebook” was the most viewed page on the English version of Wikipedia in 2012, according to Wikitrends. And the geek in me finds it humorous that "wiki" was the second most popular page on Wikipedia.
Ouya, the Android-based TV gaming console that raised $8.6 million in its Kickstarter campaign, has shipped 1,200 consoles to game developers. Ouya’s openness and “try before you buy” game pricing policy have generated enormous interest.
The Windows 8 App Store now has over 35,000 apps, or almost one per Windows 8 user. Just kidding; Microsoft claims to have sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses.
In Kansas City, MO, four high school buses will be equipped with wifi internet service, powered by Verizon 3G mobile. Of course, the silly school administrators believe they can strictly control what students access while traveling to band performances and football games.
If you’re going to pirate a movie, Christian Slater’s Playback may be your safest target. The horror (or horrible) film grossed only $264.00 in theaters, so the copyright cops probably aren’t watching it too closely.
When 11 year-old Zack Marks’ parents banned him from Facebook, he started his own social network for pre-teens. GromSocial.com signed up nearly 7,000 members in its first two months and is still growing. Hey, people once thought Mark Zuckerberg was “cute,” too.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 2 Jan 2013
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 02 January 2013 (Posted: 2 Jan 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved