Geekly Update - 02 September 2015

Category: Tech-News

Did Alexander Graham Bell copy his idea for the telephone from something invented over 1000 years earlier? Specially trained dogs were sent to the home of Jared Fogle, the disgraced Subway pitchman. Can you guess what they were sniffing for? And how easy is it for prison inmates to run an identity theft scam? 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, think and comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

It's been accurately described as "A groundbreaking advancement in the field of obsolescence!" The USB Typewriter will replace the keyboard of your PC, Mac, or iPad with a lovingly restored class typewriter. Prices start at about $750.

“Siri, dial 911!” 18 year-old Sam Ray cried repeatedly as he lay trapped beneath a car he’d been working on. Siri obliged, and Ray was rescued.

Some parents are surprised to receive emails from Windows 10 that detail what their children do, both offline and online. The kids may be a bit startled, too.

Now you can sound like physicist Stephen Hawking. The software that synthesizes his distinctive voice has been released as an open-source download.

Geekly Update 09/02/2015

The telephone was invented 1,200 years ago by the Chimu civilization of Peru. It looks a lot like the old cans-and-string version many of us recall from childhood, using clay cups and waxed vegetable fiber twine.

Samsung and MIT researchers have developed a solid electrolyte for batteries that don’t explode or catch fire. The new electrolyte never loses its ability to be recharged.

A Freedom of Information Act request caused the personal information of over 1,000 Illinois Dept. of Corrections employees to be handed over to a prison inmate. Who knew identity theft was that easy?

Drug-sniffing dogs are nothing new. But a rare electronics-sniffing dog was used to find hidden computers, cell phones, and USB drives in the home of Subway poster boy Jared Fogle during the investigation of his sexual relations with minors.

iPhone owners can test-drive Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 5 or S6 Edge phones for 30 days, paying just $1.00 plus return shipping.

An image of the master baggage keys used by the Transportation Safety Administration to snoop in travelers’ luggage was carelessly shared with the Washington Post. Copies of the keys can easily be made from that image. Thanks to TSA and WashPo editors.

Firefox will soon support extensions written for Google Chrome, a move that will open up many Chrome extensions to Firefox fans and halve the coding burden on developers.

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 02 September 2015"

Posted by:

Carole
02 Sep 2015

That article about ID Theft amazed me. Never thought that the Freedom of Information act could back fire and put it's citizens at risk.


Posted by:

JP
02 Sep 2015

Regarding the master baggage keys used by the Transportation Safety Administration... Several years ago I took a trip and used TSA-approved baggage locks. After going on my trip I discovered that "somebody" opened my luggage, and not by using a key for the locks. One lock was cut and one lock and the zipper connector it went through was cut through! Not only were the locks a waste of money, but a sloppy crook ruined the zipper on one of my bags. If somebody wants in -- they'll get in!


Posted by:

Mike
02 Sep 2015

Another great article Bob. Thanks.Mike


Posted by:

Ralph C.
02 Sep 2015

Apparently the change at FireFox to allow Chrome extensions, will require all current extensions to be re-written using the new code. Many extension creators who are unpaid authors, have stated that they will not do this. This means that maybe, just maybe, you favourite FF extension will no longer work after the code change. This may very well lead to FF becoming irrelevant.


Posted by:

Dwayne Hunt
02 Sep 2015

I was reading the article about the electronic sniffing dog and a link in that article caused a "Microsoft warning" that I had a virus on my system. I had to jump through hoops to stop it. It would not go away. Even the task manager would not cancel it. It kept adding more open application windows. I thought you would like to know!


Posted by:

Michaela
02 Sep 2015

The "electronic-sniffing dog" link takes us to "Jared Fogle Child Porn Raid Police Dog: Rare Sniffing Skills Critical In 'Subway Guy' Investigation."

EDITOR'S NOTE: That's correct. Did you think it was the wrong link?


Posted by:

Goldilocks
02 Sep 2015

Bob,
Thanks so much for being there thru the years ! Your articles have always been so helpful and entertaining...as in squirrel days..lol..You are much appreciated..May the best be "yet to come" for you..Keep up the great work..


Posted by:

Paul
02 Sep 2015

@DwayneHunt Try this link instead it has basically the same info: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/spd-buys-electronics-sniffing-dog-used-in-jared-fogle-child-porn-case/


Posted by:

Warren Ngo
02 Sep 2015

Bob,
There's no need for a crook to try and duplicate luggage master keys when all that is required is a ball point pen. There are a number of Youtube videos showing how easily luggage locks can be bypassed. Not only that, the luggage can be returned to its original state - no sign of any break-ins.


Posted by:

Julie
03 Sep 2015

I'd like to know how Windows 10 knows that it's your kids and not you?? Where does YOUR report go?!


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