Geekly Update - 03 April 2013
If the federal government pulls the plug on landlines, will you be forced to buy a mobile phone? How did hackers bring the Internet to a screeching halt last week, without anyone noticing? And can playing Xbox games prevent you from being deported? 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
If you didn't notice the G.O.T.C.H.A in my April Fools Day posting, you can relax. The U.N. is not taxing the Internet. Dozens of people posted their reactions... some angry, some relieved, but most amused. One common thread in the comments was that even though they got the joke, many thought it *could* happen.
Landlines on life support? Major telephone companies have asked the FCC to pull the plug on traditional landline service, and an FCC advisory committee agrees. Telcos don’t want to maintain the vast Public Switched Telephone Network for the 25% of customers who use it.
Jose Muñoz can tell his parents that all the time he spent playing video games wasn't a waste, after all. His online gaming helped him remain in the U.S. despite being the child of undocumented immigrants. He was able to use his Xbox Live account records to prove he has been in the country continuously since at least 2007.
The “anonymized” location data that smartphone carriers and apps gather may not be so anonymous. A team of researchers found they could identify 95% of users from the anonymized dataset by analyzing geo-location patterns, and correlating with public records.
The massive denial-of-service attack against Spamhaus (an anti-spam blacklist) that nearly destroyed the entire Internet last week did not happen, according to the Internet Traffic Report. It seems the media fell for a PR stunt launched by CloudFlare, an anti-DoS (denial-of-service) company.
Email traffic plunged 9.5% between 2010 and 2012 and is expected to continue dwindling, according to researchers at Radicati Group. Texting, Twitter and Facebook messaging are gaining in popularity because they "replicate the more natural flow of a conversation" and there's less of a problem with spam in those venues.
The first sci-fi novel about a cyborg, “The Clockwork Man,” was written in 1923 by E. V. Odies. It is now being serialized online, where you can read it for free.
T-mobile will offer the iPhone under a new no-contract plan starting April 12, 2013. The deal is $99 down, then $20/month for 24 months on top of prepaid data plan charges. Alternatively, you can pay list price for the phone and skip the $20 payments.
“Google is an agency of the government,” argued defense attorney Lawrence Delay in an attempt to invalidate a search warrant. He hopes to prove that because Google Earth’s images come from satellites launched by the government, they cannot be used to establish probable cause for a search warrant. A judge will rule on this issue May 8.
Ever wonder (or remember) what the Internet was like in 1995? This vintage 27-minute episode of The Computer Chronicles captures the good old days of FTP sites, the Mosaic Web browser, Usenet, and e-commerce without credit card security software, at dialup speeds.
Apple has banished “Sweatshop HD” from its App Store, apparently telling the developer that Apple is “uncomfortable” with a game that highlights the lives of exploited workers. Apple has also banned a World War II game because it featured Japanese enemies.
Walmart is pondering crowd-sourcing for deliveries of online orders. In-store customers would be paid store credits equivalent to gas money for delivering orders to online customers who live along their routes home. I predict a lot of flatscreen TV's will get "lost" during delivery.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 3 Apr 2013
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 03 April 2013 (Posted: 3 Apr 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved