Geekly Update - 03 February 2016

Category: Tech-News

Can you help a blind person cross the street, without leaving your Barcalounger? Would you give your credit card to a homeless guy who lives under a bridge? And is there a dog, somewhere on the Internet, that looks exactly like you? (Hint: YES!) 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

Be My Eyes is an iPhone app that connects blind people with volunteer helpers. A blind person who needs help can request assistance, and connect via live video with a volunteer.

Have you ever noticed a striking similarity between certain people and their dogs? Now you can find your long-lost dog twin, thanks to Twitter. Just tweet your selfie to the @YouAreDogNow Twitter account, and the person behind it will find a photo of a dog that kinda sorta looks like you, and post it there.

I owe a hat tip to Tara Calishain of ResearchBuzz, who posted that last gem in her newsletter. Tara tirelessly scours the Web, online databases and other information sources, then publishes an eclectic collection of her findings daily.

Netflix is cracking down on VPNs, which enable users to obscure their locations and avoid regional blocks on content. Australian VPN service provider, Uflix, keeps finding ways around new Netflix blocks.
Geekly Update 02-03-2016

HopSkipDrive is a new “Uber for kids;” actually, for busy parents of kids who don’t have time to drive kids to school, piano and baseball practice. Just pop your kid in a car with a stranger and wave bye-bye.

In Charlotte, NC, Uber is experimenting with a novel method of keeping drunken passengers pacified. A 1990-era toy called Bop It in each Uber vehicle will, hopefully, keep the passenger engaged instead of assaulting the driver.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is pushing a proposal that would end cable TV providers’ monopoly on set-top boxes, which 99% of Americans rent to the tune of $19.5 billion per year. Allowing consumers to use their own equipment would mean savings for them, and big changes for cable companies, networks, and content providers.

Pablo is a nifty tool that helps you create images with the perfect size and format for Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. A browser extension lets you right-click text on a web page, and create a beautiful image quote.

Drone racing leagues are sprouting around the U.S. and aiming to become big-time sports events. Drone Worlds is offering a $200,000 total kitty for its October Championships in Hawaii. Some spectators will watch for the fancy flying while others will tune in to see drones crash. (Isn't that why we love NASCAR?)

No spare change? No problem; this homeless guy takes credit and debit cards via his smartphone! “Honest” Abe Hagenston has lived under a Detroit bridge for eight years, according to the local CBS affiliate. The reporter doesn’t probe how Abe opened a checking account linked to his Square.com device, without having a mailing address.

Nikon Singapore gave an award to photographer Chay Yu Wei for his snapshot that perfectly frames an airliner in a ladder. But online viewers quickly spotted the very poor Photoshop job and had fun with the “winner.”

Amazon now delivers Zen Buddhist monks in Japan through a third-party seller named "Obo-san bin," or "Mr. Monk Delivery." Shoppers can order monks to preside over weddings, funerals and other occasions for as little as $300, compared to $850 and more charged by Buddhist temples.

Google Fiber is testing telephone service similar to Google Voice. If it’s deployed widely, Google would have a “triple play” package to compete with bundled offerings from cable companies.

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 03 February 2016"

Posted by:

GuitarRebel
03 Feb 2016

When Google comes to town, the prices of the competition go way down.
In other words, the price gouging ends.


Posted by:

RichF
03 Feb 2016

Thanks Bob!! I'm now 146% smarter again. Wonder if my head will eventually explode with my brain soaking up 146% more info each week.


Posted by:

Darcetha Manning
03 Feb 2016

I pity any dog that looks like me! ;)


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