Geekly Update - 04 November 2015

Category: Tech-News

Apparently, resistance really is futile. How soon will Borg technology be implanted in YOUR body? Have "robobees" made actual bees obsolete? And why is Facebook slamming the brakes on productivity every Tuesday? 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

Mira Modi, a New York sixth-grader, is selling strong passwords generated by rolling dice and looking up words on the Diceware list. So far, she’s earning about $12/hour.

Microsoft has cried "Uncle!" and is reneging on its promise of unlimited OneDrive cloud storage for Office365 subscribers. Apparently, some users were actually taking them at their word, and stashing tons of terabytes. MS set new limits at 1TB for paid users, and also reduced the quota for free OneDrive accounts from 15GB to 5GB.

“Synths” is the new term for people who are implanting microelectronics in their bodies so they can answer phones or switch TV channels with a wave of a hand.
Geekly Update 11-04-2015

“Robobees” developed at Harvard may replace declining natural bees as pollinators, but they also have applications in surveillance, search-and-rescue, climate research, and more.

Glass that is nearly as strong as steel has been made by Japanese researchers using aluminum oxide and silicon dioxide mixed and melted in midair, without a container.

The Sacramento Kings NBA team has purchased a Knightscope K5 robot to patrol parking lots and report unusual activity, such as a Kings fan celebrating a win.

Each Tuesday, Facebook employees will get a taste of what the social network is like at the 2G cellular data speeds experienced by 57% of Facebook’s 120 million African users. The idea is to keep employees mindful of slow connections when they design Facebook features. (Facebook employees who have read Huxley's "Brave New World" will see life imitating art here. Rural Americans still stuck with dialup will be jealous.)

Samsung’s new Galaxy View tablet/TV is an 18.4-inch giant that you carry around like a briefcase. "For kids, this finally becomes the TV they can touch," says a Samsung exec who must have grown up in a very strict household.

The AltWork Station is a standing desk that automatically reclines at the press of a button; monitor, keyboard, and mouse all tilt with you so you can keep working when horizontal.

In December, Facebook will publish streamlined procedures for proving your user name is your “real name.” The company now says a “real name” isn’t necessarily one’s legal name, just the name that you’re generally known by.

The Tor Project has released a chat client that enables users to communicate over the Tor network of proxy servers without fear of government tracking.

A full-sized, self-propelled replica of Star Wars’ R2-D2 droid is also a 12-can capacity beer fridge with WiFi and a movie projector. It even makes beep and boop noises, and has whirring lights.

Robotic sensors that simulate the multimodal human sense of touch can measure and respond to pressure, texture, and temperature, but still can’t replace “wet paint” signs.

Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 04 November 2015"

Posted by:

LINDA FURMAN
04 Nov 2015

THOSE ROBOBEES ARE VERY INTERESTING, JUST HOPE THEY CAN'T STING!


Posted by:

Jan
04 Nov 2015

Robobees! Great idea for pollinating. And they may save our food supply (hopefully all over the world), but I'm going to miss honey. Unless we can replace that, too? Going through withdrawal already.


Posted by:

Bruce Kulik
04 Nov 2015

Now, with the surveillance "bees" you could actually become the proverbial "fly on the wall". Pretty sure we're going to need to outlaw these.


Posted by:

Charley
04 Nov 2015

In addition to the article you quoted above "Glass that is nearly as strong as steel has been made by Japanese researchers using aluminum oxide and silicon dioxide mixed and melted in midair, without a container", there is also the Star Trek fictitious transparent aluminum and some real versions of it
http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/transparent-aluminum-its-real.html


Posted by:

Dennis
04 Nov 2015

Exactly what is a "whirring" light?
Most lights are silent except maybe as they self destruct. Or maybe you were just bitten by spellcheck.


Posted by:

Daniel
04 Nov 2015

As always, several of these sparked my interest. However, the sentence about the robot and Sacramento Kings got a chuckle and a snort out of me:-) Great line!


Posted by:

Marc Menard
04 Nov 2015

Glass as strong as steel, made by using aluminum oxide and silicon dioxide... Seriously? I'd be willing to bet money that someone got inspired by Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home, and Scotty's "Transparent Aluminum"... ;-)
Now if they can get those tranporters ready...


Posted by:

Jim
04 Nov 2015

Transparent aluminun? Hummmm....Beam me up Scotty. (Refering to Star Trek IV -1986)


Posted by:

Ann Swasey
04 Nov 2015

More and more like sci-fi articles/stories of 50 years ago.


Posted by:

Mac 'n' Cheese
04 Nov 2015

Thanks for the report on robobees, Bob. I like the idea of robobees, but isn't the jury still out on the nutritional value of robohoney? ;-)

Mac


Posted by:

Tom
04 Nov 2015

AltWork Station. Hey! This is really..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Posted by:

Jim
05 Nov 2015

Bravo Dennis! I too was wondering what whirring light looked or sounded like.


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