Geekly Update - 04 September 2013

Category: Tech-News

Does your beating heart provide enough information to log you into your Gmail account? Should Facebook send a strong electric shock to users who have been logged in too long? And why are bookstore owners buying large cans of gasoline? 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

Could your heartbeat replace your password? Nymi is a biometric authentication system that reads your heartbeat to identify you. Pre-orders are being taken at $79.

It’s enough to make one swear off friendship... Over 800,000 Facebook users have fallen victim to a phishing scam tailored to the social network. Someone sends you a link to a video; when you get to the URL you are prompted to download and install a plug-in needed to view the video. “It’s a trap!” The download is malware that steals everything stored by your browser: passwords, Web history, personal info and credit card numbers used in auto-fill form applications, etc. It also raids everything in your Facebook account.

If you own a bookstore, it may be time to consider buying a large arson insurance policy. Amazon is launching Kindle Matchbook, which offers Kindle e-editions of all paper books that you have ever purchased from Amazon or will purchase in the future. Prices range from a max of $2.99 to zero depending on the title. Coming in October.
Geekly Update 09-04-2013

Inpatient treatment for Internet addicts is now available at Philadelphia’s Bradford Regional Medical Center. The 10-day program first “detoxifies” Internet addicts via cold-turkey withdrawal, then uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help them practice… self-discipline, basically. Only four beds are available initially, but they’ll soon convince more people that they are Internet addicts.

Here's a simpler solution... Spending too much time on Facebook prompted two MIT students to create the Pavlovian Poke. It’s a keyboard accessory that delivers a strong but harmless electric shock when you’ve been on Facebook too long.

This just in from the "You Can Trust Us" department: The NSA monitors 75% of U.S. Internet traffic and sets its own filters with no external oversight. But it’s doing its best not to spy on people it’s not supposed to. In totally unrelated news, the NSA has admitted that some agents use their supersnooper powers to spy on love interests.

But maybe the Feds are working too hard. Plenty of criminals are posting evidence of their own crimes in public places. An “aspiring rapper” posted pictures of guns and cash on Pinterest, prompting a police raid that netted 19 arrests on illegal gun-smuggling charges.


Because everybody wants one, Google has chosen “KitKat” as the code name of its Android 4.4 release. The announcement came as a surprise to “Key Lime Pie” fans, who thought their favorite confection was to be the honoree. Google says no money is involved in the deal with KitKat owner Nestle’, just “fun” and something unexpected.

Amazon released a new version of its low-end e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite, on September 3, 2013. “Low-end” now includes integration with the reading site Goodreads.com, optional interactive vocabulary lists, in-line footnotes and a kid-friendly app that gives them “achievements” for hitting reading milestones.

Although 98% of Americans have access to broadband Internet service, 20% don’t use the Internet at home, work, school, or on mobile devices. Unsurprisingly, many of these people are having difficulty finding jobs.

If you want to disappear from the Internet, JustDelete.Me is pretty handy. It presents a grid of links to the account-deactivation pages of many popular online services. But going off the grid isn’t easy. Some sites won’t let you delete your account until you’ve talked to a “customer service rep.” Others won’t let you bail out at all, though they may snuff inactive accounts after months.

Registering a domain name using false information is a federal crime, apparently. Richmond, RI, police officer Steven Gravier was arrested on federal charges alleging that he registered domain names in the name of his chief and linked them to porn sites.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 04 September 2013"

Posted by:

psmith
04 Sep 2013

I wonder if I am the only one to think that archeologists 500 or 1000 years from now will look back and find a big black hole that encompasses the digital age. It seems the more advanced we become, the more fragile our storage media for information becomes.

Originally, the media was stone and cave paintings. About five thousand years ago paper emerged and although it was fragile it was still durable under the right conditions.

Presently, I have Apple II 5-1/4 floppy discs I cannot read and the media it is on is not too durable. A bigger problem is I do not have equipment to decipher or even read the code the information is written in. It seems that about every 20 years the media, and the code is changing. I also suspect that cracking these computer language codes will be far more challenging than present day archeologists have deciphering ancient languages written in stone.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sounds like a business opportunity. "Send us your important documents, and we'll print them on actual paper! For an extra fee, we'll make a backup copy on the wall of a cave."


Posted by:

Carole
04 Sep 2013

I have reached the point whereby I dislike all social media websites. Personally I think anyone who signs up for them is just asking for trouble. I'm amazed at the personal information they put on places like Facebook. Beside their name, they also post their address, phone #, birthdate, where they work and everything else about their personal life. If someone was to read this information, they could hack into their computer, ruin their credit. I could go on & on. Also the non-sense they post too. I signed up for Facebook. After I saw what it is like, I closed it down. Why don't like to email their friends any longer? Can you answer that question, Bob?


Posted by:

psmith
04 Sep 2013

How much are rock tablets and carved monoliths?


Posted by:

bob
05 Sep 2013

Loved your Geeky Update this week, especially the "Unsurprisingly, many of these people are having difficulty finding jobs."
This one just cracked me up... don't really know why, but it did :)


Posted by:

Rainha com
05 Sep 2013

The link to the Facebook phishing story on businessweek is actually infected with know malware.

Malware found on javascript file:
http://static6.businessinsider.com/assets/js_vendor/addLinkerEvents-std.js

More info here....
http://tinyurl.com/kmfa3xz
Suggest you remove the link.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Looks like a false positive. I checked the page with McAfee and Google link checkers. No flags. AVG and Chrome don't flag it either. I even looked at the source code of the JS file, and it didn't look suspicious.


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