Geekly Update - 04 September 2013
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.
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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This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 4 Sep 2013
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 04 September 2013 (Posted: 4 Sep 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved