Geekly Update - 05 April 2017

Category: Tech-News

How easy is it to fool the facial recognition feature that unlocks popular smartphones? Which high-ranking U.S. government official masquerades online as Reinhold Niebuhr? And are robots taking over all the pizza delivery jobs? Get answers... in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

From the Oops Files: Microsoft quietly removed the search function on its Docs.com document storage cloud service last week. Seems it allowed anyone to search everyone’s documents and retrieve password lists, medical and financial records, and other sensitive information. (Yeah, I never heard of Docs.com, either.)

Uber finally lets passengers correct errors in their pickup location, an obvious feature that makes life much easier on drivers and passengers.

AT&T landed a $6.5 billion contract to build a nationwide first responders communication network. FirstNet will serve police, firefighters, and EMTs throughout the USA. First responders will no longer compete during an emergency with frantic relatives trying to reach their loved ones via commercial cellular or data networks.

Domino’s Pizza is putting a cute little self-driving robot out on the streets of Germany to deliver pizzas. What could possibly go wrong?

“We won’t sell your browsing history even though Congress says we can.” That’s what Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T Inc. want you to believe.

Please, won't you be my Niebuhr? Only hours after FBI Director James Comey dropped a few clues, Gizmodo reporter Ashley Feinberg identified the secret fed’s private Twitter account. Click to see Comey’s unexpected reaction to being outed.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai has blocked the applications of several dozen ISPs to provide subsidized Internet access to poor people. Pai says he wants States to decide who can provide the Lifeline service that federal dollars subsidize.

Twitter has decreed that “@username” tags’ lengths are not deducted from the 140 character limit on Tweets. This allows a user to blast a tweet at a seemingly infinite number of people, and annoy every one of them.

Once you agree to receive faxes from a company, it is under no obligation to tell you how to opt-out. That’s the ruling of a federal appeals court, which said the FCC exceeded its authority by requiring opt-out information on solicited faxes as well as unsolicited ones.

Facing the facts... Facial recognition tech on the Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone can be fooled by displaying a photo of the correct face to the S8’s sensor. The same problem afflicts Google and Microsoft phones.

More than 40 zero-day vulnerabilities have been found in Tizen, Samsung’s proprietary operating system that powers millions of its “smart” devices. "Everything you can do wrong there, they do it,” said security researcher Amihai Neiderman. “You can see that nobody with any understanding of security looked at this code or wrote it. It's like taking an undergraduate and letting him program your software."

And finally, from the "I Didn't Know This Was a Sport" Files: Australian daredevil performer Zoe Ellis broke her own Guinness World record for stopping 32 electric fans using her tongue in one minute. That record was surpassed shortly thereafter, but she still holds the record for "Most mouse traps released on the tongue in one minute (female)." If you're keeping score at home, the record is 24.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 05 April 2017"

Posted by:

FRANCIS REILLY
05 Apr 2017

I always look forward to these Geekly updates,always find something very informative.


Posted by:

Geoff Carlin
05 Apr 2017

Pizza delivered by a robot? I think the British seagulls or the Tokyo jungle crows will soon figure out a way how to separate pizza from bot! C'mon the gulls. C'mon the crows!


Posted by:

RandiO
05 Apr 2017

The Atlantic magazine (Sept. 2016) article draws a totally different picture of the FirstNet:
The $47 Billion Network That’s Already Obsolete
FirstNet is in such disarray that 15 years after the problem it is supposed to solve was identified, it is years from completion—and it may never get completed at all. According to the GAO, estimates of its cost range from $12 billion to $47 billion, even as advances in digital technology seem to have eliminated the need to spend any of it..."
From


Posted by:

RichF
05 Apr 2017

So if I have facial recognition on my phone and someone steals it they have to take my picture while stealing it?


Posted by:

bb
06 Apr 2017

Of course, Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T Inc. will "not sell customers’ individual internet browsing information" - they will group all their customers in suitable groups (high income, families with babies, porn lovers, techies, millennials, fashion divas - all of which they can categorize by browsing history) and then sell that!

And then all those people in those groups get more targeted advertising. And Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T make more money.


Posted by:

PgmrDude
06 Apr 2017

Twitter: I actually suggested they not count the @username (and #HashtagNames) tag lengths from the 140 char limit, a while back. I never got a response. I'm sure I wasn't the only or first one to do so, but I'm still glad that they did it.
Too many posts have a list of ppl, and there's no room left for a comment/reply.


Posted by:

tom-tom
06 Apr 2017

Bob, this is one of the best Geekly Updates! Your humor is really focused in this one. Many-many thanks for tickling my brain once again!


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