Geekly Update - 05 May 2016

Category: Tech-News

Are smartphone zombies headed to your neighborhood? Does Google want to inject electronic gadgets into your eyeballs? Can you get a decent Internet connection for five dollars a month? And does Amazon owe you money for stuff you didn't buy? 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

Oli Lansley, of the United Kingdom, bought a used armchair. In one of its pockets, he found a photo album containing what seemed to be family snapshots from the 1960s and 1970s. He posted on Facebook some of the pictures and an appeal for help finding the album’s owner. Soon, Neil Douglas was reunited with the precious album, which he had lost 18 years earlier.

AT&T is now offering 3 Mbps home Internet connections for $5.00 per month to low-income families nationwide; basically, any household in which one member receives Medicaid or SNAP (food stamp) benefits. A 5-10 Mbps connection will cost only $10. Installation and equipment fees will be waived. The FCC’s LifeLine program, which was expanded in March to cover Internet as well as phone service, will pay AT&T an additional $9.95 per month per account.

The German city of Augsburg has installed traffic signals in sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks, facing up, in hopes that oblivious “smombies” (smartphone zombies) will take note of them. “Maybe it’d be useful at night, but yeah, I didn’t realize it was there until just now,” a teen smombie told a newspaper reporter.

Geekly Update 05-05-2916

Google and Microsoft have ended years of complaining about each other to regulators. “Our companies compete vigorously, but we want to do so on the merits of our products, not in legal proceedings,” said Google’s spokesperson. This agreement may last longer than the typical New Year resolution, or not.

This could get ugly... BeautifulPeople.com, a dating site where members rate each other’s looks and ban the losers, was hacked and lost the very personal data of 1.1 million members.

Payphones still exist; the remaining 500,000 in the USA supported 1.7 billion calls in 2015. They’re still profitable for their owners, regulated, and handy in emergencies.

A fire alarm housed in a bird feeder is equipped with solar-powered battery and cellular connectivity, so it can safeguard all but the most remote trees, or your getaway cabin in the wood. Not surprisingly, an insurance company is funding this project.

Robotic restaurant servers and cooks are no threat to human workers just yet. In Guangzhou, China, three restaurants bought robots last year; now, two are out of business and the third has fired its “incompetent” robotic waiters.

Dish Network replaced its basic $19.99/month satellite service plan with Sling TV, a $19.99 Internet-only plan. So Dish saves satellite transmission costs and collects the same money for service. Dish is also dumping high-maintenance customers. "Some customers haven't called us in 10 years. Some call us every 10 days," CEO Charlie Ergen said. "We'd prefer to have a profitable customer."

Dyson Corp., which brought us the overpriced vacuum cleaner, will soon release a lighter, more energy-efficient, safer handheld hair dryer that costs about $385 more than a typical dryer.

“Martial Arts Meets Iron Man” is how the MMA promoters are touting the new full-body suit of armor that will allow contestants to really lay into each other without (much) fear of injury or death.

Amazon owes millions of dollars in refunds to thousands of parents whose children made in-app purchases without parental consent, a federal judge has ruled in summary judgment on an FTC complaint. Similar charges were levied against Google and Microsoft in the past, making this one a no-brainer. The judge will decide exactly how much Amazon owes to whom in coming weeks. Parents hit with surprise bills run up by offspring are reminded that minors cannot form binding contracts, and demand refunds.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 nagware “stormed” the background screen of a live TV weather forecast, urging meteorologist Metinka Slater (and her viewers) to upgrade to Windows 10 right in the middle of her warning about extreme thunderstorms rolling through Iowa.

Get ready for drone races in which the drones are controlled by pilots’ brain waves. "Oh look, a butterfly. Dang it!"

In the “Nope, I’m Good” category, Google has filed a patent on a vision-correcting electronic device that is injected directly into a patient’s eyeball.

“Swatting,” the so-called prank of siccing police on an innocent party’s home, would earn a federal prison sentence of up to 20 years under a bill making its way through Congress. Swatting wastes enormous police resources and can get someone killed for another’s revenge or perverted pleasure.

Bloomberg News is trying to reassure its journalists and editors that the recently announced expansion of artificial intelligence programs to actually write news reports will not put anyone out of a job. That’s probably true, given China’s experience with robotic waiters.

Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, will only work with Windows 10’s Edge browser and Microsoft’s Bing search engine from now on. Microsoft made that seemingly anti-competitive decision because other browsers and search engines are not designed to deliver the best Cortana experience. Of course, neither is Cortana.

Google Fiber is coming to Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville was announced as the next place to get Google Fiber in January, 2015. Initially, only four apartment buildings and condo complexes will get it. But Google Fiber’s slow yet inexorable rollout is putting fear of price pressures into incumbent cable and telephone network operators.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 05 May 2016"

Posted by:

krs
05 May 2016

Slashdot has a story that a delicate heart operation had to be put on hold when an automated scan grabbed the whole system.


Posted by:

Diane Nitzel
05 May 2016

I missed that forecast with Matinka Slater, too funny! She had a nice recovery though, I'm just glad there were no tornado warnings that day!


Posted by:

Daniel
05 May 2016

I think you're really missing out on the whole google correcting your vision with an implant thing. Just think: If you had that done, Google could then send you advertisements about EVERYTHING you see!

#Sarcasm


Posted by:

Doc
06 May 2016

Daniel -- despite your sarcasm you are missing the point - you will only get adds about things your friends have shown you, not what YOU have seen. Remember how you felt when you best friend wanted you to check out Erictile Cancernova of the distal erectile_Cavernousa perpendicularurus rigidum_ and you REALLY didn't want to? GO WITH YOUR GUT INSTICTS. Does your gut REALLY tell you Google ocular implants are a good idea? When offered free to anyone 18 or older, at your corner drug-store? When the ONLY ID you need is a lotto ticket in your possession and a polygraph that says you are telling 110% of the truth that asks 'the Next Lotto Ticket you want to will is $300, 000 without any taxes for you an one other person you consider 'family' the entire rest of your or their life - which ever is longer? (it's why I'm adopting a Redwood I started from seed in the 5th grade in my will as soon as I finish this note to you. It's ALWAYS been there to listen to my troubles, and always given me comfort on a hot summer day. It's why I'm becoming legal guardian for my Bristle Cone Pine before I buy my next $15, 000 worth of Lotto scrachers.- I KNOW that WHATEVER makes me happy makes IT happy too, we've had this conversation many MANY times. My arborialst will testify for me since he's 'tree whisperer' and know he gets 10% to tell the truth no matter how silly it sounds to others.

My friend told me that the ONLY way he found to not get caught and censored by the 'Thought Squad' of your local Law Enforcement traied through the 'buddy system' ANY diver knows, is by the federally trained and thus Neutrally Funded Concept Squad (whom your friends called off hand as a joke the "conceptusluss Squak" -- who use nothing stronger than 'threats and drugs' to 'drag the truth kicking and screaming from your chained and bound mind to which only YOU have locked up and thrown away the key. While $1 million might work for a phone, about $2.75 and a well trained, --- I mean a, well, trained, officer, will eventually find the key. Thus finding the key is really what you wanted to do all along. $1 million ± a few $10^9 will do it, but $2.75 and a, well, ahh, trained, officer will do it cheaper and often with a LOT more fun using virtual PG-13 techniques (Police Guidance as it applies to a 13 year old) is seldom all the force that is necessary. Think about tickling a nose and then not letting a person sneeze. Not only is it Candid Camera Time, it's Cheap entertainment, the Police Organization makes a lot to help Officers harmed in the way of Duty, an the families of Fallen Officers are offered help they'd NEVER be able to afford were it up to their insurance carries alone. Meanwhile the Token Officer who helps gets colored pieces of cloth to play with, Promotion is only proper and the commercial ends with everyone smiling immediately after their free, 100% paid for Google Eye Surgery and a promise from Microsoft that they will NEVER be left without a True Friend, ever. And, I am certain that iPhone v∞.∞.∞ will keep them in touch with all their new friends and Canard would ONLY issue fist class tickets on the Platinum - since they only share a few letters in common. And Apple will only issue the 'H' sine most of the rest of the space is seldom used, especially by honest sentient beings who wold certainly agree that the largest anything need be is 'i', though since that is used more often n spelling bees than other numbers they could receive the first 'j' computer ever made, and once perfected the Φ.

And all the things you saw yourself doing to your best friend ALL NIGHT long after he explained exactly how to turn off all the adware programs that were just a 'government rumor' - "Just check it on Snipes.com." Besides he said - who was more likely to be wrong 'a government bureaucracy without the right number of letters to make a memorable acronym or a bunch of flag-burning left-wing hippies who were rabbe rousers since Regan was President? And now, your best friend who was just trying to save you a World Wide Web of Woe (WWWW) was simply trying to save his best friend the worst week of their life that would 'make you or break you' was just simply (and exactly for word thriftyness) what your friend who had been a camp counselor for the previous 4 years wanted to pass on to you after the many long years and longer night it took HIM to learn its total validity as THE greatest Libido Curber; but now those images of your best friend and a herd or flock of barnyard animals crossed with Mongols as they sacked Rome WAS nearly impossible to release from your memory as you constantly replayed over and over again, as you faced the same blank featureless wall that had been staring back at you since their battering ram of a dug made your mind crumble without the need of even a simple boot, let alone breaching compound you were absolutely certain was necessary to breach the solid Oak Door that your forefathers had set up first for the Underground Railroad that made transiting the farm a common enough family secret, and finally as a railroad that was used by anti-Korean, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq until it became a recitation of the names of all the countries which sprung from pre-Mesopotamian civilizations in recitation using modern equivalents of far older names.

Names with drew meanings from the East and not the West, names which, in their day, were uttered by those who knew the danger of both the name 'Zero' and some even knew the name for the absence of Zero, for even Zero was a number, a concept which relied upon SOMETHING to take its value-- but who had EVER heard of a number so far less than Zero, so far outside the realm of this infinity, this world of Being and Spirit that people did not even know how or when to be using the number to express something, for if you could NAME the nothing that did not exist, certainly it could NEVER be expressed as not existing, and this New Number: Phi, could never exist if it could be thought of - but this was all LONG before concepts and ideas could be expressed as separate beings, as separate things. They each depened on each other for their 'beingness' their 'existence'

For one needed no idea to express a concept, and many concepts lost their meaning when expressed as ideas (Zen Coans were a very real, yet extremely subtle example the merging of duality becoming singular by their very movement from two into one, into a singularity, for most of the concept of which was almost always lost in translation.

Even these people - people who found meaning in less than nothing and those who found meaning in pure silence --"What is the difference between a duck", no longer could find find unshakeable refuge behind the Oak Door which no longer needed to withstand battering rams, specially shaped explosive charges, the threatening of innocents with harm because the ONLY one with knowledge understood that standing silent is what the innocent wished for, even cherished - even in the deepest cries of mortal and profound anguish. Their body might beg for sound, yet their soul sought it's truest an deepest peace in your, their hoasts silence. Knowing on the deepest level that you knew their Eternal Peace rested upon your eternal soil; that your compassion could only be PURE COMPASSION IF YOU EXERCISED ABSOLUTE SILENCE - AND THERE, AMIDST THE CRIES OF DARK AMAZING ANGUISH PEOPLE FOUND THEIR DEEPEST STRENGTH IN THE PURE SILENCE OF ANOTHER. THE STRENGTH OF HUNDREDS OR THOUSANDS FINDING PURITY OF PEACE AMONG THE ANGUISHED SCREAMS OF OTHERS. FOR THE FLAME WITH BURNS TO CLEAN, ALSO BURNS TO PURIFY BEYOND THE INTENTION OF THOSE WHO GIVE THE CRIES SUCH PURITY AND SUCH CLOSENESS TO GOD. Even in Private isolation such cries exist, and such strength and purity exist and while 'honor' is not a word to be bantered about lightly even among those who have been given free permission to speak freely of such cleansing, it is rarely even spoken by those who have shared the ritual with others, one with another, one generation with another and only those who do not have it, only those who have not lived it, beg to be part of it through the stories of those who have; "Tell us a story" say the young, "tell us about the battle of December say others. Begging the best they can to reach out and touch that with makes Sacred, Begging to be allowed for a moment to feel that one single moment of True Spirit among Warriors or Healers.

And the sad part is they have missed it, and wanted it so bad, they missed the words when they came. Perhaps the most heroic thing they will have heard during the drunken stores after a holiay meal is "...so we surrendered." What they missed was the subtext that every warrior knows is more than a platitude "...for now." It never be said because if you are a warrior you know that line so well, it need never, ever, be spoken.

And now, that doors need not be breached, charges set, tables cleared to start the terror - to the terror of all, now the brute forces and water-boarding were not a thing of the past, a thing relegated to stretching, quartering, burning, all the brutality man could visit upon man was safely relegated to a few rooms in a real or mock Castle somewhere and a sign that could not know, a guide who might know but probably didn't, who pointed out the sadly ineffectiveness of such means of interrogation, when those and similar words had been the words and phrases filled with horror and an almost heroic subtext that was used were it close enough it time, and not the current phrases of 'conversation' or 'joking' 'laughing' or 'conversation'.

Now, when they wanted information, all they had to do was tell you a joke the moment you begin to salivate "Tell it to the judge' they laughed. And that make it even more funny so you drown just a bit more. No water boarding, no physical restraints, no questions yelled at you in a tone you would find hilarious, absolutely nothing to prevent you from leaving Daniel - just a perspective that made things VERY funny-- and something that made you salivate so much, you were doing the equivalent of water-boarding yourself. No Google implants, No Apple V∞.∞.∞, No Apple H Who needs the space wasted on inert gasses? Screw 3d gasses when we can watch Virtually reality in ω dimensions!!!! YIKES!


So --- Can you REALLY blame the government from 'hurting' when you did was laugh at their not-all-THAT-funny jokes? Do YOU really have a Constitutional protection against finding something amusing - even funny - even if it IS a governmental Acton that seems hilarious? but really isn't (think about the Key-Stone Cops and how many violation of the constitution did they break every 5 minutes or so. Watch W.C. Fields and see how well HE followed the Constitution -- not all that often, yet he sure was funny when he didn't follow it and it wasn't YOU he was arresting or YOU that they Key-Stone cops were after!!!! See what I mean?

come on now. Since when WASN'T a governmental action NOT been funny to everyone but you, and NOW you want to take away the ONE thing a cop can do that's NOT illegal? Who would consider the following a Crime Against Humanity AND a crime against the inhuman treatment of Prisoners:

"Did you hear that the Energizer Bunny was Arrested? He was charged with Battery." [cite: http://www.jokes4us.com/peoplejokes/ policejokes. html] [ED: spaced added to allow citation to take up less room]

Just because you had a mouth overflowing with saliva shouldn't make that a crime. Just because you inhaled doesn't make it your fault. I have a thick seet of clear plastic over EVERY SCREEN TO EVERY COMPUTER I OWN, I EVEN BOUGHT ONE FOR EVERY COMPUTER IN MY LAB AND EVERY LAP-TOP OUR DEPARTMENT OWNED AND OUR EVER WISE (All bown to He Who Bought 200 IBM Selectric II's the same week he bought each department head an 8088 -- what more do they want? I give them the best typewriter on the market (Selectric II's were still solid metal, III's were a LOT of plastic)AND I gave EVERY department a Computer (even art mind you - even Art got a computer!!!) What more do they want? A computer is just a fancy typewriter for goodness sake!!!! (Look out you might choke and give up vital information. EVERY monitory ALWAYS had a clear plastic screen, even slave terminals (It' where the indentured Administrators worked) and the orange on Green's got a sheet of plastic because SOMEONE had to show respect rather than ridicule, it's not like anything but ARPA was out there - and the start of the Internet so what didn't go wrong? Simple as the day was short. Except for the IBM 360 now THERE was a real computer, and yeah, a LOT DID GO WRONG! It would do YOU good to follow a 40 year tradition - you never now what's gonna come out of your mouth-- or when. So, cover your screen. People with Doctorates knew this, it's why we could be trusted to hold a cup of coffee in the lab while freshings, those with the best reflect, were prohibited. 80 years old, Coffee cup, check! HOT coffee -- check! steady hands - fail. Good eyesight- fail, good hearing - fail. steady gate-- fail -- able to recoverd from sudden moments off balance - FAIL. Desk witout coffee stains --- fail. Text book without coffee stains --- fail! --- READY FOR PHYSICAL. STUDENT REACTION TIME (AVERAGE) .02 SECONDS -- pass. Professor Average Reaction time 2.35 minutes. ALLOWD TO CARRY COFFEE ANYWHERE HE WISHES!!! student must buy new comptuer: false, we have insurance. Faculty can buy new computer: FALSE, insurnace only coveres students. After due consideration: COFFEE IN COMPUTER LABS: STUDENTS -- PASS ALL TESTS BUT THEY HAVE NO DOCTORATE, ***FAUL***!!!!! Faculty fails all tests. Allowed to have coffee in Computer Lab: PASS!!! YES OF COURSE!!! THEY DID THEIR DOCTORATE ON DISCOVERY OF LIFE IN OCEAN!!! CAN CARRY COFFEE ANYWHERE IN COMPUTER LAB!!!

EVIDENCE IN 960 HOURS IN LAB EACH SEMESTER NUMBER OF COFFEE SPILLS 20 (Coffee had JUST BEEN INVENTED A FEW YEARS BEFORE, Rx only for those 65 and older for first 20 years, students in study N=0, spills =0.

Irreverent, they were drinking illegal substance on campus, should have been flogged, in public, in the quad, in winter so blood dried quickly and students didn't feel pain the same way Professors did Minimum lashes Pretty girl 20 lashes removed immediately to ICU AND PLASTICS TEAM READY FOR FIRST RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY.

Chess Geek, president of Computer Club 3 YEARS, Computer Science and Engineering major GPA 8.993 AFTER 3.75 years, received C in 2 unit summer school under tutelage of Frauline Miss Dockotor Applebee Good, remarked: Anyone who mocks me by naming a contraption that doesn't do anything worthwhile deserves to fail, too bad he did all his work at an above level exception should not fail, no matter how much they deserve to for mocking a faculty member and making them a laughing stock, he did write a 14 page letter using words I never thought he could misunderstand the comprehension of without help from someone, perhaps from Old English or Middle High German (or both); perhaps more time in church could have taught him enough Latin to get by with had he properly started in 1st grade and mastered the funnymetals before he drove off the deep end and then found himself only able to play a simple board game and use 800 parts to make a light come on ---- 75 lashes, left over night where a friend (if he has any) could tend to wounds -- all know such so-called students have no blood or heart. or they would quote Shakespeare and not some Polish (most likely) communist revolutionary who had he courage to speak out in America but not in his own country where they know how to deal with traitors - where they make the grow potrators to make Vodka which is all that Polish Workers way anyway. Had they the courage they'd have Majored in English Romantic Poems and leanned something about life as it is really lead.

So now a police officer has to check your mouth every-time they tell you a joke? And now even a statement of fact becomes pretty funny joke, funny enough that a prisoner might die from laughing. "Did you hear about the drive up blond who ordered some coffee and spilled it in her lap? Yep, "A New Mexico civil jury awarded $2.86 million to plaintiff Stella Liebeck, ...[who] spilled hot coffee in her lap after purchasing it from a McDonald's restaurant. [Cite: https:// en. wikipedia .org/wikiLiebeck_ v._ McDonald's _Restaurants] [ED. spaces added to make cite fit in fwere line]

Daniel -- So-- now even refugees from Syria are no longer safe, they have seen too much -- they will now only see ads for perfume called 'Bondage', "Hungry Water",'my Sin', 'Tabu', 'Bandit', -- oh there's a whole list of names under 'LIST OF PERUMES' on Wiki. I think you will find many Google could sell this very hour, though I do not see one (must be a minor company, 'Fire from Sky' (It will hit him like fire from the sky, he won't know what hit him' [or his block or family or fiiends - it must have been 'AMBUSH' (1955) or 'UNFORGIVEABLE'(1960),

MAKE ME STOP!!!!


Posted by:

Dean
07 May 2016

I think Doc is an AI news writer. MAKE IT STOP!


Posted by:

Stephanie
07 May 2016

Bob, how very, very, very cool you are to add [ED: space added to allow citation to take up less room] to Doc's post above. Yes, I noticed..... :) You are so cool.


Posted by:

Jay R
11 May 2016

I see that you have personal experience with Cortana. Like her father, Mike Roesopht, she has disappointed innumerable folks.


Posted by:

The146%
17 May 2016

...And I thought I wrote long comments!


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