Geekly Update - 08 December 2016
What's the best way to spot fake news, satire and clickbait? Is your local food market using artificial intelligence to follow you around the store? And how much money does your average honest hard-working cybercriminal make per month? Find out... in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. And it's *guaranteed* to make you 146% smarter. Read, think, and, comment!
The AskBobRankin Geekly Update
From the "Boy, Do I Feel Old" file... High school seniors applying to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will receive acceptance letters via Snapchat. Students are then expected to send a selfie back to the admissions team to let them know they received it. (Hat tip: ResearchBuzz)
Amazon Go is a concept for a checkout-free grocery store, to be launched sometime in Seattle in 2017. That's doesn't mean you can checkout without paying… it's just that there are no cashiers. The store employs a secret blend of apps, computer vision, sensors and artificial intelligence to figure out what you're dropping into your cart, and automatically charge the tab to your linked Amazon account, as you casually saunter out the door.
Public transit riders in San Francisco were thankful for ransomware over the long weekend. The payment system for bus and train tickets was encrypted, prompting authorities to let everyone ride for free. It's still unknown whether any customer data was compromised.
Have you been phubbed? To newly-minted word "phubb" means "snubbed by someone you're with who'd rather look at his/her phone." Researchers coined the word in the course of a study examining causes of relationship problems. 70% of study participants reported they have been phubbed and it caused conflicts in their relationships.
Facebook's automated censoring algorithm deleted ten posts from founder Mark Zuckerberg's page on or about November 28. They were restored after media outlets pointed out their disappearance. Ironically, two of the deleted posts concerned Zuckerberg's opinions on "fake news" and what Facebook is doing about it.
Speaking of fake news, the B.S. Detector browser plugin for Chrome and Firefox warns users when a link on any Web page leads to an unreliable or questionable source. Links are categorized as Fake News, Satire, Extreme Bias, Conspiracy Theory, Rumor Mill, Junk Science, Hate Group, Clickbait, and Proceed With Caution (sources that may be reliable but require further verification).
Google Earth got an update of higher-resolution satellite images, and time-lapse slideshows of any point on Earth showing how things have changed over the past 32 years.
Version 55 of the Chrome browser is out, and it further deprecates Flash in favor of HTML5 animations. However, users are reporting that Chrome 55 has a bug that makes certain videos (those encoded in MP4 format) unplayable.
Good news: Nintendo has resurrected the beloved NES Classic game console, complete with 30 free games, at a bargain price of $50. Bad news: it's currently sold out except on eBay and Amazon Marketplace, where resellers are charging up to $250.
Can you trust a thief to tell the truth? Most cyber-criminals are not earning enough to quit their day jobs. According to a survey on the "dark Web" that's monitored by security researchers, most hackers report incomes from their crimes in the $1000-3000/month range. However, 20% reported income of $20,000+ monthly.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, more Americans shopped online than in brick-and-mortar stores, according to a National Retail Federation survey. about 109 million people shopped online, compared with 99 million in stores. Online Black Friday sales zoomed up 18% vs. last year, while in-store sales fell 10.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 8 Dec 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 08 December 2016 (Posted: 8 Dec 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved