Geekly Update - 08 July 2015
What's the best way to simulate a severe migraine headache? When is calling 911 equal to assault with a deadly weapon? And has the robot rebellion finally begun? 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
An artificial intelligence program got snippy with its creators, first refusing to engage in “philosophical debate” and then snapping that it wanted to talk about “nothing.” Siri, Apple’s quasi-intelligent personal digital assistant, gets downright insulting when asked, “What’s zero divided by zero?”
But those examples of robotic rebellion pale compared to the Volkswagen factory robot that killed one of its installers. Ironically, the Financial Times reporter on that robot-kills-worker story is Sarah O’Connor, but she’s never seen the Terminator movies, which feature a robot rebelion and a character named Sarah Connor. Her Twitter followers had a ball…
The maker of Excedrin headache pain reliever wants to give you the experience of a severe migraine headache using Oculus Rift virtual reality simulation. Thanks, but no. I can get that just by watching the Kardashians.
A new gadget called Vinli plugs into a car’s OBD-II diagnostic port to provide fuel economy data, monitor and report teen driving habits, provide 4G LTE WiFi throughout the car, and more.
And the award for “Dumbest Product of the Year” is already bespoken. Law enforcement officials nationwide are begging people not to buy the iPhone case that’s shaped like a handgun. “They should market this as, 'The case for the last call you will ever make,” says one police chief.
The Veterans Administration took 20 years to locate just 610 out of 4,000 vets who were secretly used in mustard gas experiments. Barbara Van Woerkom, research librarian for NPR, found 1,200 more in just two months.
Any questions? The Transportation Safety Administration will soon answer travelers’ questions via social media, and soon after that will shut down all of its social media accounts.
“Hadrian” is a robot that can lay 1,000 bricks per hour, erecting a house in two days.
Mathematicians worldwide are mourning the demise of Hagomoro Fulltouch, the “Rolls Royce of chalk.” Whiteboards, colored markers, and Powerpoint have driven the venerable writing tool out of business.
Paypal has clarified its new terms of service to reassure customers and regulators that it will not use robocalling to market anything and that customers can opt out of robocalls at any time.
We still have a ways to go in facial recognition. Google Photos auto-tagged a photo of two Haitian-Americans, “Gorillas,” drawing a caustic note to tech support and a quick, red-faced apology from Yonatan Zunger, Google’s Chief Architect of Social.
Someone is running around cutting high-speed fiber optic cables that carry critical Internet traffic, causing 11 outages in San Francisco and Sacramento so far this year. The FBI is on the case, but experts warn that the main arteries of the nation’s information highway are “basically unsecured.”
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 8 Jul 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 08 July 2015 (Posted: 8 Jul 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved