Geekly Update - 08 October 2015

Category: Tech-News

What would you do if your next phone bill showed a balance due of two million dollars? How are underground data traffickers bringing slices of the Internet to communist Cuba? Will mushrooms make your smartphone battery last longer? Will lasers soon replace razors? And if so, will Smellevision replace Television? 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

Ken Slusher and his girlfriend had problems with their very first Verizon bill, so they canceled their contract after only 30 days last December. But now their purchase of a dream home is imperiled by Verizon’s bogus claim that they owe more than $2 million.

Having trouble cancelling your Comcast account? The nice folks at AirPaper will do it for you, if you're willing to part with five dollars. The company's motto is "We make painful things surprisingly easy" and they've got plans to fix other "horribly broken processes."

The Skarp Laser Razor promises to shaves your face (or legs) without a blade. Instead, it employs a laser to give a smooth shave with no nicks or razor burn, and doesn't need expensive disposable cartridges. Some people think the Kickstarter campaign (which has raised almost $4 million) is a big scam.

Geekly Update 10-08-2015

Virtual reality might be worth trying for just $100. That’s the price of Samsung’s new VR headset that fits Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, S6 and S6 edge smartphones. Real reality remains free.

Buyers of “Pepper,” a $1,600 companion robot that can “read emotions” and react to them, must accept an end-user license agreement that prohibits sexual activity with the robot.

GCHW, the United Kingdom’s equivalent of the NSA spy agency, launched a program called “KARMA POLICE” in 2009. Its mission was to record the Web browsing activities of “every visible user on the Internet.”

Vox.com provides a fascinating in-depth look at El Paquete, the bootleg digital information and media package compiled and distributed weekly throughout Cuba without the aid of the Internet.

LG, best known for monitors and kitchen appliances, is getting into the laptop business. The ultra-slim, ultra-light LG Gram series of laptops ranges from $700 to $2000, and they look pretty competitive.

A Swiss TV station has replaced expensive cameras and crews with iPhones and selfie sticks. Viewers are reportedly not pleased with reporters’ shaky, amateurish efforts.

Portabella mushrooms are being used to extend the life cycles of lithium-ion batteries.

Amazon Flex is a new, Uber-like program that will let freelance drivers earn “$18 to $25 per hour” on their own terms by delivering packages for the e-commerce giant. We’re going to need a new definition of “employment” at this rate.

Russian cybercrooks have twice firebombed the offices of Dr Web, a security firm whose software defends against ATM skimmers. Firefighters’ water caused more damage than the firebombs in both cases. Dr Web vows it will not yield to the crooks’ demands to leave them alone.

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 08 October 2015"

Posted by:

Paul
08 Oct 2015

FYI the British spy agency is GCHQ not GCHW


Posted by:

Chuck
09 Oct 2015

Bob, another interesting newsletter. Interesting comment about the firefighters doing more damage than the firebombs. I know of no outside review of fire department actions.


Posted by:

Robert
09 Oct 2015

So now we will have to update Dr. Isaac Asimov's laws of robotics to say "no three-ways or other kinky stuff...(at least with humans)" So much for that one scene in the movie Westworld too...


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