Geekly Update - 11 September 2013

Category: Tech-News

Encryption keeps your online communication safe from hackers and snoopers, right? Right? Will you be seeing a combination smartcar trash compactor for sale at a dealer near you? And are hackers using gorilla warfare to take control of highway signs and license plates? 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

Theater security: that little lock icon and the “https” in your Web browser don’t mean a thing to the NSA, which has been cracking SSL encryption to read Web traffic for years. But they still haven’t knocked on your door, have they?

This just in from the Unintended Consequences Department: “Mobile Encryption for Android and Sybian” is a free download that encrypts messages and files on smartphones, foiling the NSA. You know you want it; problem is, it was released by a terrorist organization.

"Gorilla warfare." A hacker in Zilwaukee Michigan tapped into a digital highway warning sign, making it read "I-75 is closed due to loose gorilla." Michigan DOT investigators, apparently driven bananas by this monkey business, are swinging into action to determine how the hack was perpetrated.
Geekly Update 09-11-2013

Digital license plates similar to iPads may come to California cars. The State Senate approved a bill launching a pilot program involving up to 0.5 percent of California vehicle owners. One application: your plate displays “EXPIRED” the instant your registration expires. Privacy advocates worry about tracking. I worry about hacking.

"It's a car! It's a trash compactor! It's... an Armadillo!" An experimental car developed in South Korea will respond to commands issued by a smartphone, automatically parking and folding itself in half.

No free smartphone for you! Forty-eight hours after a rumor that Amazon will launch a free smartphone for its customers shook the tech media, the e-commerce giant put its foot down on the little blog that began the hysteria. If Amazon launches a smartphone, it won’t be in 2014 and it definitely will never be free, says the company.

Run, Sarah Connor, run! Researchers at NUS Engineering have developed artificial muscles that can lift 80 times their weight, raising the prospect of robots with superhuman strength and agility.

“Do no evil, nor countenance evil-doing in your house.” Google is encrypting all the torrents of user data it handles against snooping by the NSA or others. This is a staggering undertaking; when most Google services went down briefly last month, global Internet traffic plummeted by 75 per cent.

Just watch out for lamp posts. Google Glass now has an app that lets Android users control the augmented-reality spectacles from their smartphones. This may prevent deep-tissue neck injuries, as users will not have to twitch their heads like bugs are down their collars.

You can really immerse yourself in this experience. Samsung demonstrated a 4K TV set with a 98-inch screen at the IFA show in Berlin. The model S9 is aimed at commercial use, because homes are shrinking and this thing lacks a bathroom.

The latest social media guilt trip: researchers conclude that liars take longer to reply to text messages. Or maybe some people think they pay for text service for their own convenience.

Your thoughts on any of these topics are welcome! Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 11 September 2013"

Posted by:

RandiO
11 Sep 2013

Back in the late 70s, I used to think the the art of communication was going the way of the Dodo bird, since everyone seemed to be glued to their TV and you could not get in a word edge-wise because what was on the tube was of more significance and center stage.
I even detested one-liner jokes because I though it was killing the art of story-telling. When the computer-age sneaked in, I thought things were going to get much worse and the 140 character limit was going to force our society to speak in acronyms rather than whole and cohesive sentences.
But I have not lost hope just yet!
Especially, since this whole privacy issue may actually bring back the old habits of face to face dialogue among humans.
I don't know, I must be a dreamer!
Ooops, my 3-4 paragraph rant has reached its limit!


Posted by:

Mac 'n' Cheese
11 Sep 2013

"A hacker in Zilwaukee Michigan ..."

Wow. According to Google Maps, there really is a Zilwaukee, Michigan, with I-75 running through the eastern side of town. Zooming in using Satellite View, I could almost make out the gorilla.

Thanks, Bob!


Posted by:

Larry
12 Sep 2013

Particularly like this issue of tongue in cheek writing which you do so well.
Been reading your articles since the "squirrels".
Reckon it's about time I thanked you.
Thanks!


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