Geekly Update - 14 July 2016
Will Microsoft pay you $10,000 if Windows 10 fouls up your computer? Do you have a right to privacy while using the Internet? Can robots do a better job of reporting the news than humans? Today's Geekly Update is jam-packed with the latest tech news. It's *guaranteed* to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!
The AskBobRankin Geekly Update
A federal judge in Viriginia has decided that no one has an expectation of privacy when using a computer that is connected to the Internet. His “reasoning” is that any such computer is vulnerable to hackers. By such “logic,” no one has an expectation of privacy anywhere because any door can be opened.
Lying is patriotic? PBS television execs caught a load of flack online from viewers who noticed the “live” programming of Independence Day fireworks was actually recorded years ago when the sky over Washington, DC, was clear, unlike the foggy and cloudy conditions of July 4, 2016. PBS admitted to its subterfuge with the “we wanted to be patriotic” excuse.
A Tesla car in “autopilot” mode crashed, and the driver died. A “Harry Potter” movie was still playing in his DVD player. Tesla reminds everyone that “autopilot” does not mean “self-driving.” It means only that the car will attempt to stay between the painted lines.
Microsoft paid a $10,000 civil judgment to Teri Goldstein, the owner of Sausalito, Calif.-based TG Travel Group LLC, for damages done to her business by an unauthorized and unwanted upgrade to Windows 10.
In related news, Microsoft has heeded customers’ fury and changed the behavior of the red X in the upper-right corner of its “Get Windows 10 now!” alert so that it closes the window, as expected, instead of launching a Windows 10 upgrade.
Artificial intelligence programs will write summaries of minor league baseball games for the Associated Press, freeing sports journalists for more sophisticated tasks like filing for unemployment benefits.
Don’t say it can’t happen here. A sweeping cyberspace law has been passed in Russia. Among other alarming provisions, it requires ISPs to provide backdoors into their customers’ encrypted communications.
Security researchers have discovered how to steal data from a PC’s memory by hacking the machine’s cooling fan(s) and manipulating the noise they make.
Google Maps and Google Earth will soon be even more accurate and detailed as the company has purchased the latest, petabyte-sized database of ultra-high-resolution satellite photos from NASA.
Two virulent ransomware programs that had declined are sharply on the rise again. Instances of “Locky” are now much higher than they were before its masters took a vacation in June. Also, the CryptXXX ransomware is back, and its programming flaw that allowed victims to recover their data without paying ransom has been fixed.
A free chatbot has saved drivers $4 million in traffic fines simply challenging technical errors in tickets scanned and uploaded by users.
Thousands of unsecured CCTV (closed-circuit television) devices have been enslaved into botnets and are being used in DDoS (denial of service) attacks. This is what happens when security takes a back seat to deployment of the Internet of Things.
A triple-lens camera no larger than a grain of salt can be injected into a vein to provide a unique look at cardiovascular diseases.
Google is testing a method of testing one’s Internet speed directly from search results, an innovation that does not bode well for speedtest.net and other speed-testing sites.
You can help stop human trafficking by snapping a few photos of your hotel room and uploading them to a database searched by law enforcement to identify rooms in which minors are exploited. Because patrons of prostitutes are stupid and often share such photos.
Walmart.com launched a trial of its “Amazon Prime killer,” a $49/year ShippingPass that gives customers free two-day shipping. A Prime membership is currently $99/year.
Prison inmates get help using social media, including dating sites, from people like Renea Royster, who works 100 hours per week moving messages sent via CorrLinks, an email service available to federal inmates, to the Facebook pages they paid her to create in their names.
It may not be safe to “pay at the pump.” Discoveries of credit card skimmers hidden in gas pump card readers have tripled in the past year. Go inside and pay cash or charge a fixed amount to your card.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 14 Jul 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 14 July 2016 (Posted: 14 Jul 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved