Geekly Update - 15 January 2014

Category: Tech-News

If you had a list of three online companies that have NOT been hacked, would Dropbox be on it? Those Tesla electric cars are hot, but can they really set your garage on fire? And how easy is it to trick Google Maps into naming your street after an evil dictator? 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

"Move along... nothing to see here." Dropbox has not been hacked, says the cloud-storage company. A Twitter account associated with the hacker group Anonymous claimed that Dropbox was hacked in honor of deceased Internet activist Aaron Swartz.

Dropbox issued a statement saying its recent outage was caused by “internal maintenance” and not hackers. Oh, so it was an inside job. Got it.

Google+ account holders who don’t want email from strangers should opt out of the new “feature” that allows one to email anyone who has a Google Mail account as long as you are following his or her Google+ activity. Visit your Gmail Settings page; on the General tab click the dropdown menu for the setting “Email via Google+” and select who can email you without knowing your email address: extended circles, circles, or no one.

Geekly Update 01-15-2014

Snapchat has changed its mobile app so that a phone number is no longer required. Privacy advocates were concerned that hackers might pilfer up to 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers. Last month, Snapchat admitted finding a vulnerability in its “Find Friends” feature that could enable hackers to steal sensitive user data; that hole was plugged.

"It runs a little hot..." A wall charger for a car still boggles the mind. Tesla Motors announced replacement connectors for the cables of its wall chargers designed for the Model S electric car. The old ones seem to be prone to overheating and present a fire hazard.

Facebook has now announced plans to phase out its controversial Sponsored Stories after settling a lawsuit launched by privacy groups for $20 million last August. Facebook members will no longer have their reputations (and faces) bought and paid for by the firms they “like.” How do you “like” that?

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler faced four hecklers during his speech at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. They wanted to know “how many more people have to die from brain cancer before the federal government puts warning labels on cell phones,” according to the first one to speak. I’ll guess four.

Google Maps was pranked by a user who suggested a correction to the name of a street in Berlin. Apparently without checking official sources, Google obligingly changed the street’s name to Adolph-Hitler-Platz, sparking an uproar that led to the reversal of that change days later. The actual name of the street is Theodor-Heuss Platz.

Sending pictures via Google Voice is now possible if the sender is using Sprint or T-mobile. Verizon and AT&T are expected to join the trend next year. Pictures still arrive separately from text messages to which they may be attached, so this is not true MMS yet. But it works.

Who in his right mind turns down a $500,000 salary? A Google programmer did, telling the startup that tried to recruit him that he already makes $3 million in cash and restricted stock units. My guess as to the REAL reason he wouldn't leave Google: No Sleep Pods at the startup.

Old news: the Google shuttle buses that causes so much resentment among Silicon Valley workers. New news: the private Google ferry that whisks Googlers across the San Francisco Bay. My solution: More Sleep Pods at Google.

An orthopedic surgeon in India successfully completed surgery on a man’s foot and ankle using Google Glass to augment his vision. The wearable computing device enables doctors to look at patients and X-rays or MRIs simultaneously.

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 15 January 2014"

Posted by:

john
15 Jan 2014

Here we go! they shall now be known as "Giggle" maps. I really got a charge out of that prank. Best regards. john.


Posted by:

Nezzar
15 Jan 2014

Thanks much for the tip on the Google + email. I don't want anyone who does not know my email address sending emails to me. I have opted out per your instructions.
Nezzar


Posted by:

Huffy
16 Jan 2014

I guess I'm more dumb than a rock as I went to Google+ settings and could not find where it said "NO ONE."
I could find nothing that said "Email via Google+" in the settings. It does say "Extended circles - Anyone - Your circles - Only you and Custom." Maybe I just need more detailed directions to find the information mentioned.

EDITOR'S NOTE: It's in the GMAIL settings, not the G+ settings.


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