Geekly Update - 15 October 2014
Why is computer maker Dell excited about mushrooms and cow excretions? What important lesson did the new Microsoft CEO learn about karma? And how does Google know when you need to see a doctor? 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
Women who work at Microsoft should not ask for pay raises but just do their jobs enthusiastically and trust that “the system” will reward them. “That is good Karma,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella – in front of an audience female tech professionals. He has since announced that he “got it completely wrong.”
Dell is now using packaging materials made from mushrooms, wheatgrass, and methane excreted by cows and landfills. The eco-friendly, biodegradable products are cheaper and more durable than petroleum-based plastics.
Google will release “Shamu,” the killer whale of phablets, before the end of October, according to rumors in the Wall Street Journal. The Nexus 6’s 5.9-inch screen will be bigger than the iPhone’s 5.5 inches and bigger than the Samsung Galaxy Note’s 5.7 inches; yes, two-tenths of an inch makes headlines these days. Also, the Nexus 6 will run Google’s latest O/S, Android L.
A robot wearing a human face will provide customer service to frequent flyers at Indianapolis International Airport. The contraption seems to be an iPad affixed to a miniature Segway which is wrapped in an airport employee’s polo shirt. A human controls its wanderings and can interact with guests from a remote desk. Umm, how is this better than a real person standing there?
Consumer Physics is taking orders for a pocket molecular scanner called the Scio which can tell you the chemical makeup of food, plants, or pills in real-time, communicating results to a smartphone app. No more wondering if that avocado is ripe. There’s huge demand for this device, apparently; it raised $2.7 million in a Kickstarter campaign.
Snapchat is blaming “users of illegal third-party apps” for the publication of a 13 GB trove of over 200,000 Snapchat images that were supposed to disappear tracelessly after a few seconds. But security researchers say they’ve been warning Snapchat for years that such raids are possible and probably unavoidable on the Snapchat platform.
Facebook is rolling out location-targeted ads “helping local businesses reach more customers,” according to the announcement. Your smartphone and the Facebook app will tell you when you pass a business in which you’re supposed to have an interest, or it might randomly remind you that you pass that business regularly. Don’t be creeped out, it’s for your convenience.
Samsung Electronics Co. has developed a WiFI protocol with a theoretical speed limit of 1.3 Gbps... about three times faster than the current top end. The downside is that it uses the 60 GHz RF band, so new routers will be required and the signal range will be more limited than 5 GHz tech.
Netflix plans to increase streaming video fees to $11.99 per month for 4K resolution customers, who have already proven that they will pay more for things they don’t need.
“Talk to a doctor now” says a new, prominent link across the top of Google search results pages when some users search for health-related topics. The link includes a Hangouts icon, implying that a live doctor is just waiting to Hangout with you. The service is in test mode now so don’t expect to see it on every search.
The “nude Emma Watson video” link that’s blazing through the Web like wildfire is actually a link to a Trojan program that will infiltrate and enslave your computer. Of course, you don’t need that warning. Right?
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome! Post your comment now or I'll sign you up for the most expensive Netflix package...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 15 Oct 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 15 October 2014 (Posted: 15 Oct 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved