Geekly Update - 16 October 2013

Category: Tech-News

Did Facebook just make it even easier for stalkers to find you? Is the NSA's Utah data center literally melting down, is it just fried Spam we smell? And what Windows feature did Apple finally add to the new iPhone? 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

"No government shutdown here..." The NSA’s new gigantic data center has suffered 10 meltdowns in the past 13 months because it draws too much electrical power while processing all that spy data. How much? 65 megawatts a month (enough for a city of 20,000 people) at a cost of $1 million per month. Ironically (and perhaps a part of the problem), much of the data they're collecting is email spam.

Sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." This projection mapping illusion video demonstratates that point rather well.

Less shrieking, works better. Nest Protect is a supersmart smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector that works with smartphones and other mobile devices to warn you of danger. You can also control its functions with the wave of a hand.
Geekly Update 10-16-2013

You can like, but you can’t hide. Facebook is removing a privacy option that limits who can find you by typing your name in the site’s search bar. According to Facebook, only a “single-digit percentage” of members are using the feature. Don't worry, that limits it to somewhere between 12 and 108 million potential stalkers.

I’ve seen this movie. MIT researchers accidentally discovered a nickel alloy that can heal itself. When force is applied to a crack in the metal, the damaged areas fused together. Where is Sarah Connor when you need her?

A new scam? One blogger reports getting a fake kidnapping appeal for ransom funds from BlogBeast, a sketchy “next generation blog network” that resembles a multi-level marketing scheme.

WiFi at the deepest bottom of the sea, and you can’t get three bars at Starbucks. To improve tsunami and earthquake early warning systems, scientists are developing wireless networking techniques that work under water – a lot of water, as in the miles-deep trenches where tectonic plates meet.

The infamous meltdown of the federal government’s Health Insurance Marketplace during its first few weeks was not caused by too many people needing health insurance. It was caused in part by inadequate software system specifications; nobody told the programmers exactly what features should be coded into the system.

Apple fans are fond of saying, “About the only thing Windows does better than iOS is crash.” Well, iOS has closed that gap with its very own BSOD – Blue Screen Of Death. Several iPhone 5S owners report their phones displaying a peculiar dark blue screen, then restarting.

Hijacking people’s Twitter accounts is not comic-al. The New York Comic Con ringleaders are in hot water after persuading attendees to link their social media accounts to mandatory RFID badges, then using that connection to ghost-tweet generic endorsements of the event.

3D printing could turn out to be a money maker for museums as they reproduce masterpieces by Rodin, Michelangelo, et. al.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 16 October 2013"

Posted by:

David
16 Oct 2013

"The infamous meltdown of the federal government’s Health Insurance Marketplace during its first few weeks was not caused by too many people needing health insurance. It was caused in part by inadequate software system specifications; nobody told the programmers exactly what features should be coded into the system. "

Actually, it was caused in large part by the Feds' ignoring the advice they paid boatloads of money for.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AP_US_HEALTH_OVERHAUL_GLITCHES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT


Posted by:

Stu Berg
16 Oct 2013

Many people, including you Bob, confuse power and energy. Power is the rate at which energy is generated or consumed. When you multiply power times time you get energy. So "65 megawatts a month" has no meaning unless you meant to say 46800 (65x24x30) megawatt-hours per month. However, I believe you meant to say "65 megawatt-hours per month".


Posted by:

Steve
17 Oct 2013

Your comment about the medical insurance meltdown being caused by programmers not getting the proper system specifications is not a new phenomena. I've been a computer programmer (and analyst and software guru) for better then 35 years and way too often now-a-days no one does proper system analysis before the programming starts. Everything today is hurry-up and get it done and fix it later. Remember RAD? I contend the R does not stand for rapid, but redundant (as in "we have to do it again").


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