Geekly Update - 17 December 2014
Has science discovered a way to turn your skin into a touchscreen? Are Santa's elves giving free computer programming classes? How likely are you to be robbed of your cell phone? And what's the secret to getting thousands of dollars of free stuff from Amazon? 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
It's no longer a secret. The Cicret bracelet that purports to be a "tablet on your wrist" isn't a thing. A video that shows a user interacting with an Android interface projected on his arm from a Cicret bracelet is fake, created with special effects. The company admits the idea is still in the pre-prototype (vaporware) stage, and hopes to raise enough cash to one day make it real. And along the way, they'll need to figure out how to project light through a human finger without casting a shadow.
The FCC estimates that one in ten robberies involves a cell phone, and that’s not even counting the monthly bill.
Google’s Santa Tracker lets Mom and Dad compose tot-personalized messages for Santa to deliver via voice phone call or email. The site includes an animated Advent calendar where kids can unlock daily doodles, play games with elves, and even learn to code. Of course, you can also track Santa’s Christmas trek via Google Maps.
A 22 year-old Londoner named Robert Quinn started receiving packages of things he never ordered, including a $528 Samsung tablet and a $1,390 TV. A total of 51 packages arrived in just one week, all from Amazon. When Quinn contacted the company he received an apology for the error(s) and was told to keep the goods, “it’s on us.” And now, it's probably on eBay.
"Beam me over…" The black magic of quantum teleportation has achieved a new distance record. The quantum state (direction of spin) of a light particle was instantly transmitted 15.5 miles via a fiber optic cable. Physicists can’t teleport mass (yet) but they can transmit information instantaneously, laying the groundwork for an Internet of infinite bits-per-second.
A smartphone app will be your driver’s license in Iowa sometime in 2015, according to the State’s Department of Transportation. The identity vault app will be accepted by law enforcement during traffic stops and by security screeners at Iowa airports. How long before someone accidentally flashes an embarrassing selfie at a cop?
Nose cut off, face duly spited... In the “ill-conceived legislation” category we have the government of Spain, which enacted a law that requires (not merely allows) news publishers to collect a tax from search engines that display even snippets of their contents. In response, Google News will no longer include Spanish media as of December 15. German news publishers tried boycotting Google News but found the lost traffic hurt them more than it bothered Google.
More than 3,000 iPod Classic MP3 players have been sold on eBay since Apple discontinued the device in September, 2014. Most of them have sold for between $550 and $900.
If you want to learn physics from one of the finest teachers who ever lived, California Institute of Technology invites you to partake of The Feynman Lectures on Physics, a free library of the lectures of Richard Feynman.
Wakie, the social app that lets you awaken or be awakened by total strangers anywhere on Earth, has finally been approved by Apple for iOS. Already available for Android and Windows Phone users, Wakie’s Web site has added a premium service: a forum in which users can connect with those sexy bedroom voices they recently heard.
A $1 billion class action lawsuit against Apple over the “Fairplay” software that prevented iPods from playing any music that wasn’t purchased from Apple’s iTunes store, and even deleted iPod owners’ non-iTunes music, may get deleted itself. Turns out the two named plaintiffs in the case never owned iPods purchased between September, 2006, and March, 2009, the period covered by the lawsuit. "I am concerned that I don't have a plaintiff. That's a problem," Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said at the end of the trial's third day of testimony in Oakland, California.
Cheerlights is a social Internet of Things project being promoted by IoBridge Labs. Hard core geeks build their own Cheerlights controllers, hook them up via WiFi, and manipulate every participant’s Christmas tree lights via Twitter, e. g., Tweeting “#cheerlights red” turns everyone’s lights red.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment below, or I'll teleport every third pixel of your screen to a secure location in Utah.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 17 Dec 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 17 December 2014 (Posted: 17 Dec 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved