Geekly Update - 20 November 2015

Category: Tech-News

Is this the end of stupid cat videos? Are pigeons replacing cancer doctors in California? What happens if you get stuck at the end of the Internet? And is Windows XP finally dead? 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

Researchers have determined that pigeons are pretty darned good at detecting breast cancer. Their ability to spot potential problems on digitized mammogram images was in some cases even better than highly-trained doctors.

When cats first learned how to make videos and upload their inanity to Youtube, I feared that the Internet was lost. But it's all coming back into balance now. Here's proof, in Cats Versus Cucumbers.

“You’re not helping.” Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent pronouncement that “the PC is dead,” Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says he’s “still a laptop-based guy” who doesn’t see much utility in the Apple Watch, either.

Geekly Update 11-20-22015

Walmart.com is selling a Tracfone-branded LG smartphone for just $9.82 (order online, free in-store pickup) that has better specs than the original iPhone.

"Got any duct tape...?" CenturyLink’s Internet service on Orcas Island, in Washington State, was so bad that 50 neighbors got together and created their own ISP, connecting to the mainland via microwave and mounting relay points on homes and trees.

WiFi in airliners may soon be bearable, if not economical. Gogo, the largest in-flight satellite Internet service provider, has demonstrated a new high-altitude broadband service capable of 70 Mbps.

Google Chrome will end security patch support for Windows XP and Vista in April, 2016. Chrome will still run on those obsolete OSes, but vulnerabilities will no longer be fixed. The same goes for Mac OS X versions Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion. About one in seven Windows and Mac users are still running these dangerously outdated operating systems.

A Google self-driving car got its first traffic ticket during a test drive, for driving too slowly on the roads of Mountain View, CA. Tesla has "insane mode," Google has "granny mode."

To show someone you’re really, really over them, you can pay The Breakup Shop to do the dirty chore for you. An email or text costs $10; a handwritten letter, $20; an awkward phone call, $30. Any residual guilt you feel may be assuaged by sending a gift from the Breakup Shop’s gift shop.

The first used-car vending machine is now operating in Tennessee. Customers shop on Carvana’s Web site, buy the car they want, then go to the five-story vending machine which dispenses the vehicle. Each car comes with a 7-day test-drive.

They probably speak perfect English, too. ISIS runs a 24/7 Jihadi Help Desk to help would-be terrorists use encryption and other communications tools to spread their message, recruit fighters, and plot attacks, according to unnamed “intelligence analysts” cited by NBC News.

The beginning and the end... Ever wonder what the very first Web page looked like? You don't have to, because it's still there. Oh, and you might just want to stop by the End of the Internet, too.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 20 November 2015"

Posted by:

Butch
20 Nov 2015

Dr. Bob, a _big_ "Thank You" for all the laughs you've furnished--especially today. (I just found out yesterday that I will have to undergone minor surgery and, thus, needed cheering up.) Any idea why cats jump see a cucumber? The beginning & the end of the Internet are great. (I so well remember old Lynx.)

Thanks again.


Posted by:

Monte Crooks
20 Nov 2015

You're right, Butch! It's a hoot n' holler! Now, my next question is.....has it all been worth it?! Oh, and as always, THANK YOU BOB!!!


Posted by:

Charley
20 Nov 2015

I live near Mountain View and see the Google self driving cars all the time. They do pretty well. But I have seen the cars get confused at 4 way stop signs and have a hard time deciding that it is really time their turn to go.

There are some really tough technical problems. As some examples, 1. What do you do with constructions signs or flag men? 2. Similarly, detour signs. 3. Hand written signs such as temporary no parking. 4. Verbal instructions from someone. So it will be a while before a blind person can just tell the car to take them somewhere and not need to be able to help the car at all.

But they are very safe. They are really good at staying in their lanes, watching our for other cars, pedestrians, objects (including kids), etc. But don't expect them to speed even when Google removes the testing 25 MPH restriction.


Posted by:

Billy Ross
20 Nov 2015

Just wondered Bob if it's wise to provide information re. 'Jihadi Help Desk' even if it has been cited by NBC News?

Not suggesting for a second that your faithful followers would want to use this. I would never even click on such a link, but some other individuals may be more curious.

I would hope that the powers that be can somehow shut this down asap. This threat is growing far too quickly to allow them any additional means of adding to their numbers.


Posted by:

PMWill
21 Nov 2015

That's such a Hoot watching the cats being tormented with a cucumber. I grew with cats and always got a laugh at how temperamental and stupid they seem.

Thanks


Posted by:

GuitarRebel
21 Nov 2015

Love ya Bob, but you erroneously stated the Google self-driving car got its first ticket, but no ticket was issued.


Posted by:

CardMagik
22 Nov 2015

The cats scared by the cucumbers will need a session with the Cat Whisperer because they may be psychologically messed up per this article:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/cats-cucumbers-scared-video-1.3327174

Thanks for your Geekly Update Bob!


Posted by:

Gorgeous
23 Nov 2015

Thank you for the end of the Internet. I plan to send the link to a few people.


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