Geekly Update - 21 August 2013
Are helicopter drones getting out of control? Is Google secretly changing the definition of words in Webster's dictionary? And is your smartphone using more electricity than the refrigerator? 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
"For better or for... WHACK!" A couple getting married in Utah hired a photographer to film their nuptials with a camera mounted on a remote-controlled helicopter drone. Unfortunately, he lost control of the drone and it hit the groom in the face.
Capitulating to the Internet’s innumerable vocabulary-challenged people, Google has added a secondary definition to the word, “literally.” It now means, “figuratively,” the opposite of “literally,” so one can use it indiscriminately and still claim to be adequately educated. (See also: http://bit.ly/6QzwJ8)
The good news: the NSA says it collects only 1.6% of worldwide Internet traffic. The bad news: that’s 29 petabytes of data; Google indexes only 20 petabytes a day.
The more you use Facebook, the unhappier you are likely to be. That’s the manifestly obvious and strictly logical conclusion drawn by researchers at Michigan University. Your tax dollars at work.
"There's an app for that..." A computer glitch may have simultaneously opened all the cell doors in a Florida maximum-security prison, allowing inmates to attack each other. But since this was the second time in a month, deliberate human hacking is also a possibility.
Facebook is testing a real-world payment system similar to Paypal, according to rumor. The test involves only one unnamed retailer and Facebook members who have used a credit card to purchase games, gifts, etc., on Facebook. Will the social networking giant be able to challenge “the world’s most loved way to pay and get paid,” or at least disabuse Paypal of that delusion?
In what is totally not a meaningless publicity stunt, Wikileaks claims to have posted a 400 GB file of “insurance data” whose key will only be released if something bad happens to “specific individuals associated with Wikileaks” whose surnames sound nothing like “Assange” or “Snowden.” Of course, the sites where the files reside are beyond the reach of government influence; right, Twitter and Facebook? (How do you upload 400 GB to either of those, anyway?)
"That'll fix ya!" An Alabama woman is suing The Geek Squad, claiming that one of the Best Buy employees uploaded nude pictures of her to the Internet while fixing her computer’s hard drive.
Pay attention, class! Mindflash for iPad is a new training software app that tracks a user’s eye movements using the tablet’s camera. It pauses the courseware when eyes wander for more than a few seconds, forcing one to pay attention to complete the course. Version 2.0 will hurl whiteboard erasers with terrifying accuracy.
It’s not a bug until it bites the boss. A hacker discovered a security flaw that allows an attacker to post on any Facebook member’s Wall without the member’s permission. He dutifully reported the bug to Facebook’s security team, which told him “it’s not a bug.” So he posted to Mark Zuckerberg’s Wall; now it’s a bug.
An iPhone uses more energy than two refrigerators, according to a report on the energy consumption patterns of high-tech industries entitled, “The Cloud Begins With Coal.”
Which looks yummier: “Frish” ice cream or “Frosh” ice cream? Subjects surveyed by NYU researchers chose “Frosh,” even though neither ice cream exists and all the subjects “tasted” was a press release. How your mouth moves when you speak or even read a word influences how you feel about what the word symbolizes. So, “YouTube MySpace and I’ll Google your Yahoo” makes perfect sense now.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 21 Aug 2013
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 21 August 2013 (Posted: 21 Aug 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved