Geekly Update - 21 December 2016
Have you spotted any Unidentified Flying Pies in your neighborhood? Can you guess how many computers were linked together by the early Internet in 1973? When self-driving cars are rented on demand, rather than owned, will the demand for new cars go up or down? And how much embezzled money can you spend on video games before your employer gets suspicious? Find out... in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. And it's *guaranteed* to make you 146% smarter. Read, think, and, comment!
The AskBobRankin Geekly Update
The ultimate road trip is depicted in a Google Map that traces the shortest route through all 50,000-plus sites on the National Register of Historic Places. The entire tour covers 217,605 miles, but the map is broken into four regions to make vacation planning easier.
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a… pie? Yes, a regulation meat-and-potato pie was launched 100,000 feet into space to see if the pie's molecular structure changes with space travel, enabling the pie to be eaten quicker. The folks organizing the World Pie Eating Championship sponsored this "experiment."
Have you ever wondered what the Internet looked like in 1973? This map of the ARPA Network (the precursor of the Internet) shows just 45 computers linking MIT, Harvard, UCLA, Xerox, NASA, and a few other early players. IBM 360 and Digital Equipment PDP-10/11 mainframes powered most of the 40 nodes, located in the continental USA, Hawaii, and London. Eighteen years later, Senator Al Gore sponsored the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991, which allocated funds for the development and expansion of the network that eventually became known as the Internet.
Paradoxically, auto makers may sell more cars when people stop owning them. Gary Silberg, a KPMG auto analyst, explains that personal vehicles are parked 95% of the time. When autonomous cars are shared, they’ll spend more of each day working and wear out faster.
Overcharging? Tesla now charges $0.40 per minute to remain connected to one of its supercharging stations for more than five minutes after your electric car is fully charged. Apparently, people have been treating charging stations as parking lots while they dine or shop.
Now that’s a nerd: Kevin Lee Co (not “Company”), a 45 year-old corporate controller, was arrested for embezzling $4.8 million from his employer. Besides the usual self-indulgences, Mr. Co spent $1 million on in-app purchases from the smartphone game, “Game Of War.”
Uber is once again thumbing its nose at regulators. The company has launched its self-driving cars in San Francisco without applying for required testing permits. Uber says it doesn’t need no stinking permits because its experimental cars are not yet smart enough to be “autonomous” as defined in state regulations. California’s Attorney General has promised to seek an injunction.
Cuba has signed a deal with Google giving Cubans quicker access to Gmail, YouTube, and other Google services via the Google Global Cache network, which stores content on servers located closer to end users. If Cuban citizens had access to the Internet, this would be great!
Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox Inc. and Time Warner Inc. won a legal battle to shut down a Utah-based company that edited movies to remove scenes it deemed “not family-friendly” before streaming the butchered films to subscribers.
The federal agency responsible for ensuring that voting machines are secure from hackers was hacked itself, according to security researchers at Recorded Future who discovered a file of log-in credentials for the network of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission for sale on the “dark web.”
Facebook has “deputized” three fact-checking firms (Snopes, FactCheck.org and Politifact) to fact-check posts and flag suspected “fake news” with a “Disputed” tag. In other (fake) news, the three organizations are hiring every warm body within 200 miles of their offices.
Two lawyers behind infamous “porn troll” Prenda Law, Paul Hansmeier and John Steele, have been arrested on 18 federal counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, money-laundering, and conspiracy. Prenda’s business model was to upload porn to torrent sites, subpoena the identities of downloaders from ISPs, then extort “settlement” money from victims who wished to avoid expensive, embarrassing lawsuits.
The man who hacked Photobucket to enable theft of photos used in an extortion scheme was convicted and sentenced to work full-time, without pay, to develop software tools that help Photobucket detect child pornography uploaded to its servers. Photobucket plans to hire and pay Athanasios “Thaos” Andrianakis when his 15-month sentence ends.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 21 Dec 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 21 December 2016 (Posted: 21 Dec 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved