Geekly Update - 22 February 2017
Will robots have to start paying income taxes? Can Wikipedia get you VIP seats at your next concert? And is your child's voice-activated doll illegal where you live? Get answers... in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!
The AskBobRankin Geekly Update
Have you ever wished for a backup camera in your older car, truck or SUV? The Pearl RearVision wireless camera system bolts up to your rear license plate and displays on your iPhone or Android phone. You can install a backup camera in any vehicle made after 1996 in fifteen minutes. My friend Dan from MPG-o-Matic did a video review of Pearl here.
Dashboard cams aren't just for cars. The driver of a train in Australia took it upon himself to install a dashcam, and captured the moment when his train collided with a motorcycle. In this clip, you can see the rider narrowly escaping harm while the 100-mph train crushes his bike.
User-defined lists have been added to Google Maps, allowing more options than the generic “My Places” list. Users can create lists of “Paris sights to see,” “Favorite bars,” etc., and share them with friends who can follow and add their reviews to places. The new feature was rolled out Feb. 13, but so far it shows up only in the mobile Google app, not on desktop browsers.
A British teenager arrived late to a concert and got “shite” seats. So he pulled out his phone, edited the band’s Wikipedia page to make himself the lead singer’s cousin, showed his phone to security, and got re-seated in the band’s VIP section.
One reason Google is experiencing high turnover in its self-driving car group is that the company is paying those employees too much, giving them lavish financial cushions upon which to land comfortably when they jump ship.
“Door locked after 10 p.m. Smile for the camera to gain entry.” You may see a sign like that on the doors of convenience stores that have installed new facial recognition software and cameras. The new software can also recognize burglars, known shoplifters and alert staff.
"Goodbye, Dolly." The Internet-connected “My Friend Cayla” doll records what you child says and transmits it to manufacturer Genesis Toys. In the U.S., parents have complained to the FTC. But in Germany, the government has directed parents to get rid of the spying toy or face up to two years in prison.
People are replaceable but apparently taxes are not. Companies should pay a robot tax on every machine that replaces a human’s job, says Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft. I wonder if Gates will want Microsoft (a leader in artificial intelligence technology) to be similarly taxed when AI replaces software engineers.
You can now shop from home, or anywhere else, via Google Home. After setting up payment options, just say, “OK Google, how do I shop?” Orders can be placed with a limited number (currently 50) of retailers, including Costco, Whole Foods, Walgreens, PetSmart, Bed Bath & Beyond. I can't wait for the TV commercial that triggers thousands of Google Home devices to order unwanted stuff.
If you think you closed your Yahoo account, think again. After users “delete” their accounts, nothing is deleted for at least 90 days. If you log in during the baffling waiting period, the clock is reset to wait another 90 days.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 22 Feb 2017
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 22 February 2017 (Posted: 22 Feb 2017)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved