Geekly Update - 27 November 2013
Which online retailers are on the Naughty List, and how did they get there? If you connect enough veggies with copper wire, will it power your holiday light display? And who is behind the mysterious puzzle that's baffling the world's crypto experts? 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
The naughty and nice list of e-commerce and electronic retailers published by Consumer Reports flogs Amazon for raising the purchase threshold for free shipping to $35; Best Buy for requiring scans of driver’s licenses for returns; Fry’s for not accepting returns of TVs larger than 24 inches (they still make 'em that small?).
"Drink Your Ovaltine?" For the past two years, the world’s finest cryptologists have been baffled by codes freely given to them by a mysterious Internet entity calling itself “Cicada 3301.” Cicada introduced its first puzzle by explaining that it is “looking for highly intelligent individuals.” No word on why it chose this planet.
London's South Bank has perhaps the "greenest" Christmas tree ever, powered by 1000 brussel sprouts, which generate the 63 volts needed to power its LED lights.
Apple’s Siri (hands) Free is to be available as a dealer-installed accessory on 2014 Honda Accord and the Acura RDX and ILX models. It will allow drivers to send text messages and emails and “similar things,” according to Honda. Presumbaly that would include "searching for lower insurance rates" and "video tips on how to fix dented fenders."
Night vision is coming to smartphones courtesy of SnooperScope from PSY Corp., Ltd., enabling 24/7 selfies. Or maybe not, because as of this writing the fundraising campaign has reached barely 10 percent of its $60,000 goal.
Landline phones are dying not just because people are going mobile, but also because the PTSN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is nearing the end of its usable life cycle. The copper wires, switches, and other apparatus are very old and on their last legs.
“Perfect forward security” is what Twitter now offers users with a dramatically different and unbreakable encryption method. Instead of storing an encryption key on its servers, which might subpoenaed by the NSA someday, Tweets are now encrypted using two very temporary keys which vanish and can never be recovered.
“There can be only one.” Microsoft has finally admitted that three versions of Windows – full, RT, and Phone – is just ridiculous and cannot continue. Of course, they didn’t say it quite so accurately but that’s the future.
Acer added a touchscreen to its C720P Chromebook and raised its top price just in time for Christmas. The C720P family is priced at $199, $249, and $299 for the touchscreen model. Each features quick startup (7 second), long battery life (7.5 hours), an Intel Haswell-based Celeron processor, and 16GB of flash storage (32GB in the touchscreen model).
"Can we hurry this up, Officer? I'm paying by the minute here." Car2Go, the Internet rent-by-the-minute car company, got an unusual customer in Richard Delarosa of Austin, TX. He was speeding at 75 mph in a Car2Go smartcar. Police gave chase; Delarosa pulled a U-turn and crashed the car, then hopped into another Car2Go vehicle and led police on a second chase before being apprehended. I had no idea Car2Go was so ubiquitous, or could go that fast.
Your thoughts on any of these topics are welcome! Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 27 Nov 2013
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 27 November 2013 (Posted: 27 Nov 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved