Geekly Update - 29 December 2016
What's the worst thing that can happen if you neglect to make backups of your data? Do you know the most annoying word in the English language? And can you make big money by extracting precious metals from discarded cell phones? 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
"No offense, but… that's annoying!" A yearly poll by the Institute of Public Opinion at Marist College reveals the words or phrases that Americans found the most annoying in 2016. For the 8th year in a row, the word "whatever" topped the list.
Neuroscientists have come up with a playlist of songs, 50 minutes in total length, that are guaranteed to reduce anxiety and stress significantly. (This would have come in handy a week or two ago.)
KFC restaurants in China are testing face recognition tech in kiosks that size up a customer by age, gender, weight, and apparent mood to decide what food items to recommend. "Computer says... Chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy for you!"
A landlady in Braubach, Germany was concerned about chemical odors coming from her tenant's apartment. She called police, who suspected a drug lab. Turns out he was an amateur alchemist, trying to extract traces of gold from old cell phones.
ePay, a Florida payments processor startup, learned the importance of backups the hard way. Its CTO left in a huff, and he was the only person who knew the passwords to the company’s website and software development vault. The last customer to desert the paralyzed ePay was a preschool, which cut ties after the domain expired and was snapped up by a porn site.
Uber has pulled its self-driving cars from San Francisco roads following the state’s cancellation of the vehicles’ registrations. The state took action after Uber refused to seek testing permits, arguing that its cars weren’t “self-driving” because a human being sat behind the wheel.
Spammers are increasingly using “hailstorm” attack patterns to get past anti-spam systems. Millions of spam emails, carrying ransomware and phishing emails are blasted out in a very short time from compromised IP addresses all over the world.
AT&T has rolled out network-level robocall blocking and spam-call warnings to certain customers who use iPhones and certain Android phones. Subscribers can also block specific phone numbers for up to 30 days. Sorry, no help here for those with landlines.
Google has updated its search results ranking algorithm to boost the visibility of “high-quality information” sites and bury Holocaust denial and other hate-peddling sites. Google has also cleaned up its search query auto-completion suggestions to remove some that lead users to such unsavory sites.
Alaska became a State on January 3, 1959, and as part of that deal the federal government was to transfer 100 million acres of land to the new State. But only 65 percent of that land has been transferred in 58 years due to the difficulty of surveying land by traditional means. The Bureau of Land Management will use GPS coordinates henceforth, which should cut survey time and costs in half.
From the "Words We Don't Say On a Plane" File: A Virgin America flight nearly was diverted when a passenger reported seeing a WiFi hotspot named “Samsung Galaxy Note 7” when he opened his laptop. The recalled phones are banned from U. S. airliners. After the captain threatened an emergency landing if the Note 7 was not surrendered, a prankster confessed to renaming his WiFi identifier.
Amazon’s Give Back Box program can be used to ship donations to Goodwill Industries free of charge. Donors can print out a sticker addressed to their local Goodwill by entering their zip code at GiveBackBox.com. From there, UPS or the United States Postal Service will take care of the rest. Plus, all those empty Amazon boxes will disappear!
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 29 Dec 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 29 December 2016 (Posted: 29 Dec 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved