Geekly Update - 29 March 2017

Category: Tech-News

What effect does GPS technology have on the human brain? Is Windows 10 destroying data and computer hardware? Is it legal for government agents to search your cell phone? And why are Superman, Lego Batman and a rubber duck competing in an elite basketball tournament? 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

"You'll never guess what happened to this Kansas teen after a tornado destroys her home..." A Dallas bookstore is using Buzzfeed-style "litbait" to draw attention to classic literature.

A Nashville news anchor was assigned to recap the NCAA "Elite Eight" basketball games, but was denied permission to use NCAA's highlight clips. His creative and humorous solution has gone viral.

A lawsuit claiming that the Windows 10 Upgrade destroyed data and rendered hardware unusable has been filed in U. S. District Court. The three plaintiffs are seeking class action status.

Geekly Update 03-29-2017

To no one’s surprise, researchers conclude that the presence of GPS navigation technology turns off part of the human brain.

While everyone else is discouraging the use of insecure Adobe Flash software, FedEx Printing is offering users a $5 discount if they enable Flash.

A guy built a dartboard that moves during a dart’s flight to make every throw a bullseye. What's next... bowling pins with proximity sensors that fall down when a ball is detected?

The U. S. Supreme Court ruled that government agents cannot search citizens’ cell phones without a warrant, absent long-defined “exigent circumstances.”

American farmers are hacking their tractors with bootleg Ukranian software, because John Deere thinks it owns every tractor it sells for all eternity. Farmers can't make repairs or modifications to their equipment without "jailbreaking" the software that controls the tractor.

"It's a fire, man!" A smart doorbell doubled as a fire alarm in Kansas, displaying video of the wildfire that had just spread to the homeowner’s front yard and sending an alert that “someone” was at the front door.

The only thing between you and your ISP’s ability to sell your browsing history is Donald Trump’s signature, as a law overturning an FCC privacy rule has passed both houses of Congress.

This just in from the "Your Slip is Showing" Department: A venture capitalist tweeted a scolding at Apple when his search for “evelyn” suggested a website belonging to an adult film star. The hapless VC deleted his tweet after it was pointed out that suggestions are based upon the user’s browsing history.

Starting April 1, Amazon will collect sales taxes for all 45 States that have a sales tax. Hawaii, Idaho, Maine and New Mexico complete the roster of States to which you can run, but can’t hide.

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 29 March 2017"

Posted by:

Monte Crooks
29 Mar 2017

Bob, your very informative sense of humor is not only a hoot, it's also a great way to start my day. Thank you, Bob. You really are rankin' up there with my daily necessities!


Posted by:

Gretchen
29 Mar 2017

The thing about the tractors - WOW. What John Deere is doing makes me furious! But I am SO FREAKING PROUD of the farmers working their way around it. And the guy who hacked his equipment to run on pig manure? Give that guy a medal, a grant, and a seat on some corporation's board. HE is what America needs!


Posted by:

Geekgirl
29 Mar 2017

Yeah, like there's even a part of my brain that's used for navigation. I have NO sense of direction and never have. Years ago, before GPS, I remember getting lost when I was out by myself, and calling my husband and asking him, "Where am I?" (Somehow I did get home.) GPS was made for people like me!


Posted by:

bill
29 Mar 2017

Your Ad Sense ads are covering the text of the article with no way to turn them off.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sorry for the mess, I'm running some experiments on ad placement. It should settle down in a few days.


Posted by:

RandiO
29 Mar 2017

We may be able to blame many things (past/present/future) on Donald Trump's signature power but if I am not mistaken this topic (selling 'your browsing history') is what made google Google!
Why shouldn't the ISPs, at least, have a fighting chance against this 600 pound gorilla?
Apple, Amazon, and even Windows10 have learned from the inventor on how to monetize the web.
Consumer has always been the PRODUCT...
(YMMV if you use Firefox browser and a VPN)


Posted by:

Rick Hamrick
29 Mar 2017

Bob, you linked to an article about the SCOTUS ruling on cell phone searches which is nearly three years old.

More pertinent today are the rules governing what customs and border enforcement agents can (and will) do:
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/american-citizens-u-s-border-agents-can-search-your-cellphone-n732746


Posted by:

Charley
29 Mar 2017

RandiO, Google doesn't sell your browsing history. What it sells is providing you ads based on your SEARCH history. So you search for a widget and ads come up for widgets and related items. And it does know if you click through to one of your search results.

But if you just go directly to a site (for example a porn site, Google doesn't know.

However, various tracking technologies that you probably don't even realize are there might keep track of the fact that you went to a porn site.


Posted by:

Lucy
29 Mar 2017

BILL ... There are many ad blocking apps that you can use to block unwanted ads from appearing on your screen. Adblock Plus is one of several.

You can white list websites you want to support by allowing ads to appear on your screen.


Posted by:

Sally
29 Mar 2017

Re GPS: I can get lost between 2 trees, so if it weren't for GPS I would be driving in circles forever.


Posted by:

Andy
29 Mar 2017

LUCY...thanks for headsup re: Adblocker Plus. Works great!


Posted by:

RichF
29 Mar 2017

I can use anything to help my dart game or bowling.


Posted by:

Cynthia
29 Mar 2017

Now that my ISP can legally sell my browsing information (because I researched "leukemia", will my insurance go up?), is there anything I can do to block their tracking on my computer (a Mac). Or am I totally exposed? By the way, isn't compiling all my information to sell without my permission some kind of legal violation. I realize I already get ads based on my browsing history, but compiling a profile....?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Your ISP has ALWAYS been allowed to sell your data. Those new FCC privacy rules were never actually implemented. So this new legislation merely blocks any future implementation. The reason some lawmakers opposed this regulation was that it applied ONLY to ISPs, and not other online companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.


Posted by:

BobD
29 Mar 2017

Bob, Thank you VERY MUCH for noting the lawsuit against Microsoft claiming damages due to Windows 10 installations. I am one of those who suffered trouble and expense resulting from an attempt to upgrade. (Windows 10 bricked my motherboard.)
I am going to contact the plaintiffs' attorney ASAP.

How did you discover the lawsuit?


Posted by:

Old Man
30 Mar 2017

* Classic Literature. I like another description I read about this story. A young girl goes to a foreign country, kills the first person she meets, and joins three others to kill again.
* News Anchor. This was brilliant.
* Win 10. I have not heard of any actual physical damage caused by software. The closest one put a hard drive in a continuous loop searching for non-existent data and eventually wore out the drive. If those who claim it have lost data had been properly backing it up, nothing would have been lost - this includes backing up the OS. These people are blaming MS for their own failures.
* GPS. I use GPS some for general guidance - mostly as a heads-up for turns. I followed one that took me 2 miles out of the way for a road to get back to 3 blocks from where I started. The real problem is not so much with GPS, but how people use it. As the article said, people who use it switch off that portion of the brain that controls their observation and attention to what they are doing.


Posted by:

Lloyd Collins
30 Mar 2017

Amazon started collecting Alabama taxes last November, and now I do more buying from ebay.
Alabama stated that over 50 online retailers were collecting taxes for them, and they won't release the names of the retailer, as they are protecting the taxpayer's rights. I though that they were "collecting" taxes.


Posted by:

Ken H
04 Apr 2017

Bob, did you not realize that article about the Supreme Court not allowing cell phone searches was nearly 3 years out of date? 6/25/2014


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