Geekly Update - 29 October 2014
Can you generate electricity by wearing stretch jeans? What should you do if your iPhone is haunted? And what stunning discovery about the Internet was made by researchers at the University of Southern California? 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
Your stretchy jeans might be generating more than unwanted stares. An electricity-generating polymer only one atom thick could power wearable technology of the future. Scientists have created a grapheme-like substance that generates electricity by piezoelectric effect when it is stretched.
Just in time for Halloween, iOS 8.1 has started launching ghost apps at random without any user commands. If you've been blaming the cat, now you know the truth -- your phone is haunted.
Here's another item from the "Computers Behaving Strangely" file. Go to Google and search for Do a Barrel Roll. Might want to fasten your seatbelt first...
If you can't decide where to store the ashes of your dearly departed, several enterprising firms will create a custom urn for you with 3-D printing technology. Some people will do anything to urn a buck.
Star Trek’s universal translator concept is coming to Skype before the end of 2014, at least on Windows 8. Microsoft demoed its nearly real-time speech recognition and language translation tech at a conference last week. For some reason, Klingon is not a supported language.
Double charges for purchases are plaguing some users of Apple Pay, the “contactless” iPhone-based payment system introduced by Apple last week. Most of the bogus transactions involve Bank of America credit cards. The bank points at Apple, which says it’s “aware of the issue with Bank of America cards” and promises a fix.
Facebook has gone old-school with a new mobile app called Rooms. Even non-members can create private groups in which invited members can chat and share photos or videos anonymously. Somehow this “innovation” differentiates Facebook from its competition, while being reminiscent of 1995-style online chat rooms.
If you think today’s Apple computers are expensive, then a working copy of the first Apple I, serial number 22, is probably out of your league. The relic, thought to be part of the first batch of 50 machines assembled by Steve Wozniak in Steve Jobs’ family’s garage, went for $905,000 at a New Zealand auction.
An iPhone 6 is supposed to be crash- and fire-proof, according to a Phoenix man who’s waiting for Apple to explain why his iPhone 6 caught fire after a rickshaw accident bent the case, causing the lithium-ion battery to rupture.
The Internet sleeps in a regular pattern of activity that follows the cycle of night and day around the world, researchers at the University of Southern California (Department of the Blindingly Obvious) discovered by sending small messages to 950 million IP addresses every 11 minutes for two months. An animated world map shows the results of this totally unnecessary mischief.
Music sales at Apple’s iTunes shop are down 13 percent since the beginning of this year. Pundits who specialize in analyzing things that are obvious to people of normal intelligence say the growing availability of free and cheaper tunes is to blame. I'll bet these pundits have offices on the campus of the University of South California.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below, or I'll send a stupid cat video to your iPhone...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 29 Oct 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 29 October 2014 (Posted: 29 Oct 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved