Geekly Update - 2 October 2013

Category: Tech-News

Will a new gadget block the Feds from snooping into your online activities? Is there any cure for phantom phone vibrations? And is there really a Magic Eraser Button for online oopsies? 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

John McAfee, the eccentric millionaire who created McAfee antivirus software in the 1990s, now claims to be developing a gadget that will prevent the NSA from spying on your computer or smartphone. The D-Central will cost $100 and is slated to be available in six months.

Android users can now locate or lock their mobile devices. A simple web interface allows users to reset passwords or wipe all data remotely in the event of loss or theft.

Google just made it easier to recover your lost or stolen Android phone, but Google Earth also made it easy for this guy to locate his stolen SUV.

Geekly Update 10-02-2013

Do you start to twitch and sweat after a few hours without your smartphone? National Public Radio reports research indicating that mobile devices have become so entrenched in our psyches that some people feel phantom phone vibrations and hear ringtones no one else does if they are deprived of their gadgets too long. Note to parents: no substitute for time-outs.

What student achievement problem? Three hundred students at Theodore Roosevelt High School, Los Angeles, needed less than a week to hack their school-issued, administration-controlled iPads and begin using them for whatever they wanted, wherever they wanted.

Maybe those “no cell phones at work” policies are right, after all. It seems that some phones can pick up the vibrations of your keystrokes if they are on the desk near your keyboard, and (theoretically at least) a malicious app could tap into your phone to figure out what you’re writing.

Beginning in 2015, California minors will have a magic eraser button that lets them remove their posts from a website. The Ever-Concerned State mandates such a take-back button out of an abundance of concern for teens who “interject before they reflect.”

Your email style and distribution of key words reveals your gender, emotional state, and Myers-Briggs personality type. So say psychology researchers who used people recruited to perform small tasks for very small pay via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program. The recruiting methods you use reveal a lot about your personality, too.

Got iOS 7 on your iPhone or iPad? Need to stop a misbehaving app? Here are two ways to do it.

It's virtual, it's reality, sort of. Ordnance Survey, a UK provider of geographic information, has recreated almost the entire country of Great Britain in the popular Minecraft video game. If you have 5GB of spare disk space, you can explore London and other UK points of interest.

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