Geekly Update - 30 October 2013

Category: Tech-News

Can technology keep your kids safer on Halloween night? Will blasting Britney Spears music keep candy-seeking urchins away from your door? And does spray-on clothing pose a privacy risk? 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

Worried about your kid straying off course during Halloween trick or treating? There's an app for that. Track n Treat uses "temporary location-sharing technology" to track the location of iPhone-toting youngsters on the prowl for high-fructose corn syrup.

"She did it again!" Turns out Britney Spears may be our best weapon against Somali pirates. UPI reports that the maritime marauders hate Western culture so much, the music repels them.

“No, I don’t want to talk about it; just email me.” Fran Drescher, whose raucous New Jersey accent livened up the TV series, “The Nanny,” is dating the inventor of email, Shiva Ayyadurai.

Geekly Update 10-31-2013

The world’s first Bitcoin ATM is going live on October 29 in a Vancouver, BC, coffee house. To use the machine, one must submit to handprint scan. Then you can stuff up to 3,000 a day into the ATM and it will be deposited to your Bitcoin account. You can also withdraw cash converted from Bitcoins.

Spray-on clothing sounds kinky, but a fashion designer and a chemical engineer insist it will be in Target, not Pleasures. Inspired by Silly String, the stuff does not cling to skin and can be peeled off easily. It’s delivered as fine filaments of polymer with a solvent that quickly evaporates, leaving a non-woven cloth. Join the death pool; I bet it will be the 95th customer who tries it while smoking a cigarette.

LED lamps? So last year. Brace yourself for Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diodes, nano-scale semiconductor particles whose emission colors can be tuned simply by changing their dimensions. They even feature “near-unity emission quantum yields.” If that didn’t make the light bulb over your head come on, you are not alone.

Only 39 percent of IT projects are successful. “The rest are in Obamacare,” quips one anonymous pundit. A survey of business and IT employees by Forrester Research reveals high levels of dissatisfaction on both sides. According to the survey, neither side is very good at communicating with the other.

One hand gives, the other takes away. Power users of Apple’s iWorks and ILife software are howling about features removed from the new, free versions of the programs. Pages, the word processor in iWorks, is now missing the customizable toolbar, endnotes, and many templates. Gone from Apple’s Web site is a handy chart showing which iWorks features are compatible with Microsoft products – information that helped Apple compete in the productivity software space.

In a cost-cutting move that finally makes sense, nautical charts will no longer be printed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Charts will still be available in PDF or “electronic chart” form but navigators will have to supply their own paper and ink.

Annoying patent trolls will be hard pressed if The Innovation Act of 2013 becomes law. The bill raises legal barriers to frivolous patent lawsuits; allows judges to order the losing side to pay the other’s legal expenses; postpones the brutal and expensive discovery process until after a judge rules on a patent’s validity; and generally makes life difficult for patent trolls.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak doesn’t have broadband Internet in his home. He also doesn’t like the new iPad Air. But what could such a Luddite know, anyhow?

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 30 October 2013"

Posted by:

Steve
31 Oct 2013

Hi Bob, Great News Letter, Thank-you ! I am wondering about Portable Wi-Fi Services and whether or not these devices work (as far as for use for On-line Multi-player Games such as Battlefield 3/4 is concerned).

I am looking for a solution to a very slow Wi-Fi Connection that is installed in a Nursing home that I am living in. Much Appreciated.

Steve B


Posted by:

Roman Athens
31 Oct 2013

Bitcoins (the whole idea even on an elementary level) seems a bit daunting, Mr. Rankin!
It seems cool though as I enjoy non-conventional things . . .


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