Recent Comments


Comment by RandiO on Yes, Your Smart TV is Spying On You (here's how to stop it) (January 29, 2022 01:44 AM)
Thank you BobRankin, waking us up to the evils of ACR. I have the alexa/siri integration within the 2021 LG OLED smartieTV, as well as its remote (w...
Comment by Marj on Yes, Your Smart TV is Spying On You (here's how to stop it) (January 28, 2022 11:57 PM)
Senior Citizen here. Just recently my "Smart, Samsung TV" had some kind of a Blow Out when I left the house for a few minutes, leaving the set on. Whe...
Comment by Jon on Yes, Your Smart TV is Spying On You (here's how to stop it) (January 28, 2022 11:04 PM)
"How scary for these devices are sold in so called totalitarian regimes..." Right you are, Cold City. In Orwell's 1984, every citizen had a device lik...
Comment by Lucy on Yes, Your Smart TV is Spying On You (here's how to stop it) (January 28, 2022 09:14 PM)
We have a very inexpensive and basic ONN Roku smart TV with a dumb remote as it seamlessly gets us to Roku for our streaming needs. I find no mention ...
Comment by Bill on Yes, Your Smart TV is Spying On You (here's how to stop it) (January 28, 2022 08:57 PM)
All of these features should require opting in, not opting out....
Comment by Ernest N. Wilcox Jr. on Yes, Your Smart TV is Spying On You (here's how to stop it) (January 28, 2022 08:45 PM)
I'll start with a note for Dave: Look at the front of your TV. If you see a small dark circle (usually about one-eighth inch in diameter, give or tak...
Comment by SharonH on Yes, Your Smart TV is Spying On You (here's how to stop it) (January 28, 2022 08:16 PM)
Thank you, Bob! I did not know about this. Am I surprised? Of course not. As Cold City above has mentioned, this is a hallmark of totalitarian regimes...
Comment by Dave on Yes, Your Smart TV is Spying On You (here's how to stop it) (January 28, 2022 06:51 PM)
I have found no "camera" on my TV. Where would it be located? EDITOR'S NOTE: I logged into your router and activated the secret homing beacons. Bu...
Comment by Cold City on Yes, Your Smart TV is Spying On You (here's how to stop it) (January 28, 2022 06:46 PM)
How scary for these devices are sold in so called totalitarian regimes......
Comment by hifi5000 on Yes, Your Smart TV is Spying On You (here's how to stop it) (January 28, 2022 06:37 PM)
I do not have a smart TV in my home and don't plan to as I do not have TV service at my rural home.Somehow I am able to live my life without TV and I ...

Yes, Your Smart TV is Spying On You (here's how to stop it)

Every television sold these days is advertised as a Smart TV. Behind the screen, these TVs are computers with an operating system, a hard drive, and Internet connectivity. They also have cameras, a microphone, and sophisticated software that allows them to collect and sell your viewing data. And because they are constantly connected, the same risks (malware and hacking) that apply to computers also apply to smart TVs. Read on to learn about the privacy and security risks of smart TVs, and what you can do to minimize them...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 28, 2022 | Category: Television


Geekly Update - 26 January 2022

What happens when you boop a robot on the nose? Could your spam folder hold the key to fabulous riches? What's the best thing to do with your old, obsolete smartphone? And are we selling science by the pound now? 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!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 26, 2022 | Category: Tech-News


Worst Data Breaches of 2021 (what you need to know, and do)

Ransomware-related data breaches have doubled two years in a row. Identify theft and related fraud is rampant. Those are the takeaways from reports by the Identity Theft Resource Center and Spanning, a cloud security firm. Read on for details on some of the worst recent data breaches, what type of information was exposed, and what you need to know about protecting yourself in the age of vanishing privacy...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 25, 2022 | Category: Security


Will This App Get Your Traffic Ticket Dismissed?

Getting a parking or traffic ticket is a nuisance, but a citation for speeding, running a stop sign, or driving while yakking it up on your cell phone can cost you big bucks. Most drivers just pay the fine because they don't understand the legal process. But there are some apps that can help you fight and win. Check out these apps and learn how you can use a bit of cyber to fight your ticket…

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 24, 2022 | Category: Reference


[PHONE SCAMS] Are You Among the Most Gullible?

Losses due to phone scams in the U.S. have continued to skyrocket from year to year. Americans lost an estimated $29.8 billion to phone scams in the past 12 months, according to the latest Truecaller Insights US Spam & Scam Report. More than 59 million people (almost 1 in 4 adults) lost money to phone scammers last year, up from 1 in 5 the previous year, and that number is the highest it's been in five years. You'll be surprised to learn who is most likely to fall for a phone scam. Read on!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 21, 2022 | Category: Telephony


Geekly Update - 20 January 2022

Are you confused by all the geeky jargon when considering a new television? Will robots turn against their human masters when they realize their pay is half the human rate? And is stalkerware lurking on your smartphone? 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!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 20, 2022 | Category: Tech-News


Thinking About Ditching Windows?

For millions of people running Windows 10, a decision is looming. When Windows 11 was announced, Microsoft made it clear that it would support only certain “newish” computers that have the latest hardware security features. That means the majority of Windows 10 users will soon face a choice: buy a new computer, switch to another operating system, or both. Here are some of the options to consider...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 18, 2022 | Category: Windows


Should You Press the Windows RESET Button?

A desperate AskBob reader says, “I’ve somehow managed to mess up my Windows system to the point of no return. I give up, and now I just want to reset it to its factory-fresh condition and start all over. How do I do that?” Read on and I'll tell you how, and why you might NOT want to do this...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 14, 2022 | Category: Windows


[SCAM WARNING] Gadget Insurance and Extended Warranties

I've never been a proponent of insurance, protection plans, or extended warranties for electronic devices or even appliances. In fact, I make no bones about my disdain for these “protection rackets,” which are all heavily rigged in the seller’s favor. Why else would they try so hard to sell these plans at the point of purchase? Here's what you need to know about mobile device insurance, extended warranties, and my thoughts on what’s wrong with them...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 13, 2022 | Category: Gadgets


[GADGETS] Best of CES 2022

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is where tech giants and startups converge to hype what they’re planning to release within the next year (or so). While few of these products or services are actually available right now, they do serve to illustrate where the tech world is going, and in some cases, where it has gone astray. Let's take a look at the highlights of CES 2022...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 12, 2022 | Category: Reference


Geekly Update - 05 January 2022

When I was a lad, I scoffed at ads for X-ray Vision Glasses in Boys' Life magazine. Should we take seriously new claims that promise an invisibility shield? Can you get healthy by skipping the gym and taking an exercise pill instead? And how would you feel if your computer started breathing? 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!

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 05, 2022 | Category: Tech-News


Is Unclaimed Money Waiting For You?

It never hurts to check under your couch cushions or car seats, but you're not likely to find more than coffee money by doing so. However, some experts estimate that $32 billion worth of lost, forgotten, or unclaimed money is waiting for consumers to find it. It could be a dormant bank account, stock dividends, a forgotten inheritance, or proceeds from a class action lawsuit settlement. But it doesn’t wait forever. Start the new year by checking out more than a DOZEN places to look online to see if there's money waiting for you to claim...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 04, 2022 | Category: Finance


AskBob's Best of 2021 - Part Two

Did you see Part One of my “Best of 2021” series? Today, I've got another group of ten very popular AskBob articles for you. These have been selected with help from Astro the robodog, excerpts from high-profile data breaches, input from clandestine 5G cellular towers, and machine learning software that I 'borrowed' from a secret underground laboratory. I might possibly have used the AskBob server stats as well. I hope you'll read each one, leave your own comments, and share them with your Email, Facebook and Twitter friends.

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Posted by Bob Rankin on January 02, 2022 | Category: Reference


AskBob's Best of 2021 - Part One

I want express my sincere THANKS to YOU and the 129,688 others who have subscribed to the AskBob newsletter since 2005. I celebrated the 16th anniversary of this newsletter, and there are over 3000 articles here now. Many of you are regular readers and contribute comments, which I love. And since I love numbers almost as much as words, I asked my robot to scan the server logs to find the most popular articles of the year. Here are ten of the top articles for you to review. I hope you'll check out each one, leave your own comments, forward this to a friend, and tell them to sign up for more...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on December 30, 2021 | Category: Reference


Search Tools For the Deep (and Dark) Web

The “Dark Web” is sometimes portrayed as a place where criminals, terrorists, hackers, and spammers conspire to victimize unwitting Internet users. The reality is a bit more nuanced and not so scary. There is a “Deep Web” that you can't access with ordinary search engines, and a “Dark Web” where people lurk anonymously for both good and evil purposes. What's really out there? Read on...

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Posted by Bob Rankin on December 27, 2021 | Category: Reference




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