A Big Milestone + Geekly Update

Category: Personal , Tech-News

Today I'm celebrating an anniversary -- 20 years of online publishing! The Internet Tourbus first rolled out into cyberspace in July 1995, and ten years later, AskBobRankin.com was born. With thanks to awesome readers like you, I'll keep on keeping on. Today's Geekly Update is an expanded version, with twenty items that are guaranteed to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

Coincidentally, today (July 15th) is also Amazon’s 20th birthday. The e-commerce giant will celebrate with Prime Day, offering Prime members “more deals than Black Friday.”

The English version of Wikipedia is being turned into a 7,600-volume print edition (that's volumes, not pages) that will cost $500,000. Place your pre-order today and start start shopping for a bigger house to hold it.

Heaven help the homing pigeons! Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that lasers in space and aboard drones will beam data to mobile users in developing nations. It’s part of his Internet.org effort to add the next 5 billion users to Facebook (and the Internet).
20th Anniversary

As if an arm and a leg aren’t enough, Mastercard is testing a new way for you to pay with your face. Radio announcers will not be happy.

Romance novels are wildly popular on Scribd, so the subscription ebook publisher is cutting back on the number of titles it hosts. Seems you can’t make money by charging a flat monthly fee and paying authors every time someone downloads their books unless the books are duds.

The “Best Use of the Streisand Effect” award goes to Brooklyn artist Julia "Parbunkells" Weist, who posted a photo of a 17th-Century English word and asked the Internet not to copy it.

How many iPhone 6s does it take to stop a bullet fired from an AK-74 assault rifle? EveryThingApplePro, a YouTube channel run by crazy people in Portland, OR, decided to find out.

If you reserved a copy of Windows 10, don’t hold your breath waiting for it to be downloaded automatically to your hard drive on the new OS’ July 29 release date. Microsoft plans to deliver Win 10 first to Windows Insider beta testers, then gradually roll it out worldwide. That’s probably a good idea with a radically different product.

A totally solar-powered airplane set a new distance record, flying from Japan to Hawaii in five days. That’s the longest leg in a round-the-world journey that’s expected to take five months, not counting ground time.

The Hacking Team was hacked and 400 GB of embarrassing email and documents were released on Bittorrent networks. The global spy-for-hire firm has long been criticized for doing business with repressive governments.

When his only computer crashed, aspiring rap singer “Prince Harvey” spent four months covertly recording his first album on Macs for sale in various Manhattan Apple Stores. Still no public restrooms, however.

“Floating” videos whose windows remain on-screen as a use scrolls down are coming to Facebook soon, because you wouldn’t want to miss any video ads while checking your news feed.

Republic Wireless is refunding actual hard cash to customers who don’t use all of their monthly cellular data allowances, to encourage WiFi use.

A fully-functional Star Trek Communicator, styled after the one in the original series, can be yours for just $150. It links to a smartphone via Bluetooth. Beam me one, Scotty!

A paper shredder will destroy an unwanted CD, but this high-speed CD cannon powered by an angle grinder from Harbor Freight Tools does the job with more style.

It turns out that androids really do dream of electric sheep. Google set up a feedback loop in its image recognition neural network, and the resulting “dreams” of the machines are eerie.

Those $199 Dr. Dre Beats headphones consist of parts that cost less than $17 and 30% of their weight is in parts that do nothing but add “heft.”

Samsung demoed a “see-through” tractor-trailer truck with a camera on its front and a huge LCD display on its back, allowing drivers to see whether it’s safe to pass. Of course, an evil driver could play a recording of an empty road.

Sarasota, Florida, police had videos of a man molesting children, but his face was concealed. For the first time, law enforcers were able to digitally enhance the videos enough to identify the creep’s fingerprint and nail him.

It's Official... Gmail's “Undo Send” feature, previously an experimental Gmail Labs option, now lets all users recall a hasty email within a short period after hitting the Send button.

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Most recent comments on "A Big Milestone + Geekly Update"

(See all 57 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

16 Jul 2015

You were wrong Bob. I am now 151% smarter! Congratulations on your digital longevity. That's like, what, 4 or 5 lifetimes in cyberspace?

Posted by:

O. Lamoree
16 Jul 2015

Congrats on 20 years. I too date back to the TourBus when here in balmy Costa Rica we only had dial-up... since then everything has improved, including your publications which I look forward to.

Posted by:

16 Jul 2015

Congratulations Bob! I haven't been a subscriber for very long. I really enjoy your down to earth reporting of IT issues.

Posted by:

16 Jul 2015

Congratulations on the 20th anniversary.
Thanx for all the use full info.
It helps me a lot
Hope you keep going for the next 20 years

Posted by:

james lang
16 Jul 2015

Congrats 20 Years.Have a cup coffee on me
thanks for all the help ,keeping us up to date

Posted by:

16 Jul 2015

Thanks Bob... I have learned a lot!!

Posted by:

16 Jul 2015

Happy Anniversary, Bob! 20 years seems like yesterday, but I must have a look at the WayBack Machine to see how different the content of the Internet Tourbus was from what it's like now. Lots of changes!! Thanks for keeping us on top of them.

Posted by:

16 Jul 2015

Bob, Thank you for you dedication and hard work. I read each and every post you send and have learned very much from you. I wish you the very best.

Posted by:

16 Jul 2015

Yes, Bob. The IT advice is great but the Geekly is even better... Keep up the good work and Happy Birthday. How far we've come in 20 years! Around this time in '95, I was asked to write a "What is the internet?" article for our managers at work, and giving them instructions abut how to install Mosaic... In those days, you still had to visit a publc library to find out what the capital of Moldova was!

Posted by:

Jim reicker
16 Jul 2015

Congratulations! I may still have some Tourbus emails around!

Thanks for the years of scam avoidance and trouble-free computing.

Posted by:

Darcetha Manning
16 Jul 2015

Congratulations on your anniversary. July is a very good month. My birthday was July 13. Your articles are very informative and entertaining. I love learning new things, and your articles make learning fun. Keep up the good work. :)

Posted by:

17 Jul 2015

Hi Bob. I too would like to add my heartfelt congratulations for your selfless and amazing achievement on reaching twenty years on the internet. It speaks volumes in itself on the robustness of your content and the veracity of your advice. Having been around since the Tourbus days (probably even 1995 as that was when I got our first computer) I can say that, thanks to you and others like you, I do not have to consider myself to be a tech-nignerant like many of my age. Love it. Thank you so much. Now, how do I post this? Let me see. Oh yeah, here probably (clicks 'Post Comments').

Posted by:

17 Jul 2015

Well done on your time running this Website. The Information you provide is helpful and enlightening. Thanks for your time and effort.

Posted by:

17 Jul 2015

Congrats... for a job well done. I find information helpful and interesting. As I work from home your info is what helps me survive the internet.

Posted by:

17 Jul 2015

Happy 20th Anniversary, Bob!! Congratulations for your very useful to everybody job!
Thanks a lot!

Posted by:

17 Jul 2015

Happy 20th Bob and best wishes for the future.

Posted by:

17 Jul 2015

Congratulations Bob! I too started with Tourbus. Coincidently, just last night I came across the "whitelisting" I had for Tourbus while correcting the mish-mash Google/Android made of my contacts after porting them to my new phone. Looking forward to 20 more years.

Posted by:

17 Jul 2015

Holy cow. Twenty years ago I had just bought my Dell top-of-the-line 486 with a 66MHz processor, eight megabytes of RAM and a 320-megabyte hard drive for $4,400. We've come a long way Bob and I've been kept out of trouble most of the way by your ever helpful advice and insights. Thanks so much and here's to the next 20.

Posted by:

21 Jul 2015

Congratulations and thank you for your time and effort! I'm often confused and uninformed; but you are there to guide. Your info makes this tech world a lot less scary.
God bless you.

Posted by:

Martin Gouldthorpe
24 Jul 2015

Congratulations Bob. Always appreciate your newsletters and have learned so much. Spoil yourself and family and have a great day.

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