Geekly Update - 01 February 2024

Category: Tech-News

Will ultrasonic holograms control your dreams in the near future? Are we winning the war against robocalls? And how can you watch Super Bowl 58 without cable? 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!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

Neurotechnology startup Prophetic wants to pump AI-generated ultrasound holograms into your brain. They claim their Morpheus-1 AI software can help users enter and maintain a lucid dream state, in which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming and can control some aspects of the dream. Who wants to volunteer?

Time Magazine says the rooftop solar industry could be on the verge of collapse. Customers are complaining about deceptive marketing practices, and over 100 solar energy dealers in the U.S. declared bankruptcy last year.

Google’s Bard, an AI chatbot that competes with OpenAI's ChatGPT, has added AI image generation capable of generating high-quality, photorealistic images from natural language prompts. It seems to do a better job of rendering text in multiple languages to create images with accurate text overlays. Try something like this: "create an image of a strawberry yogurt cup embossed with the word 'yummy', sitting on a wooden table, next to a banana."

Geekly Update 02-01-2024

AT&T and TransUnion are working together to add company logos to the caller ID display on smartphones, in an effort to help customers see if an incoming call is legit or a robocall scam. Companies that sign up for TransUnion's "Branded Call Display" can have their logos appear on Caller ID. Hopefully other mobile carriers will join in the effort.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is joining the fight against robocalls. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel today proposed new rules to make calls with AI-generated voices illegal under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Recently a robocall targeted New Hampshire residents with an AI-generated voice purporting to be President Joe Biden, telling people not to vote in the state’s primary election.

Elon Musk says Neuralink has implanted a brain chip in a human for the first time. The operation uses a surgical robot to insert a
computer chip and over 1000 super-thin conductors into the cerebral cortex. The goal of the Telepathy project is to allow a person with paralysis to operate a computer.

U.S. senators grilled tech CEOs from Meta, Tiktok, and Snapchat over concerns their social media platforms were causing harm and sometimes death to young people. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg stood and gave a "hollow" apology to parents who attended the hearing. A bi-partisan coalition of senators has vowed to pass the Kids Online Safety Act, which would create a legal duty of care for large platforms to make their services safe for kids.

Super Bowl 58, the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the San Francisco 49ers, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 11. The game will air on CBS. If you don't have cable, you can stream it on Paramount Plus, YouTube TV, Hulu, Fubo, or DirecTV Stream.

Verizon is "adjusting rates" on some of its older unlimited data plans. And you know that means "raising prices," right? Some customers will see increases of $4/mo per line starting March 1. Check your email for a notice from Verizon.

Bad news: The FBI director says state-sponsored Chinese hackers known as Volt Typhoon are preparing to 'wreak havoc' on critical US systems, including telecommunications, water facilities, transportation, and the military. Good news: The U.S. government announced Wednesday it had disrupted a China-backed hacking operation targeting U.S. critical infrastructure. More bad news: U.S. cybersecurity head says “very basic” flaws underpinning critical infrastructure in the U.S. have “made it easy” for China-backed hackers to target its systems.

Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 01 February 2024"

Posted by:

01 Feb 2024

I doubt we'll ever win the war against robocalls. What good is criminalizing those calls when they all originate from Asia or somewhere else outside the US? Look how much good the "do not call" list has done - zero!

Posted by:
01 Feb 2024

The system of signing up new individual customers for solar power is cumbersome and complex.An individual customer is often responsible for maintaining a solar panel system they know little about.I think the following arrangement is better.

I propose that neighborhood solar systems be set up to provide electrical power to several homes.Instead of each house having its own panels,a central location with it own panels such as you see in public lots can be build.

Each installation would have its own team to maintain the panels and power system.The ownership of such systems can be set up similar to a HOA where homeowners who receive solar power can pay into the system.A homeowner would not need panels that can detract from a home's appearance and do not need any experience maintaining such a system.

Posted by:

wild bill
02 Feb 2024

PL may be right although I suspect the tech is available to seriously impede and reduce robocalls but since they represent revenue why would the telcos bother. We get three to seven calls a day from caller IDs all over the state and the country, even using State government titles as well as generic numbers. None leave a message!? On the occasion I answer the phone the caller's accent does not seem likely to the area code given and the call purpose reeks of attempted fraud.

Posted by:

02 Feb 2024

I heard this quote recently and I like it.
"US innovates, China duplicates, and EU regulates."

Posted by:

Ron Luppino
02 Feb 2024

That would never work in a densely populated area. Have you ever dealt with a HOA board that has runaway with the power they are given. It wouldn’t work for that reason either.

Posted by:

02 Feb 2024

The problem with Chinese hacking is that when American companies use Chinese labor to build all their electronics, those products can be hacked before they even get imported into the States for sale to the unbeknowing American consumer. Chinese hacking is an American-made problem.

This would never have been an issue had American corporations not sold the American people out starting over 40 years ago. Shame on these companies that either sold their businesses to the Chinese, (Honeywell just to name one example) or moved all of their production to China to take advantage of cheap labor, while continuing to operate stateside and reaping the benefits.

I could go on...

Posted by:

Howard Tuckey
03 Feb 2024

Perhaps an agreement system could be set up that is similar to the shared well agreements now common in Arizona and other western states. They seem to work well.

Posted by:

03 Feb 2024

Robo calls, went from 8++ to zero, yep, zero! Switched to MagicJack, and activated the free filter. What a deal for about $50 a year, that's only 14 cents a day, what a deal. This was my landline to VOIP service.

Posted by:

04 Feb 2024

"an AI-generated voice purporting to be President Joe Biden, telling people not to vote in the state’s primary election"
I got a good laugh from that one.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 01 February 2024 (Posted: 1 Feb 2024)
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