Geekly Update - 01 June 2016

Category: Tech-News

What is Google planning to do with their human flypaper? What did researchers just learn about people who take lots of selfies? And would you wear a wristband that shocks you when you reach for a donut? Read on for 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

I'm pretty sure this only works in movies... But Google has filed a patent for a method of making pedestrians stick to the front end of a car when they are struck by it. The idea is to “protect” the accident victim from being run over. Bruce Willis just clung to the windshield wiper.

Nearly one-quarter of Americans would rather give up sex than WiFi, and one in ten would choose WiFi over a friend, according to a survey commissioned by a travel agency that offers technology-free “digital detox tours.” How did a travel agency make enough money to commission this survey?

Got a package that must be delivered overnight? Just fire up the Airmule app and choose a random stranger to give it to. Don’t use it for anything illegal, even though “mule” is slang for “someone who smuggles drugs for someone else, often in body cavities.”

Geekly Update 06-01-2016

Misaligned mirrors focused the Sun’s rays on the wrong spot, setting ablaze the world’s largest solar-powered electricity generator. Some call it karma for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which fries thousands of migrating birds per year.

You may be surprised to learn that people who take lots of selfies and post them online are less attractive than they think they are. Or you may be surprised to learn that researchers wasted their time studying this question. If neither surprises you, then you are normal.

A cleric in Saudi Arabia has declared that Wahhabi Muslims must refrain from taking pictures of cats. The government of Malaysia has taken it one step further, introducing a Shariah-compliant Web browser that filters out content deemed to be offensive to Islam.

In unrelated news, Facebook and Microsoft are teaming up to lay a 4,100-mile trans-Atlantic fiber optical cable capable of carrying cat videos at speeds of 160 terabits per second.

“Thin Ice” is the coolest way to lose weight, according to its inventors. The high-tech vest chills your torso, forcing your body to burn calories at a faster pace to keep you comfortably warm.

If you don't like to shiver, try some heat. The Pavlok wristband delivers an unpleasant electric shock when the wearer overspends, overeats, or otherwise breaks rules of his/her own definition. Some users report that it has helped them stop smoking, nail biting, or eating unhealthy foods.

Eight-inch floppy disks are used to coordinate U. S. nuclear weapons operations. It is rumored they are formatted for the CP/M operating system, which hearkens from the 1970s.

Foxconn, the iPhone’s Chinese contract manufacturer that had to install suicide-prevention nets around its buildings, has replaced 60,000 workers with robots that do not require wet cleanups.

The first entirely 3D-printed office building is open for business in Dubai. A huge "printer" controlled by a computer works by extruding cement layer by layer.

A solar-powered electric bicycle looks just as impractical as you might imagine.

Texting while driving may become even riskier in Canada, where the RCMP is testing a massive camera that can detect evidence of distracted driving up to a mile away.

Just don’t call it “Skynet.” The U. S. Navy is creating an All Domain Offensive Surface Warfare Capability that ties together targeting information from sensors aboard satellites, aircraft, surface ships, submarines, and weapons themselves.

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 01 June 2016"

Posted by:

bb
01 Jun 2016

Re: the US Military using 8" floppy disks
Hey, if it works and does the job it needs to, why replace it? And no more tax money to develop something new that will be 1) take more time to develop then advertised, 2) take more money , and 3) probably will not work as well. But it'll be on the Internet!!
And p.s., The disks are for an IBM/Series 1 computer, not CP/M. (CP/M is newer! :-))

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'd be surprised if a floppy disk was still readable after 20, 30 or 40 years. The media degrades over time, even if stored under ideal conditions.


Posted by:

Annette N
01 Jun 2016

I saw a news story pointing out that many government agencies are using very outdated computer systems. The problem has become repair and replacement of parts. It is costing much more than it would cost to replace with newer computers. But, I wonder if the oldies are more difficult to be hacked?


Posted by:

Sarah L
02 Jun 2016

Did you warn me that Spider Solitaire, my favorite relaxing time waster, would disappear from my computer when Windows 7 was replaced by Windows 10? At any rate it is gone. I do not want Xbox games or games with ads. Just my long time game. Do you know of any reliable ways to get it back, now that 10 has taken over both my computers?

I can play Spider Solitaire on my phone, but that is not so much fun, being so tiny, and between games, ads of course.


Posted by:

wayne
02 Jun 2016

Re: texting while driving
Come now people. Why make this problem so difficult. It simply calls for a elctronic defeater signal generator installed on all vehicles and activated when the vehicle is in running mode. Integrated in the onboard computer system will make it undefeatable.


Posted by:

David
02 Jun 2016

Very good info. I enjoyed reading your geek


Posted by:

Pat C.
07 Jun 2016

It's my understanding that most, if not all, of NASA's space-going gizmos use an old OS from back-in-them-days. I could be wrong - I've been wrong before. One reason being reliability and another is the ease of programming. If It Works, Don't Fix It!


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