Geekly Update - 01 November 2017

Category: Tech-News

Is your smartphone secretly sending your private conversations to the NY Times? Can technology solve the problem of annoying noodle slurpers? And how much would you pay for a 100-inch television with a built-in toaster? 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

Be careful when using your phone's speech-to-text feature, as it could result in some unintentional oversharing. A Massachusetts woman who was in the middle of commenting on a NY Times article was interrupted by a visitor at her door, and ended up telling the world about her boiled eggs and knee injury.

While we're talking about over-sharing, here's one situation that turned out to be a win-win. Matthew Zaydel was wanted by the Redford, Michigan police department. He posted on Facebook that he would turn himself in, with a bag of donuts, and clean up litter at local schools, if the police could get 1000 "shares" on their next Facebook posting. It took only an hour.

Do your friends and family get annoyed when you slurp your ramen noodles? The solution is a noise-canceling fork that triggers an app on your smartphone to play an ever louder, more annoying sound to mask your slurping.

Geekly Update 11-01-2017

Two months ago, Verizon began limiting video streamed to “unlimited” data plan subscribers to 480p and created a new $85/month “Beyond Unlimited” plan that allows 720p. Now, Verizon will let you stream at whatever resolutions your device supports for an extra $10 per line, per month. That’s $95 for “unrestricted Beyond Unlimited.”

A 100-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart Laser TV is now available from a company called Hisense. Including the Harman Kardon audio system - two speakers on each side, plus a 6.5 inch subwoofer - short-throw projector system will set you back a mere $10,000. (Still no toaster slot.)

Harvard’s RoboBee flying robot can now dive underwater and fly back out again. That’s loony.

Equifax was warned of multiple security vulnerabilities by an independent researcher months before the catastrophic breach that put nearly every adult American’s identity at high risk of being stolen. But the company ignored the warnings for six months. Fortunately for Equifax, Congress has enacted a law reversing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ban on arbitration clauses that preclude class-action lawsuits, effectively allowing corporations to be as reckless with your life as like, with impunity.

In a major assault on the 1st Amendment, the Justice Department has subpoenaed five Twitter users’ personal info just because their handles were mentioned by another user along with a smiley-face emoji. All of the targeted citizens are security researchers and legal commentators.

The Temple nightclub coming to Denver will have 100,000 LED lamps powered by the dancing feet of party animals, thanks to the same piezoelectric tech that sparks your barbecue igniter. Talk about electric boogaloo.

That Nigerian prince is now preying upon bereaved pet owners, promising purebred puppies that don’t exist. Once again, never send money to a stranger via Western Union, Moneygram, or other wire transfer service.

Farmbot is a DIY open-source automated agriculture kit that will take all the pleasure and exercise benefits out of backyard gardening for you.

Best Buy says it’s pricing the iPhone X $100 above Apple’s list price because customers told Best Buy they wanted that “flexibility.” When a journalist inquired about that, a Best Buy spokesperson merely emailed a link to the company’s price-matching policy. No winky emoji was included.

Adding insult to injury, Apple has published price schedules for repairs of the iPhone X. A broken screen will set you back $279, while other repairs cost $549. So along with the slimmest, lightest iPhone ever, be prepared to buy a bulky, heavy case to protect it.

Samsung recently demonstrated a Bitcoin mining rig composed of a homebrewed operating system and 40 obsolete Galaxy S5 phones arranged in a tower that looks like many modern apartment complexes.

No, the famous Windows XP “Bliss Hill” site did not burn in California’s recent wildfires. That viral photo was of the vineyard next door to it. So you can breathe now.

MySpace is dead, again, thanks to the recent discovery that it was being used in a massive ad-click fraud scheme. "Tom" is still looking good at 46, though.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 01 November 2017"

Posted by:

Denis
01 Nov 2017

I wonder if the Robobee drone was inspired by the flying sub from the 1960's TV series 'Voyage to the bottom of the sea'. The 1960's one was way cooler than this drone, but you gotta start somewhere, and besides, that one was fictional.


Posted by:

RichF
02 Nov 2017

The automatic garden machine doesn't kill the birds and squirrels that ravage your veggies in a garden.


Posted by:

Cynthia
02 Nov 2017

I don't see any difference in a robot garden machine that does everything for you to produce food in a raised bed than a large tractor that plants and harvests food on 1000 acre tracts. Were they (the inventors) fixing something that wasn't broken--after all?


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