Geekly Update - 02 Aug 2017

Category: Tech-News

Would you prefer your microchip to be implanted in your right hand or your forehead? Why are black-hat hackers so interested in automated car wash machines? And what should you do if you find $40 million in Bitcoins on your laptop? 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

"Right hand or forehead?" Up to 50 employees may be microchipped at Three Square Markets, a developer of “smart” vending machines for employee break rooms. The chip would allow purchases from a vending machine with a wave of the hand. Apparently, the employees would be guinea pigs in R&D, and implanted chips would be an option for customers’ employees.

Summer camp operators are having trouble enforcing “no electronics” rules. And it's not because the kids can't survive a week without Instagram and Snapchat. The problem is parents who can’t stand to be out of touch with their kids.

This gives a completely new meaning to "jailbreaking" a cell phone. Three inmates broke out of a maximum-security jail in Santa Ana, California last year. Using a smuggled cellphone, they recorded video of themselves escaping.

Geekly Update 08-02-2017

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction…" Proving that Newton's Third Law is still in effect, a repair man managed to get himself locked inside an ATM at a Bank of America in Texas. He called for help by slipping notes through the receipt slot of the machine.

Verizon was caught throttling streaming video from Netflix and other services recently. The ISP swears it was just conducting routine tests of network management tools, not preparing for the imminent demise of Net Neutrality.

Pennsylvania police were hunting for some stolen laptops when they came across a $40 million Bitcoin scam. So why was this digital thief also stealing laptops and cheap jewelry?

Spotify announced that its paid subscriber base has passed 60 million, just five months after it broke the 50 million mark. People are rapidly tiring of homogenized radio playlists, it seems.

Amazon jacked up prices in advance of Prime Day so it’s “super deals” were actually the usual selling prices, according to one Amazon Marketplace vendor.

Adobe Flash will be extinguished at the end of 2020, according to Adobe Systems Inc. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Mozilla joined Adobe in explaining that Flash will be phased out in stages between now and then.

Getting your car washed can be dangerous, as presenters at the Black Hat security conference demonstrated. Turns out car washes are easily hacked, enabling sociopaths to attack employees and car owners in a number of gruesome ways.

A federal court has ruled that public officials cannot block social media users just because the officials don’t like what the users have to say.

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

Ask Your Computer or Internet Question

  (Enter your question in the box above.)

It's Guaranteed to Make You Smarter...

AskBob Updates: Boost your Internet IQ & solve computer problems.
Get your FREE Subscription!


Check out other articles in this category:

Link to this article from your site or blog. Just copy and paste from this box:

This article was posted by on 2 Aug 2017

For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.

Prev Article:
Android Tip: Get a Better Virtual Keyboard

The Top Twenty
Next Article:
How Long Will Your Hard Drive Last?

Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 02 Aug 2017"

Posted by:

John Silberman
02 Aug 2017

Flash can't be gone soon enough. Unfortunately, a lot of hardware such as IP cams may become obsolete as many rely on flash.

Posted by:

Mark DeBarbieri
02 Aug 2017

The news of these implants is a fulfillment of prophecy; that the “Mark of the Beast” will be either in the hand or the head. However, this latest implant is not at this time the “Mark of the Beast”, because they are not programmed in that venue… yet, but this is all a prelude to getting us acclimated to what is surely coming. Very soon implants will become commonplace to be able to enter into banks, post offices, libraries, grocery stores, malls and hospital emergency rooms. Do you see what this is all about? If one reads the entire prophecy, the same will discover that no one will be able to buy or sell without the “Mark of the Beast”, which simply means those who refuse the “Mark” will probably starve.

“[The] Mark of the Beast” will catalog everyone on the entire planet into one centralized computer, which is located in Brussels and is aptly named “The Beast”. So as one can plainly see all this was planned years in advance. The number will be the same as your Social Security Number, but with one difference; the pretext will be XXX, which is 666.

Posted by:

02 Aug 2017

No chips, period.

Posted by:

02 Aug 2017

"Apparently, the employees would be guinea pigs in R&D, and implanted chips would be an option for customers’ employees."
This leaves out one item that is generally ignored by the Chicken Littles of the press. Being part of the testing is OPTIONAL for the employees also.

The second big item that is overlooked is that these are very short range id chips similar to the ones put in pets. You need a reader that is almost touching it before there is an indication of its existence or being read.
It cannot be read when you walk through a door unless you are almost brushing the reader.

A company could put a chip with a much longer range in a badge if they wanted to track people. They need an antenna that is larger for this. One that I have that was used to track people crossing the start and finish at a race is 7/8" by 3 5/8" That works with a very simple receiving antenna (a wire taped to the road surface)and is supposed to be attached to your shoe for reliability.

Posted by:

02 Aug 2017

Mark DeBarbieri, you said it better than I ever could have.

Posted by:

02 Aug 2017

optional for employees...."
Really, Bill?
Yes, technically, this employer claims it's optional for the employees, but, it's a fact of life that over time it will be easy for employers to subtly intimidate employees into "voluntarily accepting" such implants, if they want to keep their jobs.

At least this reality was understood by legislators in California, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, making it a lot tougher for employers to do so (in spite of the expected resistance from the RFID industry):

For more in depth discussion, see

Posted by:

02 Aug 2017

The story about the ATM is a good example of what Trump likes to call fake news. No one was ever locked INSIDE an ATM. The worker was locked in the room BEHIND the ATM not inside the machine.

As for the tracking chips, no one alive today will live long enough to see this happen world wide. Best not to worry about it.

Posted by:

Daniel Wiener
02 Aug 2017

Back in 1986 I tried my hand at writing a short science fiction story titled "Security Blanket" based on the premise that RFID chips (in products such as "Identiplates", "Identilabels", and "Identibracelets") could be used to track all kinds of objects and eventually people. That led to a dystopian result, but with a happy ending (a mass uprising in which all of the RF towers used to track everyone were smashed). I submitted the story to it to all of the SF magazines and publishers, but they all rejected it. I guess it was just a few decades ahead of its time (like all good SF). Oh well...

Posted by:

02 Aug 2017

Chips: The thing about that being "voluntary" / "optional" participation, is that even enrolling in Payroll deductions for charity (United-Way, etc.) is also "voluntary" / "optional" participation. However, I know from personal experience that companies DO apply pressure to participate (optionally, of course).

Posted by:

02 Aug 2017

Seem to me that if he was capable enough to scam $40M in bitcoins he should be able to figure out how to use some to make his escape.

Posted by:

02 Aug 2017

I don't want to be chipped. No matter how it is advertised to us, it is not for our benefit. I will strongly oppose any attempt to make it mandatory.

Posted by:

03 Aug 2017

MARK, re: Mark of the Beast. This is not a flame, just asking you to read a tad bit and learn a tad bit more. This is long, but you might learn a thing or two that's worth thinking about, but not rationally (for reasons explained further on).

First, read some Christian History. For A VERY long time, the book itself was not recognized as 'cannon'. It took a bunch of small wars and threats of war to get it included, and then included in the New Covenant (Testament). It is one of the only apocalyptic books in any Christian Translation of the Bible. And it took more than a little blood to get it put thee, it being apocalyptic and all. Can't have 'apocalyptic' without blood and fire and guts and peasants with pitch forks and torches.

Second, Be Ware of numbers. When many early theological books were written, many scrips were not what they seemed, many times they represented numerals which were said (and are still said) to contain a 'Mystery of God'.

Third, The original text was written in Hebrew - and the Hebrews had no Zero. Thus the gape between 0 and 1 does not exist. This changes the number 666 if it is missing one Ordinal or Nominal number.

Fourth MOST scholars have deciphered the word for '666' as representing Caesar (Caesar Nero to be specific). Thus ONE of MANY meanings for the numeral '666' (or 665).

I personally do not believe that interpretation to be correct, as there have been MANY over the yeas, the first occurrence of which *I* read when about 9 or 10 years old was in _Ridpaths History of the World_ probably around volume 9 or so (out of 15). It was published around the turn of the last century. -- Hey! not the MOST current history of the world leaving out WWI forward, and pretty much supporting racial imperialism - it was what I had laying around the house to read.

So, BEWARE 666 is a very accurate statement, BUT since without a Zero, the number is off by one, thus the need to be careful how much you read into it.

But most Scholars seldom took that kind of math into account when writing history since most historians generally don't think that way, nor do most Religious Leaders.

After all, (considering history) history really don't need Differential, or Lambda Calculus to figure out what most of us consider 'history' -- who was the great-great-grand-niece behind whom many rallied and tried to overthrow the the History is of Science, then you need some, and for say a History of Quantum Mechanics and Symmetries of our Known Universe", you probably need a LOT more than that. (that says in short - every atom has a 'missing half' somewhere in our known universe, and some even argue it need not even BE in OUR universe! (Yeah, wrap your head around that!). Some argue that some 'symmetries' MAY exist as 'unreachable' numbers - that is, numbers so large that they cannot be reached, by counting forwards OR backwards, they exist outside OUR realm of numbers, and simply cannot be reached by any way yet known.

Think of 'Infinity' - each discrete place between any given number (say 1 and 2) can ALSO be split into an infinite set of numbers, So there exists inside infinity an infinite number of infinities, and each of those infinities can also be split into infinity, and so on until you get to the power set of infinity to infinity to infinity [∞^∞]^∞. And while a large number, you STILL are not even NEAR the first 'unreachable' number. Some argue that Theta, Θ , defined all all numbers and all numbers in all orders possible, cannot contain unreachable numbers.

HOWEVER, while ALL the above is true - you have to ask yourself - does an 'unreachable' number MEAN anything? If you can't get there, in other words, can you ever use it? The answer is in the most simple terms 'no'. Thus an 'unreachable number' is also a 'useless number'. And if it is useless, why pedantically pursue such a number? So let's not.

UNREACHABLE NUMBERS ares simply 'interesting' numbers - much as '666' is an interesting number. But if it may not even BE the correct number, why pursue it? And, while I can easily show you that, for example -1+-1=0 (or 2). Of what use can that possibly be in YOUR world. Ditto '666' - which may or may not be an 'important' number for MANY reasons, the most important of which is that it was wrongly translated. So if you ask for a friends house and the person says: 'Esta la casa roja' (It's the red house' and you misheard heard Roja for Rosa (red for rose) - your look for a house with a rose growing in front of it, your search would be meaningless.

so IS '666' without a zero numeral (thus losing the space between zero and 1) a correct translation? Or is it a translation which we magically give a meaning to? And accept blindly because we were simply told 'that old lie' about '666', allowing us to say for the rest of our lives, '666' IS the 'number of the beast' -

La Bamba has the refrain 'Ay, arriba arriba' in it - that translates literally as 'hey! up an up!'. What it really means is 'Hey! (get) higher and higher." Sometimes just because everyone else believes something doesn't make it true.

That is why teachers of any grade are among the FIRST to be put in front of a wall and shot during ANY revolution. Mrs. Cooke, my wonderful first grade teacher, shot as a traitor?" Nope, shot because she was a teacher. Teachers make you think. Can't have too much thinking when you are in the middle of a revolution- so for all you future teachers out there - they have your finger prints, your voice print, your photo, so think twice if you want to be in the first line of people they line up and shoot against a wall (if you are lucky) - It takes courage to be a Teacher, and it takes even more courage to join the ranks of 'THE Inteligencia'. Don't feel badly though, it just means (Inteligencia) the ability to think rationally.

Bob would be one of the first they lined up and shot. He'd have been better off working for IBM, where his ability for rational thought MIGHT save him from the Rebels bullet. But he and I and many others who read his page are likely to be hauled outside their house and shot because they are Inteligencia, and thus are likely to think and teach. Have YOU EVER told anyone something you learned here? You are a teacher, and are one of the fist to be shot.

Don't be afraid, you'll have good company, AND you will die wondering if '666' is the real number to be worried about, or if was really '665'.

Posted by:

Joel B
03 Aug 2017

"Optional" payroll deductions for United Way??? Hardly!! When I worked for a Major Top 500 corp years ago, I was "expected" to allow a $25.00 monthly deduction for the CEO's fav charity - United Way. Years later, ill, disabled and virtually on my heels, United Way claimed I did not qualify... 'Nuff said!!

Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions

*     *     (* = Required field)

    (Your email address will not be published)
(you may use HTML tags for style)

YES... spelling, punctuation, grammar and proper use of UPPER/lower case are important! Comments of a political nature are discouraged. Please limit your remarks to 3-4 paragraphs. If you want to see your comment posted, pay attention to these items.

All comments are reviewed, and may be edited or removed at the discretion of the moderator.

NOTE: Please, post comments on this article ONLY.
If you want to ask a question click here.

Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter

Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
About Us     Privacy Policy     RSS/XML

Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 02 Aug 2017 (Posted: 2 Aug 2017)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved