Geekly Update - 02 January 2014

Category: Tech-News

Is there more bad news for those affected by the massive Target credit card breach? Why is worker productivity about to plunge on a massive scale? And Alan Turing has been pardoned. What crime did the famous computer scientist commit? Get answers to these burning questions, and 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

Target Corp. customers who lost their personal financial data in the recent security breach are now being targeted by scammers who call and pretend to be from Target’s response team. The crooks then milk the victims again for credit card, bank account, and other sensitive data they didn’t get from Target’s databases.

Security software developer RSA took a $10 million bribe from the NSA to incorporate vulnerable, flawed code into its products and weaken security protection for customers, according to a Reuters report. In a reply that was obvious crafted by clever lawyers, RSA said "We have never entered into any contract or engaged in any project with the intention of weakening RSA's products, or introducing potential 'backdoors' into our products for anyone's use." (But thanks for the cash, guys!)

Geekly Update 01-02-2014

Long Live Galaga! Classic arcade games from the ‘70s and ‘80s are now online at the Internet Archive Console Living Room. No browser plugins are required; the page uses the JSMESS server-side software emulator to present the games. I predict a massive plunge in worker productivity.

Righting a Wrong… Alan Turing, an early computing pioneer whose work helped to shorten World War II, has finally received a Royal pardon for his 1952 conviction. His crime: being a homosexual in 1950's Britain.

The first nematode built entirely of computer code has wiggled. The software project, released under the MIT open-source license, manifests a virtual roundworm that can find a mate and avoid predators. (Ummm, that's something humans need help with, too, guys.)

“Drunk texting” has a new meaning as scientists transmitted a text message using vodka. A few bars of “O, Canada” were transmitted as variations in the air concentration of evaporated alcohol; less booze for zero, more booze for one, presumably. This “molecular transmission” method may be handy in pipelines are other enclosed steel places where radio signals have a hard time.

Bad Santa? Windows Phone users received an extra 20 GB of SkyDrive cloud storage from Microsoft – for one year, after which they must either pay or give up the extra space. The company already gives first-year users a generous 200 GB for free.

The toughest encryption in the world – 4096-bit RSA – was cracked by security researchers who simply listened to the tiny sounds made by a CPU as it decrypted an encoded message.

A Bloomberg news anchor who displayed a Bitcoin gift certificate on his show for about 10 seconds was promptly robbed of it by a viewer. Adam Johnson didn’t realize that the QR code on the paper certificate contained the key to the Bitcoins. Reddit user milkywaymasta scanned the code and claimed approximately twenty bucks. The giver of the certificate, Matt Miller, said, “So freaking classic but also a GREAT lesson in bitcoin security!” Miller tweeted. “You can keep the $20 — well earned.”

You will be able to text cooking instructions to your stove using LG Electronics HomeChat service and app, the company promises. The new lineup of smart appliances will debut at CES 2014. “Shut up and make me a sammich” will no longer be grounds for divorce, but it may void your warranty.

What do sharks, humans, and honeybees have in common? They all do the Levy walk, a pattern of movement characteristic of animals foraging for food. Scientists equipped members of the African Hazda tribe, some of the world’s last primitive big-game hunters, with GPS-enabled wristwatches to record their foraging patterns. Next step, equipping the Hazda women with smartphones, so they can keep tabs on the men.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 02 January 2014"

Posted by:

BallyOtosh Bob
02 Jan 2014

Hi Bob, What language did you use for this article?

I can't understand a single line of it. Do you mind rewriting it in good old South African English please?


Posted by:

Mac and Cheese
03 Jan 2014

Bob, thanks for reporting that Alan Turing was officially pardoned for the "crime" of homosexuality this past Christmas Eve. It's a pity the pardon came 59-1/2 years after his death.


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