Geekly Update - 02 January 2020

Category: Tech-News

Are scientists working in secret underground labs to create genetically modified babies? Is your smart tv spying on you and selling your viewing data to third parties? How much money can you save by NOT buying the latest and greatest tech gadgets? And will AI make mammograms more accurate in 2020? 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

A court has sentenced Chinese doctor He Jiankui to three years in prison, for his role in using Crispr gene-editing technology in an attempt to create genetically modified babies that are immune to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Long-story short, it probably didn't work anyway.

The editors of Popular Mechanics love the latest electronic gadgets, but they still recommend that you buy last year's model. You'll still get lots of nifty features while saving a bunch of money. I tend to take that a step or two further -- my Samsung Galaxy S7 smarpthone (circa 2016) is still getting the job done for me.

A phishing scam used text messages to empty the bank accounts of some M&T Bank customers. The bank is refunding customers who foolishly divulged their account credentials. In case you haven't been listening since 1997, your bank will never ask for your password in a text message.

If you got a great deal on a smart TV this holiday season, there might be a catch. Some popular models are recording your view habits and selling that data to advertisers. In most cases, there's a way to turn off this tracking.

Geekly Update 01-02-2020

Kaspersky Free Antivirus is dead. Long live Kaspersky Free Antivirus! Sort of. The company is pulling the plug on the freebie, but is replacing it with Kaspersky Security Cloud-Free. The new security tool includes a file shredder, malware troubleshooter, and also runs on Android and iOS mobile devices. (That hyphen bothers me, though. Is it "cloud-free" or "cloud-based" and free?)

A team of researchers from Google Health and Imperial College London is developing AI-based tools to improve the accuracy of breast cancer detection from mammogram scans. The technology outperformed human radiologists at detecting cancers, and reduced the number of false positives.

Despite being passed overwhelmingly by the state legistature, New York's governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have legalized e-bikes and electric scooters. Cuomo claimed the bill was flawed because it did not require the use of safety helmets. Thanks, Mom. (Oh, and #TappanZeeBridgeForever)

Several skin cancer detection apps for your smartphone can help you determine if a mole or skin mark is problematic. Maybe. So please see a dermatologist before you whip out that X-Acto knife.

UltraSense Systems is perfecting TouchPoint technology, which can turn almost any surface (metal, glass, wood, ceramics or plastic) into a touchscreen. The tech works regardless of thickness and also in the presence of moisture, oils and dirt.

This just in from the Questionable Business Model Department: Popular Chinese bike rental company Mobike says they lost more than 200,000 bikes in 2019, due to theft and vandalism.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 02 January 2020"

Posted by:

Allan Brunner
02 Jan 2020

Re your Galaxy S7, I agree. I'm still using my S5 with a changeable battery (I revolve three), earplug socket and external storage card. My only complaint is the number of apps Google & Samsung pre-load, using up space and memory, and which I cannot uninstall unless I root the phone.

Being able to flip or change the battery is far more important that waterproofing because you'll get much longer life from your mobile.

Posted by:

Saffron Bright-Rawlings
02 Jan 2020

Thank you for reposting the instructions to get my TV to stop spying on me. This is a really annoying feature, and I was able to disable it with simple instructions in the article.

Posted by:

thom r
02 Jan 2020

People are required to wear helmets on motorcycles,why not a these scooters?
The Tappan zee bridge doesn't exist any more so why not a new name

Posted by:

02 Jan 2020

I grew up in Westchester, and I still work a few miles from the bridge. I haven't heard anyone refer to it as anything other than the Tappan Zee bridge, including at least one major NY TV network's traffic report!

Posted by:

Wilfred Comeau
03 Jan 2020

I really enjoyed this Geeky Update, it was
both interesting and informative. I always
enjoy your updates and I then put them into
a folder for future reference.
Thanks again.

Posted by:

03 Jan 2020

Smartphone upgrades: I was using an iPhone 6 until I upgraded a month ago, to an iPhone 7. LOL! Kaspersky: I prefer cloud-free. I'm not very "trusting".

TappanZeeBridgeForever? I hadn't heard of the bridge closing. Only been across it a few times (most recently in Apr-2016), but wow. To thom r: the New bridge HAS a new name too, officially named the "Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge" after former New York Governor Mario Cuomo.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The current Gov is Mario's son Andrew Cuomo. And the name for the rebuilt TZ Bridge was a purely self-aggrandizing move, despite overwhelming public sentiment to keep the Tappan Zee Bridge name.

Posted by:

13 Jan 2020

Can my "smart" TV spy on my if it isn't connected to the inter-webs? My TV is only connected to satellite cable (and its boxes of course).

Maybe we should all go back to CRT displays.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 02 January 2020 (Posted: 2 Jan 2020)
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