Geekly Update - 03 January 2018
What should you do if your Internet-connected speakers are rick-rolling you at 2 o'clock in the morning? Why are so many businesses refusing to accept good old-fashioned paper money as a form of payment? Is “video game disorder” a real mental illness, or just really annoying? And have the Nigerian Princes moved their fraud operations to the US of A? 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 gamer in a dispute with another player made a fake emergency call to Kansas police last week, which resulted in the killing of an unarmed man by police. Even more tragic, Andrew Finch, father of two, was not a gamer, and was not involved in the dispute. Police have arrested 25-year-old Tyler Raj Barriss, who has taken credit for calling in over 100 of these dangerous false alarms, known as swatting.
If you're hearing nothing but Rick Astley tunes on your expensive stereo, check your wireless settings. Certain Bose and Sonos Internet-connected speakers can be found and hacked remotely if their network settings are not set properly.
The FCC has approved a new “charging at a distance” technology called WattUp that enables wireless charging of mobile devices’ batteries up to three feet away from the charger’s base station.
"Your money's no good here." Some businesses are refusing to accept cash, insisting on plastic or mobile payments via Near Field Communications (NFC).
“Video game disorder” is now officially recognized by the World Health Organization as a mental illness. Parents of teenagers have "recognized" this for decades. So when will the WHO recognize "smartphone addiction" as a mental problem too?
A “Nigerian prince” scammer has been arrested in Slidell, LA. He’s not Nigerian or a prince. He’s a 67 year-old white guy named Michael Neu, who is now charged with wire fraud and money-laundering.
Listen to a human, and then Google's new Tacotron 2, an AI-improved text-to-speech system. Can you tell the difference? Google engineers say “no.”
In Pakistan, where motorcycles far outnumber cars, a new smart helmet will call an ambulance when a rider’s head hits the ground. (Or maybe if he drops his helmet.)
Comcast is raising the price of 25 Mbps Internet-only service by $10 to $75/month in selected markets where consumers have no alternative broadband options. Some analysts blame the increase on the rapid rise of cord-cutting, with customers dropping phone and TV service.
Forward your spam to firstname.lastname@example.org and a bot will reply to the spammer for you. The bot will continue wasting the spammer’s time while you enjoy more cat videos.
A consumer drone collided with an Army helicopter near Brooklyn’s Verrazano Bridge, putting a 1.5 inch dent in the chopper’s rotor. Drone owner Vyacheslav Tantashov is in a bit of trouble with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
It’s not just you. Robocall spam increased massively in 2017; the FTC averaged 375,000 complaints about robocalls per month.
A Pennsylvania ISP has warned its customers that if they are even suspected of downloading pirated content, their Internet speeds will be throttled and that may cause “issues” with smart-home appliances.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 3 Jan 2018
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 03 January 2018 (Posted: 3 Jan 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved