Geekly Update - 05 February 2014

Category: Tech-News

Why are gas pumping robots a really dumb idea? Is Facebook offering anonymity for a price? What secret quality does Microsoft's new CEO possess? And is it smart to watch a smartwatch? 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

Everyone knows computer programmers love Nutella. So it is just coincidence that Satya Nadella was chosen as Microsoft’s new CEO? The search came back to the 21-year Microsoft veteran after going as far afield as the CEO of Ford Motor Company, who took himself out of the running in December. Forbes notes that he's never run a company before, but details how he got the top spot at Microsoft.

If you hate pumping gas, you may love the robotic gas pump being tested by Husky Corp. in Missouri. Infrared sensors detect the car’s fuel intake door. An arm equipped with a suction cup opens the door and removes the cap. Another robotic arm inserts the fuel nozzle and pumps gas. Or you could move to New Jersey, where you're not even allowed to pump your own.

Geekly Update 02-05-2014

Apple iOS 8, due later this year, will focus on health and fitness, according to the rumor mill. The so-called “HealthBook” app will be central to the operating system and rely heavily on the long-awaited, sensor-laden iWatch, and the unicorn that comes with every Apple product.

Remember when Fred Flintstone had a rock for a watch? The Pebble is making ripples in the smartwatch pool, with over 300,000 proud owners, an app store opening February 3, and an Android version due out soon.

Facebook is toying with the idea of letting users be anonymous, leaving us to wonder how much it will cost to be CaptainSparklePajamas.

Is it NOW yet? “The best small Android phone to buy right now” is the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, according to the editors at Cnet. Unfortunately, those same editors say you can't actually buy the phone now, and maybe never in the USA.

Yahoo! wants to play ball in search again, according to a report from rumor mill Re/Code. Two high-priority projects code-named Fast Break and Curveball have been ordered by CEO Marissa Mayer, aiming to regains Yahoo!’s control over the business side of search by dissolving the company’s partnership with Microsoft Bing. Meanwhile, Yahoo!’s share of the search market fell again to 10.8 per cent in November, while Google’s rose to 67.3 per cent and Bing’s to 18.2 per cent.

Driverless vehicles are not just a civilian luxury. The U.S. Army’s Autonomous Mobility Applique System (AMAS) implements driverless tech to enable safer invasions of urban areas and other places where soldiers don’t belong.

If you hold out long enough there’s a free computer waiting for you. Nursingjobs.com, which matches nurses with patients, discovered it’s cheaper to give a customer a free Google Chromebook than to continue supporting Internet Explorer 7.

Unlock hundreds more Netflix movies and TV series episodes with the Hola browser plugin. Programming is restricted by region due to licensing issues, but Hola lets you pick your region at the right-click of a button.

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 05 February 2014"

Posted by:

Whitney Keen
05 Feb 2014

I love it that NJ doesn't allow us to pump our own gas. Our prices are lower than anywhere else except Texas, we provide employment to a vast number of people, and we don't have to get gasoline or oil or road dirt on our clothes and hands. What more do you want?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I live on the NY/NJ border, and the irony is that once you cross into NY you have to pay 60 cents more per gallon AND pump it yourself!


Posted by:

babsy7
06 Feb 2014

When I lived out in Idaho, Oregon also wouldn't allow self-service gas...but the price was significantly higher than across the river in ID...and at that time, Idaho's prices were some of the highest in the nation. I would always forget and start the pump, only to have someone come rushing out in a panic because we were both breaking the law. Never got arrested, though. Their excuse was some "environmental safety" issue...although at those prices, I doubt many customers would be pumping it onto the ground. :)


Posted by:

Walter
06 Feb 2014

Hola is cool, but netflix only allows streaming to the US for a US account.


Posted by:

rich
06 Feb 2014

I installed Hola on Monday. Found the website unclear on just what it was, what it was supposed to do, and how it was supposed to do it on Tuesday. Tried to run a DVD (Lord of the Rings) on Wednesday and found Hola had implanted itself in my startup menu, usurped default player status for DVDs, and refused to yield even to Win Patrol. Also got told I was now using an incompatible player (Win7) as my player.
Deleted Hola. Bloody good riddance. DVD played in Windows Media Player.


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