Geekly Update - 05 November 2014
What should you do if your watch says you've got cancer? Are robots replacing humans at your local hardware store? And which mobile phone company just got slapped TWICE by Uncle Sam for bad behavior? 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
Google is merging computers and technology with physics, chemistry and biology. The company is working on a pill that would release nanoparticles into the bloodstream to detect cancer and other diseases, and report the news to a wrist computer.
Amazon has dethroned Apple from the number one spot in the tablet satisfaction ratings published by J. D. Powers & Associates. Apple took the top prize from Samsung just five months ago, but Amazon’s Fire HDX edged out the iPad this time 827 to 824 (out of a possible score of 1,000). Samsung finished third with 821.
Lowe’s home improvement centers are testing robots that wander the aisles looking for customers to help. The OSHbots, twin columns with screens front and aft, can converse with customers in natural language, visually identify items (such as a screw or nail), and take you to correct aisle and shelf where it can be found.
Facebook can now be accessed via the Tor proxy network, although why people concerned about preserving their privacy would want to access Facebook remains a mystery. Coincidentally, a Russian hacker has been flooding Tor with a virus, prompting authorities to warn all Tor users they should scan, scan scan.
Verizon and AT&T responded November 1 to Sprint’s recent price cuts. Verizon dropped its $100/month 10 GB family plan to $80 and its $110 15 GB plan to $100. AT&T now offers 3 GB of shared data for $40 and 6 GB for $70; the data allowances used to be 2 GB for $40 and 6 GB for $80.
AT&T may need to do more than cut prices to restore faith in their brand. The FCC smacked AT&T with an $80 million fine last month for "mobile cramming" -- the practice of adding unauthorized third-party charges to customers' bills. And last week, the Feds struck again, filing suit against AT&T for claiming to offer unlimited data but deceptively throttling mobile data speeds for many customers.
Roku has added Google Play Movies and TV to its playlist. Just like Netflix, Google now has its own channel on Roku and offers new content for sale or rent, even giveaways like an HD copy of “X-men.”
If you want gigabit Internet speed for $30 a month you’ll have to move to South Korea; Hong Kong and Tokyo offer the same speed for $37 and $39, respectively. But if you’ll settle for half that speed (500 Mb/sec) you can remain in the good ol’ U. S. of A. and pay Verizon only $300/month.
“Selfies For Tots” might be a good name for an interactive toy that lets infants take pictures of themselves and upload the photos to social media. Or may be “Stupid” will do.
CurrentC, the contactless payment system being developed by a consortium of large retailers, has been hacked while still in development. A tester’s email address was stolen. Well, it’s better to find and plug security holes before millions are using it.
There’s a reason why Apple’s new iPad Air 2 looks and acts a lot like the old one: the Air 2’s parts cost just a dollar more than its predecessor’s.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below, or I'll switch you to AT&T...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 5 Nov 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 05 November 2014 (Posted: 5 Nov 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved