Geekly Update - 05 November 2020

Category: Tech-News

Are the folks at NASA smoking something funny, or did they just say there are elves on Jupiter? Can you turn your annoying robocalls into cash? How safe is your SIM? And can we stop worrying about murder hornets? 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

Officials from the Washington State Department of Agriculture eradicated the first Asian giant "murder hornet" nest found in the U.S. this week. Eighty-five of the marauding hornets were killed in the raid. Two of the queens who evaded capture were found later, and taken for questioning.

NASA says their Juno Spacecraft spotted “sprites” or “elves” frolicking in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet. Someone tell J.R.R Tolkien, please.

Early adopters of the SpaceX Starlink satellite internet service say they are experiencing download speeds that put traditional satellite broadband to shame. The Starlink service, which employs almost 1000 satellites in orbit, costs $99/month and promises speeds in the range of 50 to 150 megabits per second.

Geekly Update 11-05-2020

Getting too many robocalls? A consumer credit expert is offering a kit that promises to help you turn them into cash with a little work. The $47 downloadable PDF has instructions for sending demand letters to robocallers that use automated dialing systems to place calls to mobile phones.

Scottish soccer team Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC is using an AI-controlled camera to track the action on the field. Software is trained to follow the ball and move the camera accordingly. But the system had trouble distinguishing between the ball and the shiny bald head of a linesman. Hilarity ensued.

The new $70 Raspberry Pi 400 is a PC in a keyboard, sporting 4GB of RAM memory, a faster Raspberry Pi 4 and a built-in heatsink to keep it cool. Just add monitor, mouse, and you’re good to go.

Security researcher Brian Krebs says two men have been charged with identity theft and conspiracy charges for a “SIM swapping” scheme, in which they tricked employees at wireless phone companies into providing access to customer account information. This allowed them to reassign a victim’s phone number to a SIM card in a mobile device they controlled, and use that to steal bitcoin and social media accounts.

Whatsapp, the popular messaging app, has a new “disappearing messages” feature that will automatically delete chats after 7 days.

Not to be outdone, Google is rolling out a new feature for the Messages app that will let you schedule text messages to be sent at a later time or date.

Researchers in South Korea have developed a fast charging system that can charge electric car batteries up to 90% capacity in just six minutes.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 05 November 2020"

Posted by:

05 Nov 2020

I just read somewhere, certain evidence of intelligent life in the universe, as they have made no attempt to contact us :)

Posted by:

Emily Booth
05 Nov 2020

If anyone has a less expensive way of getting rid of robocalls on my cell phone, please let me know.
Blocking doesn't really help. New phone numbers pop up all the time. Everyday, actually.

Posted by:

06 Nov 2020

Don't answer any number you do not recognize. If it is someone you know, they will leave a message

Posted by:

06 Nov 2020

To Emily Booth: I just don't answer any number that is out of my contacts. If they really want something from me, they have an option to leave a message. If they've left no message, I block them. Worst periods I have a call every other day, best ones - once per a couple of weeks.

Just checked my call history and found out, I had a garbage call every day at least once, but they are already blocked by me or by spam recognizing system of my mobile provider (Google Fi) and suppressed silently. Look like my strategy works and by approximation only about 10% of garbage calls slipped through the defense. Maybe even less.

Posted by:

Bob Kinsler
06 Nov 2020

What about those scam text message from the ACLU and the recent voting, even after telling them not to text me and calling them to inform them of the same they kept texting me.

Posted by:

08 Nov 2020

Blocking calls: I have an iPhone, and I use the feature to "Silence Unknown Callers".
In settings > Phone > Silence Unknown Callers > On.

Here's what it says:
"Calls from unknown callers will be silenced, sent to voicemail, and displayed on the Recents list. Incoming calls will continue to ring from people in your contacts, recent outgoing calls, and Siri Suggestions."

I haven't had to talk to a spam/robo call in months. About once a week a voicemail gets left for me, and it's always a recording.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 05 November 2020 (Posted: 5 Nov 2020)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved