Geekly Update - 06 April 2022

Category: Tech-News

Is big tech censorship keeping workers from taking bathroom breaks? Will a solar storm wipe out the Internet? Are smart contact lenses the end of privacy? And what is the common thread amongst the parachute, the helicopter, and the whoopee cushion? 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

On the heels of successful unionizing efforts at Amazon, The Intercept reports that the tech giant is working on Shout-Outs, an internal messaging app for Amazon employees, allowing them to communicate, celebrate successes and foster happiness. But the app would block phrases related to labor unions, critiques of working conditions, and ban words like "union," "diversity" and even "restrooms". Celebrate that, you peasants. “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.” - George Orwell, 1984

Tech mogul Elon Musk has been very vocal in his criticism of Twitter's censorship practices. Now he's done something about it. One day after disclosing that he had become the company's largest individual shareholder, Musk is joining Twitter's board of directors. Mouth, meet Money.

Musk also made a shocking announcement about Optimus, a humanoid robot that will allow the owner to download their personality traits and and make it behave like them. Optimus could be in 'moderate volume production' next year.

Giant Freakin' Robot says science tells us that solar storms will wipe out the entire Internet. Massive surges of electrical power generated by coronal ejections (superheated gas from the sun) will knock out electrical systems and destroy the Internet. Get ready, because this is likely to happen ... in the year 2359. That's assuming that humanity survives another 337 years, and we're not living in caves, communicating with smoke signals.

Geekly Update 04-06-2022

Gizmodo says don't toss out that old laptop. Give it new life by installing Chrome OS Flex, software from Google that can turn any old laptop into a Chromebook. Chrome OS is lightweight, compared to Windows or Mac OS, so will run faster on old laptops with less memory and compute power. Google says the project in “early access” mode, and may have some glitches.

Digital drugs are a new way to alter minds, making use of 'binaural beats' that feed conflicting frequencies into each ear. Some people report they can use the technique to reduce pain, enhance memory, and ease anxiety or depression.

Will terahertz waves change your life? The "electromagnetic dark zone" is a gap on the electromagnetic spectrum that engineers have had trouble harnessing, due to the extremely high speed at which these waves travel. But new technologies bring the promise of using the terahertz spectrum for super-fast wifi, creating electronic "noses", and a replacement for x-rays without the harmful ionizing radiation.

Physicists at the University of Arkansas have developed a circuit that can provide clean, limitless, low-voltage power by capturing graphene's thermal motion and converting it into an electrical current.

Smart glasses, like the Google Glass, were despised because people could tell that you were wearing them. But as I predicted back in 2013, smart contact lenses, and all the privacy complications you can imagine, are coming. Mojo Vision just announced their smart contact lens prototype is “feature complete” and could be available in just a few years. It promises better vision to people with eye impairments. But the ability to secretly "augment" what you see, with the help of tiny image sensors and computer vision, will surely lead to other applications.

Krebs on Security reports "a terrifying and highly effective method" that hackers are using to trick Internet service providers into divulging sensitive customer data. The criminal hackers gain access to email accounts used by law enforcement agencies, then send urgent demands for subscriber data.

And finally, this week's Just Here For The Headline: Leonardo da Vinci Invented the Parachute, the Helicopter, and, New Research Suggests, the Whoopee Cushion

If Meatloaf was still alive, he might be praying for the end of time. Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 06 April 2022"

Posted by:

06 Apr 2022

The article in Giant Freaking Robot is unfortunately correct.You can search under "solar storms" and you will get a lot of information.The Sun goes crazy once in a while and can do a lot of surprising damage you would not think of in the first place.

Our country and many others are dependent on constant electrical power and if that goes out for months,we are in for a world of hurt.Our great supply chains will undergo even more hardships than it is experiencing now.Getting food and the essentials will be impossible.

Posted by:

06 Apr 2022

Amazon may censor its internal messaging app, they own it, after all, but that won't stop its people from using other apps to say whatever they like.

Posted by:

07 Apr 2022

That would be Meat Loaf.

Posted by:

Ben Kemp
07 Apr 2022

The whoopie cushion is an April Fools joke, though a well written one.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I try not to actually read the "Just Here For the Headline" articles. :-)

Posted by:

07 Apr 2022

I sense you were in a good mood when you wrote this article :)

Posted by:

14 Apr 2022

Nice that Google is making it easier to load Chrome/OS onto a laptop. Question is, why when almost any version of Linux can already do that and without Google looking over your shoulder.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 06 April 2022 (Posted: 6 Apr 2022)
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