Geekly Update - 06 August 2014

Category: Tech-News

Why are privacy-invading 'smart meters' bursting into flames? Would you finally backup your hard drive if it took less than a second? And why are robots getting the best seats at baseball games? 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

Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark have developed a 43 Terabit-per-second fiber optic network. You could download a 1 GB movie in 0.2 milliseconds if you had the latest fiber optic network technology. Put another way, you could upload to Dropbox the entire contents of a 1 TB external drive in one-fifth of a second.

The main benefit of Google Fiber for consumers may not be higher speeds; instead, the gigabit service’s entry into monopolized markets may force companies like Frontier Communications to offer lower, tiered pricing plans.

Geekly Update 08-06-2014

Smart power meters are being pulled from electricity customers’ homes in Saskatchewan, Canada, following several incidents in which the meters burst into flames. Privacy advocates were already burned up about smart meters, which can tell power companies when you’re home and what you do with your juice. I can *GUARANTEE* mine would burst into flames, too. :-)

The Silent Power PC is still just a prototype, but it’s a cute one. It sports a passive cooling system that has no noisy fan; instead, it has a silent but silly-looking copper metal foam pad on its top. It weights only 3.3 pounds and measures just 160 mm (6.2 in) wide, 100 mm (4 in) deep, and 70 mm (2.75 in) tall; however, that bulk doesn’t simply vanish. If your hard drive crashes, you can always use this gadget as a dish scrubber.

The Virgin Mobile division of Sprint, in its noble effort to provide more affordable ways for the poor to remain poor, will introduce a $12 per month wireless Internet service that lets you connect only to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, and you can choose only one. But for only $10/month more you can waste time on all four social media networks.

Who's laughing now? Personal Audio LLC, a patent troll company that tried to extort money from every podcaster, is trying to drop its frivolous lawsuit against comedian Adam Carolla – but he won’t let them, the trolls complain in a recent press release. Carolla raised over $450,000 from fans to fight Personal Audio, and apparently he’s using it to drain Personal Audio’s legal budget.

The Huffington Post has published “8 Ways Technology Makes You Stupid” but failed to include the Huffington Post in its list.

Watson, IBM’s famous supercomputer, has digested and analyzed thousands of Department of Defense “transition aids” written to help military service members successfully move into civilian life. Members of financial services provider USAA can ask Watson questions in natural language, e. g., “How do I apply for VA medical benefits.”

“Take me online to the ball game…” A South Korean baseball team installed three rows of robotic “fans” in its stadium. They enable fans who can’t make it games to send video selfies expressing messages of support… and the robots can even wave or do “the wave.” It seems popular; over 90,000 messages have been sent via the robots so far this season.

Columbia, Virgina is a tiny, 226 year-old town that's asking the Internet for $20,000 to stay in existence. If they fail to raise the needed funds, the town will be assimilated into the Borg. Or something like that. So far they've raised just north of $500 after a week of online panhandling.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 06 August 2014"

Posted by:

07 Aug 2014

Hi all, from Oz. At least when Ozes Telco was the only player in Oz the Public could twist the Politicians arms for a good deal, via vote buying and political embarrasment of course, and have a reasonable service with good local employment. Now with Privatisation, the Big 3 Telcos offer "The Dirty and Confusing Tricks Plans" using minimal local Labour, while the Govt and Citizens still pay for the infrastructure.
Virgin and Sprint, USA, - a business plan of
"How To Lose Business". Only Surf to a specified Social Media site, terms must be buried in the fine print, nobody with a thinking Mind would sign up to pay to be forced to Web Surf to specific businesses (in this case anyway). A Business forcably directing business to another Business, what a "Win Win" situation for "All". I think the Social Media Businesses must be involved there somewhere, and makes me think that they (FB, Twitter, etc.) really are a House of Cards, look out shareholders! Should there be a special stockmarket Division and Index named "The House of Cards" or the "House of Straw and Sticks". Rant and Ramble over.

Posted by:

Lloyd Collins
07 Aug 2014

After reading “8 Ways Technology Makes You Stupid” , I agree with it mostly, and it make you lazy, too. I don't own "smart" anything, because I will not depend on a device to do my thinking. I read real books, even without pictures, and do math with paper and pen. I am addicted to the Internet, but, not it's slave.

As for added memory, do I talk to my Doctor, or Computer Expert on the type I need? Wait. They must have an App for that.

Posted by:

07 Aug 2014

Thanks, Bob, for another enlightening edition of the GU! We have been fighting with the local power company about smart meters. They will let us opt out if we pay a monthly premium to keep the old meters. What a deal! So, we'll just wait for our home to burn down. Then we'll sue! There's no place like home!

Posted by:

huffer puffer
07 Aug 2014

Your Huffington Post link is infected with Malware...

EDITOR'S NOTE: Looks like a false positive to me. The thing it flags is Adsonar, an advertising network.

Posted by:

08 Aug 2014

What a "newsy" letter this is 06Aug2014. Regarding "8 ways...": At my age, late 60's, forgetting things is all part of life (some of mine is intentional by the way). It's when I see young people, in their 20's and 30's, forgetting things I worry. The information overload is taking it's toll and I hope I'm here long enough to see how we adapt and overcome.

Thanks for the stimulating read!

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