Geekly Update - 06 August 2020

Category: Tech-News

How many people fall for phishing scams, and what happens when they do? Why are lazy geneticists upset with Microsoft Excel? How can you tell if your login credentials are for sale on the Dark Web? And what's the story behind Google's confusing privacy email? 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

Maybe crime does pay after all. Security firm McAfee reports that the NetWalker ransomware gang made at least $25 million since March 2020. McAfee tracked payments that victims made to known Bitcoin addresses associated with the ransomware gang.

A team of security researchers from Google, PayPal, Samsung, and Arizona State University took a deep dive into how phishing campaigns operate. They found that most phishing attacks exist for less than 24 hours. On the bright side, only about 7 percent of the intended victims entered their credentials in the phishing forms. Those that did, experienced a fraudulent transaction about 5 days later.

This just in from the "Sorry, We're Not Buying It" department: Twitter faces a $150-250 million fine from the Federal Trade Commission, for "inadvertently" using customer emails and phone numbers to target advertising. That info was collected “for safety and security purposes” but according to the FTC, Twitter misused that contact info from 2013 to 2019 to help target ads.

A recent headline that caught my eye said "Scientists Rename Human Genes To Stop Microsoft Excel From Misreading Them As Dates." The article blamed Microsoft's Excel program for converting abbreviated gene codes such as "MARCH1" into dates when entered into a spreadsheet cell. One study of 3600 scientific papers found that about 20 percent had been affected by what they called "Excel errors." I call them "lazy scientist errors" but scientists have already solved the problem -- they are are renaming the genetic identifiers to avoid future confusion.

Geekly Update 08-06-2020

The Stokes Twins, YouTube stars popular for prank videos, may have pranked themselves into prison. The 23-year-old twin brothers have been charged with False Imprisonment and Swatting after staging a fake bank robbery.

Microsoft has updated the Windows 10 "Your Phone" app to allow users to run Android apps on the Windows desktop. It's only available on certain Samsung handsets for now.

Samsung's Galaxy Watch 3 has been cleared by the FDA for electrocardiograms. Like the Apple Watch, the Samsung competitor also has a blood pressure monitor and a blood oxygen monitor. Samsung says the new health-related features will become available to users in the United States as a software update "later this year."

If you got a confusing email from Google about privacy and voice recordings, it's actually good news. Google will no longer store audio recordings from Google Maps, Google Assistant, and other voice-enabled apps, unless you opt in to the feature.

A new Security Dashboard for LastPass can alert users if passwords have been compromised in a data breaches — but only if you’re a paid LastPass subscriber. If you'd like to check for free, visit the Have I Been Pwned database to see if your credentials are floating around on the dark web.

Honda is recalling 600,000 vans and SUVs due to faulty software that may cause the driver display to malfunction or reboot. Affected models are certain 2018-2020 Odysseys, 2019-2020 Passports, and 2019-2021 Pilots. The software bugs may cause the backup camera to fail, and can result in speed, engine oil pressure, and gear position indicators to be unavailable.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 06 August 2020"

Posted by:

06 Aug 2020

*So, what I now hear is that Google has been monetizing our voice recordings all this time but now they won't!
*Running Android apps inside of Windows desktop seems like b3stiality, or incest and/or inbreeding.
I think I'll add these to my list of reasons to avoid entanglement w/google; just in case and just like twitter, google "inadvertently" gets breached or decides to go to bed with another leaky 3rd party.

Posted by:

Sarah L
07 Aug 2020

You are too fond of Microsoft. Excel is a clunky tool in my view, meant for accounting but used for lots of other things that have nothing to do with accounting. Its software presumes a lot, and that is not a fine-edged tool.

Posted by:

Jim Seiler
07 Aug 2020

the geneticists need to get over themselves ... in spite of my occasional differences with Excel, it does what it was designed to do, not what the geneticists expected it to do ... if you don't like what it does, be creative instead of whining and design some filters to input your data through

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 06 August 2020 (Posted: 6 Aug 2020)
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