Geekly Update - 06 December 2018

Category: Tech-News

What well-known company is the winner of the December Data Breach contest? Is the Microsoft tech support scam finally finished? Why are lawyers for Apple acting like a bunch of blockheads? And do you need proof that image recognition isn't ready for prime time? 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

Online florist 1-800-Flowers announced that their website was breached four years ago, revealing the names and credit card data of 75,000 customers over that timespan. Not to be outdone, Q&A website Quora revealed that hackers obtained 100 million user names, email addresses, encrypted passwords and other customer information. But the big winner in the December Data Breach contest is Marriott Corp, which revealed a breach that may involve 600 million hotel guests’ records and may also date back to 2014.

Facial recognition flagged a woman for jaywalking. Only problem: she’s an ad on a bus. Another indication that artificial intelligence still has a ways to go. British police want to use AI to spot online p*rn, but the tech keeps mistaking sand dunes for human flesh. In related news, microblogging site Tumblr made news by announcing their ban on naughty bits. But their image recognition tech is equally flawed, flagging pictures of Jesus, superheroes and a man with no socks.

Geekly Update 12-06-2018

Starbucks will also begin filtering p*rn from its WiFi networks in an effort to fill seats with paying customers. Let's hope their content filters work better than their coffee filters. (I have to filter too. Many spam filters will zap emails with "objectionable" words.)

The world’s largest collection of scientific wildlife audio and video recordings is now available online for free. Let's hope it doesn't ban birds and bees.

In the near future, your first job interview may be with an AI bot that assesses your personality.

Indian police raided 26 call centers and arrested hundreds of people following “tech support scam” complaints file by Microsoft.

The low-cost, no-contract, multi-carrier cellular service from Google, previously called Project Fi, is now Google Fi. One cool feature is the ability to seamlessly switch between T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular networks. Until recently, it only supported a few phones (Google Pixel, Moto G6 and X4, and LG's G7 and V35). You no longer need a special phone to use Google Fi, if you can live with T-Mobile service.

Elon Musk is no longer boring. His plans for a hyperspeed tunnel under Los Angeles have been canceled, or changes, or pivoted, or something. Who knows what Elon is doing?

A free Photoshop clone runs in your browser. If that doesn't do the job, here are 10 (More) Free Online Photo Editors

Rivals are embracing -- it must be Christmas in the air. Apple Music is coming to Amazon Echo speakers starting December 17.

YouTube is pulling back on its push of subscription services, making original content available for free on its ad-supported service.

Hundreds of Google employees signed an open letter to the company demanding that it stop developing a censored search product for the Chinese government. Really, the Chinese need help with censorship?

Apple is arguing that consumers who buy from its App Store have no standing to sue Apple for antitrust violations because of a 40 year-old Supreme Court ruling about concrete blocks. Associate Justice Sotomeyer, for one, is not impressed.

Scientists have mapped history going back to the 4th century in the labyrinth of tunnels beneath the world’s oldest cathedral in Rome.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 06 December 2018"

Posted by:

David
06 Dec 2018

AI isn't intelligence. It's a collection of commands, programmed by people, to tell it how to behave. A person would know how to interpret sand v. flesh, but no one told the computer how to do that. Until it's told, it won't know. AI's main purpose will be to allow people to escape the blame for mistakes: "The computer did it."


Posted by:

Brian B
06 Dec 2018

Artificial intelligence is the greatest oxymoron of our time.


Posted by:

Beverly Shellabarger
06 Dec 2018

MalwareBytes stopped the sample file from loading on the Photopea site. Is this a legit deal? Is it safe to exclude?


Posted by:

Jim
07 Dec 2018

Lately we have been getting Microsoft Scam calls from "Kathreen", a computer generated voice telling us that our licence and IP address will be cancelled unless we contact whoever. Multiple times a day this week, so closing those call centers hasn't stopped it, yet. Maybe it will slow down some.


Posted by:

Diane
07 Dec 2018

Enjoyed the humour. Thanks.


Posted by:

Mike
07 Dec 2018

I got 2 Microsoft calls today. one on the house phone and one on my mobile number. Yes I still have a land line.


Posted by:

jphuf
07 Dec 2018

Knowing sand from human flesh is also difficult for human males, I almost got arrested for trying to lay down at the beach on the sand, only to find out a hot chick was laying on that same
spot.


Posted by:

Jay R
08 Dec 2018

AS. Why do I never hear about Artificial Stupidity? It makes me wonder. From some of my interchanges with computers, I would swear that it exists.


Posted by:

D Ray
08 Dec 2018

Oftentimes the scam is done by a group of employees without the knowledge of the Management.


Posted by:

FrancesMC
13 Dec 2018

The Supreme Court Associate Justice is Sotomayor. With an A not an E.


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