Geekly Update - 06 January 2021

Category: Tech-News

Is time flying like an eagle, just like a popular song predicted 45 years ago? Will Microsoft radically change the Windows 10 interface this year? Is Amazon working on a gadget to spy on you as you sleep? And will new FCC rules finally put an end to annoying robocalls? 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

It turns out Steve Miller may have accurately predicted the future back in 1976, while penning the words “Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin', into the future.” Atomic clock scientists say the Earth is spinning faster than usual, prompting calls to shorten the minute to 59 seconds.

A Microsoft job posting dropped hints that the company is planning a major design change for Windows 10, expected to arrive in the “Sun Valley update” planned for the third quarter of 2021. Apparently, Microsoft want to tell the world that "Windows is BACK". Thanks, but no thanks. We didn’t know you left, and we don’t want to learn a new interface. Again.

Here’s a handy guide that covers the basics of Gmail search, then moves on to more advanced techniques that will help you sort your inbox, find specific messages, or create filters to help manage the flow of incoming messages.

Business Insider says Amazon is working on a gadget to watch you as you sleep. Could be creepy, but "Brahms" will use millimeter-wave radar to track sleeping and breathing patterns, in hopes of detecting sleep apnea.

Geekly Update 01-06-2021

In a sick twist on “swatting,” a deadly prank that provokes police raids on innocent households, the FBI warns that some hackers are hijacking their victims' security cameras and livestreaming the attacks. Case in point for not reusing passwords.

The FCC is cracking down again on robocalls, setting a new limit of 3 calls allowed per residential number within 30 days. In addition, phone companies are now required to investigate illegal calls flagged by the FCC, take steps to mitigate them, and provide a status update on call blocking disputes within 24 hours.

One year after the official “end of support” date for Windows 7, Slashgear reports that as many as 200 million people and businesses may still be using the older Windows version, which first launched in 2009. Perhaps those folks haven’t read my article Yes, You Can Still Get Windows 10 For Free.

Researchers from Penn State and the University of Texas have made a breakthrough in reducing the cost of desalination, the process of producing clean water from salt water. New tech improves the efficiency of the reverse osmosis membranes by 30%-40%, which will result in more clean water, produced with less energy.

There’s a new improved PDF viewer in Google Chrome, but it’s a secret. The feature is included in the latest version of Chrome, but must be enabled with a flag in the settings. The new PDF viewer offers a table of contents sidebar, two-page viewing option, and quick jump support.

This just in from the "Crime and Punishment Cash Payments" Department: Ars Technica reports TicketMaster has confessed that employees hacked a rival ticketing company, which later went bankrupt. A former employee of Songkick supplied TicketMaster with stolen passwords and inside knowledge of Songkick operations. Top executives at TicketMaster knew of the scheme, but will pay a $10 million fine to avoid jail time.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 06 January 2021"

Posted by:

06 Jan 2021

Maybe a new Windows 10 would fix some things that I dislike intently on my new laptop.

Despite never having checked the box for hovering over an link to perform whatever in "Ease of Access", that is what it does. Links open, links close, I don't know how I can not be hovering over SOMETHING on a page.

Also just moving across a page will highlight the whole thing, this together with the hover issue is driving me crazy.

And as for being forced to keep Edge.

Meanwhile, learning Linux seems more and more the way I need to go, just to save my sanity!

Posted by:

Jay R
06 Jan 2021

Crime pays and justice can be bought.
Thanks, Ticketbastar
2021 is already improving!

Posted by:

Tom Yeoman
06 Jan 2021

The new PDF in Google Chrome sounds very interesting. Will it support creating a `fillable' PDF? (How does one invoke a `flag in the settings."
[re paragraph 6 and dealing with robocalls, I thought `to mitigate' meant to "Improve;" perhaps the FCC just needs to "get on with business."]
[re para 7, how many of the 200 million have simply given up on MS' ability to do anything right. A Chromebook is a blessing]

Posted by:

06 Jan 2021

This link does not work:
Business Insider says Amazon is working on a gadget to watch you as you sleep. Could be creepy, but "Brahms" will use millimeter-wave radar to track sleeping and breathing patterns, in hopes of detecting sleep apnea.

Posted by:

07 Jan 2021

I surely thought that by 2021, the Microsoft/Windows bashing would be down to near kTB (-174dBm/Hz). "200 million people and businesses" still relying on Win7 (circa 2009) "should" be a testament to something... No?

Posted by:

07 Jan 2021

Often Win 7 computers are kept because required programs do not run on Win 10. I have an old computer that has many motherboard controllers that there are no drivers available for past Win 7. I retired it and moved my Win 7 pro license to upgrade my Win 10 Home on one of my laptops.

Posted by:

07 Jan 2021

Getting your jollies from "swatting" is evil, sick and twisted. Every one of them should be punished to the fullest extent that the law will allow. If they are not caught, they will pay the ultimate price on Judgement Day.

Posted by:

07 Jan 2021

Brahms sounds like a huge improvement over other methods for detecting sleep apnea. I've been wired up twice for sleep apnea and never again.

And I'm still using Windows 7 and why not? It works just fine and doesn't need improvement. Too many times, programs get improvements that aren't. The U.S. Weather Service has just "improved" it's national radar mosaic map and now the animation doesn't work right and any touch of the mouse just screws up the map.

Posted by:

Wild Bill
07 Jan 2021

The "shorten the minute" bit, on closer inspection is not suggesting to shorten all minutes, just one, from time to time, if needed. Life goes on.

Posted by:

11 Jan 2021

Being in the UK, and used to doing most things myself, a lot of tech passes me by, so things like Brahms (I don't have trouble sleeping, only waking for work...) pass me by. As for Windows 10, forget it. I have a W10 laptop, and it is the slowest, least reliable, and most frustrating of all my computers. It has a quad-core processor, plenty of of RAM, and runs about as fast as a tired sloth. It is dreadful. My others? A laptop which originally had XP and has ben upgraded to W7; not much good for watching movies, but does text quite happily, so is great for bedtime reading. A former Vista laptop, again now with W7, that knocks spots off the W10 machine, and two W7 desktops, (one an hp which came with W7, one an upgrade from Vista) for all my model railroad projects. Incidentally, my W7 upgrades are genuine, not pirated - I bought a three-machine upgrade pack shortly before W10 was announced. All, except the W10 beast, dual-boot Linux, too.

The 'leap-minute' has been on the cards for years, just like leap years, but in the opposite direction

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