Geekly Update - 06 March 2013
Is your laptop secretly taking pictures of you? How is using Facebook like attending a Tupperware party? And is Apple blocking some of your incoming emails? 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 on...
The AskBobRankin Geekly Update
Convicted hacker Nicholas Webber went to jail for his various computer crimes in the UK. While in prison, he was allowed to enroll in IT classes, and (drumroll please...) hacked into the prison's mainframe computer.
Rent-to-pwn: Computers rented to consumers by franchisees of Aaron’s Rent-A-Centers contained spyware that secretly took photos, collected Social Security Numbers, and emailed the sensitive data to Aaron’s HQ, according to a new FTC complaint.
Best Buy is slashing $100 off the prices of Windows 8 touchscreen laptop and desktop computers, except for Microsoft’s Surface machines. Surveys reveal that a greater percentage of touchscreen users are satisfied with Windows 8 than users of traditional displays (74% to 53%).
Citing rising music royalty payments, Pandora has announced a 40-hour monthly limit on free listening. That policy change should affect less than 4 per cent of Pandora’s users, who should be listening to job interviewers’ questions anyway.
CNN “media theorist” Douglas Rushkoff explains why he shut down his Facebook account despite the benefits he derived from it as an author. “It exploits our social interactions the way a Tupperware party does.”
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's new CEO who had a baby last Fall, just banned working from home companywide. That's no problem for her... she’s had a nursery added on to her office.
Do you travel for weeks at a time? Outbox is a $4.99/month service that sends an “unpostman” to retrieve U. S. mail from the mailbox right outside your door, open it, scan it, and email the images to you. They’ll re-deliver paper that you really want. Over 600 Austin, TX, customers trust Outbox, and it’s coming to San Francisco next.
"I'll take Vocabulary Words for $100, Alex." Smartphones are emasculating, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, speaking at a recent TED talk. "You're standing around and just rubbing this featureless piece of glass," he explained.
It’s on, but we want it off: Cablevision is suing Viacom for illegal bundling of seldom-watched TV channels with popular channels, claiming the practice drives up consumer costs. Viacom counters that it’s really offering discounts; MTV and Comedy Central would cost more if you didn’t also take Logo.
Rebooting an iconic, bankrupt brand, Polaroid Fotobar has opened its first photo services shop, in Florida, hoping that consumers want $1 paper copies of digital snapshots. “Digital is not permanent. Physical is permanent,” said Warren Struhl, founder and CEO. He should try turning digital photos into tattoos. That's permanent.
Silent Censor: Apple’s iCloud email system won’t deliver some incoming messages; they don’t go to “spam” or “junk” folders, they just never arrive. Test emails containing the phrase, “barely legal teens” suffered this fate, but no one knows what other naughty words are on Apple’s blacklist.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 6 Mar 2013
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