Geekly Update - 06 March 2019

Category: Tech-News

Can the biggest problem with artificial intelligence be solved by Pictionary? What will you do with your hundred-dollar bills when the cashless society arrives? And what percentage of Netflix users are actually paying for the streaming service? 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

MicroSD cards that hold a whopping 1 terabyte of data are the latest storage breakthroughs. Sandisk’s version launches in April at $449, but Micron’s price has not been announced yet.

The feature that's getting the most attention in the new Samsung Galaxy S10 is the so-called hole punch cutout for the camera. Some users have created humorous wallpapers to take advantage of the design.

The password "ji32k7au4a83" looks pretty strong, but it has appeared in 141 data breaches. What makes it such a common and easily hacked password?

If your smartphone battery dies by lunchtime you may be interested in the 18,000 mAh P18K Pop from Energizer... or not. As thick as three iPhones, it’s essentially a big battery with a phone tacked onto it.

Geekly Update 03-06-2019

The problem with artificial intelligence is that it lacks common sense. But researchers at the Allen Institute for AI think they can fix that problem by having an AI program play Pictionary.

Cash is not going away any time soon despite growth of electronic payments. A Federal Reserve report says, Cash continues to be the most frequently used payment instrument, representing 30 percent of all transactions and 55 percent of transactions under $10.” The Fed also notes that $100 bills outnumber singles in circulation.

The FTC has ruled against fake Amazon reviews purchased by sellers for the first time. Amazon has been taking legal action against sellers and reviewers who game its trust system for years.

Netflix may be losing over $192 million per month due to account sharing, according to a study from About one in five streaming service users is mooching off someone else’s account, according to the study.

This Google Map shows the optimal route to drive for a tour of all 47 U. S. National Parks in the lower 48 States.

Amazon has stopped selling the Amazon Dash gadgets that let customers purchase laundry soap and other household items with a push of a button. It never made sense to have one Dash button for each product.

Santiago Lopez is a self-taught ethical hacker who honed his skills using blogs and YouTube. The Argentine teenager has earned over $1 million in bug bounties by finding and reporting over 1,670 software vulnerabilities.

Amazon Prime members can now schedule all of their orders to be delivered together, one day per week. “Amazon Day” will cut down on vehicle emissions and porch piracy.

Microsoft will end its Band and Health Dashboard apps on May 31. Microsoft stopped selling its Band wearable fitness tracker two years ago, but continued support for existing customers until now.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 06 March 2019"

Posted by:

Ken Heikkila
06 Mar 2019

The Amazon review thing was what most interested me. I buy often from Amazon (who doesn't?) I always comparison shop first and try to read as many reviews as possible from different sources, always with a skeptic's eye. I like to think I have become fairly adept at judging the reviewers' opinions.

I have to say that in general Amazon's reviews are pretty good when I consider the top and bottom scores, especially when compared to most other sites, but occasionally they are off. Usually they are obvious fakes or disgruntled customers who often didn't buy the product for the purpose for which it was advertised or just had unrealistic expectations or customers who obviously didn't give the product time to show any flaws. Sometimes the favorable and/or unfavorable reviews came before the customer had even tried the product- it "looked like it would or wouldn't last."

The other day I was reading reviews of a product that were way off. In fact they obviously weren't even for the product that was advertised for sale.....I didn't buy it.

Posted by:

06 Mar 2019

It's great that Amazon can 'bundle' deliveries for its Prime customers - I'm all for reducing corporate carbon footprint.

And it might make an easier time for Porch Pirates - they'll only need to be out trolling once a week - reducing THEIR carbon footprint -and will get an even bigger haul each time from their sticky fingers with a lot less effort.

In our neighborhood, doorbells with video camera feature are selling like hotcakes!

Posted by:

06 Mar 2019

Amazon itself is the biggest creator of fake reviews on Amazon. It has a nasty habit of lumping reviews for similar products together; my guess it's an attempt to show more "reviews" for newly released products. The problem is not all similar products are the same quality.

For example 3TB and 5TB HDDs tend to have more problems than the other size in that product line. When reviews for, say, all WD Black HDDs are lumped together, the sizes that have more problems than the others will get the same review ratings as the sizes that get better ratings.

Even worse is when a new product is listed but is available only for preorder. For example, when Amazon first listed new releases of Samsung SSDs, even though the drives were not available anywhere, they still received thousands of reviews. This also ignores the fact that new products can have early release bugs.

Newegg does pretty much the same except its website makes it easy to filter out similar products so only the reviews for that specific product are shown.

I feel review combining should be illegal as a form of false advertising.

Posted by:

06 Mar 2019

While I rarely use cash, I still keep a large amount of it hidden where I can get to it in case something goes wrong with my plastic, such my frequently overzealous credit union freezes my account due to what it interprets as possible fraudulent activity, the vendor's system is down, or the vendor charges an outrageous fee for using plastic (I also never go back to that vendor, after politely informing the vendor of that).

Many people have difficulty getting or maintaining debit or credit card accounts for a variety of reasons, including various physical and, especially, learning disabilities. Banning the use of cash can frequently be a violation of the American Disability Act.

Posted by:

06 Mar 2019

I was saddened to read in USAtoday that "The wallet as you know it may be dying" and a Gemalto rep. stating “We’re nearing the point where that pendulum is shifting to the preference for digital forms of payment (and) identity...” (
I trust my wallet/cash! So, I am going with your version that cash is not going away anytime soon. Thank you.

Posted by:

07 Mar 2019

I use cash for almost all of my purchases at supermarkets, department stores, and book stores, etc. [I only use my credit cards for online purchases or bigger cost items and pay everything off at the end of the month.] Considering that we are living in a surveillance society, whose business is it what food I buy, etc.? The transactions seem so much easier in cash, and I don't have to worry about anyone "pilfering" my information.

Meanwhile, I also agree with the other comments posted above regarding Amazon reviews. I follow the old saying: "Don't believe everything you read!" It is ALWAYS a good idea to do fact checking from various sources.

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