Geekly Update - 06 November 2019

Category: Tech-News

Is there a hidden spy camera in your hotel or Airbnb rental? Will your next prescription be delivered from the drugstore via drone? Is your voice-activated gadget receiving secret laser signals? And where can you find free movies, sports, news and TV shows on your streaming device? 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

Still searching for the perfect Motion Activated Toilet Night Light? You can find that, and other more traditional holiday gift ideas in Amazon's Holiday Gift Guide. You can browse for deals on Electronics, Holiday Toys, Stocking Stuffers, or shop Gifts by Price.

Are you concerned about hidden cameras spying on you in hotels, gyms, bathrooms, or Airbnb rentals? Scout is a hidden camera finder that will detect camera lenses that may be hiding in places you'd never suspect.

If you have a voice-activated digital assistant such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, here's something new to worry about. It turns out the microphones in those gadgets can be fooled into thinking a laser beam is a voice command. The hack even works on smartphones with Siri or Google Assistant. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that voice-activated devices could be commandeered by lasers even hundreds of feet away.

Chinese hackers security researchers claim that they can defeat the fingerprint unlock feature on any smartphone in 20 minutes. The process uses a device that can unlock a phone using fingerprints left behind on a glass.

Geekly Update 11-06-2019

A bug in the Firefox web browser lets scammers lock your screen while displaying a message warning that your computer has a pirated version of Windows. The scam then displays a Bogus "Windows Support" number that must be called within five minutes to prevent the computer from being disbled.

The days of driving to the drugstore to pick up your antibiotics or other medications may be ending soon. CVS and UPS have begun home deliveries of prescriptions via drones. Hopefully the neighbors don't have a curious dog, or a mischievous kid with a Super Soaker.

For years, mobile phone providers have played fast and loose with so-called "unlimited high-speed data" plans. The catch, often, is drastically slowed (throttled) download speeds once the user reaches a certain data cap. The Federal Trade Commission has just fined AT&T $60 million, alleging that the company did not clearly disclose if and when throttling would happen. AT&T will provide partial refunds to affected customers.

This just in from the Fun But Very Geeky department: Coders are creating amazing works of art without a single brush stroke. PureCSS Lace demonstrates the technique of creating art using only CSS code, which is normally used to define the layout of elements on a web page.

Cord cutters who dump their cable TV service often find the cost of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube TV can add up quickly. But there are some freebies to be had. This article from CordCutter News compares the free offerings from Pluto TV and the Roku Channel.

Thilmera7 is a nifty little Windows system monitoring tool that can help you figure out when a program is hogging memory, CPU or other resources.

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

Posted by:

Sarah L
06 Nov 2019

Drone delivery to suburban homes, that is the limit of usefulness for that notion. A drone is not useful for a multi unit building. My pharmacy has a person who delivers prescriptions to my door, on the 3rd floor.


Posted by:

RandiO
07 Nov 2019

Hey Toto, I have a feeling that we have tied our collective technology-shoelaces together in knots and can't seem to untie them again.
Fingerprint activated toilet seats seem to be a great idea, while waiting for the delivery of toilet paper; ordered thru the google voice assistant. Having cut the cord, we can now watch the drone arrival via our wireless Pluto TV while squat on a temperature-controlled toilet seat. There surely must be an app for our smart devices to be able to do all of this automatically.😮


Posted by:

Citellus
07 Nov 2019

Heck. I cannot defeat the fingerprint unlock on my I-phone. And it's my fingerprint.


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