Geekly Update - 06 October 2016
Is Yahoo spying on your emails, and reporting back to Big Brother? Will new technology make waiting in line a bit less frustrating? And can your wi-fi router read your lips? Find out in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. And it's *guaranteed* to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!
The AskBobRankin Geekly Update
One quick note for those who had trouble ordering the IDrive One... When you get to the order page, don't click the little button at the top that says $39.50. If you do, you'll get the wrong price. Instead, SCROLL DOWN on that page, and you will see the order form, which will get you the discounted price of $39.50. Sorry for the confusion!
Pilots and air traffic controllers are switching from slow, repetitive radio transmission of traffic controller instructions to text messaging, which can notify dozens of flights simultaneously. I wonder if anyone has considered how easily a text message’s origin can be faked, or the message modified enroute.
Google has revealed a gaggle of new hardware devices. Among them are the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, Daydream (a virtual reality headset), Google Wi-Fi (wireless home networking), Google Home (a competitor to Amazon Echo), and a new Chromecast that handles 4K video.
It wasn't bad enough that Yahoo's shoddy security allowed hackers to steal login credentials of 500 million users. Now we learn that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer ordered the company to create tools to scan incoming email messages for specific words and phrases, at the request of the U.S. government.
And you think your workplace’s IT is outdated. An auto repair shop in Poland is still using a Commodore 64 PC, 34 years after its debut and 22 years after it was discontinued. Sometimes, a 1 MHz CPU and 64 kilobytes of RAM is enough.
You're waiting forever on a long line, and you're thinking, "Wouldn't it be great if all of us could instead be sitting in comfy high-tech self-driving chairs, capable of conducting us to the front of the line?" Wish granted. Nissan has unveiled a self-driving chair that moves people along fixed courses such as restaurant and movie theater lines.
Researchers have found that Wi-Fi signals can be used to identify humans and monitor what they are doing. By noting how the radio signals are deformed by peoples' activities, software can "see" what a person is typing, or even read their lips with surprising accuracy.
The fifth version of Teddy Ruxpin, the original animatronic doll, is coming this holiday season. It features LCD eyes that realistically (if creepily) track a child’s movements; 4 GB of onboard storage for 40 audio stories; and Internet connectivity to download new stories or read audio books aloud.
A New Hampshire law criminalizing selfies that show a voter’s completed ballot is an unconstitutional infringement upon free speech, a federal appeals court has ruled. The state argued that by letting the world know their vote on social media, selfie-takers could be aiding future vote-buying and voter coercion schemes.
Six seconds is the minimum time that a human needs to wake up from watching a “Harry Potter” DVD and take command of the wheel when a self-driving car alerts him that an eighteen-ton truck is approaching head-on. This could be the fatal flaw in self-driving car schemes.
Death and taxes are certain. But at least New York state residents will no longer have to pay early termination fees if they die before their contracts expire, thanks to a new law that applies to landline and cellphone providers, cable, television, internet, power and water companies.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 5 Oct 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 06 October 2016 (Posted: 5 Oct 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved