Geekly Update - 07 March 2024

Category: Tech-News

Are hallucinating chatbots legally responsible for their own actions? Can large doses of Saturday Night Fever cure dementia? And is there a flying car in your future? 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

Video killed the radio star, so maybe disco can cure Alzheimer's. For decades, biotechnology firms have grappled with the challenge of creating therapies for Alzheimer's disease, a condition characterized by memory loss and cognitive decline, affecting approximately 6.5 million individuals in the United States. However, recent developments suggest a gradual breakthrough. Among them is Cognito Therapeutics, which is investigating the potential of a unique approach involving a "disco" of light and sound, administered through a specialized headset, to mitigate Alzheimer's symptoms by stimulating brain activity.

Consumer Reports says video doorbells sold by Amazon, Walmart and Temu have troubling security flaws. The Chinese-made devices, sold under brand names Eken and Tuck, could allow a stalker to take control of a video doorbell, watching when family members come and go.

Are you worried that your 3D printer might catch fire and burn down your house? The Cloud is a $29 exploding fire extinguisher that will put your mind at ease. If flames are detected, the device makes a brief explosion, launching a cloud of extinguishing powder into the air that will quickly quench "almost any fire" within its perimeter. Do you feel better already?

Geekly Update 03-07-24

Jim Dukhovny can thank George Jetson for his company's good fortune. The CEO of Alef Aeronautics, makers of the forthcoming Model A flying car, just announced that they have over 2800 customers lined up to pay $300,000 for the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle.

Aro, a home-building startup, claims its homes will ultimately be carbon negative, genreating more energy than they consume. By using sustainable materials and solar panels, the $5 million homes will take only 16 years to achieve carbon-negative status. Now my tongue hurts.

Big tech's AI image generators turned the woke dial all the way to 11, creating a diversity problem. Both Google's Gemini and Meta's Imagine AI image generators have been found to make the same kind of historical and racial gaffes. The companies claim they have "over-corrected" in trying to counter biases and stereotyping, resulting in images of Black men in Nazi uniforms, female popes, and other oddities. A request for an image of "people in American colonial times" showed a group of Asian women, and a "Professional American football players" produced photos of women in football uniforms.

Television too boring? TV streaming service Sling says why not play a little Solitaire, Tetris or Doodle Jump while watching re-runs of the Walking Dead. Sling TV just announced “Arcade,” its new gaming platform that lets you play games while simultaneously watching live TV.

Studies show we inhale a credit card's worth of microplastics every week. The tiny plastic particles "are everywhere", according to researchers, and are able to lodge deep in the lungs. But they're not sure if this poses a health risk. Huh.

A hallucinating AI chatbot on Air Canada's website incorrectly promised a bereavement discount to a customer booking a flight to his grandmother's funeral. When the customer sued in small claims court, the airline claimed the chatbot was a "separate legal entity that is responsible for its own actions". The court found that assertion "remarkable" and ruled in favor of the passenger, who was awarded $812 in damages and court fees.

And finally, this week's Just Here For The Headline item: Woolly Mammoth Resurrection a 'Momentous' Step Closer, Firm Claims. Jurassic Park, anyone?

Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 07 March 2024"

Posted by:

Ernest N. Wilcox Jr. (Oldster)
07 Mar 2024

Regarding your closing element, "Just here for the Headline", and your comment "Woolly Mammoth Resurrection a 'Momentous' Step Closer, Firm Claims. Jurassic Park, anyone?", I'm inclined to ask, "Does anyone know if a Wooly Mammoth is or can be violent?", and "Is there any way to control one if we manage to resurrect it?"

Just wondering,

Ernie (Oldster)

Posted by:

Stephan Borau
11 Mar 2024

Thanks Bob Rankin, for all the great content and tips and information over the years. I've been receiving your newsletter for almost 20 yrs now (starting with the little internet bus of happiness).

However, I must say that there are so many ads and popups on the page that its really losing its luster. I assume you don't scrape people's data and sell it, so this is how you can make money. It really detracts from the content and the enjoyment of coming to this page.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 07 March 2024 (Posted: 7 Mar 2024)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved