Geekly Update - 07 September 2018

Category: Tech-News

When is a stupid robot better than a smart one? Should government officials have a "back door" to your encrypted data? And why can't artificial intelligence solve the Scunthorpe Problem? This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

The spy agencies of five countries – cryptically known as the Five Country Ministerial (FCM) – have agreed to more aggressively pursue methods of circumventing encryption, including forcing vendors to include backdoors.

A Pew Research report says half of U.S. teens say they are taking specific steps to limit their time spent on social media and smartphones. Huh.

The Deebot N79S is a robotic vacuum, like the Roomba, but it costs about $800 less. This review describes it as "stupid" but it gets the job done.

Geekly Update 09-07-2018

A California casino has introduced a robot security guard. One patron said of the device, “I see that it says public safety on it, so I guess it makes me feel safer even though I don’t know what it does.” You may now weep for humanity.

Not ready for smartlocks on your home? Locky is a startup that aims to turn your "dumb" metal key into something smart. Unfortunately, it can't lock or unlock your door.

Oracle Corp. filed a supplemental objection to the IT Alliance’s protest of the Pentagon’s proposal to award a $10 billion cloud infrastructure contract to a single vendor. Rumor has it the frontrunner is Amazon Web Services, which has been implicated in more easily preventable data breaches than any other cloud services provider.

The Scunthorpe Problem has not been solved by artificial intelligence or machine learning. It still takes a human being to see there’s no reason why "Scunthorpe" or "Butts" should be banned as a username.

A Tesla fan and frustrated owner threw his warranty to the wind and services his pricey, sophisticated car all by himself. He says once you manage to get the hood off it’s as easy as Legos.

An IP address alone is not enough to identify a copyright infringer, ruled a U.S. appeals court.

Oath, the Verizon subsidiary that includes AOL and Yahoo, still scans users’ emails for data that can be used in ad targeting. The rest of the free webmail industry stopped that years ago.

Fabricating objects with 3D printing tech is now an option for Dremel tool fans using the company’s $600 IdeaBuilder printer.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 07 September 2018"

Posted by:

07 Sep 2018

As for Verizon, related to Yahoo & etc for email scanning, I feel all of them do it, plus using Ad blocks only pisses them off & you can't use certain website without turning Ad blocker of. I was receiving 100-150 spam emails using Google Gmail & finally just quit them to avoid them & my life is much better...

Posted by:

Harry Higinbotham
07 Sep 2018

FYI- I clicked on the link for the IdeaBuilder 3D Printer, and the cheapest one I could find was the 3D20, for $799, not $600.

Posted by:

07 Sep 2018

Yahoo employees would probably fall asleep reading our emails....however, I do wish I could find out how you can change your settings so you can stop them doing it. I've read it is possible, but never found out how... anyone?

Posted by:

08 Sep 2018

Thank you for the 'Sc*nthorpe Problem'.
I do have a beef with people who use "F-Word" or "N-word"; since no matter what we do, the mind's algorithm still has to translate these types of PC concepts to the exact meaning of the word. So, it becomes like putting lipstick on pig's lips!
I hope no-one has a beef with me substituting the asterisk in my first sentence.

Posted by:

Jay R
09 Sep 2018

RandiO- Do I have a B**f? D* I h*v* a *ee*? I should say n*t. I'm only slightly offended that you us*d the "A-word". But you d*d is like a star.

Posted by:

09 Sep 2018

Google wouldn't let me use "sneakysnake" as a user name either a few years ago.
Verizon scanning emails is no surprise. Read Yahoo's terms and conditions. After I realized that "all your emails are mine", I moved many of my emails elsewhere.
And what V charges for a landline here or DSL internet is robbery. My woman has a landline with them because she doesn't want a cell phone. $65 a month for 30 minutes long distance. Which is anything over a 20 mile radius. When I had their DSL, V locked me out of their email constantly. DSL SPEED was never over 2mbps.
I traded their DSL for a unlimited mifi at half the price. The other internet provider choice here was Comcast. More expensive but 11X faster than V.

Posted by:

10 Sep 2018

Bob, I'm puzzled as to the reason you repeatedly blame AWS for the data breaches that have occurred on AWS hosted sites. AWS, like any cloud services provider, is in the business of providing the infrastructure by which their customers can set up web sites, databases, and other cloud-based services. If their customers are sloppy in how they set up their web sites and databases, doesn't the responsibility for that lie with them, and not the cloud provider? Surely you're not suggesting that cloud service providers should be scanning their customers' data to see if they've properly secured any personal data? Should they begin policing their customers' data for copyright infringement while they're at it?

EDITOR'S NOTE: No data scanning is needed. Start with requiring a password, and a non-trivial one at that.

Posted by:

11 Sep 2018

Bob, cloud security, and who is responsible for what, it a bit more complex and nuanced than simply requiring a password on everything. If I set up a web site and host it on AWS, it's my responsibility as the customer to determine what portions of my site are appropriate to be shared publicly, and which portions should be restricted. AWS isn't in a position to make that determination for me, or to require everything on my web site to be locked behind a password. If I put stuff on my AWS-hosted site that shouldn't be shared publicly, that me, not AWS, that's responsible for the breach. Most of the breaches I read about were pretty much just that: sloppily managed web sites, with the owners thinking that by not publishing the URL for confidential data on the site, no one would discover it, and not bothering to add on even the most basic protections for non-public data. And if you're setting up something more complex than just a web site on AWS (or any cloud) infrastructure, it's still on you to know what you're doing and secure the portions you're responsible for securing. They give you the tools, and advice on how to use them, but you still need to use them responsibly. I recommend you read up on AWS's shared responsibility model:

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 07 September 2018 (Posted: 7 Sep 2018)
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