Geekly Update - 08 December 2016

Category: Tech-News

What's the best way to spot fake news, satire and clickbait? Is your local food market using artificial intelligence to follow you around the store? And how much money does your average honest hard-working cybercriminal make per month? 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

From the "Boy, Do I Feel Old" file... High school seniors applying to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will receive acceptance letters via Snapchat. Students are then expected to send a selfie back to the admissions team to let them know they received it. (Hat tip: ResearchBuzz)

Amazon Go is a concept for a checkout-free grocery store, to be launched sometime in Seattle in 2017. That's doesn't mean you can checkout without paying… it's just that there are no cashiers. The store employs a secret blend of apps, computer vision, sensors and artificial intelligence to figure out what you're dropping into your cart, and automatically charge the tab to your linked Amazon account, as you casually saunter out the door.

Public transit riders in San Francisco were thankful for ransomware over the long weekend. The payment system for bus and train tickets was encrypted, prompting authorities to let everyone ride for free. It's still unknown whether any customer data was compromised.

Geekly Update 12-08-2016

Have you been phubbed? To newly-minted word "phubb" means "snubbed by someone you're with who'd rather look at his/her phone." Researchers coined the word in the course of a study examining causes of relationship problems. 70% of study participants reported they have been phubbed and it caused conflicts in their relationships.

Facebook's automated censoring algorithm deleted ten posts from founder Mark Zuckerberg's page on or about November 28. They were restored after media outlets pointed out their disappearance. Ironically, two of the deleted posts concerned Zuckerberg's opinions on "fake news" and what Facebook is doing about it.

Speaking of fake news, the B.S. Detector browser plugin for Chrome and Firefox warns users when a link on any Web page leads to an unreliable or questionable source. Links are categorized as Fake News, Satire, Extreme Bias, Conspiracy Theory, Rumor Mill, Junk Science, Hate Group, Clickbait, and Proceed With Caution (sources that may be reliable but require further verification).

Google Earth got an update of higher-resolution satellite images, and time-lapse slideshows of any point on Earth showing how things have changed over the past 32 years.

Version 55 of the Chrome browser is out, and it further deprecates Flash in favor of HTML5 animations. However, users are reporting that Chrome 55 has a bug that makes certain videos (those encoded in MP4 format) unplayable.

Good news: Nintendo has resurrected the beloved NES Classic game console, complete with 30 free games, at a bargain price of $50. Bad news: it's currently sold out except on eBay and Amazon Marketplace, where resellers are charging up to $250.

Can you trust a thief to tell the truth? Most cyber-criminals are not earning enough to quit their day jobs. According to a survey on the "dark Web" that's monitored by security researchers, most hackers report incomes from their crimes in the $1000-3000/month range. However, 20% reported income of $20,000+ monthly.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, more Americans shopped online than in brick-and-mortar stores, according to a National Retail Federation survey. about 109 million people shopped online, compared with 99 million in stores. Online Black Friday sales zoomed up 18% vs. last year, while in-store sales fell 10.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 08 December 2016"

Posted by:

Glen Cowgill
08 Dec 2016

The BS Detector does not install in Firefox.

Posted by:

08 Dec 2016

"Boy, Do I Feel Old" file.. and you can bet that I feel a LOT older!!!

Posted by:

08 Dec 2016

In response to Glen's post, BS Detector will install in Firefox .. as long as you're running version 43 or lower. I'm running 50.0.2. Chances are most other folks are as well. This was a major disappointment. I was SO looking forward to this add-on!!

Posted by:

08 Dec 2016

P.S. Regarding the Firefox version of the B.S. Detector, you can write directly to the folks who created it to request an updated version here:

Posted by:

08 Dec 2016

OK .. the problem with the B.S. Detector seems to be Firefox. From the add-on's creator:

Hi Karan,

Firefox hasn’t approved our plugin yet, so while it’s available for download, it can’t be installed until they digitally sign it. Unfortunately, that’s taking far longer than we’ve anticipated. It will likely be a couple of weeks before it is able to be installed without manually downloading it from our Github repository and installing it through the debugging interface.

Daniel Sieradski
The Self Agency LLC

Posted by:

08 Dec 2016

Wanna feel really old?

A tech gave me an invoice to sign. I noticed the date was May 8. "Ah," I said, "V-E Day."

I was greeted by silence.

I said, "That was the day the Germans surrendered in World War II."

Blank look.

I said, "You know that the United States was at war with Germany and Japan?"

He said, "No kidding."

Posted by:

Glen Cowgill
08 Dec 2016

I was looking forward to the install. A couple weeks will be nice. Thanks to all who replied.

Posted by:

08 Dec 2016

I'm going to start carrying a newspaper or mag with me at all times. The next time I get phubbed, I'm going to loudly open the periodical in front of my face and not put it down until I'm forced to. How is it remotely socially acceptable for people to do the same exact thing with their phone??!!

Posted by:

Ross Cameron
09 Dec 2016

If you`re being 'phubbed' keep talking---loudly. They won`t know who to listen to. Probably accuse you of having no manners for not stopping so they could ignore you. :-)

Posted by:

09 Dec 2016

My High School Junior daughter said that an acceptance letter by way of "social media" (as she put it) was very unprofessional and that she wouldn't consider a college that did that.

Posted by:

09 Dec 2016

"phubbed"??? Hmmm. It seems that American English has been replaced by Computerese. I'd love to know what Ann Landers, Dear Abby, Miss Manners, etc., would have to say about "phubbing."

Posted by:

09 Dec 2016

Ahhhh, PHUBB Miss Manners & Dear Abby! Phubb 'em all! lol

Posted by:

09 Dec 2016

"Fake News", the Left's projection against those who call out their BS, and their latest trick to cover up their bias--, fully evident during this past electoral season. Pathetic.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 08 December 2016 (Posted: 8 Dec 2016)
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