Geekly Update - 09 February 2022

Category: Tech-News

Will the newly announced Samsung Galaxy S22 tempt Apple fans to ditch their iPhones? How easy is it to take down the Internet of an entire country? Will quantum computers soon be able to break the encryption that underpins Bitcoin and other crypto currencies? And did an essay from 100 years ago accurately predict the Internet of 2022?

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

Ask Elon Musk which future Tesla model is the most important product they're working on, and he'll tell you it's not the Cybertruck pickup or the Roadster supercar. In fact, it's not even a car. Musk says Optimus, Tesla's humanoid robot, could eventually outgrow its car business. The robot will be able to perform dangerous, repetitive, physical tasks, initially in a factory setting. Expect a prototype by sometime in 2022.

Samsung just announced details of the Galaxy S22 lineup. The new flagship smartphone models will launch on February 25th, starting at $799. USA Today compares the S22 to the iPhone 13.

The DOJ has seized $3.6 billion worth of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Heather Morgan (also known as rap artist Razzlekhan) and her husband, Ilya Lichtenstein allegedly tried to launder the pilfered crypto through “a labyrinth of cryptocurrency transactions” dating back to 2016, when the funds were stolen from the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. Engadget has dubbed Morgan the world's worst rapper, wryly adding that "laundering billions in Bitcoin may not even be the worst crime of her life."

Geekly Update 02-09-2022

An American hacker who calls himself P4x claims to have taken down the entire North Korean internet on several occasions. The hacker, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, says he was retaliating for a hacking campaign in which the North Koreans tried to steal hacking tools and other information from him.

Google has announced an effort to eliminate password threats by automatially enrolling users in 2-Step Verification (2SV). Two-step verification requires one additional form of authentication in addition to the password. The company claims they have auto-enabled 2SV for over 150 million users, resulting in a 50% decrease in accounts being compromised.

In 1922, English novelist W.L. George wrote an article for the New York Herald, in which he made predictions about what the world would look like in 100 years. George accurately predicted fast intercontinental air travel, wireless communication, atomic energy, and people packed into high-rise communal dwellings. But he failed to anticipate the rise of technocratic censorship in social media, opining that "There will be no more things one can’t say, and things one can’t think."

Build a bridge with plastic? Maybe, with a new polymer that is stronger than steel and as light as plastic. MIT engineers have done something previous thought to be impossible: polymerizing a material in two dimensions. The super-strong plastic material can be manufactured in large quantities.

You think it would be serene and peaceful to wander about in space? Maybe, until you get blasted by a torrent of plasma in a geomagnetic storm. SpaceX just lost 40 newly launched Starlink internet satellites for that very reason. A powerful solar storm caused them to fall from orbit and burn up.

The startling clickbait headline claims that "quantum computers may become powerful enough to crack the Bitcoin encryption in a decade." But the article goes on to quote University of Sussex researcher Mark Webber as saying that the Bitcoin network is "unlikely to be hit by a surprise quantum attack." Webber says one would need a quantum processor with 1.9 billion qubits to crack Bitcoin encryption, a feat unlikely to be achieved in the next 10 years. In the meantime, Bitcoin developers should have enough time to make crypto networks quantum resistant.

And finally, this week's Just Here For The Headline: Samsung’S Galaxy Watch 4 Will Track Your Sleep With Cartoon Animals.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 09 February 2022"

Posted by:

09 Feb 2022

SpaceX seems to not have planned for such a geomagnetic event.With the Sun starting its new 25th cycle,there will be more CMEs and solar flares.

They need to reassess their satellite planning and positioning if they not want to lose any more satellites.

Posted by:

09 Feb 2022

Until Google can get all the bugs out of Android 12 (and stop introducing new ones in their fixes), I don't think many iPhone users will jump ship.

Posted by:

09 Feb 2022

Does Optimus Dream of Electric Sheep?

Posted by:

09 Feb 2022

I have seven Google accounts. One is my main one where I do my day-to-day stuff. 2FA just suddenly appeared there a few months ago. It's nice to have security, but Google sends me notices to tap "It's me" on any of nine other devices (phones or tablets) on which I've registered that particular email. At night all of them are turned off. (One doesn't even get notices.) Occasionally, when out of the house, I have none of them with me. Problems. On the other hand, some of my "other" gmail accounts are used for specific things like bank, doctor, etc. I don't have them as the registered user on anything, so no 2FA. Hmmm...

Posted by:

Ken Maltby
09 Feb 2022

To be honest - in my experience he got it dead right, from what I see on the Internet these days. "There will be no more things one can’t say, and things one can’t think." Every day I'm pretty sure that's true (especially in the US)

EDITOR'S NOTE: The author was saying that in 2022, people would no longer be constrained as to what they could say or think. With cancel culture, political correctness, woke-ism, and big tech censorship, that's sadly not true.

Posted by:

10 Feb 2022

A plastic bridge? I hope that polymer won't break down in sunlight.

Posted by:

13 Feb 2022

I think Bob's suggestion in the Geekly Update (and in the note he added to Ken's post) is wrong in a very crucial way: We remain as free as ever to say what we want. The government or the police cannot prohibit a person from standing on a soapbox in public, or publishing, in order to express their opinion - even the most untrue propaganda or vile hatred that everyone else considers vile. And, as we see every day, a person's followers are all able to join in the chorus. But here's the important point: At the same time, no other individual - or business, school group, or social-media company - is obligated to allocate their time, space or resources to provide a platform for that person. If anything, requiring them to do so would trample their own free speech rights by compelling them to promulgate opinions they strongly disagree with.

So is it really a violation of free speech or even "robust open discourse" if they refuse to lend their own platforms for the expression of opposing opinions? The answer is no - not any more than it would be for Fox News or MSNBC to deny my request that I be given a program on their network. Of course, if people then get upset when they hear you or me say something they consider outrageous, their own freedom of expression allows them to react accordingly. They may exercise that right in many ways, ranging from making speeches on their own street corner soapbox to posting on websites devoted to opinions like their own - or even the more consequential efforts of "canceling" or boycotting. Those are the consequences of living in a free society and we should stop responding to the "snowflakes" we don't like by acting like snowflakes ourselves.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Trudeau just declared the equivalent of martial law in Canada, in order to stop people from standing on their "soapboxes." They are freezing personal and corporate bank accounts and suspending insurance policies. That might put a damper on their right to freely express their grievances.

Posted by:

15 Feb 2022

Canada's emergency powers actually do nothing to prevent freedom of speech. Arguments against workplace vaccine policies continue to be heard as always. But due to massive blockades, already struggling businesses and their employees have lost income, bringing damage to the economies of Canada and the United States. After holding off for weeks, waiting for the truckers' to end their siege of the streets once their message was heard, the government finally had to respond to the nearly 75% of Canadians calling for it all to end. Unfortunately, with so many vehicles deliberately blocking traffic in multiple locations, ordinary law enforcement efforts were unable to clear public roads without other (financial) pressures being temporarily made available to them.

I am very surprised that you don't realize that difference. To keep with our "soapbox" analogy, for how many hours (let alone weeks) would you allow thousands of other people's soapboxes to be piled up against the front door of your own home or place of business? Or how about if the same people conducted a continual denial-of-service attack to "protest" your websites and refused to stop? Well this has gone even further by doing the equivalent to as many citizens and businesses as it can. By doing harm for too long, the illegal blockade went beyond protest and became a form of extortion. The truckers can avoid the consequences you mentioned if they finally go home now, and they can resume yelling all they want about vaccines in myriad other ways. No one is stopping that.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 09 February 2022 (Posted: 9 Feb 2022)
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