Geekly Update - 09 October 2013

Category: Tech-News

What would it take to convince you to buy a $6000 smartphone? How can your mobile phone help you and your family survive a disaster? And is Microsoft doing enough to protect Windows users from 'remote code execution' attacks? Get answers to these burning questions, and the scoop on the latest tech news, in this edition of the Geekly Update. It's guaranteed to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

You think smartphones are expensive? Check out the Vertu Constellation, which sports a titanium body, calf's leather casing, and a display coated with 100 carats of sapphire crystal. Each of these Android-based devices is handcrafted in England, and pricing starts at about $6500. Probably no discount for two-year contract, either.

GOOD NEWS: Microsoft has released patches for Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, and Silverlight, which will prevent exploits that "could allow remote code execution". (That's geekspeak for "Hackers in dark corners of the Internet could take over your computer completely, drain your bank account, and frame you for child p**n distribution.") BAD NEWS: It took Microsoft *three months* to post these fixes, after being notified of the problems.

Surviving a natural disaster (or nuclear holocaust) might be a little easier if you load up your smartphone with the right apps in advance. Lifehacker's tips on using your phone as part of your disaster kit include survival and first aid apps, securing important documents, and offline maps.

Geekly 10-09-2013

Amazon's Login and Pay feature makes it possible to use your Amazon account credentials at other ecommerce websites. Kinda like Paypal, only not so Paypal-ish.

Samsung has released a new member of the Galaxy family, with a curved face, presumably to match the contours of your face. Or perhaps your leg, since that would make it fit more comfortably in a pocket. Details on the Galaxy Round are still sketchy.

Logitech's new Wireless Solar Keyboard charges itself with lamplight or sunlight, indoors or outdoors. The best part: If you're locked in prison for three months in total darkness, this Mac/iPad/iPhone keyboard will stay charged the entire time.

Laptop Magazine has published their findings on the smartphones with the longest battery life. The LG G2 leads the pack, capable of 13+ hours of continuous web surfing at 4G speeds. The Samsung Galaxy Note3 came in second at 11:15. The study claims the "average" smartphone only lasted about six hours in their testing.

Just when we thought that Blackberry was dead, Firefox pops up with yet another mobile phone operating system. Fortunately, the mass confusion will be limited for a while, because Firefox OS only runs on two phones (ZTE Open handsets or the Alcatel One Touch) and is available only in Spain, Venezuela, Colombia and Poland.

The HP Chromebook 11 has arrived, with a price tag of $279. (See The Chromebook Ascendancy for details on how a Chromebook is different than a traditional laptop.

And finally, here's a rare case of Apple deciding NOT to sue someone. In 2011, Apple threatened legal action against the Apfelkind Cafe in Bonn, Germany, alleging that the cafe's logo looked too muuch like the Apple logo. After two years of back and forth, apparently someone in Apple's legal department actually looked at the logo, realized they were wrong (or just plain mean), and dropped their objection.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 09 October 2013"

Posted by:

09 Oct 2013

I'm 80 years old, existing on a meager monthly Social Security check, and think that 'Smartphones' are extremely over-priced. I can't even afford a cellphone - and use magicJack instead of a landline. I've been with PayPal forever, and although a regular customer, will most likely stay with PayPal.

Posted by:

09 Oct 2013

Bob, thanks for explaining, why Microsoft had such a "large" Security Updates, this week. I went ahead and installed them, on my PC ... But, didn't have a real clue, as to why they were on the Windows/Microsoft Updates.

Oh, the monthly Windows Malware Removal was there, but, the rest ... Didn't have a clue, like sheep, I just installed them, knowing that when MS finally decides to "update" security issues, it is best to do so. :)

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 09 October 2013 (Posted: 9 Oct 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved