Geekly Update - 10 August 2016

Category: Tech-News

How many government-sponsored autonomous vehicle advocates does it take to deliver a Slurpee from 7-11? What surprising item is being removed from Google Maps? Does a new Chinese smartphone use lasers to warm your Pop-Tarts? And can you still get Windows 10 for free? 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

A 7-11 store used a drone to deliver chicken sandwiches and Slurpees to a customer’s home one mile away in Reno, NV. Actually, it took two flights of a drone to deliver the whole order, plus a government-sponsored autonomous vehicle advocacy group and “special flight planning, risk analysis, and detailed flight procedures ensuring residential safety and privacy were equally integrated.” Oh, thank Heaven!

If Google Maps now looks a bit weird to you, it’s not your browser or eyeglasses. The company announced an overhaul of Maps to make it easier to read, including eliminating most roads. Because nobody uses a map to find ROADS, right?

It seems a free Windows 10 upgrade is still possible, despite Microsoft’s insistence that the giveaway ended July 29. Using any valid Windows 7 or 8.1 product key, one can install (or re-install) and activate Windows 10 for the first time on any PC. Mercifully, the annoying “Get Windows 10 Now” nagware is dead and buried for good.

Geekly Update 08-10-2016

At least one “PC repair scam” crook has been caught. Robert Ratkovcic milked $150,000 out of his victim, traveling from Florida to Sausalito, CA, twice to pick up cashier’s checks from her. She finally called the cops on the third shakedown, and they were waiting to arrest the aptly named Rat.

Comcast sold “near-worthless” service plans to 500,000 Washington State customers, a lawsuit filed by the State Attorney General claims. The $4.99 per month upsell did not cover in-wall wiring problems which account for 99% of technician visits, and most of the plan’s actual coverage is already provided by Comcast’s free “Customer Guarantee.”

Netflix’s library has shrunk by 40% since 2012, while the basic subscription price has risen to $9/month. Third-party content producers which once welcomed Netflix are now stingier with their movies and TV shows, prompting the company to invest in original content.

New AskBob readers occasionally ask me how I can guarantee that readers of the Geekly Update will be "146% smarter" than their friends, family and co-workers. The shocking truth is, the 146% figure is just an AVERAGE. I started collecting this data by tapping into the NSA's skycam network (of course, filtering out all those NOT currently viewing the Geekly Update page). I've since added stealth robots, bio-feedback, eye-tracking and a secret gadget that I can't talk about.

A proprietary algorithm powered by my TI-58 calculator uses the latest artificial intelligence to analyze that data in real time, and transmogrifies the results using a solar-powered autonomous drone. I was surprised to find that some readers experience smartness gains up to 300%! Of course, that implies that a small percentage of readers actually get dumber, but I'm sure you'll agree it's all for the greater good. :-)

The Holofone from Chinese firm Akyumen includes a 7-inch HD screen, Android Lollipop, a full version of Windows 10 for phones, and a 35-lumen projector that allegedly can illuminate a 100-inch screen. Unfortunately, the $750 base model does not include a toaster slot or a handy pop-out screwdriver.

Chinese sellers on Amazon and other marketplaces can get testy if you don’t leave positive feedback or reviews, even calling buyers repeatedly to beg and bully for props.

Arrrrrrrrgh! The U.S. Navy is charged with piracy of 558,000 copies of a virtual reality software package. Bitmanagement Software is seeking $596 million in damages.

Rival hacker gangs have leaked several thousand decryption keys that defeat the Chimera ransomware. Of course, sites offering the keys will infect you with their own malware.

The FCC is pressuring telcos and backbone ISPs to give consumers anti-robocall tools, including free robocall-blocking. Telcos are balking, claiming existing blockers block too many legitimate calls.

When Australian drivers follow GPS directions into a ditch, they at least have the excuse that the continent has shifted 1.5 meters to the north since 1994, the last time satellite coordinates were synced with the coordinate system used on the ground. The Geocentric Datum of Australia, the country's local co-ordinate system, will be shifted north by 1.8 meters in January, 2017, ensuring that it matches GPS coordinates by 2020.

A Las Vegas woman stands accused of stealing $6.7 million worth of printer ink from her employer, a water utility. At some point, it was inevitable that accountants would notice the rising tide of red ink on the company's balance sheet.

A Ukrainian hacker stole the health care records of 105,000 patients of the Central Ohio Urology Group and posted their full 156GB of data on a public Google Drive. Some people are pissed off.

Uganda’s morality police have spent $88,000 on a dubious “p**nography detector” machine. (I'm sure they could find plenty of citizen volunteers to do the job for free.) Meanwhile, the government still can’t find funds for a radiotherapy machine for cancer patients.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update began rolling out via Windows Update on August 2. Computers with the latest hardware will get it first; those with older gear that may have driver compatibility issues will get the update later, presumably after discovered issues are fixed. The impatient can download and install the Anniversary Update manually. I do not see any reason home users should be anxious to get this update.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 10 August 2016"

Posted by:

10 Aug 2016

I never install the first version of a big update. Too many bugs. I wait for at least the 0.1 version and usually the 0.1.1. I also watch how frequently updates appear. When it's been a month or so since the last update, I know that the version is stable.

Posted by:

Tom Rieg
10 Aug 2016

Some people are pissed off..... HA!! :-D

Posted by:

David Guillaume
10 Aug 2016

Thanks for putting a smile on my face Bob. Just love your Geekly Updates. Keep em coming
David Guillaume

Posted by:

Peter Hanish
10 Aug 2016

On Aug 6 I bravely downloaded the Windows Anniversary Update. I started the update at about 12pm and waited patiently for the install to be completed. At 12am the update was still at 94% completed, so I left the computer on and went to bed. When I got up at 9am the update had finished, and when I booted up everything was working properly. Why it took over 12 hours is unbelievable.

Posted by:

Elizabeth Perilloux
10 Aug 2016

We use Maps (and Mapquest) to play routes to vacation destinations. If Google Maps removes road names, I'll just have to use a Rand McNally ROAD atlas! For some reason every business seems to think, when it gets huge and bloated, that it and it along has the right information and answers. As my granny would say "pshaw!"

Posted by:

Al. S
10 Aug 2016

Yesterday When I tyrned on my Computer the Monthly 2nd Tue began todownload and instal. The Updates are automatic. It worked fine until it passd 75%. The little circle just get going round and round going nowhere.
I called Microsofft Tech Support and the Tech had me force a shutdown and restart twice. He Then tried downloading a newversion after uninstalling the old.
Nothing worked as it froze at 75% again, by the the First tech was log gone. I called again and was asked for the Make and Model no f my Notebook, a fw minutes later the tech came back and said that my Computer was not capable of running win10 and to contact the Manufacturer for drivers.
Now I had installed W10 about 10 months ago and it worked fine. When I went to shut down I got the usual do not disconnect or shut down. I waited and at first got a popup saying that all of the Update was not installed wentto check Win Update and it said iws up to date and the date and time it was installed.
It changed my Hotmail account to Outlook. a nightmare loggin to my account.
Apparently some older computers can not install the latestversion. My brand new W10 with a 17.3" touchscreen is on the way.

Posted by:

Al. S
10 Aug 2016

The MSFT Techs all recomended I use Geoogle chrome or Firefox which is safer than IE or Edge.

Posted by:

10 Aug 2016

I did the anniversary update and almost everything went fine. The only issue I had is that it disabled "Classic Shell" which it said was incompatible with this version. I went to the classic shell site and downloaded an update which fixed the problem.

If you use classic shell, I recommend you update it first before doing the anniversary update.

Posted by:

10 Aug 2016

$6.7 million worth of printer ink stolen? Wonder how much they normally used in that period.

Posted by:

10 Aug 2016

A Simple Solution to take care of Failed Updates
How to “delete failed update…”
Anyone who can navigate File Explorer can do it easily in just a minute. Here is what to do:
• Open your C: drive
• Navigate to Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download. The failed update files are in the “Download” folder.
• Press Ctrl-A to select all files in the Download folder.
• Delete all of those troublesome files.

Now run Windows Update to get the missing updates. That may take 20-30 minutes if you had a lot of failed updates. Afterwards, check the update history again. If you see any failed updates from the most recent attempt, repeat the steps to delete the failed update files and try to update again.

Posted by:

Old Man
10 Aug 2016

Enjoyed your humor.
A couple of groaner puns in the text, but the yellow sidebar was really great.

Your "MORE FROM ASKBOB" had an article entitled: Got Windows 10? Do These 5 Tings NOW... The accompanying picture (Powered by Google) shows someone putting a drop of oil in an ear. What is the relationship between Win 10 and putting oil in your ear to lubricate the brain?

Posted by:

Jay R
10 Aug 2016

Thank you for the explanation about how the 146% figure was arrived at. When I began reading your emales, I had tu uze a dikshunary. Now I dream about quantum mechanics and improvements upon Einstein. I knew the 146% figure seemed quite low.

Are you sure that it was a good idea to reveal as much as you did about the IQ boosting ability of your emails?

Posted by:

10 Aug 2016

I feel like I fall right in the 146% range. Thanks!!!

Posted by:

10 Aug 2016

I got dummer

Posted by:

11 Aug 2016 was inevitable that accountants would notice the rising tide of red ink on the company's balance sheet...... groan.....

Posted by:

11 Aug 2016

I did the Win 10 Anniversary Update. I started in the early afternoon. It was up to 99% by 8am the next day. Overall, it took over 14 hours to complete on a 3.2GHz i5 PC. When it was finished, the PC was almost unusable, taking over 10 mins to get to the logon screen and several minutes to log on. after that each keystroke took about a minute to process. I did an internet search for problems and found a suggestion from an earlier update. I pulled the NVidia *600GTS graphics card and reverted to on-board graphics and all came good. I haven't yet re-tried the NVidia card.

Re Google Maps, what I find really annoying is that it will not let one plan a driving route via unpaved roads. There are a lot of unpaved roads in Australia! Changing from driving to walking lets one use unpaved roads.

Posted by:

Pat C.
11 Aug 2016

I got a huge kick out of the sidebar about the Average User's IQ going up when they read your Geekly Update. Now, on to the lesser stuff. Google eliminated some roads to make their maps easier to use? WTF were they thinking? Some idiot was driving that bus and I hope said idiot is driving in Oz using a GPS. I never cease to be amused by the antics of idiots. Then again, those idiots may be in charge - business as usual. 6+ million$ of printer ink? Was she stealing HPs Deskjet ink, mayhap? (An aside, if I may. I have a HP2130 Deskjet and I needed both black and color inks - #63. For 3 whole frigging weeks I could not find any anywhere in my area - nobody within a 40 mile radius. All the other inks were plentiful. I guess So-n-so stole it all.

Posted by:

11 Aug 2016

I reserved my Win10 update but have held off installing it. However, Microsoft installed it on my system (Win7 Home Premium) so I am assuming that it is just sitting there somewhere on my CPU.Am I correct? Or am I way off base? HELP! I used several software paks (noted by AskBobRankin & the community) to halt installation. I have an older custom CPU w/5GigHarddrive; and am totally worried that Win10 will not download properly. I want to wait for several more updates to fix bugs you all are talking about. Thoughts? Thanks.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 10 August 2016 (Posted: 10 Aug 2016)
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