Geekly Update - 10 August 2022

Category: Tech-News

Are Tesla's self-driving cars mowing down children in crosswalks? Do you want Alexa to mimic the voices of your dead realtives? And have Amazon and Whole Foods teamed up to fulfill a biblical prophecy? Get answers in today's Geekly Update... it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

Krebs On Security tells the story of email scammers who used a well-timed appliance repair ruse to try to convince an 80-year-old woman to transfer a large sum of money via bank transfer. They even sent an Uber to her home when she said she was unable to drive to the bank.

Amazon demonstrated an experimental feature of their AI-powered Alexa assistant device. The technology can learn to imitate a person's voice from just a single minute of recorded audio. In the demo, a child asks his deceased grandmother to read him a story. Creepy, but the obvious implications are even scarier.

Lionsgate, the company behind the ‘Fall’ movie wanted a PG-13 rating, but they had a problem. The more than thirty "F-bombs" in the finished film would have earned it an R rating. The problem was solved using AI technology to remove and replace the offensive language. That's pretty frickin' clever.

The Dawn Project, a safe-technology advocacy group, conducted tests to see if Tesla’s self-driving technology would detect children in the road. They found that a Tesla in Full Self-Driving mode at 25 mph repeatedly hit a child-sized mannequin in its path. The Dawn Project is calling for a ban on Tesla's self-driving technology. However, the founder of Dawn Project may have a credibility problem, as he owns a company that makes software used in automated driving systems. Until we figure this out, please keep your mannequins out of the crosswalk.

Geekly Update 08-10-2022

Canon and Takara Tomy (the company that makes Transformers toys) have collaborated on a pair of Transformers figurines that can fold away into what appears to be a Canon EOS R5 digital camera. The first clue that the EOS R5 lookalike is a non-functional replica is the $147 price tag of the Decepticon Refraktor and Optimus Prime toys. The real EOS R5 goes for $3900.

Some Whole Foods grocery stores in Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle, and New York have enabled the Amazon One technology that lets you pay by waving your palm over a scanner. I'll wait for the forehead scanner.

CNET says the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a better design and a great camera, but laments the $1,800 price tag. The Fold 4 has some user interface improvements and the upgraded triple lens camera sports a 50-megapixel main sensor, 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor and 10-megapixel telephoto lens.

T-Mobile's Home Internet service is now available anywhere you can get T-Mobile service -- no T-Mobile phone plan required. Pricing starts at $50 per month with a data cap of 100GB. T-Mobile will email you when you exceed 80% of your data limit, and will drop your 5G connection speed to 2G (128 Kbps) if you exceed the 100GB cap. Higher priced plans with more data are available.

Google's learn-to-read tool, previously only available on Android devices, is now available on the desktop. A virtual helper encourages kids to read aloud and offers correctional feedback. The tools works on Chrome, Edge and Firefox browsers and gives kids digital prizes for completing reading goals.

SciTech Daily offers eight proven ways to boost your immune system, and some things and foods to avoid that tend to act as immunosuppressants.

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 2022"

Posted by:

Bill C
10 Aug 2022

"I'll wait for the forehead scanner "

Bob, The way things are going in DC these days.....It won't be long :(

Posted by:

Tom Janzen
11 Aug 2022

Bob is incorrect about the T-Mobile Home Internet plan. It's $50/month all in, with NO data caps. I've used it for several months and have never run into a data cap or limits. It also says in the website that there are no caps or limits. I have found that speeds vary all over the place but I've never been unable to stream at HD quality.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I should have called it T-Mobile Home Internet Lite, which is a new offering (available August 16) for people WITHOUT T-Mobile cellular phone service. No data caps, true, but it does throttle to 2G ("watching paint dry speed") when you hit the 100GB limit.

Posted by:

11 Aug 2022

Thank you, BobRankin,
As if we were not totally confoozled about Vax/NoVax, Mask/NoMask, Vitamins/NoSupplements... I really wish that I had not read your WeeklyUpdate on SciTechDaily news suggestion for taking supplements, which is in 100% conflict w/today's news, as follows:

"Those popping Vitamin D as part of their daily routine are facing one disillusioning study after another showing the supplements have little to no effect on their health, although one Hartford HealthCare registered dietitian said continuing the regimen still has merits.
A study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine asserts that Vitamin D, with or without calcium, has no effect on reducing bone fracture rates. One of the study authors actually urged people to stop taking the supplements."

Posted by:

11 Aug 2022

AI was used to alter F-bombs in movie to change rating. Thank God we have computer technology. It was worth giving up all my privacy and then having my life savings stolen by hackers

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 10 August 2022 (Posted: 10 Aug 2022)
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