Geekly Update - 10 January 2019
Would you buy a car with legs? Are the apps on your phone sharing your information without permission? Has Forbes Magazine been completely taken over by robots? And how will Microsoft eliminate passwords in the next release of Windows 10? 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
This just in from the "Quacks Like a Duck" Department: Firefox users complained when they saw what looked like an ad at the bottom of the browser's New Tab Page. There was an offer to get a free $20 Amazon gift card after making a hotel booking on Booking.com. Mozilla says it wasn't a paid placement, but rather, a “thank you” to Firefox users. Hmmm.
How fast does your device maker update the Android operating system? A new site called AOSmark just started ranking manufacturers on that very metric. Guess who’s number one.
At least 20 out of 34 popular Android apps are sending user data to Facebook without asking permission, according to watchdog Privacy International. One example cited was travel search app Kayak, which "shares" your flight search data and travel dates.
Flying cars are *so* 2018... At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, Hyundai unveiled a concept car with legs. It can drive, walk you out of a ditch, scramble over rough terrain, and even climb stairs.
"Cloudy with a slight chance of privacy…" Popular weather apps are collecting much more user data than is needed to give users weather info, according to several investigations. The app makers are accused of sharing phone ID, email addresses, and other data with hedge funds and other market researchers. As if we need another reason to mistrust weather forecasters.
Windows 10 has finally surpassed Windows 7 in market share, three years after the release of the newest Microsoft operating system. A Venturebeat story shows Win10 with 39% market share, Win7 with 37%, Mac OS with 10.6%, and 4.5% still clinging to both Windows 8 and XP. Various flavors of Linux accounted for about 3%.
The next features upgrade of Windows 10 will silence Cortana during setup and make passwords optional. Now all Microsoft must do is finish rolling out the October 2018 update.
A few hundred historical films can now be streamed free of charge from the Library of Congress’ National Screening Room site.
Ransomware disrupted publication of newspapers on December 29, including the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune. Victims are blaming the Ryuk malware, North Korea, and everything except their own shoddy security.
Amazon Alexa can now get in your face, or really close to it. The Vuzix Blade smartglasses can be pre-ordered for delivery in 4-6 weeks, and come with Alexa (plus a $1000 price tag).
Happy New Year greetings tweeted from the official account of Chinese phone maker Huawei bore the embarrassing postscript “via Twitter for iPhone.” How that happened was sort of funny until two employees got punished for damaging the Huawei brand. At least nobody in China noticed, where Twitter is banned.
Cable TV services suffered a record number of subscriber losses in 2018, but that’s not stopping them from raising prices.
Forbes has built a content management system that takes over many functions previously performed by reporters and editors, from selecting topics to writing first drafts.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 10 Jan 2019
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 10 January 2019 (Posted: 10 Jan 2019)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved