Geekly Update - 10 July 2019

Category: Tech-News

Why is the co-founder of Apple warning people to get off of Facebook? Will smartphones disappear within five years? Does turning off location services make you invisible online? And can you tell the difference between an iPhone X and a Galaxy S10? 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

Amazon's 65 million Prime subscribers will enjoy discounts on Prime Day, which will be TWO days this year -- July 15th and 16th. But even if you don’t have Amazon Prime, you can sign up for a free trial and get in on the party.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, says that for some people, “the benefits of Facebook are worth the loss of privacy,” but his recommendation for most people is “figure out a way to get off Facebook.” Wozniak cites privacy concerns as the motivation for his warning, and would prefer that tech giants offer customers the ability to pay to keep their data private.

AT&T is promising to automatically block robocalls and other unwanted callers with its Call Protect service. The free Call Protect Basic app detects and blocks calls from fraudsters, identifies telemarketers and spammy calls, and lets you block unwanted calls with a personal block list. Call Protect Plus ($4/month) includes Enhanced Caller ID to identify unknown caller details, and Reverse Number Lookup.

Geekly Update 07-10-2019

Get™ is a high-tech bracelet with "bone-conduction technology" that lets you listen to anything you’d normally be able to listen to on your phone, such as audio content, text messages, and phone calls. The bracelet decodes sound waves and converts them into vibrations that can be received directly by your ear’s cochlea without the use of your eardrum.

It happened with cars, and now smartphones are starting to look alike, too. A new survey by Decluttr highlights the ignorance (or perhaps ambivalance) of smartphone owners, when it comes to understanding the available features and telling them apart from other models. Only half of iPhone owners knew their phones were water-resistant, and 40% of Samsung Galaxy owners knew they had wireless charging. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed thought they owned a 5G-capable device, but there are very few such phones on the market.

Following the spectacular flop of the the $2000 Galaxy Fold, a Samsung exec says "smartphone design has hit a limit," and predicts that within 5 years, wearable smart devices will rule. Kang Yun-Je, the head of Samsung Electronics design team, says "people will not even realize they are wearing screens." Not sure that's a good thing.

Turning off location services on your Android phone is not enough to prevent tracking. In a report titled "50 Ways to Leak Your Data" a team of researchers from the International Computer Science Institute explain how Android permissions can be circumvented to allow apps to obtain location data and unique hardware identifers. Over 1300 apps were found to be exploiting the hole in Android security. Google says this will be fixed with "Android Q" to be released later this year.

The newest $25 Wyze wireless security cameras now have night vision, two-way audio, and AI-powered software that can identify people with facial recognition.

Virgin Orbit has gotten the green light to conduct a "drop test" of the 70-foot LauncherOne rocket. Virgin's Cosmic Girl is a modified 747 "flying launchpad" that will carry the rocket under its wing, and drop it from an altitude of 30,000 feet.

Warehouse automation technologies are evolving faster than safety protocols. Case in point, a robot started a fire that caused $137 million in damage to a grocery delivery warehouse in Britain.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 10 July 2019"

Posted by:

Will
10 Jul 2019

I observe that the smartphone knowledge percentages mirrors political knowledge percentages. Lets call them the Blissful Group.


Posted by:

BobD
10 Jul 2019

The Ocado fire was not started by a robot. It was started by a battery charger.

EDITOR'S NOTE: According to the insurance company that investigated, the fire was caused by an electrical fault in a battery charger that caused a robot to catch fire. A human in the same circumstance would not have caught fire, so I still blame the robot. :-)


Posted by:

db
10 Jul 2019

Many of my friends will show me the latest and greatest phones that they just paid hundreds of dollars for, and then get me or someone else to show them how to use the phone.
They are only think of the prestige the latest, greatest phone brings, not the technology. LOL


Posted by:

Gary Blackwell
10 Jul 2019

What would be your choice between PC Matic and System Mechanic/Phoenix 360 and why?


Posted by:

William
10 Jul 2019

Steve Wozniak's preference that tech giants offer customers the ability to pay to keep their data private reveals an insufferably elitist attitude. No one should have to pay to keep their data private.

Same with AT&T's "promise" to block robocalls & etc. for a monthly fee. All carriers should be required to block robocalls and offer enhanced called ID and reverse number lookup for free.


Posted by:

Tom Dooley
10 Jul 2019

I think it is a sign of real progress that the warehouse robot now displays the equivalent level of incompetence of its' human counterpart. I wonder if it has stolen anything...


Posted by:

Robert T Deloyd
10 Jul 2019

I can only imagine the newest Android phones will be updated with "Android Q" and most of the rest of us will be vulnerable to this security hole that should be corrected years ago.
Shame on you Google!


Posted by:

KD
10 Jul 2019

AT&T robocall block appears to apply only to wireless and not to landlines. Some of us require a landline in order to get DSL Internet where other Internet services are not available and with the landline we get hundreds of scam callers, many spoofing the local area code or spoofing local businesses to entice one to "pick up". Not holding my breath until AT&T really does something (remember they are the company that added additional pay services to our bills without our authorization until they got sued for it)


Posted by:

Wolfgang
11 Jul 2019

I agree completely with William. Why should we be paying extra for something that those companies have an obligation to perform, which is to protect the public? I also agree with KD, because those companies need to do something, which is real.

Thank you Bob for keeping us informed!


Posted by:

Jeanine
11 Jul 2019

I agree with William, too. The tech giants should pay us (and pay us well) for the privilege of access to our data if we want to allow it, not the other way around.


Posted by:

j
11 Jul 2019

Having looked at what Get can do, I guess it might be progress. Now, instead of looking at screens while driving, walking, etc., people will be pressing their finger to their ear. Hopefully, their eyes will still be on the road.


Posted by:

David
11 Jul 2019

" A human in the same circumstance would not have caught fire, so I still blame the robot. :-)"

You have made my day. I've been chuckling for about 5 minutes. Funniest comment here ever.


Posted by:

Carol
11 Jul 2019

I would pay dearly for a phone or service that blocks all calls except for my white-list.


Posted by:

Patrick
11 Jul 2019

According to the 3 laws robots must obey it's obvious that the robot didn't intend to hurt a human, was ordered to start the fire by a human, thereby causing harm to him (or her) robotic self.


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