Geekly Update - 10 May 2018

Category: Tech-News

Is it really possible for hackers to steal your face? Why is a new document released by Microsoft causing geeks to injure their fingers? And can you replace a visit to the eye doctor with a visit to a website? 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

C|net proves it shills like a boss with an article that adeptly spins Facebook’s loss of one in four users’ trust and patronage into “User loyalty remains high with users of the social network…” Reminds me of those magazine ads where doctors recommended the health benefits of cigarettes.

Now you can have the full power of the Windows command line at your fingertips; but boy, are your fingertips going to get sore! Microsoft has released a PDF reference guide to more than 250 command-line commands, including the syntax for all switches, arguments, and other command modifiers. That’s why the document is 948 pages long. The reference guide’s download page also makes a good place to hang an ad for Surface laptops.

You need the specs of your spectacles in order to shop for new eyeglasses online. If you are satisfied with your current prescription, Glasses USA can scan your current eyeglasses to decipher its specifications; then you have the numbers you need to buy online. The app won’t work with bifocals, progressives, and other complex prescriptions, but on basic glasses it’s as accurate as an in-person eye exam - and free!

Nimbus Screenshot and Screen Video Recorder us a very handy Chrome extension for anyone who ever wants to save a copy of what’s showing in their browser. Nimbus is dead simple to install and use, but also very customizable for the geek who has to capture everything.

Geekly Update 05-10-2018

Eight more long-standing security holes have been found in Intel’s CPUs. Pundits are calling the news “Spectre 2.” Real smart-alecks are calling it “Spectre 2 through 9.”

“It’s to protect you from fake accounts that steal your face!” That’s what Facebook says in efforts to get users to consent to the use of facial-recognition tech. But the company is so bad at taking down imposter accounts that it disabled the real account of one victim four times.

Your car’s speaker system may soon disappear, and be replaced by vibrating door panels and other interior features. Somehow, I doubt that parts designed to be silent will make good speakers.

Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm that ignited Facebook’s current dumpster fire, “shocked” the media by announcing the firm is shutting down and liquidating its assets. Shock soon turned to amusement when public records revealed Cambridge is merely changing its name to something less infamous: Emerdata.

An American got a UK privacy regulator to order Cambridge Analytica to turn over all data the firm has on him, opening the door for 50 million other Americans to seek justice from the country their ancestors revolted against to escape injustice. That’s rich in something but it’s not “irony.”

Facebook’s artificial intelligence tech helps the company delete “millions of fake accounts every day” and removed 99% of ISIS and Al Qaeda hate speech in Q4 2017. Still, the AI will let some harmful content remain on Facebook. That’s why 20,000 human “abuse investigators” are being hired and trained.

Warrantless searches of Americans’ data by the NSA increased by 42% during 2017 to include 7,512 searches of Americans' calls and messages. That comes as no surprise given the current administration. What is surprising is that the NSA itself is revealing stats on its domestic spying.

Twitter urged all users to change their passwords on May 5, and revealed that a “bug” had left some user paswords exposed in plain text on a server accessible by anyone. The bug is fixed and this should not happen again, says the company. Go here to change your Twitter password.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 10 May 2018"

Posted by:

Alan
10 May 2018

Go "where" to change my "user Paswords"? ;-)


Posted by:

Walter
10 May 2018

"given the current administration" Perhaps you are referring to the Obama Administration increases in domestic spying?


Posted by:

Ken Mitchell
10 May 2018

"Warrantless searches of Americans’ data by the NSA increased by 42% during 2017 to include 7,512 searches of Americans' calls and messages. That comes as no surprise given the current administration. "

Please note that while the cabinet heads have (mostly) been replaced, most of the senior staff in the bureaucracy are still Obama-era holdovers. Hence the term "Deep State".


Posted by:

Kenneth Heikkila
10 May 2018

Alan try actually reading the articles linked before commenting- The link for twitter takes you straight to Twitter sign-in which offers the option to go immediately to settings to change your password which it also recommends you do....

Walter, ditto. I know it's hip for Spanky's apologists to blame everything on Obama, even things that happened in 2017, but give a shot at reality (also an unpopular concept for Spanky's fans.)


Posted by:

SteveD
10 May 2018

The Command line directory could be useful. There is one list of commands in the table of contents that does directly link to the command in the document.

There is a 2nd list within the document (Command-line reference A-Z. The links in the 2nd list do not link to within the PDF, but back to Microsquish...


Posted by:

bill
10 May 2018

I use FScapture for documenting things. It can capture anything on the screen(s). Not a one program recorder.


Posted by:

bill
10 May 2018

Since the scanner looks at the back of the glasses, it will give you the base prescription on the glasses. Bifocal and progressive additions are on the front of the lens.


Posted by:

Jack
10 May 2018

"That [Warrantless searches of Americans’ data by the NSA] comes as no surprise given the current administration."

- Getting into politics now, Bob? You could lose half your subscribers.

Besides, it was the Obama administration that gathered all that information about Americans, then admittedly lied about it through Director of National Intelligence Clapper.

And it was Democrats who rigged their primary presidential election, not Republicans.

I didn't want to get into politics, but you did start it.


Posted by:

Walter
10 May 2018

2017, funny, I don't recall Trump being president then. Apologist? No. I elected him to do this stuff and am very happy.


Posted by:

wrigleywrat
10 May 2018

Why install an extension or software for browser/screen captures? The "Prt Scr" button on your keyboard does that. Press that button, open a blank word processor document and press Ctrl+V to paste the screen image. You can then save, print, crop, etc.


Posted by:

MG
11 May 2018

Emerdata? Merde comes to mind.


Posted by:

Dave
11 May 2018

Accusing this president of warrant-less political searches when the king of this type of behavior is no longer in office suddenly places you into a political debate that will force many of us to drop this otherwise useful blog. Stay with useful, factual stuff and keep out of the swamp! You're better than that!


Posted by:

Lloyd Collins
12 May 2018

I am so glad I never joined Facebook and Twitter. I prefer the old fashioned ways to be social, in person, and on the phone. I would have included snail mail, but, email is faster and free (for now).

Also, I thought that the swamp was to have been drained by now, and it will be soon, to make room for Amazon's second headquarters.


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