Geekly Update - 10 September 2015

Category: Tech-News

What's up with the human-free zone in the New Mexico desert? Are annoying robocalls finally vanquished? And what's the geekiest new word in the Oxford English Dictionary? Get answers to these burning questions, and the scoop on the latest tech news, in this edition of the Geekly Update. It's guaranteed to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

“Robokiller” won the $25,000 prize in the Federal Trade Commission’s competition seeking best ways to block automated calls to mobile and landline phones. The cloud-based Robokiller app is available for iPhone now, and an Android version is coming soon.

People have been "butt dialing" for years, but apparently the linguists at Oxford Dictionaries just noticed. Other geeky words recently added to the OED include blockchain, pwnage, and spear phishing.

Drones are handy for spying on your neighbors, but there's a more practical use. Derek Klingenberg, a Kansas farmer, used his drone to catch a fish.

Geekly Update 09-10-2015

John Yates was pulled over by police in Maine for driving erratically. When the officer approached the driver, he was "huffing" a can of keyboard cleaner spray. Maybe he just needed to clear his head?

LG’s Rolly keyboard for mobile devices rolls up into a stick that fits neatly in a gear bag. One AAA battery powers the Bluetooth-connected device for several months.

Apple’s “Find My Mac” app helped a Wisconsin burglary victim recover his stolen iMac, wallet, bicycle, and car.

A J.D. Power survey finds that drivers aren’t all that into “smart” cars. Forty-three percent don’t use voice commands; 32 percent avoid using apps like Yelp available through their vehicles; and 20 percent used less than half of the 33 tech features in their cars.

One billion people logged in to Facebook on August 27. And apparently, they all posted a picture of what they had for lunch.

Sprint is targeting DirecTV customers with a year of free phone service. The deal includes unlimited talk and text, plus 2 GB of monthly data. After a year, the price is $50 per month.

A brand-new city complete with 35,000 homes, roads, shopping centers, and all other infrastructure, is being erected in the New Mexico desert at a cost of $1.4 billion. But no annoying humans will be allowed to live there. “City Lab,” as it’s called, will be a test ground for drone deliveries, driverless cars, and other futuristic urban tech.

“Money can’t buy you love.” Minecraft founder Markus Persson sold his game to Microsoft for $2.5 billion a year ago. But recently, he describes himself as “isolated” and “unhappy” in a series of poignant Tweets.

The Associated Press is suing the FBI, alleging that the feds wrongfully created a bogus AP Web page to snare a 15 year-old bomb threat suspect.

Crowdfunding college costs actually works, it seems. So far this year, about 130,000 “educational cost” campaigns have raised a total of more than $20 million on; and that’s just one of many crowdfunding sites for students.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 10 September 2015"

Posted by:

10 Sep 2015

Did you perhaps mean spear _phishing_ instead of "spear fishing"? The latter term has been around a very, very long time. Thanks for the info on Robokiller.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Quite right, thanks.

Posted by:

Frank Starr
10 Sep 2015

I just hope no taxpayer money went into building “City Lab” .

Posted by:

10 Sep 2015

Bob, I am looking at your I-Drive ad which incidentally I bought one. Is there anyway to use the I-Drive without subscribing to cloud storage also? I do not feel comfortable putting my "stuff" in the cloud.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Yes! You can use the iDrive WiFi backup drive with any backup software, and keep your backups local.

Posted by:

10 Sep 2015

That Markus Persson dude, needs to sit down and think about how he can help others with his billions. Buying huge mansions and partying with celebrities is not something that will bring you long lasting satisfaction with your life. Find a passion and help the world, you will feel much better, take the example of Leonardo DeCaprio - fund environmental causes, give money to anti-poaching organizations, fund a shelter for battered women etc, this will (should) feed your soul more than any high priced toy will ever do.

Posted by:

11 Sep 2015

So crowdfunding raised an average of $154 per campaign? That should cover the cost of a textbook.

Posted by:

12 Sep 2015

Frank Starr -- I am with you, please let there be no taxpayers monies used to build "City Lab."

Nigel -- Love your sardonic humor. LOL

Glen -- I also, purchased the I-Drive, when Bob offered it, the last time. I love my I-Drive and am so glad, I bought it. I know that I can use it with the cloud or not. The cloud is only "free", for a year. I just have to get the Back Up software, so, I can use it as a back up, to my External Hard Drive. I love it's small size.

Posted by:

13 Sep 2015

Suggest checking carefully before allowing anyone to "Log-Me-in" or any other method to have access
to your computer. There are enumerable sites offering various service all of which should be suspect unless you have checked them out (how to do this? maybe Bob can tell us how). Even if the site is advertised within a site you are familiar with. Has the principal site done a thorough swab on a site before allowing them to be included in their site?

Posted by:

14 Sep 2015

I was about to sell my website from 102 Millions. Thankfully I read About Mark Perrson and I saID NO!

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