Geekly Update - 11 February 2015
Did your auto loan come with stealth tracking and a remote-controlled kill switch? Would you pay a Japanese guy to watch you eat your lunch? And if you send email to an Australian tree, will it write you back? 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
Subprime car loan lenders are requiring borrowers to accept devices that track their vehicles’ location constantly and enable remote disabling of the car's starter. “I’ve disabled a car while I was shopping at Walmart,” says one collections manager.
Where do I go now, when I need a 25-ohm 3-watt rheostat? RadioShack, one of my favorite stores as a teen, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, ending a 94-year run that culminated in 11 straight years of losses. About 40% of RadioShack stores will become Sprint stores, continuing the tradition.
If eating at your desk gets lonely, you can always pay a Japanese stranger to eat with you on the Internet. One such Webcam dining companion earns $9,000 a month, according to reports. "Zoom in closer, I can't tell if that's a carrot or a cheese stick."
80 million Anthem health insurance customers, including the company’s CEO, had their personal data stolen by hackers in a recent security breach.
Verizon has graciously agreed to let its customers opt out of supercookies, the trackers that Verizon inserted into web page requests on its mobile network. AT&T abandoned supercookies earlier.
Ironically, the latest hat in the crowded streaming video service arena has been thrown by Overstock.com, which plans to add video rentals and purchases to its $20/year Club O membership program.
In a classic case of convergence, Uber announced intentions to replace drivers with driverless cars while Google is reported to be working on a ride-sharing service.
“Fake femmes fatale” are using Skype chat to pry battle plans and other sensitive data out of Syrian opposition fighters, according to security research firm FireEye. Provocative images booby-trapped with data-stealing Trojans have also ensared lonely revolutionaries.
Verizon has finally joined the price wars, cutting $10 per month from most of its shared-data plans – except the most popular one, of course.
Adobe has started distributing a patch to the latest flaw discovered in its Flash player for Windows, OS X, and Linux that would allow hackers to take complete control of vulnerable computers.
Time-Warner Cable’s profit margin on Internet service is either 97% or 3233%, depending on who’s reading the company’ financial report. If you take the average of those teo numbers, 1665% still looks pretty good.
[Insert tree pun here.] You can send email to any tree in the city of Melbourne, Australia, and get a reply. Yes, from the tree (or a city council staffer pretending to be a tree).
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below, or I'll watch you eat your lunch...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 11 Feb 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 11 February 2015 (Posted: 11 Feb 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved