Geekly Update - 11 February 2016

Category: Tech-News

Can you guess how many people die every year while taking selfies? Does liking terror-related pages on Facebook help to fight ISIS? And what happens to your email, social media and other online accounts when you die? 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

“Falling from heights” is the leading cause of selfie-related deaths, followed by drowning, trains, and gunshots. “Stupidity” did not make the list, surprisingly.

The relentless nagware known as “Get Windows 10 Now” has been made a “recommended” upgrade instead of an “optional” one. If your Windows 7 or 8.1 system is configured to install recommended updates automatically, you may wish to change that setting so that only “important” updates are auto-installed.

Microsoft demonstrated a submersible data center code named Project Natick. A steel can containing servers designed to run hands-free for up to five years could be dropped into the sea near high-traffic Internet areas, saving money on cooling and facilities leases.

Geekly Update 02-11-2016

An artificial intelligence that wastes the time of robocallers was invented by telecom worker Roger Anderson. He’s provided a Web interface to his “Jolly Roger” AI so that you, too, can tie up your own phone line for this petty amusement.

When you get hotel room that won’t let you adjust the thermostat to your liking, there is a simple hack that unlocks “VIP” mode and puts you in charge again.

A bill that would allow Florida residents to designate a posthumous executor for their social media, email, cloud storage, and other online assets is making its way through the state legislature.

The makers of SpyHunter anti-malware software have filed a frivolous defamation lawsuit against for not removing a negative review of the product posted on a BP message forum. It is doomed to fail on First Amendment grounds, and will probably hurt SpyHunter more than the obscure review did.

Amazon’s Echo (Alexa) digital assistant appliance now lets you verbally order music via Spotify. The more useful Echo becomes, the more attractive this $99 gadget will be.

Google Chrome’s Safe Browsing filter now blocks sites that serve fake download buttons, protecting users from bogus media viewer plugins and other tricks used by the bad guys to distribute malware.

“Liking” Facebook pages that promote terrorism actually can actually help fight terrorism, in the weird fantasy world of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

The Ring video doorbell pairs with a smartphone app to show you who's at your front door. But according to this TechDirt article, "all an intruder needs to do is to remove two screws, press a big orange reset button" and they can grab your wifi password. A fix has been issued by Ring, but it underscores security concerns about the Internet of Things.

Motorola’s Focus 73 outdoor security camera is also vulnerable to remote attack, according to UK security researchers. They were able to take control of the camera, direct its movements, send images and video to their own smartphone, and even figure out the password to the home WiFi network to which the camera connected.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 11 February 2016"

Posted by:

11 Feb 2016

I hope you are right about the Spyhunter vs bleepingcomputer issue. But, just in case, I'm sending them a "snicker bar" or two also. We all need to bleepingcomputer to win!

Posted by:

11 Feb 2016

Submersibile Data center....What if if leaks? I just watched N.C.I.S.season 13 episode 14: Decompressed. Interesting, who came up with the idea first, Hollywood or Microsoft?

Posted by:

11 Feb 2016

I have a Dell computer (Windows 7) that will not be upgraded by Dell to run Windows 10. Dell has explicitly stated that I should **not** upgrade to W-10. I asked the guy if Dell would be sure to notify Microsoft to leave _our_ computers alone with Windows 7. He said he would pass that on to his "manager." What can I do if "Bully" Microsoft downloads W-10 in spite of my best efforts? If "push comes to shove," I'll be using the AskBob for his $49 service helping me to switch to Ubuntu.

Posted by:

11 Feb 2016

In answer to your question 'Can you guess how many people die every year while taking selfies?'...

Not enough ;-)

Posted by:

11 Feb 2016

@Gyppo - Good answer! Made me chuckle out loud, too!

@Butch - I also, have a Dell running Win 7 Pro and it upgraded to Windows 10, fine. My machine was originally produced in the fall of 2013, so it is an older PC. I didn't go to Dell's website to see, if, I could upgrade or not.

If, you want to upgrade, have you gone to Microsoft and taken the Compatibility Test? This tells you what why you can't upgrade. Usually, it's a component with driver issues, like being too old.

When a component, like your graphic card, is too old, the manufacturer will not keep updating, to handle newer Operating Systems. They want you to purchase the newer products. Yes, I know, this is very frustrating. However, that is how companies make their profits so that they can create bigger and better components.

For those who do NOT want to upgrade to Win 10 - I advise them to use the GWX Control Panel program. It does work. You can get the download from Major Geeks, a safe download website, okay? This is the URL link:

Posted by:

Smoky Lowe
11 Feb 2016

never!!!.Will do windows 10 it is all crap and not for the average user.I will stay with 7 and 8.1 until the end then crap all the computer i have which number 6 all working fine with out worthless 10.I have rolled back several peoples computers who Didn't ask for or want it causing them problems.
Thank you,but no thatnks miky soft.

Posted by:

Lloyd Collins
12 Feb 2016

Microsoft keeps throwing the Updates to Windows 7 that is a con to get Windows 10, and I always check from Microsoft to what the update is. No luck for Microsoft to sneak Win 10 on me. But, it is a shame that they are THIS underhanded.

Posted by:

12 Feb 2016

@Butch, download GWX Control Panel to adjust your Windows Udates settings to prevent Windows from downloading and installing Windows 10.

Posted by:

12 Feb 2016

May I respond to MmeMoxie? Dear MmeMoxie, Dell, on its web site, in addition to its tech support, stated that they will *not* be supporting any upgrades of my particular model Inspiron computer. (I don't have the Win-7 Pro version.) I have twice been advised that going to W-10 may definitely cause real incompatibilities for my computer--even though MS said that my computer was compatible. (HINT: I tend to take Dell's word over MS in this matter.) I simply do not at this time have the $$ to be buying a new computer set-up--which, really, is none of your business. Try living on Social Security only. Thanks for your concern though. Thanks, Bob, if you'll let this be posted as I expect some others may be 'in the same boat.'

Posted by:

Monte Crooks
12 Feb 2016

It's been a few weeks and I was going to find out if Win10 is an OK download yet. Got my answer. I downloaded GWX Control Panel. Works great!! Thank you, Bob.

Posted by:

Harold Ramsey
14 Feb 2016

I have TW internet to Modem connected by Ethernet cable to Net Gear router with Ethernet cables to PC, MagicJack plus for phone and to ROKU for Smart TV. I want to add one more TV upstairs(preferably with ROKU built-in) with Ethernet cable from Router to the TV. Everything I read, says that Ethernet(LAN) cable is better than wireless!! All the newest HDTV, SMART and ROKU TVs have built-in wireless ,but no Ethernet cable port!! What kind of adapter or other device can I use as the last link between the Ethernet cable and 2nd TV?? thanks Harold

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