Geekly Update - 11 March 2015

Category: Tech-News

Is Artificial Intelligence destroying the human race? Will Microsoft send ninjas to your home if you don't cooperate with tech support? And which annoying tech gadget is now banned at the Smithsonian? 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

Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and other Very Smart People are concerned that human-level artificial intelligence may be getting out of control -- to the point where it may destroy us. Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute, which researches the potential risks of artificial intelligence, and develops measures to make it safer.

"All facts are equal, but some facts are more equal than others." Google researchers have come up with an algorithm that ranks Web pages by the truthfulness of their facts instead of their popularity with other sites. And you thought it would be the government that destroyed the Internet.

Ever wonder what words like selfie and photobomb look like in sign language? Here's an interesting look at how the ASL (American Sign Language) community decides on how to represent these and other emerging terms from the tech and pop culture worlds.
Geekly Update 03-11-2015

"Download or Die!" A scammer based in India impersonated a Microsoft tech support rep and tried to get his Canadian victim to install remote access software by threatening to send assassins to his home if he didn’t cooperate.

3D printing startup MarkedForge refuses to ship its carbon-fiber 3D printer to Defense Distributed, which develops printer files from which untraceable guns can be made. So DD is offering $15,000 for one of the $8,000 printers.

"We hear and obey..." Drivers don’t pay much heed to regular traffic cops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but the 30-foot tall, solar-powered aluminum humanoid robocops are getting attention and compliance.

No, Facebook did not lock the account of 12 year-old political activist C.J. Pearson because he criticized President Obama. He was banned because Facebook members must be at least 13. The video remains on Facebook and, politics aside, is worth watching if only to see how articulate a 12-year-old can be.

"Unintended Consequences, Part 19" The top-secret Stingray device used by U. S. law enforcement to eavesdrop on cellular communications can also disrupt the calls and data connections of innocent bystanders in the immediate vicinity.

"I bet you think this rule is about you…" Selfie sticks are now banned at all of the museums of the Smithsonian Institute, along with camera tripods, monopods, and other things that can damage exhibits or visitors. A growing list of museums are banning selfie sticks. Carly Simon, you were so right.

In addition to credit cards, Google Compare is now comparing auto insurance rates in California. The key benefit: no geckos, pigs (or sales reps) will call, text, or otherwise molest you.

Anthem Healthcare, which runs Blue Cross and Blue Shield in several States, has refused to permit federal IT security auditors to scan its network for vulnerabilities, citing “internal policies.” Maybe they’re the same policies that enabled hackers to steal 80 million customers’ records. Ummm, the hackers didn't need permission to "scan the network," did they?

Sandisk has made giant leap in microSD storage capacity with a new model that holds 200 GB and transfers data at 90 MB/second. It will cost $400.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 11 March 2015"

Posted by:

Jimmy Clark
11 Mar 2015

My niece just got a smart phone for her 11th birthday. She's a great kid but I think that is overboard. She is good with a lap top and has her own. I think knowledge is important to 11 year olds but a smart phone seems to take away from being a kid. That's my thought on artificial intelligence.

Posted by:

11 Mar 2015

C'mon Bob, how can endless selfies possibly be a sign of vanity. Loved that song.

Posted by:

11 Mar 2015

I think I will not be using the "Google Compare" feature that they have rolled out!
I mean, afterall, they already have plenty of my vital stats and this "gallant" offering is nothing but another ruse for them to harvest more of our personal data. Sure, it is a luring offer because it supposed to take under 5 minutes to give Google what they are really after so that they can "return the favor" with insurance price comparisons, but no thank you!

Posted by:

11 Mar 2015

You walked into the museum
Like you were walking onto a yacht
Your phone strategically on the selfie stick
Your picture would soon be shot

EDITOR'S NOTE: Nice one! :-)

Posted by:

11 Mar 2015

I always try to find a low-tech solution to a high-tech problem. My all time favorite for the scammers from Microsoft and Windowsoft is from an old TV program Green Acres.I tell them I live in the country and my phone is up a pole and ask them to bear with me. They agree but after the third time going up the pole they are gone.They must spread the word because I haven't been up that pole for a long time. I love wasting their time and money and having a good laugh.I have to thank Eddie Albert for that one.

Posted by:

12 Mar 2015

The "tech" companies threats are all around us. Walk down the street, go to a store and drive anywhere and the iPhone (and their clones) zombies are everywhere holding their plastic "gods" in front of them, paying no attention to anything happening around them. MS "offers" its "cloud" to "empower" you to accomplish everything, you only have to send it all to them with their usual platitudes saying it is all safe. Who knows how many of their minions skulk through those "safe" files gleaning the good ones and passing them on up to be patented or copyrighted. All they are offering is quick access to the internet, which is good, but the bad is what is stolen by them.

Posted by:

13 Mar 2015

A 200 GB Miro SD card ... WOW!!! Reminds me of the days, when we all got excited about a 4.7 GB Hard Drive, then a 30 GB Hard Drive, an 80GB Hard Drive, a 100 GB Hard Drive and so on. Today there are now TB's Hard Drive ... Will this happen to Micro SD Cards, too???

I also, remember my first computer, that had a 1.3 GB Hard Drive and I was so excited, I thought I owned the world!!! Must also state, that Microsoft was a LOT less bloated, back in 1996. LOL

Posted by:

13 Mar 2015

I got one of those phony tech support scammers on the phone once and I had a bit of fun with them before they decided I knew what was going on and decided to remove my number from their database.
I kept them on the phone for a whole 45 minutes and I even got their "supervisor on the line for a while too.
I think I let the cat out of the bag and the gig was up when I continuously called him dumba** instead of by name (which is probably phony).
I posted what had happened on my Facebook and got several "atta boys" and "WTG" as well as numerous thumbs ups.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 11 March 2015 (Posted: 11 Mar 2015)
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