Geekly Update - 11 March 2020

Category: Tech-News

Should you to dunk your smartphone in a bucket of bleach to scare off germs and viruses? Is it legal to share your Netflix or Amazon Prime account with friends and family? Will hitting the Reset Button make you a happier person? And do you own any of the worst tech products of the last decade? 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

Apple has previously warned against using “cleaning products” on iPhones, saying they could damage the protective coating on the screen. But in a recent reversal, the company says it’s okay to use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to clean your icky smartphone. “Gently wipe the exterior surfaces of your iPhone. Don't use bleach, or submerge your iPhone in any cleaning agents.”

Privacy advocates worry that the EARNIT Act, which is meant to protect children from online predators, could be the government's first step towards weakening end-to-end encryption. In other words, tech companies might soon be forced to provide "lawful access" to encrypted messages. Encryption protects many legitimate users, but also allows criminals to communicate with unbreakable codes. The problem with "lawful access" is that it's a Pandora's Box. Tech experts says the "backdoor" access for law enforcement would undoubtedly be stolen and/or abused, rendering all encrypted communications moot.

Krebs on Security reports that the FBI has arrested Kirill Firsov, a Russian computer security researcher and charged him with operating, an online marketplace for stolen account credentials. offered stolen logins and passwords for thousands of popular online services and stores.

Geekly Update 03-11-2020

The company that offers the "robot lawyer" service DoNotPay, has launched a new product. It's a Chrome browser extension that allows users to share subscriptions without giving away their password. Services such as Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Hulu are supported, at least until the lawsuits come.

Wired Magazine says resetting your Windows, Mac or Chromebooks computer once a year will result in a happier life. It can clean malware, reset corrupted settings, reduce clutter and improve performance. Instructions are provided.

Microsoft security researchers helped to dismantle an international zombie bot network known as Necurs, which had infected over nine million computers and was responsible for stealing personal information and sending fake pharmaceutical emails.

The makers of Atlas VPN warn that voice assistants can get hacked using ultrasonic waves or lasers that can imitate voice commands. The slient hacking happens without alerting the owner. Atlas predicts that 75% of households in the US will have a voice-assisted speaker by 2025.

Dyson has unveiled the latest product for hair care. The Corrale is a cordless hair straightener that costs $499. The price tag alone might curl your hair, but there is good news. It comes in your choice of colors: gray with pink trim or purple with gold trim.

This just in from the “Tolerance is a Funny Thing” Department: Twitter is now banning “dehumanizing remarks” that may be offensive to others based on age, disability, or disease. If you post something mean about the elderly, sick or disabled, your post will likely be removed, and you’ll suffer a Twitter timeout.

And in closing, let’s make fun of people who bought tech products that turned out to be not very popular. This list of the last decade's top tech flops includes the Fire Phone, Google Glass, and several products that burst into flames.

Your extremely polite, non-dehumanizing thoughts on these topics are welcome! Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 11 March 2020"

Posted by:

11 Mar 2020

First Comment!??? lol

Posted by:

Ken H
11 Mar 2020

So the man in the White house will no longer be allowed to dehumanize other people on Twitter? I'll believe that when I see it.....which will be NEVER. IMNSHO

Posted by:

11 Mar 2020

"This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter..."

What exactly is this guarantee? What does a person get if he/she isn't made 146% smarter? How does the guarantee work?

Posted by:

Jay R
11 Mar 2020

Bobsie- I have it on good authority that if you can prove that your IQ has not gone up by 146%, you will be provide with a shipping label to mail your inadequate increase back for a full refund. I checked a couple of years ago and this process worked beautifully for the return of my 143% increase. Needless to say, my trust in the website pegged my approval meter, all the while being a faithful follower of Brother John Birch and belonging to the Antioch Baptist Church.

Posted by:

11 Mar 2020

One hundred and forty-six percent smarter is a lot of smarter. And I think (with no evidence) that in this case Bob's guarantee is solid. Given that a guarantee means repair or if repair not possible then replacement of the product is offered.

I would be willing to bet an Andorian Flitzbit that should the 46% increase in smartness not occur that Bob will repair or replace. Now exactly what will be repaired or replaced is open to your individual warranty. Mileage may vary.

You also have to look at what the "guarantee" says closely. You will be made 146% smarter than...... WHAT?

Than you were before?
Than a mongoose?
Than a brown squirrel?
Than a leader of country?

And how can you prove you were not made smarter?

Posted by:

12 Mar 2020

If you reset your Windows 10 computer won't you lose all the various Windows 10 updates? I'm on 1909 now but where was it 3 years ago (1803 maybe?) when I bought this computer? Seems like I would have to spend a lot of time updating.

Posted by:

Wild Bill
12 Mar 2020

Jim, if you are following the instructions for a Windows PC (I did not read the others), then you will simply reset your current version of Windows. Fear not, and follow the instructions.

Posted by:

Wild Bill
12 Mar 2020

Thanks, Bob. Following one of your article leads led me to another which inspired me to check out DuckDuckGo. Its this kind of data and steering that keep me following you and your readers.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 11 March 2020 (Posted: 11 Mar 2020)
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