Geekly Update - 11 May 2022

Category: Tech-News

Will humans outnumber little green men on Mars by the end of this decade? Can we trust Amazon reviews? How easy is it to crash Google Docs? And can you pay your mobile phone bill by watching ads? 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

SpaceX COO Gynne Shotwell says the company still plans to put humans on Mars by 2030. But leave the young ones at home, because Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids.

Google I/O 2022, annual conference in which the company announces new projects, is happening today and tomorrow. CNet's live blog lets you follow the announcements of Pixel 6A, Android 13, Pixel Watch and future AI projects.

One software developer discovered that he could crash Google Docs by typing a certain word five times in a row. Upon hearing the news that "And. And. And. And. And." would cause trigger the bug, others discovered that "Therefore", "Anyway", "But", "Who", "Why", "Besides", and several more words had the same effect. Google fixed the problem hours after it was reported.

A National Security Memorandum warns that powerful quantum computers might one day be able to crack encryption, undermining national security systems and financial markets. The report urges a migration of the US's cryptographic systems to quantum-resistant cryptography.

Geekly Update 05-11-2022

Here's good news for households with a mix of Apple and Android products. Industry watcher Ming-Chi Kuo says his survey of vendors indicates that Apple will abandon the proprietary Lightning port and switch to the USB-C port, which almost all other mobile devices use for power and data transfer. The iPhone 15 will likely be the first model with a USB-C port.

Here's an interesting confluence of competing technologies. One techie figured out how to add support for Apple CarPlay into a Tesla using the Android operating system, a web browser, two Raspberry Pis, and a handful of add-ons and cables.

Congress is planning to hold the first public hearing on UFOs in 50 years. The US House Intelligence Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee will spill what they know about UFOs in an open hearing on Tuesday, May 17. Prediction: Boring.

Boost Mobile has a new option for paying your phone bill, or at least part of it. Boost calls it "gamifying your attention" -- you can knock a few cents off your bill with every ad you watch, or by playing games that engage them with Boost partners.

Speaking of gaming the system, Amazon is suing four companies they claim are deliberately flooding its ecommerce website with fake product reviews. The companies give reviewers free products and in some cases payment in return for each review, and the sellers pay a fee for boosting their Amazon ratings. The scale of the problem is impressive -- Amazon says they blocked 200 million fake reviews in 2020.

This just in from the Pick Your Poison Desk: A study published in the journal Open Heart claims that the naturally occuring chemicals in coffee tend to increase total cholesterol, but the effect varies depending on gender and brewing method. Other studies have shown that coffee also has anti-inflammatory effects, protects the liver, and lessens the risks of cancer and diabetes.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 11 May 2022"

Posted by:

Jim Rapp
11 May 2022

Apple is going to discontinue the only reason I have for keeping my iPhone.

Posted by:

Daniel Wiener
11 May 2022

I was interested to read about Boost Mobile. Back in 1999 I started a company called, which planned to offer free long-distance telephone calls in response to the caller first listening to short (15 or 30 second) targeted advertisements. (Back then long distance rates were still expensive.) Our business was patent-protected (, and we came very close to getting the necessary venture capital investment. Unfortunately we were just a little too late to the dot-com party, and the dot-com bubble burst before we could get the business off the ground. Which is why I'm not a billionaire today.

Posted by:

11 May 2022

Apple is finally seeing the light and will get rid of its propriety Lightening port and go to the industry-wide USB-C port.The USB-C port is universally accepted and there is nothing wrong with it. It is about time Apple stop making their phones "exclusive".

Posted by:

Jay B
12 May 2022

Although I do not have an Apple phone I am happy to see that they have decided to convert to USB-C. USB-C is in my opinion the best USB connector that has been developed for use on portable devices. The Mini USB connector was robust but compared to Apple's lightning it was huge. The Micro USB was a disaster, although smaller in size, its design was not robust. I have been very pleased with the design and construction of USB-C connectors on my Motorola phone and the cables that connect to them that I have been using for the last year or so. I welcome Apple to the USB-C community.

Posted by:

12 May 2022

In all the stories I've read about the health benefits and or detriments of coffee I've never seen any mention of caffeinated vs decaffeinated coffee except for caffeine being verboten for my high blood pressure. So my question is, why not?

Posted by:

Wild Bill
12 May 2022

The coffee story I'm told these days is that using a paper filter removes some substance that otherwise may increase risk of cardio issues. Only fatal to some.

Posted by:

Nunna Yerbiz
12 May 2022

According to NASA: The average temperature on Mars is minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit. So Elton John was right!

Posted by:

Arlo M.
17 May 2022

to Wild Bill: Please cite your source(s). Your comment is lacking in detail. Thanks.

Posted by:

03 Jun 2022

Google Docs.
Google Docs.
Google Docs.
Google Docs.
Google Docs.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Oh no, my computer just crashed! :-)

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