Geekly Update - 11 November 2020

Category: Tech-News

When you were a kid, did you ever imagine that a beam of electrons would control your bicycle? Is your Ring video doorbell likely to burst into flames? Will artificial intelligence enable Smell-e-Vision to finally become a reality? And why won't NASA let us enjoy our alien fantasies? 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

NASA believes it has pinpointed the source of mysterious radio burst signals emanating from space. It turns out the source is not aliens transmitting cryptic messages, but a magnetar -– a supermagnetized stellar remnant that can blast out a mix of X-ray and radio signals. The editors at SciTechDaily want you to know that the magnetic field of a magnetar can be 10 trillion times stronger than a refrigerator magnet.

In one of my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoon clips, Elmer Fudd is transported "far into the future," to the year 2000, and he learns from a newspaper headline that Smell-e-Vision has replaced television. That hasn’t happened yet, but this article from EE Times wonders if machines using AI and electronic noses might allow smell to be transmitted via the internet.

Over 300,000 second-generation Ring video doorbells have been recalled over concerns about fires and burns. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission says there have been two dozen reports of doorbells catching fires, and eight reports of minor burns. Ring says the problem is incorrect installation, and affected units need not be returned if they are properly installed.

It's an Elephant!

Parler, a social media alternative to Twitter and Facebook, has become the most-downloaded app in the United States, with millions of new users since the election. Parler promises a free speech platform without the fear of "de-platforming" and respect for privacy and personal data.

It's an Elephant! Google wants you to help train its image recognition engine by labeling images in Google Photos. A new “Help improve Google Photos” button lets users describe the contents of their pictures.

At Apple’s ‘One More Thing’ hardware event, the company announced new versions of the MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac mini, each sporting proprietary M1 silicon chips; a break from the previous generation of Intel-based machines.

VanMoof is sending an over-the-air update to its e-bikes that will remove the “US mode” that allows riders in Europe to enjoy speeds of up to 32 km/h (20 mph). The EU speed limit for e-bikes is 25 km/h (15.5 mph).

PC Magazine has some tips and tools for how to spot a fake review on Amazon and other e-commerce websites.

The experimental Grumman TLRV hovertrain built in 1972 could reach speeds of up to 300 miles per hour while traveling on a cushion of air. So why didn’t they catch on? Popular Mechanics takes a look back at hovertrain technology and explains why we’re still lumbering along on iron rails.

Scientists have developed a dual-layer cooling technology inspired by the way camels stay cool in the hot desert sun. A bottom hydrogel layer mimics a camel’s sweat glands, lowering the temperature through evaporation, and a top aerogel layer functions like fur, insulating against outside heat. The design keeps products cool five times longer than conventional single-layer approaches.

A headline on TheVerge says “Spotify’s About To Know Way More About What Podcasts You Enjoy (Even If You Don’t Use Spotify)” That’s because Spotify just announced its $235 million acquisition of Megaphone, a company that sells ads for podcasts. This could enable Spotify to know more about listener behavior both inside and outside its platform.

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

Ask Your Computer or Internet Question

  (Enter your question in the box above.)

It's Guaranteed to Make You Smarter...

AskBob Updates: Boost your Internet IQ & solve computer problems.
Get your FREE Subscription!


Check out other articles in this category:

Link to this article from your site or blog. Just copy and paste from this box:

This article was posted by on 11 Nov 2020

For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.

Prev Article:
Slow Internet Sometimes? Here's Why...

The Top Twenty
Next Article:
How to Send REALLY Big Files by Email

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

Posted by:

11 Nov 2020

I read the article regarding the VanMoof bicycles and their ability to go at "USA" speeds until the company put out an update to restrict their speeds to "EU" standards.

Of course,what is to stop hackers from changing the software to allow the bicycles to go faster.You know that is going to happen.

Posted by:

Art F
11 Nov 2020

Bob, a radio or wifi signal is not a "beam of electrons", but an electromagnetic wave.

EDITOR'S NOTE: You mean a series of tubes? :-)

Posted by:

11 Nov 2020

Ring says the problem is incorrect installation, and affected units need not be returned if they are properly installed. How do you know that they are "properly installed", do you wait until your house burns down?

Posted by:

12 Nov 2020

Google Photo will never get another one of my photos. After trying to send one of my photos to a contractor, He could not look at it unless he had Google Photo. Google is hijacking my photos.

Posted by:

Wild Bill
12 Nov 2020

@beau the issue involves using incorrect hardware (screws longer than those supplied) to attach the Ring unit to its mounting bracket. You know they are "improperly installed" if the wrong hardware is used (and only God knows why this would likely become an issue?).

Posted by:

Wild Bill
12 Nov 2020

Since the increase in Parler users is primarily due to an increase in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users being banned for hateful, deceiving and violence-supporting posts, I will continue to avoid social media, especially Parler. These days I definitely don't want to be in with the In Crowd.

Posted by:

Tom C
12 Nov 2020

The issue with the Ring Video 2 Doorbells has to do with the small screw that holds the front plate on over the battery. People have been losing the special little screw and using a regular sharp screw that is WAY too long to secure the cover. The screw punctures the battery and that is what causes the battery to overheat or catch fire. The correct screw has the little star type hole that Ring provided the special orange handled driver for.

Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions

*     *     (* = Required field)

    (Your email address will not be published)
(you may use HTML tags for style)

YES... spelling, punctuation, grammar and proper use of UPPER/lower case are important! Comments of a political nature are discouraged. Please limit your remarks to 3-4 paragraphs. If you want to see your comment posted, pay attention to these items.

All comments are reviewed, and may be edited or removed at the discretion of the moderator.

NOTE: Please, post comments on this article ONLY.
If you want to ask a question click here.

Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter

Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
About Us     Privacy Policy     RSS/XML

Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 11 November 2020 (Posted: 11 Nov 2020)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved