Geekly Update - 11 September 2019
Will a robot tax prevent silicon-based life forms from stealing your job and taking over the world? Why is Tesla taking steps to make their electric cars noisier? Can Facebook possibly get creepier? And will this new Samsung product put your local dry cleaner out of business? 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
The new iPhone 11 models (iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max) were announced yesterday, along with the 7th Generation iPad, and the Apple Watch Series 5. Apple also announced that you'll get one free year of Apple TV Plus if you buy any new Apple iPhone, iPad, laptop, or desktop.
How can we keep robots from taking over the world? NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio says "Tax them!" The proposed robot tax would apply to large companies that eliminate jobs through automation without offering employees new jobs.
Electric cars are just too darn quiet. So Tesla and others are figuring out ways to make them a little more obvious to pedestrians. New Tesla models will have speakers in the front and rear that will make either a whooshing sound or a backup alert when the car is traveling at low speeds.
A doctor in India has used a "precision vascular robot" to perform remote heart surgeries. Presumably from the comfort of his Predator Thronos Air gaming chair (See Geekly Update - 04 September 2019), 20 miles away from the operating room, Dr. Tejas Patel controlled the surgucal robot with joysticks and a video monitor, sucessfully completing five percutaneous coronary interventions.
Mozilla is incorporating a controversial DNS over HTTPS (DoH) feature in the latest version of Firefox. DoH adds encryption to the browser's initial contact with a website (the communication with a nameserver). That improves user privacy, and prevents certain types of web traffic hijacking. But it breaks many filtering and protection tools, and can make it harder for ISPs and cyber-security types to detect hacking and other online mischief. (Is Homer Simpson working for Mozilla now?)
This just in from the "Sleepless in Menlo Park" department: Facebook has been cited as a factor in many divorce cases, even though it wasn't intended as a dating site. But the new Facebook Dating app wants to change that. SlashGear says "As you’d expect, Dating takes advantage of plenty of its big brother’s immense pool of data and features. The app can suggest other users who have in common events you’ve attended, stuff you’ve liked and groups followed on your main account."
COBOL, the Common Business-Oriented Language, just turned 60. It was created in 1959 as the first English-like computer programming language. Sixty years later, ACM reports that 90% of Fortune 500 companies still rely on over 200 billion lines of COBOL code. Take that, C++!
Avast Security has identified over 600,000 GPS tracking devices (commonly used to track pets, family members, and cars) still using the default password of 123456. Trackers using the factory-supplied password can be easily hacked, and used to spy on conversations taking place near the device.
Remember Clippy, the annoying animated paperclip from Microsoft Office 97? Clippy was killed off by Microsoft in 2001, and it appeared that he was being resurrected in the Microsoft Teams product this week. But nope, Clippy is dead again, although maybe not for good. Clippy fans have started a petition to bring him back.
Samsung, not content to provide you with quality televisions and smartphones, wants to make sure your shirts are clean and pressed. The AirDresser smart closet will steam, sanitize and iron your clothes. The companion SmartThings app will notify you when your garments are ready.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 11 Sep 2019
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 11 September 2019 (Posted: 11 Sep 2019)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved