Geekly Update - 12 December 2018

Category: Tech-News

Are we on the brink of global cyber war? Is it legal to take a snooze in the back seat of a self-driving car? And is Microsoft finally admitting that their Windows 10 Edge browser is a miserable failure? 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

If you live in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, you can take a test ride in Waymo One, Google’s first (sort of) driverless taxi. For now, the autonomous robo-taxis will have a human driver who can grab the wheel of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan if the vehicle malfunctions.

Or, sleep off a hangover in your Tesla. California Highway Patrol officers attempted to pull over a speeding Tesla, and found that the driver was asleep inside. He could not be roused by their sirens, so officers pulled in front of the autonomous vehicle and gradually slowed down. The Tesla's autopilot system obediently followed suit, and came to a stop.

Microsoft president Brad Smith is worried that we may be heading for a Cyber World War, and is calling for a digital Geneva Convention.

Cyber World War

Google’s messaging app Allo will die soon, so you should use Android Messages instead. Or maybe Google Voice, or possibly Hangouts, which will soon be split into Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. This is so that Google can “simplify” its messaging options.

Losing their Edge? Microsoft is gutting its failed Windows 10 Edge browser, and replacing the guts with Chromium, the code base of Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, and other browsers. The new Edge will be available on Windows 7, 8 and Mac systems.

The headline caught my attention: "Nigerian President denies he died and was replaced by clone." What else would you expect a clone to say?

Microsoft broke its flagship hardware, the Surface Pro 2, with the latest maintenance update of its flagship software, Windows 10. Something’s really wrong in Quality Assurance.

Dozens of electric scooters have been tossed into California lakes. Fish are unhappy, and the authorities are puzzled.

Google Chrome version 71 is rolling out and it denies ad revenue to sites that abuse visitors with auto-redirects, fake warnings, and other tricks-for-clicks. Sites identified as “abusive” get 30 days to clean up their act.

Do you play Android games? Better check this list of 22 game apps recently booted from the Play Store for siphoning users’ data off to unknown servers.

Copyright jumps the shark: We now have rappers suing video game makers for stealing dance moves.

Crooks stole tens of millions of dollars from several East European banks by leaving a small netbook, Raspberry Pi computer, or even a thumb drive attached to PCs in banks’ offices. Kaspersky Labs says the infiltrators could pose as job applicants, bank clients, even cleaning crew members. Wireless networking allowed remote control and bank robbery.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 12 December 2018"

Posted by:

12 Dec 2018

"Dozens of electric scooters have been tossed into California lakes. Fish are unhappy, and the authorities are puzzled."
I don't know why they would be puzzled. There has been a significant amount of press about people who violently hate the scooters being left laying around.

Posted by:

Jay R
12 Dec 2018

Another 'edge Fund bites the dust. I certainly won't be sending condolences.

Posted by:

12 Dec 2018

And I'm sure the digital Geneva Convention will be followed as well as the original.

Posted by:

12 Dec 2018

"All your President are belong to us."

Posted by:

John Schultz
12 Dec 2018

Quality Assurance (we prefer to be called testers, since we don't assure quality) are to blame for the Surface 2 problems, not the developers who wrote the bad code? Thanks Bob.

Posted by:

12 Dec 2018

About 2 wheel vehicles tossed into bodies of water - - Amsterdam is known as bike city with more bicycles than people. And, Amsterdam operates a barge that circulates through its canals just to keep them clear of bicycles tossed into the water. This spring I watched the small crane and grapple pull out 3 or 4 near one bridge in just a few minutes.

Posted by:

12 Dec 2018

John S - What's the point of QA/Testing then, if not to make sure the code won't break our systems when rolled out and installed?

Posted by:

John Schultz
13 Dec 2018

wrigleywrat, testers may miss an issue, but they shouldn't get the full blame. Someone wrote code they didn't test, didn't have a complete specification for, etc. Nowadays software development is more of a team game instead of cowbody coders throwing quickly written software over the wall for testers to beat on.

Posted by:

Earl J
13 Dec 2018

𝐍𝐨 𝐐𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐀𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐃𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 = exactly 𝐍𝐨 𝐐𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐀𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞. Large organizations have fragmented the division of labor to such an extend that each employee has no pride in his own piece of the product.
"I get no credit for the success, and I can easily point the finger at the other division for any failures... why worry? Show up on time, do my work, and spend my paycheck wisely." Typical bureaucratic BS [ 𝐁𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 ].
* * * Which is why I have supported open-source almost since it's inception... Innovators create things... organizations that want to be leaders offer large sums of money to the innovators... they take the money and run - retire or tinker in their spare time with open-source.
Leader organizations begin to fall under the weight of their own bureaucracies, employees lose their pride, and leaders enjoy their wealth as their organizations begin to crumble... or begin to attempt to influence others with their size after their lose their ability to continue to innovate.
𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐞... we don't need big business restrictions, we just need more sincere innovators who have pride in their product and don't innovate only to the point of financial freedom and quit. We also need consumers who can identify real innovators and support them fully to help build a less intrusive, controlling electronic society, and help cultivate free enterprise everywhere. * * * Until that time. . .

Posted by:

15 Dec 2018

Dare I hope that sometime in what is left of my life I might come across at least a dozen U.S. citizens who know the proper usage of the words lie, lay, laid and lain?

I have surrendered to there/their and you're/your but please, folks, help save my sanity by learning the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs. Oh, right-nobody knows what those words mean any more either.

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