Geekly Update - 12 June 2019

Category: Tech-News

Is it safe to sell a used hard drive? Why are people in Mexico happily buying fake smartphones? Will your next pizza delivery arrive via drone? And did Mark Zuckerberg just reveal the secret tool he's using for world domination? 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

Blancco Technology Group, a data security firm, purchased 200 used hard drives from eBay and Craigslist. They found that over two thirds of them contained personally identifiable information or sensitive corporate data. Even though the sellers claimed they had reformatted or otherwise wiped the data, Blancco found emails, spreadsheets, passport photos, birth certificates, financial records, resumes, and other data.

By typing the letters A W E S O M E while a youtube video is playing, the red progress bar that shows the time remaining will exhibit a rainbow effect.

3 Rivers Communications, a cable TV provider in the state of Montana is discontinuing TV service to their customers. They claim that competition from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other streaming services was the reason for their decision. They will continue to provide telephone and broadband internet service.

Residents of Mexico City are buying fake phones, on purpose. Muggings and armed robberies are so common there (over 70 every day), it's become necessary to carry a $20 dummy phone that can be handed over to street thieves. I first read about this story in This Is True, an entertaining and thought provoking newsletter published by my friend Randy Cassingham.

Geekly Update 06-12-2019

Ninety percent of funeral homes are not disclosing their prices online, at least voluntarily. But Funeralocity is collecting prices for funeral homes across the country and has listed many of them on a new website. Consumers can find prices, locations and contacts for funeral homes throughout the US.

A deepfake video of Mark Zuckerberg was posted on Instagram, in which the Facebook CEO is shown bragging about Spectre, a secret tool that enabled him to collect and control data on billions of people. Deepfake is technique that uses artificial intelligence to create realistic videos of people apparently saying things they never actually said.

What's all the fuss about Huawei smartphones being banned in the U.S. and other countries? The core issue with Huawei is concern about its close ties to Chinese government and fears that its phones and 5G networks could be used for spying.

Fujifilm Instax Mini LiPlay is a digital camera that doubles as a photo printer, and can add an audio clip to your prints.

Uber plans to begin trial deliveries of fast food by drone in San Diego this summer. But your piping hot pizza won't land on your front porch. Deliveries will be to "designated safe zones" where Uber drivers will unload the package take it to the customer’s doorstep.

Snapchat’s gender swap filter lets you pretend to be the opposite gender, generating a fake name and profile photo. The controversial feature was used by a 20-year-old male college student to catch a police officer attempting to hook up with an underage teen girl.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 12 June 2019"

Posted by:

12 Jun 2019

Hello Bob - I agree with you - spelling, punctuation, etc. ARE important. Therefore, how did 'theives' slip through under fake phones ??

EDITOR'S NOTE: Ack! Fixed now, thanks.

Posted by:

Jeffrey Thurwatcher
12 Jun 2019

The most prevalent of these restrictions is the one colloquially known as the "line of sight rule," which mandates that drone operators keep the unmanned aircraft within eye shot at all times. This clearly removes any potential application for drones in the delivery space, as the need to keep a drone in line of sight at all times defeats the purpose of sending off a drone to drop off a product at a consumer's home.

But there are different FAA drone regulations for commercial use and for recreational use. Recreational drone laws are in some ways more lax than commercial ones, but the line of sight remains pivotal.

Posted by:

12 Jun 2019

The line of sight rule is not iron clad.
There is at least one company that is certified to operate drones remotely.

Posted by:

Walter Davis
12 Jun 2019

Deepfake is technique
is a digital camers
Gotcha, twice.

Posted by:

Ken Heikkila
12 Jun 2019

FYI, the percentage of people who daily get their phones stolen in the greater Mexico City area is too small to write without using a negative exponent of e + 3.22998787e-6. In a year that would be .1129 % of the population.
In the USA 40% of all thefts include cell phones.
In Oakland, CA the % of the population that have their cell phones stolen in a year is 3 times that of Mexico City. .3327%

Posted by:

12 Jun 2019

Another typo -- lots of slip-ups today: Huawei smarpthones?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Finally got the wrist immobilizer off, so my typing should improve. :-)

Posted by:

13 Jun 2019

What is a digital camers? Or is that a misspelling for camera? Found another one!

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 12 June 2019 (Posted: 12 Jun 2019)
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