Geekly Update - 12 May 2021

Category: Tech-News

Is your Windows PC vulnerable to over 50 security holes that could allow attackers remote control of your computer? Is your expensive new smartphone actually slower than the one you tossed in the junk drawer three years ago? And what's that annoying humming sound? 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

Krebs on Security reports that Microsoft has released fixes to plug at least 55 security holes in Windows and other software. Four of these could allow complete, remote control over vulnerable systems without any user action. Update now, and by all means, abandon the use of the Internet Explorer (IE) web browser.

Are you irritated by the constant humming of a family member or co-worker? Then imagine how NASA's Voyager 1 must feel. Its probe has detected a persistent, monotonous humming sound coming from space. The good news for earthlings is that Voyager 1 is 14 billion miles away, having spent 44 years in space so far. Hmmm.

Your shiny new flagship iPhone might be shinier than your friend’s three-year-old “budget” iPhone XR, but new benchmark tests have shown that the XR outperforms both the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12. Sorry, no refunds.

Sometimes you just need the comforting care that only a robot can give. “RoboWig” is a robotic arm equipped with a hairbrush and a camera that could be a boon to nurses and aides in assistive-care settings. The robot can “see” how curly or straight the hair is, and perform a “delicate and time-efficient brush-out.”

Geekly Update 05-12-2021

Windows 10X was supposed to be a competitive alternative to Google’s Chrome OS, but it seems Microsoft has scuttled plans to release Windows 10X. A ZDNet writer claims that Microsoft is instead focusing on a “new Windows” with a new user interface. Oh goodie, something new to learn.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s cyber chief says the Colonial Pipeline attack might just be the tip of the infrastructure risk iceberg. The attack, presumed to be the work of Russian ransomware group Darkside, shut down the flow of refined oil for a large portion of the United States, and government officials say cyberattacks against U.S. businesses and infrastructure will become more frequent. Grab your popcorn, kids.

Tech companies have been telling us for a few years that reducing blue light from computers and mobile gadgets before bed will improve our sleep. But that’s “nonsense,” according to a Brigham Young University study. They say their tests prove that Apple's Night Shift and Android's Night Mode features (and presumably other blue light limiting doodads) do nothing to improve sleep. Maybe it's fear that's keeping folks awake.

Facebook has a sneaking suspicion that you’re forwarding articles from the Babylon Bee without understanding that they’re satire. So they’ve found a way to “promote more informed sharing of news articles.” If you try to share a story that Facebook thinks you haven’t read, they’ll hit you up with a prompt encouraging you to read it before sharing. (Comprehension is another matter we’ll deal with later.)

The global chip shortage resulting from the Texas freeze and a fire at a Japanese semiconductor factory has left car makers scrambling for chips required for auto safety systems and infotainment consoles. Car makers are rationing chips for their best-selling models, and jacking up prices on others.

Nasty Ryuk ransomware found entry into a bio research institute, requiring a complete rebuild of the server software, and ruining a weeks' worth of vital research. The “attack vector” was a student who downloaded a “cracked” (free/unlicensed/pirated) version of a data visualization software tool, which turned out to contain malware. Oopsie.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 12 May 2021"

Posted by:

Michael Lane
12 May 2021

Tell Homeland Security (and everyone else for that matter) to stop whining about cyber attacks. Until we get serious about combating it, we will get what we deserve.
Make a cyper attack on our government networks or infrastructure an act of sabatoge or espionage which would subject offenders to penalties including, but not limited to, the death penalty.

Posted by:

Robert A Kinsler
12 May 2021

Check out the American Standard Advance Clean Spalet and wonder why we need chips in toilets?

Posted by:

Bob Kinsler
12 May 2021

PCMatic would have prevented the Cyber Attach on the pipeline using their white list.

Posted by:

Wild Bill
13 May 2021

It's hard to apply the death penalty to miscreants in an uncooperative foreign country. Although I wish.
Regarding Windows 10X, it reminds me of going to the supermarket and finding they have rearranged the products, again.
And in the blue light/sleep case, is it possible that doom-scrolling is the sleep-disturbing factor, not the light?

Posted by:

13 May 2021

There have been so many times that I have asked someone if they actually read the article they posted on Facebook! Most of the time, they are just reposting something someone else posted, without reading it. Then they want to argue with me about it...
Thanks to Facebook for trying!

Posted by:

14 May 2021

Why can't we (the U.S.A.) install malware in sensitive software so that the bad guys get their systems infected? Seems like that would slow down some of this ransomware problem if there was a price or potential price to pay digging into someone else's software.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 12 May 2021 (Posted: 12 May 2021)
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