Geekly Update - 12 November 2014
Does Intel owe you money for fibbing about the speed of your circa-2002 Pentium computer? Which smartphone apps are hogging the most space and killing your battery? And is it finally safe to swallow those tempting little button batteries? Get answers to these burning questions, and the scoop on the latest tech news, in this edition of the Geekly Update. It's guaranteed to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!
The AskBobRankin Geekly Update
A worker who staffed the IT help phone at a Health Department office in New York City was suspended for talking like a robot. He was suspended for 00010100 days.
Over 900 classic arcade games from the 1970s through 1990s can now be played in a Web browser thanks to the Internet Archive. In completely unrelated news, office worker productivity fell by 60% this month, and employees are demanding that Doritos be delivered twice daily to their desks.
Remote control of another person’s body has been demonstrated for the second time. University of Washington researchers replicated an earlier experiment in which the electrical signals of one subject’s brain were measured and transmitted over the Internet, then used to guide the hand of another subject playing a video game.
A microwave oven souped up with a Raspberry Pi barebones computer can accept voice commands, determine cooking time by scanning a food item’s barcode, fetch recipes from a Web database, Tweet when it’s finished, and be controlled remotely from a smartphone. All we need now is a robot to fetch frozen burritos from the freezer.
The Seek Thermal Camera adapter plugs into a smartphone to snap infrared images of recent footprints, hidden prowlers, and that pizza you lost. It can also find leaks in hidden water pipes or show you where a frying pan is too hot or cool. That is, it will when it’s available; sign up to be notified via Amazon.
If you own a Pentium 4 based computer, Intel may owe you $15. The chipmaker finally settled a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of people who bought Pentium 4 computers between November 20, 2000 and December 31, 2001 — and all systems with a first-gen Willamette P4 or all P4s clocked below 2GHz, between January and June 2002.
Button batteries that won’t burn babies’ mouths and digestive tracts have been invented at MIT. A special coating allows the battery to conduct electricity when it is compressed between circuit contacts, but prevents current flow if the battery is swallowed.
Google doesn’t know what it’s doing anymore, admits CEO Larry Page. He acknowledged in an interview that the company has outgrown its 14 year-old mission statement, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” He says of an updated mission statement, “We’re trying to figure it out.”
The November 3 release of Android 5.0 (Lollipop) was suspended after many users reported severe battery drainage when WiFi was enabled. The bug is now fixed and the rollout of Lollipop will resume on November 12. Your mobile service carrier may let you have Lollipop in a couple of years.
The list of top 10 Android apps that are killing your phone’s battery is led by the Facebook app, while 3 of the top 10 vampire apps are pre-installed on Samsung phones. Cnet also ranks the top 10 storage-swallowing apps, led by the NY Times.
The Black Friday sales ads of major retailers are leaking out already, and Sam’s Club’s $100-off deal on the original Apple iPad Air with 16 GB is noteworthy. Seldom does Apple permit any price discounting, even on such year-old models.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below, or I'll reprogram your microwave so it plays The Macarena every 15 minutes...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 12 Nov 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 12 November 2014 (Posted: 12 Nov 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved