Geekly Update - 13 Dec 2023 (all your data are belong to us...)

Category: Tech-News

Will Tesla's new Optimus Gen 2 robot be making scrambled eggs for your breakfast? Has a new oral probiotic made dentists obsolete? What is the connection between bad actors and public phone charging stations? And is Santa monitoring more than just your sleep cycles?

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

In the race for AI supremacy, Google has introduced Gemini to compete with ChatGPT and other players. Google says Gemini can understand image, video, and audio, in addition to text. They also claim that it outperforms OpenAI’s GPT-4 on tasks such as mathematical reasoning, understanding documents, and deciphering infographics. Google will integrate Gemini functionality in Pixel 8 Pro phone, and eventually roll it out to other products.

I couldn't help but insert a reference to the 990s "All Your Base" meme craze, which was a spinoff from a Japanese video game. An ominous voice warns that "All your base are belong to us," and "You are on the way to destruction." Sometimes I feel that AI is sucking up all our data, and wonder where it will lead.

The FTC and Hiya, maker of a popular phone app, says open enrollment for Medicare is the Scam of the Month. Open enrollment, when consumers can change their health insurance plans, is peak time for health insurance robocall scams. Scammers pretending to be from the government or health insurance companies are calling with clever ploys to steal your personal information. The FTC says don't give out personal information to callers claiming to be with Medicare, and reminds not to trust easily-spoofed caller ID as well.

Geekly Update 12-13-2023

A Pew Research Center survey of U.S. teens found that YouTube is the most popular social media platform. 90% of teens say they use YouTube regularly. About 63% say they use TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram. Not surprisingly, 1 in 5 teens say they use Youtube or TikTok "almost constantly." A decade ago Facebook dominated, but less than 33% of teens use it today.

Lantern Bioworks says their new product is a "novel oral probiotic" that may be a cure for tooth decay. Lumina is a genetically modified bacterium which will "strategically transform your oral microbiome" by outcompeting all the tooth-decay-causing bacteria currently in your mouth. decay itself. One dose may be sufficient to prevent cavities for years to come.

Apple has introduced Apple Diagnostics for Self Service Repair, a web-based diagnostics tool that allows owners of the iPhone 15 and newer MacBooks to repair their own devices. The tool will let users test functionality, performance and identify parts that may need repair.

Tesla just announced the Gen 2 Optimus robot. A video on X shows the new model, with improved walking (and dancing) abilities, humanlike hand and neck movements, and the ability to pick up an egg and pass it from hand to hand.

Maybe this is how Santa does it. The Aqara Presence Sensor FP2 can tell when you’re sleeping. The hockey puck-shaped device can now "monitor and analyze sleep status, real-time heart rate, and respiratory data."

The FBI is warning consumers about using public phone charging stations. There is a risk of "juice jacking" -- exposing their devices to malicious software. "Bad actors," the Bureau says, are exploiting public USB charging stations in places like malls and airports to spread malware and monitoring software. The FBI recommends that you carry your own charger, USB cord and use electrical outlets instead. Public charging ports infected with malware can lead to stolen passwords, and compromise of emails, text messages, photos, and contacts. Perhaps the men in black should keep a closer watch on Sean Penn and Lindsay Lohan.

The Gboard Cap from the Google Japan team is a keyboard cap. If you're thinking about those little plastic caps that snap on your computer keyboard, you're only half wrong. It's actually a cap for your head, but the wearer can actually type characters based on the direction and position of their head. Understand? Just nod "Y".

And finally, this week's Just Here For The Headline item: Don't Put Essential Oils in Your Vacuum, No Matter What Instagram Tells You.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 13 Dec 2023 (all your data are belong to us...)"

Posted by:

Hugh Gautier
14 Dec 2023

The neat thing about not trusting the "cloud" to be safe, is that it inherently isn't. I have not trusted the cloud, or One Drive for that matter because it uses the cloud for storage.
On my system, I have blocked it permanently.


Posted by:

Brian B
14 Dec 2023

I hope Tesla's robots are better that the one million cars they had to recall 15 months ago.


Posted by:

bb
14 Dec 2023

Hugh: I betcha you use email. That's *all* cloud based. "Cloud" just means somebody else's computer - and email is definitely somebody else's computer!


Posted by:

Geo
22 Dec 2023

Bye Bob...enjoyed the site ...long time..
but, too annoying w/ the ads now.


Posted by:

PgmrDude
17 Jan 2024

Apple Diagnostics: I wonder what in the App prevents it from running/working on previous iPhone models.

Tesla Optimus: Sure walks funny. ALL other movements were surprisingly smooth AND natural. But that walk tho.


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