Geekly Update - 13 June 2018
What's the worst mistake you can make when choosing a new password? Did your new smartphone come with malware pre-installed? Is your friendly voice-enabled assistant recording your private conversations? And what three words has Google removed from one of its governing documents? 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
Quick security checkup: which of these five mistakes do you make when creating a password?
It's bad enough when a data breach reveals your personal data. It gets worse when the hackers can grab your whole family tree. A security breach at the MyHeritage genealogy site leaked the personal details of 92 million users.
A movie whose plot is determined by the real-time reactions of its watchers has been created by an English professor.
Not so smart… An “unlikely” chain of events led Amazon’s artificially intelligent Alexa gadget to record a family’s private conversation and send it to a random stranger. Amazon spokesman Lemony Snicket says they're working on the problem.
Godwin's Law says that as an online discussion goes on, it becomes more and more likley that someone will make a comparison to Hitler. So imagine an artificial intelligence that can predict whether an online discussion is about to erupt into personal insults and head off the nastiness before it starts. Well, here it is.
This just in from the "Don't Be a Square" department: Samsung and Apple have been locked in what Steve Jobs called “thermonuclear war” over a phone’s round corners since Samsung launched its Galaxy phone in 2010. Last week, a new jury found Samsung owes Apple $539 million. Samsung is hinting at yet another appeal.
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) contains a prohibition against “forced consent,” in which a company offers a user only the “choice” of accepting all of the company’s terms of service or losing access to its services. The first “false choice” lawsuits have been filed against Facebook and against Google Android.
Over 140 cheap Android devices from Chinese manufacturers ZTE, Archos, and myPhone come with malware pre-installed, according to analyses recently conducted by Avast Labs. The three year-old devilware, “Cosiloon,” hides in firmware. But Google Play Protect will uninstall it. https://gizmodo.com/a-new-reason-to-not-buy-these-cheap-android-devices-co-1826289219
Google has dropped from its Code of Conduct the iconic sentence, “Don’t be evil,” which was first seen in 2000. This means an awful lot to some tech pundits. https://gizmodo.com/google-removes-nearly-all-mentions-of-dont-be-evil-from-1826153393
Windows Defender ranked in the middle of the pack on recent tests of antimalware suites, but Microsoft argues the test results tell only half the story. https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-heres-why-windows-defender-av-isnt-ranked-higher-in-new-antivirus-tests/
A 75 year-old homeopathic doctor claims to be selling “hissing sounds” that can cure a host of diseases, and everyone from the California Medical Board to Ars Technica is falling for his brilliant troll. Visit his site, https://www.mdinyourhand.com/ and see where it becomes obvious that he isn’t serious. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-ln-doctor-license-threat-20180524-story.html
Mental health interventions via mobile devices proved as effective as clinic-based treatments, which should result in cheaper, more available treatments. Want to bet on it? https://www.healio.com/psychiatry/practice-management/news/online/%7Bc487ba27-a0fb-4650-82ea-7a546d45e747%7D/mobile-intervention-as-effective-as-clinic-based-approach-for-serious-mental-illness
"And out your window on the left side of the aircraft, you'll see…" Airplane windows are destined to be replaced by high-resolution video displays of what’s outside each vantage point on a plane.
Robotic orange road cones on rollerskates scurry to where they are needed and get out of traffic’s way faster than the old method of picking them up one by one.
Video of a snake-like firefighting tool that flies on water jets is cool in theory, a bit lame in actuality. But the tech works and will surely be improved.
Alexa is coming to join Siri and Google Assistant on your laptop, raising the question, “How many personal assistants do I need?”
Facebook groups enable trafficking in endangered species, live specimens, and parts. One group of conservationists found a way to create an international complaint that will force Facebook to crack down on trafficking.
The popular “Guitar Hero Live” streaming service will go offline in December, rendering 92% of the tracks users downloaded unplayable forever (or until a hero hacker posts a fix).
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 13 Jun 2018
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 13 June 2018 (Posted: 13 Jun 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved