Geekly Update - 13 November 2013
Can your tattoos tell tales when you're caught lying? Are monkeys leading the way to better brain-controlled prosthetic limbs? And are you a slacktivist? 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
Before we get started with the geekly goodness, I want to mention that some readers seem to be skeptical of my claims that reading these bulletins will "make you 146% smarter." In truth, the 146% figure is just an AVERAGE. I collect this data by tapping into the NSA's webcam, audio and keystroke data streams of those who are viewing the Geekly Update page. A proprietary algorithm (powered by my TI-58 calculator) analyzes that data (which includes facial reactions; vocal cues such as "whoa", "cool", "awesome" and "no way!"; and the statistical distribution of the frantic keystrokes that result) in real time.
I've determined that some readers experience smartness gains of up to 300%! Of course, that implies that 4% actually get dumber, but that's small price to pay for the greater good, isn't it? I hope that answers the question satisfactorily. And now, on to the Updates...
Google has filed a patent on tattoo-like technology whose circuitry, when applied to the throat, implements lie-detection. Used to be a telltale smear of lipstick did the trick.
Monkeys may have provided an important breakthrough for scientists working on brain-controlled prosthetic limbs. Check out this video showing monkeys using brain-machine interfaces to control their on-screen avatars.
Google (AGAIN?) has finally broken its silence about the barge floating in San Francisco Bay. It is not intended to be a floating data center, alien experimentation lab, and certainly not a Google hardware store, no sir; “we are exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology," the statement read. If only there was a memorable five-letter word for such an innovation.
Upon learning that the NSA has reverse-engineered many of Yahoo’s and Google’s networks in order to monitor international traffic, the latter did what any reasonable business would do: it encrypted its networks. For some reason, this is a shining example of corporate heroism.
Pass a Rorschach test, get access to your online account. That's the latest password security scheme from computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, who are hoping to mitigate that damage caused when security breaches result in millions of passwords being exposed.
Who would have guessed? Charities using Facebook to connect with the public are finding that people feel just as good about clicking the Like button, as they do about actually making a donation. One study asserts that Facebook turns people into slacktivists -- who associate with a cause without committing any resources to support it.
Google Glass is adding music features such as a Shazam-like song identifier and earbud ports. Also new is voice search: “OK, Glass, listen to…” the sound of the nice young men in clean white coats coming to take you away, ha-ha.
For the first time U.S. Bittorrent traffic, synonymous with “piracy activity,” fell an amazing 20% to 7% of all Internet traffic during the past six months, according to the BBC. Of course, that’s only a drop of about 1% of all Internet traffic, but the mainstream media has to make it sound dramatic. Meanwhile Netflix and YouTube account for 50% of all traffic. These stats suggest that people who appreciate quality movies are a dwindling minority.
Android smartphones have an 80 percent share of the market for new phone sales, according to IDC’s latest quarterly market analysis. Windows Phone garnered 5 percent of the market, while Apple’s iOS slipped slightly.
And lest we forget this week’s special theme: Google Mail users no longer have to download file attachments. They can be saved directly from Gmail’s mail server to Google Drive’s server, which is probably on that barge out in the Bay.
Your thoughts are welcome! Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 13 Nov 2013
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 13 November 2013 (Posted: 13 Nov 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved