Geekly Update - 13 October 2016

Category: Tech-News

Why is Samsung's flagship smartphone now available in black only? Does an invisible TV screen sound like a genius idea? Why is FBI Director James Comey upset that Facebook IMPROVED user privacy? And is it possible to file a lawsuit with a Tweet? Find out in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. And it's *guaranteed* to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

That replacement Galaxy Note 7 you got from Samsung may not be any safer than the defective one you traded for it. Three replacement Note 7s have exploded in one week, causing serious fire damage to property and burns to users. In response, Samsung is pulling the plug on the product for good. All Samsung Note 7 devices are recalled, and customers can exchange their phone for any Samsung smartphone, or receive a refund.

Bad Vibrations... It's been a bad month for Samsung. If exploding phones weren't bad enough news for the South Korean manufacturer, now we have reports of exploding washing machines. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) claims that some of the company’s washers may "shake themselves apart and throw plastic and metal pieces into the air."

Now that exploding batteries have driven “hoverboards” off sidewalks, there’s room for food-delivering robots that look like self-driving beer coolers. The District of Columbia has enacted the Personal Delivery Device Pilot Act of 2016, which allows Starship Technologies to test its robots on public paths. Surprisingly, no one has tipped a bot on its back yet.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 charred

A $24 candle that purports to smell like a new Mac Airbook sold out two hours after it became available, according to its creator, Twelve South. Now the company is focused on making one more.

A lawsuit may be served upon a defendant via Twitter, a U. S. court has ruled, because the defendant (an accused terrorist) spends a lot of time on his Twitter account and cannot be served by conventional means.

Very cool: an OLED technology TV screen that becomes “invisible” when switched off, doubling as a glass door through which objects can be viewed.

A Canadian district court may be able to tell Google what to do with, its Canadian search engine, but it can’t order Google to censor search results on all of its properties worldwide, says the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a brief submitted to Canada’s Supreme Court.

For your historical amusement, here are five tales of domain name squatters from the early 1990s. "Are you finding that the Internet is a big thing?" a McDonald’s press relations rep asked Josh Quittner, a reporter who registered in 1994.

India authorities have busted 500 call center employees, putting an end to one of the biggest telephone scams targeting U. S. taxpayers. The crooks would call U. S. phone numbers posing as IRS agents and demand bank account details to settle fictitious tax penalties.

The Facebook Messenger mobile app now has a “secret conversation” mode providing end-to-end encryption that even Facebook cannot decrypt. Secret conversations can also be set to self-delete anytime from five seconds to one day after they are sent. FBI Director James Comey will not be pleased.

Amazon is adding over 1,000 free books to the bundle of benefits that Prime subscribers get. Titles range from travel guides to popular titles such as “The Hobbit” “Harry Potter” and thrillers like “Red Sparrow” and “The Butterfly Garden.”

A video on shows us the miracle of robotic culinary arms that “put a five star chef in your kitchen,” measuring, mixing, stirring, and cooking right over your stove’s burners. Personally, I see gadgets that are going to get filthy and be hard to clean.

Google has released a free font called Noto, which covers 800 languages and 110 writing systems. The years-long open source project is intended to eliminate those little white boxes you see when a Web browser cannot interpret a character sent by a site; such placeholders, incidentally, are called “tofu,” perhaps because they replace real food for thought.

Comcast is starting to roll out 1 TB per month data caps nationwide, enough for 600 to 700 hours of Netflix, the company says.. Those who exceed the cap will pay $10 per additional 50 GB up to a max of $200, or they can dispense with caps for an extra $50/month. Some people still have a problem with this. Comcast says the median monthly data usage is 75 GB and only 1% of customers regularly exceed 1 TB.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 13 October 2016"

Posted by:

13 Oct 2016

I remember the domain name battles. A friend of mine who later created IANA controlled all Internet domain names at that time. For several years there were a staff of lawyers defending him from lawsuits for his decisions on who could get which domain names.

Posted by:

13 Oct 2016

You are about those robotic culinary arms. They are like blenders, mixers, and other mechanical chopping and mixing devices--easy to get very dirty and very hard to clean. I avoid them if at all possible.

Posted by:

13 Oct 2016

That Galaxy Note 7 will now be a hot item for collectors

Posted by:

13 Oct 2016

I still haven't been able to find out specifically what they did wrong in the Note 7. Lots of phone have Li-ION batteries. All of them have been trying to put in larger batteries with more power in smaller spaces. I am wondering what they did wrong on the Note 7 but not on the other Samsung phones.

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