Geekly Update - 14 April 2015

Category: Tech-News

Is Facebook adding a "Divorce" button to their user interface? Was Jennifer Lopez the real reason Google created the Image Search feature? And forget about earthquakes... why are blackouts now more likely in Los Angeles? 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 self-driving car recently made an accident-free trip of 3,400 miles, from San Francisco to New York. The Audi Q5, was made autonomous by auto parts maker Delphi Corp., not Google, Apple, or Elon Musk.

Los Angeles is moving ahead with installation of second-generation LED streetlights that can be dimmed or switched on and off from any laptop via a Web portal. What could possibly go wrong?

A Brooklyn woman received approval to serve notice of divorce proceedings via Facebook to her elusive husband.

Stanford University researchers have developed an aluminum-based battery that recharges faster and stores more energy than lithium-ion or alkaline batteries. Chemistry professor Hongjie Dai says, "Our new battery won't catch fire, even if you drill through it,” ensuring that early adopters will.
Geekly Update 04-14-2015

The first holographic protest march took place in front of Spain’s Parliament in February, protesting a new law that bans nearly all in-the-flesh protests near public buildings.

A Florida 8th-grader has been charged with felony “offense against a computer system” after using an administrator-level password to change the wallpaper of a teacher’s PC to an image of two men kissing. Even dumber: Teachers are TOLD to use their last names as their administrator-level passwords.

Amazon is suing two websites that offer to sell fake positive reviews to Amazon Marketplace sellers. Mark Collins, owner of, says Amazon just doesn’t understand his business. Hopefully the presiding judge will.

Google Image Search was hastily created to meet unprecedented demand for images of the green dress that Jennifer Lopez (barely) wore at the 2000 Grammy Awards, says Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt.

A Michigan energy utility has shut off the electricity to seven customers who installed iron lockbars on their old-school meters to prevent installation of “smart meters” that they fear will violate their privacy and potentially cause health problems.

Time-Warner Cable customers in Charlotte, NC, will see their Internet speeds leap as high as 300 Mbps (from a current maximum of 50 Mbps), free of charge. TWC’s upgrade is in response to Google’s plan to bring gigabit fiber optics service to the city.

Comcast’s major objection to the long-delayed results of an independent survey of Philadelphia customers’ satisfaction is that the report relied on actual customers’ responses, instead of statistics available from Comcast.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 14 April 2015"

Posted by:

Michael L. McQuown
14 Apr 2015

I live in Philly. I didn't get the questionnaire, but I had experienced some pretty dubious billing while I used Comcast.

Posted by:

David Guillaume
14 Apr 2015

Yet another highly informative article to brighten my day. Keep them coming Bob

David Guillaume

Posted by:

14 Apr 2015

Re: Teacher changing wall paper on another teachers wall.

I've taught K-12 and post secondary for about 40 years, perhaps a bit more by a decade, (who counts when you are having fun?) and what I can say about many of our current vintages of teaches is they fall into two groups: the 10%, the next 10%, and the 90% that remain.

Yep, of the TOP 10% 95%-99% quit within the first 1-3 years, so they really don't count, they were the brilliant, creative, idealistic ones. Too much hassle and low pay and all the other faults that fall on teachers only. Thus the disparity.

The next 10% (the 20th percentile) form the core of the best teachers we have.

The bottom half (80%) are the ones who use their own name as a password for the account when they could have figured out (perhaps without that 12 pack of beer in them, and a tad less grade appropriate behavior) would have figured out they could have used that teachers admin password.

And let's NEVER Forget the adage I found myself screaming after only 5 years at one school I'll never forget: "HELP! I'M TRAPPED AS A 10 YEAR OLD IN A 4TH GRADE CLASSROOM." and while I'm at it, a 6th grade teacher culture -- It doesn't change until you get to post secondary. THEN you simply put up with the 5th grade culture of the faculty at meetings, the 4th grade culture between departments, and can simply leave campus between classes when you feel yourself going crazy and go for a walk in the mountains with your dogs until the next class. 'Office Hours by Appointment Only" seems to take care of that requirement if not used too often, posted but BE there, thus when you are on mental health day you are 'doing research' in the bowels of the Stacks, or meeting privately with a student in one of the not
scheduled labs. Some vintages of students these days DO shine, and do the World a Service, but they are becoming, like rain in the Sanapanoma region of California, the vine is there, but the diameter of the skin is lacking of many characters in the amounts that count when producing a good vintage wine. I'm sorry, I didn't mean 'count' - most can't do math, so I'll substitute 'matter', because the volume of matter shrinks by the square of the area.

Posted by:

15 Apr 2015

I would like to cast comcast into the sea. Actually, I did. Withdrawal was fairly painless and I have been TV free this century. I still have difficulty believing people put up with them. Maybe I will try to put up with them between 8-12 this Tuesday.

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