Geekly Update - 14 April 2016

Category: Tech-News

Are you prone to risky computing habits? Would you like to chat with a lonely Swedish girl? Do you know the secret to improving the accuracy of your Google searches? If you answered YES or NO to any of these questions, you MUST read this edition of the Geekly Update. It's guaranteed to make you 146% smarter. Read on...

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

Have you noticed that Google sometimes removes words from search queries, and shows results with “Missing: Search Term” underneath? Try searching for avocado armadillo monkey and you'll see this in action. If this bothers you, fix it by clicking on Search Tools then All results and choose Verbatim. You can switch it back any time, for less relevant results.

On April 8, Adobe released a patched version of its Flash browser plugins to close a security hole that was actively being used to deliver ransomware via Flash content. The exploit had been observed in the wild for more than week.

"Mommy, what does this button do?" Domino’s has made pizza even easier to order. You only have to open the Domino’s app on your smartphone, and after a few seconds it will place your default order and charge your credit card without further action from you.

Geekly Update

Lonely Swedes are just waiting for your call. No, it’s not a risque chat line; ordinary Swedes are ready to take calls from anyone, anytime, to discuss the weather, Swedish culture, or anything fit for polite society.

The Pentagon is offering white-hat hackers up to $150,000 for helping to identify vulnerabilities in defense systems. However, the stringent qualifications ensure that only Americans of impeccable character can participate in the bounty hunt, which pretty much rules out those most likely to try to hack defense systems.

This just in from the Risky Behavior Department… An experiment proved that ordinary people will pick up and use a random USB stick 50% of the time. Is this any different than drinking from an open soda bottle found on a bus stop bench?

Scientists have figured out how to steal any 3D printing design just by listening to the sounds a printer makes while producing an object.

Chefs are going crazy for an Amazon offering: a measuring cup that displays volume and weight in multiple measurement systems. Good for calculating density of fruit cakes?

Yahoo! News reported on March 31 that Trader Joe’s is closing all of its stores and liquidating everything. TJ’s labeled the story an April Fool’s “hoax.” Some said Yahoo messed up and published the gag a day early. Yahoo blamed Spoon University for submitting the hoax, and removed it. Can't help but wonder if Whole Foods was involved...

WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging service with over a billion users, has enabled end-to-end encryption for all its data. Even WhatsApp can’t see what you and your contacts are doing, if both parties have encryption enabled. FBI Director James Comey bows his head and sighs.

Ultrarich deadbeats and frauds are getting outed by their offspring, who post selfies on Instagram of themselves and parents on $25 million yachts while Dad is claiming in court to have no assets.

A south Florida serial groper was busted after police saw his YouTube videos in which he bragged about grabbing the butts of female joggers. The combination of social media and stupid people has helped crime fighters more than all DHS grants and gifts of military gear combined.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 14 April 2016"

Posted by:

Dwayne Hunt
14 Apr 2016

In the 1960's (yes 1960's) it was possible to "listen" to a IBM 1403 printer electronically, even through glass and walls, and know what was printing. I understand that some casinos who had proprietary info being printed had developed ways to block this eavesdropping. I worked for IBM and this information was wide known in the Data Processing industry.

Posted by:

14 Apr 2016

"FBI Director James Comey bows his head and sighs."

I love geek humor!

Posted by:

14 Apr 2016

Too bad the Pentagon chooses only 'good' Americans to try to find vulnerabilities. My father was a polyglot, and if he could not find the answer to a problem in one language, he would often switch to another to find it. He spoke 5 fluently with multiple dialects and could read and write 4 fluently. Because the structure of a language, esp. if learned within a culture, directs how our mind processes input and problem solves, this limitation is bound to ultimately fail. Just ask yourself were most of the REALLY bad malware comes from - THOSE are the people you want.

VERY early on in Vietnam, the US would place artillery on ridges and use camo that made then completely invisible. The problem was one color we called 'tan' they called 'yellow', thus they could aim their heavy mortars at the splashes of yellow on the ridge line and take the artillery out. It took an American Anthropologist to point this out since everyone assumed all cultures see colors the way we do, we presumed if WE could not see something, no other people could either. Every culture will have different wavelengths of light they give primary color names to. In early Vietnam, we just happened to chose a color that fell into the 'tan' area to us, but 'yellow' for the Vietnamese.

Posted by:

Bob P
14 Apr 2016

Wow, that "measuring cup that displays volume and weight" would be quite a hit in Europe - +500million
population. But Amazon don't deliver to e.g. Denmark. Fl.onz to m.grams conversion; teaspoon measure to m.Liter, at last we would get easier conversions for American recipes. Thanks Bob for bridging the ocean with Geekly. Love it.

Posted by:

14 Apr 2016

Hi Mr. Rankin,
Is there a way to make Google SearchTools settings permanent w/o either logging into a Google Account or allowing permanent cookies for
Similar to adding "&num=100" at the end of AddressBar Google search result url.

Posted by:

14 Apr 2016

I gotta call Sweden! :-)

Posted by:

Lloyd Collins
15 Apr 2016

If an ordinary person had not picked up that random USB stick, we would not have had the Panama Papers.

Posted by:

15 Apr 2016

Does anyone else around here remember 'Van Eck phreaking'? That was a method of remotely viewing what was being displayed on CRT monitors by analyzing their RF emissions in real time.

Posted by:

16 Apr 2016

Whatever happened to all the experts who were screaming that you should uninstall Java? It looks like they have now shifted their focus to Flash. Just like Java, I can not do my work without Flash at this moment in time. Why do the so-called experts never suggest a clear and definite alternative, instead of just mumbling about "ifs" and telling you to scrap truckloads of backups that would become redundant if you replaced Flash with HTML5? This scare mongering would be equally applicable to Windows, as it is probably the most targeted operating system in the world for hackers and other nasty people, with patches constantly flowing down from Microsoft. Should we not uninstall Windows, then? We can actually live without it, you know.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 14 April 2016 (Posted: 14 Apr 2016)
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