Geekly Update - 14 August 2013

Category: Tech-News

Which is smarter, a human brain or 83,000 computers? Why should twins with lazy siblings consider plastic surgery ASAP? And is the new LG G2 smartphone worth dying for? 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

How much of typical human brain activity can be simulated on a supercomputer with nearly 83,000 parallel processors? Only about 1%, it turns out. The brain simulation run on Japan’s Fujitsu-built K Computer took 40 minutes to simulate 1 second’s worth of brain neural activity. Humans still rule!

"This scientific breakthrough is brought to you by the letter P." Oh wait... make that "pee" instead. Some UK scientists have found that urine has some particularly attractive qualities as a source of fuel for powering cell phones.

Want a fortune cookie? Here’s an obscure Cisco Systems site that asks you a few questions about your online and mobile computing habits, then spits out a Data Footprint report that reads much like your daily horoscope.

Geekly Update 08-14-2013

Techno-latte! A coffee shop in Taiwan is using some high-tech equipment to print customer's photos on the foam of their lattes.

"Great news for twins!" Paypal is testing a mobile payment system that relies on face recognition for authentication. At the point of purchase, you take a picture of yourself and it is compared to an image associated with your Paypal account.

The new LG G2 smartphone may be smarter than any predecessors. Its only physical buttons are on the back of the phone, where index fingers tend to be when you’re holding it. Consumers find it easier and more natural to adjust volume or activate the camera, and drop the phone less often.

If only the Marketing Department was so smart... Twenty people were injured in a promotional event for the new LG G2 smartphone. The manufacturer released helium-filled ballons containing vouchers for free phones. The crowd came prepared with sticks, BB guns, and other means of bringing down free money -- and each other.

We will NOT be denied! Telephone and cable TV industry experts have long denied that consumers were cutting the cord and opting for Internet alternatives to their monopolies. But one widely followed pundit, analyst Craig Moffett, has done a 180 in the face of undeniable evidence. TV ratings firm Nielsen is not quite ready to admit that cord-cutters exist, but it’s added a new category to its surveys: “zero TV households.”

Talking (not texting) on a cell phone while driving does not increase car crashes or fatalities, according to a novel “big data” study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University researchers. They looked at millions of cell phone location records and car crash incidents over a 20 year period.

The slow will always be with us, it seems. AOL reports to investors that it still has 2.5 million dial-up Internet access customers, or “AOL-brand access subscribers,” as the company puts it. About 17% of customers say they have no broadband options, so it’s not just a rural phenomenon. Another 35% say broadband costs too much.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 14 August 2013"

Posted by:

14 Aug 2013

I went to the Cisco Systems website and got my Data Footprint report. It was pretty cool. It said I'm an explorer. I like technology, but I'm still leery about doing such things, like banking on my smartphone, due to security issues.

Posted by:

15 Aug 2013

Hi. Did you mean "Fujitus-built"? Maybe this is a Chinese company like Gocci or Mocrosoft? ;-)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Hah, exactly! Sounds more like a Latin term.

Posted by:

15 Aug 2013

We Stopped using cable a few years ago. We needed to take a break from the expense.

Thanks to you and one of your weekly news articles to us Bob, I found out about Hulu and I watch it regularly on my desktop computer. :)

We may go to some kind of satellite TV service at some point, but for now we have one of our digital TVs hooked up to an indoor antenna and we can get some local TV stations that way, as far as watching some local TV goes.

I also live in a rural area that until recently, just got broadband set up out in the far end of the county.

From what I understood, people were still using dial-up internet for service out in that area up until then, since they didn't have any choice for service.

In some areas where I live, we do not have much choice or competition when it comes to phone service, cable service, internet service, and so on. That is one of the drawbacks of living in a more rural area.

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