Geekly Update - 14 October 2015

Category: Tech-News

Does Google now officially own all your keystrokes? Can you really generate free electricity from thin air? And how is Samsung's new technology patent making that crazy guy on the subway look pretty normal? 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

Tired of all those annoying tourists showing up in your vacation photos? Adobe has developed software to make them disappear.

“Freevolt” is a new technology that generates free but low-power electricity from ambient RF (radio frequency) signals. It could power pollution monitors or trickle-charge consumer electronics.

Sprint is hiking the price of its unlimited data plan by $10, to $70/month, effective October 16. T-mobile’s unlimited plan is still $80 while AT&T and Verizon don’t offer unlimited data.

Google Buys the Alphabet

Samsung TVs appear to be more energy-efficient in lab tests than they are in real-world use. Apparently, Samsung has been collaborating with Volkswagen.

For one brief, exhilarating moment, former Google employee Sanmay Ved owned the domain He was able to buy it for $12. The transfer was quickly canceled.

Thirty Days Hath September. But October has 31, and is National Cyber-Security Awareness Month. Once November arrives, everyone can go back to opening email attachments from unknown senders.

Amazon has dropped Apple TV and Chromecast from its Marketplace, eliminating competition for its Fire TV products.

The new Logi Circle home monitoring camera can be unplugged from its power supply and will stream video from anywhere for up to three hours on battery power.

The last cardboard library catalog cards have been printed. Production peaked in 1985 at 131 million cards. The final run was only 1 million.

Amazon Handmade is a new marketplace on the e-commerce giant devoted to 100% handmande items. sellers are looking at Amazon cautiously.

Maybe that guy on the subway isn't crazy. Samsung has filed patent applications for a 3D version of Google Glass that would have users poking and swiping at virtual objects in mid-air.

Over 170,000 Depression-era photos have been made available online for the first time by Yale University. You know what else is depressing? The yearly cost of attending Yale is $62,200.

Skype now offers real-time translation of conversations. This is pretty cool for people with a hearing difficulty, or when speaking to a tier-one tech support guy in Bangalore.

Airline boarding passes have bar codes that can be used by hackers to change passwords on frequent-flyer accounts and retrieve records of past and future flights. So keep those passes tucked into the book you read while waiting in line at security checkpoints.

The North Dakota town of Antler has spent nearly its entire $20,000 budget buying up land to prevent the town’s takeover by a white supremacist. So now the town is turning to crowdfunding to keep itself running.

Google has acquired the entire alphabet, registering the domain name This move possibly, maybe, perhaps has something to do with the company’s name change to Alphabet, Inc.

Microsoft’s latest Lumia phones will be carried only by AT&T. The other three major carriers have said, “no, thanks.”

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

Posted by:

14 Oct 2015

Sure would like to know what Google ended up donating to get it's domain back.

Posted by:

D. Tilvist
14 Oct 2015

Regarding your comment about the "depressing" fact that "the cost of attending Yale is $62,200," it would perhaps have been a bit clearer if you had mentioned that sixty-two grand is the cost per year!

Posted by:

David Guillaume
15 Oct 2015

Great article Bob - Always wondered what it cost to go to Yale. We have similiar facilities here in the UK. That as in the USA future students wanting to become politicians are always taught in maths that 2 plus 2 equals 5 when it comes to asking for their expenses to be paid. Well researched articles and as usual very interesting,
David Guillaume

Posted by:

Doug Weller
15 Oct 2015

But Yale will help any student who needs it with a combination of grant, loan and work - when I went it was 12 hours a week.

Posted by:

16 Oct 2015

The $62k cost of attending Yale per year is like the book costs of Medical care. Nobody pays that, it's just there for insurance (or the lawyer's) purposes.

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