Geekly Update - 15 January 2020

Category: Tech-News

Will your robotic vacuum cleaner grow arms and do the dishes? Do you need a reverse microwave in your kitchen? How can you dispose of obsolete tech gadgets in a non-toxic manner, and make a few bucks as well? And do you need to update your Windows 10 computer... yesterday? (Hint: YES) Get answers in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

The NSA says they'll no longer hold on to software hacks that can be used for nefarious purposes. Now, they want to be known as the good guys in the cyberwars. They recently alerted Microsoft to a serious Windows security vulnerability that could allow hackers to inject malware that appears to be legitimate software on a Windows 10 computer. Microsoft has issued a patch, so be sure to update ASAP.

The 2020 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) was awash with robots, and some of them were downright adorable.

A few weeks ago, I published Here's Why Desktop PCs Just Won’t Die. And a new report from industry analyst IDC says I was right -- PC shipments are increasing. The worldwide market for PCs finished 2019 with a gain of 2.7% in global shipments. Fourth quarter 2019 sales totaled 71.8 million units, the highest single quarter shipment volume in four years.

Geekly Update 01-15-2020

Savvy AskBob readers understand that two-factor authentication (2FA) provides an additional layer of security, in addition to the username and password. And physical security keys are the best way to implement 2FA. So iPhone users are happy that Google’s updated Smart Lock app now lets them use their iPhone as a physical 2FA security key for logging into Google services. Android phones already have this capability, so now anyone with a smartphone has a physical security key.

Google is working on machine learning models to generate highly localized weather predictions that apply to the immediate future. The nowcasting technique can generate 0-6 hour local forecasts, in minutes instead of several hours required by existing tech.

Got old tech gadgets cluttering up your junk drawer? Here's how to get rid of your electronic devices without polluting the environment, and maybe even put some cash in your pocket in the process.

This just in from the Honey Versus Vinegar Department: In November, PayPal agreed to purchase Honey, a web browser extension that helps buyers find low prices, for $4 billion. In December, Amazon warned its shoppers that Honey was a “security risk,” even though it's been around for years. Amazon's claim sounds mighty suspicious, coming from an online payments competitor.

iRobot, the company that makes the Roomba robo-vac, announced that they've found some practical domestic uses for the robotic-arm technology they developed for the military. Future products won't just clean your floors, they'll have arms that could load the dishwasher, help with laundry, or bring dinner to the table.

The Hydrofoiler XE-1 is an electric bike that you can pedal on water. Pedaling "jump starts" an electric motor that turns a propeller, and hydrofoils underneath act like wings to provide lift. With practice, riders can "sail" at speeds up to 12mph.

Juno is a "reverse microwave" that can cool your beer, soda, and wine bottles in minutes. But wait, there's more! "Juno can do so much more than just chill wine," the maker says. "It can turn your freshly brewed coffee cold, or transform your hot tea into iced tea." The gadget uses a "thermoelectric cooling engine" to transfer heat from liquids.

Popular Mechanics has good news for those who have trouble texting in frigid conditions, and for soldiers who need to reload a weapon without wearing cumbersome gloves. The U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine has developed a device that warms your hands by heating your forearms to increase blood circulation to the fingertips. No gloves required!

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 15 January 2020"

Posted by:

NB
15 Jan 2020

Or you could pour your cup of hot tea into a glass full of ice cubes.


Posted by:

onedeafeye
16 Jan 2020

If you pour your hot tea into a glass of ice cubes the ice cubes will melt into water and you'll have very watered-down tea.


Posted by:

Sarah L
16 Jan 2020

Disposing of routers, cables, batteries is not simple. Where I live, we can bring select items once a year to the Public Works facility, if the Village can find a taker for what we bring. So my stuff goes in the trash. Shipping a boxful for $63 does not sound much more appealing.


Posted by:

Ed
16 Jan 2020

Make a chiller with some tubing and a funnel. Run the tubing through some ice and into a receptacle, Pour hot beverage through tube using the funnel and instant chill. (Think cooler of ice and 6 ft of tubing.)


Posted by:

RandiO
17 Jan 2020

I am going to decline the offer of Juno the ReverseMicrowave because I am saving my money for the Julio the ReverseWatch.


Posted by:

Juanita
19 Jan 2020

I agree that desktops are not going away soon. My son was going to give his sister's old one that he fixed away. I took it. It makes searching family history sites so much easier with a keyboard and a mouse. My laptop is too slow and my tablet is just not as easy to see things on. I did have to go buy a used monitor from the thrift store and a new mouse, but that was it. It is also so much easier to clean off old emails on that big screen!


Posted by:

samG
21 Jan 2020

Juanita; A laptop uses less electricity than a desktop computer. The only drawback is a laptop usually doesn't have a high end video card. But supplies HD video to a monitor or tv. Just remove the battery when connected to home voltage.
For years I've been running laptops connected to tvs, keyboards, mice, portable hard drives, and devices.


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