Geekly Update - 15 October 2014

Category: Tech-News

Why is computer maker Dell excited about mushrooms and cow excretions? What important lesson did the new Microsoft CEO learn about karma? And how does Google know when you need to see a doctor? 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

Women who work at Microsoft should not ask for pay raises but just do their jobs enthusiastically and trust that “the system” will reward them. “That is good Karma,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella – in front of an audience female tech professionals. He has since announced that he “got it completely wrong.”

Dell is now using packaging materials made from mushrooms, wheatgrass, and methane excreted by cows and landfills. The eco-friendly, biodegradable products are cheaper and more durable than petroleum-based plastics.

Google will release “Shamu,” the killer whale of phablets, before the end of October, according to rumors in the Wall Street Journal. The Nexus 6’s 5.9-inch screen will be bigger than the iPhone’s 5.5 inches and bigger than the Samsung Galaxy Note’s 5.7 inches; yes, two-tenths of an inch makes headlines these days. Also, the Nexus 6 will run Google’s latest O/S, Android L.
Geekly Update 10-15-2014

A robot wearing a human face will provide customer service to frequent flyers at Indianapolis International Airport. The contraption seems to be an iPad affixed to a miniature Segway which is wrapped in an airport employee’s polo shirt. A human controls its wanderings and can interact with guests from a remote desk. Umm, how is this better than a real person standing there?

Consumer Physics is taking orders for a pocket molecular scanner called the Scio which can tell you the chemical makeup of food, plants, or pills in real-time, communicating results to a smartphone app. No more wondering if that avocado is ripe. There’s huge demand for this device, apparently; it raised $2.7 million in a Kickstarter campaign.

Snapchat is blaming “users of illegal third-party apps” for the publication of a 13 GB trove of over 200,000 Snapchat images that were supposed to disappear tracelessly after a few seconds. But security researchers say they’ve been warning Snapchat for years that such raids are possible and probably unavoidable on the Snapchat platform.

Facebook is rolling out location-targeted ads “helping local businesses reach more customers,” according to the announcement. Your smartphone and the Facebook app will tell you when you pass a business in which you’re supposed to have an interest, or it might randomly remind you that you pass that business regularly. Don’t be creeped out, it’s for your convenience.

Samsung Electronics Co. has developed a WiFI protocol with a theoretical speed limit of 1.3 Gbps... about three times faster than the current top end. The downside is that it uses the 60 GHz RF band, so new routers will be required and the signal range will be more limited than 5 GHz tech.

Netflix plans to increase streaming video fees to $11.99 per month for 4K resolution customers, who have already proven that they will pay more for things they don’t need.

“Talk to a doctor now” says a new, prominent link across the top of Google search results pages when some users search for health-related topics. The link includes a Hangouts icon, implying that a live doctor is just waiting to Hangout with you. The service is in test mode now so don’t expect to see it on every search.

The “nude Emma Watson video” link that’s blazing through the Web like wildfire is actually a link to a Trojan program that will infiltrate and enslave your computer. Of course, you don’t need that warning. Right?

Your thoughts on these topics are welcome! Post your comment now or I'll sign you up for the most expensive Netflix package...

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 15 October 2014"

Posted by:

samikkannu
15 Oct 2014

”Women who work at Microsoft should not ask for pay raises but just do their jobs enthusiastically and trust that “the system” will reward them. “That is good Karma,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella – in front of an audience female tech professionals.” Yes ! while Lord Krishna will reward you, the worker, with a berth in his Abode, your boss will be blessed with the fruits of your sweat and toil here on this earth itself ! Up with Faith ! Down with Rationalism !


Posted by:

Mick
15 Oct 2014

I like reading the Geekly updates. I don't read them all but they are usually informative and funny. I have always liked the 1 or 2 info articles a week better than the every day websites that are out there.
thanks
Mick


Posted by:

Frank Starr
15 Oct 2014

Sounds like Consumer Physics has created a Tricorder (tm? :) ) before the contest sponsored by Google(?) for a medical tricorder got results.
Now, hopefully someone will get hot on a starship, and we'll get The Enterprise real soon :) .


Posted by:

larry sperling
16 Oct 2014

compensation in my mind breaks down to two elements. first equal pay for equal work period. second yearly documented performance reviews to determine if any changes in compensation are merited. thanks for all your hard work bob,i look forward to your articles.


Posted by:

larry sperling
16 Oct 2014

compensation in my mind breaks down to two elements. first equal pay for equal work period. second yearly documented performance reviews to determine if any changes in compensation are merited. thanks for all your hard work bob,i look forward to your articles.


Posted by:

Person
16 Oct 2014

So tired of execs that try to backpedal their way out of things. You know, if that's how you really feel, own it! Take some personal responsibility instead of trying to cover it up with "oh, yeah, no, I didn't really mean it THAT way!"

Scio = TRICORDER!

Snapchat skanks deserve to be exposed & shamed. Don't put your naughty bits on the net if you don't want them seen! You KNOW hackers can get into ANYTHING eventually!

"Don’t be creeped out, it’s for your convenience." - Uh, NO. I AM creeped out. Don't promote their garbage, Bob, find out how to turn it OFF!

"The “nude Emma Watson video” link that’s blazing through the Web like wildfire is actually a link to a Trojan." - If you are trashy enough to look at that sort of thing, you DESERVE to have your system RUINED!


Posted by:

Byron M.
16 Oct 2014

"Netflix plans to increase streaming..." "...users need to make sure their download speed is at 25 Mbps or more."
In Canada the download speeds at best are up to 20mbps on average unless one has FibreOp.
Even the up to 40mbps service dips below 20mbps at times. Until Canada pushes for and attains better and more reliable Internet service I guess Netflix at a minimal of 25mbps will not work.


Posted by:

David Guillaume
16 Oct 2014

Always good for an early morning laugh, thanks Bob
We have a Clunk Head here in the UK who reckons that disabled people do not deserve to be paid at the same rate as an able bodied people. There should be a desert island with no amenities that these kind of idiots should be sent too. I employed several disabled in my factory over the years and they were always paid at the same rate as able bodied people. MP's like clunk head should wear a health warning or better still be sacked on the spot.


Posted by:

Nezzar
16 Oct 2014

Love the Geekly updates. I read every one of them.


Posted by:

Robert
16 Oct 2014

Google, like many others, has simply realized that size *does* matter... at least to nerds, geeks, and the gullible. "Just a silly little millimeter longer."


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