Geekly Update - 16 January 2013

Category: Tech-News

Why is IBM's Watson supercomputer suddenly spewing profanities? Is Walmart really the best place to buy an iPhone? And why do so many Brits still watch TV in black-and-white only? 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 on...

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

A critical security vulnerability in Java has been found and patched. You can download the latest version of Java, but even that might not protect you. See Is Java Safe and Do I Need It? for my advice.

"Supercomputer Gets Mouth Washed With Soap..." IBM has scrubbed The Urban Dictionary from the memory of Watson, its Jeopardy-winning supercomputer, after a two-year experiment. Seems Watson began using profanities as well as slang, replying to researchers’ queries with “bullshit.”

"Don’t pooh-pooh it..." The wackiest product introduced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show may be the iPotty, a toddler’s training toilet equipped with a tablet. The idea is to entertain the kid so he won’t get up too soon.

Geekly Update - 01/16/2013

"Six pack, check. Lawn chair, check. iPhone, huh?" Walmart now offers two no-contract iPhone versions with its $45/month unlimited talk, text, and data plan. You can save about $950 per year with Walmart’s prepaid Straight Talk service, but an 8GB iPhone 4 costs $449 and a 16GB iphone 5 is $649. A $25/month financing offer is also available.

Amazon is giving CD buyers free digital copies of every disc they have purchased in the last 15 years. Amazon Autorip adds MP3 versions to your Amazon Cloud Player storage locker.

"You need a license for that?" About 13,000 British households are still watching TV in black-and-white, according to the nation’s TV Licensing Authority. A black-and-white TV license costs £49 a year, while a color license costs £145.50.

Wishful thinking: Last month, Facebook started testing a “service” that lets you send Facebook messages to people you don’t know, for $1 per message. This month, they’re trying a $100 fee just “to see what works to filter spam.”

"You have the right to remain silent. In fact, we insist." Techie news site CNET was forced by its owner, CBS Corp., to withdraw Dish Network’s Hopper with Sling DVR from consideration for the their Best of CES Awards. CBS is suing Dish Network over the Hopper’s ability to help viewers skip commercials.

"People are doing this to sell shampoo, so my question is, 'How do I use it to arrest people?'” No, “this” is not your supermarket loyalty card data; it’s Pinterest. Police departments nationwide are placing “wanted” posters on the social media site, and arrests are up 57% in one town.

"It's a smash hit..." Hammer-proof cases for phones, tablets, and laptops are just one application of D3O, a rubbery orange goo that turns rigid when struck. Reps of Tech 21 demonstrated D3O at CES, wrapping the stuff around their fingers before applying a large mallet.

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 16 January 2013"

Posted by:

Gretchen
16 Jan 2013

You had to use a picture of Jimmy Savile for this update? Yuck! Surely you could have found some other British television personality.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Hah! I Googled "British TV Shows" and that image was chosen more or less at random. Had no idea who he was. I've photoshopped Simon Cowell in there now. Any better? :-)


Posted by:

Howie Watkins
16 Jan 2013

B&W licenses are a useful option for the blind and sight impaired. Registered blind users get a discount on both black & White and Colour licences.


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