Geekly Update - 16 July 2014

Category: Tech-News

How many innocent dinosaurs did Steven Spielberg slaughter to make the Jurassic Park movie? Are Klingons invading upscale homes in suburban Long Island? And is massive-scale airborne surveillance coming to a city near you? 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

Anthony Sforza is a Trekkie, a true fan of the Star Trek TV series. He spent three years and $500,000 to turn the basement of his Long Island home into the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The setup includes authentic Starfleet uniforms and a life-size Klingon. I just hope the local building inspector is also a fan.

High school interns make more than $6,000 per month at Facebook, which explains why every decision handed down by Facebook's anonymous moderators is self-righteous and profoundly stupid.

Rumors of terrorists hiding bombs in hollowed-out laptops are again circulating. The TSA is once again making people switch on their mobile electronic devices to prove that they work – or, at least, display an image of a startup screen, which an electronics package the size of a postage stamp can do while leaving ample room in the device case for for plastic explosives.

Geekly Update 07-16-2014

The writing speed of mass storage could be increased 1,000-fold by a technique involving “spin current,” according to researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology. Shut up and take my money.

They caught this kid napping... The son of a member of Russia’s parliament, 30-year-old Roman Valerevich Seleznev, was arrested by the U.S. Secret Service in The Maldives and transported to Guam where he faces charges of aggravated identity theft and unauthorized entry into protected computer systems. The Russian government is calling this a “kidnapping.”

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s “a Tivo-style time machine that could watch and record movements of every person and vehicle below” within a radius of 25 miles. But the man behind the Persistent Surveillance System is "mystified" by cities that won’t use his surveillance technology.

A new breed of ATM “skimmers” is so thin it can fit in an ATM’s card slot. The device captures data from a card’s magnetic strip and transmits it to its masters, who use the data to clone cards and steal cash from victims’ accounts.

"Bob's your uncle!" Netflix is hiring “taggers;” not to spray-paint graffiti, but to watch videos and tag them with “objective” descriptive words. For some reason, applicants must live in a particular place such as the UK or Ireland.

A virtual cadaver eliminates virtually all legal compliance and paperwork requirements. Medical students at the University of Edinburgh are using a 3D model of a corpse composed of CT scan “slices.” No messy cleanup afterwards, either.

A real photo of movie producer Steven Spielberg posing next to a "slaughtered" triceratops has generated lots of fake outrage.

Aereo, which suspended its Internet streaming of free over-the-air TV broadcasts after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it infringed broadcasters’ copyrights, now says that if the Court considers Aereo to be a “cable company” then it qualifies for a “compulsory license” that broadcasters must negotiate in good faith. It’s likely a delaying tactic, forestalling the day when broadcasters can collect damages.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 16 July 2014"

Posted by:

Howard
16 Jul 2014

There have always been Klingons on Long Island. Google Kerry Windsurfing...


Posted by:

Mo
16 Jul 2014

Howard-Re:Kerry windsurfing SO?


Posted by:

Darcetha Manning
16 Jul 2014

A new breed of ATM “skimmers” is so thin it can fit in an ATM’s card slot. The device captures data from a card’s magnetic strip and transmits it to its masters, who use the data to clone cards and steal cash from victims’ accounts.

Well, this is just another reason, for credit card companies, to do more to protect consumers from fraudulent charges.


Posted by:

Lloyd Collins
16 Jul 2014

Cookout at Steven Spielberg's house this weekend.
I hear it taste like chicken.


Posted by:

Tony
16 Jul 2014

Bob, where on this good blue earth do you eke out these amazing if not bizarre titbits. I can only guess you spend most of your time fossicking at the most peculiar places. Enjoyed it muchly :)


Posted by:

David Guillaume
17 Jul 2014

Thanks Bob, a great way to start the day with a smile and a good laugh. We also have quite a few Klingons living here in the UK, they all crash out during the day at a place we call the Houses of Parliment, just joking folks.

David Guillaume


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