Geekly Update - 16 May 2024

Category: Tech-News

Why does Google want to start listening to your phone calls? Is it time to say goodbye to your cable provider? And does riding in an electric vehicle make you want to throw up? 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!s

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

AT&T and AST SpaceMobile have entered an agreement to offer satellite-to-phone service, enabling connectivity in remote areas where traditional cell towers are out of reach. This service uses satellites as cell towers, allowing regular phones to function as satellite phones. The first five commercial satellites are set to launch this summer, but AT&T hasn't disclosed a rollout date or pricing for this service yet. T-Mobile and Starlink are also planning to offer a satellite "Direct to Cell" service sometime this year.

OpenAI, maker of ChatGPT, has introduced GPT-4o, an advanced model capable of processing text, audio, image, and video inputs, and generating outputs across these modalities. It is faster than previous models, with the ability to access information from the Web. The previous version of ChatGPT was limited to information gleaned from the Internet as of January 2022. With voice input, GPT-4o has the ability to understand your emotional state from your tone of voice, and respond with corresponding emotions.

Geekly Update 05-16-2024

Electric vehicle drivers and passengers often experience motion sickness due to the unique driving dynamics of EVs. These vehicles typically have instant torque and a smoother, quieter ride, which can exacerbate motion sickness symptoms for some people. Contributing factors include rapid acceleration, deceleration, and the lack of engine noise. To combat this, manufacturers are exploring solutions such as adjusting the vehicle's driving modes, improving cabin design, and incorporating advanced suspension systems to minimize motion sickness.

This week at Google I/O 2024 and Apple's "Let Loose" iPad events, the two companies announced a bevy of new products and services. Google unveiled Gemini, a new AI model designed to enhance various Google services with improved natural language understanding and generation capabilities. The latest updates to the Android operating system were also showcased as well as new features for its Chrome browser and Google Photos. At the iPad event, Apple announced the iPad Pro 2024, iPad Air 2024, Apple Pencil, Magic Keyboard, and of course some new AI-based tools in apps like Photos and Notes.

On a related note, Google is rolling out some changes to how search results are presented, using the company's Gemini AI engine. Instead of the usual list of links, you may see an "AI Overview" which attempts to answer a question directly, instead of sending you off the search results page to another website. Gemini has the ability to use "multistep reasoning" to answer more complex questions, such as "Find me the best yoga studios in Boston, along with details on their introductory offers and calculate the walking time from Beacon Hill."

How do you feel about Google listening in on your phone calls? Of course, it's for your own good. Google is testing the use of AI model Gemini to detect scams during phone calls. The goal is to identify suspicious behavior and patterns typical of scam calls. "This protection all happens on-device so your conversation stays private to you," the company said.

Should you ditch your cable company in favor of 5G home internet? The cellular technology can deliver high-speed internet to homes, and offers several advantages such as faster speeds, lower latency, and easier installation without extensive wiring. However, it has limitations like variable coverage, potential signal interference, and possible data caps. The cost can also be higher compared to traditional broadband. Its worth depends on individual needs, especially for those in areas with limited broadband options or needing high-performance internet.

Leo Notenboom, my friend and founder of Ask Leo!, explains his decision to stop using Google Search due to concerns about its declining quality and increasing manipulation by advertisers. Leo feels that Google's search results have become less relevant and more cluttered with ads and sponsored content, instead of providing genuine value to users. Leo talks about the "enshitification" of Google search, and dishes on the pros and cons of alternative search engines such as Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Kagi.

And finally, this week's Just Here For The Headline item: In Cleveland, Mushrooms Digest Entire Houses.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 16 May 2024"

Posted by:

Ken H
16 May 2024

I live in the stick of Central Washington state, in the forest actually.I have tried all the available ISPs and since I went with Starlink, I will never go back. Nearly perfect service. I do still have AT&T cell service because it was the most reliable at home, in the city, in Europe and Mexico. The "bargain" carriers just aren't worth it to me.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 16 May 2024 (Posted: 13 May 2024)
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