Geekly Update - 16 October 2019

Category: Tech-News

Will deepfake videos add even more chaos to the 2020 elections? Is artificial intelligence a gift to humanity, or an enemy of the human race? And is your aging Windows 7 computer twice as likely to be infected as one with Windows 10? 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

Vinyl records seem to be making a comeback. But unlike cassettes and audio CDs, there hasn't been an easy way to make your own. Until now... PhonoCut is a Home Vinyl Recorder that lets you cut Your own records. The $1100 machine can produce 10-inch vinyl records with 10 to 15 minutes of high-quality audio per side.

At their annual hardware event this month, Google announced new Pixel 4 smartphones, an updated line of Nest devices, and Pixelbook Go, a budget-minded laptop.

This just in from the Masters of the Obvious Department: Artificial intelligence expert Dr Stuart Russell warns that AI could become 'an enemy of the human race'. The real danger is not that AI will develop consciousness, Russell says. It's something more insidious.

Geekly Update 10-16-2019

Human rights nonprofit Witness warns that deepfakes, realistic videos that create alternative realities, are getting easier to create and the quality is getting better. Deepfake videos are often used to harass people, and could be employed to muddy the 2020 elections. And currently there is no easy way to identify and block them.

The latest Webroot Threat Report notes a 71% increase since last year in the number of malware infections on Windows 7 computers. The report also indicated that home users were more susceptible than business PCs, and that "computers using the Windows 7 operating system are twice as likely to become infected as those running Windows 10."

Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, eBay and Stripe have dropped plans to support Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency project. At a recent G7 meeting, Libra was called a "risk to the global financial system," and leaders agreed that the project should not go ahead until Facebook can proves it is safe and secure.

This just in from the "Yes, But Why?" desk: A new feature in Windows 10 will let you make and answer calls on a PC connected to your Android phone. The "Calls" feature lets you use your computer's speakers, microphone, and screen to take calls.

Google Maps has rolled out some new features to help blind and visually impaired people navigate busy streets. The app will use voice prompts to tell them the distance to the next turn, and warn users when there’s a busy crosswalk ahead.

A new vulnerability has been discovered in Apple’s iTunes and iCloud software for Windows PCs. The exploit is able to bypass antivirus protection, and has been used to install ransomware. Even if you've uninstalled iTunes, you may still be at risk, because the flaw is in Apple Software Update, which must be removed separately.

OpenAI's Dactyl is a robotic hand that can solve a Rubik’s Cube one-handed. Take that, humans.

Your thoughts on these topics have already been anticipated by artificial intelligence. But go ahead and post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 16 October 2019"

Posted by:

16 Oct 2019

"Take that, humans."

Who really gets credit for a robot hand that does a Rubik's cube, the hand or the people who built and programmed it?

I have an old book in my library that's for newbies to computers. The title: "Without Me You're Nothing: The Essential Guide to Home Computers.", et al.

Posted by:

16 Oct 2019

Hello everyone,

I am a computer technician retired. But in my estimation it should not go beyond computers.

I see it as a very dangerous thing and it shows, when artificial intelligence can speak to you, take your job away or even get to the point of becoming violent or if I dare say it, cause a world wide war. It can do nothing good but take away from us and in time bring great harm with it. No one wants a real artificially intelligent President, we already have one.

I fear that Scientists are now trying to be God and we all may be sorry for it, given time as they are trying to make them think like a human, walk like a human, make decisions among other things, How long will be it before we can not tell the difference between artificial intelligence and a real human.

To me, my opinion it is the wrong direction to go in and is evil....

Posted by:

16 Oct 2019

I see Facebook is trying to push a questionable chainblock system that seems to benefit itself mostly.They are trying to circumvent the regulatory powers of some world governments and their efforts seem to be faltering.

Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, eBay and Stripe are walking away from this mess after being pinned down by these governments who have legitimate concerns.These companies want to be on the right side of the law and not have treasury departments poking around in their transactions.

Posted by:

Annette N
16 Oct 2019

Facebook trying to benefit itself? I am shocked.

Posted by:

Francis "Frank" Buhrman
16 Oct 2019

Seems we've caught up with those old sci-fi movies that showed humans inventing something they couldn't control. Indeed, if AI reaches the point that it "thinks" it no longer needs us - or even that we're its enemy - we have a problem. Otherwise, we seem to be doing a pretty good job on our own of coming up with things that know how to open Pandora's Box and go beyond our not-too-well-thought-out intentions.

Posted by:

Francis "Frank" Buhrman
16 Oct 2019

Seems we've caught up with those old sci-fi movies that showed humans inventing something they couldn't control. Indeed, if AI reaches the point that it "thinks" it no longer needs us - or even that we're its enemy - we have a problem. Otherwise, we seem to be doing a pretty good job on our own of coming up with things that know how to open Pandora's Box and go beyond our not-too-well-thought-out intentions.

Posted by:

Robert A Kinsler
16 Oct 2019

The one thing all AI and computers need, Electricity.

Without the power can any AI or Computers work?

So is it better to have AI or have someone who can repair the Electrical Power to use the system?

Posted by:

16 Oct 2019

I have been sitting here at my computer for an hour or so. On the desk beside me is my android smartphone. They seem to be unaware of each other and also perfectly content in that level of unawareness. I also am personally content that they are both ignorant of each others presence.
I am blessed with a good imagination and yet I can imagine no future when I would want to have my phone ring and then want to answer it through my PC. I believe that I am capable of picking up the ringing phone and answering it on my own.
Repeated head scratching has not permitted me to imagine any benefit to answering my phone with my computer when I can easily answer my phone with my phone.
I will need to stop the head scratching soon as small drops of blood are appearing on my scalp.

Posted by:

16 Oct 2019

It seems that the late Isaac Asimov realized the AI/robot mess a long time ago. So why haven't some of these real smart folks followed in his footsteps?

Posted by:

Jay R
17 Oct 2019

I have little trouble identifying deep fake videos. I just check the channel. If it is CNN or that ilk, then I am sure that is exactly what I am looking at. ------------ Perhaps the AI will take over one day and kill off humanity. Then it will wonder what to do? In a moment of inspiration, it will say in a thunderous voice, "Let there be light" But another part of the AI will understand it as "Let there be Lite" And a huge battle will ensue as to whether it should be Miller or Bud. What a dark day. (I just love getting 146% smarter every week. Maybe there's a future in IA for me.)

Posted by:

17 Oct 2019

I just put in the win 10 update and see they added the super useful feature of Blurring the picture on the screen when you enter your password at boot up. I don't know how I lived with out that. I don't know how much they paid a coder to do that, but it sure seems like Microsoft is using their money wisely.

Posted by:

Bill C
17 Oct 2019

Funny comment about deep fake videos and CNN, BUT, I have seen several deep fake videos and they are going to cause real trouble for the world.......


Some body better find a way to expose a deep fake PDQ.

Posted by:

18 Oct 2019

why did the "Top best Free Antivirus 2019" window in your latest Geekly update trigger an Infection Blocked notice ?

Posted by:

18 Oct 2019

Bill: Bob Rankin has no control over the advertising that appears on his page. He sells space on his pages to an advertising agency who puts their ads in that space.

And the advertising agency may very well re-sell the space to a third party. And then it may be re-sold again to a fourth party, and so-on. Fraudsters, scammers, and out-right crooks lurk in the re-sellers, just waiting for some unsuspecting user (and with an un-patched and un-protected device) to open the page.

This can happen *anywhere*, not just malicious websites. NY Times, CNN, Fox, Disney all have had 'bad' ads on their pages.

More reason to stay patched and updated. Or use an ad-blocker, but note that steals from site authors.

Frank Buhrman: You really do have to *wait* after posting your comments.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 16 October 2019 (Posted: 16 Oct 2019)
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