Geekly Update - 17 February 2016
What's the real reason smartphones are getting larger? Have robots replaced hotel maids and bellhops? Ahd what is the worst place to put your cell phone at night? 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
Relay the Robot looks more like a futuristic trash can than a friendly servant, but it is capable of delivering fresh towels, toothpaste, and other sundries to hotel rooms. Front desk staff load his compartment, punch a room number into a touchscreen, and off he goes, returning to his charging station when idle. No tipping necessary, and it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing (or not) when you answer the door. Just don’t short Relay out by putting wet towels in him.
New York City police are warning against putting your cell phone under the pillow while sleeping. A set of photos tweeted by the NYPD 33rd Precinct shows a scorched pillow, burned sheets, and a fried phone.
When cold weather comes, you might as well make the best of it. One clever Canadian man took it to the next level, by constructing an outdoor theater entirely of snow. The setup included tables, seating, and a 20-foot screen for movies.
If you shop online at Kohls, you might want to change your password. According to Krebs on Security, scammers are using compromised Kohls accounts to order expensive stuff, racking up "Kohls cash" that can be redeemed for merchandise at Kohl's stores.
Smartphones have converged on an ideal screen size of 4.7 inches, even though studies show that the average male hand can’t handle much over 4.3 inches, and female hands are even smaller. Larger phones get dropped more often, and cost more to repair. Apparently, “ideal” means “maximizing repair revenues.”
Even the White House can’t get good WiFi. President Obama admits “it’s a real issue,” with multiple dead zones throughout the sprawling, centuries-old mansion. He hopes to complete upgrades for the next occupant before leaving office next January.
Police at Iowa State University ask the public to use their smartphones to call 911 before taking pictures of a bizarre car wreck. Somehow, an SUV ended up atop several other vehicles; there are lots of snapshot on social media but not one witness called the emergency number.
FTDI, an Israeli maker of USB chipsets, is accused for the second time of pushing firmware updates via Windows Update that disable counterfeit chips, leaving some devices unusable.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day came the touching story of WWII vet Norwood Thomas and his long lost British flame, Joyce Durrant Morris. Thanks to new-fangled contraptions Google, Skype, and GoFundme, the two lovebirds, he 93 and she 88, were reunited after 71 years apart. Air New Zealand kicked in free, first-class tickets, too.
The Norwegian developers of the Opera browser are considering a $1.2 billion buy-out offer from a Chinese tech firm. The only thing to consider is the currency in which to accept it.
Super Bowl attendees consumed a record 10 Terabytes of wireless data at Levi Stadium, up 63% from last year. That’s a lot of selfies.
Google has agreed to EU privacy authorities’ demand that “right to be forgotten” requests will be honored on its non-European search sites as well as national versions of the search engine.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 17 Feb 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 17 February 2016 (Posted: 17 Feb 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved