Geekly Update - 17 January 2018

Category: Tech-News

Does 'droning while intoxicated' refer to the operation of tiny aircraft, or the blood-alcohol level of bloviating politicians? Should careless guardians of our personal information be fined billions if the data is lost? And do you know what happened in the first ever viral video? 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

The governor of New Jersey has signed a law that outlaws drunken droning. Unfortunately that law applies only to people operating an unmanned drone aircraft while intoxicated, and not to tipsy politicians endlessly droning on the floor of the state legislature. Operating a drone with a BAC greater than 0.08% could land you in jail for six months.

"Yes, that's BILLION with a B." Mary Horomanski of Erie Pennsylvania was a bit shocked when she saw the amount of her latest electric bill -- just a bit over $284 billion. Her first thought was a problem with the Christmas lights, but it turned out to be a misplaced decimal point. The bill turned out to be just $284.46.

The new SMARTenna+ is a digital broadcast TV signal antenna that uses an internal processor and seven antennas to automatically optimize signal reception. What you’ll do for exercise now that you needn’t get up from the couch is your concern.

Humans’ fascination with flatulence has reached a new low with an ingestible radiotransmitter that tracks gas development from end to end and allows one to monitor its progress via a smartphone app.

Geekly Update 01-17-2018

The FBI is unable to open 7,775 mobile devices, more than half of those it seized in 2017.

Peg the Duck was missing a foot, apparently after an unfortunate encounter with a turtle early in life. When students at Armorel High School heard about the problem, they used a 3-D printer in the school's tech lab to create a prosthetic leg for Peg, who now looks like duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck.

“P*rn Site Stole French Karate Teacher’s Identity in Cryptocurrency Hustle.” If you’ve been keeping up with tech lingo of the 21st Century, that headline actually makes sense.

Should Equifax and other firms that allow consumers’ personal data to be stolen be fined $100 per victim? Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) have introduced a bill that would do just that.

The first viral video began circulating on the Internet in 1997 as an MP3 file attached to emails. You will not be surprised by its subject, but you might find the back story interesting.

Security experts who participated in a cyber-security quiz were given USB drives by the contest’s sponsor, the Taiwan national police agency. The contestants immediately discovered malware on most of the prizes.

An Ohio man has been indicted on 16 federal charges of spying on thousands of U. S. citizens, schools, and companies via their computer cameras and microphones using the “Fruitfly” malware.

It definitely is not a crime to violate a web site’s terms of service if you are otherwise accessing its content lawfully, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has again affirmed. So leave the most negative review of that restaurant you wish; the worst that can happen is a cease-and-desist letter that may be safely ignored.

Firms that track consumers' online activities have lost hundreds of millions of revenue dollars since September, 2017, when Apple introduced is pretty effective Internet Tracking Protection feature for iOS and Mac OS devices. Fortunately, consumers have not lost their tiny violins.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 17 January 2018"

Posted by:

Pat C
17 Jan 2018

I think Equifax and the like should be forced to pay for lifetime credit/identity theft tracking. Why should the government get the $$ for something that harms individuals?


Posted by:

Art Sulenski
17 Jan 2018

Thanks for the humorous comments on today's subjects.


Posted by:

Newville TK
17 Jan 2018

Typical gubmint "do-gooders." Notice how the bill does not address recompense for those whose identities were stolen. Revenue enhancement only. Ultimately, the consumer pays those fines. It's just another tax on a corporation. (Sigh.)


Posted by:

Annette
17 Jan 2018

I agree with Pat. I am the one who had to shell out for freezing my accounts at other credit bureaus. The companies make a bundle on selling my information, they make a blunder and I have to pay for their blunder.


Posted by:

Jay R
17 Jan 2018

The Fine Fleet of Flatus Followers is now available.

LOL!!!


Posted by:

GuitarRebel
17 Jan 2018

"Should careless guardians of our personal information be finded billions if the data is lost?"
That one got by you, Bob. :)
Thanks for the great info. I look forward to your newsletter each and every week.


Posted by:

Dave Fox
17 Jan 2018

The fine is not enough - they should also be liable for all expenses that incur because of there sloppy security!


Posted by:

NB
17 Jan 2018

Newville TK: I agree with your comment about distributing proceeds of fines to the victims and not to the government.

I disagree about the consumer paying the fines. Consider VW and their diesel engines. Their shareholders took the hit for those fines. VW cannot recoup that cost from consumers because they will buy a different product.

As an additional comment, fines are intended to incentivize a desired behavior. If the cost for getting hacked is $1.00, there is little incentive to invest in security. If the cost for getting hacked is $1 billion, a bit of security starts to look like a good investment!


Posted by:

Peter
18 Jan 2018

"An Ohio man has been indicted on 16 federal charges of spying on thousands of U. S. citizens, schools, and companies via their computer cameras and..."

Yet the NSA and other gov't goons can spy on the most intimate details of citizens lives with impunity. This won't solve the problem but it's a start: NEVER VOTE FOR AN INCUMBENT.


Posted by:

RandiO
18 Jan 2018

Mr. Rankin, it is totally PC to use the real word instead of "p*rn". However, if you wish to not include that actual dictionary word in your newletter, may I recommend the urban dictionary usage of "prOn"?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm not concerned about PC issues. I do that because sometimes content is blocked if certain "naughty words" are found.


Posted by:

Phil
18 Jan 2018

In the light of your admirable request for correct English, would you not think that “Firms that track consumers online activities ...” needs an apostrophe on the end of “consumers “? [It means “...the online activities of consumers”.] Apart from that, top marks for apostrophe use. :-)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Good eyes! Fixed now.


Posted by:

Ken Driver
19 Jan 2018

To Dave Fox

Use their when referring to people.


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