Geekly Update - 17 July 2019

Category: Tech-News

Is Elon Musk working in a secret underground laboratory to create a computer chip that can be implanted in a human brain? Is AT&T tracking your movements and selling your location history to the highest bidder? Why is the newest MacBook Air slower than the previous model? And is it legal to add a flamethrower to your drone? 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

July 20th marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. I was seven years old, but I still remember watching on TV, and standing out in the front yard with my entire family, to see if we could catch a glimpse of the lunar lander with binoculars. NASA has a series of events planned to celebrate the historic achievement.

A joke on Facebook has attracted over a million people who plan to swarm the mysterious Area 51 on September 20th. The Air Force says that would be a bad idea, and "stands ready to protect" the top-secret military base.

Did you know that today is World Emoji Day? If you've ever seen the emoji (icon) representing the calendar, you'll know why. In honor of the whimsical holiday, Apple and others have released dozens of new emojis, and you can vote for your favorite in the 2019 World Emoji Awards.

Yikes. Drones can now be turned into flamethrowers. The $1,499 Throwflame TF-19 Wasp is a flamethrower attachment "designed for remote ignition of aerial and ground targets." It's designed for high-end drones, has a 25-foot range, and can shoot flames for 100 seconds. The maker says flamethrower drones are legal and not considered weapons. Yet.

Geekly Update 07-17-2019

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing AT&T for allegedly selling customer location data to third parties. AT&T denies the allegations, maintaing that they only share location data with customer consent, for services such as roadside assistance, fraud protection, and medical device alerts.

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, wants to read your mind. Sort of. His Neuralink project aims to connect human brains directly to computers, creating a "symbiosis with artificial intelligence." Musk claims that in early tests, a monkey has been able to control the computer with his brain, and hopes to gain approval for human brain implants by the end of next year.

Swiss researchers at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne have created robotic "ants" that can jump, crawl, and work together to perform some impressive tasks.

Burger King has created a meatless version of the Whopper and a chicken sandwich, and now they're daring customers to see if they can tell the vegetarian versions from the animal-based versions. The Rebel Whopper and Rebel Chicken King are only available in Sweden, but BK has plans to bring the "Impossible Whopper" to the USA.

If you forget your laptop on your next trip to Tokyo, you'll want to book the Superior Cockpit Room at the Haneda Excel Hotel Tokyu, which features a full-fledged Boeing 737-800 flight simulator. The cost for the room and a a 90-minute flight simulator session (supervised by an expert) will run you USD $511.

Usually, the latest and greatest in computer tech means that your shiny new toy is faster than the one you're replacing. Not so with the new MacBook Air, which ZDNet reports is "significantly slower than last year's model," due to cost cutting measures by Apple. The good news is that it has a nicer True Tone display and a lower price tag.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 17 July 2019"

Posted by:

onedeafeye
17 Jul 2019

From what I've experienced with meatless "meats' you'll be able to tell the difference by the after-taste. For me, it's absolutely brutal.


Posted by:

GWC
17 Jul 2019

I think I will stay with my real steak. I have tasted some of the weak attempts to replace meat and I don't think BK can do any better. Elon Musk can keep his chip cause I will not allow it.


Posted by:

Tom Dooley
17 Jul 2019

Much like the social programs that succeed in Sweden can't be easily copied into a place the size of America, Burger King may find their success in the USA has come from flame-broiled beef for a reason. Those of us who like flame broiled beef, dont want flame-broiled anything else. We will find someone to sell us a beef-burger or just make one at home. Red meat...yeah! Tofu...phooey, or as Nero Wolfe would say, Pfui!


Posted by:

Lana Kamennof-Sine
17 Jul 2019

Beyond Beef (plant based alternative) burgers were launched in A&W restaurants & demand was phenom. (Before dissing try one. Their taste is pretty impressive.) Those products now available at Tim Horton's too & I suspect vegetarian/vegan options will indeed continue to appear.


Posted by:

Jay Bingham
17 Jul 2019

My question about the meat alternatives, Are they cooked on separate grills than the real meat? Wouldn't want to risk any cross contamination from the real meat now, would we?


Posted by:

Diane
18 Jul 2019

It has been many, many years since I read 1984 and Brave New World but are we considering that Elon Musk is into mind control???


Posted by:

Eleanor Smithwick
18 Jul 2019

Elon Musk's Neuralink will connect computers to human brains via implants? Does that mean the Borg have finally arrived?


Posted by:

Wolfgang
18 Jul 2019

Have a chip implanted in my brain? Oh! NO! Mein Gott! Elon Musk can keep his chips! I don't wish to be part of some "Borg Collective! Also, 1984 and Brave New World are books, which are must reads!

Thank you for the illuminating information!


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