Geekly Update - 17 September 2015
What's bigger than an elephant, and plays PacMan? What will inmates in Spokane be doing with their free tablet computers? What city has the fastest Internet? And why does the Tesla guy want to drop a few nukes on Mars? 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
Think your Internet’s slow? NASA’s New Horizons space probe is just starting an enormous dump of data it collected during its close encounter with the planet Pluto. It will take a year to download at 1 to 4 kilobits per second. (That's ten times SLOWER than a dialup Internet connection.)
On the flipside, 10 GIGAbit-per-second Internet access is coming to Salisbury, NC. Courtesy of Google? Nope. Verizon? Nope. Comcast? Please. Nope, the city government is implementing the fastest municipal network in the nation. (That's about 250,000 times FASTER than dialup.)
An arcade game machine that’s taller than an adult African elephant has made it into the Guinness Book of Records. It features 200 classic games, lots of flashing lights, and requires climbing a set of stairs to reach the controls. Jason Camberis, a network engineer from Chicago, says he designed and fabricated the oversized machine to bring joy into a world filled with bad news.
The Asus RT-AC5300U router looks like something police throw across a road to stop fleeing cars, but the 8-antenna gadget provides up to three separate WiFi networks, each capable of 1 to 2 Gbps throughput. It includes embedded FTP and SAMBA file servers, and a DLNA media server. (Just in case you wanted to embed a little SAMBA, or serve up some delicious DLNA.)
Amazon Prime customers can now download certain videos and watch them offline on iOS and Android devices. No word if such content disappears once a Prime membership expires.
Spokane (WA) County Jail inmates will soon be getting tablets courtesy of Global Tel Link. Inmates will be able to phone relatives using prepaid phone cards, order items from the commissary, and file grievance complaints via the strictly locked-down devices. “They won’t be getting on Facebook,” says jail command John McGrath. Of course not... they'll be too busy hacking into McGrath's email.
From the "Why Didn't I Think of That?" Department: In order to colonize Mars, we’d have to make the Red Planet more Earth-like. Tesla founder Elon Musk suggests two methods: pump greenhouse gases into Mars’ atmosphere, or drop nuclear bombs on Mars’ poles. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/09/10/elon-musk-mars-nuke-bombs/71990446/
Polaroid (yes, it’s still around) announced a new Polaroid SNAP digital camera that instantly prints 2x3 inch copies of snapshots using inkless paper technology. It will be available in Q4 for $99.
The Justice Dept. now requires the FBI and other federal agents to obtain search warrants before using “stingray” devices that scoop up data from every cell phone in their vicinity, not just legitimate targets. The feds must also stop lying to judges about the technology they plan to use in search warrant applications. Or, else!
Watch for $50 Amazon Kindle Fire tablets during the holiday season. Amazon also plans to launch a 10-inch tablet soon.
Canon has developed an “insane” 250 Megapixel image sensor small enough to fit in a DSLR camera. Intended for ultra-high resolution measurement and “specialized surveillance and crime prevention tools,” it can read the letters on an airplane from a distance of 11 miles. So behave yourselves, drone pilots.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 17 Sep 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 17 September 2015 (Posted: 17 Sep 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved