Geekly Update - 18 February 2021

Category: Tech-News

Would you like a free password manager that does everything your paid-for tool does now? Will cognitive biometrics and a gadget that clips to your belt help to clear your brain clutter? And how will origami help to make computers a thousand times faster? 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

Ring video doorbells are getting geofencing. The popular Amazon-owned security devices can now remind users to “arm” them when they leave home, or or disarm when returning.

Keith Gill, the man behind the effort to pump up the GameStop stock price, made millions in the short-lived endeavor, which saw the price briefly jump from $20 to almost $500 a share. Gill is now accused of market manipulation, but he insists he did nothing wrong.

Parler, the Twitter alternative popular with conservatives, is back online a month after Amazon, Apple and Google abruptly pulled the plug on the company in January. It's Web-only for now.

Krebs On Security is reporting that the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) has indicted three North Korean hackers responsible for some of the most damaging cybercrime attacks in the past decade. The indictment alleges that the trio were involved in the WannaCry ransomware scheme, and the theft of roughly $200 million from banks and other victims worldwide.

Geekly Update 02-18-2021

In another score for the good guys, the DOJ may have disrupted a major component of the gross domestic product of Ghana. Six Ghanian persons were arrested and charged with laundering over $50 million in proceeds from fraud schemes including business email compromises, romance scams targeting elderly, and fraudulent small business loans for Covid-19 relief.

Microsoft is rolling out a Kids Mode for the Edge browser that should make browsing safer for young users. Kids Mode works with Bing SafeSearch to keep kids away from “adult” search results, and incorporates a customizable “allow list” that parents can use to limit kids to age-appropriate websites.

LastPass, the popular password manager, is removing the ability to sync passwords between devices in their free version. The lack of that important feature leaves many users looking for an alternative. Not to worry... CNet says Bitwarden is the best free password manager they've found.

Foci is a wearable device that promises to help people who are easily bothered by mental distractions. It uses cognitive biometrics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to track changes in breathing patterns indicative of lost focus, and sends an alert to clear out “brain clutter.”

University of Cambridge researchers claim that Bitcoin “mining” – the complex computer calculations needed to verify transactions – globally consumes 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh) a year. That’s more electricity than the entire countries of Argentina, the Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates.

Researchers at the University of Sussex say a form of ‘nano-origami’ developments could lead to computers capable of operating thousands of times faster than current devices. The researchers discovered that tiny strips of graphene, crinkled in a certain way, can behave like a microchip that’s 100 times smaller than conventional microchips.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 18 February 2021"

Posted by:

Ken H
18 Feb 2021

Thanks Bob, just in time! I have been trying to communicate my dissatisfaction with Dashlane for some time now, to little avail, apparently customer service does not rate high on their overpriced password manager. Besides not really functioning as promised (it rarely deigns to fill in passwords or even the basic address info I use daily (they blame the Vivaldi browser) they have decided to stop supporting the desktop app, which worked much better than the browser add-on at one time.

Posted by:

Bob Kinsler
18 Feb 2021

Gee I wonder if Elon Musk has some interesting ideas for that firm regarding its electric use since he recently dropped $1.5 billion into Bit Coin.

Posted by:

20 Feb 2021

I've been a LastPass Free user for over 10 years and was disappointed when I read about their upcoming change as I use the software on three platforms: Win10, Android, and Chromebook. I read about Bitwarden and felt it would do what I needed. But then I read about importing passwords from LastPass and what to do if an error occurs. I'm not the village idiot but decided to take LastPass up on their discounted annual fee. This way there's no learning curve, and I potentially saved hours of work transferring passwords if something doesn't work as advertised.

Posted by:

Ken D
20 Feb 2021

I installed and am using Bitwarden. It was easy to install, and works great. The paid version is only $10 a year.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 18 February 2021 (Posted: 18 Feb 2021)
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