Geekly Update - 18 May 2016

Category: Tech-News

Do those fancy new chipped credit cards actually reduce fraud? Is it possible to monitor EVERYTHING that's happening on the Internet? Can you “print” an entire house with a 3-D printer? And which webmail service is so bad that it's been banned by the U.S. Congress? 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

Incandescent light bulbs are poised for a comeback as MIT scientists have created bulbs that use 3 times less electricity than LEDs and radiate light virtually indistinguishable from sunlight.

"Talk to the hand…" Because the hand is talking to you, of course. Two University of Washington students have created a pair of gloves that translate American Sign Language gestures into audible speech.

“Chipped” credit and debit cards are supposed to reduce fraud, but paradoxically their rollout is prompting an increase in card fraud, as bad guys rush to reap the $14 billion annual fraud crop before chipped cards are widely implemented.

Geekly Update 05-18-2016

Yahoo isn't just losing money; apparently they're giving it away, too. Yahoo bought a mystery company about one year ago. Nobody knows its name, where it is, or what it does. All we know is that its $23 million price included $22 million worth of “goodwill,” which Yahoo is now writing off as a loss.

Another Kickstarter fraud: the Peachy 3-D Printer raised over CAD$600,000 in 2013. Now Ryan Grayston, co-founder of the company, says his partner embezzled more than half of the funds raised and built himself a house. I hope at least he built the house with a Peachy Printer.

Yahoo Mail is so insecure that it’s been blocked on Capitol Hill following a cyberattack that affected Congress. As part of closing the barn door after the horse escapes, the Congressional IT department has banned use of Yahoo Mail by members of Congress and their staffs.

A 10 year-old Finnish boy is $10,000 richer after discovering a bug in Instagram that would have let him delete every comment on the social network. Facebook paid the reward to Jani even though one is supposed to be at least 13 before creating an Instagram account.

Robotic cockroaches have learned to cooperate in accomplishing complex tasks. Humanity is officially doomed now..

Netflix has updated its iOS and Android apps to permit HD video streaming on mobile accounts that have high or unlimited data allowances. The service had previously limited all viewers to 600 Kbps and 360p resolution.

Tiny screens and digital buttons are the bane of smartwatches. Carnegie-Mellon researchers have solved that problem by turning the user's skin into a touch-control keyboard.

This infographic summarizes “everything” that happens on the Internet every 60 seconds. For example, 150 million emails are sent per minute; by comparison, the USPS processes just 350,000 pieces of snailmail per minute.

Playing a mobile game app could help scientists spot warning signs of dementia, or cause it.

You always wanted to program a quantum computer, right? IBM has made one available online for anyone who wants to try their hand at quantum programming.

Explore the deepest and least-known parts of the Marianas Trench with NOAA’s webcams attached to the Okeanos Explorer submersible research vessel, whose expedition began April 20, 2016. New videos will be posted often until July 10.

The 100 remaining McLaren F1 sportscars, valued at $10 million each, are supported by a diagnostic system that runs under MS-DOS on a 1990s-era Compaq laptop.

Neural networks are recreating Star Wars clips in the Expressionism art style, and it gets pretty weird.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 18 May 2016"

Posted by:

18 May 2016

Bob, chipped cards are more secure. They've been in use in Europe for over a decade and have resulted in greatly reduced fraud. I last travelled there in 2009 and discovered that although restaurants and hotels/inns would accept my magnetic strip credit card, other businesses -- I had to replace a laptop in France and a backup drive in Germany -- insisted on cash or a debit card. In each case, I was told that fraud declined sharply after the chipped cards were introduced.

We should have had this years ago! Greedy, living for their quarterly results and annual bonuses CEO's kept it from happening. I worked for over a decade in the credit card industry for one of the world's largest banks, often closely with the fraud and risk departments. I know what I'm talking about.

Posted by:

18 May 2016

My new card has both a chip and magnetic strip. So anyone getting my card could copy the strip or just use the card. That doesn't seem to prevent fraud.

Posted by:

18 May 2016

Chipped cards make it virtually impossible for a stolen card to be copied. But it can still be used until reported unless it is one that also uses a pin.

Most places with newer card readers won't allow you to swipe the card if it has a chip. When I go into CVS, if I swipe the card it tells me I need to insert the card into the reader.

But as Bill said, for those places that don't have the current readers, you can just swipe the card.

It will take time but eventually it will help with fraud, especially stolen card numbers.

Posted by:

18 May 2016

It's interesting how you nestled the Yahoo mystery company acquisition and write-off between stories of fraud and embezzlement. What are you suggesting? I hope some tough questions will be asked at the next Yahoo shareholders' meeting about who benefited from that acquisition, apparently at the shareholders' expense.

Posted by:

Bill Boogaart
18 May 2016

We've had the chipped cards up here in Canada for a few years now and fraud on them is way down. However, one recent visit to a service station in California where the card was scanned at the cash register with the mag stripe and I had to get a replacement card when I got home. Someone unsuccessfully tried to use it to buy something in London, England. The sooner they replace those mag stripe scanners with chip readers the better.

Posted by:

Chris Calabria
19 May 2016

Around here, they're not using the PIN yet. From what I've read, like in EU security won't improve till they implement the PIN # here.

Posted by:

19 May 2016

My California Bank. (Small) has just sent me a new debit card with no chip. I also have an Australian Credit card that has been chipped for the past 4 years? Come on USA wake up!
Oliver Fleming

Posted by:

Pat C.
24 May 2016

Those two guys at U of W deserve a hug, a BIG HUG.

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