Geekly Update - 18 May 2017

Category: Tech-News

Why would someone intentionally infect their computer with ransomware, FIVE times? Does using your smartphone as a pacifier for toddlers make them smarter? (Hint: No) And what was the first book sold on Amazon, back in 1995? 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

This just in from the "We Told You So" department… Hackers used a well-known flaw in the SS7 telephone routing protocol to rob banks in Germany. AskBob readers may remember that we highlighted this problem in [HACKED] Is Someone Listening to Your Calls? back in April 2016.

A new study shows that toddlers who are allowed to use handheld devices develop speech more slowly than others. Other studies show that screen time affects reading, writing, concentration, and emotional development in young children.

Irony or silver lining? Computer Security company F-Secure did an experiment in which a user intentionally infected his computer with five ransomware viruses, then contacted the hackers to ask for help with paying the ransom. Turns out ransomware hackers tend to have excellent customer service. (Comcast, take note.)

Geekly Update 05-18-2017

There’s new help for people with low blood pressure: an online tool that, for the first time, lets you investigate exactly how U.S. federal agencies spend your tax dollars.

Who says cybercrooks have no heart? A new ransomware-as-a-service criminal enterprise tailors its payment demands to a victim’s local cost of living using The Economist’s “McDonald’s Index” which tracks the cost of a Big Mac whenever it’s sold. Naturally, the service is called “FatBoy.”

"We've been yelling at the TV for years." Amazon has put its first Alexa voice-enabled smart TVs up for pre-order, with shipment starting in June. The 4K models from budget OEM Element include a 43-inch model for $449, a 50-inch model for $549, a 55-inch model for $649, and a 65-inch model for $899. Look for more “Fire TVs” from Westinghouse and Seiki.

Meet Amazon’s first customer, see the book he bought, and learn fascinating details about Silicon Valley life circa 1995.

An exoskeleton for the elderly quickly restores a wearer’s balance when it senses the wearer is about to fall. Plus, you’ll be able to run faster than the Six Million Dollar Man.

Japan is using robots for as many jobs as possible, not to replace human labor but because the infertile country has a serious shortage of young workers.

France has fined Facebook $166,000 for violating the nation’s privacy laws. Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain also have investigations going in various stages. It’s interesting to see how seriously other countries’ governments take the privacy of their citizens. In the U. S., we’re pretty much on our own.

An Austrian court has ruled that Facebook must delete “hate speech” posts not only for Austrian users, but worldwide.

A colonoscopy system developed at Vanderbilt University uses an internal camera module that is guided through the colon by an external magnet. Researchers claim that pulling the device through the colon is more comfortable for the patient than the standard technique in which the probe is pushed along.

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 18 May 2017"

Posted by:

Max Fritzler
18 May 2017

Bob, a little humor is fine. However, not about colonscopies!


Posted by:

Tom Rieg
18 May 2017

Six Million Dollar Man...That's some funny stuff right there :-D


Posted by:

Phil
18 May 2017

Japan's 'infertile' problem and lack of young folks to fill the many jobs available reminds me of America's problem as well. We have a liberal Death Wish for America which promotes contraception and abortion while Muslims/Islamists are having far more children per family. Soon there will be more shinny Mosque domes in our nation than Church steeples and crosses. But that should be no problem for those who wish to demean and subjugate women, pray 5 times daily to Allah, and promote Sharia law.

Our First President would have expeditiously exercised and implemented America's immigration laws without hesitation to keep our nation's founding Christian Principles intact (no, that's not the same as a theocracy).

"While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian."
--The Writings of Washington, pp. 342-343.


Posted by:

Bob
18 May 2017

I keep wondering if there is not a ransom ware we could send those who demand the ransom (I know IRS might like it).


Posted by:

PgmrDude
18 May 2017

Max Fritzler: I don't see a joke in the colonoscopy story. What are you seeing?

Phil: I am in 100% agreement!

Bob (the user, not the author): YOU contact the ransomware folks via your phone, at least initially, so you wouldn't be able to infect them with a virus. I don't know what happens (i.e.: how they connect with you) when they are actually removing the ransomware from your system.


Posted by:

Bill C
18 May 2017

@ Phil: Amen brother


Posted by:

Zol
18 May 2017

The link to the ABC story re speech delay in babies produces a page that states the item is not found or unavailable. I searched for the subject matter on the ABC site and found the item. The URL is:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/handheld-screen-toddlers-linked-speech-delays-study-finds/story?id=47203699


Posted by:

pshaw
19 May 2017

Phil & Bill -- I come to Bob Rankin's site to receive tips re: using my computer. I don't come here to listen to xenophobes. Please keep your bigotry to yourself.


Posted by:

oceansong
19 May 2017

Phil and Bill - post your Muslim bashing elsewhere - not on this site.
And be aware that not all Muslim people have interest in subjugating women or other oppression - any more than all Christians wanting to subjugate women. Some branches of Christianity are more oppressive than anything I've ever heard of with the Muslim religion. I should know, since I grew up in one of them.
Take your prejudice elsewhere... or better still - re-evaluate your thinking.


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