Geekly Update - 18 September 2013

Category: Tech-News

Will your job soon be taken over by a robot? Can your undergarments protect you in the event of a nuclear attack? And is Microsoft's new ad proof that Steve Jobs is still alive? 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

The 2013 Ig Nobel prizes, which lampoon unusual scientific achievements, were awarded last week. Winners include the inventor of a bra that converts into a face mask with radiation sensor, and a group of Japanese chemists for discovering that the reason why onions make people cry is "even more complicated than scientists previously realized."

A new study predicts that 45 percent of American jobs will be done by computers in the year 2033. This item was created by Auto-Update © v0.9.1.15 (beta)

The “USB Condom” protects your phone or other mobile devices from data theft or malware infection during charging on an unfamiliar USB port, such as one on a computer at work. It blocks the data-transmitting wires in a USB connection while allowing simple electric power to flow through others.
Geekly Update 09-18-2013

"Elvis, Michael, and now Steve?" After only a few hours online, Microsoft pulled several YouTube ads that mocked the new iPhone 5’s lack of innovation, following a firestorm of criticism. The ads featured a slender, closely-cropped, bespectacled guy who never faced the camera – but was wearing a black mock turtleneck pullover. Harvard sells six-figure MBA degrees in which you’re taught how to do things like this.

"We'll fix YOU..." The creator of the best browser add-on of this century, Social Fixer, is surprised to find himself kicked off of Facebook after four years. Seems he improved Facebook too much.

The U.S. government has warned itself not to use a data encryption standard whose development may have been influenced by the NSA. The standard is implemented in Windows versions that run tablets, but the part the NSA was involved with is disabled by default. Developers must enable it to use it in apps.

Google is “working with authorities to address the issue” after one of its Google Street View drivers in Bogor, Indonesia, ran the logo-bedecked car into a bus, tried flee the scene, and immediately ran into another bus. That’s what he gets for relying on Google Maps for directions.

The Millenial Generation is most likely to get its coupons and deals via – newspapers! The 6th Annual Red Plum Pursestring Survey found that 51% of 18-34 year-olds get their savings that they actually use from traditional fish wrappers; 38% search the Internet; 33% check their snailmail box; 25% grab in-store offers.

Kids (of all ages) can learn Web programming on the $35 Raspberry Pi computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard, using an app called Coder developed in Google Creative Labs. “Download it, put it on an SD card, plug it in and it turns your Raspberry Pi into a simple place to write code and a miniserver to run it on, everything you need to get started making real web things.

The fate of is the subject of much debate. Earlier this year, rumor had it that Yahoo refused to trade its search business to Microsoft for Then Microsoft spent money to optimize for Windows 8, RT, and IE 10. Now part-time contract bloggers, production staff, and others are being trimmed from a site that gets 100 million visitors per month. Real persons can profitably run Web sites with a tiny fraction of that traffic.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 18 September 2013"

Posted by:

18 Sep 2013

Bob, thanks for the great articles and information. There is typo on Google car. It is Bogor, Indonesia.

Posted by:

18 Sep 2013

Incidentally, one of the taken down MS ads seems to still be viewable here:

But - sorry to be picky with details, Bob - the guy with his back to the cam is wearing a black T-shirt, not a black turtleneck. And one can't really see the spectacles, either.

Posted by:

18 Sep 2013

I've been using Social Fixer for years, and it's still functional. As I understand it, what Facebook did was take down the developer's page. He is still communicating with us, his users, via his blog or Social Fixer News. The latter shows up on my news feed. He will continue to provide updates and downloads through those means.

I know this newsletter is meant to be a brief update of the news; but it would be a shame if someone neglected to click on the link and just assumed that "the best browser add-on of this century" simply wasn't available anymore. Sometimes, the details are important.

Posted by:

Gloria Huffman
19 Sep 2013

"Google is “working with authorities to address the issue” after one of its Google Street View drivers in Bogor, Indonesia, ran the logo-bedecked car into a bus, tried flee the scene, and immediately ran into another bus. That’s what he gets for relying on Google Maps for directions."

I got such a good laugh out of that! I still refuse to buy a GPS, and love reading my paper maps (though it's nearly impossible to buy a paper one on the road these days). Besides, a GPS doesn't allow you to see the entertaining X-rated Masonic-vs-Catholic pix carved into large areas of city street designs.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 18 September 2013 (Posted: 18 Sep 2013)
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