Geekly Update - 19 April 2017

Category: Tech-News

Is your copy of Microsoft Word vulnerable to a clever new exploit? Does the way you hold your phone reveal your passwords to hackers? What would you do if you found Sully's iPhone in your car? And is there ANYTHING you can't learn by watching Youtube videos? 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

AT&T says it has blocked one billion robocalls in five months for its customers. They've also improved their call blocking tech so that it now works for customers on landlines.

An 8-year-old boy in Ohio says he learned to drive by watching Youtube videos. The lad had a burger craving, and Mom and Dad were both asleep. So naturally, he drove the family van for a quick ride over to McDonalds, with his 4-year-old sister coming along for the ride. No tickets were issued.

This just in from the "What's My Job, Again?" department: "I am always confused as to what smartwatches are for when we have smartphones," said the chief executive of Huawei’s smartwatch group on the day his company releases a new smartwatch. Click here if you agree.

Geekly Update 04-19-2017

A mechanic doing repairs on a California man's car found an iPhone 4s that had been lost in the airbag compartment for several years. Some clever Internet research helped to reunite the phone with its owner.

Dallas area residents were awakened at midnight by the ear-splitting sound of more than 150 emergency alert sirens triggered by an old-fashioned analog tone hack.

Score one for the Good Guys. Russian hacker Peter Levashov was arrested in Spain on April 14, 2016. His worldwide botnet, known as Kelihos, will now be dismantled by the Dept. of Justice.

That way you tilt your phone as you tap on it can reveal your password or PIN to hackers. Researchers at Newcastle University in the UK say they are able to guess 4-digit PINs with 70% accuracy on the first guess and 100% on the fifth.

Windows Vista will receive no more patches as it has reached the end of its product life cycle. If you’re still using Vista, it will only become more vulnerable from now on.

On April 11, 2017, Microsoft released a patch that plugs a vulnerability in all versions of Microsoft Word. Hackers have used this hole to infect users with the Dridex malware, which steals logins to financial sites. Update your copy of MS Office if you haven’t done so lately.

A Burger King TV commercial triggered Google Home devices with the question, “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?” The devices answered with the first sentence of the Wikipedia entry for “Whopper burger,” which anyone can edit. BK may want to re-think its cunning plan.

“I built it one piece a time, and it didn’t cost me a dime.” Inmates at Ohio’s Marion Correctional Institution can make that boast, as two working computers built from parts smuggled out of a vocational class were discovered in the ceiling above a training room closet. The inmates also strung over 1000 feet of Ethernet cable to enable them to mess with the prison’s network.

Here’s a handy guide to the default functions that the F1-F12 keys on your keyboard can perform. is Web store that stocks only products that last a lifetime. Or at least 30 years, in the case of t-shirts.

Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 19 April 2017"

Posted by:

19 Apr 2017

"Some clever Internet research helped to reunite the phone with it's owner."

Yes, punctuation is important. :)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Guilty as charged. My brain refuses to admit that "its" is correct there.

Posted by:

19 Apr 2017

Why a smart watch? Convenience.

I own a pebble.

The primary use is to notify me of phone calls. I carry my phone in a holster because I don't like it in my pants pocket and I keep the ringer off because of many places I am in. I cannot feel the vibrate in the holster and the watch does that well.
It then is convenient to glance at the watch to see who is calling or messaging me.

I use a couple other of the dozens of apps for it.
I have a nice timer/stop watch app that I use a couple times a week.
During football season I have an app that sends me updates on scores for two favorite (Packers, Badgers) which is good when I am busy with something else during the games.

Posted by:

Bob K
19 Apr 2017

"Some clever Internet research helped to reunite the phone with it's owner."

Yes, punctuation is important. :)

My understanding:
"it's" is for a contraction of "it is".
"its" show ownership, like in "its owner".

My copy of the newsletter had it right!

Posted by:

Darcetha Manning
19 Apr 2017

Here’s a handy guide to the default functions that the F1-F12 keys on your keyboard can perform.

Thanks Bob. This was a handy refresher for me. ;)

Posted by:

Ryan James
19 Apr 2017

I tried the F Key functions on my Dell laptop (New as of Nov 2016). Not one of them work according to the article.

Posted by:

Cynthia Neale
20 Apr 2017

Ryan, were you in a product at the time?

For example, when in Excel, the F2 key is Edit.

The F keys as above all worked for me.

Posted by:

20 Apr 2017

Can't finish the article. I need a cheeseburger!!

Posted by:

David Scanland
20 Apr 2017

Remember: "Lifetime" is the lifetime of the company, not yours! If the company goes out of business in 1 year, it has a 1 year warranty.

Posted by:

20 Apr 2017

Your comment about the MS Word vulnerability interested me but when I clicked on your link "Microsoft released a patch" I didn't get the Microsoft site, just another site detailing the Dridex malware. Where is the Microsoft link or download?

Posted by:

20 Apr 2017

Judging by the article you reference, Peter Levashov was arrested 7 April 2017 not 14 April 2016. (I was wondering why they waited a year to take action!)

Posted by:

Sarah L
21 Apr 2017

Ryan James with a Dell lap top, perhaps you need to press Fn (between Ctrl and the Windows key) with the function keys for their main use. Dell gives those keys a second use, like the F2 key is also the key to turn the wi-fi connection on or off. Maybe. My computer is older, but it is an idea.

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