Geekly Update - 19 August 2020

Category: Tech-News

Quick, name five tech-related things you thought were dead, but are not. Now name one that really is dead, and permanently buried. Can't do it? Then you need to read this week's edition of the Geekly Update. This issue has the latest tech news, and is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

In 1965, Gordon Moore, a co-founder of chipmaker Intel, made the observation that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every two years. This maxim, which became known as Moore’s Law, has held true for over 50 years. Some say Moore’s Law is dead, that we’ve reached the practical limits of chip miniaturization. But Intel says no -- they have a plan to pack 50 times as many transistors onto processors than is possible today.

You thought smartglasses were dead? Amazon has tossed its virtual hat into the smartglasses arena, hoping to succeed where Google and others have failed. Echo Frames don’t have cameras or a heads-up display, but you can summon Alexa while walking down Main Street. Amazon touts the ability to use Echo Frames to make calls, set reminders, add to your to-do lists, listen to podcasts, or control your smart home from anywhere. With your fake glasses.

Microsoft has announced that Flight Simulator is also not dead yet. They’ve released a shiny new version of the program, 14 years after the last iteration of the popular software. The new version uses satellite data from Bing Maps, and recreates cities, planes and 36,000 airports in stunning detail. Pricing starts at $59.99 for the standard version

BlackBerry has been brought back from the dead, again. The brand has been licensed by a Texas startup named OnwardMobility, and they’re promising to release an Android-powered 5G BlackBerry device with a physical keyboard some time in 2021.

If you Google the phrase “Can't uninstall Microsoft Edge,” you’ll likely find that the number one search result is a Microsoft Support page explaining why you can't uninstall the new version of Microsoft Edge that the folks in Redmond pretty much forced down the throats of Windows 10 users recently. Microsoft calls that a “phased rollout,” and says “The new version of Microsoft Edge is included in a Windows system update, so the option to uninstall it or use the legacy version of Microsoft Edge will no longer be available.” On a related note, Internet Explorer 11 is almost dead. The company has announced plans to pull support for the aging browser.

Privacy, though, really is dead. If you thought you could hide your driving history by opting out of OnStar, eschewing EZ-Pass or turning off location services on your smartphone, think again. Flock Safety, which makes a license plate reader, announced the "Total Analytics Law Officers Network," or TALON. The network aims to connect 400 law enforcement agencies and 700 cities, creating a nationwide camera network for tracking car movements.

Is a touchless touchscreen still a touchscreen? Researchers at the University of Cambridge say yes, and have designed a screen that uses "predictive touch," artificial intelligence, and sensors so users don’t have to touch those dirty, germy touchscreens.

T-Mobile Tuesdays is an app that gives away free stuff, and sometimes cash prizes. But Reddit users noticed something odd... a high percentage of winners were coming from Chadds Ford, a small town in Pennsylvania. T-Mobile did some digging and discovered that one user was using software bots to game the game, and had collected $4,000 in gift cards.

Does your smartphone know when you're walking drunk? Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have found that sensors in smartphones can detect when you're hammered, plastered, or three sheets to the wind, by monitoring your gait. The results showed 90% accuracy when test subjects walked just 10 steps.

But this might not work in Japan, because one Japanese city has banned arukisumaho, or smartphone walking. Yamato City, a suburb of Tokyo, passed an ordinance banning pedestrians from using their phones while walking. The law carries no punishment, but social stigma may be enough to get most to comply.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 19 August 2020"

Posted by:

19 Aug 2020

Microsoft's ploy with the Edge browser brings back memories of when Internet Explorer was baked into the latest version of Windows. This got them into all sorts of trouble with the European Union and they eventually made installation of IE optional. Is this "deja vu all over"?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Exactly right! They seem to have no corporate memory.

Posted by:

19 Aug 2020

Using social stigma to 'enforce' pedestrian behavior rules is remarkably effective in Japan, or was when I was last there 15 years ago.

They had loudspeaker equipped cars patrolling. Wwhen a pedestrian was observed behaving improperly (for example, stepping off the curb before the light turned) the infraction is called out for everyone in a 100 yard radius to hear.

I observed this several times, and saw the 'victim' turn embarrassment red. I never say anyone return the single finger salute.

Posted by:

19 Aug 2020

You can uninstall Edge.

(how-to steps at end of article):

Posted by:

John Anderson
19 Aug 2020

But I LIKE Edge; I don't want to uninstall it. It's a pleasant switch from Chrome!

Posted by:

19 Aug 2020

Can you install your "real" eyeglass lenses in Echo Frames?

Posted by:

19 Aug 2020

Why is everybody worried about Edge? Just don't use it. I have Windows 10 on my computer, and I have downloaded the Chrome browser and made it my default browser. I do occasionally use the Edge browser, but that is my choice. Otherwise, I simply ignore the Edge icon on my desktop.
Don't sweat the small stuff.

Posted by:

Robert A.
19 Aug 2020

Nezzar: And you should be able to remove the icon off of the Desktop or the Taskbar by right clicking on it, and then clicking on "delete," leaving you with a ghost program still installed.

Posted by:

20 Aug 2020

When the latest version of Edge came I tried it and was pleasantly pleased how fast it ran. I've tried Firefox, Opera, and Brave. None worked well for me. I now use Chrome & Edge 50/50

Posted by:

20 Aug 2020

Thanks for the tip, Robert; but, if I have the program on my computer, I want to know about it.
I agree with BDD. A 50/50 use of Edge and Chrome adds variety to web surfing. Variety is the spice of life.

Posted by:

20 Aug 2020

POSTER's NOTE: Exactly "wrong"!
Apple+Safari; Android+Chrome?
I am definitely not a google/apple fanboy but can be accused of using and coming to the defense of Microsoft+IE/Edge, when the subtle odor of hypocrisy is in the air!
(In all fairness, 95% of my browsing is done w/Firefox+Add-ons.)

Posted by:

23 Aug 2020

Edge? Installed it because Vivaldi wouldn't perform some tasks. Tried watching Netflix in Edge when it 1st appeared. 'Cause Bing is my default search engine. Well I couldn't live with error halts and black screen of deaths on this or my other laptop. Windows 10 stinks bad enough. So went to Firefox again. It has some good qualities but is slow and sometimes stalls. (Using lots of memory again?)Firefox works better on Linux Mint 20 than Windows. That's why I retried it.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 19 August 2020 (Posted: 19 Aug 2020)
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