Geekly Update - 19 December 2018
Where can you fill up your gas tank for under 2 cents a gallon? Is Windows 10 sending the details of your activity back to Microsoft HQ, even after you told it to stop? What can you do when the police can't be bothered to investigate packages stolen from your front porch? Could you live without your smartphone for a full year? 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
If you're a NASA engineer who helped build the Mars Rover, you solve the problem of package thieves on your own. Mark Rober spent six months designing a "bait package" that has a built-in booby trap. When a thief opens the package, he or she will face the wrath of a glitter bomb and a very unpleasant odor.
A computer glitch resulted in a gas price of 1.9 cents per gallon at a convenience store in South Carolina. Police had to be called to stop customers from taking advantage of the error.
A parrot named Rocco is in love with Amazon Alexa, mainly because Alexa lets Rocco order all sorts of birdie goodies by voice command.
Vitamin Water is offering a $100,000 prize if you can ditch your smarpthone and survive with a basic flip phone for one year. But no cheating, a lie detector test will be administered at the end of the year.
Talk about a Grinch! Phishers compromised the email account of an employee of the Save The Children Foundation, and used it to generate false invoices which were paid to a Japanese bank account. The crooks made off with $1 million.
Google+ will shut down early after its second major security leak this year. An estimated 53 million users, including some whose accounts were set to “private,” had their names, email addresses, ages, and occupations exposed… assuming they ever bothered to provide all that data.
Amazon is selling Google Chromecast streaming devices again. The Chromecast device, which competes with Amazon's Fire Stick, was banned in 2015, briefly reinstated, and now is officially back. Chromecast still does not support Prime Video (which competes with Google Play Movies).
Contrary to a short-lived rumor, Windows 10 is not sending your activity data back to headquarters even after you tell it not too. Microsoft says it was a misunderstanding caused by two different things being given the same name. (That's odd, usually Microsoft gives two different things slightly different names.)
Amazon Alexa Guard can alert you if it hears a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm or breaking glass. But can it roll over, sit, up, and beg, too? Dog wins again!
Google Maps now shows travel times via Lime electric scooter. Stop legitimizing those nuisances!
A Windows 95 ugly Christmas sweater is the perfect holiday gift for nerds.
A huge wave of emailed bomb threats swept the U. S. and Canada on December 13, prompting evacuations of schools, office buildings, and even hospitals.
Verizon is cutting 10,400 jobs company-wide through management buy-outs. The company also revealed that its digital media group, Oath Inc., is a flop. Oath consists mainly of AOL and Yahoo, which will now cause Verizon to take a $4.6 billion “goodwill” write-down.
T-mobile lied to the FCC by claiming it provided 4G LTE coverage in rural areas where it did not even have cell towers, the Rural Wireless Association (RWA) said in an FCC filing.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 19 Dec 2018
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 19 December 2018 (Posted: 19 Dec 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved