Geekly Update - 19 February 2014

Category: Spyware , Tech-News

What would you do if your laptop or smartphone suddenly became 1000 times faster? Why are neighborhood dogs protesting a new technology that improves Internet security? And why are robots generating 60 percent of all Web traffic? 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

Terahertz radiation is a new technology that could make your smartphone or laptop a thousand times faster. We just don't know yet if that will make them glow in the dark, or endlessly recite "War and Peace" in a high-pitched robotic voice.

A “kill switch bill” has been introduced in the U.S. Senate which would require smartphone manufacturers to include in every phone sold in the U.S. the ability to disable it remotely. The measure, long overdue in the opinions of many, will reduce theft by making phones useless to thieves. (Sounds good, as long as the Senators and their pals don't get access to The Switch.)

A startup company called SlickLogin implements login security using almost-silent sound waves that your smartphone can detect. You'll know it's working when your front yard is full of barking dogs.

Geekly Update 02-19-2014

Braille printers can cost upwards of $2,000, which seemed a bit high to California seventh-grader Shubham Banerjee. So for a science project, he came up with a working Braille printer based on a $350 Lego Mindstorm EV3 kit and a few bucks worth of hardware from Home Depot.

Humans generate only 38.5 percent of all Web traffic; the rest of the Web pages served are requested by bots both good and bad. Search engines are “good” bots and generate 31 percent of Web traffic. Malicious bots such as content scrapers, hacking tools, spam bots, and mysterious “other bad non-human traffic” account for the remaining 29.5 percent.

Shades of “Terminator 2:” Using off-the-shelf compounds commonly used in paints, scientists have developed an inexpensive self-healing polymer. When a piece of this stuff is cut in half, the two pieces will join back together if left touching for one day.

It’s time to loosen the United States’ stranglehold on Internet governance, according to a report issued by the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union. Citing “loss of confidence” in U.S. leadership in the wake of revelations about NSA surveillance, the EU is calling for steps to globalize the management of the most important infrastructure on Earth. (Let's put the U.N. in charge... they've decided that Libya, Uganda, and Saudi Arabia should chair the U.N. Human Rights Council.)

Consumers won’t be able to buy Windows 7 PCs after October 31, 2014, says Microsoft. The three consumer-oriented editions of Windows 7 - Home Basic, Home Premium or Ultimate – won’t be available via OEMs. Shrinkwrapped copies may remain on retail shelves for some time. Business editions will remain available indefinitely.

Not so fast, Zuckerberg: privacy advocates are asking a federal appeals court to throw out a $20 million settlement of a lawsuit over Facebook’s “Sponsored Stories,” which are ads that use the images of Facebook members. The groups claim the settlement allows use of minors’ images without explicit parental consent, violating the laws of several States.

The “PetFit” collar tracks your dog or cat’s whereabouts via GPS and tells you how many calories it’s burning. In the case of cats, that’s usually zero.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 19 February 2014"

Posted by:

Lorraine Rovig
19 Feb 2014

I found the article about the inexpensive Braille embosser (from Legos, a thumb tack, Home Depot hardware, and lots of Science Fair ingenuity) very interesting. FYI, our museum closet has a Braille embosser (that I think was sold in the early 1900s) that also used the narrow rolls of paper intended for accounting machines.

Among many other devices, we have the largest (show and compare) collection of Brl embossers in the world in our lab, the International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind, here in Baltimore.

Would you like a private tour of tech used by the blind, Bob?

National Federation of the Blind (national HQ)
Baltimore, MD

Posted by:

21 Feb 2014

"Let's put the U.N. in charge... they've decided that Libya, Uganda, and Saudi Arabia should chair the U.N. Human Rights Council" Hehehe!!! - not your best suggestion Bob - it's akin to putting the foxes in charge of the hen houses though I fully appreciate this was tongue-in-cheek

Posted by:

j b spence
23 Feb 2014

"Let's put the U.N. in charge...they've decided that Libya, Uganda, and Saudi Arabia should chair the U.N. Human Rights Council.)" - love it Bob!

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 19 February 2014 (Posted: 19 Feb 2014)
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