Geekly Update - 19 July 2018

Category: Tech-News

Which mobile phone maker most effectively implements the practice of planned obsolesence? How effective is Internet filtering software at keeping kids from accessing adult content? And what is that weird-looking robot doing at a gas station in San Francisco? This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

In my eleventh-grade English class, I had to read the classic "Death of a Salesman." In it, Willy Loman says, "Once in my life I would like to own something outright before it’s broken! I’m always in a race with the junkyard!" Not much has changed since that book was published in 1949. This report shows the phones with the highest failure rates.

A rocket-shaped robot has decided the patrol the grounds at a Shell gas station in San Francisco, and nobody seems to know why.

A video camera lets you take a breathtaking ride on the tail of the world’s largest airplane.

Geekly Update 07-19-2018

Parents get the harsh news that Internet filters do not keep kids away from adult content. A recent study at Oxford Internet Institute found that Internet filtering technologies did not reduce children’s exposure to online sexual content.

This just in from the Overly Attached Boyfriend Department: A California man learned how NOT to end a dating relationship. Raul Hernandez was charged with stalking after sending his ex-girlfriend over 4000 text messages, and hacking into her social media and Paypal accounts.

Sensitive military documents relating to the Pentagon’s drone, tank, and tactical programs were stolen because someone forgot to change the router’s default admin password. In related news, an online app named “Shodan” conveniently locates such poorly-secured networks for you.

Fifteen scientific facts about everyday life include the reason Post-it Notes are reusable and how many people you'd need to cram into your house to heat it without using the furnace. (They failed, however, to delve into the more important "ratio of body heat to body odor" discussion.)

InstaPaper, the original digital paper, was sold to Instagram and left to die. Now its inventors have bought it back, but is it too far behind competitors to catch up?

The Google Assistant app now offers a visual graph of your day, including appointments, travel times, and bills to be paid.

Change your Venmo settings right now to make your payment transactions private. By default, the Paypal-owned peer-to-peer payment service assumes you want the entire Internet to know how you spend your money.

Mark Zuckerberg was asked why InfoWars is allowed on Facebook despite its business model of propagating hoaxes. His answer will scare you.

Apple has yanked from its App Store a 99-cent conspiracy-aggregator app named QDrops. It remains in the Google Play Store for now, presumably until after it drops off the top-25-sellers list.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 19 July 2018"

Posted by:

David
19 Jul 2018

Why are you scared that FB won't adjust its feeds to conform to the most current definition of evil? That's one of the few places, perhaps the only place, I agree with Zuck. Should the government or some "unbiased" committee decide what should or should not be carried? Wow, what a blow for more freedom. Yep, let's burn the books Ellison doesn't like, define what should be posted on the Net so as not to offend a hack like Darcy, and remove the burden of reason from the hoi polloi.

Of course, when the other side gets the power, and they will sooner or later, we'll all have to change our opinions of good and evil. War will be peace, freedom will be slavery, and the ignorant will be the truly strong.


Posted by:

Kenneth Heikkila
19 Jul 2018

David, it's the definition of truth and it's obvious liberal bias that seems to be in question. IMNSHO


Posted by:

jphuf
19 Jul 2018

"The 70 people that would heat a house"!
Naked or clothed?
Male or Female?
Do they have the same heating abilities?
Would 70 nude J.Lo's produce as much heat as the others? Would I be warmer?
Inquiring minds want to know?


Posted by:

jphuf
19 Jul 2018

"David, it's the definition of truth and it's obvious liberal bias that seems to be in question. IMNSHO"
Is this a political comment. IMHO


Posted by:

David
19 Jul 2018

Kenneth, it's been a problem for both sides of the argument. Books were banned long before Hitler did his thing.


Posted by:

Mat
20 Jul 2018

I don't know about 70 people in a house, but I know from long experience that if you cram about 50-55 people in a standard size transit bus at -40 degrees, you not only need to turn off the heat but open some windows!


Posted by:

wrigleywrat
20 Jul 2018

Thanks for the Venmo article, Bob. I just installed that app yesterday, so it was very timely information.


Posted by:

Colin
23 Jul 2018

I like the article on the robot patrol. It is made by Knightscope and it has models named K1, K3, K5, and K7. The K5 is on patrol at the gas station.
I'm just waiting for their next model. Perhaps dog shaped, with OCR, LIDAR, Omni directional imaging, microphone, ultrasonics, infrared, thermal imaging, pplus a nifty laser and a penchant for calling its owner "Master" and of course inevitably called K9!
Of course is could be currently being tested in time travelling mode so it could turn up any time, any where.
Yes, I am a Dr Who fan!


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