Geekly Update - 19 June 2014
How easy is it to hack into the ATM at your local grocery store? What critical thing should you avoid when plagiarizing a graduation speech? And is stashing your smartphone in your pants pocket a good birth control method? 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
The NSA’s latest excuse for disregarding multiple court orders to preserve data evidence that might be used against it is, “our systems are too complex for that.”
A Bank of Montreal ATM was hacked by two 14 year-olds during their lunch break from school. They aren’t genius-level programmers; just two kids who found a maintenance manual online and thought they’d try the default administrator password. It worked because banks are dumber than 14 year-olds. The teens even changed the machine’s greeting from “Welcome to the BMO ATM” to “Go away. This ATM has been hacked.”
If you're not down with the latest slang used on Twitter, texting and other social media venues, the FBI can help! They've produced an 83-page document which includes English translations for over 2500 terms such as DYJHIW (don't you just hate it when), IGNTS (I've got nothing to say) and LMSO (laughing my socks off).
Roosevelt High School Principal Steven Strachan plagiarized his message to the graduating Class of 2014. That was bad enough, but it didn't even require a Google search to out him. He closed the message with “Congratulations to the Albany High School Class of 2013.” Oops.
The low-level radiation emitted by smartphones reduces sperm’s motility by 8 percent and its viability by 9 percent, according to a meta-study of 10 earlier studies. So it may be time to take the phone out of your pants pocket – or leave it there, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.
Teaching kids about nutrition is hard unless you use Flatulence, an app that teaches nutritional information, toxicity, and most importantly, whether a given food will make you fart.
A freshly-coded Trojan Horse has been discovered in the wild. RSA security researchers uncovered Pandemyia, a modular, multi-function malware program that steals form data (such as credit card details), creates fake Web pages, runs a botnet, and can fool network intrusion detection systems. It’s planted on victims’ PCs through exploit kits and drive-by downloads. Removing it involves registry tweaking.
Police need a search warrant to obtain cell phone location data from service providers, a federal appeals court has ruled for the first time. State courts in Massachusetts and New Jersey have come to the same conclusion, and Maine and Montana have passed laws protecting the privacy of cell phone location data.
Comcast is turning its customers’ WiFi router/modems into public hotspots that any passerby can use for free. The feature creates a public network with the SSID “xfinitywifi” that is “entirely separate” from the customer’s home network. So there’s nothing to be concerned about, right?
A pair of private data-collection firms has sued the State of Arkansas for violating their corporate right to collect license plate data from traveling vehicles. Arkansas passed a law prohibiting private collection of such data, reserving such snooping for its police. The State plans to defend the law.
Netflix has replied to Verizon’s cease-and-desist letter with a snippy “no.” The ISP is demanding that Netflix stop showing its customers messages such as, “The Verizon network is crowded right now… adjusting video for smoother playback.” The finger-pointing in the letters exchanged by two corporate counsels is more entertaining than most Netflix content.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 19 Jun 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 19 June 2014 (Posted: 19 Jun 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved