Geekly Update - 20 April 2016
Is a non-descript farmhouse in Kansas the epicenter of spam, scams and cybercrime? Can the police demand to see your cell phone during a traffic stop? And why are things about to get much QUIETER at the headquarters of the National Weather Service? 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
Nearly half of U.S. households now subscribe to Amazon Prime, according to a study conducted by financial-services company Piper Jaffray.
A solar panel has been invented that can generate electricity from the energy of rain falling on it. This Chinese invention uses a layer of graphene only one atom thick. (Wouldn't that make it an "aqua panel" then?)
Drivers could lose their licenses if they refuse to submit their smartphones to police textalyzing following an accident, under a bill that’s brewing in the New York legislature. A device made by Israel-based Cellebrite would collect only data about whether the phone was in use at the time of the accident, not the content of texts or calls.
An isolated farm an hour’s drive from Wichita, Kansas, has been visited by the FBI, IRS collectors, U. S. marshals, and random vandals ever since mapping software company MaxMind arbitrarily made the farm's GPS coordinates the “center” of the United States. The tale of this decade-old string of mistaken identity cases will horrify you, and it’s not the only one.
The Somm, as in “sommelier,” is a smart wine dispenser that chills, aerates, and pours the perfect glass of vino. It also tracks what you drink and recommends other vintages it thinks you may like. The Somm’s Kickstarter campaign blew past its $100,000 goal in just 15 hours.
University of Washington researchers have discovered how to store digital images in a smear of DNA and retrieve perfect copies of them later. No word on where the “smear” comes from.
All 50 United States have laws prohibiting unauthorized use of computer networks, even if the owners have left their WiFi unprotected. And now, it's also un-Islamic, an imam (religious leader) in Dubai has ruled in a fatwa issued in April, 2016.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILL NO LONGER USE ALL-CAPS IN ITS WEATHER BULLETINS BEGINNING IN MAY, 2016, ENDING A CENTURY-OLD TRADITION OF SHOUTING THE WEATHER FORECAST.
All Apple devices running older versions of iOS may be rendered inoperable permanently by a glitch that can be exploited simply by setting the system clock’s date to January 1, 1970. Apple patched the flaw in iOS v 9.3.1. Desktop and laptop computers running Mac OSX are not affected.
“Freebooting” is the tawdry and illegal act of pirating someone’s online video and claiming it as your own. Facebook is offering a Digital Rights Management tool that lets video publishers limit who can share their videos to combat this plague.
Verizon customers can earn an extra 2 GB of data credit when they use the Android Pay touchless payment system, but only in two billing cycles.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 20 Apr 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 20 April 2016 (Posted: 20 Apr 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved