Geekly Update - 20 July 2022

Category: Tech-News

How is Netflix planning to punish password sharers? What's the best way to revive that 10-year-old PC or Mac gathering dust in the closet? Are you damaging your smartphone battery because of way you recharge it? And is this the end of the road for auto warranty robocalls? 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

Netflix just reported that they lost 1.3 million subscribers over the past three months. In completely unrelated news, Netflix says they're going to start imposing a fee on the roughly 100 million households that share passwords.

Jason Perlow describes how he revived three ancient computers (two of them were more than 10 years old) with ChromeOS Flex. Perlow says Linux-based desktops have never caught on, because they don't meet the needs of ordinary home users. But ChromeOS is user-friendly and malware resistant, and updates automatically. If you have an old PC or Mac that lacks the modern hardware required to run today's operating systems (Windows 10, Windows 11, or current MacOS) blowoff the dust and give ChromeOS a try.

Did you know? Amazon will recycle your small electronics for free. Got an old flip phone, broken tablet, e-reader, keyboard, mouse, video game console, fitness tracker, or charger laying around? Dig through your junk drawer, package up those gadgets and ship them for free from any UPS dropoff point. Amazon pays for the shipping label, and transfers your devices to a licensed recycling facility that does the heavy lifting. Just remember to do a factory reset on your device if possible, and don't ship anything with swollen or leaking batteries.

Here's what you need to know about NextGen TV, the future of free over-the-air broadcast TV. As you might infer from the name, NextGen TV is the next generation of over-the-air broadcasts, replacing the current 20-year-old broadcast format. It promises better reception, and supports 4K and HDR for enhanced image quality. You'll need a NextGen tuner and an antenna.

Geekly Update 07-20-2022

The folks at Slashgear want you to know there is a direct correlation between your smartphone battery's life span and the number of times you recharge it. The more full charging cycles, the faster the battery will degrade.  So they recommend you stop charging your phone to full capacity. That's tough medicine if you're accustomed to plugging in and recharging at night, but some phones will manage that for you.

The FCC says auto warranty scams are one of the most common complaints they receive, so the agency has ordered telecom carriers to stop delivering auto warranty robocalls. More than 8 billion of these annoying robocalls have been generated since 2018, by a handful of companies.

Elon Musk has backed away from his Twitter takeover bid, accusing the company of misleading him about the number of fake (bot) accounts. Twitter is now suing Musk, to force him to complete the $44 billion acquisition. A trial is set for October.

Nerf’s $79 Gelfire Mythic doesn't shoot foam darts. Instead, it comes with 10,000 gel shot rounds, which explode like tiny water balloons when they hit the target. The fully automatic Gelfire Mythic arrives in November, and you know someone is gonna shoot someone's eye out.

An Amazon warehouse worker died during the week of Prime Day, the company's annual discount sale event. OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has opened an investigation into allegations of unsafe working conditions and the required pace of work at Amazon fulfillment centers.

And finally, this week's Just Here For the Headline: Generosity Could Be an Early Sign of Alzheimer’s.

Send me $500 via Paypal or Venmo and then tell me your thoughts on these topics. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 20 July 2022"

Posted by:

20 Jul 2022

Eh, send $500, OK, eh, who do I send it to? Eh, a stranger claiming to be my son just came in the, eh, ... whatever I am in ... I don't know what's going one. My brain isn't thinking!

Posted by:

20 Jul 2022

Re the Chrome OS Flex section, LOL at the "ancient" computers. i7 and 16 GB RAM? If he can't get Windows 10 or 11 working on that he's an idiot and shouldn't be recommending anything OR he's a shill for Google. A web based system does not an OS make. Linux Mint has none of the issues he claims.

Posted by:

20 Jul 2022

You asked How is Netflix planning to punish password sharers?

Maybe they will send a death knell to their TV like the Satellite TV folk did periodically to fry the boxes of those watching without paying the fee.

Posted by:

20 Jul 2022

You say don't charge your phone 100 percent.

What is the percentage I should stop at?

Posted by:

20 Jul 2022


MIT did a study and came up with 85% as a recharge level. My Galaxy has a "save battery for extended life" setting and it too sets 85% as the recharge level.

Posted by:

20 Jul 2022

I read the article about using ChromeOS on old computers.ChromeOS is fine for people who just want to use a web browser for everyday work,but there are limitations on it.

I am very familiar with the various versions of Linux and disagree withthe author with its use on laptops and desktops.It a guy installs Ubuntu or Mint on a machine,they will get an experience similar to Windows.I use Mint everyday for the last 10 years and I am able to do 90% of what I used to do on Windows.

Posted by:

Dennis English
20 Jul 2022

Hmmm! My LG phone is getting close to 4 years old, and still has the original battery. Here I thought charging it every night, and whenever it got below 20% was extending it's life.

Posted by:

20 Jul 2022

$500? You might get more takers for $20. But then, if you've been riding this bus since it started rolling, like I have, then $500 would be fare!

Posted by:

20 Jul 2022

Great that the FCC is ordering carriers to stop auto warranty robocalls. If they can do that, why can't they order carriers to block ALL robocalls?

Posted by:

20 Jul 2022

I believe I got a mighty good portion of those 8 billion Car warranties calls!
I agree with Nat, "why can't they order carriers to block ALL robocalls?"

Posted by:

20 Jul 2022

I always try to get them to sell me a warranty. But when I tell them it is a 96 Yugo, they stammer and say it won't be covered. So sad.

Posted by:

20 Jul 2022

Humm my phone is over six years old with its original battery that I keep charging to 100% whenever the battery level drops to 15% or below. Maybe more about how you take care of your phone … leaving it in a hot car in the summer, dropping it a few times, leaving it connected long after it charged to 100%, etc.

Posted by:

Daniel Wiener
21 Jul 2022

Bob juxtaposing "Generosity Could Be an Early Sign of Alzheimer’s." with "Send me $500 via Paypal or Venmo" implies a causal relationship in one direction, but what if it's really the reverse? What if Bob's greed will cause everyone who sends him $500 to subsequently be stricken with Alzheimer's? How will Bob live with himself if his sudden new wealth is responsible for so much misery?

Posted by:

21 Jul 2022

Buyer beware with the new Chrome OS offering. It really does work, but it has the same limitations as an actually Chromebook does.

After a predetermined date (set by Google), the laptop will still work, but it is no longer able to receive any updates to both the OS or the Chrome browser.

Posted by:

21 Jul 2022

$500 ? We regular riders of the bus don’t want to enrich Bob to the point where he doesn’t need to work any more and sails off into the sunset. We need his relative poverty & advice to continue….

Posted by:

Jim Swan
21 Jul 2022

Could you offer us some advice on non-proprietary alternatives for old Macs? Our old Macs still run perfectly, but are not compatible with the newer OS -- can't upgrade them any longer.

Posted by:

Kathleen A Dombrowski
22 Jul 2022

Hello Bob, Got a chuckle out of the comments regarding donations! So true about you getting wealthy and leaving us. Chrome OS is a great alternative for older systems "BUT" I am a huge FAN of Zorin. Few people even know about Zorin and it's really sad because it's so Windows like and very user friendly.

Posted by:

27 Jul 2022

I have a VOIP 'Land Line' through SuddenLink. They identify some calls as SPAM and others as Fraudulent Caller via caller ID, though they do not identify all of the SPAM or Fraudulent calls to be certain. It seems to me that if a carrier can identify SPAM and Fraudulent calls they should give their subscribers the option to automatically block them. Our Panasonic phone system can announce the caller ID information so we don't even have to get the phone handset to know who is calling. We don't answer those that are identified as SPAM or Fraudulent, but it would sure be nice if the phone did not even ring for them.
As for the FCC mandating that carriers block a specific type of robocall, I have about as much faith in the effectiveness of that as I have in the National Do Not Call database, which as far as I can tell is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 20 July 2022 (Posted: 20 Jul 2022)
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