Geekly Update - 20 June 2018

Category: Tech-News

Now that humans have given up their privacy, is the animal kingdom taking up the fight? What problems could you solve with a computer capable of 20 quadrillion calculations per second? And do we really need artificial intelligence in our cat litter boxes? This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

In my recent article Everyone Knows Where You Are, I described how the major mobile phone service providers were selling your real-time location data to third parties. Security researcher Brian Krebs reports that "AT&T, Sprint and Verizon are terminating location data sharing agreements with third parties." T-Mobile is still waffling.

It seems even the bees are upset about privacy issues. NYC police reported that 20,000 bees were swarming a surveillance camera in Times Square. The bees were removed, but if birds show up next, we're in trouble.

The USA has recaptured the “world’s most powerful supercomputer” title for the first time in five years. The Summit supercomputer, built by IBM and Nvidia for the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is a $200 million beast that can perform 20 quadrillion calculations per second.

When bees attack...

A couple who scammed Amazon out of $1.2 million by taking advantage of the e-commerce giant’s liberal return policies have been sentenced to nearly six years in prison, each.

A public library’s vending machine lets patrons check out laptops. Check out this, and other cool vending machines we really need and other countries have.

A relatively small hack ($30 million) of an obscure crypto-currency exchange caused a 7% drop in the price of Bitcoin and wiped out billions of dollars of value in all crypto-currency markets.

"Second Life, meet Blockchain…" People are making real money buying and selling virtual real estate. Really!

A $225 kitty litter box alerts cat owners to their pets’ physical health problems, and alerts everyone who sees it to its owner’s mental health problems.

Microsoft plans to boost office productivity by eliminating the much-maligned Ribbon interface from Microsoft Office, replacing it with something called “Fluent Design.” Great, we have to re-learn how to use Word, again.

AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast all swear they have no intention of introducing paid prioritization of content now that Net Neutrality rules are gone. So we’re okay, right?

For the first time, Microsoft has revealed how it decides whether to fix a Windows vulnerability quickly, as in a Patch Tuesday update, or let it wait until the next major version release (about twice a year). “Eeney, meenie, miney, moe...”

Law enforcement agencies are cheering claims by Grayshift, their iPhone-cracking contractor, that its Graykey utility can already crack Apple’s latest iPhone security feature. Of course, that’s illegal and it seems inappropriate for law enforcement to encourage it, but we live in interesting times.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 20 June 2018"

Posted by:

Michael Eklund
20 Jun 2018

Hi Bob!
I have a question for you. I am a teacher and had been using a web hosting service called teacherweb.com that was fantastic. It did everything a teacher needs. Unfortunately, teacherweb.com shut down and I have yet to find a suitable replacement. Can you recommend an all-inclusive web site service for teachers that doesn't cost a fortune but does everything a teacher needs (such as multiple pages, email capabilities, multiple formats for pages, etc.) Thanks for your help. This has been stressing me out for more than it should.
Mike Eklund


Posted by:

Ken Mitchell
20 Jun 2018

MS Office "Fluent Design" eliminating the ribbon interface; if you didn't really care for the ribbon when M$ introduced it, you can download the "UBIT Toolbar for Office", which adds a new "Menu" ribbon - which contains the original Office 2003 menu and toolbar buttons. It's been a godsend for the last 10 years.


Posted by:

RichF
20 Jun 2018

Anyone know what TYSM in the Skittles vending machine article means?


Posted by:

Jim
20 Jun 2018

RichF

thank you so much


Posted by:

JP
20 Jun 2018

For a completely free alternative to MS_Office, go to:

http://www.freeoffice.com/en/

Once installed, choose either the ribbon or classic menus. If you use a computer with a touchscreen, you can now switch to touch mode with larger icons and increased spacing between user-interface elements. This new touch mode is available both with ribbons and with the classic menu-based user interface.


Posted by:

Jonathan
20 Jun 2018

As non Amazon buyers (or at least very rarely), we are still surprised when many, many of our eBay purchases are delivered to us using Amazon (free to members)Prime shipping with an Amazon Gift receipt in the box with our purchase.

We have often wondered if Amazon know or care about this misuse of Prime shipping that I suspect may be costlier than multiple returns that apparently cause many buyers to be banned from Amazon.


Posted by:

Harry
20 Jun 2018

Jonathan- you’re a victim of eBay/Amazon arbitrage. People sell items on eBay that they buy from Amazon, using Amazon’s free shipping. If you are buying in eBay & getting things from Amazon, you are over paying, and yes, this is a violation of Amazon’s policies.


Posted by:

James
21 Jun 2018

Seems, there ain't no "moe."


Posted by:

Jim Rapp
21 Jun 2018

As always, Microsoft confuses change with progress.


Posted by:

MmeMoxie
22 Jun 2018

For RichF and Jim - TYSM just might mean, Thank You So Much. It seems to fit for me, with what the article is all about.

Now, I LOVE the 20,000 swarming bees at 42nd Street and Broadway!!! That is the funniest of them all, in my book. It says that the NYPD got rid of them, but not necessarily to a safe place. I do hope it really was a safe place. The US, as well as the rest of the world need to protect the Honeybees. They truly are vital to pollination of flowers and plants and fruit trees.


Posted by:

MmeMoxie
22 Jun 2018

For RichF and Jim - TYSM just might mean, Thank You So Much. It seems to fit for me, with what the article is all about.

Now, I LOVE the 20,000 swarming bees at 42nd Street and Broadway!!! That is the funniest of them all, in my book. It says that the NYPD got rid of them, but not necessarily to a safe place. I do hope it really was a safe place. The US, as well as the rest of the world need to protect the Honeybees. They truly are vital to pollination of flowers and plants and fruit trees.


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