Geekly Update - 20 March 2013

Category: Tech-News

Can the new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone really read your mind? What happened on the Internet immediately after the election of Pope Francis? And why are some of the most educated professionals falling for one of the oldest online scams? 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 on...

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

"Can't touch this." Well, you CAN touch the new Samsung Galaxy S4's touchscreen, but you might not have to. The hot new smartphone can track your eyes, pausing a video if you look away. And "air gestures" allow you to control certain features without actually touching the screen.

Police in Georgia used Facebook to notify a mother that her son had died, but she didn't find the message for almost a month. To make matters worse, police used the personal account of a policewoman whose profile picture shows her posing with a felonious rapper.

Who still falls for Nigerian email scams? Lawyers, surprisingly. U.S. authorities have busted a ring of scammers who bilked U.S. and Canadian law firms out of $70 million.
Geekly Update 03-20-2013

Tivo has released the Tivo Mini, a small box that pulls content from a Tivo Premiere unit to any other room in your house via coax or Ethernet. Disappointingly, it costs $99 plus $5/month or $149 for a lifetime subscription.

When the new Pope was announced on March 13, over 100 papal-themed domains were registered within 10 minutes via And of course, the inevitable search for Pope Francis doppelgangers began.

More than 600,000 U. S. tax refunds will be delayed for up to six weeks thanks to an error in several tax preparation software packages that use H&R Block to file returns electronically. If you filed IRS Form 8863 for educational tax credits, you might want to check the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” page. Then leave a little “love” on Block(head)’s Facebook page, as thousands already have.

The Breathometer is a breathalyzer about the size of a car key that plugs into the headphone jack of a smartphone to help you drink responsibly. Of course, no one would make a game out of seeing who can run up the highest score.

Microsoft's Surface tablet sales have been disappointing, according to Bloomberg News. Citing three unnamed insider sources, the publisher claims only 1.5 million Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets were sold in Q4 2012. Microsoft is said to have purchased 3 million Surface RT units.

On March 14, U. S. District Court Judge Susan Illston struck down parts of a law that permitted the FBI to secretly obtain customer information from all U.S. companies. The so-called National Security Letters infringe upon the companies’ First Amendment right to inform their customers of the FBI’s requests, she ruled. The government has 90 days to file an appeal.

Finally, a good use for social networking. Cees de Jonge found a stuffed bear on a train in the Netherlands. So naturally, he created Facebook and Twitter accounts for the bear, hoping to find its rightful owner. After eight months of effort, the bear has been returned to a happy 3-year-old named Luciano.

Cloud storage provider Dropbox has purchased the month-old iPhone sensation, Orchestra, and its Mailbox app that relieves inbox clutter for smartphone users. The deal will allow Mailbox to scale more rapidly, eliminating the current reservation-only rationing system for new accounts.

Lenovo’s new Thinkpad design sheds 24% of the laptop’s weight and eliminates the buttons around the trackpad. Relax; the little red tracker stick is still in the middle of the keyboard.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 20 March 2013"

Posted by:

20 Mar 2013

That news bit about Lenovo keeping the "joymouse" was wonderful to hear. I hate those near-useless touchpads and hauling a mouse around is often a hassle. Thank you Lenovo! (Sent from my Lenovo R61i that, yes, has the "joymouse!) And keep up the good work Bob! Your website gets lots of visits from me for dependable help and advice.

Posted by:

20 Mar 2013

I have been getting that Nigerian scams for about three years now have never sent them a dime And
have called them every thing under the sun and they still send them which I don't care because I use spamihilator but check them out now and then they have sent me everything from its the F.B.I to its the world federation to fed ex to got your card ready. by the way most of them have yahoo emails even the F.B.I. HA! HA! I don't no how they could fall for them. Glenn

Posted by:

21 Mar 2013

I worked for an older, computer-reluctant lawyer who answered a 419 with an offer of his legal services. He wouldn't believe me when I told him that it was a scam and demanded proof. Since he had never heard of Snopes either, I had to dig up the State Department warning and even then he was reluctant to believe it.

Fortunately, his response scared the scammer off.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 20 March 2013 (Posted: 20 Mar 2013)
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