Geekly Update - 20 March 2019

Category: Tech-News

Has Tesla taken things too far with 'Dog Mode' in their self-driving cars? How do you feel about meat grown in a bioreactor? Do you know the 12 most common subject lines used in phishing emails? And whoa... is that a giant venus flytrap, or the creepy robot hand of the future? 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

Got an old smartphone gathering dust in a drawer? AlfredxCamera is an app that can turn your smartphone into a home security camera, baby monitor, pet cam, or senior care cam with walkie-talkie, motion detector, and night vision

As a curious kid, Mike Warren enjoyed using a screwdriver to take apart VCRs, phones, and other gadgets. But that was child's play. He now uses a 60,000-psi water jet that can slice through 3 inches of steel. His "victims" include iPhones, golf balls, a power drill, and a baseball glove. Warren's book "Cut in Half: The Hidden World Inside Everyday Objects" is a good read.

Geekly Update 03-20-2019

Speaking of good reads, I want to mention one of my favorite books, "Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet". It's a fascinating story of how the Internet came to be, based on interviews with the people who made it happen. In my opinion, it reads more like an action thriller than a tech book - you will want to pass this on after reading it yourself!

Today, if you attempt to visit a malicious website in Firefox or Chrome, your browser will warn you of the danger ahead. Tomorrow (or as soon as Windows Defender Application Guard arrives on your Windows 10 computer), your browsing session will be hijacked by Microsoft Edge. For your safety, of course.

Do you know the most common subject lines used in phishing emails? Bone up on how to avoid clicking on malicious links, downloading malware or surrendering sensitive information.

Would you eat a chicken nugget grown in a lab? Would it matter if it was cruelty-free, and grown in a bioreactor using plant-based nutrients?

Should cities help smartphone zombies cross the road safely, or let nature take its course? A city in South Korean is using system that uses thermal imaging, lasers, and radar to alert drivers and distracted pedestrians.

This robotic hand developed at MIT and Stanford can grasp and lift objects 100 times its own weight. It looks creepy, but it only wants to help.

You'll have to wait a bit longer for those low-cost smart-shades from Ikea. The company says the April 1st launch was scuttled because they found “an opportunity for improved functionality,” and needed to update the firmware. More likely, they found a security problem, so yes, let's wait.

Firefox Send lets you encrypt and send files with a link that automatically expires to ensure your important documents don’t stay online forever.

There's no reason to dress up for a job interview any longer. Tengai the interview robot aims to remove unconscious biases from the interview process, because it doesn't make judgments based on skin color, accent or gender. Hmmm, kind of like a paper job application form.

Tesla's Dog Mode keeps your furry friend safe and cool in the car while you run into the grocery store to pick up milk, eggs, and dog treats. The car uses sensors to maintain a comfortable cabin temperature for Rover and Daisy, while displaying a message on the dashboard that shows the interior temperature, and says "My owner will be back soon."

Do you want your self-driving car with a steering wheel and brake pedal, or without? The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to know your opinion.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 20 March 2019"

Posted by:

Mark H.
20 Mar 2019

Windows Defender Application Guard will require add-ons to Firefox and Chrome to function. And, if I read the article that was linked correctly, it will allow user to open blocked website in a sand-boxed version of Edge. Doesn't sound as if Microsoft is trying hijack anything. Users will still have a choice.


Posted by:

Ken Heikkila
20 Mar 2019

Now you've done it! given the never MS, never Google conspiracy crowd something else to rave about and adjust their tin foil hats.
"the user is redirected to an isolated Microsoft Edge session. In the isolated Microsoft Edge session, the user can freely navigate to any site that has not been explicitly defined as trusted by their organization without any risk to the rest of system."
Doesn't sound too scary to me. How many people already click past those warnings?


Posted by:

SysOp404
21 Mar 2019

I don't eat chicken nuggets. Will consider it if-and-when available as dark meat only. Don't really care HOW they manage to do it. (So far as I'm concerned, they can 3-D print 'em, if they want.) Whatever it takes.


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