Geekly Update - 20 November 2013
Is Apple planning to take 13,000 employees on a journey into outer space? Why does the government want all phones to have a 'kill switch'? And can you guess the Oxford Dictionary 2013 Word of the Year? 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
Whip out your camera, it's time for a selfie! The folks at Oxford Dictionary have chosen "selfie" (a self-photograph, typically taken with a smartphone, and uploaded to social media) as their 2013 Word of the Year, but bitcoin, twerk, fatberg, schmeat, frankenburger, and sharknado all got honorable mentions.
The U.S. government is looking into reports that outsiders have launched cyber attacks against the HealthCare.gov Web site. But apparently it’s difficult to find evidence of hacking amidst what the system’s own designers did to the system.
Apple's planned new headquarters building looks suspiciously like a flying saucer. Or maybe a Hadron Collider. But it could also be a donut. We'll see.
“Install a kill switch in all phones to deter thefts!” is the simple, painfully obvious demand made by the Attorneys General of 31 States to Google, Microsoft, Motorola, and Samsung on November 14, 2013. If the four major smartphone makers don’t comply immediately, they should be fined $100 per phone sold per day until they do.
3-D printing meets cosplay (costume dress-up for “adults”) in the home of young Ryan Brooks, who printed himself a perfect replica of Iron Man’s Mark III helmet, the coolest one.
Not only did hackers break into Adobe’s internal databases, gaining access to records of millions of customers, they even stole the source code of the company’s products. That’s like the enemy getting the blueprints to your castle; not good at all. If you got a message urging you to change your Adobe password, heed that advice.
Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Give 12 year-old Rohan Agrawal a box of parts and he’ll come back with a fully-assembled, working, Linux-driven robot in a day.
Confirming the notion that it's probably not a good idea to taunt the police on social media, we have the story of Rolando Lozano. After police apprehended his brother for burglarizing 17 cars in one day, they posted Rolando's photo to their Facebook page. After he replied "Catch me if U can" (and sprinkled in a few obscenities for good measure) police arrested him within 15 minutes.
One Card to debit them all… The Coin smartcard can replace all the plastic credit and debit cards in your wallet. Just swipe your plastic cards through the detachable mini-reader to transfer their digital signatures to the Coin; press a button to display and select the desired card for any transaction; and swipe the Coin like any other card. Pre-orders at $55 are being taken now.
“Come On, Apple Fans, It's Time To Admit That The Company Is Blowing It” is the headline of this magnificently merciless quarterly investors’ conference call analysis by the no-doubt fiendishly cackling Henry Blodget of The International Business Times. Point 1: “Samsung had 32% of the global market in Q3... Apple, meanwhile, had only 12% of the market, down from 14% a year ago.” From there it gets downright mean. Good read!
Your mobile phone is becoming your new identity. Telesign, a company that specializes in two-factor authentication using text messages to registered phones, now has ten of the top Web sites on its client list. Get used to it, it’s for your security. Now the company is developing a “reputation system” to weed out “burner phones” and other tricks scammers and criminals use to create or hack accounts.
Quantum memory, the Next Big Thing in data storage density, has set a new world’s record for remembering data: 39 minutes. (Pre-order yours now!) It's actually a cool story, with implications for the future of computing.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 20 Nov 2013
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 20 November 2013 (Posted: 20 Nov 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved