Geekly Update - 20 November 2013

Category: Tech-News

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 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.

Geekly Update 11-20-2013

“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.

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

Posted by:

20 Nov 2013

You have the best of all tech-sites on the Internet, Bob. Thanks so much.

Posted by:

20 Nov 2013

I'd be concerned about how things could go wrong with that smartcard..

Posted by:

20 Nov 2013

Bob ... Coin is what caught my interest, this week. I went to the website and viewed the video. AWESOME concept!!!

What I am "distrustful" about is ... That the Pre-Ordering days are down to 23, the company will give you a good discount in that timeframe, they will deduct the amount from your account immediately and not give you a Coin card, until Summer 2014???!!!

Also, since there is nothing more, on Coin's website, than the video explaining the concept, you can't ask questions like ... Is the Coin Card protected from card scanners? or How well with Coin protect your and your financial information?

However, as I stated in the beginning ... The concept is AWESOME!!! Thanks, for sharing. Nice to know, what may be coming down the pipeline, for you, in the future. :)

Posted by:

20 Nov 2013

I frequently get "emergency" notifications claiming that my Adobe products are out of date and vulnerable. 100% of these are phishing scams. Clicking on the link installs a virus.

NEVER click on the link. Download only from the Adobe site.

Posted by:

Paul, Upstate New York USA
20 Nov 2013

Google, Microsoft, Motorola, and Samsung--but not Apple?

Posted by:

20 Nov 2013

Re:Your mobile phone is becoming your new identity.
Sorry, not for me. Just dumped my gmail acct. because they pestered me for a password phone link.
Don't have a phone.
And since you asked it does cost me approx.$150.00 per yr to go without one. Have you ever looked at the annual income (from you guys not me) of Bell Canada or Verizon.
Personally if everyone asked themselves the Q, Do I really need this, instead of padding the fat wallets of the Gates the better off (we, oops,) you, would be. The madness persists.
Win 3.1-1990? 10 or more moves to win.8 or 10 and it's the same or worse with Apple Iphone I think 5 this year? Oh but I gotta have it!! Baloney. Sorry Bob I reaize this is not a sounding off forum. But...
In case you read "Cheapo" or "Wimp" I am 74 years of age and managed quite nicely, thank you. When your personal info is hacked it will be too late to come back here and read what that old guy (me)said. But of course, I hope you have heeded Bob's security protections and never have the need to. Best regards, john

Posted by:

25 Nov 2013

I know I'm 6 days late, but google and Oxford dictionary Won't or can't give me a discription of the words "fatburg and frankenburger" on their websites. I found "selfie and shmeat" and I already knew what twerk(ing) ment. Does this mean that you are so far ahead of the curve That you may be at the zenith of 301% smarter?

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 20 November 2013 (Posted: 20 Nov 2013)
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