Geekly Update - 21 August 2014
Is there any new tech to extend the life of your smartphone battery? Will relaxed regulations on satellite imagery threaten your personal privacy? And is there finally a way to force your kids to answer when you call their cell phone? 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
A Texas Mom has developed an app called Ignore No More that locks a phone if calls from parents are not answered. The app permits texts and calls only to parents or 911 until the parent’s call is returned. It’s only for Android and costs $1.99.
Tired of being tethered to your phone's wall charger? A new transparent solar panel that can be integrated into smartphones promises to ease the pain of battery drain.
Do you get motion sickness while watching shaky video filmed with a GoPro helmet cam or Google Glass? Microsoft researchers have demoed software that stabilizes and smooths video clips so that they look more like the rock-steady footage shot by drones.
John McAfee, founder of the anti-virus company that still bears his name, made a surprise appearance at the DEF CON hacker conference, and an even more surprising announcement. He’s launching a website where people can complain about things, propose solutions, and vote on others’ solutions. What’s surprising is that it seems McAfee has never visited any online forum before.
Sprint is expected to launch drastically cheaper service plans with expanded data allowances this week. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure’s top priorities are to “reduce prices, improve the network, and decrease operational costs.” Any bets on which task gets done last?
The Om/One Bluetooth 4.0 speaker is about the size and shape of a tennis ball, and electromagnets keep the sphere floating 1.5 inches above its base. Other than that, it’s just another Bluetooth speaker that costs about $184. But it’s pre-selling like pre-hotcakes.
Facebook is experimenting with a “satire” tag on news feed stories from tongue-in-cheek sources such as The Onion -- probably so the Associated Press and New York Daily News won’t have to print so many corrections.
Instagram and Pinterest will surely melt their servers if Japanese researchers succeed in bringing to the camera market the STAMP technique - Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography. It enables snapping photos at a rate of 4.4 trillion frames per second. It's going to need some work, though -- the camera is currently one square meter.
Two months ago, the U. S. government relaxed restrictions on satellite imaging, permitting high-altitude photos of objects smaller than 50 cm (1.64 feet). Now imaging company DigitalGlobe has launched a satellite camera capable of rendering objects as small as 10 inches. So it’s still safe for most men to sunbathe in the nude.
As if some pets aren’t spoiled sufficiently, we now have a pet collar that monitors an animal’s vital signs and texts its human servant if the pet is sad, lonely, or possibly sick.
"Actually, DO kill the Messenger." Facebook has earned over 50,000 “poor” reviews (2 stars or less) for its Messenger app, which the company is gradually forcing more users to download in order to access their messages. “Why create two apps to do the work of one app and website that has remained unchanged for years?” asked one American user.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 21 Aug 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 21 August 2014 (Posted: 21 Aug 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved