Geekly Update - 21 March 2018
Is winning the lottery just a matter of luck and chance, or do math geeks have an edge? Rolling stones gather no moss, but could reversing that old adage hold the key to improved tire life? Can you name the top three most popular websites? And why have most people never heard of the fourth most popular site on the Web? 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
A combination of curiosity, math skills, and hard work made Jerry Selbee a millionaire. After retiring from his job at the Kellogg's plant in Battle Creek, Jerry spotted a flaw in a Michigan lottery game, and became a serial winner. Here's the fascinating story of how he (and some MIT students) broke the code.
“Alexa, Shush!” Pretty soon you’ll be able to turn on Alexa's Brief Mode, and she will substitute brief bird-like “chirps” for the digital assistant’s normal Chatty Cathy responses to commands and questions. I wonder why Amazon decided to offer this option.
According to Alexa (the site-ranking site, not Amazon’s gadget) the top four most visited sites on the Internet are Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit. If you’re not sure what a Reddit is, you are far from alone. But Reddit is an Internet powerhouse in terms of eyeballs on it, and it may have a shot at restoring civil discourse without trampling free expression. “The New Yorker” takes a deep dive into the topic.
"I'm not dead yet!" Constantin Reliu left his home in Romania, and worked as a cook in Turkey for twenty years. Upon returning to his native land, he learned that his wife had petitioned to have him declared legally dead. Reliu's efforts to overturn his "death" have been rejected by a Romanian court, so for now, he's a dead man walking.
Apparently starved for any attention, even the most vitriolic, Microsoft is planning to force all Windows 10 Mail users (yes, both of them) to open email links in the Edge browser, ignoring user-set preferences for other browsers.
Are getting tired of all the time and effort required to make paper airplanes? A Swiss student's school project is a machine that aims to fold a piece of paper into a precision flyer. But, he confesses, "The machine does not actually work as well as portrayed in this video." However, the budding inventor need only have searched on YouTube to find one that does. (See the video below.)
It turns out that standard tires wear out 30% faster on electric vehicles. The higher torque on EV models is what's causing the dramatically increased tire wear. Goodyear hopes to remedy that by filling tires with living moss. No, really.
The world’s first 3D-printed house was built in less than 24 hours for less than $4,000. There is now no excuse for homelessness.
New Zealand may be the first nation to certify the airworthiness of flying taxis, and permit a fleet of them to roam over populated areas. Larry Page, a Google founder and CEO, is lightyears ahead of the competition, namely Uber.
Vox has hit a journalism home run again, with a terrific interview with Bill Nye, “The Science Guy,” in which he talks about how to Make America Great Again by making science respected again. Oh, and Bill also thinks Netflix can save the world, which you might expect from someone who has a weekly show on the streaming platform.
Stephen Hawking died March 14, at age 76. Cambridge University has put together the most fitting tribute to his life imaginable.
Maybe robots are good for something after all. A six year-old girl’s cancer grew in such a tricky tangle in her neck that three dozen surgeons were afraid to operate upon it, but not this robot..
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 21 Mar 2018
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 21 March 2018 (Posted: 21 Mar 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved