Geekly Update - 22 December 2021

Category: Tech-News

What should parents do when a child won't put down the smartphone or game controller? Can you get cash for your unwanted electronics? Will eyedrops soon replace reading glasses? And is kissing under the mistletoe no longer permitted in your state? 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

Recently I found the September 1949 issue of Reader's Digest, which had an article about the Tucker automobile. It was billed as the car of the future by Preston Tucker, who took in millions from investors large and small. But the dream car never quite materialized; the first models were held together by bubble gum and baling wire, and the venture failed in scandal.

That's what I thought of when I read that Nikola, an electric truckmaker, was slapped with a $125 million fine for defrauding investors by misleading them about its products and supposed technical achievements. Company founder Trevor Milton was charged with falsely portraying Nikola as a functional product. Once again, there's nothing new under the Sun.

Apple, best known for smartphones, is rumored to be working on an electric car. So of course Tesla, best known for electric cars, apparently has plans to produce a smartphone. The rumored TeslaPhone will be integrated with the car, with dedicated buttons to lock, unlock, locate or summon the vehicle.

Do you have unwanted electronics laying around? Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Gamestop, Target and Walmart will reward you for turning in your old gadgets. Items that may qualify for trade-ins include Kindle e-readers, tablets, streaming media players, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, home security devices, wireless routers, cellphones, gaming systems, iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, cameras, video games, TVs and more. Retailers are offering gift cards, discounts, and coupons in exchange.

Geekly Update 12-22-2021

A study published in iScience says robotic fish disguised as largemouth bass are being sent to attack invasive mosquitofish, before they can gobble up vulnerable native tadpoles.

Vuity is a new eye drop that may improve your eyesight. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Vuity to treat presbyopia, and is available at pharmacies with a prescription. Presbyopia is age-related blurry vision, and is different from nearsightedness or farsightedness.

LG’s new Dualup computer monitor has a unique almost-square shape. The company claims the 16:18 aspect ratio provides the same screen real estate as two 21.5-inch displays and the vertical split view function is ideal for multitasking.

Google Voice now lets you set custom rules for incoming phone calls. You can create rules to send some callers straight to voicemail, screen or forward calls from certain contacts, ignore selected callers, or have custom voicemail greetings.

If you have a teenager, you already know that smartphone and gaming addiction is real. The UK's National Centre for Gaming Disorders offers treatment for teens who are so far gone that they refuse to put down the controller. This BBC article tells the story of 16-year-old Alex, who plays first-person shooter games late into the night. Alex "hasn't engaged with the treatment," but his parents say they are benefitting from a support group that meets once a fortnight on Zoom.

This week's Just Here For The Headline: Hypebeasts With Bots Have Ruined Christmas

And since we're on the topic, David Hillock, part-time Grinch and horticulture specialist at Oklahoma State University, wants you to know that mistletoe, famous for facilitating Christmastime kisses, is actually a parasitic plant with poisonous berries. So there.

Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 22 December 2021"

Posted by:

22 Dec 2021

I read the article about teenagers and younger kids who can't stop playing video games.They play these games at all hours and cause disruptions to their families.

Wow,I remember when I was younger,if I didn't do something my parents wanted,the TV would be turned off and my watching privileges would be withheld.My parents were of the World War 2 generation so obedience from their kids was expected. I guess parents don't know how to discipline their kids or are just lenient.

Posted by:

Bob K
22 Dec 2021

I clicked on the link about getting a reward for turning in your old electronics. That takes you to some site "GoBankingRates". The article starts off very nicely, then. . .

Damn pop-up ad, that covers the entire screen, with no obvious way to get rid of it, maybe unless you subscribe to something.

FWIW, hitting the RELOAD did clear, briefly, that pop-up. Then it came back.

Color me VERY disappointed. This aggravation we don't need.

Posted by:

Art F
22 Dec 2021

Rather than the Tucker car, the Nikola reminded me of the Dale, the subject of a 4-part 2021 HBO documentary series, "The Lady and the Dale". The Tucker was also the subject of a Francis Ford Coppola film starring Jeff Bridges, "Tucker: the Man and his Dream" (1988). Both worth watching.

Posted by:

Daniel Wiener
22 Dec 2021

Art F: Thanks for the blast from the past. I actually put down a (very) small deposit on the Dale car back in 1975, after attending meetings in which Elizabeth Carmichael touted her car and her Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation (whose name she took from Atlas Shrugged). I still have the beautiful multi-page color brochure. I knew at the time that it was high-risk and had a good chance of failure, so I don't feel scammed. But the whole episode was fascinating, especially when it later came out that she was transgender and actually the father of her children (some of whom I met at the meetings).

I wasn't aware of HBO's "The Lady and the Dale" documentary. I'll have to watch it.

Posted by:

22 Dec 2021

Bob K: My laptop reveals a VERY faint X in the top right corner of the pop-up ad, which eliminates it

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 22 December 2021 (Posted: 22 Dec 2021)
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