Geekly Update - 22 May 2019

Category: Tech-News

Why is internet provider Comcast so interested in what you do in the bathroom? Is a major health insurance company giving away free Apple Watches? Will this new gadget force teen drivers to wear a seatbelt? And will you be one of the first to get the Windows 10 May Update? 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

Grumpy Cat is dead. The feline with the permanent scowl had 2.4 million followers on Instagram, and inspired about the same number of memes as well. (Trivia: Grumpy Cat's real name was Tardar Sauce.)

Internet provider Comcast already knows what you do online. Now they want to know what you do in the bathroom and the bedroom. They're reportedly working on a device to track people’s health metrics using "ambient sensors."

UnitedHealthcare is offering a free Apple Watch to customers who who walk more than 10,000 steps/day. If you already have an Apple Watch, the company is offering cash rewards to those who achieve certain health goals.

The latest Firefox release promises to more speed and better privacy.

Geekly Update 05-22-19

This just in from the "What The Heck?" Department -- A writer from FiveThirtyEight stumbled upon a website called Default Filename that displays random Youtube videos. The only criteria for selection is that they were uploaded from the camera without edits to the filename. Hence, they are mostly boring and of interest only to the person who uploaded them. And somehow, he sees "a portal to an expansive, serendipitous internet ... a glimpse of a timeline where Google and Facebook didn’t create and capitalize on a vast economy of tracking, prediction and control." I don't get it. Perhaps you will, though.

Microsoft has begun rolling out Windows 10 Update 1903. For the curious and the brave, Microsoft's Windows 10 May Update is available for download now.

The US Postal Service is beginning to make some mail deliveries with self-driving trucks. USPS is working with TuSimple to run a two-week pilot in which the trucks will drive for 22 hours at a time along the I-10, I-20 and I-30 corridors through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. They've got to do something different, the Postal Service lost $3.9 billion last year.

Remember Google Glass, the creepy computer-aided glasses that spawned the "glasshole" moniker? It's back. Google just unveiled its newest version of Glass. The Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is aimed at business users and will enable support for computer vision and advanced machine learning capabilities.

SpaceX hopes to launch their Starhopper rocket soon, from a launch site in Boca Chica, Texas. The test flights will send the rocket to an altitude of about 5,000 meters, or 5% of the distance to the edge of space. Cool, but they might want to change the name. Besides the Sun, Proxima Centauri is the closest star to Earth, about 4.2 light-years away.

Over 40 percent of high school students admit they aren't wearing seat belts when driving, so Chevrolet has figured a way to force them to buckle up. Chevy’s new “Buckle to Drive” feature, which will come standard on all 2020 Chevy Traverse, Malibu, and Colorado vehicles, uses a key fob that requires the seatbelt to be clicked in order to unlock the gear shift. Chevy says the radio will also stay muted until the seatbelt is fastened.

Swiss mobile app Castl is promoting a bizarre Cow Kiss Challenge in Switzerland, Germany and Austria to raise money for charity. But apparently the cows are not amused. Farming officials say that it could lead to people getting trampled to death by upset cows.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 22 May 2019"

Posted by:

MikieB
22 May 2019

"Buckle To Drive", I have a 2013 Ford Escape. It's not quite as radical as Chevy, but it requires all seat belts in occupied seats to be fastened before the radio is unmuted and the annoying beeping is silenced. Years ago Ford's engines would not start until seat belts were fastened.


Posted by:

Bob Dennett
22 May 2019

Thank you Chevy. That device should be mandatory on all future vehicles, no matter what kind.
Bob


Posted by:

Robert A.
22 May 2019

DEfaultfilenames - There 15 minutes of my life I'll never get back - BORING!!! The owners of these videos need to watch them critically and if the scenes don't jump out and grab a viewer, then it's time to learn the art of video editing or just save the stuff for one's private collection, and not submit it to YouTube. I can't think any YouTube views is interested in watching 15 seconds of a crying baby, let alone four and a half minutes of it!


Posted by:

Tom
22 May 2019

I'd rather they install a cell phone disabler...


Posted by:

Jay R
22 May 2019

Mad Cow Disease appears to have taken on a new meaning.****My daughter's Subaru will start and drive when my passenger's belt is unfastened. But, it will beep at you until you click it into submission. I don't which is worse.


Posted by:

Tom C
22 May 2019

Your snide comment about the Postal Service losing $3.9 Billion is uncalled for. Please educate yourself about the issue responsible for almost ALL of the USPS losses in the last ten years. They are required to prepay health benefits for retirees THAT HAVEN'T EVEN BEEN BORN YET, much less been hired. No business in this country could show a profit with this requirement.


Posted by:

Stephanie
22 May 2019

I haven't been a teenager for a while, but even I can figure out how not to wear a seatbelt in these cars. First, fasten the seatbelt, then get into the car and sit on top of the seatbelt.


Posted by:

Lloyd Collins
22 May 2019

No,thank you, Firefox. I was fooled in 2017 about a faster browser, instead the speed went from on the
highway to a tar pit. I took a reader's recommendation about SeaMonkey browser and I am still happy with it's speed. It is still Mozilla, just better, to me.


Posted by:

Oliver Fleming
22 May 2019

In Australia if you are not wearing a seatbelt the fine is $353.00. "Wear it or wear a fine"


Posted by:

Wild Bill
23 May 2019

Bob, you should be aware that that $3.9 billion loss by USPS is a result of Congress tasking the Service with pre-funding 75 years of pension and health for employees. The Service is the only entity in or out of government required to do so. Otherwise the Service would have shown around a $1 billion net positive. I think they may still be required to be revenue-neutral over time, meaning they can't show a long-term profit. And none of the USPS funds come from taxpayers, other than selling them stamps and services.


Posted by:

Wolfgang
23 May 2019

Regarding this statement, "Internet provider Comcast already knows what you do online. Now they want to know what you do in the bathroom and the bedroom." I guess this means that devices and ISPs are going to become peeping toms! This makes me wonder how low this civilization is going to become, before it gets better!


Posted by:

RandiO
23 May 2019

How can any teenager, in this day-and-age, be able to afford a 2020 Chevy Traverse, Malibu, or Colorado? ;)


Posted by:

Bill C
23 May 2019

Thanks to the readers who try to stop the stupid comments about the Postal Service. I get so tired of hearing this comment out of context.


Posted by:

Derek
23 May 2019

RE: USPS
I live in Canada near the US border and use both countries' postal services. The US postal system is far superior to the Canadian system, one of the few examples of better government service. Both countries' populations have been fed decades of mindless claptrap about the supposed evils of taxation and the public sector and consequently have voted themselves into declining living standards for an ever-growing segment of the population.


Posted by:

charles
01 Jun 2019

Around 1973 or 74, their was a regulation requiring all cars sold in the states to not start unless the drivers seat belt was fastened. The rule was so NOT well received I believe it was abolished within 6 months, and the makers were to modify the car. I had a 74 Mazda, and the owners manual mentioned the system, but being in Canada, OUR version did not need that feature.

I also recall renting a Ford with "Automatic Seat belts" the belt would run in a track when the door was closed, I only drove it for a couple of days and it tried to take off my head twice.


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