Geekly Update - 23 Aug 2017

Category: Tech-News

What exactly is the 'cop button' feature in the new iPhone operating system? Why couldn't Bernie Dohnt sink his scale model of the Titanic? And would you allow a robot to perform your funeral services? 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

What do you name a baby girl born during a solar eclipse? Eclipse, of course. Hey Mom, "Celeste" or "Luna" might have been better choices.

This just in from the Internet of Broken Things Department: The smart lock that AirBnB recommends to hosts recently received an update that was intended for locks in a different model, rendering it unable to communicate with the maker’s web service. That means no remote access, managing codes for keypad entry and status alerts. Worse, it means remedial updates can’t be pushed out to the affected locks, which are now just expensive deadbolts.

Robots are poised to displace Buddhist priests in Japan. One Japanese company has written special software for the Pepper robot, which can perform discounted funeral rites, chanting in a computerized voice while tapping a drum.

Geekly Update 08-23-2017

"Bernie, Do'nt!" A 1/72th scale model of the Titanic, 3D-printed by Australian marine engineer Bernie Dohnt, has escaped the fate of the original. Dohnt meant to sink his model, which cruised perfectly well, but his Kickstarter campaign failed to recoup the $7000 AUD that he sunk into the project. So he sold the model to the “Titanic: the Exhibition” tourist attraction for $2,000.

Speaking of Kickstarters, here’s one that has fully funded development of the world’s smallest and cheapest laser engraver. Now you can have that tribal brand you’ve always wanted.

“Alexa, I’m ready to walk,” says a paraplegic, and Amazon’s personal assistant activates his bionic exoskeleton, making it do just that. No word on what happens if Alexa misunderstands the command, “Alexa, I’m ready to sit.”

Once again, some idiot failed to secure his Amazon Web Services database. This time the personal info of 1.8 million Illinois voters was exposed for anyone to download.

Apple’s imminent iOS 11 contains a cop button feature. Five swift taps will disable TouchID temporarily, preventing police from forcing the owner to unlock the iPhone. The phone’s passcode must be used instead, and police cannot compel a suspect to reveal the contents of his mind.

Colorado’s Dept. of Transportation unveiled the world’s first autonomous crash-absorbing vehicle, an unmanned truck that follows behind slow-moving stripe-painting vehicles and takes the hit from any careless driver.

The “Wall of Entropy” in the lobby of content delivery network CloudFlare generates random numbers used to encrypt traffic from the ebbs and flows of 100 Lava Lamps.

A Ukrainian hacker whose code modules were used to hack the servers of the Democratic National Committee has turned state’s evidence and spilled interesting details about Russian meddling in several nations’ elections.

ProPublica and Google are teaming up to document every hate crime that makes news in the USA. The federal government is supposed to do this, but it relies on state law enforcement agencies that fail to report many hate crimes.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 23 Aug 2017"

Posted by:

23 Aug 2017


Posted by:

T Dan Martin
23 Aug 2017

Have to love Apple for the "cop button"

Alexa, somewhat AI, needs some definite improvement, in functioning mode and screwing up, a good skit for SNL!

ProPublica and Google, do it and publish it, wake up call, maybe.

Posted by:

23 Aug 2017

Smart locks always seemed like a great idea until you think about a glitch in an update or whatever and think about your house being unlocked accidentally for who knows how long.

Posted by:

Dean Forsyth
23 Aug 2017

David, Dohnt start. lol

Posted by:

Martin W.
23 Aug 2017

Sunk into that project? Maybe try sank (past tense of sink).
How many hate crimes reported will be against liberals and how many by liberals? Just waiting to see.

Posted by:

24 Aug 2017

Speaking of hate crimes, isn't that actually a redundant phrase? I mean, who reports love crimes? Does a person commit Assault and Battery because they love the victim?

Posted by:

24 Aug 2017

Jay: I've always Hated the fact that the govment has categorized the MOTIVE for committing a crime as some "new" type of crime. If an action IS a crime, then it doesn't really matter (nor is it WORSE) if it was fueled by hate or not, it's A Crime. Likewise, if an action is NOT a crime, then it still doesn't really matter (nor is it WORSE) if it was fueled by hate or not.
It actually irritates and angers me that our various levels of government have Bought into such a STUPID idea.

I wonder, that if someone DOESN'T do something, and they're fueled by hate to NOT DO IT, would that be a Hate Crime too? (eye roll).

Cop Button: I'd somehow never thought about the fact that if the police want your phone unlocked, and you're using "Touch ID", that they can simply hold your thumb (of your likely handcuffed hand) to unlock it. Simple, obvious, and intuitive, but I'd never even considered.

Posted by:

25 Aug 2017

"Sunk" is a legitimate (and common) past tense for "sink". (,

Posted by:

26 Aug 2017

I hope that hating hate-crimes is not another hate-crime.
Making fun of the baby Eclipse could be considered a hate crime. No? We should all wish darkness does not follow her for the rest of her life!

Posted by:

26 Aug 2017

I finally learned the difference:
Sank vs. Sunk
 "Sank is the past tense (e.g., the ship sank to the bottom of the sea). Sunk is the past participle, so it’s used in the perfect tenses (e.g., the ship has sunk to the bottom of the sea) and as an adjective (the sunk ship is at the bottom of the sea)."
Sunk "…which means it is used with auxiliary or helping verbs, and it is sometimes used as an adjective."
Hence, the word 'sunken' and NOT 'sanken', I presume!

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