Geekly Update - 23 January 2019

Category: Tech-News

What not-so-nice thing will happen to your Windows 7 computer next January? Why are giant googly-eyed robots scaring children in Pennsylvania grocery stores? And why is it a bad idea to download and run a program sent to you by a stranger you met on Skype? 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

Less than a year remains on Windows 7’s free security updates. After January 14, 2020, those who cling to that obsolete operating system will be ever more likely to be hacked or infected with malware. Windows 7 was released in July 2009, and is still in use on 37% of all desktop computers.

Giant Food Stores, a Pennsylvania-based grocery store chain, is deploying goofy-looking robotic assistants to all its 172 stores. The six-foot "Marty" will roam the aisles looking for spilled liquids, powders and food. Marty is also capable of doing price checks and scaring small children.

You've probably seen "escape rooms" where players have to solve a series of puzzles to escape from a locked room. Now there's an "anger room" where you can go to smash things. Jin Meng, a 25-year-old entrepreneur in Beijing, opened "Smash" as a place for people to vent their stress or anger. For $23, you can spend half an hour smashing bottles, office equipment, or other items you bring in.

Metasploit Framework, a network penetration testing tool popular with hackers as well as security researchers, got its first major update in seven years. Expect a boom in exploit kits soon, and data breaches soon after.

Geekly Update 01-23-2019

A job-hunter accidentally infected his work computer with malware when a fake “employer” convinced him to install a program that was “just a normal part of the application process.” As a result, hackers from North Korea were able to compromise Chile's ATM network. (That's Chile the country, not Chili's the restaurant.)

The FAA is proposing rules changes that would allow civilian unmanned aircraft (drones) to fly over crowds by day or night. Amazon, Pizza Hut, and terrorists rejoice.

A Vermont government employee drove more than 6,000 miles around the state to prove what many rural Americans know: cellular services are not providing anything like the coverage and data speeds they claim to the public and FCC.

A man learned why you should not use the same password on multiple sites when a hacker took over his Uber account and racked up almost $1,900 worth of rides.

A little late, Microsoft advises its smartphone customers to switch to Android or iOS because the last update for Windows 10 Mobile will be issued in December, 2019.

The NSA sponsored a phone-charging station at a hackers conference, hoping the stunt would help recruiting. But who wants an employee dumb enough to try it?

Machine learning will take over only the most repetitive, boring parts of most jobs, according to some researchers. The remaining tasks will be recombined to create new jobs, perhaps with titles like “massage archeologist” or “stucco mason therapist.”

Verizon is finally offering free spam and robocall blocking, two years after AT&T and T-mobile did so.Verizon will drop its $3 monthly fee in March. Sprint still charges $2.99.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 23 January 2019"

Posted by:

Harry Higinbotham
23 Jan 2019

Ummm... With regard to the Smash "anger room"-why would anyone pay $23 to smash their own stuff when they can do it at home for free?

Posted by:

Warren Ngo
23 Jan 2019

Hi Bob, I'm dating myself here...back in the 1960's, I read in a Hitachi (Japan) newsletter about their "anger room". I think the room had a straw dummy which disgruntled employees could beat to vent their frustrations. So, nothing new.

Posted by:

23 Jan 2019

Al Capp came up with "The Shmoo" (sp?) in his "Li'l' Abner" strips. Then he came up with the Kigmy (sp?). I had one of the latter in the late 1940's or early 1950's. Quite useful for a youngster back then--better than a gun or a knife, for instance. No blood.

Posted by:

24 Jan 2019

To: Harry Higinbotham: Well, you've smashed your stuff at home for free. What about mess you've just created in your own home? Who would clean that up? Don't ask a maid service to do it for free. Ask them how much would they charge. I guarantee it (with 146% of possibility) would be more, than $23.

Posted by:

24 Jan 2019

Oops, just missed... To: Warren Ngo: I remember there was an important detail - after "session" a special employee asked a disgruntled one why he/she was so mad and passed that info to the management to fix the potential problem. I thought it was a wide used practice in Japan, not only at Hitachi and was impressed by pretty smart move.

Posted by:

24 Jan 2019

Your N.S.A. phone-charging comment I found hilarious. Probably because of my advancing age, it took me a second, before it "clicked".

I'm still smiling!!

Posted by:

24 Jan 2019

You may be an expert with Computers,but saying Windows 7 is obsolete is a bit much,I use mine daily and it works Flawlessly,all my Friends who have Windows 10 are pulling their hair over the major problems they are having,new is not always better in my book.

Posted by:

24 Jan 2019

So the Microsoft smartphone is going out of business. That is unfortunate for those that purchased one. Maybe Microsoft should pay some of the cost of replacing the phones.

Posted by:

24 Jan 2019

I agree with Bob regarding Windows 7 and dread having to move up to 10 (or whatever is the latest creation from MS - and I don't fancy trying to learn some new, alien, OS unless I really have to). I only moved from XP Pro because MS would not let me re-register my legal product.

I propose to soldier on WITH CARE. However, does anyone know if/where/how to download all essential updates for my Win 7 Pro?

Posted by:

24 Jan 2019


Here is the MS download catalog. I hope it has what you need.

Posted by:

Robert A Kinsler
25 Jan 2019

As with XP, PCMatic will insure your system is secure even after the security updates from Microsoft stops.

Posted by:

27 Feb 2019

To the Windows 7 die-hards who don't want to upgrade: no computer OS works flawlessly! They all have bugs and security vulnerabilities! In a year's time, those bugs and vulnerabilities in Windows 7 won't get fixed. The hackers will find out about them, and exploit them, just like they did with Windows XP. Don't be one of their victims!

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 23 January 2019 (Posted: 23 Jan 2019)
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