Geekly Update - 23 July 2014
Is Comcast hiring mafia goons as 'customer retention' specialists? Does an awesome new beverage cooler come with a free puppy and a set of steak knives? And when is it a BAD thing to be ranked highly in a Google search? Get answers to these burning questions, and the scoop on the latest tech news, in this edition of the Geekly Update. It's guaranteed to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!
The AskBobRankin Geekly Update
"Parlez vous review?" Being ranked too highly in Google search results can cost you money in French courts. A judge ruled that blogger Caroline Doudet’s scathing review of restaurant II Giardino was too prominent (fourth-ranked result) and has to be changed. He also ordered Doudet to pay damages to the restaurant and legal costs.
If you just can't get enough of yourself, you gotta have the Burnt Impressions customizable toaster. Just send a picture of yourself (and $75) to the company and they’ll send you a toaster that will burn your selfie into every slice.
Google Street View cars are now equipped with natural gas sensors, enabling them to map gas leaks from corroding pipes and fast food restaurants. Just don’t ask what else they’re tracking.
New York City’s 7,300 payphone stations will be replaced with free WiFi hotspots if the city has its way. Google was among 50 companies attending a “pre-proposal” meeting with city authorities to discuss how to accomplish this mission. A newspaper reporter named Clark Kent expressed vehement disapproval of the project.
The Coolest Cooler not only keeps things cold, it recharges your mobile devices via USB, streams music up to 30 feet via Bluetooth, and has a built-in rechargeable blender. Oh, and it has a built-in bottle opener just like your Grandpa’s cooler had.
Battle of the blogs: any bottlenecks in the flow of Netflix traffic to Verizon’s Los Angeles customers is due to the inadequate interconnection infrastructure of “middleman” networks like Level 3, according to Verizon’s VP of Regulatory Affairs, David Young, on his company blog. But Level 3’s VP of Content and Media, Mark Taylor, says it’s because Verizon is too cheap to buy a router and 4-port Ethernet card. So there.
Placebo Effect: So-called “affective apps” collect physiological data through sensors, make inferences about your stress level, and provide biofeedback intended to help you relax. Researchers find that people believe an affective app knows their stress level better than they do even when it’s disconnected from its sensors and fed random data.
Microsoft will lay off up to 18,000 employees in the biggest pink slip party ever thrown. Most of the decapitations will occur in the Nokia mobile phone business that Microsoft acquired earlier this year.
“Project Zero” is Google’s new initiative to reduce the number of people victimized by “zero-day” security vulnerabilities. The company is hiring security researchers, who are typically moonlighters, to work full time and without distractions at what they love.
If you can control software through Google Glass using just your mind, then software can read your mind through Google Glass. That conspiracy theory is laid to rest in this exhaustive but straightforward deconstruction of how “thought-control” apps really work.
"Nobody leaves the family…" Comcast’s new spokesperson should be the “Overly Attached Girlfriend” meme, apparently. The cable giant actually issued a statement saying it is “very embarrassed” by this account of a canceling customer’s debate with an overly-zealous customer retention rep.
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This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 23 Jul 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 23 July 2014 (Posted: 23 Jul 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved