Geekly Update - 24 July 2013
Are police using license plate scanners to track your every move? Is your smartphone secretly listening to every word you say? And are there certain words that your iPhone just doesn't want you to type? 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
Google’s Moto X phone will always be listening to you, according to a leaked video about the mobile device due to be released in August. The feature enables voice commands without having to press a button, but raises privacy concerns.
Automated license plate scanners on police cars are compiling millions of images that could be used to track citizens’ movements, the ACLU charges. Some jurisdictions store such images for years.
The Internet delivers. A “Send Pizza” sign on the window of a child cancer patient’s hospital room was photographed and posted on Reddit, resulting in 20 pizzas and a heartwarming party for all the young patients.
"Notty werds?" Apple iPhones will not suggest corrections for misspellings of certain sensitive words including “abortion,” “rape,” “bigoted,” “homoerotic,” “ammo,” and “bullet.” An Apple spokesperson declined to comment on The Daily Beast’s findings.
AT&T has joined T-mobile in dropping subsidies for smartphones. The company’s new AT&T Next program divides the retail cost of a phone by 20 and adds the result to your service plan. But after just 12 months you can upgrade to a newer phone.
A security hole that exists in 99% of Android phones was patched 5 months ago by Google, but carriers and mobile phone vendors are very slow to roll out even critical fixes. A newly released app called ReKey promises to fix the problem, but a phone must be rooted before the patch can be applied.
Since joining Yahoo as CEO a year ago, Marissa Mayer has improved everything except the most important thing. The stock price has climbed 70%, employee turnover has halved, and workers don’t mind actually coming to work since telecommuting was banned. But revenues are up only 2%.
The universe may not be expanding, according to theoretical astrophysicist Christof Wetterich. It may just be getting fat. If the mass of atomic particles has gradually increased over time, that would explain the red-shifting of light from distant galaxies as well as the “expansion” theory. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to test Wetterich’s theory.
A growing number of extortionists are using a VoIP version of “distributed denial of service” attacks to block incoming calls to emergency services, hospitals, nursing homes, businesses, and other targets. Some victims have wired thousands of dollars to overseas bank accounts to get the attacks to stop; others have created new firewall filters that are only partially effective. Internet authorities are working on “caller-ID for VoiP” in an effort to prevent such carnage.
"STOP." India shut down its 167 year-old telegraph system on July 15. Formerly used for official business and announcements of births, marriages, and deaths, the telegram was ultimately killed by cell phones and the Internet. Union workers are protesting loss of jobs.
In another sign of the changing times, Alan Turing, famous information scientist of the early 20th Century, has been granted a pardon by the UK government for his infamous conviction in 1952. His crime? Homosexuality. An inquest in 1954 ruled his death "suicide by poisoned apple," but a recent review of the evidence suggests otherwise.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome! Please post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 24 Jul 2013
|For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.|
Free Online Home Appraisals
The Top Twenty
Power Up Your Gmail!
Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions
Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter
Copyright © 2005
- Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 24 July 2013 (Posted: 24 Jul 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved