Geekly Update - 24 June 2020

Category: Tech-News

Is Amazon adding live TV to its Prime Video service? Does this new 'invisible germ isolation unit' make it safe to fly again? What's the most exciting new feature in iOS 14? And why are civil liberties advocates so concerned about facial recognition systems? 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

You hear that sound? It's mall cops weeping. Segway has just announced the end of production for the iconic two-wheeled vehicle. They'll continue to offer the Segway S-Pod, an egg-shaped chair on wheels.

Rumor has it that Amazon will be adding live TV to their Prime video-on-demand streaming service. According to Protocol, Amazon is looking into licensing deals for live news, music, sports, TV shows and movies. If true, it would differentiate them from Netflix, and put them in competition with Youtube TV, Sling TV, and cable TV providers.

AirShield is an invisible germ isolation unit which directs passengers' exhaled air, coughs or sneezes downward and filters it with the aircraft's existing HEPA filters. Teague, the company behind the Airshield says, "Rather than distance, it's airflow that plays the most significant role in the spread of COVID-19 in an airplane."

A few years back, Google provided some privacy controls to allow you to auto-delete your web history after three months, but most people don't bother to change that setting. Google just announced that the default for new accounts requires no action by the user, and will delete location data, web and browsing activity after 18 months.

Geekly Update 06-24-2020

Apple just announced iOS 14, their latest operating system for iPhone and iPad mobile devices, with a release expected in September. This MacRumors story details all the details.

One of those new iOS 14 features can detect the sound of a doorbell or fire alarm, and alert a hearing-impaired user with a visual notification on the iPhone.

If you're looking for a laptop that can swim, we're not quite there yet. But Acer’s new rugged Enduro laptop line, designed to be used outdoors, can survive drops, extreme temperatures, and water exposure with a "water-resistant Aquafan" inside the unit.

The Lockport City School District spent $3 million installing a facial recognition system, ostensibly to deter school shootings. But the New York Civil Liberties Union is suing to have it removed, claiming it violates student privacy, and isn't sophisticated enough to prevent misidentifications based on race and gender.

They probably have a good point. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a wrongful arrest complaint against Detroit police, citing faulty facial recognition technology. A facial recognition system used by the department falsely matched an African-American man with with security footage of a shoplifter.

CNet says "funerals are expensive, broken and exploitative." This article offers some ideas to change the way we think about death, and make funerals more cost effective and environmentally friendly.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 24 June 2020"

Posted by:

Brian B
24 Jun 2020

"But the New York Civil Liberties Union is suing to have it removed, claiming it violates student privacy"

An AR15 violates their privacy even more.

Posted by:

25 Jun 2020

While reading the iOS 14 article, I realized that I almost never look at the "Home screen". I'm always on the second screen where all the icons that I use are located. Guess I should be paying more attention; I might miss some important new feature that I will probably never need or use.

Posted by:

30 Jun 2020

I looked into the AirShield system and had one observation about the system. It didn't seem to say how much force of air was going to be needed to stop a sneeze or cough from moving out of the sphere of the person creating it. Since a sneeze can travel at a 100 mph I doubt anyone is going to want a blast of air blowing down on them the entire time they are flying. I would imagine this would be like the blast we have all have felt when we have walked into stores that have those automatic fans that blow to keep the flying bugs out.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 24 June 2020 (Posted: 24 Jun 2020)
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