Geekly Update - 25 March 2020

Category: Tech-News

Do you need new glasses, or are those online videos looking a little blurry? Does working from home make you more vulnerable to malware and cybercriminals? What's the latest privacy concern over your social media posts? (Hint: it's not Facebook or Google) 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

If it looks like your cat videos are a little grainy on Youtube, your eyes are not to blame. YouTube is reducing video quality for all videos to standard definition for a month, to minimize the load on their network, while people are stuck at home in search of diversions from Netflix binging.

If you need some non-video distractions, this list of "The 66 Best Inventions of the Past 66 Years" from Popular Mechanics will keep you busy for a while.

Amazon is discounting the newly-released Samsung Galaxy S20 5G smartphone by $200. The factory unlocked version can be used with any U.S. carrier and has 128GB of onboard storage, Fingerprint ID, and Facial Recognition.

Working from home may make you more vulnerable to hackers. Here are some tips on how to stay safe while getting work done outside the office.

Geekly Update 03-25-2020

Along those lines, while working from home, you might want to mute or turn off your nosy always-listening digital assistants such as Alexa and Google Home, while making business calls. You don't want any proprietary or confidential business discussions accidentally seeping into the cloud.

This just in from the "We Built This City On Sausage Rolls" Department: YouTube Music users on iOS and Android devices can follow along with lyrics while listening. To see the lyrics, tap the “i” button on the left side of the screen, and lyrics will show up under the song. (The "sausage rolls" reference comes from this humorous website with commonly misheard song lyrics.)

Microsoft is warning Windows users about a new software bug that can be exploited in multiple ways. The most likely is convincing an unsuspecting person to open a “specially crafted document” delivered by email. Be especially careful about opening email attachments, as there are many reports of hackers trying to take advantage of people during this time of crisis.

Do your eyes glaze over when you hear terms like blockchain, bitcoin, and cybercurrency? Here’s a CNET tutorial that explains these terms, and how related services may change your life in the months and years to come.

I’m sure you realize that everything you post on social media can and will be used to build facial recognition databases, and create dossiers enabling third-parties to understand who you are, and target you with ads. So much for privacy in the digital age. But now, governments may be scouring social media in search of clues that people might be violating “social distancing” directives. A research group in Italy scanned Instagram posts and found over 30,000 people violated quarantine orders. 

Verizon is adding 15GB of high-speed data to all wireless plans in response to the virus crisis. They'll also waive overage charges and late fees, and provide free international calling to CDC level 3 countries.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 25 March 2020"

Posted by:

hifi5000
25 Mar 2020

Regarding the article on turning off any voice digital assistants such as Alexa,it is smart to turn these devices off.The home environment is not the same as a stricter work environment.Anyone who works on confidential matters,such as lawyers,engineers and high level company executives should make sure the room they work in is secure.It might be necessary to put in a lock on the door that leads to any temporary office in a residence.


Posted by:

david maguire
26 Mar 2020

went to watch 66 best inventions & malwarebytes keeps blocking it so i will give it a miss thank you


Posted by:

RandiO
26 Mar 2020

I guess I should thank you for these informative Geekly Updates, since my hall-pass has been cancelled and I needed to keep busy during our national lock-down.
I bought the original issue of the GoogleHome (salmon color) digital assistant. I tried to reverse-engineer it to be able to turn-off the (always On/Listening) MICs, since there is no "Mute" button or a power switch. The MIC' sensitivity is so good, even encasing that 'hockey-puck' in acoustic insulation was not 100% effective. Powering it down causes long delays (when you want to use it) as it is acquiring a WiFi network connection. After 2 months of tinkering w/it, I decided to cut my losses and threw it in the bin with my old gizmos


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