Geekly Update - 25 September 2019

Category: Tech-News

Decisions, decisions... should you buy a new car, or lease a robo-dog? Are security gadgets actually making it easier to hackers to spy on us? Do you know how vinyl records are made? And will Amazon's new wearable device be able to discern your emotional state? 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

Critical flaws in Windows Defender and Internet Explorer (versions 9, 10, and 11) have been discovered and patched. If you're not running Windows Update on auto-pilot, you should download and apply these patches ASAP. The bugs could allow a remote attacker full access to a targeted computer.

Thinking about getting a dog? Spot, the Boston Dynamics robodog, can carry heavy stuff, open doors, dance, and maybe even make you a sandwich. It'll cost about as much as a car, but doesn't bark incessantly or poop on the lawn.

If you need something on two legs, consider Atlas. He doesn't carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, but this robot can do parkour, backflips, somersaults, a handstand, and a 360-degree spinning jump.

Xiaomi's new Mi Mix Alpha is a cool concept smartphone with a screen that wraps all the way around the phone. It's made of scratch-resistant sapphire glass, but will it survive a drop on the pavement? No word on whether or not this will evolve into a consumer product.

Geekly Update 09-25-2019

The BBC says that some security gadgets are actually making people more vulnerable to hackers. Gadgets intended to keep pets and the elderly safe actually make it easier for them (or their owners) to be spied upon.

Quantum Supremacy sounds like a movie title, but it's actually the beginning of the title of a leaked-then-deleted Google research paper. "Quantum supremacy using a programmable superconducting processor.” Quantum Supremacy refers to solving a problem so complex that even the fastest supercomputers couldn't do it, no matter how long they crunch the numbers. A quantum computer performed a caculation in 3 minutes and 20 seconds that would take over 10,000 years on a classical compute

If you've ever wondered how vinyl records are made, this should satisfy your curiousity.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed Google and free speech advocates a victory this week, ruling that Google does not have to comply with Europe's "right to be forgotten" policy on a global scale. "The balance between the right to privacy and the protection of personal data," says the ECJ, "and the freedom of information of internet users, is likely to vary significantly around the world."

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-23/amazon-is-working-on-a-wearable-device-that-reads-human-emotions
Amazon.com is developing a "health and wellness product" that promises to recognize human emotions. An anonymous source says Dylan, the wearable voice-activated gadget, will be able to discern the wearer’s emotional state from the sound of his or her voice.

"Alexa, get me a job at McDonald's." McDonald's says that job seekers can initiate job applications using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant devices. The Verge advises young people to do it now "before AI automates the job you’re applying for."

According to internal emails, video doorbell maker Ring was considering an option to automatically turn on video cameras in the surrounding areas when a 911 call was placed. Ring says they abandoned the plan in 2018, but the idea could be introduced in the "not-so-distant future."

The Federal Communications Commission is charging Sprint with pocketing over 8 million dollars in government subsidies that were meant to help low-income Americans through the Lifeline program. Sprint says "an error" prevented the de-enrollment of 885,000 customers no longer using the service. The Lifeline program pays mobile providers $9.25 a month for to make phone service more affordable, and is supposed to be passed along to consumers.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 25 September 2019"

Posted by:

Charley
25 Sep 2019

Unfortunately, Windows Update KB4515384 breaks my system (action center, windows search). Microsoft said to uninstall that update so I did and that fixed it. But then in the last few days with the Critical flaws in Windows Defender and Internet Explorer (versions 9, 10, and 11) I went to windows update and it reinstalled KB4515384 and broke my system again. So I uninstalled it again.

From Tom's Hardware "Windows 10 Search Issues: Microsoft Labels It Resolved Without Issuing Fix" https://www.tomshardware.com/news/windows-desktop-search-not-working-microsoft-update-resolved,40459.html


Posted by:

Butch
26 Sep 2019

In your reference to "Atlas," you wrote that "...this robot can do parkour,...." I know I'm an old geezer but sure would like your help with the meaning of "parkour."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Parkour is more or less "urban acrobatics." Here's a video with examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX7QNWEGcNI


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