Geekly Update - 26 August 2015
Quick... what novelist predicted both the smartwatch and mentioned Google by name in 1953? Is it against the law to take a snapshot of your dinner at a fancy restaurant? Why are rubber bands so popular at the Burning Man festival? And robots are HAVING BABIES? 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
“I had exactly four seconds to hot up the disintegrator and Google had told me it wasn't enough. He was right." So wrote crime novel author, Raymond Chandler, in a parody of science fiction penned in 1953, 45 years before Google’s incorporation.
OK, now it’s time to worry about machines evolving faster than humans. A “motherbot” created by Cambridge University geeks builds its own walking childbots, observes how they perform, then redesigns its next offspring with improvements.
Posting snapshots of fancy meals could be crimes under a German law that extends copyright protection to chefs’ unique creations. Should have filed this one under the public decency act.
Pot, meet kettle. Facebook rescinded an internship offer to Harvard student Aran Khanna after the computer science major exposed a privacy flaw in the company’s mobile Messenger app that let users track the locations of their “friends.” According to Khanna, Facebook told him that his blog post didn’t meet the company’s “high ethical standards.”
Programmers must constantly learn new languages to remain employable, right? Not if they learned COBOL 50 years ago; the venerable mainframe language still powers much of the financial world and experts in it are in great demand.
British architects are trying to raise $2.9 billion (yes, "Billion" with a "B") in an Indiegogo campaign to build a life-size, functioning replica of Minas Tirith. If you’re not a “Lord of the Rings” fan, you probably don’t need to know more about the gigantic, seven-walled medieval city.
Selfies have civil rights, at least when it’s a selfie of you and the election ballot you marked. A federal judge struck down a New Hampshire law that forbade taking photos in a ballot booth. Plaintiff Andrew Langlois sued after being prosecuted for writing his dog’s name on ballot, photographing it, and displaying the photo online.
Meet the real-life people, male and female, who give Apple’s Siri personal assistant her voices.
Apple Mac users can now install Windows 10 as an alternate OS using the updated “Boot Camp” dual-boot utility.
The UK plans to test “smart” highways that charge the batteries of electric vehicles as they travel via electromagnetic induction. The roads had better be pothole-proof, too.
Patrons of 600 movie theaters owned by Regal Entertainment Group (including United Artists brand) must now submit to searches of purses, backpacks, and even diaper bags that might contain weapons (or reasonably priced Raisinets). If I need more “safety and comfort,” I’ll just stay home and watch Netflix.
Home Depot stores near Black Rock City, Nevada, are stocking up for Burning Man festival patrons. Perennially popular items include water, water, water, coolers, generators, air conditioners, rebar for tent stakes, and… ummm, rubber bands?
“Must be fluent in Java, C++, and Klingon.” Israeli tech firm Zook is running a help-wanted ad written in the alien warrior language familiar only to the most fanatical Star Trek fans.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 26 Aug 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 26 August 2015 (Posted: 26 Aug 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved