Geekly Update - 26 November 2014
What's the most important thing to remember when stealing cash from an ATM machine? Why does Computer Engineer Barbie need a MAN to help her finish a software project? And what's behind Google's plan to launch dozens of huge helium-filled balloons every day? 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
Khaled Fattah and his friend figured out a way to hack ATMs using only the keypad on the cash machine. Fattah's trick caused the machine to spit out $400, while debiting the account for only $20. The amount of cash the pair was able to withdraw before getting caught: $400,000. Using your own ATM card to commit bank fraud: Priceless.
Google’s driverless car is being trained to be more like human drivers in order to operate effectively among them. For instance, at a 4-way stop when it’s a Google car’s turn to go, the car will “inch forward decisively” to assert its right-of-way. "If you're always yielding and conservative, basically everybody will just stomp on you all day," says technical team leader Nathaniel Fairfield. Even MORE human would be a "roll down the window and shout obscenities" option.
The Barbie: Computer Engineer doll trolls every living geek girl with a storybook that includes lines like, “I’ve only created the design ideas… I’ll need Steven’s and Brian’s help to turn it into a real game.” And she thinks the library will let her hook up her virus-infected hard drive to its network for cleaning!
Google is launching 20 huge helium-filled Internet balloons per day as part of Project Loon, a loony scheme to encircle the globe with 7,000 airborne wireless Internet access points. The longest a balloon has remained aloft is 130 days, so expect to see lots of wildlife trapped in Google-branded “raincoats.”
Telephone monopolies would no longer be obliged to provide landlines in certain areas as early as 2018, under a provision of a bill approved by… the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee? Discontinuance of landline service would still require approval of the FCC and local public utilities commissions. Yes, it is part of a deeper conspiracy to pry that hardwired phone from ours cold, dead hands.
Detekt is free software that detects whether your Windows device is infected with FinFisher or Hacking Team RCS, two commercially available spyware suites. Detekt is aimed at activists and journalists in the human rights fields, and is brought to us by Amnesty International, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Privacy International, and Internet-rights group Digitale Geselleschaft.
Maybe you should be glad that your cellular carrier is slow to roll out new versions of Android. Owners of Nexus phones sold by Google itself are reporting many serious bugs after updating to Android v. 5.0 (Lollipop). Phones crash, contacts are wiped out, and nothing written in Adobe Air survives or can be re-installed.
Yahoo! Search will replace Google Search as the default search engine in Firefox. Of course, anyone who cares strongly enough to open their Settings can restore Google Search as the default search engine.
China is blocking thousands of foreign and domestic websites in one go by partially blocking the EdgeCast content-delivery network with the “Great Firewall” erected by the Chinese government. The reason seems to be that political activists have been using cloud services like EdgeCast to host forbidden information.
SnapChat will now let you send money to anyone using Square Cash, the free debit card to debit card payment service provided by payment processor Square, Inc.
An additional $2 fee would be tacked onto your phone bill if an FCC request for another $1.5 billion to provide broadband to schools is approved by Congress.
Facebook is reportedly working on a competitor to Microsoft Office, in hope of completing its mission to utterly destroy workplace productivity.
Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below, or I'll install the Bing toolbar on your laptop...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 26 Nov 2014
|For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.|
Fight Malware With a Stinger Missile
The Top Twenty
Meet MICA: Intel's Smart (Looking) Watch
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 - 26 November 2014 (Posted: 26 Nov 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved