Geekly Update - 26 October 2016

Category: Tech-News

When troubleshooting a computer problem, what's the best place to start? What fun activity have robots completely ruined for humanity? And why are snails attacking the Internet? Find out in today's Geekly Update -- it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. And it's *guaranteed* to make you 146% smarter. Read, think and comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

Take it to the limit... T-mobile will pay $48 million to settle FCC claims that the mobile carrier misled consumers about its “unlimited” data services. That figure includes $35.5 million worth of discounts and data credits for consumers.

Humans no longer dominate the soccer field. A team of robots from the USA beat Australia in the RoboCup Challenge, held during the 2016 World Robot Conference in Beijing.

Don't try to steal a bike secured with a SkunkLock. After having his bike stolen, inventor Dan Idzkowski came up with a novel idea -- a bike lock that will make thieves vomit if they try to cut through the lock.

Snails attack the internet!

The Ockel Sirius A device is a phone-like Windows 10 mini computer complete with two USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, and ports for HDMI, a DisplayPort, Ethernet and a 12V power input for stationary use. It also sports a 6-inch HD touch display, a 3,000mAh battery, 64GB in-built flash storage, a microSD booster slot, and 3.5mm audio port, plus an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer for compass functionality. Contributors to the Sirus A’s Indiegogo campaign can reserve one for $549. This would be a lot cooler if it could make a phone call.

The legality of fantasy stock trading is itself fantasy, the Securities and Exchange Commission has ruled. Forcerank, a New York firm that offered a fantasy stock trading game, agreed to pay a $50,000 fine for running a fantasy stock trading game and taking a cut of entry fees, as well as selling data about players that it collected.

Malware that “skims” credit card details infected 5,900 websites and went undetected between March 16 to October 5, according to researchere Willem de Groot. Card details submitted to the compromised sites were transmitted to known hacker domains and “dark web” marketplaces.

Totally banning screen time for children is the wrong approach now, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics which promulgated total bans for many years. Instead, every child now needs a personalized screen time plan tailored to his/her age and development level, and every parent needs a child psychologist on retainer.

A steel cabinet housing telecomm connections caught fire in the British town of Telford. Investigators discovered that a horde of snails had taken up residence in the cabinet, triggering a slimy short circuit.

ISPs in Thailand are protesting a law that makes them responsible for illegal content published by their users, and for any cyber crimes committed using their networks.

When all else fails, pull the plug. The Australian Census was supposed to be conducted online in a single day, August 9. But Aussies were unable to upload their Census data for 40 hours thanks to a DDoS attack launched from a foreign country. IBM Global Services, the contractor for the census system, has now admitted that the outage could have been ended much sooner by turning one of its routers off and back on.

I had a recent experience very similar to this. Some friends asked me to check on their computer, which was unable to connect to the Internet. After trying unsuccessfully to diagnose the problem for two hours, I turned off the cable modem, turned it back on, and all was well. Next time, I'll try that first.

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 26 October 2016"

Posted by:

David
26 Oct 2016

"I had a recent experience very similar to this. Some friends asked me to check on their computer, which was unable to connect to the Internet. After trying unsuccessfully to diagnose the problem for two hours, I turned off the cable modem, turned it back on, and all was well. Next time, I'll try that first."

Known as the Microsoft fix. Should be the first thing for anything electronic.


Posted by:

Bill
26 Oct 2016

I just pound if with my fist. Usually works! As a matter of fact...that's how I fix most things
‹(Ö¿Ö)›


Posted by:

Mark
26 Oct 2016

"Malware that “skims” credit card details infected 5,900 websites and went undetected between March 16 to October 5, according to researcher Willem de Groot. Card details submitted to the compromised sites were transmitted to known hacker domains and “dark web” marketplaces."
Russians are pretty clever. First, hack into Republican Party sites and get into Democratic Party e-mails. Next publish e-mails to incite Republicans and skim off resulting donations. Pavlov must be pretty revered over there.


Posted by:

Tom Van Dam
26 Oct 2016

How much does it cost to go to the town of Telford? Roasted escargot anyone?


Posted by:

Monte Crooks
26 Oct 2016

My nephew served as a troubleshooter for a small computer company. One week, my nephew was called out three times for an "emergency" service call to one of his company's clients. Each time, he found the problem to be an unplugged power strip and each time he told the client's proprietor that it was just an I D Ten T problem. When my nephew turned in his time at the end of the week, he wrote out ID10T as the problem encountered. His boss agreed, and charged the client for all 3 service calls, and gave my nephew a free dinner for all his "trouble." I'd say justice DID prevail!


Posted by:

Michael Nation
26 Oct 2016

Classic line from the British sitcom The IT Crowd. IT support would answer the phone: "IT, have you tried turning it off and back on?"


Posted by:

Art F
26 Oct 2016

"Humans no longer dominate the soccer field"?? The match alluded to was robots against robots, not robots against humans.

EDITOR'S NOTE: That's because all the humans were "eliminated" in the quarterfinals.


Posted by:

hammondmike
26 Oct 2016

My first cell phone was a Pocket PC. It had a 5" tilt-out screen, full keyboard, Windows 6.1 Pro, an internally-mounted Micro-SD Card, could go out on the Internet, and make phone calls!!!


Posted by:

john
26 Oct 2016

Follow the links and watch the video of that soccer match. The robots are a lot cuter than any kitten video.


Posted by:

PgmrDude
26 Oct 2016

The Ockel Sirius A device s/b able to make phone calls, via Google Talk (or whatever it's called now).


Posted by:

Paul
26 Oct 2016

@Michael Nation well actually the line is "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn2FB1P_Mn8


Love that series of the funniest shows ever IMHO.


Posted by:

Howard L
27 Oct 2016

@David "I turned off the cable modem, turned it back on, and all was well."

That's the suggestion I got several times from my cable support tech, who explained that turning off the modem signals the cable company's computer to reset the modem. Has worked for miscellaneous glitches, especially when my machine and the cable network don't connect.

@Bill "I just pound if with my fist."

My computer mechanic told me the single most frequent problem he encountered was a misaligned drive, resulting from a frustrated user smacking the computer on its side.


Posted by:

Pat C.
27 Oct 2016

For years I've been chaining my bike AND removing the seat when I park it. I realize this isn't an option for all but I've never had my bike stolen.


Posted by:

Pat C.
27 Oct 2016

For years I've been chaining my bike AND removing the seat when I park it. I realize this isn't an option for all but I've never had my bike stolen.


Posted by:

Ian S.
28 Oct 2016

Tech Today suggested the on/off switch months ago, used it often after Server checked for 2 hours without resolution.


Posted by:

Ben Kemp
29 Oct 2016

Regarding the Australian Census fiasco ... whilst an amusing commentary, technically "turning it off and on again" _caused_ the _problem_, not the solution. The issue was that when doing all their pre-census tests, they 'simulated' turning the router off and on again, but didn't actually TURN it off - if they did it would have showed them a problem with the router configuration - it's 'restart default' wasn't right.
Still, it's only 1 of several stuffups which we as Australians are still embarrassed by ...


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