Geekly Update - 27 April 2016

Category: Tech-News

Which video streaming service has the biggest selection of movies? How much did the FBI spend to break the encryption on the San Bernardino terrorist's iPhone? And does breathing out of only one nostril make you smarter or dumber? 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

Do you forget to take your pills, even with one of those plastic organizers, reminders set on your phone, and gentle nagging from loved ones? The Pill Drill is the “simple” solution, according to Peter Havas, former CTO of Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery. (Yes, that’s right; this cafe had a Chief Technology Officer who claims to be an expert on pharmaceutical dispensary systems.) The $199 Pill Drill seems far from simple; watch the video as three people enter data, read reports, and monitor Grandpa’s moods. Laughter is the best medicine!

Amazon Prime Video has four times more movies than Netflix, but Netflix still has more TV shows than Amazon. Hulu has more movies and shows than Netflix. If you’re not confused yet, look at new separate pricing for Amazon Prime ($10.99/month) and Prime Video ($8.99/month). The $99/year Prime plus Prime Video is still available, too.

"I'll snapchat that contract right over, boss!" Some in Generation Z, just entering their 20s, don’t even know what email looks like. With so many more modern and simpler messaging options, the youngest generation views email as something adults do for work, and being forced to use it is considered a rite of passage.

Geekly Update 04-27-2016

Shoulda, woulda, coulda… Ten years ago, Intel Corp. turned down the opportunity to produce processor chips for the iPhone, thinking that Apple would not sell enough of the phones to make the venture worthwhile. Now Intel is laying off 12,000 employees by year’s end.

Blackberry handed its global encryption key to the RCMP, enabling the Canadian national police to unlock any Blackberry device. Blackberry might as well give away the key to its headquarters now.

In their quest for a stable gel that can replace dangerous liquid in rechargeable batteries, University of California at Irvine researchers replaced lithium with gold nanorods. To their surprise, the new battery can take 400 times more recharges than lithium.

University of Illinois researchers have successfully streamed HD video through chunks of raw meat, fast enough to watch a Netflix movie or let medical devices embedded in the body communicate with each other. (They'd better test it on lard to make sure.)

Break out the tiny violins… Google was formally charged with antitrust violations in the European Union last week. The EU authorities say Google abuses its market dominance in many ways, such as forcing phone developers to bundle YouTube and other Google apps into all products that run Android.

Facebook Messenger now supports group voice calling. Up to 50 contacts can be invited into a single call, during which absolutely nothing will be agreed upon.

Salt in the wound… The FBI disclosed that it spent $1 million to unlock the iPhone 5 of the San Bernardino terrorists, not counting the expense of its court battle with Apple. And apparently, the feds found nothing of any use on the phone.

AOL plans to make Huffington Post the world’s largest virtual reality news service. AOL’s recent purchase of VR tech firm Ryot is a step towards 360-degree immersion in news stories.

Microsoft Academic is a Bing-powered knowledge base that lets you search 80 million academic papers for free. Just in case you wanted to study up on "The Effects of Unilateral Forced Nostril Breathing on Cognition" or find out once and for all if toast really does tend to fall on the buttered side.

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 27 April 2016"

Posted by:

Steven Berkwits
27 Apr 2016

Is there any security risk in using a combination flash drive/USB device on my iPhone?


Posted by:

Ken Mitchell
27 Apr 2016

"The FBI disclosed that it spent $1 million to unlock the iPhone 5 of the San Bernardino terrorists, not counting the expense of its court battle with Apple. And apparently, the feds found nothing of any use on the phone. "

It was obvious from the beginning that there would be nothing of interest on that device. It was also obvious that had the San Bernardino Department of Health IT department done its job properly, this would never have been an issue.


Posted by:

Dan
27 Apr 2016

I still want to know if breathing out of only one nostril make me smarter or dumber.


Posted by:

Doc
27 Apr 2016

Steven, as far as *I* know there is still a risk as long as there are ANY old flash drives around - I seem to remember that the threat is inherent in the manufacture of the sticks. Good Idea that never goes out of date: SCAN your flash drives and be sure you don't have your flash port set to "auto-run". (This was true way back with the paper covered floppys), scan ANYTHING you have not formatted, or let out of your sight, and want to put into your computer, tablet or phone. (I used to stick a tiny DOS autorun .BAT file on student disks left around the lab that had Porky Pig saying "Th-th-that's a-a-all folks" when they next used it. A good reminder even today.)

If you find one around that's not yours or are given one you haven't scanned consider it probably dangerous. The USB is not the weak point, it's the flash-drive. You DO make back-ups, right? And keep them current, right? And you have a Boot-drive (flash or other wise)? right? Good. You don't have much to worry about. Where I live when I work cell phones are of little use, there are not a lot of cell towers in the middle of rural Northern Nevada, and radio shadows abound. So don't own one, but read Dr. Bob daily when I can, and catch up when I can't.
==========================
MY OFF TOPIC QUESTION: OK, I read it here, I've scoured months of Bob and(kinda) looked [10 min] on how to do it on the open web, but can't find it quick enough for me, HOW DO I DO AN EXACT WORD SEARCH WITH GOOGLE? (One sentence will probably point me right). Thanks.
==========================

Bob - Blackberry DID give away the keys. AND how they thought about designing a good one. So they have the key AND how to build new ones if they change the lock. China WAS 20 years behind USA in pin-point accuracy on their rockets. We land a couple of secret super spy military jets on a ChiCom MILITARY airfield, and 6 months later they hit a satellite in orbit. I'm not that bright, but THAT look more than 'coincidental'. Often just looking at a burned out circuit (if we scuttled the planes which I'm not sure we did) will tell a lot about how people think, and that is how 'invention' and 'reverse engineering' works.

Looks like re-chargeable batteries will become a LOT more expensive, time to invest in Cow Bellies. (or is that SOW bellies?)


Posted by:

Ken Mitchell
27 Apr 2016

Doc: For an exact word search, enclose it in quotation marks. If you know where the target document should be, you can add "site:websitename.com" to search only within that site.


Posted by:

Doc
27 Apr 2016

Dan, couldn't get the site Bob gave us to work but PubMed "PMID 7870536" and "PMID 8132419"

You can Google those numbers or the complete term to get the answer. Here's the short end

PMID 7870536 (depends what you mean by 'smarter')
". . .men breathing through the right nostril scored significantly lower than men in the control condition on a letter-matching test although they did not differ significantly from men in the left-nostril condition on that test."

PMID 8132419 (BUT if you are CRAZY it might help)
". . .Spatial task performance was significantly enhanced during left nostril breathing in both males and females, [. . .]. Verbal task performance was greater during right nostril breathing, [. . .]. [. . .] This yogic breathing technique may have useful application in treating psychophysiological disorders with hemispheric imbalances and disorders with autonomic abnormalities."


Posted by:

Chris
27 Apr 2016

I still want to know if breathing out of only one nostril make me smarter or dumber.
Apparently the editor and myself breath from the same side. :)


Posted by:

Monte Crooks
27 Apr 2016

You could follow my example. After 60 years of severe allergies, I developed a deviated septum (hole through the septum so it no longer separates the nostrils). I guess that means I breathe ambidextrously? I really do rarely have a completely stuffy nose. Do you need any more inconsequential information. If so, just keep going on the Net, Web, whatever you want to call it! Oh, and Thanks so much, Bob for everything!!


Posted by:

Martin Gouldthorpe
27 Apr 2016

I don't know about the nostril/smarter/dumber thing but I do know that you should not breathe habitually through your mouth, particularly if the mouth is wide open. Why? It sure makes you look dumber!


Posted by:

Doc
27 Apr 2016

Ken Mitchell -- thank you!! I do that as my first default. What _I_ REALLY miss is the old DOS 'wild card' (*) in searches!!! Thanks again Ken!! And here I thought it was a 'new' 21st century solution!!(Ok, I'm braced for the dope slap -go ahead!) - Doc

EDITOR'S NOTE: You can use the "*" wildcard in Google searches. See http://www.googleguide.com/wildcard_operator.html


Posted by:

Ken Mitchell
27 Apr 2016

"(Ok, I'm braced for the dope slap -go ahead!) - Doc "

Not a chance! There's too much to know for anybody to know even a significant fraction of it all.


Posted by:

Doc
27 Apr 2016

Chris, 'Cognition' isn't about 'smart' or 'not smart'. It's about, ummmm, ahhh, 'cognition'. Cognition is a HUGE field. It's kinda about 'thinking' and 'how you understand' -- there are MANY ways that people think and understand things, one way is not better or worse than another way. Think of it as Apple v PC, or Ford v Chevy, Winchester v Remington, or Levies v Wrangler - as a Zen Master I know tends to point out to me (more often than he should need to: One side is both the same.

I know a LOT of medical reasons why a person MIGHT breathe out of one side or another but MOST people breathe out of both sides at the same time. I don't use my nose to breathe. So I'm just one of those 'outliers' and can see the benefit of breathing out of a nose - or not even using your nose!

Did you read those PubMed studies?


Posted by:

Doc
27 Apr 2016

Bob, thanks for the page reference, I never thought such pages (or signs in general) applied to illiterates. I Learn something new every day!
*,
Doc.


Posted by:

John Kincaid
28 Apr 2016

Regarding the comment that the FBI US$1 million to unlock the iPhone.
Couldn't that also be viewed as money well spent? After all, I'm sure it has now given the scare to other terrorists that MAY be using a similar tactic to actually store info.
Wasn't it also a great opportunity to give Apple a one-finger salute who made great advertising that their system was unbreakable - it's even been reported in the media that Apple has now approached the FBI to find out how they did it!
The way the FBI was able to do it can also be shared with other anti-terrorist organisations around the world.


Posted by:

Samg
28 Apr 2016

With Hillary C. leading in the race for the Democratic nomination, the FBI's job of checking her Blackberry phone for classified emails ought to be a lot easier after your post of- ''Blackberry handed its global encryption key to the RCMP, enabling the Canadian national police to unlock any Blackberry device.'' Of course there's nothing encrypted on her phone which has traveled world-wide.


Posted by:

Ken Heikkila
28 Apr 2016

Back to Amazon Prime's supposed superiority in movie offerings. I am often disappointed in searching Amazons' offerings to find that the very title that I wish view is not included in the free Amazon Prime subscription, but rather has a fee attached.
I use both Amazon Prime and Netflix, but HULU has the worst user interface ever. Finding episodes is always a trial (it wants to show you the latest without making it easy to start at the beginning) and it doesn't automatically send you to the next episode when you begin viewing a series. At least not on my Sony BluRay box.


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