Geekly Update - 27 January 2021

Category: Tech-News

Is the personal computer headed for extinction? Are aliens really heading toward Earth? Do curveballs actually curve? And when is Nothing something? 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

Just over a year ago, I published Here's Why Desktop PCs Just Won’t Die, with my reasoning for why reports of the death of the personal computer have been greatly exaggerated. (Hat tip, Mark Twain) Research firm Canalys agrees, stating that shipments of desktops, notebooks and workstations jumped for the third consecutive quarter, rising 25 percent over the same period in 2019. The past year saw 297 million units shipped, the highest volume since 2014.

DuckDuckGo, the privacy focused search engine that promises not to track or sell your search activity, is gaining in popularity. For the first time, DuckDuckGo handled more than 100 million searches in a single day. That milestone was reached on January 11, and is almost double the number from a year ago. They still have a way to go to catch market leader Google, which handles over five billion daily searches. As of December 2020, the top search engines in the U.S. were Google (88% market share), Bing (6.5%) and Yahoo (3.%) and DuckDuckGo (2.3%).

Online gamers gamed GameStop's stock price. Users on Reddit worked up a frenzy of interest in GameStop, widely panned by Wall Street analysts, causing the price to jump dramatically. Six months ago, the stock price was about $4, today it’s over $300. Some analysts believe the social media-driven surge is a Ponzi scheme.

Geekly Update 01-27-2021

Police from the UK, EU, US and Canada disrupted one of the most dangerous hacking networks worldwide. For years, the Emotet network used malicious email attachments to gain access to computers, which were then used to deploy other cybercrime activities including ransomware.

Avi Loeb, known for his expertise in astronomy and astrophysics, doesn’t agree with the popular opinion that Oumuamua is just a space rock. His new book “Oumuamua, Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth” lays out his case that it’s actually an alien light sail, sent toward us by an extraterrestrial civilization.

Nothing to see here? Carl Pei, founder of smartphone maker OnePlus, has announced that his new tech company is called Nothing. Details are sketchy, but Pei calls what is soon to come “a giant reset button for all things innovation.” It could be nothing, but it will definitely be Nothing.

If you have $11 million burning a hole in your pocket, you might consider buying Bloodhound, a rocket-powered car that hopes to reach a top speed of 1,000 miles per hour, breaking the current land speed record of 763 mph. After a decade of effort, the current owner of the Bloodhound Land Speed Record project is tired of throwing money at it, but he thinks there’s still potential.

Prior to 2019, Facebook collected phone numbers from users who turned on the two-factor authentication option for additional account security. But due to a security flaw of their own, a database containing over 500 million of those phone numbers was extracted, and they’re now for sale, starting at $20 a pop.

Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Dizzy Dean famously challenged someone who didn’t believe that curveballs actually curve. "Stand behind a tree 60 feet away,” Dean said, “and I'll whomp you with an optical illusion." Now you too can shoot around corners with NERF’s new Rival Curve Shot blasters. An adjustable barrel lets you change the angle of your shot, to shoot around corners, or lob squishy projectiles over a target.

TechNewsWorld reports that robot lawyer DoNotPay is facing legal troubles of its own. A consumer in Illinois claims that he received several unsolicited text messages from the company, attempting to solicit his business. He contends that DoNotPay “launched a mass telemarketing campaign that sent text solicitations to consumers without their prior express consent.”

This just in from the Fourth Dimension Department: Engineers at the University of Maryland have created a new shape-changing or “morphing” 3D printing nozzle that enables what they call 4D printing.

Ask Your Computer or Internet Question

  (Enter your question in the box above.)

It's Guaranteed to Make You Smarter...

AskBob Updates: Boost your Internet IQ & solve computer problems.
Get your FREE Subscription!


Check out other articles in this category:

Link to this article from your site or blog. Just copy and paste from this box:

This article was posted by on 27 Jan 2021

For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.

Prev Article:
Tune and Optimize Your Hard Drive

The Top Twenty
Next Article:
Try These 10 Tips To Prevent Identity Theft

Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 27 January 2021"

Posted by:

Brian B
27 Jan 2021

The benefit to mankind of of 1,000 miles per hour car is what? Besides, as far as I'm concerned, unless it's driven through the wheels, it's not a car.

Posted by:

Michael Hamilton
27 Jan 2021

Especially if you like Google results, a better chose would be StartPage, which searches Google anonymously. DuckDuckGo gets most results from Bing and it keeps a log of your searches. Based on the founders history, that isn't comforting.

Of course you never know for sure, but this information came from "usually reliable sources."

Posted by:

27 Jan 2021


What say about car that's not driven/propelled by the tires is major conflict between the US and Brazil.

Brazilians say the wright brothers were not the first to fly. They say Santos Dumont was the first.

Because the wright brothers used a catapult to launch, where Dumont too off on wheels.

Been to Dumont's house, seems like was small person, I had to duck quite a bit, I'm 5'11".

Just sayin,, 😎

Posted by:

27 Jan 2021

I have already been using DuckDuckGo and I've noticed that page load times are cut. Maybe it's because a lot less info is stored vs using Google.

I have nothing to say about Nothing.

That's a good quote from Dizzy Dean.

Posted by:

28 Jan 2021

Bob, what you write is just a sheer pleasure to read for its wittiness and humor, above and beyond the kind helpfulness for those of us who are I T challenged. Your modesty, lack of hubris, and ability to communicate with us is refreshing and really appreciated, coming from someone as you who is obviously amongst the cognoscenti in this technology! Your fan

EDITOR'S NOTE: Wow, thanks for the kind words. Your check is in the mail. :-)

Posted by:

28 Jan 2021

With StartPage I had results that I had never seen before using my full name. Amazing that someone downloaded/copied pages from the C.I.F. Southern Section monthly bulletin so that the information would be searchable.

Posted by:

28 Jan 2021

Very interesting Bob

Posted by:

28 Jan 2021

Google Searches: I more often than not use Google to tell me if the product I am interested in purchasing is a scam. THEN, as always expected, the first 30 pages speak in glowing terms about the fact that it is genuine and display the item together with offers to purchase. Can it be that someone is paying for those pages to keep out scamhunters? Because other sources other than Google have already told me that I should not buy product 'x'.

Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions

*     *     (* = Required field)

    (Your email address will not be published)
(you may use HTML tags for style)

YES... spelling, punctuation, grammar and proper use of UPPER/lower case are important! Comments of a political nature are discouraged. Please limit your remarks to 3-4 paragraphs. If you want to see your comment posted, pay attention to these items.

All comments are reviewed, and may be edited or removed at the discretion of the moderator.

NOTE: Please, post comments on this article ONLY.
If you want to ask a question click here.

Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter

Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
About Us     Privacy Policy     RSS/XML

Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 27 January 2021 (Posted: 27 Jan 2021)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved