Geekly Update - 28 May 2014
Can you sell a single word on eBay for $18,000? Is there a smartphone app that will clone your deceased pet? And what famous person never said 'wear sunscreen' in a graduation speech? 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
When your beloved pet dies don’t despair; Petmatch, an app by image search engine Superfish.com, will help you find an adoptable dead (live?) ringer for Fido or Fluffy, and they promise it won’t feel creepy at all.
An Australian man wrote "The" on a scrap of paper and put it up for auction on eBay, as a "nonfiction book" item. Amazingly, bidding has reached $18,000 (about $16,500 USD). The description says that the scrap "can be used in literally thousands of sentences," "can be used to wipe the fog from a snorkel," and "emits a mysterious beauty when leaning against sea shells."
Last month, Nest announced a recall of 440,000 units of its Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide monitor due to a software bug that can silence alarms when they are needed. You don’t have to mail in the device; just connect to WiFi and accept the software update. The feature that lets you silence a false alarm by waving your arms will be disabled. Good thing... people might be trying to clear away the smoke from a real fire!
Accidentally sending an email intended for your boss to all 3,500 of your co-workers is a big mistake – usually. In the case of security guard Greg Heaslip, it sparked a massive social media campaign to get him the time off he requested, and that inadvertent viral feat got him a free Las Vegas vacation, luggage, clothing, and sundry other swag from companies eager to ride his coattails to fleeting fame.
“Don’t settle” is the mantra of Lee Cheng, Chief Legal Counsel for Newegg. It is essential to make patent trolls feel as much pain as possible when they try to extort money from companies and their customers with frivolous infringement claims. Cheng’s blog post is an awesome call to annihilate patent trolls. “We want to encourage other defendants to create as much friction as possible, rather than feeding the beast with easy settlement checks.”
Microsoft has decided not to fix a security vulnerability in Internet Explorer 8 that was discovered eight months ago. Instead, the company suggests users “harden up” their browser security settings. (Even better… "harden" it all the way up to Chrome or Firefox.)
Instead of killing the radio star, streaming audio has revived a moribund broadcast industry, according to a new report by Deloitte. More new indie bands have “made it” via Internet radio than through Spotify and iTunes combined, the business consultancy finds.
Scientists have embedded programmable DNA-based nanobots in living cockroaches. The bots communicate with each other, enabling simple logical tasks such as holding or releasing molecules of medication upon command. (Just in case you have a pet cockroach that's not feeling well.)
National Public Radio reached all the way back to 1774 for its compilation of the 300 best commencement addresses ever delivered to sweating, itching, gown-laden students. ("Wear Sunscreen" didn't make the list. Here's why.)
The FCC can repurpose its Connect America funds from subsidizing rural telephone service to subsidizing rural high-speed Internet access, a federal appeals court has ruled. Did you know that the Universal Service Fund, of which Connect America is part, originated as a “temporary” excise tax that was supposed to expire at the end of the Spanish-American War?
Gigabit Internet access is coming to Omaha, Nebraska, the first site of Cox Communications rollout of truly high-speed service. Apparently, Google Fiber is having its intended effect of shaming U.S. ISPs into giving Americans what the rest of the world enjoys.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 28 May 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 28 May 2014 (Posted: 28 May 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved