Geekly Update - 28 November 2018

Category: Tech-News

Now that we all have those high-tech credit cards with embedded microchips, is fraud a thing of the past? Are nefarious unseen forces behind the recent dramatic drop in value of Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies? Are Facebook users in Bolivia and Lithuania more likely to send tactless messages to their friends? And what would you do with Google-powered motorized sneakers? 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

Chip-based payment cards were supposed to curtail rampant fraud in the USA. So why are card fraud cases up sharply three years after chipped cards were introduced?

Way to adult, Markie: stung by mean words from Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook's head honcho Mark Zuckerberg ordered his executives to switch from iPhones to Android devices.

Nobody knows why cryptocurrencies are in their second week of freefall, but Bitcoin hit lows it hasn’t seen since October, 2017, and Ethereum’s Ether plummeted 25% in one week. Could it be the people who know are manipulating the market?

A new Senate bill would smack robocallers with fines of up to $10,000 per call. Still no jail time.

Geekly Update 11-28-2018

The world’s largest digital camera has a resolution of 3.2 gigapixels (that's 3200 megapixels!) and is the size of a small car. It’s headed into the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which will stare at the sky from a Chilean mountaintop. No smartphone notch is big enough.

Google Maps has added the ability to exchange messages with businesses you find on its maps. Now you can order pizza after looking up the nearest pizzeria.

Facebook is testing an “unsend” feature for Messenger users who regret what they just wrote. Instead of counting to ten before pressing the Send button, you'll now have 10 minutes think it over after sending that angry rant. Oddly, it's only available for mobile users in Bolivia, Colombia, Lithuania and Poland. Other countries will be getting the new feature "soon."

The US Army is fielding a Fortnite esports team in hope of attracting more obese, basement-dwelling recruits.

Google Assistant can now broadcast a spoken message to multiple locations, and any who hear it can reply. “What do you all want on pizza?” just got easier. Also, Assistant is now tied to Android’s Clock app, so it can start executing morning tasks like traffic-checking as soon as you turn off the alarm.

After blistering companies that spy on consumers, Apple CEO Tim Cook struggled to explain why Google pays him $9 billion per year to be the iPhone’s’ default search engine.

Exactly two years after a spear-phishing blitz that happened in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, security researchers are sounding the alarm over an eerily similar campaign aimed at infecting dozens of organizations in government, military, defense contracting, media, and other industries with spyware.

This isn’t creepy at all… is it? Google filed a patent application for motorized sneakers that will let virtual reality sojourners walk endlessly without straying outside of the small, circular “VR safe zone.” I guess everyone will be doing Michael Jackson’s “moon walk.”

The FCC began monitoring at-home Internet speeds in 2011 and issued annual reports through 2016. But now it’s been two years since the FCC last told US consumers whether they are actually getting the speeds for which they pay.

If you need more reasons to shun SMS-based two-factor authentication, here you go: At least 26 million text messages, many containing one-time passcodes, password reset links, and plaintext passwords, were exposed on an unprotected server where they could be browsed, searched, and copied by anyone who knew where to look. The wide-open database’s owner, Voxox, is the middleman between many big firms and their two-factor using customers. The database server is owned by Amazon, of course.

A majority of Americans now believe giant tech companies should be regulated. But 55% fear the government won’t do enough to rein in social media networks’ excesses, up 15% from a year ago.

Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 28 November 2018"

Posted by:

28 Nov 2018

The U.S.’s implementation and rollout of chipped card technology has been so p$&s-poor and slow. Glad to see some gas stations around me now offer contactless payment at the pump. While nothing is perfect, contactless is much more secure than the mag strip still used at so many pumps.

All sites using TFA, especially very sensitive sites, should have compatibility with use of authenticators, rather than offering only SMS auth.

Posted by:

28 Nov 2018

Now if we could just stop all the political calls that are robo called.

Posted by:

29 Nov 2018

I wonder if it is just a coincidence that the 55% (of young affluent Americans) who don't think the Government won't do enough to "rein in Socical Media" is VERY close (though a tad lower) to the percent who think that it would be a good idea to have America ruled by the military. (cite: BBC)

Posted by:

30 Nov 2018

I am not worried about government regulation, I am worried the government does not even know what they are regulating. Most in the Congress need help with their e-mail, FB and twitter accounts.

Posted by:

30 Nov 2018

Interesting. The chip card ideally requires a pin code for the transaction. Right! The only time I have ever entered a code is the zip code on a gas pump. I didn't even know the chip card could work with a code, first time I ever heard that. I guess that's why the disclaimer ideally is in there.

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