Geekly Update - 29 April 2015

Category: Tech-News

Why are police in Virginia monitoring cats with GPS ankle bracelets? Could bragging about your upcoming vacation cost you thousands of dollars? And has Google Maps finally found the elusive Loch Ness monster? 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

A software robot that accidentally bought drugs on the “Dark Web” is now free from police custody. Swiss police determined that Darknet Shoppers developers had no criminal intent; they just turned the bot loose with Bitcoins to see what it would bring home.

In the UK, insurers are warning that claims for burglary losses may be denied if policyholders post their vacation plans and real-time holiday photos on social media. "You wouldn't put a poster up on your front lawn saying you're going on holiday,” as they put it.

"Then: Hack-saw, Now: Hack-ing…" Inmates at San Quentin prison are learning to program for private companies from behind bars. What could possibly go wrong?

Geekly Update 04-29-2015

The USDA has officially announced that “best by,” “sell by,” and “use by” dates on food are meaningless marketing ploys. To help reduce the 36 pounds of food that American households throw out each month (!) the USDA has released the FoodKeeper app that tells you how long that can of tuna will really last.

A suspect in a drug case seems to have fled the country after tricking Virginia police by placing his GPS ankle monitor on his cat.

A total of 81 credit card skimmers were recovered when Florida officials inspected 6,000 gas stations for the illicit devices. Skimmers, which can be used by fraudsters to capture credit card data, are hard to detect when inserted into ATMs and other devices that accept credit cards for payment. More gas stations will be checked.

Google Street View now includes surface and underwater views of Loch Ness, the lake home of the legendary eponymous monster.

Google users can now download their own search histories, through an elaborate process that leaves most of them wondering what the heck to do with JSON files.

The NSA tried to get into the spirit of Earth Day with a creepy leering blue version of Spongebob Squarepants. “Dunk,” the mascot, exhorts schoolchildren to help determine what their schools could recycle by asking them to “dig through all of the trash in your school and then you’re going to analyze it.”

Hillary Hartley joined Twitter in 2006. She wants everyone to know that @Hillary is NOT @HillaryClinton and to stop asking her about Benghazi.

Navajo woman Brenna Happy Cloud was locked out of her Facebook account for five days because the company didn’t believe her surname was real. Facebook customer service demanded several proofs of identity, including a copy of Happy Cloud’s Social Security card.

Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post a comment below, or the milk in your fridge will spoil in 15 seconds...

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 29 April 2015"

Posted by:

29 Apr 2015

RE: Facebook's mandatory real surname usage policy.
Like I am so addicted to Facebook that I am going to divulge any personal information about myself on the biggest, most acceptable and voluntary internet snooping factory ever devised! I'd rather forgo my Facebook account 'entitlement' then provide them my real name; let alone release them "several proofs of identity, including a copy of [my] Social Security card".

Posted by:

Frank Starr
29 Apr 2015

I think Facebook was moronic with Brenna Happy Cloud. They could have just used 2 forms of I.D., and just asked her to come to their nearest office to her, while leaving her account open.
Many people use avatars instead of pics on Facebook. Did they message/email her before locking up her account?

Posted by:

29 Apr 2015

I think I'd ask for Zuck's social security card if asked by Facebook for mine. :-)

Posted by:

sam COOK
30 Apr 2015

Aahh Facebook. Only signed on with an anonymous name to be able to post comments on various sites. Then 2 weeks ago I couldn't enter my password to logon. Guess what? Some Russian hacked the account. Dumb, but true. I changed the password and now have a Russian name. Unfortunately he (she?) now knows my email account address.

Posted by:

Bob Barham
30 Apr 2015

It's interesting how technology is sucking the sense out of everyone's brain.

I still read actual paper books and use cassette tapes. Ha ha ha. Works for me.

Posted by:

30 Apr 2015

@ RandiO

And that (among other reasons) is why I don't have a facebook account, never have had one, and won't be getting one any time soon.

Posted by:

05 May 2015

i do use phone apps as i don't have a smartphone. any chance you have something i can use on my desktop in regard to the dates/safety dates contained in the FoodKeeper app?
i've read your publications for years, and love your work

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 29 April 2015 (Posted: 29 Apr 2015)
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