Geekly Update - 29 August 2018

Category: Tech-News

Would you swallow a pill that notifies your doctor that you did? Is your city one of those in which hackers can control traffic lights and water utilities? And exactly how much time do we have before the robot apocalypse begins? This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

Is there anything unethical about a pill that tells your doctor when you take it? The makers of Abilify, a drug used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, can add a digital sensor that is activated by contact with stomach acids. It transmits a signal to a skin patch, which connects via Bluetooth to an app on the patient's cell phone.

The robot apocalypse has been delayed. That creepy viral video of a lifelike robot walking up a driveway turned out to be a computer-generated fake.

Tivo is trembling at rumors of Amazon readying a live TV recorder to go with Alexa. In other news, Tivo is apparently still a thing.

Digital piils

Gmail’s “merciful” undo feature that gives you a few seconds in which to call back that ill-considered (or typo-laden) email is coming to Android.

“Foreshadow” is a new vulnerability discovery in 20 year-old “speculative execution” techniques used by the popular x86 line of processors to speed up computation. Who said you can’t teach an old hacker new tricks?

It used to be that a Roku device was just a hunk of plastic, without a subscription to Netflix, Amazon Prime, or some other streaming service. But no longer, now that Roku has created a new “Featured Free” service consisting only of free content channels.

Burrito Time is the latest marketing ploy to condition app users to do stupid things for stupid rewards. The app’s sole purpose is to spew push notifications that “It’s Burrito Time” to users, who then compete to see who will win a free burrito by dropping what they’re doing to open the app and click.

Smart cities have dumb programmers. Security researchers have documented 17 vulnerabilities in major cities worldwide to control traffic signals and water utilities. Wasn’t this the plot of a Bruce Willis movie?

Virtual reality headsets distract women from the pain of first-stage labor contractions, a feat that several women of my acquaintance say is not a big deal compared to the 2nd and 3rd stages.

Over 1,800 vintage children’s books are available to read online or download from UCLA’s digital library. Now you can splice together the goriest scenes from the Brothers Grimm to keep your kids in line!

Snowflake Paradise? St. Louis University will add 2,300 Echo Dots to its residence halls to “answer your questions about campus life.” Those questions may include, “Who is going to make my bed and do my laundry?”

Netflix is testing a browser-based method of accessing its service from Apple devices, which could put quite a dent in Apple’s $11.5 billion annual App Store revenues. The Netflix app is currently the third-highest Apple revenue generator in the App Store.

Google One replaces Google Drive, providing 2TB of cloud storage space for half the price of Drive with added features rivalling Apple’s iCloud. Announced earlier this year, Google One is now available to the masses.

Spotify is gambling that advertisers will pay more for better targeted ads by allowing listeners to skip ads and return to their music at any time. The theory is that if you don’t skip an ad you must be a serious prospect.

Just another patch Tuesday? This August’s round of Windows security patches closed at least 60 vulnerabilities in Windows (counting all versions). One was a zero-day exploit that existed in Internet Explorer; another zero-day exploit actually had some users who could have been impacted. Oh, and Adobe fixed four holes in Flash, too.

Apple’s internal network was hacked and over 90 GB of sensitive data stolen by a teenager in Melbourne, Australia, who did it because he admired the company and wanted to work for it. You know, that plan might just work.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 29 August 2018"

Posted by:

Don Vlack
29 Aug 2018

St Louis University wants to put 2,300 open microphones in dorms? Does any one else have a problem with this?

Posted by:

Walter Hyatt Jr
29 Aug 2018

Tivo certainly is still a "thing". Tivi OTA (over the air only) was a significant factor in my "cutting the cable". Purchase with a lifetime license and no more monthly fees. It is an enormously convenient appliance, with a 2 week TV guide, internet apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime, season recording, etc., etc..

Posted by:

29 Aug 2018

I know VR would be fun, but I just used the old Atari Space Invaders game.
When I started missing shots, I know it was time to head to the hospital.

Posted by:

29 Aug 2018

Well, apparently, TiVo is enough of a “thing” for Amazon to realize the potential in a competitive product. Lots of cord-cutters use TiVo for its more robust guide and dvr features. Oh, well, I recently read an article in which the author boldly claimed that broadcast TV is nearly dead. Hilarious. As more and more people cut the cord from expensive cable and satellite providers, services such as broadcast OTA and TiVo are there to complement streaming packages. And, with ATSC 3.0 on the way, I tend to think that use of these will increase, rather than diminish.

Posted by:

30 Aug 2018

I have never experienced any problems with your website. No problems with accessing or viewing, no jumping ads, no redirecting to other websites, no pop ups.

I read your comments, sometimes I comment, then exit. Never any malware, virus, trojans (PC type), etc. I must have a problem with my browser?

My only problem I have is with making sure my grammar & spelling is correct.

Posted by:

30 Aug 2018

uh jphuf...You have a 2nd problem. "...making sure my grammar & spelling _is_ correct." The correct word is "are." Leave it to an old teacher to spot this.

Posted by:

07 Sep 2018

uh Butch (the teacher)...You missed a 2nd problem... "My only problem I have..." sounds like a bad construct to me but than again English was my third language and I am a proud ignorant immigrant...

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 29 August 2018 (Posted: 28 Aug 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved