Geekly Update - 29 January 2020

Category: Tech-News

Is your credit card for sale on the dark web? Has Microsoft brought Windows 7 back from the dead? Are Macs completely immune to malware? And what's the one place you'd never expect to find a surveillance camera? 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

If you shopped at any of the 850 Wawa convenience stores in the past nine months, your credit card might be for sale on the dark web. Krebs on Security is reporting that card-stealing malware installed in stores and fuel dispensers led to the breach of 30 million cards.

Surveillance cameras seem to be everywhere. It's common to see them on utility poles, attached to the outside of a building, and in places of business. Video doorbells are more and more popular. I've read stories about vacation rentals with hidden cameras in smoke detectors. (Yes, that's illegal.) You'd probably not expect to find a surveillance camera hidden in a tombstone, a car seat, or a shop vac. But they're out there.

Everyone knows that Macs don't get viruses, right? Wrong. According to Kaspersky, 10 percent of all Mac computers are infected with the Shlayer Trojan, which sneaks in via a fake Adobe Flash update. Wait, everyone knows that Adobe Flash should be avoided like the plague, right? Wrong again, it seems. For extra credit, here's a list of ten Mac OS malware outbreaks discovered in 2019.

Geekly Update 01-29-2020

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is demanding that Microsoft "upcycle" the Windows 7 source code, and release it as free software, to atone for the company's "ten years of poisoning education, invading privacy, and threatening user security." Someone at the FSF needs to put this on their screensaver: "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."

But it looks like Windows 7 is not quite dead yet. Yesterday, Microsoft rolled out an update for Windows 7, two weeks after the "end of life" date for the 10-year-old operating system. The folks at Redmond said the update fixed a bug in its "final" patch, which caused problems with wallpaper.

And in recognition of the fact that 25% of Windows users are sticking with Windows 7, all the major antivirus software makers have announced that they will continue to support their products on that platform, for at least two years.

Product Hunt's winners of the 2019 Golden Kitty Awards have been announced. The Golden Kitty highlights new and innovative products that have launched in the past year, across 23 product categories.

Photo sharing website Flickr had a contest too. Check out the winners and other amazing photo entries in their 2019 Your Best Shot contest.

Facebook has rolled out a new privacy tool called "Off-Facebook Activity" that lets you manage how Facebook tracks you across the internet. The tool, orginally billed as "Clear History" allows users to turn off and delete tracking information related to websites you visit outside of Facebook.

Dozens of colleges are asking students to install location tracking apps on their phones, as a way of tracking class attendance. SpotterEDU is one such app, which uses only short-range Bluetooth signals, so the apps cannot track students' locations once they leave class.

At “some point in the future” the Google Translate app for Android will have a live transcription feature. Translation: you could listen to a conversation in one language, and read it in another, as it happens. This would be great for those times when I suspect my Spanish-speaking friends are telling Bob jokes. "Bob es gracioso, pero las apariencias no lo son todo."

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 29 January 2020"

Posted by:

Lester Noyes
29 Jan 2020

My son-in-law and I did an experiment where we put out small dishes of various substances to catch fruit flies. Cider vinegar was the big winner.


Posted by:

Lucy
29 Jan 2020

Students asked to install tracking apps to log class attendance. What could go wrong?

Maybe one class attendee carrying 30 phones maybe? Could be a nice little side job.

Or am I just too cynical? (Rhetorical question).

Thank you Bob, as ever, for these updates. Sometimes funny, always helpful and full of information I probably would not find elsewhere.


Posted by:

David
29 Jan 2020

If a student wants to cut class, so be it. In a normal world, he'd get the grade he deserved regardless of attendance. Methinks the college is not worrying about GPAs, but rather the money they can get from government for bodies in the seats.


Posted by:

Fred
30 Jan 2020

I'm looking forward to your opinion of the "Brave" browser.


Posted by:

geoffrey
30 Jan 2020

I did not know of The Golden Kitty. I know it is Bob, but if I click on the link, where will I wind up? When my cursor gets near a link, my hands start shaking.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I don't understand your concern. If you click that link, you'll end up at the 2019 Golden Kitty Awards.


Posted by:

RandiO
30 Jan 2020

If computer viruses (regardless of OS) are more common than coronavirus in Wuhan; then, would the better solution be to fully quarantine the sensitive data to prevent such nasty consequences?
Yesterday? Today? Tomorrow?
I find life more rewarding with such compartmentalization and less worrisome when (NOT 'if') my computer becomes just another victim.


Posted by:

Gloria Huffman
05 Feb 2020

" ... Windows 7, all the major antivirus software makers have announced that they will continue to support their products on that platform, for at least two years."

Whew! Thanks you, thank you, Bob, for that information.


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