Geekly Update - 30 April 2013

Category: Tech-News

What happened twenty years ago today that resulted in the eventual takeover of the Internet by cats? Should you be looking out for helicopter drones in your neighborhood? And can you really bring down the Internet with an awesome cyber-van? 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 on...

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

A San Francisco man popped the question, geekly style. While the couple was taking a stroll in Alamo Square, a remote-controlled hexacopter drone arrived, bearing the ring. She said yes. :-)

"Happy Birthday, Web!" Twenty years ago today, the software for the World-Wide Web was officially released. It was invented by physicist Tim Berners-Lee, to help scientists share data, but he couldn't have predicted the popularity of silly cat videos.

Yelp has reviews of State prisons and local jails, in case you ever need that information. Inmates, guards, visitors, attorneys, and pranksters review and rate the facilities, some of which earn five stars.

Geekly Update 04-30-2013

"If it wasn't for those meddling kids, I would have gotten away with it!" A Dutch hacker arrested in Spain for the biggest cyberattack in history had an awesomely equipped cyberbunker and a mobile cybervan. Identified as “S. K.” by police, he is accused of a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack against spam watchdog Spamhaus.

In Q1 2013, smartphone shipments outnumbered low-end feature phone shipments for the first time, according to analysts at International Data Corp. 216.2 million shipped smartphones accounted for 51.6 per cent of the total.

AT&T Digital Life launched on April 26, 2013. The home-automation service includes options ranging from security systems to remote unlocking of doors, energy control, and carbon monoxide detectors. It’s ISP-agnostic, unlike similar services from Verizon.

Google has reduced the risk of malware spoofs by requiring Android apps that were downloaded from its Google Play store to distribute updates via the same channel. Apps acquired from other sources are not subject to this Google developer requirement.

While all major carriers do well in voice and text, Verizon leads the pack and has a significant edge in data speeds and coverage. So says the latest research from mobile analytics firm RootMetrics in a recent report.

Should Amazon teach you about piranhas or sell bulk toilet paper? A coalition of South American governments is challenging’s application for the .amazon top-level domain, arguing that private companies should not be able to appropriate geographical terms for profit.

T-mobile has agreed to stop misleading ads that imply its new pricing plans are “contract-free,” at least in the State of Washington. You may be able to walk away from the service, but you’re still indebted for the phone.

Facebook has started dishing images in Google’s WebP format to browsers that support it (Chrome and Opera, currently). This saves bandwidth but makes saving and manipulating images difficult.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 30 April 2013"

Posted by:

Gloria Huffman
30 Apr 2013

If you haven't clicked on "remote-controlled hexacopter drone arrived" in the first paragraph ("A San Francisco man popped the question"), you've missed a beautiful and unique wedding proposal!

Way cool, Bob. Thanks for finding that! I don't click on all the Geekly links, but this one was worth a peek.

Posted by:

Lotte page
01 May 2013

I have Windows 7 and Office 365. When I create adocument I have no difficulties using Umlaute. But Umlaute are impossible in e-mails. What to do to fix this? Thanks for any help.

Posted by:

02 May 2013

While it seemed an innocuous lead in quip to your comment about Verizon's data coverage, it was a poor choice of words when you intimated that the major cell carriers do "well" in voice. Overall, voice on cell phone is poor to mediocre in quality and connection reliability. That is OK for ordering groceries, but when it is important to hear and understand the nuances in a conversation, a land line is still a must.

Posted by:

Gloria Huffman
03 May 2013

Hi, Lotte page. You asked for help with writing an umlaut over an alphabet letter within the text of an email. I use the ALT key codes for all my diacritical and accent needs. They also work in emails.

For the letter "u," use ALT + the following 4-digit codes:

Ü ALT + 0220
ü ALT + 0252

For French and Spanish accents and other symbols, go to:





Posted by:

15 May 2013

THANK, Gloria Huffman, for the umlaut info.
I have a printed out list on a bulletin board for these. In my neck of the woods, weather is always a current topic so use this method (ALT + 248) for the degree sign is used frequently in emails.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 30 April 2013 (Posted: 30 Apr 2013)
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