Geekly Update - 30 January 2019

Category: Tech-News

How good are you at identifying potentially malicious emails? (Take the phishing quiz and find out.) Will your smart toilet report your 'activities' to the government? And how likely are you to be a victim of 'friendly fraud'? 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

Nicholas Truglia stole tens of millions in cryptocurrency from Silicon Valley execs, a dead man, and even his own father, by hijacking cell phone accounts. The 21-year-old had a $100,000 Rolex and a $6,000/month Manhattan apartment, but couldn't keep a friend.

The Barisieur alarm clock looks like a retro stereo amplifier, but it can wake you up with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea. The bedside contraption has a cooled cooled chamber to store milk or cream, and can be yours for just $445.

Smart toilets of the future will adjust their heights for elderly users, monitor flows to detect prostate problems, and even give public health officials early warning of disease outbreaks.

WhatsApp hopes to slow the spread of fake news by limiting the number of times a single message can be forwarded to five. But of course, every member who receives a message can forward it five times. And what of the collateral damage to real news?

Geekly Update 01-30-2019

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg mistakenly sent acceptance emails to 430 applicants. An hour later, they sent a notice that read "Please disregard the previous email."

Digital driver licenses can now be purchased in Louisiana, the first state to make them available.

It’s virtually impossible to avoid Amazon Web Services, which invites discussion of how “monopoly” should be redefined.

Phishing is an attempt to trick you into giving up your personal information by pretending to be someone you know. And identifying email phishing scams can be harder than you think. Take this quiz (it's safe) and see if you can identify which are phish and which are legit.

Hackers terrorized a family by delivering a fake warning of a North Korean missile attack via their Nest security camera.

Walmart plans to train aspiring managers with a video game that simulates a typical Dry Grocery manager’s day, complete with interruptions such as customer questions, vendor visits, and spills.

This just in from the Upsan Downs Department: Hulu is dropping the price of its basic on-demand streaming service to $6 from $8, just one week after Netflix raised its prices $1 to $2. Also, Hulu’s Live TV increased $5 to $45 per month.

Police departments are buying Tesla S electric cars for use as patrol vehicles.

Facebook encouraged game developers to let children spend real money without parents’ permission, calling this profitable practice “friendly fraud.”

How did you do on the phishing quiz? Is your toilet connected to the wifi? Your thoughts on these topics are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 30 January 2019"

Posted by:

bob
30 Jan 2019

Take the phishing quiz, where right off the hop you're asked for your name and email? Uh... no.


Posted by:

Jeannie
30 Jan 2019

@Bob The very first lines in the opening page of the phishing quiz suggest using a fake name and email address. You probably would flunk the test because you don't read closely enough.

I didn't bother to do more than a few questions since there were only two answers: basically phishing or no phishing. Frankly, I don't trust any email with a link, period. When I receive one that looks like it may be legitimate, I go directly to the website involved to act on it (assuming it turned out to be for real) or contact the sender to verify it is for real.


Posted by:

JimP
30 Jan 2019

You're asked to MAKE UP a name & pw only for use on the test. I encourage you to take the test.
You had to enter your real Email to make a reply on this forum!


Posted by:

Cho
30 Jan 2019

@Bob ....UH..No..The quiz is asking for an artificial name & email; so it can formulate a reasoned question... NOT your real name & Email..
Reread the intro....


Posted by:

JimP
30 Jan 2019

I should have said MAKE UP name & Email.


Posted by:

John V
30 Jan 2019

What's with the constant erection against Amazon, Bob? All they've done is provide a much-needed service with AWS, and retail items by the millions, at a much lower price and more conveniently, than the competition. That bother you? What's your problem?


Posted by:

Bill C
30 Jan 2019

"And what of the collateral damage to real news?"

Are you kidding? The Main stream media, the internet and every where else is over run with "fake news"; where is the real news?


Posted by:

Ernie
30 Jan 2019

I took the quiz, and did fairly well, but I still have room to improve! I got 7 out of 8 samples correct, but that one I missed is the one that will get me ...


Posted by:

Stephe
30 Jan 2019

Feeling quite smug! I got 7/8 on the quiz — I identified the first genuine one — and my only mistake was being over-cautious with a real one that was asking for permissions that I wouldn't give a legit sender.

Thanks, you have trained me well Mr Rankin!


Posted by:

Mike
30 Jan 2019

Thanks for the link to the phishing quiz. As an IT guy, I'm always harping on people to be careful what they click on. By the way, for the person concerned about putting in your name and email, just use a fake one. They even say that in the instructions, which is further evidence that PEOPLE CAN'T READ!! lol
I took the quiz and was relieved that I got 8 out of 8. I shared it on my company facebook page and will also share it on my personal feed. Thanks again, Bob!


Posted by:

MartinW
30 Jan 2019

I got 8 of 8, using my "Bieber" name and 666 email. I'm so proud of myself! Now I wonder if I should have used my real name and email to write this comment.


Posted by:

Mark Hoffman
30 Jan 2019

At the end of the quiz, there is a link for info for better protection = g.co/2SV.
That looks like a phishing attempt, but I searched for it and it's a domain for Google.
I still haven't clicked on it.


Posted by:

Richard
30 Jan 2019

Schmarisieur! Fifty years ago my grandparents had a Teasmade that made not just one but at least two generous cups of tea. It even had built-in bedside lights. I don't think it had a cooled chamber for milk but I'm sure they had another solution for the few nights of the year warm enough for safe milk storage to be an issue.


Posted by:

5p3Ed
31 Jan 2019

No worries...

The shortened "g" link at the end (g.co/2SV) is from Google about making your email accounts more secure.

Actual URL:
https://myaccount.google.com/signinoptions/two-step-verification/enroll-welcome?pli=1t

Interesting test.


Posted by:

bob
31 Jan 2019

All of you who said I didn't read about using a fake name and email are correct. I saw the boxes to fill in and I stopped there because in real life I don't do that. I didn't bother reading further.
I just took the test, and did ok but not perfect so there's room for improvement.
As for using my real email address here, no problem. I trust this site.


Posted by:

Jeannie
31 Jan 2019

@JohnV I stopped using Amazon a few years ago for anything other than e-books because of repeated problems with receiving wrong items, broken items due to inadequate packaging, and problems with their idiot delivery "service" (what a bunch of idiots!).

Also, in my experience, Amazon was not the low price leader much of the time. Most of the time, I was able to find the same items they had at other vendors (it just took a little searching) for the same price or less and usually got far better service.

I prefer buying locally whenever I can because I can make sure I'm getting the correct item plus I get it right then, not a few days later. Also, returns are much easier and faster with local retailers. I'm a handicapped senior and I still find shopping locally (when I can) far more convenient than shopping online.

Amazon has become far too intrusive in our lives. I got a kick out of how hard it was for the author on the linked article had severing ties with Amazon. Talk about "owing your soul to the company store". While I have not completely severed ties with Amazon (although I easily could if I wanted to since I haven't become dependent on most of its "features"), it has little to no influence on my life.

I'm not buying nearly as much from FleaBay, either, because many of their vendors are misbegotten Amazon Fulfilled vendors advertising there (they should be shot for not disclosing they that they are Amazon Fulfilled vendors) or are unauthorized Chinese arbitrageurs.


Posted by:

Noe
31 Jan 2019

I did 7 out of 8. Pretty good, but since I am vigilant, was surprised. Maybe my brain is frozen from the minus 18 F temperature here in Chicago!


Posted by:

SamG
04 Feb 2019

Like Jeannie; Amazon, Ebay or Wallyworld are not low priced leaders. And since the USPS and UPS increased shipping rates, packaging has become atrocious. As a former occasional seller on A, they increased their fee or refuse to sell more types of legal merchandise, Bye!
Wallyworld's claim of 2 day delivery and their arrival notifications are a joke here. No time for their BS. Ebay- so many sellers are disguised and using cheap packaging.
All this gives smaller retailers a better chance at succeeding if they practice good selling procedures and are loyal to their customers.
Also i've never had serious problems with Craigslist. Maybe just lucky?


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