Geekly Update - 30 July 2015

Category: Tech-News

Is your car vulnerable to hackers? What can you do to speed up your free Windows 10 upgrade? And can technology help you remember where you were last night? 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

If you see a robot hitch-hiking, and you happen to be on your way to California, by all means pick him up. HitchBot is having a bit of trouble escaping the east coast.

Are you still waiting for your Windows 10 upgrade? Here's how to check if your PC has started the process, and manually trigger an update if needed.

Fear not, Jeep owners; Fiat-Chrysler has a software fix for the vulnerability that let two hackers take remote control of a Jeep Cherokee through its Uconnect entertainment system. Jeep owners can get the patch installed for free at dealers or download it from the Uconnect site and install it themselves.

Geekly Update 07-30-2015

Google Maps has added a feature called Timeline that can retrace your movements if you’ve been carrying a GPS-capable device that’s tied to any Google service. Just in case you forget where you got that hangover.

Google has released a plugin for Microsoft Office the makes it easy to edit documents stored on Google Drive. Maybe your next hard drive doesn’t have to be bigger?

Instead of Gmail address like you could have a Gmail address like while still using Gmail with all its features. Google is testing a customized Gmail address feature that would cost $2 per month.

The first clue that an Uber car is fake should be the phone number printed on its sides. Uber cars can only be hailed through the company’s app. But an enterprising con man named Prince Reza Shah, of Carlsbad, CA, thinks it’s worth a shot.

You have no reasonable expectation of privacy when you accidentally “butt dial” someone and they listen in on your conversation with another party, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. That’s because everyone knows, or should know, how to prevent such mishaps, the court ruled.

A gigantic display that uses colored threads in lieu of pixels weighs a ton and has over 200,000 moving parts. Women’s apparel retailer Forever 21 commissioned this oddity for a New York City PR event, but you can visit the F21 Thread Screen’s website to make it display your own image.

Nike and Apple have agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit that claimed the FuelBand fitness trackers made by Nike and sold in Apple Stores are grossly inaccurate, and don’t measure what they claim to measure anyhow.

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, tell me if my heart is failing. The prototype Wize Mirror uses 3D scanners, multispectral cameras, and gas sensors to evaluate the health of someone looking into it.

Using drone aircraft to collect whale snot sounds gross, but it’s less stressful on whales than the traditional “biopsy dart” method, and with Sir Patrick Stewart promoting the Smithsonian Institute’s Kickstarter campaign for the “snotbot” the whole thing starts to sound pretty cool, actually.

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

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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 30 July 2015"

Posted by:

Jay R
30 Jul 2015

I was wondering what I would post on my FB timeline today. Bob pops up and says, "'Snot hard." Thank for more timely stuff, Bob.

And I am curious. I believe that I have been reading your email (the ones that you send to me) for about a year. If my base IQ was 100, it should be about 7400 by now. (IQnow = IQstart(1+146%*50). Do you find it strange that I don't feel any smarter?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Something must be happening in between issues to reduce your IQ. Coming into contact with anything Kardashian-related can do that...

Posted by:

30 Jul 2015

Windows 10 upgrade has failed 4 times in 3 days and from what I gather online....I'm not the only one.I've tried all the suggestions from the forums
and yourself to no avail. Has Windows offered any
explanations for the numerous failures? Thanks a
bunch, Bob-Follow you daily. Willy

Posted by:

30 Jul 2015

Re the Google TimeLine: I have one concern, and it is in their announcement. "Your Timeline is private and visible only to you; and you control the locations you choose to keep." My guess is that it is very visible to Google and to anyone who has a subpoena. Otherwise, I love it.

Posted by:

30 Jul 2015

Personalized addresses with Gmail
What is different (at the single email level) than what I am doing now? That is, I have a purchased domain and tell it that google is my mail provider.
It could be a little easier to have everything handled by one place.
I hope that when Google sets up the domain for you, that it is yours and not theirs. I remember a group running into the issue (many years ago) when the people hosting (and designing?) their web site would not give up the domain when the customer wanted to leave.

Posted by:

30 Jul 2015

No privacy when butt dialing
You get the same privacy rights as when you dial a wrong number.
How many dumb criminal reports have there been when a druggie dials the police instead of their dealer.

Posted by:

30 Jul 2015

After windows 10 upgrade failed and I couldn't correct the error I followed your link t manually trigger an update and it worked. Thanks very much.

Posted by:

30 Jul 2015

Have you discovered how much Microsoft plans to charge once they have everybody on Windows 10? If they plan to hold people to ransom, count me out.

EDITOR'S NOTE: All that I've read from Microsoft and other sources indicates that it will be free for the life of your computer.

Posted by:

01 Aug 2015

I tried the wuauclt.exe/updatenow to manually update to window 10 from 8.1, after the exe executed then windows update window came up and it tried to update win 10 but then it failed after 1-2 hrs, I rebooted and the win icon came up in right side of taskbar, then I was able to reserve win 10, but still have not been notified when its available. Search for updates has no new updates. When is win 10 becoming available as its Aug 1 tomorrow?

Posted by:

06 Aug 2015

I just discovered a great feature of Windows 10,
especially when reading your e-mail Bob.
If you access "Reading view", the open book icon next to the star, top right, you can read ad free. (After you read the ads that sponsor Bob, of course)

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Geekly Update - 30 July 2015 (Posted: 30 Jul 2015)
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