Geekly Update - 30 May 2018

Category: Tech-News

First there was Data, then Big Data. So what is Fat Data, and should it have an expiration date? Doth Google and Amazon's AI assistants protest too much, when asked about privacy? And are zombies taking over our emergency alert systems? 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

The emergency alert system in Lake Worth, Florida was hacked during a recent power outage. Residents were warned of "extreme zombie activity" in the area. Officials claim that employees were not responsible, but have no other leads.

Iouri Petoukhov just wanted to make his father's life a little easier. So he invented a machine to cook him breakfast. It's made almost entirely of Lego blocks. Bacon and eggs, anyone?

“Fake news has reached epidemic proportions worldwide and this is in large part due to the underlying online advertising economy, which rewards abuse, fraud, and misinformation,” says Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, in a report on what’s wrong with the Internet. Furman suggests a conversation about "lean data vs. fat data" and wants consumers to demand online companies to collect less data, or not keep it as long.

Geekly Update 05-30-2018

Siempo is an app for Android that promises to help break your smartphone addiction. “Siempo reverses some of the persuasive, psychologically addicting techniques that have been built into our phone software and mobile apps by developers,” says this Techcrunch review.

With apartments getting smaller, countertop space is getting tight. So who wouldn’t want a single machine that makes, coffee, lattes, dry soda, chai, horchata, and beer?

Alexa and Google Home are finally getting male voices, which users can select instead of the standard female voices. (But who is to say the standard voices are not male already?)

About a dozen Google employees have resigned in protest of the company’s involvement in a Pentagon contract to create an artificial intelligence to target people for drone strikes.

Ask, “Are you spying on me?” and you will get nearly identical answers from Alexa and Google Home. Apple’s Siri, in contrast, has just one word to say.

The annual cost of Amazon Prime is going up to $119, but Prime members will soon get 10% off on select items at Whole Foods.

Microsoft will start blocking Flash, Shockwave, and Silverlight in Office 365 documents beginning in September, 2018. Desktop versions of Office 2016, Office 2013 and Office 2010 are not affected. Adobe is ending Flash support in 2020, and Microsoft is ending support for Silverlight in 2021; major browsers stopped supporting Silverlight in 2016, according to Microsoft.

This just in from the "Thanks for the Fish" department: After taking 22,000 pre-order payments for their "3D" headphones, the developers at Ossic have burned an estimated $10-12 million and abruptly shut down. “This was obviously not our desired outcome,” they say in a farewell letter.

The location data of 200 million Americans was exposed by a bug in the website of LocationSmart, a California firm that buys location data from cell phone carriers and makes it available to “legitimate” parties. This business model is even more shocking than the data breach.

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

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 30 May 2018"

Posted by:

Greg
30 May 2018

Why can't Cell phone companies make there users use their real phone #'s or company Names to Id their calls'. As in why are they allowed to lie about their ID. That is the big Spamming/ data stealing question. Then arrest these people.


Posted by:

Kenneth Heikkila
30 May 2018

Yes Greg, why? I believe the only reason is they make money by allowing call spoofing.


Posted by:

Mark H.
30 May 2018

Alexa spying? https://www.msn.com/en-za/finance/technology/heres-how-the-alexa-spying-scandal-could-become-amazons-worst-nightmare-amzn/ar-AAxU965
Nah!


Posted by:

Jim S
30 May 2018

I have a big problem Bob....I only feel 140% smarter. I want my money back! Been reading you since the Bus days. Thanks for all the help over the years.


Posted by:

ct
01 Jun 2018

Whoops, followed the link to "single machine that makes, coffee, lattes, dry soda, chai, horchata, and beer", which led to a very interesting article about bananas. I think they switched urls on you.


Posted by:

Ursula B Adamson
01 Jun 2018

I'm impressed by your use of DDMMYYYY.


Posted by:

Mike
08 Jun 2018

Your above link that's supposed to lead to an article about a machine that makes different drinks actually leads to an article about bananas. Just an FYI.


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