Geekly Update - 30 October 2019

Category: Tech-News

Fifty years ago yesterday, ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet, went live. As UCLA grad student Charley Kline began typing LOGIN, the system crashed after just two letters. An hour later, the problem was resolved, and Kline was able to complete the connection from the UCLA mainframe to another computer at Stanford Research Institute. And LO, the Internet was born! Continue reading this special issue of the Geekly Update to learn more about the origins of the Internet, how it works, and where it's all headed. And of course, this issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

The AskBobRankin Geekly Update

"Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet" tells the story of the origins of the Internet, based on interviews with the people who made it happen. Perhaps you've never heard of Bob Taylor, Vint Cerf or J.R. Licklider but after reading this book you'll want to thank them.

A recent PC Magazine headline said "1 in 3 Americans Can't Explain How the Internet Works". Actually, I'd be shocked if 1 in 300 *could* explain how it works. But if you'd like to be part of that select group of people who can extol the virtues of TCP/IP networking at a cocktail party, read the Popular Mechanics article How the Internet Works in 7 Steps.

As the Internet marks 50 years, co-inventor Vint Cerf shares his concerns with the BBC about censorship and misinformation online. The best tool, Cerf says, for dealing with misinformation and disinformation is not AI or machine learning, it's critical thinking.

Tesla is teasing a "fully self-driving" option that will enable the to drive from your home to work without human intervention. At least for now, you'll still need to be alert enough to grab the wheel if the car senses a problem. But if things go as planned, CEO Elon Musk says you'll be able to fall asleep in your self-driving car by the end of 2020.

Geekly Update - 10-30-2019

Netflix has introduced a new feature that allows viewers to speed up or slow down shows being viewed. Binge watchers will love the ability watch their favorites one-and-a-half times faster, but Hollywood elites are already whipping out their tiny violins, protesting that the feature amounts to taking control of their art.

Porsche is launching online car sales, offering "convenient shopping from browsers or mobile devices," but you'll still have to visit the dealership to finish the paperwork and pick up your new or used Porsche. Twenty-five U.S. Porsche dealers are taking part, with a wider national rollout planned. You'd think for that kind of money, they could have someone drive the Porchse to you, and collect your signature.

Nancy Mumby-Welke heard a loud crash outside her Michigan home and discovered what looked like a satellite in her backyard. Turns out the “SpaceSelfie” program was a Samsung PR stunt gone wrong. Samsung apologized for the crash landing on Welke's farm, claiming it was “planned” and happened in a “selected rural area.”

Russian scientists fitted migrating eagles with a gadget that would track their migration by collecting GPS coordinates and sending text message updates. But some of the eagles flew to Iran and Pakistan, instead of Kazakhstan as anticipated. As a result, the SMS transmitters racked up unexpectedly high roaming charges which would have left them "penniless." The researchers started a crowdfunding campaign to help pay the bill, but Russian mobile phone operator Megafon kindly cancelled the debt.

Oral-B has launched toothbrush with built-in artificial intelligence that can sense if you’re not brushing properly. The $220 Oral-B Genius X electric toothbrush connects to an app on your phone and offes tips on where to brush.

Google is rolling out BERT, a change to its search algorithm that uses natural language processing (NLP) techniques that should improve 10% of search results by better understanding of how words relate to each other in a sentence.

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

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

Posted by:

30 Oct 2019

I thought the Al Gore created the internet!

Posted by:

30 Oct 2019


You forgot a most important fact of history! You mean Al Gore didn't invent the internet?

Posted by:

Ray Gendreau
30 Oct 2019

I thought that Admiral Grace Hopper got the Joint Chiefs of Staff to pay for it

Posted by:

Wild Bill
30 Oct 2019

I can already fall asleep in my car, and its not even self-driving. I suspect Elon Musk is wrong about being able to fall asleep in your car by the end of 2020. Most places I know don't let you sleep in your vehicle, period, and I doubt "self-driving" will change that attitude.

Posted by:

30 Oct 2019

In 1973 (or 1974), I decided to send a message from a computer at the Brookhaven National Lab in Upton, NY, to a computer at the National Accelerator Lab in Batavia, IL. Nothing fancy, just an echo. I typed "HELLO" on a teletype in Upton, and Batavia replied with "HELL". I'm still waiting for the "O". Somewhere, there is an "O" waiting for attention.

Posted by:

30 Oct 2019

Al Gore apparently had much to do with Internet music - you hear so much now about Al-Gore-Rhythms

Posted by:

Bill C
30 Oct 2019

KD: Drum roll....Cymbal crash !!

Posted by:

31 Oct 2019

BobD, there's ALWAYS an "O" waiting on attention.

Posted by:

01 Nov 2019

All: Al Gore was one of many sponsors of a bill that allowed commercialism on the Internet. Previously, as a military and academic-only computer network, advertising was not allowed. Without that, the Internet would have become the Internet we **** (add adverb you prefer) and know now.

It was and is a vital piece of Internet history. Gore(among the many other Congress critters) is part of Internet history, albeit political, not technical.

Posted by:

01 Nov 2019

First: The entire 9 hour video of the ARPANET 50th anniversary event is available on YouTube

Second: Al Gore never claimed he invented the Internet. That is what a reporter said. What Al Gore actually said is that he took an initiative to create the Internet which is true. He introduced a bill in congress to continue funding the "Information Superhighway" (a term he created). He was one of the only people in congress who understood the value of the Internet but a reporter wrote that Al Gore claims he invented the Internet.

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