Geekly Update - 30 September 2015

Category: Tech-News

Will this new invisibility cloak technology replace plastic surgery? Would you live in a house made by a giant 3D printer? And what's the secret to tuning in alien radio communications? 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

The world's largest 3D printer can make houses out of clay -- if you don't mind living in a giant wasp nest.

Xiang Zhang, "Director of the Materials Sciences Division of the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Professor at the University of California Berkeley," reports that his team has successfully tested an ultra-thin invisibility cloak, which has the ability to redirect incoming light waves, rendering an object invisible. He should test that cloak on his title.

Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower, thinks the reason we have not detected alien radio communications is because the aliens use good encryption. (If you're curious about the image I chose for this issue, see this famous clip from the Twilight Zone's "To Serve Man" episode.)
Geekly Update 09-30-2015

Windows XP still powers over one-third of small-business and government PCs in certain Eastern European nations, reports security software vendor Bitdefender. The obsolete operating system is most vulnerable to hackers, so this may be why so many cybercrooks flourish in that region.

Get it while you can. "You can't keep raising the price forever," Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said on September 16. Yet this year, Comcast price increases have hit Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware, and Atlanta, and will bite Oregon and New Mexico starting October 1. Nationwide, TV and Internet service will cost an average of 4.5% more this year.

Khan Academy, the free open online university, now has its own Android app in beta. (See also: How to Learn Almost Anything For Free.)

Target Corp. will offer free Fitbit wearable activity trackers to its 335,000 employees, becoming the latest corporate Fitbit customer using the device to improve workers’ fitness and reduce health-care costs.

Comcast must pay $33 million to settle a claim before the California Public Utilities Commission that Comcast wrongfully published the phone numbers of 75,000 customers who paid $1.25 to $1.50 per month to keep their numbers unpublished. The CPUC gets the lion's share of the booty ($25 million) while customers get only $8 million. The next lawsuit should be against the CPUC.

AT&T has filed a lawsuit against former employees who allegedly installed malware on the company’s computers, enabling hundreds of thousands of AT&T customers to unlock their phones without the company’s permission.

Electric police cruisers? The Los Angeles Police Department plans to lease 290 BMW i3 vehicles for street patrols. If the "Beamers" seem extravagant, consider the $1.6 million Bugatti Veyron (top speed 270 mph) that’s part of Dubai’s fleet of cop supercars.

Long-time AT&T customers on “unlimited” data plans (which are no longer sold) will now get 22 GB of monthly data instead of only 5 GB before they’re subject to throttling. AT&T says nobody will be throttled unless its network is congested.

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

Posted by:

Jay R
30 Sep 2015

I was a huge fan of the Twilight Zone growing up, so I recognized this one at once. Like the artillery officer said, Tanks for the memories.


Posted by:

Mike
30 Sep 2015

Thanks again Bob.
Mike


Posted by:

Bill
30 Sep 2015

" AT&T says nobody will be throttled unless its network is congested." Any guesses as to just who determines whether the network is congested?


Posted by:

JP
01 Oct 2015

To show my age, I remember seeing that episode -- among others -- of The Twilight Zone when it originally aired.


Posted by:

Lloyd Collins
02 Oct 2015

A couple of months back when I was at my local Hospital, I noticed they are still using XP.
A business or worst a Hospital not caring about a breach, is scary. No wonder their are so many breaches, they don't care or too cheap.


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