Geekly Update - 9 July 2014

Category: Tech-News

Can you get rich by making potato salad on the Internet? Have scientists finally figured out why the iPhone takes grainy photos? And are super-intelligent robots poised to take over the world? 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

Zack Danger Brown's Kickstarter campaign description says: "Basically I'm just making potato salad. I haven't decided what kind yet." He has raised almost $60,000 in less than a week.. Anyone remember the Million Dollar Home Page, and all the clones it spawned?

Last October, an Oklahoma farmer accidentally dropped his iPhone into a huge grain silo, and figured it was gone forever. But days ago, he got a phone call from a worker at a grain mill in Japan who found the phone, and mailed it back to him. That's nice, and it probably also explains all the grainy photos.

Try getting THIS through airport security! YouTube user "Arganalth" has a suitcase filled with old floppy and hard drives that can play Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven", complete with lots of harmonic distortion.
Geekly Update 07-09-2014

Nine out of 10 persons’ whose online communications are intercepted, analyzed, and stored by the NSA are not the targets of any legitimate surveillance, the Washington Post revealed after analyzing a trove of raw data supplied by hero/traitor Edward Snowden. Furthermore, the NSA thinks it’s perfectly OK to share this “by-catch” data with other government agencies.

OMG! Facebook manipulated members’ emotions by tweaking the percentages of negative and positive stories that appeared in their news feeds! The world is terribly upset about something that all marketers have done since the first advertisement appeared. But as Information Week reports, that’s hardly the worst that online marketers do to us.

GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons caught flak for hunting elephants and leopards back in 2011. Now it’s the turn of 19 year-old Texas cheerleader Kendall Jones, whose Facebook photos of her fifth African safari is the target of outraged and outrageous comments, petitions for its removal, and even death threats. Jones says she started the infamous page to promote a TV show she hopes to host.

T-mobile has “crammed” bogus charges for premium text-message services onto customers’ 50-page bills since at least 2012, the Federal Trade Commission charges in a federal lawsuit against the cellular carrier. T-mobile, of course, says the lawsuit is “without merit.”

Qualcomm bought Wilocity, a startup whose product isn’t finished yet, sparking widespread interest in WiGig – gigabit-speed wireless communications. We’re talking theoretical maximum bandwidth of 7 Gigagbits per second without wires. But don’t get too excited; WiGig can’t penetrate most walls, so it’s essentially Bluetooth on steroids. Still, it will be good for streaming HD video to your TV.

Just three decades from now, the top species on Earth will not be human. That’s the prediction of physicist and author Louis Del Monte and other futurists. By the year 2045, machine intelligence will exceed that of the entire human race and we may be considered “an unpredictable and dangerous species.”

Plasma TVs are about to join Betamax VCRs on the scrap heap of history. Citing “changes in market demands,” Samsung has joined Panasonic in ending production of plasma units. LG Electronics plans to phase out plasma displays next year. I say good… that sticky plasma is so hard to get off the walls and floor.

Unintended Consequences... Argentina’s equivalent of the U.S. music/video industry’s lobbying arm, the Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms, won a court order that forced 11 ISPs to block IP addresses and domains controlled by The Pirate Bay. So someone hacked the Chamber’s site, transforming it into a Pirate Bay mirror.

Microsoft got a temporary restraining order that gives it control of a Dynamic Domain Name Service (DDNS) known as No-IP.com. The latter has long been notorious among security researchers as the source of millions of malware infections and host of many rogue Web sites. Microsoft is now filtering all No-IP domains’ traffic, re-routing known threats to oblivion.

Your thoughts on these topics are irrelevant, but robots may find them humorous. So kindly post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Geekly Update - 9 July 2014"

Posted by:

Cindy
09 Jul 2014

"Grainy photos"? Very punny!!! LOL


Posted by:

Tony
09 Jul 2014

Great humourous, dare I say almost satirical. post Bob - brought a chuckle or two to my usual crotchety deameanour - maybe you should consider a change of pace and content of your articles and doing a YouTube presentation - I would bet it wouldn't take long to get a substantial number of the ageing population to subscribe


Posted by:

Charlie
09 Jul 2014

Someone needs to slap you for the 'grainy photos' comment. :-)


Posted by:

Gary Zupan
09 Jul 2014

47.1% of people (children and adults) live in wireless-phone-only households. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/07/09/adults-without-landlines-are-more-likely-to-be-smokers-and-heavy-drinkers/


Posted by:

Jason
10 Jul 2014

That "Pirate Bay hack" is one of the funniest things I've read in quite a while. A good reminder to choose your battles wisely.


Posted by:

JPen
10 Jul 2014

Bob, Really appreciate the time and effort you put into sharing your knowledge with us. I often find myself seeking answers to questions that should be in the big player Knowledge bases and yet pops out from your site with the simple answer I need.
Thank you


Posted by:

ray marsh
10 Jul 2014

OH that is so quick.....had areal belly laugh...thanks Bob for the wit


Posted by:

A W Rodenbeck
10 Jul 2014

I'm deeply sadden to read about the of the plasma tv. I still feel that the plasma after all these years still offers the best picture and viewing angles compaired to LCD's and LED sets. once again we get shafted by technology. These new sets have come a long way. But, plasma still offers a better picture for HD movies, games and for watching broadcasts. the profit/almighty dollar beats out the proven quality of the plasma system.


Posted by:

Jim Stewart
10 Jul 2014

We have nothing to fear from robots. The Three Laws prove it!

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Let's just hope all robots are law-abiding.


Posted by:

Kenny D
11 Jul 2014

60 grand for potato salad? UH...I prefer coleslaw myself.


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