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Geek News Central
  Updated Sun, 24 Jul 2016 07:20:17 +0000
Description Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks
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Prevent Car Theft By Storing Your Keys In the Microwave - Geek News Central
Category cars, appliance, car, Theft
Published:
Description: There’s plenty of good advice out there that can help you prevent car-related theft. Park in secure, well-lit areas, Make sure you always keep your windows rolled up and doors locked when you’re away from the vehicle. But police have some new advice when it comes to keeping your vehicle secure. And it’s not like … Continue reading Prevent Car Theft By Storing Your Keys In the Microwave   more...

MicrowaveThere’s plenty of good advice out there that can help you prevent car-related theft. Park in secure, well-lit areas, Make sure you always keep your windows rolled up and doors locked when you’re away from the vehicle. But police have some new advice when it comes to keeping your vehicle secure. And it’s not like any we’ve seen before. Authorities are now advising owners of keyless fob-style car door openers to store their keychains inside appliances like microwaves and refrigerators.

Apparently, thieves are ditching the crowbar approach to breaking into cars and instead using high-tech methods to gain entry into vehicles:

A recent alert from the department warned of a growing trend of car thieves in California using an electronic device called a power amplifier, which allows them to easily unlock vehicles and quickly pillage them for valuables. According to the alert, the amplifier takes advantage of the radio communication between the cars and the key fobs used by owners to lock and unlock vehicles.

If the methodology behind the crime seems wild, the best way to prevent it may seem even stranger:

According to the department’s alert, one of the best ways to guard yourself against these would-be hackers is to keep vehicle keys in a place that blocks radio frequency signals, hence the advice to store keys in a microwave. The statement also suggests storing keys in the fridge, a metal box, or a specially made Faraday Cage—which can cost anywhere from $25 to more than $300 online—to thwart the high-tech car burglars.

So there you go. Next time you come home from running errands, be sure to place your keychain inside the microwave. Just make sure you take the keys out before you heat up last night’s leftovers.

Player Threatened Blizzard Entertainment with AK-47 Over Silence Penalty - Geek News Central
Category Gaming, Blizzard Entertainment, Heroes of the Storm
Published:
Description: In September of 2015, Blizzard Entertainment added a silence penalty to Heroes of the Storm. (Blizzard will soon be adding a silence penalty to World of Warcraft as well.) Players who earn a silence penalty lose the ability to chat with most other players. It is understandable that being silenced will irritate players who were … Continue reading Player Threatened Blizzard Entertainment with AK-47 Over Silence Penalty   more...

Heroes of the Storm logoIn September of 2015, Blizzard Entertainment added a silence penalty to Heroes of the Storm. (Blizzard will soon be adding a silence penalty to World of Warcraft as well.) Players who earn a silence penalty lose the ability to chat with most other players. It is understandable that being silenced will irritate players who were being abusive in game. Even so, that doesn’t excuse the guy who decided to threaten Blizzard Entertainment with an AK-47.

According to the Department of Justice (Eastern District of California) website, a 28-year-old man named Stephen Cebula has been charged with “making threats to injure employees of the video-game company Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.” The post also says:

According to court documents, between July 2, 2016, and July 3, 2016, Cebula transmitted messages over the internet to Blizzard Entertainment, in which he stated that he “may or may not pay [Blizzard] a visit with an AK47 amongst some other ‘fun’ tools,” and “might be inclined to ’cause a disturbance’ at [Blizzard’s] headquarters in California with an AK47 and a few other ‘opportunistic tools’..”. Cebula was arrested on July 12, 2016, and is in custody. He is scheduled to be arraigned July 26, 2016.

If he is convicted, he faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The Department of Justice website says: “The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that in one threat, court records showed that Stephen Cebula wrote “Careful Blizzard… I live in California and your headquarters is here in California… You keep silencing me in Heroes of the Storm and I may or may not pay you a visit with an AK-47 amongst some other ‘fun’ tools.” Blizzard’s headquarters is in Irvine, California.

Players that earn a silence penalty in Heroes of the Storm receive it because they have been posting abusive chat, posting spam, cheating or botting, or doing things in game intentionally to anger the players on their team (like walking away from the keyboard). If you someday find that you earned a silence penalty, it’s ok to feel upset about it. Just be very careful about how you choose to express your irritation online.

GNC #1131 Verizon Plays Dirty - Geek News Central
Category Podcast
Published:
Description: Verizon plays dirty in forcing a number of their unlimited customers to throttled plans and has decided to be a bully. Verizon made a bad business decision before and consumers chose wisely now they are going to be forced to pay up or have their accounts canceled. Verizon is going to invoke the nuclear option. … Continue reading GNC #1131 Verizon Plays Dirty   more...

Verizon plays dirty in forcing a number of their unlimited customers to throttled plans and has decided to be a bully. Verizon made a bad business decision before and consumers chose wisely now they are going to be forced to pay up or have their accounts canceled. Verizon is going to invoke the nuclear option. If I was one of those customers I would not go quietly in the night. All of those affected unlimited customers will have their plans cut off on August 30th. Unless the Feds step in or a user gets a court injunction.

If you have not already please follow and like the GeekNews Facebook page and check out the Facebook Instant Articles.

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Congress has Questions About Pokémon GO Data Usage - Geek News Central
Category Gaming, Niantic, Pokémon GO
Published:
Description: Three members of the United States House of Representatives sent a letter to CEO of Niantic, John Hanke, with some questions about the amount of data that Pokémon GO uses. The members of Congress who wrote the letter want “to better understand what measures Niantic has undertaken to ensure consumers are informed of Pokémon GO’s … Continue reading Congress has Questions About Pokémon GO Data Usage   more...

Niantic Pokemon GoThree members of the United States House of Representatives sent a letter to CEO of Niantic, John Hanke, with some questions about the amount of data that Pokémon GO uses. The members of Congress who wrote the letter want “to better understand what measures Niantic has undertaken to ensure consumers are informed of Pokémon GO’s effect on their mobile data usage.” The letter states:

Third-party testing recently found that the typical Pokémon GO player users between 10 and 20 megabytes of data per hour of play. A serious user playing for three or more hours per day could use two gigabytes of data per month. T-Mobile CEO John Legere reported that in just four days, the number of Pokémon GO users on the carrier’s network had doubled and their data usage had quadrupled. Users have reported maxing out their monthly data usage plan within a few days of playing.

The members of Congress who signed the letter were Frank Pallone Jr. (Democrat – New Jersey), Diana DeGette (Democrat – Colorado), and Jan Schakowsky (Democrat – Illinois). They came up with four questions that they would like Niantic to answer:

  1. Are there best practices that Niantic follows to minimize the amount of data consumers use when playing Pokémon GO?
  2. Has Niantic worked with wireless carriers to ensure that consumers are not unexpectedly hit with large overage charges?
  3. Does Niantic conspicuously warn consumers before they start using the app about how much data the app consumes?
  4. Does Niantic have any mechanisms in place to make sure consumers are made whole in the event they are hit with an unexpected overage charge resulting from the use of your app?

CEO of Niantic, John Hanke, has been asked to provide responses to those questions by August 9, 2016.

The amount of data that Pokémon GO uses is not the only concern mentioned in the letter. In the first paragraph, the letter says: “In addition to issues related to the game being played in inappropriate locations, safety, and privacy, recent reports suggest that Pokémon GO could exhaust a consumer’s available monthly mobile data.”  The letter does not mention anything at all about the problem that many Pokémon GO users are facing – the app drains the phone’s battery rather quickly.

Geek News Central Radio - Geek News Central
Category Information
Published:
Description: Geek News Central Radio is expanding our listeners listening options, by introducing Geek News Central Radio. You can Live Stream the show 24/7 from a variety of platforms. Over the next week you will start to find the show in about 20 more streaming locations. We will keep you advised as we get approved on … Continue reading Geek News Central Radio   more...

Geek News Central Radio is expanding our listeners listening options, by introducing Geek News Central Radio. You can Live Stream the show 24/7 from a variety of platforms. Over the next week you will start to find the show in about 20 more streaming locations. We will keep you advised as we get approved on the platforms below.

Podcasters looking to get their shows on Internet Radio check out Podcast2Radio by Blubrry and StreamGuys.

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You Can Now Ask Twitter for a Blue Checkmark - Geek News Central
Category Twitter, Twitter verified account
Published:
Description: The little blue checkmark that appears on some Twitter accounts indicates that it is a verified account. Previously, the only accounts that received a checkmark were those of people who are high-profile. That used to include celebrities, athletes, politicians, and even some reporters. Twitter is now allowing all users to request a verified account. Twitter … Continue reading You Can Now Ask Twitter for a Blue Checkmark   more...

Twitter iconThe little blue checkmark that appears on some Twitter accounts indicates that it is a verified account. Previously, the only accounts that received a checkmark were those of people who are high-profile. That used to include celebrities, athletes, politicians, and even some reporters. Twitter is now allowing all users to request a verified account.

Twitter has posted information that explains how you can ask them to verify your account. The post explains that the blue verified badge on Twitter “lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic.” Twitter also clarified who they typically give the blue checkmark to:

We approve account types maintained by users in music, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas.

Your request must have the following: a verified phone number, a confirmed email address, a bio, a profile photo, a header photo, a birthday, a website, and tweets set as public in Tweet privacy settings. You will also have to tell Twitter why they should verify an account. If the account represents a person, Twitter wants to “understand their impact in their field”. If the account is for a company, Twitter wants to know their mission.

Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter’s vice president of Users Services, made a statement about the application process for verified accounts. “We want to make it even easier for people to find creators and influencers on Twitter so it make sense for us to let people apply for verification.” She also said “We hope opening up this application process results in more people finding great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for these creators and influencers to connect with a broader audience.”

There is a form to fill out for those who want a little blue checkmark. Twitter will respond to your request via email. If your request is denied, you can try again in 30 days.

Oi! I Was Watching That - Geek News Central
Category Film, Movies, Streaming, movies, streaming
Published:
Description: Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Sky’s Now TV might have overtaken DVRs, DVDs and Blu-ray but I’ve discovered that physical discs have one major advantage…..no-one can take away the film until you’re finished watching (excepting small children and drunken relatives).  Our family subscribes to a streaming service, and while I normally watch a … Continue reading Oi! I Was Watching That   more...

bluraylogoStreaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Sky’s Now TV might have overtaken DVRs, DVDs and Blu-ray but I’ve discovered that physical discs have one major advantage…..no-one can take away the film until you’re finished watching (excepting small children and drunken relatives). 

Our family subscribes to a streaming service, and while I normally watch a film or episode in a single viewing, there are some that I don’t get through in one go, perhaps because friends call round unexpectedly (yes, I have friends). Recently I’ve twice had the experience of returning to a film only to find that it’s no longer in my queue. The first time I thought I was mistaken as I couldn’t find the film but the second time was no mistake. I was very annoyed.

Streaming services take on new content and drop old content regularly as they license films from studios and other copyright holders for set periods. I can understand this but what bothers me is that they don’t feel it’s necessary to either email or pop-up the deadline on-screen. I would have made a special effort to watch the ending if they’d dropped me an email to say, “Hey, I see you’re watching Spiderman. Just to let you know that film’s going away at the end of the month so you’ve three days to find out what happens.” How hard would that be?

Anyway, if someone could let me know if Spidey saves the world, I’d be grateful.

GNC #1130 Deal for Privacy - Geek News Central
Category 3D, Podcast
Published:
Description: Their is a crazy deal for privacy violations in works that would allow the US/UK to collect their citizens data in each others countries being proposed by the administration. Sadly some companies are actually behind the initiative that has each governement looking to figure a way through legislation to make it happen. This is after … Continue reading GNC #1130 Deal for Privacy   more...

Their is a crazy deal for privacy violations in works that would allow the US/UK to collect their citizens data in each others countries being proposed by the administration. Sadly some companies are actually behind the initiative that has each governement looking to figure a way through legislation to make it happen. This is after a court ruling won by Microsoft last week that stopped the government from doing exactly that.

If you have not already please follow and like the GeekNews Facebook page and check out the Facebook Instant Articles.

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Show Notes

FarmBot Is the Automated Gardener of the Future - Geek News Central
Category Information, FarmBot, food, garden
Published:
Description: The promise of a work-free life, where mechanical devices do all of humanity’s drudge work has been little more than just that; a promise. And while we’re still a long way away from a time when we’ll be able to sit poolside all day, sipping fruity drinks, while armies of robots take care of the cooking, … Continue reading FarmBot Is the Automated Gardener of the Future   more...

FarmBot 3DThe promise of a work-free life, where mechanical devices do all of humanity’s drudge work has been little more than just that; a promise. And while we’re still a long way away from a time when we’ll be able to sit poolside all day, sipping fruity drinks, while armies of robots take care of the cooking, cleaning, and other mundane tasks, there is evidence that we’re coming slightly closer to that utopian vision. One such bit of that proof comes in the form of FarmBot, billed as “Humanity’s first open-source CNC farming machine.”

FarmBot may not look like the shiny gardening bot of your android dreams. But it is an innovative idea that makes growing your own vegetables fun and easy. Prospective farmers can use a computer app to plan out a garden using a game-like interface. Then, FarmBot plants seeds and waters them as needed. FarmBot operates 24 hours a day, tending your plants day and night.

FarmBot takes a variety of factors into consideration as it handles your plants:

  • Weather readings
  • Soil conditions
  • Your personal growing preferences

FarmBot allows growers to plant many different types of plants at one time. This creates a more natural bio system to occur within the garden, which can yield crops that are healthier and more nutritious than those created by large-scale industrial agricultural operations.

FarmBot is an open source project. All of the software and documentation needed to built and operate your own FarmBot is free to be downloaded and manipulated. If you’d like to just buy a FarmBot, the creators of the platform are currently selling FarmBot kits at a 25% discount for a total cost of $2,900.00.

GNC #1129 Nintendo Mini - Geek News Central
Category 3D, Podcast
Published:
Description: Burning the candle on both ends here folks, things have been as crazy as ever. Believe me though it is a good thing. Today we roll back the time machine and Nintendo is about to introduce the Nintendo Mini and wow people are going crazy over the announcement. I have a stacked show today and … Continue reading GNC #1129 Nintendo Mini   more...

Burning the candle on both ends here folks, things have been as crazy as ever. Believe me though it is a good thing. Today we roll back the time machine and Nintendo is about to introduce the Nintendo Mini and wow people are going crazy over the announcement. I have a stacked show today and am definitely over sharing. But the news has been do juicy that I have had to cut 10-15 articles per show.

If you have not already please follow and like the GeekNews Facebook page and check out the Facebook Instant Articles.

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