Weekly Round-Up - April 28

Hey kids! Time for another Weekly Round-Up, where I pull together an eclectic sampling of items from the past several days that I hope will be of interest to you.

How to block bad websites [updated]

Microsoft: Don't jump the gun on Windows 10 updates

Home Depot exposes thousands of customers online - dumb +100 

Flower shop owner accused of stealing plants from cemetery

Diabetes app forecasts blood sugar levels

UK "Iron Man" demonstrates flying suit

The art of the Dronescape

We're getting closer to mass production of bones, organs and implants


Chipotle Encounters A Different Sort Of Invisible Menace

Chipotle can't catch a break, apparently. After troublesome outbreaks of E coli at several locations in different states in 2015, the Mexican themed restaurant chain has acknowledged another sort of infection - this time on it's payment processing network.

Their website says, in part:
We believe actions we have taken have stopped the unauthorized activity, and we have implemented additional security enhancements. Our investigation is focused on card transactions in our restaurants that occurred from March 24, 2017 through April 18, 2017.
They don't give many other details, but indicate they will try to alert any affected customer.

I would check your credit card statement if applicable.


Self-Driving Me Crazy

Barring any major technical or legal issues, it sure looks like self-driving vehicles are going to be a big part of our future. It's not exactly clear to me exactly when we "decided" that this was the way forward, but we seem to have (most) of the technology in place, and several US states have allowed various companies to carry out testing on public roads. Even Apple is dipping their corporate toe into the self-driving pool, with a new permit issued in California.

Google's self drive, er buggy


A Scanner In Your Pocket

If you have an Android phone or tablet, you should already have access to a rather neat scanning device in your hands. You can get scanning apps for iPhone and Android of course, but Android also has a built-in item that works well.

Open your Google Drive app and you will see a blue circle with a white "+" sign. Click that and select "Scan" and place the item to be scanned as flat as possible and use the device's camera to frame the item.

You will see some grid lines to help you line things up reasonably straight, and try to leave a bit of space around the edges of the item. That is, don't completely fill the frame with the page you are scanning.

The app should automatically focus and you then take the picture like you normally would. You will see a preview of the scanned image; at that point, you can accept the scan, delete the scan, or proceed to add another page to the scan. 

Once you are satisfied, the scan is saved as a PDF document to your Google Drive, and you can download it or otherwise work with it from there (email it, etc).

The nice thing is that the app does a very creditable job of squaring up the scan and flattening out minor curls and such in the paper - the results I have gotten with this have been consistently good. 

The couple of people I have shown this to had no idea it was available, hence my mentioning it here, as I have found it very useful on several occasions.