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March 2022 - The Digital Life from Lökwest - "They called to help" - plus Chromebook software, tips, news, and more!
Welcome back to another edition of great reads, news, tips, tech history, and more! This month, you'll want to read our featured article from WIRED. It's very relevant as one of my clients was hit last week with an attack like this. Luckily, we caught it in time.
In the news, read a little about the cyberwar aspects of the current conflict in Ukraine. Also in the news - the metaverse, powering your home with your electric truck, and universal language translation.
For fun, how about turning an old computer into a new Chromebook for free? Or, checking on where Elon's space Tesla is?
Then, check out our tech history, also all about language translation. It's a blast way back to 1954!
Have a great March, and don't hesitate to reach out if there's anything we can do for you!
Featured - A long read worth reading!
Ironically enough, this NEARLY happened to one of my clients just last week. Luckily, she kept her nerves when the sirens were blaring and the screen was locked and begging her to call "Microsoft" for help with a "trojan horse virus". She DIDN'T call them. Instead, she called for help - in this case, Lökwest. Crisis averted. Not so lucky for this article writer's mother.
From WIRED: When my mom fell victim to a phone scam, we learned a painful truth: The explosion of personal finance apps makes it all too easy to target vulnerable people.
This is an apolitical newsletter. However, we'd be remiss not to mention there is a war going on. This conflict is different because of the cyber components, some of which may spill over to this side of the world. We haven't seen any major retaliation to U.S. service over sanctions, etc. But, be prepared for an uptick in misinformation, spam, and phishing as this conflict evolves.
From jamming satellite signals to spreading disinformation, Russia’s military has sophisticated technologies it’s bringing to the battlefield in Ukraine. Read a brief explanation here.
Almost every Fortune 500 company has a metaverse strategy. Facebook, er. Meta spend MILLIONS rebranding the entire company for it. If you don't think it's coming, just read the results of the latest Gartner survey.
This brings a whole new meaning to the term "reverse charging". You're not charging your phone here, but powering your whole house for limited periods from your electric truck. A much safer alternative to a gas powered generator in our opinion!
The quest for universal translation goes back to the Tower of Babel! Can Meta finally pull it off with advanced AI models and the supercomputing power they're building? My tech brain says it's a given that in-ear universal translation will be here soon. From a cultural perspective, I hope that learning a new language doesn't go the way of handwriting or learning basic math.
Here's a great tip and a little fun
We've taken old laptops and loaded light versions of Linux like Mint to make them refreshed web browsers. This is an even more convenient option for those used to Google services and Chromebooks.
Turn your old machine into a little Chromebook! Google is rolling out Chrome OS Flex, a software suite that transforms old laptops into Chromebooks, with nearly identical features to the Chrome OS.
It's been four years since a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launched a red Tesla roadster and a spacesuit-clad dummy driver named "Starman" into space. Where is it now, and is David Bowie still on repeat in the stereo? 🚀🚀
In tech history...speaking of translations
This is interesting, in light of Meta's "universal language translator" efforts. In January 1954, IBM fired up the first computer translator. Here's part of the press release, and you can read more if you think it's interesting. The machine, the mighty IBM 701:
Release date 1952: (70 years ago)
Vacuum tubes: 72
Introductory price: $12,000 a month rental charge / $15,000 a month per 40-hour shift (That's $127K/month rental and $157K/40 hours in 2022 dollars 😮)
Units shipped: 19
It was a far cry from your smartphone! That thing on the right - a punch card reader.
New York, January 7..... Russian was translated into English by an electronic "brain" today for the first time.
Brief statements about politics, law, mathematics, chemistry, metallurgy, communications, and military affairs were submitted in Russian by linguists of the Georgetown University Institute of Languages and Linguistics to the famous 701 computer of the International Business Machines Corporation. And the giant computer, within a few seconds, turned the sentences into easily readable English.
A girl who didn't understand a word of the language of the Soviets punched out the Russian messages on IBM cards. The "brain" dashed off its English translations on an automatic printer at the breakneck speed of two and a half lines per second.
"Mi pyeryedayem mislyi posryedstvom ryechyi," the girl punched. And the 701 responded: "We transmit thoughts by means of speech."
"Vyelyichyina ugla opryedyelyayetsya otnoshyenyiyem dlyini dugi k radyiusu," the punch rattled. The "brain" came back: "Magnitude of angle is determined by the relation of length of arc to radius."
"Myezhdunarodnoye ponyimanyiye yavlyayetsya vazhnim faktorom v ryeshyenyiyi polyityichyeskix voprosov," the girl tapped out. And the computer translated: "International understanding constitutes an important factor in decision of political questions."
More than sixty Russian sentences were given to the "brain" altogether. All were translated smoothly in a demonstration performed jointly by Georgetown and IBM as a phase of IBM's endowed research in computation.
IBM Archives: 701 Translator IBM Archives: Exhibits: A notable first - IBM 701: IBM 701 introduction 2
In closing, stay safe!
If the featured story scared you, it may be time for a security check-up! We're happy to help you with security or any other digital questions - in person or remotely. Just check out our site, lokwest.com, or book here!
Book Your Appointment with Lökwest Digital Life Coaching - Computers/Technology — lokwest.setmore.com Our vision is to guide and encourage, asking questions in order to engage you in the problem-solving discussion to discover your needs and goals. We are more than IT consultants, the “repair” squad, website developers, programmers, or teachers. We are digital life coaches. We work with heart. We help you conceive custom solutions to overcome your unique technology challenges, rather than giving you more “tech jargon.” Technology is a means to an end. It shouldn’t be that hard! Look to us – Lökwest!