GeekSpeak for 2014-07-26

FCC Unlocks Verizon for Netflix Keyboards

Google gets into health, domain miscreant gets its due, various Verizon shenanigans, fancy keyboards, and more on this Week in Geek with Bonnie, Lindsey, and Miles.

Google's Baseline study: the healthy human body

Google X (the research branch) has embarked on an ambitious quest to define a baseline for a healthy human body.
The project is called ‘Baseline Study’, and will collect anonymous genetic and molecular information from 175 people —and later thousands more— to hopefully find biomarkers for a healthy human.

Sony to pay up to $17.75 million in 2011 PSN hacking settlement

Sony has agreed to a settlement for users affected by the large-scale hack of Sony’s PlayStation Network in 2011.
Users can choose from: a free downloadable PS3 or PSP game (from a selection of 14 titles), three PS3 themes (from a selection of six), or a three-month subscription to PlayStation Plus.

Netflix Open Connect server

You’ve probably heard about Netflix peering issues recently. Netflix and ISPs are arguing over who should pay who for what, with us poor binge-watchers caught in the crossfire. But at the heart of all the arguments is mundane yet spectacular piece of hardware. An unassuming box that holds approximately one (1) Netflix.

Domain Registry Of America Suspended By ICANN

ICANN has suspended Domain Registry of America aka Brandon Gray Internet Services aka NameJuice. The registrar is forbidden from registering any new domain names or accepting any inbound transfers until 17 October 2014.”

Life-size functional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Pizza Thrower

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Pizza Thrower is a full scale 12-foot-long version of the classic toy. It actually works, throwing pizzas fast and far enough to actually be dangerous to passers-by. They should really call it the Pizza Tank. That turret actually rotates.

Query the Boardgame

“How often have you found yourself scratching your head in bewilderment over the ridiculous autocomplete suggestions that Google makes for you? They can often be as hilarious as they are absurd, which is what inspired sisters Phoebe Stephens and Nikki Flowerday to turn those search engine predictions into a board game called Query.”

Tennessee utility wants to serve people who can't get minimum broadband speeds

“Tennessee utility wants to serve people who can’t get minimum broadband speeds.”

Upload an HD YouTube video in 4 seconds with Verizon’s new FiOS speed upgrades

“Good news for Verizon customers: the company is rolling out symmetrical broadband speeds for its FiOS subscribers. That means your upload speeds and download speeds will now be equal. Getting the same speeds in both directions will help you put larger files into your cloud storage locker, for example, or upload high-quality videos on YouTube more quickly.”

Compromise struck on cellphone unlocking bill

The US House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill called S517 that will make it legal to unlock one’s cell phone in order to switch service providers.

Verizon's offer: Let us track you, get free stuff

“Are you comfortable having your location and Web browsing tracked for marketing purposes? If so, Verizon’s got a deal for you.”

Verizon Wireless to slow down users with unlimited 4G LTE plans

Verizon Wireless today confirmed that it will begin slowing down LTE data speeds when customers who have unlimited plans and use a lot of data connect to congested cell sites. This “Network Optimization” was implemented in 2011 but previously applied only to 3G users.

Keyboardio aluminum and wood keyboard

Plastic, plastic everywhere! Except on most surfaces of the Keyboardio ergonomic keyboard, which started as a ‘scratch his itch’ project by Jesse Vincent. According to his blurb on the Keyboardio site, Jesse ‘has spent the last 20 years writing software like Request Tracker, K-9 Mail, and Perl. He types… a lot. He tried all the keyboards before finally making his own.’

Life-size Hot Wheels Darth Vader car at San Diego Comic-Con

Mattel’s Hot Wheels line of model cars turns to the Dark Side at San Diego Comic-Con, with a full-size Darth Vadermobile. And yes, it’s fully operational.