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Small Bugs, Big Problems: Google and the 737-MAX

March 21, 2019

Up in the Air

With two high-profile crashes in the last few months, the FAA finally caved to well-founded pressure from the global community and grounded Boeing’s 737-MAX airliner.

According to the manufacturer, the issue boils down to a bug fix–excuse me, “software enhancement”–intended to correct certain behaviors in flight, but honestly updating the autopilot app isn’t enough to make me feel comfortable boarding one in the near future…just ask anybody who flew on a de Havilland Comet back in the 50s.

In any event, finding out how to avoid this aircraft completely until they work all the bugs out is just another use case for SeatGuru.

This informative resource is most often used to find the best seats on an aircraft using your flight number, but is also a reliable way to find out whether your airline plans on using a safe vehicle to put 40,000 feet of absolutely nothing under you. 

Wait-Lifting

Speaking of travel, as someone who accrues frequent flyer miles on a weekly basis, it’s tough to find time to hit the gym regularly. Fortunately a little stretching on short layovers can go a long way in keeping your body in decent condition, and I’ve found that working with resistance bands makes the effort even more effective.

These bands I found on Amazon are perfect for the purpose, and won’t weigh down your suitcase or slow down security checks like a pair of 20-pound dumbbells will.

An Exclusive Set from DJ Lexi

I’m really liking Amazon Music lately, specifically its integration with Alexa. The service is only $3.99 monthly for us Echo Dot owners, but everybody who subscribes to Amazon Prime can take advantage of their special $7.99 rate. I get my 4 bucks worth for sure…in fact I use it every day, and if you’ve ever been curious about what the soundtrack to my morning routine is you can check out my personal playlist.

Google’s Unfortunate Results

Google does a lot of things right, which is why AskJeeves doesn’t own 15 percent of the world, but the unforeseen spares no man or manufacturer. The company is currently dealing with a zero-day exploit (that’s IT speak for “nasty surprise”) that allows any website to read you computer’s local files, and I’m sure I don’t have to explain why that’s bad.

Of course, we are less defined by our oversights than how we address them, and so I’m happy to report that Google has stepped up to the plate by issuing a patch for Chrome that fixes the vulnerability.

Your version of Chrome will probably update automatically, but if you want to check and see if you’re on the updated version, just click the three vertical dots in your browser window, and go to “help” and “Chrome OS” to find out for sure.

It’s About Time

For whatever reason, we usually don’t find out about the ill effects of new technologies until well after they are integrated into our daily lives…I’m not sure we’ve decided whether something as low-tech as eggs will eventually kill you.

With that in mind, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that the science on whether Bluetooth causes cancer or not is inconclusive. I mean, we’ve had asbestos for nearly 300 years and it’s only been in the last half-century that it’s been a hard pass as a building material.

What we do know is that the phone itself emits a lot more radiation than any Bluetooth-connected device, and so while I understand the concern, it might be just a bit premature to toss out those $300 AirPods.

The Last Word

All right, that’s about all for this week…I’m running a bit late so I really have to go, but not before I thank you as always for making time for what’s on my mind!

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