Feb 29, 2012

Feb - 15 2012 | By

Additional Notes

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– They're tagged with #Zentech.
– When what's said is unclear to me (or I'm unfamiliar with a topic) I tend to quote (" ") verbatim.

Glenn & Paul were both in the studio

On KVMR's front page you can find a link referred to as Earth Wind Fire. It's from a website provided by PG&E showing current weather conditions, CalTrans conditions, various outages, traffic accidents and estimated times to restore services.

Paul said that during emergencies, text (txt) messages are a good way to communicate because cell phone network capacity, which is often over-subscribed, is quickly exceeded.
– Such messages can be quickly composed.
– They queue up in your phone until they can finally be sent.
– You don't need a data plan to use the text service.
– This is a SMS, not a MMS service, with a 161-character message limit.
– You can send a text message to Google, using the number associated with it, telling it where you are, for example text a zipcode: location 95959. All further queries refer to that zipcode. You then text it for example: restaurant, and it will provide a list of restaurants in that area. Or you can text: weather, to get local weather.

The guys talked about the Do Not Call registry, which is a government service to keep telemarketers from calling you.
– Companies that you've dealt with before will still be able to make unsolicited calls. Glenn implied that you could opt-out of these calls too, just check with the particular company.
– If you had signed up when the service first became available, your phone number remained in the registry for 5 years only, and you may need to register again. The 5-year limit has since been eliminated, it's now forever.
– Scammers have been making calls claiming to represent the Do Not Call registry. Do not respond to such calls.
– At donotcall.gov you can register up to 3 phones. They will send confirmation emails, one for each phone. You need to respond to each email.
– Political campaigns, surveyors, certain non-profits will still be able to call you.
– You can include your fax phone number; and even your Google voice number in the registry.
– Though cell phones are not supposed to be subjected to telemarketing calls, it does happen. You may want to add that number to the registry, too.

The NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) now has a new URL — weather.gov.

Another interesting weather site is wunderground.com. Linked to this site are community or individually-run weather stations using Oregon Scientific weather monitoring equipment. <You can get weather data from just down the street. Very local, very cool.>
< Here are some other weather sites I've found useful….
Radar for Sacramento and surrounding counties:
Local citizen-run stations
More citizen-run stations.
…a Sacramento station, CW0443, and stations surrounding it.>

Sharon called. She has a mi-fi device and she suffered loss of her DSL service. Shortly after the service was restored she reached her data cap of 3gig even though she hadn't used any of it. Her cell provider, Verizon, refused to acknowledge a problem and she was stuck with a $30 bill.
– The correct way to contest the charge is to pay the correct portion of the bill and contest the incorrect amount. Then notify your credit card company and send them the relevant information.
– Check with other Verizon users to see if they experienced a similar situation.
– Gather a history of your usage and present it to Verizon to show that this incident is not the norm.

Sharon also mentioned she sometimes exceeds her data cap and has to pay $10 for an additional gig. She thinks that it's the advertising in the webpages that adds to her data usage.
– Try the proxy server called Privoxy.org that blocks banner ads. Paul wasn't sure that if it actually blocks the ads before they get to your phone or just stops them from displaying on the screen.
– Glenn said he recalls a browser that blocks ads but couldn't remember its name. Paul said there is a text-only browser called Lynx that doesn't show any graphics.

Doug called to say the Golden Empire Flying Association has a weather reporting station at the airport (near Nevada City) — go to intellicast.com and look for the identifier KGOO.
<The way I found the KGOO weather report was to use the box labeled "Get the Weather in your city:" I entered: Nevada City California. I suggest you try entering your own city.>

Glenn thanked KVMR membership subscribers.
Support KVMR online or call 530/265-9555 or 800/355-5867

Tom called asking for an affordable internet provided in the Nevada City area.
– Glenn said, if he can see Oregon Hill then Digital Path is a good choice. Their phone # is 1-800-676-PATH. They are a wireless provider and availability is subject to line of sight to their antennas.
– You can also get the internet thru your cell phone provider. That can run from $50 to $70 per month. But be aware of data caps.
– A third option is Hughesnet, which is a satellite provider.

Glenn mentioned that AT&T has expanded its DSL service area near Alta Sierra (near Nevada City). Check with AT&T if you're interested.

On the redesigned KVMR webpage you can find blogs corresponding to some of the shows being broadcast.

Someone called wondering whether it's difficult to learn the 2011 version of Microsoft Word. She has a Mac and has had trouble finding a class for Word. Is it that different from the PC version, she asked?
– There may be minor only differences. A class in the PC version should suffice.
– Note that the equivalent of Word 2011 on the Mac is Word 2010 on the PC. Similarly, you can equate the 2007 PC version with the 2008 Mac version.
– The 2007 (PC version) did away with the menus but the next version is more like the older 2003 version.
– There may be some tutorials on Youtube. Search for: Office 2011 training. You should find a commercial site called Lynda.com that provides video training for all sorts of stuff.

She also asked if anyone in the local area is willing to provide training.
– She was told to write to the guys at zen at kvmr dot org

Ken called saying he had trouble finding Privoxy mentioned above <earlier, Paul didn't mention the domain .org — it's privoxy.org>

Ken also said was considering going to cell phone internet access and he used SurplusMeter to tell him how much data he uses, to see if he'll exceed the data cap.
<SurplusMeter is for the Mac. To get the latest version I suggest do a Google search for: surplusmeter. hen use the link for download.com
Currently you'll find it here>
– This app measures only the data that comes thru the particular Mac that it's on, not the rest of your networked devices. There's a way around it — replace your router's firmware — go dd-wrt.com. This firmware can, by itself, report the data usage.

Ken then suggested Adblock Plus to eliminate ads from webpages <and reduce data usage. But may only "hide" some ads — see here>.

Last updated: 9:44 PM 2/29/12