Jun 21, 2017

Jun - 21 2017 | By

Again, Microsoft has issued an important patch, which includes older Windows OS. See this article…
Patch Your PC: Yet Another Massive Exploit Discovered

 


 

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at: twitter.com/ddhart.
– 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.
– Editor’s comments are delimited by < >

For a couple of months, the audio of today’s show is here. Recent shows are here.

NOTE: There is another Zen Tech show scheduled next Wednesday 6-28-17

A couple of songs were played — Fractal Zoom at the start & Pentatonix near the start and at the end.

 

Paul was in the studio and Glenn called in from Sacramento

 

Paul said most of the internet providers have been suffering from a slow down. He speculated it might be due to the heat.

Telephony at KVMR uses VOIP and Paul noticed the poor quality of Glenn’s phone call. He went on to explain that cell service, copper wire telephone service and the internet itself used to be pretty independent. Now, the internet provides the backbone for all these services. So when the internet has a problem, the others can suffer.

Paul said that downdetector.com lists all of the major providers and has an algorithm that checks the major backbones to see how they’re doing. It also takes input from users about problems they’re having.

Paul used speedof.me to check his connection and found he was getting 35 to 40 megabits/sec. But visiting Facebook, Google Drive and some other services resulted in serious problems. He speculated that hopping from one backbone to another caused the inconsistent results.

Glenn remembered that 134 degrees was some kind of heat record and it happened in Death Valley. Looking it up, Paul found that on 7-10-1913 the air temperature was 134 at Furnace Creek, at the bottom of the valley. It’s the hottest atmospheric temperature recorded on anywhere earth.

Paul talked about net neutrality saying there are something like 15 to 30 backbone providers In our area we have Comcast/Xfinity cable and ATT/Uverse DSL. Comcast wants people to buy their movies & content so they prioritize the internet traffic to make it easier for their customers to receive Comcast movies. At some point Comcast had a conflict with the backbone that Netflix resides on, and there was a behind-the-scene deal made between Netflix and Comcast to keep the Netflix video traffic flowing smoothly.

Check out the website battleforthenet.com to see if net neutrality is being observed or not. It’s explained on the webpage that it tests how traffic moves between major provider backbones.

Paul compared net neutrality with interstate commerce where goods can travel across state boundaries without regulation and tariffs. When you pay for 30 megabits/sec, you want to get that speed no matter where you go, no matter what backbone you go thru.

Paul talked about cars having problems with overheating in this hot weather. He’s seen many cars by the side of the road with overheated engines and was reminded of the friend who was struck and killed while standing on the shoulder by his car. He has a couple of rules to go by: the further you can get off the road, the better and never get out of the driver side of the car.

Paul went on to say that American cars have catalytic converts that get very hot. If you pull off onto a grassy area, the grass can catch fire if it comes in contact with the converter.

Additionally, don’t open the radiator cap. Wait for the engine to cool off. And don’t add cool water to the expansion tank while the engine is hot — it can crack the engine block.

Coming back from Sacramento last Monday, Paul had to take a break in Auburn to let his engine cool. He couldn’t decide if he should let his car idle so the coolant would circulate and hopefully cool the engine faster. He wished he had an infrared temperature gauge, which you can get from Home Depot for about $20. With it, he could have measured the temperature of different parts of the engine block to see how quickly it was cooling.

Glenn chimed it with his tip, saying that if you see the temperature gauge climbing, turning off the air conditioner can delay a overheating problem. You can also turn on the heater to take more heat away from the engine.

Should the coolant all boil away, irretrievable damage can be done to the engine within the 1st minute of running without water, Paul noted. You may not notice it at first but problems can show up later. One thing that can happen is the head gasket can be damaged and there may be oil lost into the coolant, coolant into the oil or coolant may enter the cylinders. The lesson is to take care not to let your engine overheat, which can happen very quickly, Glenn said.

After he has a high temperature event, Paul likes to check the coolant hoses as well as his oil. He said, that you don’t get more mileage with synthetic oil than natural oil. The wearing out of oil is due more to combustion products getting into it than something happening to the oil itself.

Program director Steve Baker came to the mic to say that the KVMR radio signal is no longer broadcasting and won’t be until repairs are made. The internet stream is still working. Paul said he’ll archive this show. <I’m not sure what he meant. The show is automatically archived — see the links at the top of this page>.

Paul talked about his Sonoff remote control device. It’s a wi-fi based internet of things (IOT) home automation system that you can get for $5.75 on Ebay or about $10 on Amazon. It’s a small rectangular white block that you can hold in the palm of your hand that has 2 screw terminals on the left and right, a push button and an LED. The push button is used to pair the device with your router.

He then got a common electrical extension cord, which he cut. He then bared the wires and connected them to the screw terminals (observing the polarity).

Next, you need to get an app called ewlink. With the app you create an account somewhere in China to which the device logs in. Since your router has a firewall, you won’t be able to directly communicate with the device when you’re out and about. What happens is your app logs on to the server in China where you created the account. The remote control device logs in to that server too. Now, the server acts as a go between for the device & app, and they can talk to each other.

Now, it’s proper to be suspicious of such a device when you don’t know everything it’s doing. It could be snooping on you, gathering passwords, etc. So you should create a guest network. Most routers are able to do this including Apple Airport routers. Essentially, this creates a separate login for the device so it can’t see the other traffic going thru the router — traffic from your computers, tablets, etc.

Glenn related a question by a listener named Marilyn. Can a cell phone that is not activated on a cellular service still be used to browse the internet using wi-fi? Paul said that it can. Glenn then asked if you take the SIM card out of an iPhone, could you still use the wi-fi. Paul replied that it might be problematic. If it’s a locked phone, it wants to see a SIM card that belongs to the company that originated it. <A locked phone is tied to a cellular company and may still be under contract.>

Paul gave an example. He got a used Sprint iPhone and reloaded the latest version of iOS. He turned it on and it said he needed to active the phone. But he didn’t have the SIM card for the service the phone had on it. He said that there are dead SIM cards (with no service on them) being sold for a couple of bucks. The iPhone just wants to see the cellular provider’s card, it doesn’t care if it works. Paul said if you deactivate your phone to give it to someone else, don’t throw away the SIM card. Also be sure the cellular company won’t be charging you for having the card in the phone, Paul said.

Glenn’s audio was breaking up pretty badly but it sounded like he said there will be another Zen Tech show on 6-28-17. Paul said he won’t be here but will be on the way to Croatia for his niece’s wedding.

Last Updated 12:42 AM 6-22-2017>