Jun 28, 2017

Jun - 28 2017 | By

Co-Host Mikail Graham with special guest Michael Anderson from Spiral Internet spiral.com to talk about Spiral’s new Gigabit 100% fiber optic internet service. Coming this year.

 


 

Additional notes

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

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.

 

Glenn was in the studio with co-host Mikail Graham. Paul was away in Croatia.
Michael Anderson from Spiral Internet was a guest.

 

Listeners were invited to call during the show with their questions and comments at 530-265-9555.

Mikail talked about a new computer virus going around called Petya. It’s a variation of the recent Wannacry virus mentioned during the 5-24-17 show. He said the malware usually gets into your machine when you click on an attachment [to an email].

Glenn said, if you open an email from someone you don’t recognize, don’t click on attachments <or any links>. Even if the email seems to be from someone that you know be careful, the account may have been hijacked and is being used to spread malware, Mikail added. You can sometimes tell if an email is bogus if the wording is not typical of the person that you think it’s from. Double check if the email is good by calling that friend & asking if they sent you the mail. It’s important to backup the files you want to protect.

Michael said the bad guys are increasingly using artificial intelligence to ferret out info about you. They’ll find out who you communicate with and what services you use. If they see you’re a Fedx customer, they may send email from what looks like a legitimate Fedx account, for example.

Michael also mentioned business networks where one computer is running legacy software — maybe because it will cost too much to upgrade. Keep it off the network because if becomes compromised, it can infect the other computers on the network.

Mikail said Petya was derived from NSA spying software that was leaked to the public. And in the last few weeks, 32 terabytes of Microsoft Windows source code was also leaked. It’s not certain what mischief will come from that, he said. Though Microsoft patched Windows for Petya, many people haven’t kept up with their updates. And computers aren’t the only equipment that can be hacked. There are tractors, cars and other internet connected devices that are vulnerable too.
<The cyber attack that knocked out Ukraine this morning is now going global:
Everything you need to know about the Petya, er, NotPetya nasty trashing PCs worldwide:
This looks like a simple fix for Petya, but I can’t vouch for it…
Vaccine, not Killswitch, Found for Petya (NotPetya) Ransomware Outbreak:>

Adobe and several other companies have come out with software that can recreate a person’s voice from a small sample. It’s about 90% accurate, according to Mikail. There’s also software to do something similar with video. An example is George Bush’s face superimpose on a speaker, making it look like it’s really Bush who’s speaking.

Mikail said Amazon’s Echo Show (with Alexa, the personal assistant) is to debut today. He’ll give us a review of the product on the next show. It’s supposed to have a couple of speakers and a video screen that allows you to have video chats with other people. It could be a useful aid for senior citizens. But he has some questions about how privacy issues will be handled.

Michael gave us an overview of project Spiral Internet is starting. In Dec of 2015 the California Advanced Services Fund awarded a grant of over $16 million for the 1st phase. It was finally approved in mid May 2017 after much review of its environmental impact. Spiral is in the design process now. The first phase is to roll out in areas that are currently underserved. The definition of underserved includes those who currently have less than 6 megabits/sec.

Their network operation center is on Providence Mine Road. The optical fiber will be sent up Brunswick and down 174 (highway?) to Mount Olive Road. Then it will go down to Dog Bar and back up Labar(?) Meadows, up Rattlesnake then circles back thru Grass Valley and reconnects at the Nocks(?). That’s the loop. The laterals go out from huts that are on that loop. Service can be provided as far as 30 km from each hut.

There are 2 types of fiber optics. The type commonly deployed in the U.S. is GPON (passive optical network), which is much like the cable network. It has a fixed bandwidth and as more people access it at the same time, the service degrades.

What Sprial will be using is active Ethernet, which is a little more expensive. It’s a “home run” from a hut to each residence and the speed can be controlled for each segment.

If you do a speed test, you should see about 900 megabits/sec with a 1 gig connection, for both uploads and downloads. And if they change the electronics in a hut it can go up to 10 gig, 40 gig, 100 gig or 1 terabits/sec. That’s the advantage of fiber over cable, which has lower top speeds.

After the initial rollout to underserved areas, phase 2 will expand to other areas like Banner, Willow Valley, the town of Washington and microwave will cross South Yuba Canyon. Phase 3 will cover Lake Wild Wood and Penn Valley. The price will be $119 for 1 gigabit/sec of speed. At this time, about 20% of houses in the 174 corridor have signed up, and they haven’t started digging yet.

Michael noted that there could be a cost saving with the fiber service after you get rid of your cable service, satellite service, land line, etc.

On the subject of cord cutting, Mikail said he’s tried the Sling service and didn’t really like it. It seems like a good idea, but it’s slow and had a poor user interface. He dropped it after 2 weeks.

Michael said the Comcast cable service gives you a good speed at a reasonable price but the AT&T DSL service is being slowly phased out. There have been cases where a house with DSL is sold but the new owner can’t get the DSL turned back on.

Mikail said he keeps seeing people who upgrade to the Mac Sierra OS (High Sierra coming this Fall) who miss an important setting. Unless you have a very fast connection, he recommends turning off the option to store your desktop and documents in the cloud. He doesn’t recommend the encryption function either.

Michael talked about Client Works The IT Services For Everyone, his other enterprise. He started it in 1997 after having worked for Grass Valley Group.

They provide managed service like maintenance contracts with business. They monitor systems using a proactive approach to head off problems before they occur.

Michael started to explain the Economic Resource Council the Nevada County Tech Connection. It’s a new initiative funded by Nortech, a group from Chico. It’s what’s called a next generation sector partnership. He didn’t finish before attention turned to an incoming phone call…

Donna called. She has a 2012 Macbook Pro running OSX Yosemite version 10.10.5. Her daughter recently went on a trip to Europe and wanted Donna to install Whatsapp on her iPhone. “And it said that if I did that it was going to put my address book from my phone in the cloud, and that if I got rid of the cloud, I was going to lose my address book”.

Mikail asked her if she’s logged into iCloud on her Mac. She said no, she never uses the cloud. He had her go into system preferences in the upper left corner under the Apple menu, find the item called “iCloud”, click on it and see if there’s an email address. She did that and said there was no email address. He explained that what she’s being told is that the contacts <address book> will be uploaded into Whatsapp when it’s installed. Then if you log out of Whatsapp or delete it, the contacts only in Whatsapp will be deleted, not the contacts in the rest of the phone.

He went on to say, if the iPhone and Mac aren’t synched, she’s missing out on some benefits — the contacts on one device will also be on the other.

Last Updated 12:28 AM 6-29-2017