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Please check back around the time of the broadcast

Last Show Oct 31, 2018

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5th Wednesday of the month– Halloween!
Have Some Spooky Sound Track for your Haunted House!
Like Here
Then there is always Thriller by Michael Jackson from 4m:10s

Ancient but worthy slide scanner or flatbad?
Try these 3rd party non-free solutions:
There is This from Amazon under $300
Then these actual softwares; SILVERFAST
Then there is my preferred software VueScan
All work fine on newer MACOS & handle ICE scratch removal..
Demos to Download. Final Cost: About $100 for a license key.

Google Project FI for use Abroad- Needs a Compliant Phone such as the $250 Moto X4 (Cheapest) More HEre

BOKEH! New Words To Learn!



Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at:
– 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.

The intro music was by Michael Jackson. The outro music was by Pentatonix.
More info about the music is here.


Both Paul and Glenn were in the studio today.


Glenn recently switched to IOS 12, the operating system for Apple’s mobile devices, So far, he likes it but found a problem with the ringtones. The ringtones reverted to the default tones that came with the iPhone, except in a couple of instances. He said this has been a problem with previous IOS updates, but it hasn’t affected him until now.

Paul said that in the early days of cell phones there was quite a market in the sale of ringtones and the companies made it deliberately difficult to create your own.

He went on to distinguish the difference between ringtones and the ringing sound the phone company provides. There are different ringing sounds, like 2 quick rings, that a company such as Verizon can provide you for a fee. There is also an optional sound (e.g. music) that a caller hears before those being called answer the phone, but implementing that is not straightforward, Paul said.

To fix the ringtone problem, Paul did some googling and found some advice that said “just plug your phone in to iTunes and resynch it, that’s supposed to fix it”.

Paul talked about spooky sounds for Halloween. There’s a link at the top of this page to what he found. To find more sounds, go to and put in [to search] ‘spooky music sound track’, he said.

Paul was given a piece of equipment that was state of the art 15 years ago. It’s a Nikon LD40 slide scanner that takes 35mm slides and negatives for digitizing. Nikon stopped making the scanner, the drivers and software for it a long time ago.

He talked a bit about how it scans in the primary colors and then recombines them in the final image. He said there is a huge section about color in Wikipedia, just search for ‘color’.

One of the colors it scans is in the infrared because it’s strongly absorbed by surface defects like scratches. Using this extra information, the software can later subtract the artifacts that got onto the slide’s surface.

Paul used a Linux driver with the scanner and it worked to a degree. It did the basic scan but couldn’t take advantage of the advanced features like the infrared information to remove dust & scratches. You can use photo editing software like Photo Shop to remove the defects manually but it’s tedious, he said.

However, there are scanning software packages that may help you out. He mentioned Silverfast and VueScan for the PC & Mac, See the links at the top. The packages are not free but they have demo versions. The demos produce images have the words ‘demo version’, but you can at least judge if the software does a good job. If you like it you can buy a license key to unlock it for about $100.

Paul said he likes VueScan because, once you have the key, it will talk to any scanner. Silverfast is much more advanced & professional but it will work only with the hardware you register for.

Paul said he found some slide scanners on Amazon, and one that doesn’t involve a computer — it scans the slide and saves the image directly into a USB drive. See the link at the top.

He also suggested going to a second hand store and getting a slide projector. While projecting the image from the slide on a screen, you can use a [digital] camera on a tripod to take its picture.

Also, there is a scanner for $179 that will digitize your 8mm or 16mm movies. Then you can use open source software to remove blurring, jittering and grain.

Colter called. He has a Mac desktop computer running the Mojave operating system. He can’t get it to go completely asleep and it keeps waking up on its own.
– There is a facility called ‘wake on LAN’. If there is something on the network that needs to talk to it, then it can wake up. Also, it’s possible the Mac is misinterpreting such messages when they’re not even meant for it. To test this, turn the wi-fi off and unplug the Ethernet.
– Check for consistency in its waking up. Is it done in a cycle. This may give you a clue.
– Check the power options under ‘Settings’.
– Go up to the Apple logo [on the screen] and check for updates.
– Also try unplugging the keyboard, in case there’s something wrong with it. <It may be sending a signal to the Mac as if a key had been pressed.> Similarly, check the mouse.
– Or it may be waking up to do a Timemachine backup. To test this, “Unplug your Timemachine”.
– Some peripheral may be trying to talk to the Mac. Unplug one thing at a time to see if the problem goes away

Douglas called to say that his machine has a similar problem with waking up. It can happen when the refrigerator comes on or a truck drives by.
– It can be due to EMF spikes due to a bad voltage regulator.
– A surge protector will not correct the problem, but a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) will “take care of what you describe”.

The reason Douglas called had to do with his cell phone getting text (txt) messages. He had upgraded to the iPhone 5 from a 4. He had been exchanging messages with a friend but then wouldn’t receive any for a while. Suddenly, there would be a bunch of unread messages waiting for him.
– Are these green messages or blue, Paul asked. Douglas said he gets both. Blue means the message was delivered via the internet, not thru the cellular service via SMS (short message service).
– Glenn had seen a similar problem with a friend’s phone when he helped her change cell phone providers. He had to go to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Messages’ and turn iMessage back on.
– Paul told Douglas to look on the older iPhone 4 to see if any of the messages ended up there. It can receive messages even though it no longer has a SIM card in it. If it’s still connected to the internet, it can still receive iMessages.
– Try texting with that friend in the same room. You may just have a weak internet connection. Or use the app called Speed Test. Don’t just depend on the number of bars to tell you the connection is good.
– Back up your phone to iTunes and then reload and refresh the operating system. Paul said he’s so many problem corrected with this procedure. So, back up, then press ‘restore’ to wipe the phone clean, then reload the latest operating system, and finally restore the data you just backed up.
– Paul asked that listeners call in if they have suggestions
– As a last resort, use a messaging app other than iMessage — Whatsapp, for instance.

Continuing, Paul asked what phone company he uses. Douglas said it’s H2O. That made Paul recall problems Glenn had with that company. He then suggested turning off MMS (Multi Media Service). If the friend tries to send Douglas a picture and “it doesn’t go with iMassage” it will try to use a data service over the cellular service called Multi Media Service which doesn’t work with H2O on the iPhone. Under ‘Settings’ -> ‘Messages’ turn off MMS

Nick, an electrical engineer, called about the symptoms Douglas experienced when the refrigerator came on or a truck drove by. Nick said its a sign of something that should be investigated and corrected because it’s highly likely the wiring in the building (the power wiring) has loose or inadequate connections. It’s a fire hazard, he warned.

Buzz, the KVMR engineer, came into the studio to offer a tip in finding the faulty wiring. He said, take an old AM radio and tune it to a blank spot on the dial where there is no station broadcasting. Then walk around the house waiting for the phenomenon to occur. When it happens, you’ll hear a bunch of static on the radio. Wander around to where the static is the loudest. Then take apart the AC outlets in the wall or tighten the joint in the circuit breaker panel. Wherever the static is the loudest is where the [electrical] arc is happening. If there is no static, chances are the problem is not in your house, Buzz said.

Nick said all of this may be beyond the average person’s ability but this is stuff that can hurt you and light your building on fire. Get it checked out.

The disclaimer:
The views and opinions expressed on KVMR are those of the speaker only and not necessarily those of KVMR management, staff or underwriters.

Finally, Paul added, powder fire extinguishers are fairly inexpensive. The last thing you want all over an electrical fire is a bunch of conductive liquid.

Last Updated 12:07 AM 11-1-2018

Oct 24, 2018

Oct - 24 2018 | no comments | By


  • Win 10 Bug
  • Blackmail Emails
  • Daylight savinG time in Nov
  • Your Website- YOU can see if it’s set up right to be found!

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at:
– 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.

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.


Both Glenn and Paul were in the studio today.


Glenn said he’s not yet updated his iPhone or iPad with the latest (version 12) of the IOS operating system. The main reason is that he hasn’t run his Mac Mini to backup the 2 devices before updating them — a step he stressed is very important.

Paul has done the update and said it’s doing well. But it’s really a subjective observation. If you replace the operating system and it seems to go faster, it may be due more to the fresh reload rather than changing the version of the OS. Reloading the older version might have made it run faster too, if not much faster than the new OS. This is similarly true of other devices and their operating systems.

Paul said that much effort is put into reducing battery drain when smartphone operating systems are designed. He repeated what he’s said before, a smartphone battery drains faster when you’re further from the cell tower and have fewer ‘bars’ of signal strength.

So subjectively, he thinks he’s getting 10% to 20% more battery life now with approximately the same use. Also, it shuts itself down without warning less often now.

Paul said his iPhone needs a new battery and asked Glenn to explain the battery replacement offer by Apple. Glenn said that until the end of this year, you can take the phone in and get the battery replaced for $29, in some iPhone models. The iPhone has to be in perfect condition — no chips or cracks in the screen, Glenn said. Amending what he just said, Glenn said that they will replace the battery but they will require the damaged glass be replaced.

Paul’s sister in Spain had a refurbished iPhone with a non-Apple screen. When she took it in for the new battery offer, they did replace the battery, but they also replaced the screen and charged her for it, without prior notice. Paul thought the laws in the US are different. If the cost of service is 10% or more than the estimate, the shop is required to get your permission.

Paul mentioned that there is a recall of Macs with the 5K Retina Display. There is currently a class action lawsuit for the defect in the manufacture of that screen.

Paul talked about a bug in the latest rollout package of Windows 10. If you double click on a .zip file, it would ask you if you want to extract the contents, and if you continue you can encounter problems. If an extracted file has the same name as an existing file, it would overwrite the existing file without warning.

The bug got fixed but that created another one. It would ask permission to overwrite an existing file, and if you say OK, it would NOT extract some of the files because there were no existing files to overwrite. <That’s my understanding of what Paul said.>
<Here are some links to recent bugs in the Windows updates…
Windows 10 October Update Deletes User Documents
Windows 10 Bug Silences Sound Cards
Windows 10 Hit By Second File Deletion Bug>

About the battery replacement offer from Apple, Glenn wasn’t sure about the oldest model it applies to, possibly the 5SE. He thought it was a good deal to take advantage of because it’s so hard to replace the battery yourself. He’s never been able to put an iPhone back together after replacing the battery. Paul said Apple has robotic equipment to take their phones apart.

Glenn looked up more info about the battery replacement offer. It applies to “5SE, 6, 6+, 6S, 6S+, 7, 7+, 8, 8+ and the 10”. But then he said the offer is good for the iPhone 6 or later models. Glenn read, “After December 31st the fee will change to $49 and all other products except the iPhone X will change to $69”,

Paul said you can get a third party to replace your iPhone battery but it’s extremely difficult to find a reliable manufacturer of lithium polymer batteries. They may work OK for a while but they don’t survive the number of charging cycles that Apple batteries do. Paul said “the Apple spec is that after 1000 charge & discharge cycles thru the 50% mark, the battery is supposed to retain about 80% of its capacity.”

Paul said, “there’s an app for the Mac called Coconut Battery and you can look at your cell phone with it”. It’s supposed to tell you about the condition of the iPhone battery. He’s seen the app report that the third party battery has lost half of its capacity in 6 months, after only 100 cycles.

Ross called. He thought the 5S was to be included the battery replacement offer. Glenn went back to the website to read again that the offer was good for the model 6 and later. He sent me a link to his source. But Paul chimed in to say that a closer look showed that the iPhone SE *is* included.

Glenn thanked new members from the recent membership drive and reminded listeners that they can become contributing members of KVMR by calling the office number 530-265-9073. Or call the studio when the DJ is not talking on the air at 530-265-9555. <You can also go online at>

Paul talked about video made by the CEO of Apple (Tim Cook) about recent new product releases, in particular the iPhone XS & XR. The camera in the XR quite extraordinary, Paul said.

It’s not OK to call it digital photography any more, it is now computational photography. There is a scary feature that Paul & others are not happy about. The XR has an infrared laser dot projector in the part of the phone facing the user It sends out a series of dots that measure the distances to an object (different parts of your face) and uses that data to identify the user. That provides extra information (the depth) that can be combined with what the camera sees. <He didn’t say how this applies to the front camera> but you can control the depth of field in the image after you’ve taken the picture.

Other things computational photography can do…
– The main object can be in color and everything else can be in black & white.
– The camera is always receiving an image and the moment you press the shutter button the image is captured instantaneously — there is no delay.

In the video, Tim said the XS has a neural network. The chip aboard makes intelligent decisions about what exactly to do with the image.

Paul introduced the concept of secure enclave. The latest Mac Books are difficult or impossible to service by anyone but Apple. There are a series of chips on board that are bound together with encryption in such a way that you can’t easily see the information in that secure enclave. The iPhone is the same, he said.

California has a law that requires products be serviceable by a third party. How Apple will side step that, Paul wasn’t sure.

Marilyn called. She uses Windows 7 and when she does a virus scan, she gets a warning that she hasn’t updated for over a year. She then clicks on “check for updates” and gets a message “Windows updates cannot currently check for update because the service is not running. You may need to restart your computer”. She restarts but she ends up in the same situation with the same warning.
– Windows 7 is a current product and should be getting updates. It’s not that Win7 is no longer supported.
– If you do a search for those very words, you will likely end up on the Microsoft site with a button that says “fix it”. She said she did that and got to a page that would guide her to change things in the Registry.
– Paul said that’s the wrong place. Do the Google search again and add the word “fix”.
– Be sure your search results take you to a Microsoft site, not a site that just claims to be Microsoft.
– Try using Crap Cleaner (Ccleaner). Sometimes that gets Windows Update working again.

Marilyn’s other question was about a VPN service. She takes her laptop to meetings and uses the available wi-fi, and someone suggested she use a VPN. She’s found many VPNs and wanted suggestions.

– Her computer already has a reliable firewall so people can’t readily connect back into your machine if your machine is in good shape.
– If you’re just typing notes at the meeting, you’re not going onto the internet so you’re OK.
– If you go on the internet, the majority of sites are encrypted by default. You can tell by the “https” (not http) in the address of the site.
– If you want to use a VPN, you’ll need a level of trust in the VPN service that *they* won’t steal your data. Paul suggested They give you 500 meg of data/mo for free to try it out. The installation is easy.
– The other use for the VPN is to make it appear you’re actually located in another country. “Someone” uses it to access content on the BBC that’s only available to BBC subscribers in the UK, for instance.

Marilyn has been receiving ransomeware emails that have made her nervous. Paul said such mail is bogus but it’s a good wakeup call to change your password. Some of these emails may say they have your password and may even display it while they threaten you for payments. Paul said he doesn’t know how they get the passwords but it maybe at spoof sites. The webpage may seem like you are where you want to be but when you type in your password, they redirect you to the correct site while keeping a record of your password.
<How to Fix: Hackers Hacked My Email, Demand Bitcoin (Scam)>

Paul said that there is a public database somewhere where you put in your email address and it will tell you any stolen passwords were associated with it. He’s not sure how reliable it is.

Paul said if you have a website, there are 2 thing to test it for. If these 2 thing don’t work, change it or you will not be found. Your website should “come up with a secure certificate”. It doesn’t have to be associated with a name. If you have a pizza company, it doesn’t have to say Joe’s Pizza, it just needs to have lock on it — a domain certificate. Otherwise “Google no longer likes the site”. <More about secure certificates in the 1-31-18 show notes>

The 2nd thing is that when you go to add to that /sitemap.xml ( Google and other search engines use the file sitemap.xml at to simplify their work. Without that file, your search ranking will be downgraded.

Last Updated 4:15 PM 10-26-2018

added link to article w/r hackers show they have your password & demand payment

Oct 10, 2018

Oct - 10 2018 | no comments | By

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at:
– 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.


The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.


Both Paul and Glenn were in the studio today.


Glenn reminded listeners that they can call in with their questions or comments during the show. The number in the studio is 530-265-9555. Or they can send email to zen at kvmr dot org.

Glenn read a message saying “my iPhone contents may have been lost in the IOS 12 upgrade”. Paul has already done the upgrade on his iPhone but Glenn hasn’t. Glenn said there are 2 or 3 ways to do the upgrade and Paul went into some details.

Paul said it’s often quite hard to go back to an older version of IOS, after you’ve done an upgrade on an iPhone and realized you don’t like it.

When the iPhone first came out, you had to cable it to your computer to do the upgrade. Now it is capable of doing the upgrade thru a wireless connection. An iPhone as old as the 5S can be upgraded to IOS 12.

If you’re using iCloud, it will backup your contacts, reminders, tasks, etc. but that doesn’t mean you have a legitimate snapshot of your machine”, Paul said.

Paul did the IOS 12 upgrade on his iPhone 6 with 16gigs of memory most of which was occupied. 2gigs of free memory is needed to do the upgrade. He tried to free up enough memory but in the end decided to cable it to his computer and use iTunes to do the upgrade.

Doing it this way requires the latest version of iTunes. If it’s an older version, “strange things will happen” and you won’t be warned that your iTunes is too old. Paul said that he doesn’t think this is the reason the listener lost her data.

So, start with the latest iTunes (on either a PC or Mac), a reliable cable and the phone to be upgraded. If you connect the iPhone and iTunes doesn’t open automatically, you’ll have to start it up manually. It then will show a popup telling you an upgrade is available.

If there is no popup, look for the logo representing your phone on the bar. There may be logos for your other devices, so choose the correct logo. When you click on that, it will give you the chance to back up your device onto iCloud, which you don’t want to do according to Paul, or to back up to the computer (do tick that check box). You are then asked if you want to encrypt the backups — Paul doesn’t encrypt the backups because “it causes problems”.

At that point it will go thru a long process to take a snapshot of just about anything that’s on your iPhone. It can take 10 to 15 minutes. If it then says your phone was successfully backed up and tells you the name & date of the backup, you’ll be given the option to “restore” the phone, which wipes the phone clean. This is what Paul chose in his case because there was too little free memory.

Paul thought that the listener who wrote in might have gotten to this point, where the phone was wiped clean. After the upgrade, you can then restore your backup from the computer, if you did the backup there, or at least restore from whatever had been backed up on iCloud.

Glenn previously helped someone to change their cellular carrier and he had to go back and turn on iMessage and a few other things. Paul said some things get turned off when you upgrade the iPhone, get a different iPhone or change the carrier by putting in a different SIM card.

Paul threw in a seemingly unrelated but useful tip — you can take a screen shot on the iPhone by pushing both the home & power buttons.

As he said before, it’s more desirable to use cable, whether for backups or network connections, rather than wi-fi, for security and other reasons. Pre-cut Ethernet cables are pretty cheap and are more reliable than making them yourself with a crimping tool.

Paul talked a bit about IOS 12. It has the feature called Screen Time, which shows you the percentage of all your time spent that went to social media, work applications, etc. And it has parental control settings to limit use of social media. IOS 12 will ask you if you want to set up Screen Time. Paul said he would answer ‘no’ to begin with. He said that even if you answer no, it’s “still logging stuff”.

With IOS 12, that really long list under ‘Settings’ now has a search box to help find the setting you’re looking for.

Paul noticed his iPhone 6 runs a bit faster with IOS 12. However, he put it in there by “reloading and refreshing the iPhone, which may in itself have sped it up”. Apple claims better battery performance and Paul seem to think it’s true, but he hasn’t done rigorous testing.

Android is up to version 9, which they call “Pie”. Upgrading your Android device varies by manufacturer because each vendor makes changes to customize it for their devices. Paul pointed out that just because you can upgrade doesn’t mean you should. His old Nexus tablet is running version 6 and it’s working just fine.

Gary called. He heard on last show about recharging batteries at 2amps and pointed out that lithium polymer batteries will last the longest if they are charged at the lowest rate. It’s the heat from the charging that limits the battery lifetime, Paul said. Lithium polymer are older that lithium metal hydride batteries and didn’t reach the mainstream until complex regulatory chips were put onboard that kept track of current, voltage, temperature and the time of charging. Paul agreed with Gary that charging at lower amperage will help prolong the battery lifetime.

From China you can get a USB device that goes between a 5volt wall charger and the USB cable that will show you what current is coming thru, but it doesn’t let you control the amount of current. Some chargers do let you change the current. For example, Paul has a charger with 2 2amp sockets and 2 1amp sockets.

The other tip to prolong the battery life, if you storing it or just not using it much, is to keep it half charged, not fully charged or fully discharged. The other thing is to keep it in a cool place but not in a fridge and definitely not in a freezer.

Glenn was at Costco in the Bay Area and saw a Sky Phantom Wi-Fi FPV Drone for $30. FPV stands for first person view or first person video, meaning “you see what it sees”. That’s opposed to being able to only record the video into memory and then to read the memory when the drone comes back.

Paul said Wi-fi can be interfered with easily and doesn’t have a big range so you need to find out what happens when you lose the wi-fi connection. The quadcopter Paul has will throttle back and slowly descend when its wi-fi gets out of range.

Paul suggested people avoid buying drones that are controlled only by a smart phone. The one Glenn saw has a hand controller to which you can attach a phone for viewing the images the drone is sending.

Scott called to say that according to an email from Tech Connect Daily <maybe it’s this>. Apple is forcing users to buy Apple Care because, if something goes wrong and you try to fix it yourself, it will shut down a Mac Book and not allow you to restart it. Paul vaguely recalled hearing something like that regarding the latest Mac Books — they are not third party serviceable. Paul thought it’s nominally illegal to make things that only the company can fix. Paul thought it might have something to do with security, not allowing you to “monkey with any of the parts of it to get into anything”.

Paul suggested that people find out just which models are subject to this new policy and avoid buying them. Instead, get refurbished or recycled Macs.

Paul left us with something to be paranoid about. The Chinese are making what Paul calls snoopy chips, which are tiny bits of silicon that fit into the plug of an Ethernet cable and draw power from it. The chips watch for certain types of signals and, when the right time comes, send the data to predetermined internet address.
<China used tiny chips on US computers to steal secrets: report>

Also,motherboards have been found with embedded chips the size of a grain of rice.

Finally, there’s a hack that can compromise a hard drive. Every hard drive has a 4-pin J-tag connector or 5-pin firmware connector that developers use to monitor and control what happens between the bus signals and the hard drive. It’s possible to change the firmware in such a way that it will snoop on the traffic and send it out.

The disclaimer:
The views and opinions expressed on KVMR are those of the speaker only and not necessarily of KVMR management, staff or underwriters

added link to article about Chinese ‘snoopy’ chip

Last Updated 12:45 AM 10-12-2018

Sep 26, 2018

Sep - 26 2018 | no comments | By

Glen will Call In; Paule Castro back from extensive travels- a bit about this On the Air.

Latest Google Chrome quietly forcing you to Log In– HOw to Fix.
Or– Use Something Else! or, nothing at all

Lightning Connector (iPhone 5 and up, Etc) Corrosion Issues. USB C any better? Dunno.

MacOS “Mojave” (10.14) up from High Sierra (10.3.x) released today Sep 24 2018.
Read More Here do you need or want this? YOU decide. But– patience!
It Won’t Run on anything older than about 2012, rather than approx 2010 for its predecessor.


Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at:
– 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.

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.


Paul was in the studio today. Glenn called in.


Paul started off by noting that many old TV ads, commercials and shows have been digitized and now reside on Youtube.

Talk quickly turned to web browsers. “It’s virtually impossible to use Chrome without logging in”, Glenn said. That’s not a big problem. But not logging out can be a problem because, if you don’t, the next person using Chrome on the same machine is able to “see your information, see your account”. He said he’s never been clear on how to log out.

Glenn had tried Chome some time back on his 32bit notebook, but said the latest version of Chrome is only for the 64bit machines. Paul said you can find out what version you have by clicking on the icon with 3 horizontal bars -> Help -> About.

The new version of Chrome is 69 and prompts you to log in or log in as a guest, but doesn’t let you continue unless you do. One way around it is to create an anonymous profile on every machine you use. But creating a guest account limits its function in a number of ways. Chrome is the most popular browser “from the point of view of the number of people, in general, using” it, Paul added.

Mentioned on previous shows is the website Apparently, you can get an older version of Chrome, but Google doesn’t want you to do that. “It’s quite possible that Google will stop talking to you if you’re not nice to them by [not] using what they want you to use”. It’s also possible that “some things may stop working”, Paul said. Glenn added that older versions won’t have the latest security fixes, and security is one of features driving Chrome’s popularity.

Paul said that different brands of browsers have varying degrees of security. The lowest in rank is Internet Explorer & Edge, which comes with Windows 10. You should do some research to find the browser that’s best for what you do. It’s less the case now that websites will refuse to talk to certain browsers for security reasons, but if you do banking with an older browser, you may still find that’s a problem. Paul said he’ll continue using Firefox.

Paul started suggesting the use of an ad blocker call Ublock Origin, it’s the most effective blocker at this time. But if you sign in as a guest with Chrome, it won’t work, You’ll “have to then add Ublock Origin back to the guest profile”.
<There’s more about Ublock Origin in the 2-8-17 show notes.
The Wikipedia article is here>

Having to sign in to Chrome has some advantage — you get back your settings from the previous sessions when you use it again. There is also a separate synch setting which stores the settings that you used before, so if “you sign in *and* synch somewhere else, all your bookmarks go too”, Paul said, and he doesn’t like that. So far, signing in and synching are kept separate, but it may be only a matter of time before they are combined. See the “How to Fix” link at the top of this page. It talks about changing the configuration settings of Chrome, which may not carry over the next time you update Chrome.

Glenn reminded listeners that they can send email to the show with questions or comments by using zen at kvmr dot org.

Paul talked about his recent European trip. He spent 2 weeks in Budapest Hungary. And the 8 hour flight that took him thru Stockholm & Sweden interested him in going to visit those countries.

He took his drone aircraft on his visit to Iceland and took a lot of aerial footage. He said he might post some of it to his Youtube channel. Glenn wondered if he had any trouble traveling with a drone. Paul said there were no problems because security personnel are used to seeing them. He just had to be sure it met the dimension requirements for carry-on.

He flew to Iceland from England on a Hungarian airline called Wizz Air for about $45. And for less than $200 he flew on Wow Air from Reykjavik in Iceland to San Francisco.

If you want to know if the discount airline you’re about to use is safe,

federal & European regulations require that on the door jam, as you go in, is a prominent plate with the manufacturing date of the plane. <as I surmise from his fragmented sentence>. All of the planes he flew on were A320 & A330s less than 18 months old

The airlines hold down costs by not serving food and discouraging luggage handling. They try to fill up all of the seats with online booking. The airlines lease just a couple types of planes so pilots need to be trained only on them, allowing the pilots to be easily reassigned routes. The planes are new and therefore fuel-efficient. They often use second tier airports, avoiding much of the tax paid to airports. Contrary to myth, leg room is not cramped.

Paul noted that cell phone service in every country is cheaper than in the US. Glenn asked about using SIM cards in other countries.

Paul said you can buy SIM cards at If you buy a card in a particular country, you get a phone number in that country. If you get a card in a country that’s part of the European community, you can call any number in another country in the European for free as long as you don’t call from the country where you bought the card. E.g. you bought a UK SIM card and you’re calling from Iceland, you can call another EU community country for free, but it will cost you to call from the UK. The remedy is to use the data part of the account with apps like Whatsapp or Skype or Facebook Messenger — all of which allow free calls.

The SIM card Paul got from Giff Gaff cost him about $20 and took about 3 minutes to setup. Be sure you have an unlocked phone — one that’s not under contract to AT&T, for instance. Paul got 8gig of data, unlimited calls & text with the SIM card he bought.

The guys talked about corrosion issues with the Lightning connector on the iPhone. Glenn bought a magnetic connector to avoid the problem, which worked fine until the magnets picked up some metal shavings from being on the floor of his car. Paul too has had problems with Lightning connector, even using Apple branded cables. He said there is a temptation to wiggle the cable to get a better connection. But be careful, the socket on the phone is expensive to replace if you ruin it, whereas the cable itself is relatively cheap.

Paul said that people expect gold plated connectors would not have connection problems. But if you charge at a high current rate (2 Amps or so), as he does, you can, if you look with a magnifier, get some corrosion in the gold plate. Gentle use of a pencil eraser (not Emory board) on the gold plate can restore it. Also look for cords with a braided sheath, not cheap plastic.

Brian called. He said he called the show a couple of month ago about a problem with his printer/scanner. The suggestion he got fixed his problem. His new problem is that his computer, with Windows 7, shuts itself off a lot — if he stops using it for about 15 minutes.
– It may be trying to save power and is not able to recover itself. Go to Settings -> Control Panel -> power options and turn off all of the power saving options (the ones that tell it when to shut the screen down or when to shut down the hard drive, etc.)
– Use a program called Speedfan, which looks at the speed of the cooling fan, the voltages on the motherboard, the temperatures of the CPU and motherboard. Anything over about 60 C may cause the computer to shut down. You can also put your nose next to the vents to “smell heat” or feel with your hand if it’s uncomfortably warm.
– The manufacturer may have an update for the BIOS.
– The sleep options used to be called State 1, State 2 and State 3. Google the words: s1 s2 s3.

Apple has released the Mojave operating system, version 10.14. It requires the Mac to be of 2012 vintage or newer. The previous version, High Sierra (10.13), can be installed on machines from around 2010. Paul suggested waiting to do the upgrade while you read the reviews at

Glenn thanked the supporters of KVMR. <If you’d like to become a contributing member, you can call the business office at 530-265-9073 or go to the KVMR website>

Last Updated 10:08 PM 9-26-2018

Sep 12, 2018

Sep - 12 2018 | no comments | By

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at:
– 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.

The intro & outro music was by Beck from the “Colors” album. I think the track was “Wow


Mikail Graham was alone in the studio today. He talked mostly about Apple products.


Apple had a presentation today to introduce new iPhones. To those thinking of buying an iPhone, he said to hang tight for a while because the pricing has “just changed”. Prices on iPhones 7 & 8 are way down now and start at around $350 $450. What used to cost around $1000 is now about $650

The new stuff:
iPhone XR is replacing the iPhone 8 & 8+. It has edge to edge display and has the face ID that was popular last year with the iPhone 10.

The new iPhone XS is replacing the iPhone 10. It will come in 64gig 256gig & 512gig versions. They will go for $999, $1149 & $1340. It comes in 3 colors — silver, gold and space gray. It’s a little faster with a better camera.

He said he’s still using an iPhone 6S and is quite happy with it.

iPhone 10 costs $999 for 64gig & $1149 for the 256gig.
iPhone 8 used to cost $699 for 64gig & $849 for 256gig.
iPhone 8+ was $100 more expensive for each of those memory options.
iPhone XR is the entry model of this years iPhone lineup.

iPhone XS and XS Max is the same phone in different screen sizes. It has a better display, better camera and better materials — stainless steel. He thought they will be available on the 9/17/18; shipping starts around 9/21/18. The XR comes in 6 finishes red, yellow, blue, gold, black, white.
<Meet Apple’s newest smartphone: The iPhone XS
Summary of the Apple event
Tips on what to do with the old phone when you upgrade>

If you want something cheaper, the iPhone 7 now costs $449 & the iPhone 8 is $599. He thinks those prices are for the 64gig phones, but wasn’t 100% sure. He said the iPhone 7 or 8 are just a fine choice.

The iPhone operating system IOS 12, Grandmaster, also came out today and should be available next week. It brings performance improvements/features to and is compatible with iPhone 10, 8, 8+, 7, 7+, 6S, 6S+, 6, 6+, SE, 5S, 12.9″ iPad Pro first & second generation. 10.5″ iPad Pro, 9.7″ iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 4 3 & 2 and iPod Touch 6th generation.
< New features available with iOS 12>

Mikail invited listeners to call during the show with questions and comments at 530-265-9555

A new Apple watch came out today, too. It has IOS 5,
– It can produce an electrocardiogram (ECG).
– It can tell if you’ve fallen. And depending on how you fell, it can make an emergency phone call.
|- It can tell if your heartbeat is irregular.
– It has a 35% bigger screen.

A caller wanted to know the website for the railroad event in Colfax. <mentioned during the Community Calendar at the top of the hour.> Mikail said the calendar is available online. When he looked at the calendar again it just said Colfax Railroad Days, there was no website listed. All it said is “at Colfax Railroad Days”. It will be this Saturday 10am to 6pm and on Sunday 10am to 5pm on Main Street in downtown Colfax.

Mikail mentioned Apple TV. He thinks it’s one of the best streaming devices. He’s used a Roku for a long tim and said it’s more “open”, but there are aspects to the way Apple TV works that lets him experiment with cord cutting (shift away from cable TV).

5G (the next generation cellular connection) is not supported by any of the new Apple phones. The Chinese company Huawei is expected to be the first to support 5G on their Android phones. The 5G signal is a more “concentrated from of energy” but doesn’t go a long distance, so it requires more cell towers for good coverage. It is much faster, ideally it will be “much faster than broadband in some ways”.

Sacramento is one of the cities where Verizon will roll out 5G. An announcement is expected in a month. It will cost $50 for current Verizon users and $70 for new subscribers. But Mikail said it’s “not 5G, they’re just trying to get you in to go for it and start testing it”; there are no 5G devices yet. He also said that there’s still debate about the health effects of cell phone radiation.

Mikail offered a tip to those who’ve spilled liquid into their computer. He said to make sure the power is off and don’t try to power it up. Don’t think you can just dry it out and it will be ok. Take it in for service.

He related a story about a friend who spilled some beer in to their Mac Book Air. Mikail referred them to a tech for service but his friend waited 2 weeks before taking it in. By that time, the sugar from the alcohol had corrupted the motherboard. This story pointed to the advantage of having Apple Care.

He said there is Apple Care and Apple Care Plus. A new Apple device comes with 1 year Apple Care warranty and 90 days of phone support. You can pay an additional fee to extend the warranty, in which case you’ll have Apple Care Plus. You don’t have to buy Apple Care Plus at the time you buy the device — you have 60 days to decide (30 days if you’re in Japan).

If you buy it later, you’ll have to run a diagnostic test to be sure it’s in good working order. This can be done remotely by Apple or you can take it into a shop. The Apple Care Plus warranty period is counted from the date of purchase even if you waited the 60 days to buy it.

You can check your warranty coverage by going to Apple and giving them the serial number of device. To find the serial number on a Mac go to “About this Mac”. On an Apple mobile device go to Settings -> General -> About and scroll down. Then on the Apple site, search for the page titled “Check Your Service and Support Coverage” and enter your serial number there. You can also buy Apple Care & Apple Care Plus for refurbished Apple devices.

A caller from Taipei said the warranty options there are similar to the Japanese — 30 days to buy Apple Care Plus.

Mikail related a story that happened years ago about an iPhone 3GS he bought and took with him to London. He plugged it in to charge and it got fried. He was distraught for days. He finally got to an Apple store where they looked up the serial number and immediately replaced the phone with no questions asked, because he had Apple Care. He also told another story about the speedy service he got from Apple in fixing a Mac, because of Apple Care.

The cost for Apple Care starts at about $99 for an iPhone, depending in the model, and $120 for the “Plus size”. And its about $199 for the new iPhone X. Apple Care Plus for the SE iPhone is $99. For the 6S 7 & 8 it’s $129. For the “plus size phones” it’s $149. For the iPhone X & XS it’s $199.

You can also go with a SquareTrade waranty. It costs about the same, maybe a little less. They cover not only phones but also other electronic equipment. Mikail said he’s gotten good service from them.

Apple Care for iPads is $99 for 2 year coverage. There is a service fee of $29 for a broken screen. For a Mac Mini it’s $99. An iMac is $169 for 3 years of coverage. The iMac Pro is $169, The Mac Pro is $249, The Mac Book is $249. The Mac Book Air is $249. The 13″ Mac Book Pro is $269. The 15″ Mac Book Pro is $379.

A caller with an iPhone 6 wanted to know how much better the cameras are in the later models like the iPhone 8 10 or 10X. Mikail said the difference is pretty dramatic. With the 6S it’s only slightly better. But with the iPhone 7 it’s so much better that he would recommend upgrading if picture quality were a big deal for you. And the iPhone 8 is even better, especially the Plus version, because they have a dual lens camera. Also the 8 has a true optical zoom, rather than digital zoom. He would recommend the iPhone XR to the caller ($749 for the 64gig model), even though it doesn’t have a dual lens and the screen is regular LED not OLED.

When you buy a new iPhone you have 15 days to try it out. “If you don’t like it, bring it back and get your money back”.

Next, Mikail talked about managing photos. He doesn’t like iPhoto or the Photos app. He prefers Image Capture or Imazing (mentioned on the 8-29-18 show) to pull the photos off his phone directly into a folder. And then there a program called Power Photos from Fat Cat Software for about $30. It allows you to import the photos into 1 library using a lot of the tools that Apple left out.

Last Updated 10:58 PM 9-12-2018

Aug 29, 2018

Aug - 29 2018 | no comments | By

There were no Zen Tech shows for both Wed 8-8-18 and 8-22-18


Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at:
– 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 < >

The KVMR audio archive wasn’t working right as I post these notes. Audio for today’s program, if it shows up, and recent shows will be here.

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.


Mikail Graham joined Glenn in the studio today.


Glenn reminded listeners that they can call in with their questions or comments during the show. The number in the studio is 530-265-9555. Or they can send email to zen at kvmr dot org.

According to Mikail, Apple is about to announce a huge lineup of new products, “so they say”. 3 new iPhones are expected. The announcement is expected on Wed Sep 12.

He got a question from a user whose friend has an iPhone 6 with 16gigs of memory. The user wondered if his friend needed to buy a new iPhone just to get more memory. Yes, sadly, that is the way it works, Mikail said.

Mikail then went on to describe a card that plugs into the Lightning connector to which you can then add flash memory. The unit Glenn got is an all-in-one unit that plugs into the lightning connector and it has the flash memory inside giving him an extra 32gigs. <I’m guessing that the iPhone 6 doesn’t have a lightning port.>

But Glenn encountered a problem with his new flash memory unit. His intent was to transfer all of his photos to the flash drive, but it only allowed him to transfer 200 of them and he wasn’t allowed to choose which photos. He said he’ll do more research to resolve the problem.

Mikail asked what brand it is. Glenn thought it was Lexar, but wasn’t completely sure. The unit Mikail ordered for himself is a 128gig San Disk.

Mikail recommended that people get the phone model with the most memory when they go shopping for a phone, no matter what the brand, but especially Apple “because you can’t change it after the fact”. 64gig is the minimum you should consider, he added.

Glenn thanked supporters of KVMR. <If you’d like to become a contributing member, you can call the business office at 530-265-9073 or go to the KVMR website.>

Mikail read the disclaimer this time:
The views and opinions expressed on this show are those of the speakers, being Glenn and I and any guest that might call in, and do not reflect the management, staff or any of the people here.

Mikail highly recommends Imazing, which he’s been using for about 3 years. It’s a backup program that runs on the PC or Mac <he was ambiguous about whether it runs on the iPhone, but it looks like it does>. It can back up everything, not just what Apple allows. It sells for about $39.99 and occasionally goes on sale. On the PC you can bypass iTunes completely, he said. With iTunes you can only add music the way it lets add the music, Imazing frees you from that constraint. It’s one of the best investments he can recommend for IOS users, and support from the company is good. There is a demo you can download for free.

Mikail mentioned that the new operating system for the Mac called Mojave is coming out soon. But he said to stay away from it for a while until it gets a couple of updates to fix things. He waited until April of 2018 to cautiously switch to High Sierra.

Mikail is a beta tester of Apple products. If you’d like to become a beta tester, google the words: apple beta test.

He’s run IOS 12 for a while and it improved the battery usage significantly. Also, it runs on all phones that IOS 11 runs on — all the way back to the iPhone 5S. IOS 12 is snappier — windows open faster, apps open faster and the responsiveness is much better. But he stopped using it because some things didn’t work — the home automation thru iCloud or Home Kit, for example.

To automate his house, he bought a Logitech hub for about $75. It can handle 8 to 15 devices, depending on the remote you have. It can control the home lighting, AC/heating & TV viewing, for example.

One of the new things in IOS 12 is an app that lets you teach Siri to “do all kinds of different things”. For example he’ll be able to tell Siri that he’s going to KVMR to do his radio show and Siri will know to turn off the lights & TV and turn on the porch light. Then when he gets to KVMR, Siri will remind him what he needs to do. <Similar to what Google Assistant does, as I understand it.> Unfortunately, Siri still seems to have problems understanding commands when used in a car, as Glenn mentioned on a previous show.

Paul sent a text (txt) to the show saying he won’t call in, but wanted to say hello from Budapest Hungary, where he just arrived.

Kate called about a problem she has with her iPhone concerning email. She uses iCloud, Gmail and SBC Global for email. The iCloud and Gmail accounts work ok. However, SBC would seem to load the mail and say you have 74 messages but nothing would open up. She was on the phone with the iPhone help desk for 2 hours last night but nobody was able to help her.
– A quick fix suggested by Mikail is to go to your SBC account and set up a mail forwarding to the Gmail address, so all of the SBC mail is forwarded to the Gmail account. That way you don’t have to abandon SBC mail and then have to notify everyone that you’ve changed to a different email address.
– He recommend using the Gmail app. It works with other email services including SBC, not just Gmail. And when replying, you can tell it to to use the address the email came from (SBC) or your Gmail address.
– Go into Setting -> Email -> Accounts & Passwords, then check to see if Yahoo <meant SBC? – are they the same?> is looking for a password.
– Also check to see if the Yahoo <SBC?> account is using IMAP or POP. If it’s IMAP, you can log out and then log in again and “everything will repopulate”. Often that will rest everything so it will start working again. She said she did that but the problem persists.

Art called. He has an older Toshiba laptop that was able to play DVDs until he upgraded to Windows 10. He was told that Microsoft has a new program that plays DVDs. He’s tried other players like VLC but no luck.

He went into Device Manager and clicked on the drive, and it said “Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information in the registry is incomplete or damaged. Code 19”
– The driver is not installed correctly, Mikail thought. But Art searched for and installed the latest drivers.
– Its possible the DVD drive is no longer supported.
– Try going to the Toshiba website and search for drivers for your specific laptop.
– For under $30 you can get an external DVD drive and under $100 a Blueray drive. That’s cheap enough to avoid the hassle of resolving issues with a built-in drive. And you can use the external drive on other computers.

Last Updated 11:53 PM 8-29-2018

Jul 25, 2018

Jul - 25 2018 | no comments | By

Beats Headsets & Other BadBoys!

Thrift Stores, Ebay, Craigslist Tech?!

Not here Next Show



Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at:
– 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.

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.


Both Glenn and Paul were in the studio today.


Glenn thanked supporters of KVMR. <If you’d like to become a contributing member, you can call the business office at 530-265-9073 or go to the KVMR website.

Glenn noticed that Paul wasn’t wearing the activity tracking Amazfit BIP watch he bought recently. Paul talked about it on the last show (7-11-18). But since then, he has lost ‘track’ of it. It’s somewhere in his house and he can communicate with it using Bluetooth. The watch is telling him that he’s not been meeting his exercise goals, obviously, since he hasn’t been wearing it.

He can make the watch buzz remotely so he can find it by sound, but the watch has some built-in rule not to do that often so as not to drain the battery. His other strategy to find it is to synchronize with the watch using Bluetooth as he walks around the house. When it won’t synch, he can assume it’s because he’s out Bluetooth range (about 30 feet). He hopes to narrow its location down to a particular room.

Paul said that local thrift stores are a great source for stuff you can’t get elsewhere — like power supplies, cell phone cables, inexpensive tv sets and monitors and even complete refurbished computers. The Salvation Army has computers with monitors for about $150. And if you keep the receipt, some stores will let you return electronic products within 3 days, if they don’t work right. Often you will get store credit, not cash back.

Paul also mentioned <he said> for recycled & repurposed goods.

Glenn reminded listeners they can call the guys at 530-265-9555 with their questions or comments.

Paul has a 2013 vintage Google Nexus 7 tablet that originally came with version 4 of Android. He’s now using version 6.01. All the apps in the Play Store work on it even though the current Android is version 8.

He wanted to try out the new features in the latest version, but Google won’t let him update to version 8 because they don’t want to support it on an old tablet, even though version 8 will work on it. Google is entitled by law to stop support after 7 years, which can mean that newer apps may not work on it (though the older apps should continue to work).

Since he couldn’t get Google to update the Nexus to version 8, he decided to install a hacked version from the open source community. Unfortunately he ended up bricking the unit. He not only deleted the original operating system, which he thought he had backed up, but he also couldn’t load the new one. After much research and going thru a bunch of steps, he managed to get version 6.01 back on it.

Glenn looked up Android on Wikipedia and noticed that the various versions of Android were named after confections in alphabetical order. The guys noted that some of the street names in San Francisco are also in alphabetical order.

Getting back to updating Paul’s Nexus, Glenn asked if he can install Nugget (version 7) and then go to version 8 (Oreo). Paul said it’s quite possible but there’s a chance an older tablet won’t run so well as you keep updating it.

After issuing the disclaimer that you shouldn’t try this, Paul explained that if you hold down the power button & the down-volume button, the Nexus will go into recovery mode. This is a special mode that will use the USB port when it’s connected to a Linux machine, Windows or Mac in conjunction with ADB (a debugging console) to transfer files to and from the tablet. You can then put a specially named file on the tablet. When you restart the tablet it looks for that file, unpacks it and uses it. <I think this is supposed to be the new operating system.>

The file is supposed to contain a signature so the tablet will know that it’s legit. One of the problems Paul had when installing the new Android version was that the signature wasn’t right and he had to go thru some steps to get around that. He said that if you want to hack your tablet, first do a Google search for “back to square one Nexus tablet” or “bricked Nexus tablet”, so you’ll know how to recover,

Glenn recalled that back when it was possible to jailbreak the iPhone, there was no way to get back. Paul said the early iPhones allowed you to recover from a jailbreak but not anymore.

One reason to jailbreak is to be able to tether a phone that uses any of major cellular services. Tethering allows you to make the phone act as a hotspot and to be able to get on the internet using another device. Since about IOS 10, Apple has made it impossible to jailbreak the iPhone.

There is a company that makes a forensic tool that hooks up to the iPhone and allows police to get information off a locked iPhone. Apple then created a patch (version 11.4.1) that makes the port available for only 1 hour before locking it, Anyone trying to hack in thru the port will normally need more than 1 hour.

Glenn said he recently ordered a 32gig USB stick with a Lightning kit. It arrived yesterday and he has not had a chance to use it.

Paul went on a rant about iCloud. He said don’t trust it with your photos. It’s horrible…a bloody nightmare. Though the keeps turning it off, Apple turns on iCloud photos by default when there’s a software update. The phone then starts sending photos to the iCloud photo repository. At some point the free 5gigs you are allotted is used up and then your phone stops backing up contacts, calendars, reminders and addresses. It gets worse, because you can’t be sure which photos are “on the iPhone”. You can buy additional storage, but when that is used up, you end up with the same problem. When he goes to delete the photos from the phone he can’t be sure they’ve been backed up. More often than not, when he goes to he can see that some photos are not there.

The other problem occurs when you want to retrieve photos from iCloud. There is no way to highlight the photos you want to put back on the phone and download them. You have to use a PC and download the iCloud app and tell it you want all of your pictures from iCloud to be put into the ‘my photos’ folder. “And then it will only do it when it feels like it.”

What you have to do is “go to look at all of your photographs and in a buried and hidden place it tells you how many photographs you got.” It may tell you you’re using 20gig and have 3000 pictures. “You write that number down and stick it on your PC and you don’t believe a word that stupid software tells you until the PC tells you got at least 3000 photographs down. Then it becomes your business to jam them over back on the Mac where they should have come from.” Paul thinks it’s “a bloody mess” and he doesn’t trust it.

Gordon called. He “recently had his operating system redone” and moved away from AOL software to Firefox. But now when he tries to download a file he doesn’t know where it’s stored. He’s not given a chance to specify the location it’s downloaded to.
– Glenn said it typically should end up in the Download folder.
– He said you can find where it ended up by clicking on the blue arrow that shows you’ve downloaded it. It will then show the name of the file you’ve downloaded. Right-click on the name and then click on ‘open containing folder’
– Paul: if you’re using Firefox, “make sure you got your entire menu bar up.” Right-click on a blank spot in the address bar and choose ‘menu bar’. After that go to ‘tools’ -> ‘downloads’ (or Control-J).
– Glenn explained again how to get the ‘tools’ — On the bar that has the address bar, right-click on a blank space next to the home icon or reload button.
– When you get to tools’ go to ‘options’ and scroll down to where it says ‘save files to’ and pick a location. Or you can choose ‘always ask me where to save files’.
– After changing the settings, restart Firefox so they take affect.

Paul discovered a highly effective ad blocker called Ublock Origin that works in Firefox and Chrome. Use the full name to find it, there are others with similar names. Do a Google search for “Ublock Origin firefox” or “Ublock Origin chrome”. Be aware that some sites won’t serve up their content when they see you’re using this ad blocker and you may have to temporarily disable it.

Jess called. He added to Paul’s rant about iCloud — people say that when they delete photos off their iPhone, thinking they are backed up, they are also deleted from iCloud. It doesn’t tell you when it’s synchronizing, it tells you nothing, Paul said.

Paul mentioned that the KVMR program schedule is now in the .pdf format. You can make your own .pdf files with the free PDFcreator. Glenn really likes PDFescape — a free program for editing .pdf file.

Last Updated 2:18 AM 7-26-2018

Jul 11, 2018

Jul - 11 2018 | no comments | By

Some useful info about what makes a ‘good’ and ‘easily findable’ site.

Fitness watches: Amazfit BIP in particular— Some Info.

OLED– New Display Technology! Low Power!

Do you need screen protection?? Likely Not, thanks to Corning Gorilla Glass

Happy Birthday, App Store!!!

Happy 40th Birthday KVMR July 21!

zombie downloader robot overlord malware.

What Is Alpha Techness?

“We Know What We Are Doing, You Don’t” AKA Technical Elitism
Case in Point: is /dev/urandom really that random, as it affects cryptography?

FIFA Fraud… Real or Fake?!


Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at:
– 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.

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.


Paul was in the studio today. Glenn called in.


When Paul read the events calendar he mentioned that KVMR will have an open house with tours of the facilities on Wed Jul 18 6p to 8p. The location is 120 Bridge Street, Nevada City, CA. Also see the link above regarding KVMR’s 40th birthday.

There was a brief mention of the ability of telemarketers to use bogus phone numbers when they call. You might even see your phone number showing up in the caller ID.

Paul said that video card and chip maker Invidia produced hardware algorithms that work with artificial intelligence (AI) that can render images in such a way as to pull out all of the noise in them more efficiently. Watermarks can also be removed. Also, Facebook has algorithms to process photos to turn closed eyes into open eyes and frowns into smiles.

Paul went on to speculate that there will be machine learning systems for robodialers that will engage you in a conversation. This is already being done with text chatbots purporting to be Russian bride hopefuls who then phish the target for their money, if the target doesn’t realize it’s a robot.

If you get one of these robo calls and you’re asked to make vocal ‘yes’ ‘no’ responses to seemingly innocent questions, your voice print can be recorded and later used on a bank site. Paul said that he hasn’t heard of this happening, but the possibility exists.

Paul found a website he likes a lot. It talks about what makes a good, easy-to-find site. The link at the top goes to 160 very readable pages in .pdf format that explain how to be authoritative, how to get linked, how to make sense and how to make your site palatable.

Google has put out some info about sitemap.xml and how to create a map of your website and give some indication of how you want it to be viewed. There are tools to help you, such as the Yoast plugin, for those running a WordPress website, which generates the site map for you.

Paul did some searching for a health monitor similar to a Fitbit and came up with an interesting device on Amazon called Amazfit BIP <see the link at the top> for about $79. He was interested in one that has GPS so he wouldn’t have to use his phone’s GPS. It’s able to run for a month on its rechargeable battery. Its low power drain is due to an OLED (organic LED) display. The display is made of a light-emitting semi-conductor using organic compounds that change color when a voltage is applied. It is viewed by reflected light and it appears similar to a magazine page. A backlight is available for dim light situations. He seems to like it a lot and thought Apple might use this type of display in future iPhones.

For those of us using regular LED displays Paul offered the tip of lowering the screen brightness to prolong the battery life.

He also noted that the Amazfit uses Corning Gorilla Glass <see link at the top>. It’s regular glass that’s dipped into a sodium & potassium bath at 500 or 600 degrees C, which makes the surface much tougher and less prone to scratches. Apple eventually started using it in their phones. Though Corning first developed it, the Japanese & Chinese have their own version of the glass. If you see the demo of it on Youtube, you probably won’t waste your money on a screen protector, Paul said. However, he does use silicone case to absorb the shock of a fall.

It’s been 10 years since Apple created their app store <see the link at the top>. It originally opened with 500 apps for the iPhone 3G. Both Android and Apple screen their apps now and are able to send a killbit to disable an app that’s misbehaving. A number of researchers have found that, over all, the Android apps “are somewhat less secure and will communicate in ways they shouldn’t with servers that shouldn’t know the things you’re doing”. “They don’t steal voice messages or voice communications but…potentially can steal things like your call logs and your contacts”. Pay attention to the permissions the app requests when you’re installing it, but be aware that denying it a permission may limit its functionality. Glenn found that out when he installed Whatsapp on his iPhone.

Jul 21 is KVMR’s 40th birthday. <See the link at the top>

Glenn said the domain name .pharmacy will be available soon. Those using it will supposedly be vetted. Paul noted that the definition of pharmacy varies from place to place and that regulations differ by region. In Mexico you can buy pretty much anything over the counter. Glenn said he thought that the domain will be closely regulated, but said he’ll check into that some more.

Talk turned to domain names (top level domains) in general. You can buy a domain and then resell its use for profit. Glenn, for instance, might buy the domain .fartoo and hope enough people will want to use it so he can recoup his investment and even make money.

Paul explained that if you want to register a domain like .fm you can start by going to (put nic in front of it) to find out who runs it. In this case he found several place where he can register his site that will end in .fm. Paul then tried that with to find out more about the .pharmacy domain. If you want to know what domains are available, go to Wikipedia and look up tld (top level domain).

Glenn reminded listeners that they can call 530-265-9555 during the broadcast if they have any questions or comments for the guys. They can also send email to zen at kvmr dot org.

Paul tried to find out how to watch FIFA matches live on the internet so he did a Google search. When he typed in “fifa live” a bunch of bogus websites came up. He said there’s no way you’ll get to see it for free, but these websites claim you can if you just sign up and give them your credit card number.

Paul talked a bit about Linux, an operating system that runs not only on personal devices but also on servers that make the internet possible. ‘What Is Alpha Techness?’ is an article about Linus Torvalds, its creator and randomness. <See the link at the top>

One of the central features of cryptography is randomness, Paul said. When Paul was studying computer science there was a saying — “randomness is much too important to be left up to chance.” True randomness won’t come from a mathematical formula because it will eventually repeat itself. What’s used in the world of computers is something that’s indeterminable and unpredictable like movement of the mouse or the touching of the keys or even the temperature of the CPU.

There are 2 sources of true randomness that are readily available, Paul said. One is the rate of thermal conductivity thru a cheap semi-conductor (like a cheap germanium transistor). The other is nuclear decay where it’s impossible to know when the next particle will decay.

Paul reminded listeners they can hear past broadcasts of this and other KVMR shows at

If you want to look at websites from the past, go to <There are all sorts of books, audio, etc, too>.

Last Updated 12:28 AM 7-12-2018

Some useful infoSome useful info

Jun 27, 2018

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Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at:
– 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.

The intro music was Daft Punk by Pentatonix. Outro music was Bohemian Rhapsody, also by Pentatonix.


Both Glenn & Paul were in the studio today. Jeff Cox was a guest.
<There’s a little more about Jeff in the 4-25-18 show notes>


Glenn thanked supporters of KVMR. <If you’d like to become a contributing member, you can call the business office at 530-265-9073 or go to the KVMR website.>

Paul talked a bit about his trip to Poland a couple of weeks ago. The Polish people pronounce words like ‘Warsaw’ with a ‘v’ sound in place of the ‘w’. The Polish language is more like Russian and the only words he could recognize were those borrowed from English or have English roots.

Paul went on to talk about the Mandela Effect, named after Nelson Mandela. It’s the tendency for the brain to fill in the blank spots of our knowledge. When Mandela was in prison, a rumor got started that he had died in prison. People tended to believe that because he was an old guy and there was a paucity of reliable information coming from the government, so it was plausible. Paul said he sometimes falls victim to the effect during troubleshooting. You may think you know what happened but there is no evidence for it. Your brain fills in what it thinks makes sense when there’s a lack of understanding.

Regulations regarding bringing a drone aboard a passenger airliner can be ambiguous. When Paul was flying in Europe, his drone & laptop exceeded the weight allowance for the Icelandic airline he was using, but he got thru the security check. They seemed to be more interested in his laptop than the drone. When Jeff flew to New York recently, he didn’t get any clear answers from American Airlines about bringing a drone and he decided not to bring it.

England is a couple of years behind the US when it comes to regulating drones. Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is just getting around to requiring registration. Taking your drone with you when you travel is called drone tourism and there are websites catering to these tourists.

Glenn invited listeners to call 530-265-9555 with their questions and comments. Or you can reach the guys by email zen at kvmr dot org.

Paul related the story of a journalist who had heard that the NSA was gathering information about phone numbers of US citizens. The journalist decided to request the info they had about a couple of his phone numbers, under the Freedom Of Information Act. A couple of weeks later he got the reply: “The NSA can nether confirm nor deny the existence of the information you have requested.” That reply supposedly fulfilled their obligation to provide information even though it was useless.

Jeff asked for comments about the differences between the Apple watch and the Fitbit watch. He had heard that the Fitbit does pretty much the same thing as the Apple in monitoring health and fitness but costs about 1/3 the price.

Paul actually said that the Apple watch “is better integrated so that it automatically you can change the faces on your iPhone or your Mac or whatever it is”. Apple always knew that “people are more than willing to pay for style and convenience…they cornered that market”.

The Mac has what’s called the health interface, which looks like a red heart. “And when you download the Fitbit app it integrates with the health app, which has the heart on it, and it stores on your phone the data it gathered from the Fitbit, so it’s now in a central location”. Look on your phone for ‘health’. If you don’t find it there, do a search for the app called ‘Health’. <I think Paul may have conflated the Mac & iPhone.>

The iPhone 6 and newer models have an accelerometer, magnetometer and inclinometer built in. It can tell your position and which way you’re going. All these sensors record your physical activity. <I’ve heard this done by default, You may want to turn it off for privacy reasons.> Paul discovered that his phone has recorded such things as how far he’s walked, how many steps he took and how high he’s climbed. In answering Jeff’s question, Paul said maybe you don’t need the Apple watch or Fitbit at all.

Jeff said he knows someone with a heart condition who uses an Apple watch with another device that gives him a “single trace EKG” in real time. He didn’t know if the Fitbit can do the same thing.

Somewhere around IOS 9 or 10, “Apple announced that they were cooperating with the health industry to collect and distribute this information”. Machine learning is then used to look for anomalies in all of the data.

Gwen called. She wanted to know if there was free video driver support for her Windows 7 PC. The machine had been upgrade many times before she bought it.
– If this machine got an upgrade from an older operating system like XP, there may not be a driver available.
– Find out who made the computer. If it’s not on the front then it may say that on back.
– If you can’t find who made it, use the free program Belarc from It creates an inventory and describes everything it can find on the machine.
– Use the info Belarc gives you and go to the specific company that made the video card and get the driver from them. Don’t use Google search or you may end up in “places you don’t want to go to”. <Search results may take you to shady places.>
– It was eventually determined that her computer is a Dell — it said Dell in the BIOS setup. Belarc will reveal the “asset tag” number <later he said “service tag”>, which you can then use when you go to get further support.
– It may be easier just to buy a new computer.
– If you can’t find a “service tag” number, you might get help by calling Dell and giving them the serial number.

Gwen also said she had used a Fitbit. She said she had a “muscle sensing thing” and it completely destroyed her “energy field”.

One thing fitness trackers like Fitbit are good for is “nominal medicine”, Paul said. They track what’s happening when you’re normal. No two of us are alike and the Fitbit will determine readings are normal for you. <Baseline readings>.

The disclaimer:
The views and opinions expressed on KVMR are those of the speaker only and not necessarily those of KVMR, management, staff or underwriters.

Glenn mentioned what he thought were other differences between the Apple watch and Fitbit. He wondered if the Fitbit can answer phone calls, read and send messages. Jeff said the one his friend has can do email and text (txt) and things he wasn’t interested in — activity monitoring was the only desired feature.

In comparing things like a Fitbit and Apple watch, Paul says he likes to go to Youtube to compare products. A good product review will take only 5 minutes and will go thru all of the features it has and doesn’t have. He doesn’t trust search result in this situation. “You’re asking for trouble to look for drivers or product comparisons. There’s too much at stake to just go anywhere and get the results”.

Brian called. He has a Windows 7 machine with an HP scanner. He is having trouble scanning and emailing the image. When he sans an item and tries to send it, most of the time it does send and sometimes it says ‘ready to be sent’ but some of them have already been sent and he can never know which have been sent, unless he asks the person who was to receive the email.
– The workaround is to send a copy to yourself at the same time <name yourself as one of the recipients in the To: field or the CC: or BCC: fields.>
– Alternately, don’t use the software that came with the scanner to do the scanning and sending all in one step. Do the scan and bring it into the computer. Then attach the scan to your outgoing email.
– On the computer use the “Start” button -> “Programs” and look at the list of programs under HP and find “HP Update”. Use that to update your software. It may not solve the problem, but do the update anyway.
– If the scan is too large it may not be sent. Gmail, for instance, is limited to about 9 or 10 megs.

Last Updated 2:48 PM 6-28-2018

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