Jul 25, 2012

Jul - 11 2012 | By

ATT New Shared DAta Plan like Verizon's


Google Privacy Concerns Clearly Explained
(Although we are NOT endorsing this site as any better!)

Download a complete copy of whatver Google has on you here:
European regulators require data stores to provide you all of whatver they stored about you….
FAcebook has this feature, too…

Additional notes

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.


Mentioned briefly, the links above concern what Google knows about you and how you can get a copy of that information.

The last show talked about Verizon's new cellular offer that allows up to 10 devices on one plan. Now, AT&T has a competing plan. Paul said that AT&T's plans tend to be confusing and he's found an iPhone app called "MyWireless". It shows his monthly usage, and what options, like international roaming, he has turned on.
<Info on MyWireless for Android here. And for iPhone here.>

While looking a AT&T's offer, Glenn said the basic plan for 2 phones is $170 <a month, I guess, he wasn't explicit>. That allows the two phones to share 6 gigs of data. You can add a tablet for an additional $10. It seems that the voice & text (txt) are unlimited. He cautioned, "do your homework". See the above link for more info.

Paul said the cellular companies charge what the market can bear. The data plan is becoming a utility like gas & water. He compared the battle between the cellular companies to that between Edison and Tesla in their conflict between DC vs. AC electricity.

As mentioned in previous shows; Glenn switched to T-Mobile for his phone plan and he pays about $65 per month. He has an interest in the data portion of the plan but has found that his data usage is, in fact, pretty low. He said that's because he's mostly on wi-fi. Paul concurred and said the order of preference is to use an Ethernet connection, then wireless and, lastly, 3G <cellular>. He added that he's decided to do without 3G data because wireless (wi-fi) connections are plentiful for his needs.

Glenn said he recently helped a friend connect their new TV to the web thru a wi-fi router. Paul thought it's interesting that the internet has become like a utility, too.

Paul went on about utilities, talking about the attempt in California to break the electrical monopoly by letting startup utilities sell energy derived, for instance, from greener sources like hydroelectric. They use the same power grid infrastructure and the cost depends on the distance from the generators — hydroelectric may be cheaper in one location, but coal power may be cheaper if you're closer to a coal-powered plant.

Glenn had the notion that AC electricity has a tendency to lose power over distance. However, Paul said that it's quite efficient because of the use of transformers to boost the voltage for long distance transmission. Then transformers are used to step down the voltage when it reaches the consumer. The efficiency, he said, is 98% but the down side is that the high voltage is difficult to insulate against. Glenn noted that the transmission lines are not insulated and Paul said they have a steel core with aluminum around it. That's because the power transmission to weight ratio is better for aluminum than copper. The steel is there to support the weight of the lines.

Paul said he was reading an electrical code book because he was rewiring his house. He learned that it's not the voltage that does you in, it's the current. You can feel 1 milliamp <mA> of current and 18 milliamps <mA> can kill you if it passes thru your heart.

Paul went on to say that Edison fuses (with a screw-in base) are not allowed anymore. Ground fault indicator switches are being used now. They measure that portion of current coming from the live conductor that does not go to neutral. Such a current occurs from a ground loop — it passed thru an unintended circuit like the metal case of a device. The fastest & most efficient Ground fault indicator switches are used in the bathroom.

Adrianna from the KVMR membership department came into the studio to ask the listeners for a donation of a Mac computer that will be able to run InDesign; Photo Shop and Illustrator. I will be used for an internship program in graphic design at Sierra College.
– Needs to be in Intel Mac, not a G3, G4 or a G5. These older models will not be able to run the intended programs.
– The newer and faster the better.
– Does not have to have any apps on it, not even an operating system.
– Contact her here: membership at kvmr dot org or call (530) 265-9073 ext. 203
– If you're not sure the computer you have qualifies, contact the guys: zen at kvmr dot org
– Any data on the computer will be safely removed.

Sandy sent an email inquiring about the error message "could not find the flash.ocx file". ocx is an ActiveX component — it's an addon application that runs inside the Internet Explorer (IE) browser.
– Do a search for the Flash player plugin and reinstall it.
– In the search window of IE search for "install flash player" and you should find the link: get.adobe.com/flashplayer.
– You'll be given the option to also get Mcaffee Security Scan. Answer NO.
– Current version is 11.3.300.265
– Do this from IE not some other browser to get the proper download.

Paul doesn't like flash. It's been a vector for vicious invasions (malware). But it's needed for Youtube, Flash animation and even parts of Facebook and it will remain a necessity until something better comes along, perhaps HTML5.

Glenn's been having problems with sending email on his iPhone — it is sometimes sent before he finishes typing. It was determined that Glenn has "fat fingers" — his middle finger tends to hit the 'done' button.

Paul said there's related problem with laptops where, while typing, the thumb can drag over the trackpad and inadvertently make the cursor jump all the screen.
– You can place a piece of cardboard over the trackpad.

As an aside, Paul said people with disabilities who use iPhones or iPads might benefit from a conductive pencil with a rubber point to operate the touch screen. However, neither he nor Glenn has been impressed with the ones they've tried.

In the days of slower computers, making the mouse pointer move on the screen was a bit tricky for the operating system. The pointer had to be drawn, erased and then drawn in a new location. Slower computers tended to leave trails of the pointer called "mouse droppings".

Tony called. He had shot a movie with his Flip camera, which resulted in an .mp4 file. He tried editing it in Final Cut Pro and found it would take about 25 hours to be rendered. He vaguely remembered doing it faster in the past when he converted the .mp4 into the QuickTime format (.mov).
– .mp4 files are highly compressed and it can very well take a long time to uncompress with minimal loss of information, no matter what software program you use.
– In the past it was possible to register the QuickTime player for $29. That unlocked some features, one of which was the ability to save to another format. The program iMovie might let you save to another format too.
– Try changing the setting in the Flipcam to save in another format.
– Paul did a quick Google search for mp4 mov convert and found Video Converter For Mac, and a trial version will let you do limited conversions just to try it out. If you like it, you can buy it for $39.
– Whatever you opt for, inspect the resulting video on a large screen to insure the quality is what you want. Software that works quickly may just be cutting corners on the quality.
– Glenn found the site support.theflip.com/en-us/home and at the bottom left you'll see 'flip video system requirements' for tips about the camera.

In response to the touchpad problem Paul talked about earlier, John called to suggest TouchFreeze. This free progam will disable the trackpad when you start typing and reenable it when you stop.

John also had a suggestion for Tony's problem. He uses a free program called "VirtualDub" for video conversions.
– Paul found it at virtualdub.org
– Paul remembered the old program Mplayer that could play many formats, as well as Videolan Player. <mentioned in a previous show>
– John also mentioned Total Video Converter, which he thought was excellent, but it's not free.

Paul doesn't like Windows Media Player and is now using Videolan. It even plays flash (.flv) files.
– .flv files are what you get when you use DownloadHelper on a Youtube video.
– DownloadHelper is a plugin for the Firefox browser. If you search for it, use the one word: downloadhelper
– One of the search results points to downloadhelper.net
– Perhaps a more trustworthy site is addons for Firefox; addons.mozilla.org
– Current version is 4.9.9

Glenn's point was well taken by Paul who then suggested the proper way to get addons for Firefox. In Firefox, go to the tool menu -> addons, then search for what you want. Doing it thru the Mozilla site should help reduce the chances of malware. Again, avoid downloading any extras that may be offered to you. It's not the worst thing that can happen to you but you may end up with persistent toolbars taking up space on your screen.

The disclaimer:
The views and opinions expressed on this show, as we have been doing, are those of the speakers, that's Glenn and I, only and aren't necessarily those of this radio station, which is KVMR, its board, management, staff or contributors.

David had asked Glenn about converting vinyl recordings to digital while reliably separating the tracks into individual files. <so you don't end up with just one .mp3 of the entire side of an album>
– Use a USB turntable and accompanying software. If there is silence between tracks the software may be able to separate automatically. If the music blends between tracks, you may be able to see the transition by viewing the visual waveform.
– KVMR uses the Adobe software for editing sound. It has a filter to find the breaks between tracks (songs).
– As with converting video, check for satisfactory results, possibly enlisting another set of ears, before throwing the records out.

James called to say he can't get the Flash player to play on his iPhone 4.
– Apple seems adament about not allowing Flash player on the iPhone. Get used to it.
– There's an app called 'Youtube' for the iPhone. <I guess it's for the Youtube site only. James wanted to view video on a financial site>|
– There may be apps for specific sites using different (non-Flash) format videos. You'll just have to search for them.

Also, James talked to AT&T asking why his iPad 3 is slow using 4G compared to his iPhone sitting right next to it.
– AT&T said the iPad can't fallback to a 3G connection, it can only use 4G. <His 4G connection is too weak to give good performance>

Paul recently bought an infrared and sonic measurer made by Ryobi at Home Depot for $40. It uses sound to measure distances up to 30 feet and a second function to measure temperature.

Last updated: 9:52 PM 7/25/2012

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