Jun 25, 2014

Jun - 18 2014 | By

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Both Paul & Glenn were in the studio

If Glenn is true to form, the audio for this show should be posted here, eventually.


Glenn briefly talked about an item from the last show. On that show it was suggested Sheree get a different browser and move her bookmarks and such into it from Internet Explorer. This was in preparation to resetting IE to the factory default condition. He's heard from Sheree since then and she's managed to move the data, but today he asked her to call the show and let us know if the resetting procedure solved the problem with IE. <She didn't call during the show>. Paul noted that it's important to determine and eliminate the original cause of her problem. In her case, it was tentatively determined to be a browser helper object (plugin) for IE.

Over the years the guys have suggested various anti-virus programs, starting with Norton Anti-virus, then AVG followed by Microsoft Security Essentials. Lately, the guys and the KVMR station have been using the free version of Avast. Paul said Avast has the ability to check for malicious browser helper objects and "tends to remove them" — "no other anti-virus does that"
<Windows Defender and Microsoft Essentials are no longer recommended.>

Paul said that iOS 8, the operating system for Apple's mobile devices. is expected to come out in Aug or Sep. "It promises to come closer to the Mac software". He said the two are converging (mobile & desktop).

Glenn let us know that the intro music for this show was by Pentatonix.

That got Paul talking about music royalties for mashups. <Music derived from combining & editing of existing songs> He said royalty has to be paid to authors of all the songs used, except for "fair usage".

He went on to say that it's amazing what music editing software can do. Songs with 2 different keys & 2 different tempos can be combined — pitch in one song can remain unchanged as the tempo is varied to match the other song.

Paul then talked about a protocol used in the Mac world called Bonjour (formerly Rendezvous). Apple introduced Rendezvous with version 10.2 of its operating system. It lets devices on the local network in your house send messages to each other to "indicate the presence of things that can be shared or printed to". For instance, iTunes announces itself using Bonjour, so if you share your music in iTunes on machine #1, whether Mac or PC, you can use iTunes on machine #2, that's on the same local network (not the internet), to play music from machine #1. You'll only be able to play but not copy the music.

The protocol also exits in the PC world, where it's known as Zeroconf (zero configuration). One feature of Zeroconf is that "if you turn on a computer that's accustomed to being connected to a network and it's not connected to a network. it will get a Zeroconf IP address for itself" beginning with 169 "in the hopes that when it does join a network, that doesn't have host configuration protocol, at least the other fellow will be in the same subnet because it does use what they call LAN packets — local area network packets". <I think he meant the devices would be able to find each other on the network>

Today Paul noticed on news.google.com a Supreme Court ruling that Police need warrants to search cell phone data. He wondered, what if you lose the phone or just leave it lying around? He thought they would still need a warrant.
<In Landmark Case, High Court Issues Limits To Cellphone Searches — by NPR's Nina Totenberg.>

Bongo called. He has an iPhone 4 and an iPad 4. He had read an article about the password managers Dashlane & Lastpass. It said Dashlane is more attractive & easier to use but Lastpass was less intrusive. He asked the guys for their opinions.
– A manager needs just one password to access, and then the manager will enter any of the passwords stored in it, as needed, as you surf the web.
– Some will also automatically fill in forms that ask for your name, address, phone, etc.
– Paul said security & convenience are mutually exclusive. "If its too convenient then it can't possibly be secure because it's too easy to slip up".
– These mangers will not be of use if you have a keylogger (malware) on your machine. <Keyloggers record what you type, including a master password, and send it on to the hackers (crackers).>
– Glenn noted that the iPad & iPhone come with a password manger. He thought it came with an iOS update in the last year or so. Glenn couldn't remember its name. Look under Settngs -> Passwords Security

Paul talked about an article that referred back to the days he did programming in C in the 1980s. C was created by the same person(s) who created the Unix operating system <which is now mimicked by the Linux operating system>. The authors of C were Ken Thompson & Dennis Richie.

Thompson wrote an article in 1984 called "Reflections on trusting trust". One of the things it talks about is "to what extent should one trust a statement that a program is free of undisclosed behavior. Perhaps it's more important to trust the people who wrote the software" — if you personally trust the people then you can trust the programs they write. However, the people who write programs will be using software to do so — software they personally can't vouch for. The article comes under 2 titles: "On Trusting Trust" and "Reflections on trusting trust".

Julie called because this talk about trust reminded her of Wimpy (of the Popeye cartoons) who famously said, I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for two hamburgers today.

More on trust, Glenn reminded us to distrust the links you find in emails, even if it's from someone you know. You can open the email but don't click on the links in it.

Paul recalled the "I Love You" malware, which came as an email attachment. He said it was the first to use social engineering to spread itself. The guy who wrote it left his name inside the code. When the police finally caught up with him, he claimed "I never knew it would do that".

Paul talked about how, years ago, some "nanny" software that was put on students' computers to keep them from visiting inappropriate sites. The students eventually figured out how, using the approved browser, to go to Netscape and download the Netscape browser. Then using the Netscape browser, they had unfettered access to the web.

Next, Paul talked about problems encountered when electrical conductors, made of different metals, are connected. They tend develop a resistive layer between them thus reducing current and producing heat. Headphone jacks or battery contacts are examples of dissimilar metals making a connection that can fail. To restore function, use a pencil eraser or emery board to abrade the contact points.

Paul bought a battery tester for about $5 from Amazon. He used to use a cheap multimeter to test batteries, but doing that only measures volts, and doesn't take current into account. It may read a high voltage when the demand for current is low. As soon as the need for current increase, a bad battery will drop to a low voltage. So its best to measure the voltage when there's a load on the battery. A resistor of about 100 ohms across the terminals should do it, or just get a battery tester.

A caller told of someone he knew who bought a new machine, and when it arrived, it had all of her data on it. <He left out a lot of details that would explain it. Paul assumed the retailer performed the data transfer with her permission.> Paul noted that Mac users can use iCloud to help with this type of data transfer. Similarly, when PC users of Windows 8 sign in with an online Microsoft ID, "supposedly a number of their apps will store your data for you" <which you can then download to a new machine>.

Paul has been looking for an operating system that would serve as a replacement for XP. He's looked at Lubuntu, but he's not satisfied with it. He'll keep on looking.

Last Updated 10:43 PM 6/25/2014

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