June 22, 2011

Jun - 08 2011 | By

One More Show in a Week: June 29th! (5th. Wednseday!)

FireFox 4– version 5 Out Very Soon!

Price Shopping Pitfalls: An example using shopper.com & nextag.com for a
$2500 Canon 5D MK2 Camera Body; More Examples using Airfares.

 INTERESTING– the Google Ad Words we use linked up to these…!

What's Pretexting? a type of social engineering

Media Quality– High Defintion & 3D use of the Inrernet- Example using Pink Floyd & CD=DDD SPARS Code

Live Instructional Stuff Tonight at 6PM Pacific Time: Photography by MAKE (Thanks, TS!)

First Person Video (FPV)- This is Weird. CHECK THIS VIDEO out chasing a train and
flying through a shed… then THIS!!!!

Additional notes

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at: twitter.com/ddhart
They're tagged with #Zentech

Editor comments are delimited by < >

Paul noted that the Firefox browser is coming out in a new version: version 5. He said it looks like version 4, whose look & feel he doesn't care for. You can change some of it's appearance if you right-click on the tool bar (view -> customize on the Mac).

One thing Glenn doesn't like about version 4 of Firefox is that the tab bar is no longer directly above the webpage. Paul told him that there's a setting to put the tab bar back to its expected place. But Paul's peeve with version 4 is that it tries to open streaming audio within the browser rather than using an external application. He's continuing to look for a solution.

Talk turned to shopping on the internet. Paul went looking for a Canon 5D Mark 2 camera whose price seems to be around $2500. The 2 places he uses are shopper.com (owned by Cnet.com) & nextag.com. One retailer his search came up with had the camera for $1900 but he was suspicious.
– The link to Better Business Bureau didn't go anywhere.
– The transaction didn't use a secure connection.
Looking up the domain name (the URL) showed the site was only 6 months old.
– He googled the domain name along with the word 'fraud'. That turned up sites with glowing ratings of 5 stars and subsequent comments claiming they used shady practices like bait and switch.

Commenting on consumer rights Glenn said, they can't charge you until the product is shipped, technically. Paul: they can't charge you without telling you they've substituted a similar product.

About that shady company, Paul said some of the complaints he saw said they sold some gray import products — products whose serial numbers are special and indicate they are not for the US market. You may have trouble getting warranty support.
In the end, Paul didn't order the camera.

More on consumer rights, Glenn said that if you receive the wrong product or it's not as advertised, you typically have 30 to 60 days to contest the purchase.
– Start by calling your credit card company.
– Then follow up in writing or use the card company's online forms.
– No matter how you've been treated, act reasonably — don't threaten.
– If you use a debit card, you don't have much protection at all. This applies to all transactions, not just when you order something.

Paul went on to talk about Google Adsense. The Zentech site has an affiliation with Google to show ads and earn a very modest amount when someone clicks on an ad. One of the ads Google provided was that for the shady company just talked about above. Paul said that under their agreement with Google, Zentech is not allowed to make any comments about the ads that are displayed. That company's ad didn't last long, anyway.

Paul talked about the quality of the media as it comes thru an internet connection. Youtube is increasingly carrying video in hi-def.
– You need a sustained bandwidth of about 3 or 4 megabits per sec (or faster) for hi-def.
– On a slower connection you can hit the pause button and let video load in the background. When it has downloaded, you can play the whole thing at once without it pausing.

Paul played Pink Floyd (link above) and noticed than when it was displayed in a 'windowed' mode (not full screen) the quality went down — the sound as well as the video. He played that Pink Floyd sample in different modes to illustrate.

Paul said that BluRay players are coming out with Ethernet ports and they can play Netflix video and render Youtube videos directly to TVs without the need of a computer.

Paul then talked about 3-letter code that used to be on CDs (the SPARS code, see above link)
– 1st letter indicates how the mastering was done — Analog or Digital.
– 2nd letter indicates how it was mixed — again, either A or D.
– 3rd letter indicates the medium. CDs will always have Digital.
– The lettering scheme has caused confusion as is being dropped.

Make Magazine (mentioned the past couple of shows here and here> produces live instructional videos (see the above link). There are many live video streams produced using a site called Ustream. It uses Flash, so no extra software is needed.

Next, Paul talked about FPV or 1st person video. An example is video from cameras attached to model aircraft which can be broadcast up to 10 miles. For an explanation & sample videos, see the above links.

Katherine called. She uses PowerPoint and had to upgrade from XP to Win7 when she bought a new computer. She's now having trouble using a newer version of PowerPoint.
– Glenn says he doesn't use the Office products a lot but always makes sure that the documents are saved in the Office 2003 format. That will allow people, who don't have the latest version of Office, to open the documents. Don't just rename the files but click the Windows logo in the upper left, then go down to options and change the default save mode to 2003. Repeat the procedure for each document type (Excel, Word, etc.).
– She asked specifically about having the "cool backgrounds" again. Glenn suggested she use the help facility and searching for the specific topic — 'background'.

Paul speculated that there's no compelling reason to use Win7 instead of WinXP. He invited listeners for comments.

Glenn had to reload XP on his computer from a source other than the original install disk and even though he used a legitimate product key number, he got the message that "we no longer sell XP you can't do this."

On a related topic, Paul said that the OEM copy of WinXP for the Dell computers is customized for the Dell line and would not ordinarily work on other brands. But, the installation process only checks for a Dell computer, not a particular model. So, it possible, for instance, to get rid of Vista on a recent Dell laptop by installing XP, using one of these OEM disks. But, you didn't hear that from anyone on the show — see the disclaimer below. Also, not all drivers are available for XP. In particular some video chips, Paul thinks, were especially made lacking drivers for XP so people would be forced to use Vista.

The disclaimer:
The views & opinions expressed on this show are not those of the staff, management, underwriters or board of directors.

Betsy called to say she's thinking about buying a HP laptop. The Word program on her current computer doesn't seem to be working right — drawing weird margins and prompting her to save templates.
– It's possible from long use that the templates and other files may have been compromised somehow.
– When you buy a new computer, any version of Word it comes with should not have the same problems.
– Try reinstalling from the original Office CD.
– Win7 will accept the installation of Office 2003, 2007 & 2011.
– Try OpenOffice <or Libre office> If you don't like it, OpenOffice does uninstall cleanly.
– Use Google Docs.
– If you're going to install an new word-processing or spreadsheet program, first uninstall the trial version of Office that comes with the new computer, after the trial period (or sooner if you like).
– Try creating a new document from scratch instead of recycling old .doc files.

Chris called to say he couldn't individually control the sounds coming from each application. This is one area where Win7 may have an advantage over WinXP.
– In Win7 the sound mixer will bring up the associated programs that have used it. <I assume it allows individual control for each app, too>
– Use a program called Cpuz <I guess this is it> to determine what kind of sound card you have and go their website to find out if they have a sound mixer that will give you the control you want.
– Listeners suggestions were invited.
– Searching the web, Glenn found that Mozilla Labs has a plugin that mutes tabs. It will only work in Firefox and not effect other applications.

Jeff called about the problem Betsy was having. He said the last paragraph marker in a Word file collects a lot of junk. He suggested she delete the last paragraph.

That reminded Paul that the Word document often has an undo list attached to it. The recipient of the document might be able to click the 'undo' button repeatedly to see what the sender had originally typed.

There are 2 Facebook groups of local interest, mentioned in the 5-25-11 show:

Larry called. He has an iMac that's a few years old and its keyboard keeps going dead. He has to unplug & plug it back in.
– Do your updates. There was a recent one for the keyboard controller.
– Try a different keyboard. It doesn't have to be an Apple, as long as it's USB.
– Blow out the keyboard with compressed air.
– There may be a keyboard test program for the Mac.
– Unplug the mouse from the keyboard & see if the problem goes away.

Glenn said he had purchased, but not yet received, a late 2008 or 2009 20" iMac.

Paul is moving 49gig of photos and said just because you have wireless doesn't mean it's the best way to do it. Use a cable instead, and don't forget to turn the wireless off or the machine will get confused.

Marilyn called with a problem in Google Docs. She said presentation is blurry until the download is complete.
– She's using a dialup connection so the behavior is normal.
– Try using Google Gears. It helps to cache the data and minimize the amount of data transfer. You'll even be able to work offline with what data you have and then Gears will synchronize when you go back online.

Remember, there'll be another Zentech show next Wednesday 6-29-11

Last Updated: 5:55 PM 6-24-2011 

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