BitCoin, BlockChain Should I Shouldn’t I?!
is it a Currency or a security What is it so we can regulate it!
Car Battery Charging.. what’s the dealy?! (PDF)
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The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.
Both Paul and Glenn were in the studio today.
Glenn reminded listeners that backups are critical to mitigate failure of hard drives. Paul added that it’s important to test your backups by trying to restore the data.
Paul mentioned things from the past that assisted the visually impaired. He noted that webpages are much more readable than they used to be by complying with the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act). He recalled the software “Jaws”, which is a screen reader. But it had a bug that made it repeatedly read any flashing text that it encountered.
There also was a device that was basically a camera on a tripod. It would read whatever you put under it, like a book. Then it would perform optical character recognition and read it to you.
Glenn told us about an app, whose name he couldn’t recall, for the visually impaired that will read the ingredients on food labels. And that reminded Paul of the time he used Google Translate to read the instructions for a front door security alarm he got from China. It was all in Chinese, not a word of English, and though the translation was a bit funky, it was surprisingly successful.
Paul talked a bit about trouble shooting computers. His first step is to be sure the hardware is ok before diagnosing the software. So, how does one test the hardware?
The underlying hardware of PCs & Macs is now more similar than it ever was. They both use Intel CPUs and the PCs can also use the AMD CPUs. They have the same kind of memory and same peripheral ports: PCI & PCI Express.
The free Linux based Hiren Boot CD is a piece of software that comes on a bootable CD for diagnosing both a PC and Mac. <see link above> It bypasses the operating system and doesn’t touch the software on your computer. It tests such things as memory, hard drive, temperature sensors, the bus, camera, internet connections, wi-fi interface, etc.
It has 300 to 400 utilities among which is one to recover your password. If you forgot the password to your Windows machine, it can look at the hard drive that contains Windows and reset the password. Paul’s favorite test is the hard drive SMART test, which performs a detailed diagnostic of your hard drive. Paul advised googling the test results from Hiren to get more details on what it found.
It’s such a sought after program that you should be wary of websites that you might find in searching for it. There are many pretenders that are up to no good. Use the link above.
Paul has been trying to change the way files as big as 50 or 60 megs are uploaded to <downloaded from> KVMR’s website called Podhawk. When Podhawk was installed in 2010, “Flash was the way to go”. But the tech industry is trending away from using Flash and many people have disabled it on their machines. So Paul has begun educating himself in using Jquery, <see link above> which is a library <of helpful code> that makes using Javascipt easier. The goal is to use a different method of file transfer.
In talking about transferring audio files, Paul mentioned audio.kvmr.org where, under the item called ‘archive’, there are KVMR shows that go back more than 10 years. You can play them directly or download. Assembling this archive is what led Paul to study Jquery. Right after the Jquery link above is a demo site that shows how it works.
The guys talked about Cambridge Analytica and how it acquired information on millions of Facebook users. Cambridge Analytica offered money to Facebook users if they allowed the Analytica app access to their profiles. It then went further and gathered info about all of the ‘friends’ of the initial user. Paul said he keeps changing the info in his profile to something that’s bogus — “just because a site asks you questions, doesn’t mean you need to tell them the truth”.
<How Calls for Privacy May Upend Business for Facebook and Google>
Glenn said he recently used the new iteration of Whatsapp on the iPhone. When he tries to ‘call’ using the handset & + icon in the upper right, where you put in the phone number, it says “New call. Whatsapp doesn’t have access to your contacts. Whatsapp needs access to your iPhone’s contacts to connect to other people on Whatsapp. To enable access, tap settings and turn on contacts”. Glenn has never given Whatsapp access to the contacts, but this latest version won’t work unless he does. <He didn’t say if he’ll continue using it>.
For over 10 years European law has entitled users to get all of the information a site has about them. Facebook has feature that lets you download all the data they have about you. It’s useful if you’ve lost photos that you put up on Facebook. And as a side effect, you get to find out all they know about you, not just what you’ve told them, Paul said. Someone found that by giving their phone number, the app had been able to access all their call records. Paul said that though he uses Facebook he doesn’t trust it.
Don called with a caution for Facebook users. He said just by using Facebook you implicitly trust them even though you think you don’t. You don’t know what their code does. Even if they ask permission for access to your phone number, you don’t know if they scrape all your information anyway, no matter whether you granted permission. Don thought it’s a good idea to move to a different platform that has better morals.
Additionally, the Firefox and Chrome browsers have the incognito mode, which won’t send or receive cookies, supposedly. It’s not the same as being anonymous — you become “largely unknown, not completely unknown”.
She also asked if there’s a way to block incoming junk phone calls. Paul said, “if you have every contact that you know in there and the number comes up and it’s not somebody you know, it’s probably junk”. When you get a call from someone in your contact list, their name will be displayed. If no name shows up, it likely junk.
Marilyn realized she didn’t ask the right question. She meant to ask about junk text (txt) messages. Paul said he didn’t know a way to block spam text messages though there is software to block text from a particular sender.
Paul went on to say there is a way to block unsolicited phone calls. Some systems, including the one he uses called Voip.ms, “will require that when the phone rings and you pick it up that you press 1 to receive the call. So what will happen is that if it rings and rings and rings and then goes dead, the automated system on the other end didn’t know to press 1. It tells the CALLER ‘you must press 1 to continue'”.
She also said that she has suddenly been getting tons of spam email, she got very little before. Paul suggested she get a Gmail address. She said she’s using an old version of Outlook (from 2000) and Paul said it can’t be used with Gmail, she’ll have to get a later version. But that won’t solve the spam problem. Gmail, on the other hand, handles spam on their servers, she won’t be able to do anything about it on her home computer.
Paul said he’d like to do a special show about cryptocurrency (Bitcoin and blockchain) and bring in “our money guy” to explain.
Last Updated 8:10 PM 3-29-2018