May 25, 2011

May - 11 2011 | By

TAlking today about FB Groups

 in FB, simply "search" for the word "Groups" and use the "GRoups.App" to see what Grops you are in & to create one and Test It Out.

See 2 new FB Groups:

SierraMakers and ZenTech

 Arduino– Inexpensive micro controller

Additional notes

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at:
They're tagged with #Zentech

Editor comments are delimited by < >


Paul was in the studio & Glenn called in from Sacramento

Paul opened the show by noting that Chamba Lane, a KVMR broadcaster, had died. You can find out more on KVMR's front page or here.

About 30 years ago, Paul was into flying model airplanes. Initially they were of the powered variety but he then moved on to glider craft. He recently returned to that hobby and bought a model glider for about $120.
You can find similar products on Ebay

Pledge drive is still going on. To become a member visit the front page of KVMR.

The disclaimer:
The views and opinions expressed on this show are those of the speakers only and not necessarily those of KVMR, its board, staff or contributors.

A recent survey of internet users found the most used portal pages — pages where people go first. They are, in order, Google, Youtube closely followed by Facebook.

There is a small but growing section of Youtube devoted to 3-D video, the kind requiring the red/green glasses. You can make them from cellophane candy wrappers but you have to make sure to use the correct color for each eye. Paul said there are about 6000 stereo videos on Youtube now.
<I think he meant traditional red/blue anaglyphic glasses, But maybe they are using green now. I dunno>

Facebook searches are different from those of Google. They tend to be "peer reviewed" — they are based on what other people find useful and are facilitated by the formation of groups.

Anyone can form a Facebook group, usually addressing a special interest. There's a group for KVMR. It notifies its members of events regarding the station.
Paul said it's easy to create a group.
– To create a group you have to login to your account first.
– Search for the word groups.
– The first thing you'll find is the groups app (or application).
– Click the button called "Add Group".
– You have to add at least 1 person to make it a valid group.
– Pick a short but descriptive name for the group.
– You can then upload a profile picture. E.g. a group devoted to recycling might have a garbage can picture to identify itself.
– Then there's button to add members to the group. Be thoughtful in its use as not everyone is going to be interested in your project. It would be better to make a wall posting on your personal page to notify your "friends" of the group and inviting them to join.

Paul formed a group for Zentech. He said Facebook postings are more spontaneous than those on KVMR's Zentech site. See the above link.

The other group he mentioned is SierraMakers. Its links is also near the top of this page and it has information about the Maker Fair.

There's The Maker Magazine produced by Tim O'Reilly. It's like a hobby magazine and it was shortly followed by expositions where people share their projects in the venue of a fair: a maker fair. Paul posted some photos, which he took at the Maker Fair last weekend in San Mateo, on the SierraMakers group.

At this point Paul received Glenn's phone call and they talked a bit more about the Maker Fair, which Glenn also attended.

Going back to Facebook groups, Paul said the groups have chat & email functions. These features have been implemented recently.

Continuing with the Maker Fair, Paul mentioned the giant exhibit of Tesla coils and the resulting sparks that moved in time to music. Other exhibits were tiny as the one with the world's simplest electric motor consisting of a bent copper wire, battery, a disk washer and 2 magnets.

Then Glenn talked about an exhibit that taught people how to solder. With some help, he made a microprocessor-controlled flashing lapel pin.

A microprocessor often found at the Maker Fair is the Arduino. It's powered by a USB connection and can be programmed. With it you can build projects to turn lights on & off, open & close curtains and doors, etc. Paul said it costs $20 to $30.   There's a link to Arduino up above.  

Glenn then talked about the 3-D printers at the Maker Fair. There was one kit for just over $1000 that you can put together in about 12 hours. If you bought a unit they would take a 3-D picture of you so you can make a sculpture of yourself when you eventually get the printer.

Jeff called about the radio controlled planes Paul talked about earlier. He too used to fly them long ago and he wondered if the old radio frequencies still work, considering that the government has been reallocating the radio spectrum.
– Yes, they still work. The least expensive model planes use 27 megaHertz, which is in the CB band.
– More modern and expensive models use the 2.4 gigaHertz band. This band has greater range and is less prone to interference.

Paul added that current electric motor technology is much more efficient than it was in the past and is more suitable for electric-powered model aircraft. He also mentioned frankin-planes where people salvage motors & control equipment from model planes and attach them to scrap pieces of wood or polystyrene and fly those — flying garbage. He said there are some Youtube videos of such contraptions.

Paul has seen some viruses get thru Microsoft Security Essentials, talked about during the last show. <In those notes I included links to some articles about Security Essentials>
– Paul reiterated that he's not recommending any particular anti-virus software. None of the programs are 100% effective, as noted in the earlier show.
– Again Glenn warned about malicious links in email. Be sure of the source of the email and that the links in the mail are relevant to the context of the email and not just some random or unexpected link. Just because you have anti-virus software doesn't mean you can click on links irresponsibly.
– You may get warnings saying, for instance, that you need to update Flash. If you do, close it and go to PluginCheck <Also mentioned in the previous show> to find out if you really need to update.
– Though in the past, the Mac has been relatively safe from malware, in the last 10 days there has been some malware showing up. Since the Mac won't install anything without your permission, you have to be careful not to be falsely convinced to grant that permission.
– Beware of social engineering where, for instance, you get an fake email from your bank saying your security has been breached & you must send them your username & password. Don't do it, call your bank instead.
– A survey found Mac users are more prone to trust phishing links.
An article on recent malware attack:
5 ways to stay safe from fake anti-virus malware attack on Macintosh

Daniel called. He got a new computer with Office 2010 but has trouble opening an Excel spreadsheet — it opens up blank.
– Get the latest Microsoft updates for Windows; look for "windows update" or "microsoft update". Win7 keeps changing where it is: try the Start menu or control panel or Internet Explorer -> tools. Keep requesting updates till there aren't anymore.
– If that doesn't solve the problem, call Microsoft for help.
– In Paul's opinion Office 2003 may be a better option; you can use it on a newer machine.
– Glenn recommended saving spreadsheets (and other documents) in 2003 format so others, who don't have the latest version of Office, will have an easier time opening them.
– Those who don't have any version of Office or a version that can't open the newer document formats, you can use Google Docs. Upload the document to Google Docs & view or edit it there.
– Paul doesn't recommend getting a compatibility pack that allows users of older versions of Office to load/edit the newer document formats. He said he's seen it crash Office.

Theresa called. When using the Firefox browser to view Google, the print is too large.
– Hold the Control key & tap the – (minus) key to make it smaller.
She tried it but it didn't work
– Use the View menu at the top then -> Zoom -> reset
She said that worked.

Last Updated 4:28 PM 5/27/2011

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