Apr 24, 2019

Apr - 24 2019 | By

Renting not owning


Additional notes

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<For a couple of months, the audio of today’s show is here. Recent shows are here.>

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.


Both Paul & Glenn were in the studio today.


The guys started by talking about a movie they saw recently called Shazam. Shazam is also a music identification service that had its start in Britain, Paul said.

Paul put a link at the top of this page to an NPR segment about people dealing with housing affordability and the increasing necessity for sharing resources. Owning a mobile device and using the internet serves as an entrance to the sharing economy, as Paul summarized the story. A subject in the story rents a bed in a large room he shares with other people. He finds these places thru a service called Podshare. He rents a desk at a co-working facility call WeWork. Paul thought that it’s largely due to the price of housing and student loan debt that drive people to this nomadic work environment.

Continuing on that theme, Paul noted that there are sites like TaskRabbit where you can hire someone to do a job for you. But he cautioned that when you use services like Uber, Booking.com, Airbnb or TaskRabbit, you need to ask yourself, to what extent is the website responsible for what is said by those advertising their services. Websites are generally not responsible because they defer to the freedom of speech of those who post content on them.

The guys talked a bit more about how our incomes are barely keeping up with the costs of living, and then Glenn invited listeners to call in and share how they are coping with our economy. The number for the studio is 530-265-9555.

Paul noted how the Bay Area traffic has gotten crazy. Google Maps prove how congestion has become the norm for any time of day, not just during commute times.

Susan called with a question about iCloud. She had to get a new battery for her iPhone and the Apple store backed up her data to iCloud. She wanted to know how to see her pictures that are stored there.
– Apple gives you 5 gigs of storage for free on iCloud. Susan pays $.99/mo to bump up her storage space to 50 gigs.
– Paul doesn’t store his pictures on iCloud, only his address book, contacts, calendar, schedules, reminders and some other things. He stores his pics locally on his Mac computer.
– Pictures on iCloud are likely stored at many different physical locations.
– You can see your pictures using any web browser by going to icloud.com. Log in using your Apple ID and password. You’ll then see about 8 “blocks”, one of which is labeled ‘Photos’.
– Alternately, you can store your pictures at Google Drive or Google Photos. Paul thinks it’s a better, more reliable service than iCloud. You get 15 gigs for free at Google Drive.

Glenn asked Susan to do a little experiment. He asked her to go to ‘Settings’ in her iPhone. The top item will have your name and it will say Apple ID, iCloud, iTunes. Click on that. About 4 items down you’ll see iCloud. Click on that. <Glenn stopped at that point & didn’t continue the experiment>. Instead, he went on to say that in most cases, unless your phone runs out of storage space, your photos should be on your phone.

Paul jumped in to say, “if you uncheck the box that says synchronize my photographs, you can easily get by with 5 gigabytes or less”. “If you turned off the photographs, you’ve got to be very careful about what that means if you do that. Because it’s been on, it has now stuffed photographs up on to your cloud”. <He didn’t explicitly say why. I guess it’s because iCloud may have some pics that are not on your phone — the backup is all you have, don’t delete it.>

Paul said that he’s never completely trusted iCloud to store his photos because he doesn’t know for sure when it has completed a synching operation. It can take a long time to synch and there is never a message saying that all of the photos are backed up. That’s why he uses Google Photos instead.

Paul mentioned other cloud services. There’s Microsoft OneDrive, which he strongly dislikes. Glenn jumped in to say he’s looking to move away from iCloud because he recently got a warning that he’s using so much of his 50 gigs that he doesn’t have enough room to backup his iPad, and was offered 2 terabytes for $2.99/mo

Glenn told Susan that if she decided to stop her $.99 subscription to iCloud, she will have to call Apple. Paul added that if you’re using storage in iCloud that you don’t need, you can’t simply turn it off. To reduce what you’re using in order to have less than 5 gigabytes again, and not have to delete item by item, then disable and delete your iCloud account. That sets it back to zero, then you start it again. Paul said he’s not recommending she do that, but that’s what he had to do.

In the end, Paul suggested she start using Google Photos. She should first create a Google account, if she doesn’t have one already. He also said to do backups over wi-fi only, don’t use your cellular plan — look for a check box to use wi-fi only. Using the cellular network could quickly use up your data allotment.

Glenn told Susan to use email if she has any questions or she needs clarification. She can email to zen at kvmr dot org.

Paul noted that Dropbox is another cloud storage service. They give you just a couple of gigabytes for free. And he said that Google Drive has apps for various platforms — Android, PC, Apple.

Glenn tested Paul’s knowledge by asking, “what is the biggest cloud in the world”? Paul guessed it’s Google, but no it’s Amazon, because they sell cloud services to businesses. It’s called AWS (Amazon Web Services). Paul admitted it’s true because Amazon has to synchronize their servers so if someone in California orders the very last jar of peanut butter, and someone else in Surinam placed the same order, there wouldn’t be a double order.

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

Scott called in. He uses Timemachine for backing up to 4 hard drives. 2 are in use at a time, and the other 2 he rotates off site. At one point Timemachine stopped backing to one of the drives. One of the error messages was ‘waiting to complete first backup’.
– Timemachine can only backup to drives formatted to the Mac format (HPFS).
– Just because a drive can be formatted doesn’t mean the drive is ok. It may cause trouble when you start writing data to it. There is a utility whose name Paul couldn’t remember, that writes & reads random data to the drive to test its integrity.
– These are USB drives and the only reliable way to test them is to do an in-depth format which reads and writes all over the drive, and doesn’t just wipe out the allocation table. There’s a piece of software called a drive scrubber, which writes random data in an attempt to obscure what was there before. It also reports any difficulty it encounters.
– Timemachine gets very unhappy if there’s anything wrong with the drive and it won’t tell you if there is.
– Scott said he tried a brand new drive and had the same problem. In that case it’s time to ask which USB cable and which ports are you using. You may be getting a bad interaction between a particular cable and a particular port. If the problem occurs with a new drive, it’s time to look at the ‘plumbing’ of your machine.
– Under ‘Disk Utility’ it says ‘select the disk you’d like to erase’ and click the ‘security options button’ (turn it on). That will format it with security options to scrub it. See what happens, Paul said.
– Glenn said it was time to wrap up the show and if Scott has any more questions, he should email the guys.

Last Updated 12:16 AM 4-25-2019

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