Apr 26, 2017

Apr - 26 2017 | By

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– They’re tagged with #Zentech.
– When what’s said is unclear to me (or I’m unfamiliar with a topic) I tend to quote (” “) verbatim.
– Editor’s comments are delimited by < >

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

Note: Zentech won’t be on in 2 weeks (5-10-17) due to a membership drive


Both Glenn an Paul were in the studio today


Glen reminded listeners that they can become contributing members of KVMR by calling the office number 530-265-9073.

Webcal is a standard by which people can share their calendars (schedule). You can use it with Outlook, Ical, Android Calendar and with Google Calendar. Paul said the Google Calendar is very adequate and suggested that people try it out. Go to calendar.google.com. Clever people have been known to share their paper-based calendar by taking a picture of it and sharing the picture. Generally, when you share a calendar, you can make it read-only so no one else can make changes to it, Paul noted.

Paul found a wonderful website called webcal.fi. It has access to thousands of calendars. Some have times of sunrise/set, length of day, moon phase and all sort of calendar-related info — anniversary of historic events (on this day in history) and trivial holidays (Hug An Australian Day, etc). And there are calendars specific to different countries.
<This is a similar service for Ical>

Glenn asked if webcal calendars can coordinate with Ical. Paul said it’s possible. “On the left hand side of that webpage there is what they call Manual Subscription, Other File Formats and Help How Does It Work”. Rather than going into details, Paul suggested using the help feature to set up Ical.
<Other interesting calendar sites I’ve run across…
Excel calendars>

Listeners were invited to call with their questions and comments during the show at 530-265-9555. Or email the guys anytime to zen at kvmr dot org. Any question related to technology is welcome <not necessarily about computers>.

Glenn noted that in the last 3 or 4 years there’s been an expansion in the number of top level domain names such as .com, .org, .gov and country domains (.fi)

And there’s .me as in speedof.me, where you can test the speed of your internet connection. Also, you don’t have to live in the country whose domain you register with — you can live in the USA and register a .fi name.

Paul said InterNIC & IANA are the organizations that create domain names and addresses. One gives out (registers) numbers <the ip address I presume> and the other gives out names. Stakeholders can spend millions to have a domain created, like .toyota, if they think there might be a demand for it, and then they resell it.

A lot of the top level domain names are in Unicode characters. Unicode uses 2 bytes for each character to give a broader choice of letters in foreign languages.

There is a problem when Unicode is used in a browser that doesn’t support it. English doesn’t need Unicode for its character set and a browser may not use it to display the characters properly. A domain can be registered in Chinese Unicode characters. But then what should appear as Chinese in your browser’s address bar could end up being displayed in what looks like plain English — something innocent looking like apple.com. If your browser is modern enough, there will be a warning saying something like “this is not the site it appear to be”.
<Chrome and Firefox Phishing Attack Uses Domains Identical to Known Safe Sites>

Johnny called. He has cell phone & a 2gig cellular plan with AT&T. He needs more data but the next step up with AT&T is way more than he needs. He’s heard of other plans mentioned on this show that use the AT&T network and wanted to be reminded again.
– Two were mentioned before: h2owirelessNOW.com and puretalkusa.com.
– For info about 2nd tier providers, google the word: mvno. It stands for mobile virtual network operator.
– Your coverage (reception) shouldn’t change because you’ll still be using AT&T with these 2 providers.
– Glenn said H2O is a little bit cheaper and you get more gigs for your money. They have a month to month plan, but with auto-billing you get a 10% discount.
– These two are the ones the guys are familiar with. There are many more choices.
– There don’t seem to be any such alternatives if you are currently with Verizon.
– Its very important to sign up with the new carrier and port your number to them BEFORE you terminate your account with AT&T or you’ll lose you phone number.
– Another thing to consider is you’ll no longer be able to tether with your phone (make it a hotspot for other devices to use the internet).
– Check with AT&T to see if you’ve completed your contract that pays for your smartphone, or there’ll be a termination fee.
– You’ll also need a PIN or security code from AT&T. It’s a layer of security to insure your number doesn’t get stolen in the process.

Eric called. He has tons of CDs and he wants to put the audio onto his phone.
– With a Google account you’re given the space to store 20,000 audio files for free. Go to music.google.com.
– Once your music gets transferred to Google, you can use an app on your smartphone to either listen to it stream or to download selected playlists.
– You can upload .mp3 or .aac files but not .wav or .flac, to Paul’s recollection.
– Eric said most of his music is in .flac format. Glenn said he’s had to convert some 9,000 files into .mp3 and suggested a program called alltomp3..
– Paul said the Android app he needs is Google Music.
– Eric brought up the issue of running down the battery on phone while listening for some 4 hours a day <and using up his data plan>. Paul suggested using wi-fi as much as possible. And he noted that auxiliary battery packs are now pretty cheap — about $12 for a 5 amp hour pack.
– Or consider getting an mp3 player.
<How to use Google Play Music
Add your music with Google Play Music Manager>
<For the PC: About All To MP3 Converter>

Michael called to say he’s found a cheap cell phone & plan from Republic Wireless for $20/mo. It runs on wi-fi for unlimited talk & text & 1 gig of data. Paul looked it up and noted that it looks like calling abroad is also free. Glenn jumped in to say H2O Wireless also has free international calling to some countries.

Michael said that if he gets out of wi-fi range, it will search for and connect to a cellular network automatically. Paul cautioned people to research whom Republic or other second tier providers use for the cellular network to be sure you’ll have adequate coverage in your area. And though he wasn’t sure, Michael thought the phone has to come from Republic because it’s special in that it can do the wireless hand-off. Paul noted not all phones can do that

Glenn invited listeners to visit the KVMR home page and look for the Day of Giving and you’ll find that Paul is featured.

Paul mentioned opensignal.com, which provides a map of coverage of the major cellular networks. The data it gets comes from people while they’re using the app and combining it with their GPS location.

Glenn said he uses Google maps a lot when he’s driving to get the traffic conditions ahead. Paul said Google uses data from transit authorities whereas the app called Waze uses data from the driver’s phones while using Waze, similar to opensignal.
<Waze For Android>

Paul mentioned an app for Android & PC called Wi-Fi Finder. It will overlay on a Google map the points where wi-fi is available. It shows the signal strength and the wi-fi name, and it’s updated continually.
<There are many such apps. Google the words: site:play.google.com wi-fi finder>

Sue called. She has a Dell laptop with Win10. The lower left Windows button on her keyboard stopped working.
– Paul suggested she use keytest at en.key-test.ru to test her keyboard.
– Try a can of compressed air to blow out the keyboard.

Last Updated 12:41 AM 4-27-2017

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