Jan 10, 2018

Jan - 10 2018 | By

Meltdown! FAQ

Intel CPU Defects


Button Cells like the CR2016: 3.6v

Type Numbers for Bulbs Batteries…

Oil Filters



Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at: twitter.com/ddhart.
– 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.

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.


Both Glenn and Paul were in the studio today


Glenn took his first Lyft ride this past weekend. It was from the Golden One Center where he saw a basketball game. He said watching the megatron display was almost better than watching the game directly, because of all the camera angles.

He said the Golden One Center has an area where you can plug in your mobile device to get it charged. And they have an app that you can use order pizza <as well as do other things>.

Glenn wasn’t sure of the range for the ticket prices for a basketball game. He guessed they’re from about $40 to $300. For the seats he was in, a pair of season tickets cost “only” $17,000 and the cheapest are $6700 a pair.

The Lyft driver who served Glenn had a hearing impairment and the guys speculated about how the drivers were covered by insurance. Apparently, Uber does cover its drivers.

A couple of weeks ago Glenn started using the app called Waze, an alternative to Google Maps. Though it’s considered a superior mapping system to others, he didn’t like how it had control of his car’s stereo, via Bluetooth, even when it wasn’t issuing directions — nothing else would play thru the stereo. There is a setting to keep it from using the car’s stereo at all, but that’s how Glenn wanted it to work. For a workaround, he noticed that the Lyft drivers who use Waze will have their phones play music thru the car using Bluethooth which will relinquish control to Waze only when Waze has something to say. He likes, and apparently uses, Google Maps instead.

Paul explained that, as with other map/traffic apps, Waze automatically submits speed <and location> of its users to its central servers, which then aggregates the data to warn drivers of congestion, for instance. Unlike the other apps, Waze lets the users report things like a crash or stop & go traffic on an on ramp.

Paul noted the law that came into effect about a year ago regarding using a device while driving. Though discouraged, a concession was made to allow you to activate a function if it only requires one button press and you’re not actually holding the digital device. Glenn thought there were further restrictions — it’s only for a phone call or to use a map.

Paul thought using Siri by voice would be ok while driving. Glenn said he finds Siri confusing to use in the car. He tried to use it recently to find a gas station and asked Siri for an Arco AM/PM, but Siri couldn’t determine what he was asking for. He switched over to Google Maps, which not only showed nearby stations but also gave the gas prices. Paul said Google seems to be adding more details to their maps every time they update the app.

Gordon called to ask about the best way to backup his PC computer. If you have a network at home you can add network access storage like the Western Digital My Book Live, Paul’s favorite. 2 or 3 terabytes of storage is about $149, The backup software that comes with it is not great, but not bad. The drive works with Macs too, and looks like a Time Capsule to a Mac. Check Youtube for instructional videos to help you set it up or at least give you an idea of difficulties you might encounter.

Gordon expressed concern that the data will be vulnerable to a catastrophe like a fire or flood at his home. Paul said these threats exist but, on the other hand, the data transfer speeds are thousands of times faster than backing up to the internet. A hundred gigabytes will take forever to backup to the internet. The solution is to make a 2nd backup to a portable device, like a USB drive, and physically store it at a remote location.

Backups to the cloud tend to lag behind because they tend to be slow. so you may encounter the problem of not getting them done in a timely manner, Paul said. And keep in mind that uploading can be 10 times slower than downloading, due to the asymmetric nature of the protocol. However, you may be able to get by ok if you have a small number/size of files.

Glenn chimed in suggesting Carbonite for backing up to the internet. He said they have plans for business as well as individuals. He uses Google Drive for document storage and noted that you can synch your files if you install Backup & Synch.
<Google releases Backup and Sync for Mac and Windows>

Gordon said he doesn’t have a lot of data to backup. To find out how much you have, go to the C: drive & right-click on the folder ‘Users’ -> properties to find out how much data there is for all of the users on your machine…that is what you really need to back up. First, you might want to run Ccleaner, which removes all of the extraneous garbage files that you don’t want to backup. <More about Ccleaner in the 12-27-17 show notes.>

Another program the guys have used in the past for backups is Free File Sync. But this one requires more tweaking, Paul said.

Paul talked about the recently reported Meltdown & Spectre faults. They are not viruses but are defects in the CPUs. Modern CPUs process sets of instruction out of order to optimize speed. Some processes are supposed to be hidden from others but there may be a small time frame when they’re not and the data can be exposed. What to do…
– Don’t panic. There haven’t been any exploits seen out “in the wild”, yet.
– Watch out for claims purporting to fix the problem — all you need to do is click this & download that. Be very suspicious of emails with links or attachments unless you’re sure of their origin. Be careful of popups in webpages saying a problem with your computer has been detected.
– Anti-virus programs won’t be especially effective. Only some attempts to exploit these vulnerabilities might be done with a virus.
– Firefox, Chrome and to a lesser extent Internet Explorer browsers have killbits in place where they recognize certain types of things you get thru webpages. <I think the point is to keep your browsers updated.>
– All of the companies are issuing updates. Stay updated. Be sure your updates come from Microsoft itself thru Windows Updates or Apple thru Software Updates.
– Paul thought the problem affects iPhones and those phones with the ARM CPU, too.<Arm CPU, ARM & Spectre>
– The patches are expected to slow down your computer. They will negate the speedup you get with “preemptive look ahead”. In some cases there may be a 25% slowdown, but webpages won’t be affected so much.
– Microsoft didn’t wait until patch Tuesday to issue a patch. Paul speculated that it caused some Windows machines to crash and go into an “infinite boot loop”.

<Spectre and Meltdown Exploits – What You Need to Know:
A followup: Can Malware (Spectre, Meltdown) Spy After Reboot
What You Need to Do Because of Flaws in Computer Chips |
The CPU catastrophe will hit hardest in the cloud— The Verge:
Researchers Discover Two Major Flaws in the World’s Computers>

Glenn thanked those who have become supporting members of KVMR and invited listeners to write with their questions and comments to zen at kvmr dot org.

<The fallout from Apple deliberately slowing down older iPhones as new operating systems come out, has led Apple to offer discounts on battery replacements.> Affecting iPhone SE, iPhone 6 up to the iPhone 10, the battery will be replaced for $29. It’s not expected to begin until later this month & will go to Dec 31 2018. Glenn said he’ll wait until the last minute to get his done.
<Apple iPhone battery replacement program>

Last Updated 2:14 AM 1-11-2018