Jul 25, 2018

Jul - 25 2018 | By

Beats Headsets & Other BadBoys!

Thrift Stores, Ebay, Craigslist Tech?!

Not here Next Show

 


 

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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 Glenn and Paul were in the studio today.

 

Glenn thanked supporters of KVMR. <If you’d like to become a contributing member, you can call the business office at 530-265-9073 or go to the KVMR website.

Glenn noticed that Paul wasn’t wearing the activity tracking Amazfit BIP watch he bought recently. Paul talked about it on the last show (7-11-18). But since then, he has lost ‘track’ of it. It’s somewhere in his house and he can communicate with it using Bluetooth. The watch is telling him that he’s not been meeting his exercise goals, obviously, since he hasn’t been wearing it.

He can make the watch buzz remotely so he can find it by sound, but the watch has some built-in rule not to do that often so as not to drain the battery. His other strategy to find it is to synchronize with the watch using Bluetooth as he walks around the house. When it won’t synch, he can assume it’s because he’s out Bluetooth range (about 30 feet). He hopes to narrow its location down to a particular room.

Paul said that local thrift stores are a great source for stuff you can’t get elsewhere — like power supplies, cell phone cables, inexpensive tv sets and monitors and even complete refurbished computers. The Salvation Army has computers with monitors for about $150. And if you keep the receipt, some stores will let you return electronic products within 3 days, if they don’t work right. Often you will get store credit, not cash back.

Paul also mentioned freecycle.org <he said freecycle.com> for recycled & repurposed goods.

Glenn reminded listeners they can call the guys at 530-265-9555 with their questions or comments.

Paul has a 2013 vintage Google Nexus 7 tablet that originally came with version 4 of Android. He’s now using version 6.01. All the apps in the Play Store work on it even though the current Android is version 8.

He wanted to try out the new features in the latest version, but Google won’t let him update to version 8 because they don’t want to support it on an old tablet, even though version 8 will work on it. Google is entitled by law to stop support after 7 years, which can mean that newer apps may not work on it (though the older apps should continue to work).

Since he couldn’t get Google to update the Nexus to version 8, he decided to install a hacked version from the open source community. Unfortunately he ended up bricking the unit. He not only deleted the original operating system, which he thought he had backed up, but he also couldn’t load the new one. After much research and going thru a bunch of steps, he managed to get version 6.01 back on it.

Glenn looked up Android on Wikipedia and noticed that the various versions of Android were named after confections in alphabetical order. The guys noted that some of the street names in San Francisco are also in alphabetical order.

Getting back to updating Paul’s Nexus, Glenn asked if he can install Nugget (version 7) and then go to version 8 (Oreo). Paul said it’s quite possible but there’s a chance an older tablet won’t run so well as you keep updating it.

After issuing the disclaimer that you shouldn’t try this, Paul explained that if you hold down the power button & the down-volume button, the Nexus will go into recovery mode. This is a special mode that will use the USB port when it’s connected to a Linux machine, Windows or Mac in conjunction with ADB (a debugging console) to transfer files to and from the tablet. You can then put a specially named file on the tablet. When you restart the tablet it looks for that file, unpacks it and uses it. <I think this is supposed to be the new operating system.>

The file is supposed to contain a signature so the tablet will know that it’s legit. One of the problems Paul had when installing the new Android version was that the signature wasn’t right and he had to go thru some steps to get around that. He said that if you want to hack your tablet, first do a Google search for “back to square one Nexus tablet” or “bricked Nexus tablet”, so you’ll know how to recover,

Glenn recalled that back when it was possible to jailbreak the iPhone, there was no way to get back. Paul said the early iPhones allowed you to recover from a jailbreak but not anymore.

One reason to jailbreak is to be able to tether a phone that uses any of major cellular services. Tethering allows you to make the phone act as a hotspot and to be able to get on the internet using another device. Since about IOS 10, Apple has made it impossible to jailbreak the iPhone.

There is a company that makes a forensic tool that hooks up to the iPhone and allows police to get information off a locked iPhone. Apple then created a patch (version 11.4.1) that makes the port available for only 1 hour before locking it, Anyone trying to hack in thru the port will normally need more than 1 hour.

Glenn said he recently ordered a 32gig USB stick with a Lightning kit. It arrived yesterday and he has not had a chance to use it.

Paul went on a rant about iCloud. He said don’t trust it with your photos. It’s horrible…a bloody nightmare. Though the keeps turning it off, Apple turns on iCloud photos by default when there’s a software update. The phone then starts sending photos to the iCloud photo repository. At some point the free 5gigs you are allotted is used up and then your phone stops backing up contacts, calendars, reminders and addresses. It gets worse, because you can’t be sure which photos are “on the iPhone”. You can buy additional storage, but when that is used up, you end up with the same problem. When he goes to delete the photos from the phone he can’t be sure they’ve been backed up. More often than not, when he goes to iCloud.com he can see that some photos are not there.

The other problem occurs when you want to retrieve photos from iCloud. There is no way to highlight the photos you want to put back on the phone and download them. You have to use a PC and download the iCloud app and tell it you want all of your pictures from iCloud to be put into the ‘my photos’ folder. “And then it will only do it when it feels like it.”

What you have to do is “go to iCloud.com look at all of your photographs and in a buried and hidden place it tells you how many photographs you got.” It may tell you you’re using 20gig and have 3000 pictures. “You write that number down and stick it on your PC and you don’t believe a word that stupid software tells you until the PC tells you got at least 3000 photographs down. Then it becomes your business to jam them over back on the Mac where they should have come from.” Paul thinks it’s “a bloody mess” and he doesn’t trust it.

Gordon called. He “recently had his operating system redone” and moved away from AOL software to Firefox. But now when he tries to download a file he doesn’t know where it’s stored. He’s not given a chance to specify the location it’s downloaded to.
– Glenn said it typically should end up in the Download folder.
– He said you can find where it ended up by clicking on the blue arrow that shows you’ve downloaded it. It will then show the name of the file you’ve downloaded. Right-click on the name and then click on ‘open containing folder’
– Paul: if you’re using Firefox, “make sure you got your entire menu bar up.” Right-click on a blank spot in the address bar and choose ‘menu bar’. After that go to ‘tools’ -> ‘downloads’ (or Control-J).
– Glenn explained again how to get the ‘tools’ — On the bar that has the address bar, right-click on a blank space next to the home icon or reload button.
– When you get to tools’ go to ‘options’ and scroll down to where it says ‘save files to’ and pick a location. Or you can choose ‘always ask me where to save files’.
– After changing the settings, restart Firefox so they take affect.

Paul discovered a highly effective ad blocker called Ublock Origin that works in Firefox and Chrome. Use the full name to find it, there are others with similar names. Do a Google search for “Ublock Origin firefox” or “Ublock Origin chrome”. Be aware that some sites won’t serve up their content when they see you’re using this ad blocker and you may have to temporarily disable it.

Jess called. He added to Paul’s rant about iCloud — people say that when they delete photos off their iPhone, thinking they are backed up, they are also deleted from iCloud. It doesn’t tell you when it’s synchronizing, it tells you nothing, Paul said.

Paul mentioned that the KVMR program schedule is now in the .pdf format. You can make your own .pdf files with the free PDFcreator. Glenn really likes PDFescape — a free program for editing .pdf file.

Last Updated 2:18 AM 7-26-2018