Mar 27, 2019

Mar - 27 2019 | By

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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.


Glenn was in the studio. Paul called in from his road trip to Southern Calif. He was in Lucern, which is about 50 miles south of Barstow.


Glenn thanked the 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

You can send email to the guys, even during the show. Write to zen at kvmr dot org. And you can also call during the show at 530-265-9555.

After having visited the website Krebs On Security, Paul shared with us what he learned about card skimmers. <Card skimmers steal your credit card info when you use a card reader, an ATM, for instance.>
– You won’t usually see anything outwardly suspicious about the card reader; the skimmer is inside.
– The skimmers work by scanning the magnetic stripe when you swipe the card, not when you insert the card to read its chip.
– ATM technicians are bribed or blackmailed to allow the machines to be compromised.
– Hardware in inserted into an ATM to read the signals coming from the keypad where you enter your PIN and signals coming from the magnetic stripe reader. A membrane is put under the keypad to pick up the PIN as you enter it. And a second stripe reader is placed next to the legitimate one.
– The PIN and card numbers are stored on a flash drive in the skimmer. They are later read out by the crooks using a Bluetooth connection. Of course, the data is encrypted on the flash drive so not just anyone can read it. The crooks don’t want anyone to steal the data that they stole.
– Paul found some websites that sell skimmers for $500 to $700. They are small devices about the size of a chewing gum stick.
– Another way they steal your PIN & card number is to install an entire ATM machine that’s completely bogus, run by company that doesn’t exist. When you use it, it will say something like “sorry, your transaction has been declined”. But at that point it’s already stolen your PIN & card number.
– When the stolen PIN & card numbers are sold, the buyers find a high failure rate because the banks often spot unusual activity, like usage at a distant location, and lock the account. The rightful owner may see a charge of $1 on their statements. That’s a way the crooks test if the card is still valid before selling the data.
– Paul said that some banks let you receive an alert notification when there’s a transaction with the card. He set his alert level at the $1 limit. Check your bank’s website for more info.
– It’s a lot harder to steal from your account using the chip on the card. The crooks have the steal the card itself as well as determine your PIN.

The guys agreed that though there are security problems with credit cards, they are very convenient. The bank Glenn uses offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The Costco card offers 3% to 4% off some purchases. There’s another card that gives you 1% off when you buy something and 1% off when you pay your credit bill.

Paul warned us about quick loan places such as those that give cash advance on wages. Protections have been rolled back under our current federal government. Apparently the person in charge of federal consumer protection is not interested in protecting us against usury. When you’re considering these loans, read the fine print, he said.

Paul said that it was his impression that credit card debt in California is noncollectable after 7 years. However if you go that route, you may end up with ruined credit. Glenn clarified by saying this applies to unsecured loans and that the debt isn’t forgiven after 7 years but it is removed from your credit report, as required by law. “You still owe the debt, but at that point, many people look at that and say ‘well what incentive do I have to pay it off, because it’s no longer reported on my credit and it’s not negatively affecting me'”.

Paul said he uses Gas Buddy to find the cheapest gas when he’s out in his RV because of it’s poor gas mileage.

Paul thought about using his old Rand McNally atlas on his road trip. When he found it in his RV it had mold all over it as was unreadable. He realized that keeping the RV sealed not only keeps the weather out but also keeps condensation in. He knows now to keep something open for air circulation, maybe even with a fan, to lower humidity and flush out mold spores.

Glenn noted that he too used Gas Buddy to great advantage 2 weeks ago on his trip to Arizona.

About $.40 of the cost for a gallon of gas goes to the state in taxes. This is not true for tribal lands, which are under federal jurisdiction. Paul said he was able to take advantage of that fact when he came thru Bishop CA.

Glenn mentioned that after he got his refurbished iPhone 8, he passed on his iPhone 6S to a friend. He went to an Apple store to get the data from her iPhone 4 transferred to the 6S. It turned out that he didn’t need Apple’s help. It was an easy process. He backed up the iPhone 4 to iCloud and then used the 6S to download the backup from the iCloud.

Paul related the story about some perfectly innocent guy in South Africa who was periodically raided by the cops. Apparently, when cell phones are involved in crimes the IP address is evidence used to track people down. In this case, the IP address was identified by geolocation to be the center of the town, which is where this fellow lives — the cell network was only able to report that one location.

Paul noted that there is a senior pass available for those who frequent national parks. Glenn said it’s a lifelong pass, but couldn’t remember how much it cost, maybe $10 to $20. He said you can get the pass at a national park ranger office.

Glenn said that he and Frank McClain will host the Flea Market show tomorrow from 1pm to 2pm.

Paul mentioned the KVMR app, which is available for free. It also streams KVMRX. And it has the schedule of shows, too.
<The KVMRX live stream is here.>
<The app for Android might be a little hard to find using the link a KVMR. You can get it here.>

Tom called in, but his audio was breaking up badly. It sounded like he was looking for another internet provider. He has Digital Path now but their price keeps going up. It’s now up to $112 per month. He said something about a Verizon package, the Jet Pack, and wanted an opinion.

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

Paul thought the reason for the rate going up is that people are streaming so much stuff these days it’s hard for a provider to keep up with the volume. Streaming audio is approx. 35 meg per hour and video at a modest rez is maybe 3/4 gigabytes per hour. Most cell phone packages give you 3 to 5 gigs per month, so you use up your allotment quickly. ISPs know this and charge more because they don’t have that kind of data limit.

Glenn said he has a friend who use an AT&T service with unlimited data, but he couldn’t remember name of the plan. He said the plan does not throttle the speed after passing a certain data cap. He suggested that Tom call Verizon to get more info about the Jet Pack.

Glenn said there is another provider in the area called Smarter Broadband.

Paul had a quick item at the end of the show. What can you do with an old iPhone like the iPhone 4? If you unlock it, you can use it as a hot spot. Put a data-only SIM card in it and use it as a mi-fi hot spot.

Last Updated 1:33 AM 3-28-2019

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