Oct 10, 2018

Oct - 10 2018 | 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.


Both Paul and Glenn were in the studio today.


Glenn reminded listeners that they can call in with their questions or comments during the show. The number in the studio is 530-265-9555. Or they can send email to zen at kvmr dot org.

Glenn read a message saying “my iPhone contents may have been lost in the IOS 12 upgrade”. Paul has already done the upgrade on his iPhone but Glenn hasn’t. Glenn said there are 2 or 3 ways to do the upgrade and Paul went into some details.

Paul said it’s often quite hard to go back to an older version of IOS, after you’ve done an upgrade on an iPhone and realized you don’t like it.

When the iPhone first came out, you had to cable it to your computer to do the upgrade. Now it is capable of doing the upgrade thru a wireless connection. An iPhone as old as the 5S can be upgraded to IOS 12.

If you’re using iCloud, it will backup your contacts, reminders, tasks, etc. but that doesn’t mean you have a legitimate snapshot of your machine”, Paul said.

Paul did the IOS 12 upgrade on his iPhone 6 with 16gigs of memory most of which was occupied. 2gigs of free memory is needed to do the upgrade. He tried to free up enough memory but in the end decided to cable it to his computer and use iTunes to do the upgrade.

Doing it this way requires the latest version of iTunes. If it’s an older version, “strange things will happen” and you won’t be warned that your iTunes is too old. Paul said that he doesn’t think this is the reason the listener lost her data.

So, start with the latest iTunes (on either a PC or Mac), a reliable cable and the phone to be upgraded. If you connect the iPhone and iTunes doesn’t open automatically, you’ll have to start it up manually. It then will show a popup telling you an upgrade is available.

If there is no popup, look for the logo representing your phone on the bar. There may be logos for your other devices, so choose the correct logo. When you click on that, it will give you the chance to back up your device onto iCloud, which you don’t want to do according to Paul, or to back up to the computer (do tick that check box). You are then asked if you want to encrypt the backups — Paul doesn’t encrypt the backups because “it causes problems”.

At that point it will go thru a long process to take a snapshot of just about anything that’s on your iPhone. It can take 10 to 15 minutes. If it then says your phone was successfully backed up and tells you the name & date of the backup, you’ll be given the option to “restore” the phone, which wipes the phone clean. This is what Paul chose in his case because there was too little free memory.

Paul thought that the listener who wrote in might have gotten to this point, where the phone was wiped clean. After the upgrade, you can then restore your backup from the computer, if you did the backup there, or at least restore from whatever had been backed up on iCloud.

Glenn previously helped someone to change their cellular carrier and he had to go back and turn on iMessage and a few other things. Paul said some things get turned off when you upgrade the iPhone, get a different iPhone or change the carrier by putting in a different SIM card.

Paul threw in a seemingly unrelated but useful tip — you can take a screen shot on the iPhone by pushing both the home & power buttons.

As he said before, it’s more desirable to use cable, whether for backups or network connections, rather than wi-fi, for security and other reasons. Pre-cut Ethernet cables are pretty cheap and are more reliable than making them yourself with a crimping tool.

Paul talked a bit about IOS 12. It has the feature called Screen Time, which shows you the percentage of all your time spent that went to social media, work applications, etc. And it has parental control settings to limit use of social media. IOS 12 will ask you if you want to set up Screen Time. Paul said he would answer ‘no’ to begin with. He said that even if you answer no, it’s “still logging stuff”.

With IOS 12, that really long list under ‘Settings’ now has a search box to help find the setting you’re looking for.

Paul noticed his iPhone 6 runs a bit faster with IOS 12. However, he put it in there by “reloading and refreshing the iPhone, which may in itself have sped it up”. Apple claims better battery performance and Paul seem to think it’s true, but he hasn’t done rigorous testing.

Android is up to version 9, which they call “Pie”. Upgrading your Android device varies by manufacturer because each vendor makes changes to customize it for their devices. Paul pointed out that just because you can upgrade doesn’t mean you should. His old Nexus tablet is running version 6 and it’s working just fine.

Gary called. He heard on last show about recharging batteries at 2amps and pointed out that lithium polymer batteries will last the longest if they are charged at the lowest rate. It’s the heat from the charging that limits the battery lifetime, Paul said. Lithium polymer are older that lithium metal hydride batteries and didn’t reach the mainstream until complex regulatory chips were put onboard that kept track of current, voltage, temperature and the time of charging. Paul agreed with Gary that charging at lower amperage will help prolong the battery lifetime.

From China you can get a USB device that goes between a 5volt wall charger and the USB cable that will show you what current is coming thru, but it doesn’t let you control the amount of current. Some chargers do let you change the current. For example, Paul has a charger with 2 2amp sockets and 2 1amp sockets.

The other tip to prolong the battery life, if you storing it or just not using it much, is to keep it half charged, not fully charged or fully discharged. The other thing is to keep it in a cool place but not in a fridge and definitely not in a freezer.

Glenn was at Costco in the Bay Area and saw a Sky Phantom Wi-Fi FPV Drone for $30. FPV stands for first person view or first person video, meaning “you see what it sees”. That’s opposed to being able to only record the video into memory and then to read the memory when the drone comes back.

Paul said Wi-fi can be interfered with easily and doesn’t have a big range so you need to find out what happens when you lose the wi-fi connection. The quadcopter Paul has will throttle back and slowly descend when its wi-fi gets out of range.

Paul suggested people avoid buying drones that are controlled only by a smart phone. The one Glenn saw has a hand controller to which you can attach a phone for viewing the images the drone is sending.

Scott called to say that according to an email from Tech Connect Daily <maybe it’s this>. Apple is forcing users to buy Apple Care because, if something goes wrong and you try to fix it yourself, it will shut down a Mac Book and not allow you to restart it. Paul vaguely recalled hearing something like that regarding the latest Mac Books — they are not third party serviceable. Paul thought it’s nominally illegal to make things that only the company can fix. Paul thought it might have something to do with security, not allowing you to “monkey with any of the parts of it to get into anything”.

Paul suggested that people find out just which models are subject to this new policy and avoid buying them. Instead, get refurbished or recycled Macs.

Paul left us with something to be paranoid about. The Chinese are making what Paul calls snoopy chips, which are tiny bits of silicon that fit into the plug of an Ethernet cable and draw power from it. The chips watch for certain types of signals and, when the right time comes, send the data to predetermined internet address.
<China used tiny chips on US computers to steal secrets: report>

Also,motherboards have been found with embedded chips the size of a grain of rice.

Finally, there’s a hack that can compromise a hard drive. Every hard drive has a 4-pin J-tag connector or 5-pin firmware connector that developers use to monitor and control what happens between the bus signals and the hard drive. It’s possible to change the firmware in such a way that it will snoop on the traffic and send it out.

The disclaimer:
The views and opinions expressed on KVMR are those of the speaker only and not necessarily of KVMR management, staff or underwriters

added link to article about Chinese ‘snoopy’ chip

Last Updated 12:45 AM 10-12-2018

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