Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

The Week In Tech

Well, folks.. I’m kind of hard up for anything to write about today. Looking back on the week, well.. let’s review.

iphone_3g_san_francisco_1_thumb.jpg1) You probably have seen the ads, and know that the most amazing piece of technology (yet) is now available. I refer, of course, to the new iPad “Air”. I also refer to you to a recent ‘debate’ titled Are iPad/iPhone buyers suckers? and posit to you the idea that if a question is even being asked, the answer is ‘yes’.

2) And the Blackberry sale fell through. BlackBerry CEO Out As Takeover Bid Fails

BlackBerry charts yet another course as Fairfax Financial invests $1 billion and former Sybase CEO John Chen takes the interim CEO reins.Read more..

Which neither surprises nor interests me..

3) And we’ve seen these before as well:

Zero-Day attacks hit Windows, Office, Lync

Certain versions of Windows, Office and Microsoft Lync are being attacked in the wild via a new remote code execution vulnerability, says Microsoft in a disclosure.Read more..

Limo breach impacts hundreds of thousands of high-profile clients

“The CorporateCarOnline website states in bold letters: “TRUST US; YOUR DATA IS SECURE.” Hundreds of thousands of clients beg to differ.Read more..

Just a reminder: “breach” means “the hackers broke in”; and “Zero day” means “we don’t have an antidote just yet..”

4) And yet another IPO. Twitter is next, and I heard they’re hoping the company will be valued at $16 Billion.

Yes, with a “B”.

Which makes me think absolutely everyone has lost their freakin’ minds.

Didn’t Dot Com Bubble-Burst 1 teach a dang thing? Or, proved to even the densest in Dot Com Bubble-Burst 2?

5) I’m seeing some amazing prices on tech, and it’s not even Black Friday yet. Prices so good that last year I would’ve bought simply because it was so cheap. But this year, I don’t want anything, regardless of price. I’m tired of being spied on and shown commercials. I’m tired constantly having to ‘update’ and even more tired of having to reinstall backup images because the update broke my machine.

6) I understand people are voicing displeasure at Apple (well, those who bought the new iPad a mere 6 months ago, or so) because they’re finally figuring out Apple’s business model. But did that stop them from lining up outside the store? For the 5S? So they could get last year’s phone in teal or pink?

Bah.

I am no longer amused.

Today’s quote:Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

November 5, 2013 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, Microsoft, MS Office, News, security, tech | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pre-Halloween Mishmash

Here’s a few Items of Interest for you.

World’s first bitcoin ATM opens in Vancouver

Bitcoiniacs’s kiosk dispenses digital currency from Waves Coffee HouseRead more..

Weaponized Antivirus: When Good Software Does Bad Things

The 8th International Conference on Malicious and Unwanted Software is aimed at bringing forward the latest scholarly research in security, in an atmosphere that allows direct and candid interaction between all attendees. This year’s conference (Malware 2013 for short) launched with a keynote by Dennis Batchelder, director of Microsoft Malware Protection Center, pointing out the hard problems that face the antimalware industry.Read more..

[note: this one’s kinda important to know.. ]

* 6 Ridiculous Science Myths You Learned in Kindergarten

Right around the time we learn to start questioning the ways of this wonderful world around us, our parents start packing us onto school buses every morning, because who the hell has time for all those obnoxious questions? Let the professionals address the budding curiosity of our children; we’ve got America’s Next Top Model to watch. Teachers are better equipped to deal with those questions anyway, right? Right!Read more..

* Here’s something scary .. Boo!

guru_spam

* Also scary.. Adobe Confesses to Bigger Password Hack

Early this month, digital media solutions provider Adobe reported a security breach which compromised password information and credit card data for around 3 million customers…Read more..

BTW Blackberry’s BBM is now available for iGadgets and android devices.

And in case I don’t speak with you before then, please have a safe and a happy Halloween.

Today’s quote:There is a real danger that computers will develop intelligence and take over. We urgently need to develop direct connections to the brain so that computers can add to human intelligence rather than be in opposition.” ~ Stephen Hawking

(Now that’s scary..!)

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

October 30, 2013 Posted by | Android, antivirus, computers, consumer electronics, Internet, iPhone, News, tech | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome, May

A few dozen people may be relieved to see a new posting here.

No. I did not die. Nor did I quit and walk away from Tech – for Everyone. I’m still here. And I apologize if I caused any concern by not posting anything for almost an entire week. I’ve never gone that long without posting anything before. In fact, for over 5 years now, I posted some item every single day of the week (with rare exceptions, and occasional re-postings). 2,012 articles, to be exact. (And to quote a certain Hippie band, “what a long, strange trip it’s been..“)

To explain the abscence.. in recent weeks, there have been many things that have given me food for thought, and that seem to underscore my sense that 2013 is going to be a big year for change for me. For example..

1) This past “Black Friday“, I bought a Kindle Fire (basically, an Android tablet). And in all this while I haven’t cared to write a single word about it. Here’s why:

  • Like an iPad, it’s basically a toy you buy when you already have every other toy (there’s, like, 20 ‘apps’ for productivity, and the other 200,000 apps are children’s time-waster games).
  • I use it essentially as a mini flat-panel TV for watching Netflix, and checking my email and Calendar. If I need to respond to any of those emails with more than two sentences, I go to a device with a keyboard to do so, because composing (typing) on a tablet is a royal PITA.
  • If it had a front-facing camera, I might use it for Skyping.. maybe. But I totally agree with this opinion: BlackBerry chief: ‘Tablets dead in 5 years

    Thorsten Heins, CEO of BlackBerry, says tablets won’t have much of a purpose in five years. Heins’ comments were widely panned, but maybe he’s not that far off base.” Read more..

    But on the bright side, I’m letting Amazon learn my every online behavior, and personal preference, so they can better compete with Google…

apple-imac2) I built an iMac and tried using it as my “main computer” for a while. And I did write a little bit about that… But never came back to it because, sheese!, those machines are B-O-R-I-N-G! And I wound up using it much like I do the tablet… although, typing a lengthy email reply is much easier on the iMac.

Simple. Basic. Just works. Pricey.

3) I’ve learned to like Windows 8. But I haven’t written about that either.

Let me explain: Microsoft’s latest operating system has given me lots of work (I’m a tech) as I receive calls asking me to “Get this [expletive deleted] off of here!” almost every day. Though many are taking their new computers back to the store. (Hey, I’m just telling you what I see and hear on the streets. I am not looking at any sales charts.)

4) We’re entering a new era of personal computing — and I don’t like a single thing about it. For example, the computer in your eyeglasses is now here, and I heard Matt Lauer tried on a pair on Good Morning America yesterday. ZD Net’s Great Debate series, at least, had the brains to ask the question: Will Google Glass face adoption challenges due to privacy concerns?

Privacy.

Right. Can you say “Facebook”?

And I’ve been mentioning other areas of concern, such as things like the new phones stealing your credit card info in less than a second, just by getting in close proximity …

… yesterday, someone suggested I should go see the movie Disconnect.. but I feel like I already have.

5) It has been 85-90 degrees in the shade here this past week, and today is supposed to be even warmer. In a word, it feels like summer and it’s gorgeous!!! I just haven’t had the will to come indoors and type up a daily blog article. And so, Folks, I don’t think I will be posting on a daily basis any more. I may, or may not, post when/if I feel like it, or see some particularly interesting or important news item.
The end of an era. (I’m calling it “Semi-Retirement”.)

A reward for reading this far: An alert reader in Italy sent me this very short video clip of a very exciting auction event, where a rare Ming vase sold for a million Euros. (I didn’t think I’d be interested, either.)

dlink_DKT-408I have also been very active upgrading machines, and I’ve found great deals on RAM, SSD’s (and hybrids) etc. on NewEgg’s Daily Deal pages and on Buy.com’s (now “Rakuten”) Featured Deals (for example, I found and bought a D-link N300 wireless router and dongle for $19 [300 Mbps wireless.. yes, there’s faster now, but ] and free shipping. $20!!! For both!
Are you still on Wireless G? You shouldn’t be… not at those kinda prices.

I’ve also been doing a fair amount of data recovery. A tedious and time-consuming activity (and thus, costly) which I wouldn’t have to do if the client had only had a backup of their files. If you click the links above I’m sure you can find a huge external hard drive for less than $100 (remember that flood in Asia that was supposedly going to make HHD’s an extremely rare animal, and drive up the price? Well, guess again) and some come with “One touch backup” software included. There’s no reason not to have one these days….

But, for now, I’m going outside and enjoy this lovely day. LLAP.

Today’s quote:One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” ~ Bertrand Russell

OMG..

r_u_serious

I got 74 more like this in the past day… Yippee yahoo.

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

May 1, 2013 Posted by | advice, Android, Apple, computers, consumer electronics, gadgets, Microsoft, mobile, News, tech, Windows 8 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Most Asked Question About My Smartphone – Typing

The question I am most frequently asked – when folks learn I have an Android smart phone – is “how is the typing?” (They ask that when tablets/iPads get mentioned, too.)

click to see how this image was made in photoshop (tutorial)

Sometimes, this question comes from Blackberry owners, or others whose phones have some kind of mini-keyboard (buttons). These folks are used to “texting” by “thumb-typing”, and some of them are .. um, leery of the “on screen” keyboard. With a “touchscreen” it is true, you do not get the tactile feedback that you do with buttons.

Other times, the person asking has managed to avoid the whole “smart phone” scene, but now that they have seen all the ads on TV for the new 4G world of Internet on your phone, and Androids and iPhones, now have a keener interest.

When I am asked, I tell them that I don’t “type” on my Android — I either talk to it (voice recognition) or “Swype” on it. People want to know if voice recognition, and touch screen typing work properly, or if it is buggy. In my experience with my HTC, running Android 2.2, I would have to say, yes, neither voice recognition nor Swype get it right all the time – 100% – no errors. But I am amazed at how infrequently I have to correct it. And I suspect each feature will only get better as they mature.

Instead of trying to explain what “swype-ing” is, I suggest watching this brief video. (It explains it better than I can.)

unrelated (fun): Been to Google yet today? Very cool mod to the homepage today.. to see it, click here.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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August 6, 2011 Posted by | advice, Android, gadgets, Internet, iPhone, mobile | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Smartphones On The Cheap

Are your seatbelts fastened? I’m about to shock you, Dear Reader.
Ready?

I found a How To better than any I have ever written. Below is the link and some snippets..

How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…

blackberry

“I love my gadgets, and when opportunity presents itself to try something different, I cannot resist.

The object of the this story is to demonstrate how I maximized the usage of a Blackberry Smartphone using one of the cheapest mobile phone plans out there…

I have always been fascinated with PDA’s, have owned quite a few, and was currently looking for something that would provide PDA capabilities, as well as, mobile phone capabilities. I did not want to pay a lot or get trapped into a lengthy service contract with a mobile phone provider just to own a computer in my pocket…”

I believe that this article will appeal to (and inform) any “user level” — from those who have managed to avoid these fancy gadgets, to texting über-ninjas. I highly recommend clicking the link (above) and giving this one a read.

I tip both my writer’s cap and my geek hat to Rick Robinette (blog= What’s On My PC) and I thank him for permission for these snippets.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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March 26, 2009 Posted by | advice, gadgets, how to, Internet, Portable Computing, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Parental Monitoring And Cellular Phones

If you are a parent concerned about what your child is doing with their mobile phone– whether or not they’re talking to strangers, for example– you may want to keep reading. This topic was spawned by a question from such a parent.

And if you’re the kind of person who’s easily agitated about technology and the erosion of privacy, a Luddite, a Big Brother Conspiracy Theorist, or anyone else who hasn’t quite come to terms with the modern age we’re living in– you might want to stop reading here.
You’ve been warned. I will not respond to your e-mail.

Regular readers (and tech-savvy people in general) know that your computer use at work is monitored. And you’ve probably heard of “spyware” and “keyloggers” that record what you type (my readers have, and that’s fer sher). And you know that GPS devices can pinpoint your location.shhh

And you know that cameras (usually hidden) are being installed everywhere– as a crime and terrorism preventative, and to stop red-light runners. Cities compete to have the highest percentage of camera coverage.

And you know that modern phones allow text messaging, the sending of photos and movies, and surfing the Internet. (They are becoming more like little laptops everyday.)

And you know that the Internet can be a dangerous place. Especially for kids.
(read Monitoring Your Teenager’s Internet Usage – Should You?)

And thus the parent’s dilemma. If you have a child, the day will come when they want a phone. I think that happens around the ages of 7-9, these days.
And being kids, they won’t want just any old phone, but they will want a “kewl” phone; one with all the bell’s and whistles. (Your hands are kind of tied on this.. nobody makes a “plain old cellphone” anymore. Haven’t for years.)

“But Mom, everybody’s got one!”

The answer, for you, may be to give your child a phone that allows you to see what they text and IM, control who their “contacts” are, and, maybe, even record their calls. It’s called “parental monitoring”, and the extent to which you use it is up to you.
[note: if reading that made your blood pressure go up a notch, refer now to the second paragraph.]

You don’t need to buy a special phone.. or even a new phone, to monitor your child’s activity.
* There is commercial software that can be installed on every type of phone– such as RADAR and MobileSpy. These can notify you in “real time” if a parameter you set is being broken. iPhone users can look at safe eyes.
[note: did your employer give you your cellphone? Think, people. Think. Let’s add two and two here.]

* There are USB dongles that read a phone’s SIM chip –even if your child’s erased their messages– for $50.

So, if you’re a concerned parent, you have several options that will allow you to find some middle ground. And if you’re a Big Brother Conspiracy Theorist.. well, friend, it’s twice as bad as you dare to realize and it’s only going to get worse.

Today’s free link(s): Concerned parents who have a child reaching the driving age (and Big Brother Conspiracy Theorists) might read my article “What Your Car Is Saying About You.
Or you can give them a Guardian Angel cell phone which reports their location and speed..

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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October 21, 2008 Posted by | advice, cellular, gadgets, hardware, how to, IM, Internet, iPhone, kids and the Internet, privacy, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments