Tech – for Everyone

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

Changes coming to an Internet near you!

folks, I only have time to day for a quick ‘reading reco’ (that I think you’ll fersher wanna see).

Thanks to Tom Wheeler, the end of the open Internet is nigh

The very fate of a free society rests on enshrining the open Internet — and the FCC chairman seems determined to do the opposite.Read more..

[ um… one question: do we really have a ‘free society (by what definition?)’? Another might be, is that what the Powers That Be want for us? ]

Related (and reco’d): Two-timing Netflix will speed the downfall — and rebirth — of a free Internet

Netflix’s deals with Comcast and Verizon are terrible in the short run, but bring us closer to Net neutrality’s moment of truthRead more..

[ and no. It ain’t just Netflix. The (other) ISP’s and “content providers” are busy screwing things up as well. ]

Yippee yahoo.

(And BTW, I have already had 8 telemarketer calls this morning.. not one for something I would possibly want. So.. I’ll think on today’s quotable quote. Or.. Plan B, disconnect my Internet when I disconnect my phone. Going “off the grid” is sounding better each week, sad to say.) (Read the articles.)

Today’s quote:I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.” ~ Martha Washington

Copyright 2007-2014 © “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.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.
Find a way to make someone’s day today.
(Best advice I ever heard? Don’t sweat the small stuff.)

May 6, 2014 Posted by | cloud computing, Internet, News, privacy, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Netflix Streaming Outage?

There seems to be a small problem with my Netflix service here where I am (Silicon Valley, CA.) .. like, a total service outage. (Noticed it about 8:50 pm.)

Anyone else?

Wow. Their website doesn’t load, either.. I get a blank (all white) page.. 11:40pm The website is back

I appreciate your input, folks.

(DownRightNow say Twitter is having outages too)

(Cloud computing can be great when it works… but a wee bit aggravating when it doesn’t.)

[update: 6/30, 11:30am: Netflix still appears to be down, Twitter back, and now Facebook and Tumblr down..]

June 29, 2012 Posted by | computers | , , , , , | 23 Comments

New Name in Town – Qwikster

 (aka Netflix DVD by mail)

Today I received an apology letter from Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO of Netflix (you may have received one too..).

The letter included some interesting explanations of the recent rate hike, and also the news that the Internet streaming side, and the DVD-by-mail side of Netflix were going to split.

The DVD will get its own website — called “Qwikster”.

He posted a longer and more detailed explanation, and a video, here (get the 4-1-1).

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Internet, News, tech | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Windows 8 Developer Preview available as free download

Netflix Loses 600,000 In Price Hike Revolt

Some of you will want to get your hands on the newest OS in town – Windows 8 – at the first possible moment, and be the first on your block to give it a test drive. You’re in luck. A very early version is now available to download – free.

From Microsoft: The Windows Developer Preview is a pre-beta version of Windows 8 for developers. These downloads include prerelease software that may change without notice. The software is provided as is, and you bear the risk of using it. It may not be stable, operate correctly or work the way the final version of the software will. It should not be used in a production environment ¹. The features and functionality in the prerelease software may not appear in the final version. Some product features and functionality may require advanced or additional hardware, or installation of other software.Read more..

I do not want to dampen any enthusiasm you may be feeling, but if you are thinking this is a way for everyone in the world to get a free copy of Microsoft’s next operating system, so you won’t have to buy it, because someone at that company had a generosity attack, well – wrong.
(Curiously, though, I did not see a mention of an expiration date.. hmmm..)

And I put a superscript ¹ in the quote: “production environment”, to you and me, translates to “your main machine”. They are saying install it on a for-testing (aka “spare”) machine.

The L.A. Times has a good article that, if you are considering downloading and installing this release, you want to read first, here: Windows 8 Developer Preview available as free download

I have not yet had time to download this.. and may (read “probably will”) wait for the beta..
(If a reader has installed this, I think we would all be happy to hear your impressions.)

Netflix In The News: Netflix dims outlook as subscriptions, shares slip

“Netflix’s decision to raise prices by as much as 60 percent is turning into a horror show.

The customer backlash against the higher rates, kicking in this month, has been much harsher than Netflix anticipated.” Read more..

I guess I understand, and even kind of admire certain ‘public protest’, but I think it is misguided here and won’t be joining the revolt, and dropping my Netflix.. in fact, if I had the funds, I think after the price tumble, now might be a good time to pick up some stock.. (no, I don’t know a single thing about the stock market.)

Today’s quote:There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward.” ~ John Mortimer

Copyright 2007-2011 © “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. <<

September 17, 2011 Posted by | computers, free software, Microsoft, Windows 8 | , , , | Leave a comment

Netflix For Android Phones – At Last

(And How To Add Netflix To Windows Media Center)

Good news for Android owners. Just this morning I discovered that the Netflix app was now available for my phone – yay! In fact, the description on the app’s Market blurb says it is now available for all Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices. (Available free from the Android Market.)

Bones - The Santa in the Slush

I have been waiting for that. (the iPhone has had the app for some time now, so it’s nice to ‘catch up’…)

In my very brief testing on my HTC MyTouch 4G, I had full access to my account (such as my que and history) and resumed watching an episode of Bones right where I had left off watching it on a TV.

I only had time to test it through my Wi Fi, but sound and video and ‘playback’ quality were excellent.

I have not had time to discover just how much more unproductive this will make me, or how much sleep I will lose (as I have been known to take the phone to bed with me and watch an episode of NCIS [on]) but I will report on that soon enough.

While Netflix can be viewed on your PC with your favorite web browser, I have found that I like using Windows Media Center for my viewing better. To get Netflix working with WMC, all you need is to install the plug-in.

1) Open Media Center, and use the down arrow to get to TV + Movies, then the left arrow to get to Netflix.

2) Clicking on that will start the plug-in’s installer (or, you can get it here). Silverlight is required.

3) Login to your Netflix account and..

you’re watching your Netflix streaming programs and movies with the easily remote-controlled WMC.

Today’s free download: Everything
Everything is a search engine for your computer that locates files and folders by name practically instantly. I hate to say, but it blows Windows Search away.. and there is a portable version, so you do not need to “install” Everything to benefit from it. Give it a try. Clean. Simple. Fast. Thorough.

Today’s reading reco: Life After Anonymous – Interview with a Former Hacker

“An interview with @SparkyBlaze, a self-identified former member of the rogue hacktivist group Anonymous, has been published by Jason Lackey. They asked what the hacker’s advice would be for companies that want to stay as secure as possible. The funny thing is that this is what any security expert worth their salt would say. Check out these 14 points and see how your own organization stacks up” Read more..

Today’s quotable quote:Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” ~ Francesca Reigler

Copyright 2007-2011 © “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. <<

September 12, 2011 Posted by | advice, Android, computers, digital Video, free software, how to, Internet | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Netflix and other news

Kind of a hodgepodge today.. Some interesting topics.

Big news in the tech world. Implications unknown. Some court has found that smart phone maker HTC has infringed on Apple patents, and now not only is the company (and other smart phone makers) in um, er, “a muddle” (without a paddle?) but the future of android is suddenly unclear .. perhaps doomed.

I love the idea of letting clueless (frequently “seasoned citizen”) judges decide the future of tech. I understand a few of them have heard of the “Internet thingy”, so maybe not all their decision will be hopelessly uninformed and short-sighted. Just 99.9% of them to date have been..

Here’s something to read, if you’re interested: Apple deals massive patent blow to HTC, Android in serious trouble

“Late yesterday an ITC judge ruled that smartphone maker HTC has infringed two Apple patents, and it seems likely that every single Android device out there infringes the same patents.” Read more..


And I suppose I should say something about Netflix, and their recent price hike. Seems many of you are quite upset. Many think it is pure and simple gouging, and are particularly incensed as they feel Netflix have us by the short and curlies: many are canceling their subscriptions.
Okay. I understand that. (And they certainly could have gone about it better!)

If enough people cancel – it is reasonable to speculate they will rethink.

But I suspect there is more going on here, and it is my hope that this increase in revenue will be reinvested. See.. Netflix needs bigger pipes (more ‘infrastructure’) to keep up with demand. Not only that, but how we view our entertainment is changing. Advertisement-based “network TV” is going the way of the Dodo bird. Netflix is trying to buy the rights to “content” — current shows and movies. The game is changing, and Netflix is trying to come out a winner as a “content provider”.. as NBC and CBS, et al, struggle to stay alive in this age of IPTV, and “streaming media”.
It takes serious money to compete with networks, media ‘moguls’, and Disney.

The Internet is changing the world, don’t you know? The issue is .. complicated. I am not canceling nor squawking — heck, I am so happy to be able to watch ‘on demand’ and commercial free, I might pay triple!
Man, do I hate ads.


I do not know how many times in my life, some yahoo has called me “Mr. Spock”. (So many, I have come to embrace, and adopt it.. and frequently use it myself when trying to describe myself to others.) I do not really look like Leonard Nimoy’s character. I get called that because I am seen as “logical” (and not “emotional”). Fortunately, I have discovered why — it turns out I am a “left-brain thinker”. That explains it! It hasn’t been easy…

10 curses of the analytical thinker

Being a left-brain thinker can be an asset in the IT field. But as Alan Norton observes, it’s not without its shortcomings.Read more..

There’s more news in the “world of tech”, but, it’ll have to wait for another day. Because it is sunny and nice and warm here again, (after a “cool” spell) all the way up to 82°, and I do have a small gap in my obligations. I am going to try to get outside and play. Maybe… throw a Frisbee. Haven’t done that in.. oh, 25 years?

Yawl take care now, ‘ya hear?

Today’s quotable:Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.”  ~ Janet Lane

I got an “invite”: (testing now) Spotify hits U.S. shores, plus browser and uTorrent news

Big news hit U.S. shores this past week in the form of Spotify, the European on-demand music-streaming service. CNET Senior Editor Donal Bell calls it “the best free music option since stealing,” but unfortunately, you may not get to try it for quite some time since as of now, Spotify is invite only.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “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. <<

July 19, 2011 Posted by | advice, Android, Apple, computers, digital music, gadgets, Internet, News, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Another Netflix Outage

It seems Netflix is totally offline here (SF Bay penninsula) @ 7:45pm

Another outage. Cloud computing is great.

When it works.

June 19, 2011 Posted by | computers | , , , , | 2 Comments