Tech – for Everyone

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

Brain-reading Devices

A highly recommended ‘food for thought’ article for you today..

Think Internet Data Mining Goes Too Far? Then You Won’t Like This

These days, you can hop on the Internet and buy yourself a consumer-grade brain scanning device for just a few hundred dollars. Technically, they’re called brain computer interfaces, or BCIs. As these devices develop, researchers are thinking a few steps ahead — they’re worried about how to keep marketers from scanning our brains.Read more..

[ Share that one with your friends/family..]

Sorta related: Yesterday, while watching an educational seminar posted to YouTube, I experienced for the first time YouTube’s “InVideo” ’embedded’ ads – ads that actually interrupt the video, and you have to wait/watch for 5 seconds before you can click on “skip ad” – which was made worse by incessant ‘ghost overlay’ (semi-transparent) ads which I had to keep closing.

Almost exactly 5 years ago I wrote Good-bye YouTube. Enjoy Your Ads., and I guess it’s finally come to fruit. I am muttering expletives like the proverbial Chief Bosons Mate, here folks. Has advertising gotten SO invasive/pervasive that I must cut out all forms of media (besides books)? Seems to me we have reached that point. (I’d like to paraphrase Shakespeare here: “And the second thing we do is..”)

If anyone knows of an ad blocker (or other trick) that can strip those out, please let me know. (Yes, I looked at this one.)
Update: Found an easy one. I added ||2mdn.net^ as a custom filter to my AdBlock Plus extension. Yay!

Today’s quotable quote:Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.” ~ Will Rogers

Copyright 2007-2014 © “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.
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 30, 2014 Posted by | advice, consumer electronics, how to, News, privacy, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Serious Threat Now Hits Android, and a SB

Howdy folks.

I have mixed emotions about this recent news item. PC Porn Ransomware Comes to Android

A new strain of Android malware is posing as a premium porn-viewing tool. Once loaded, this ransomware displays a screen claiming that the user has violated laws and the device has been encrypted pending an untraceable payment. Is your Android really locked?Read more..

On one side of the coin, I’m glad for the article because too many people simply do not understand the risks, or even know there are “mobile threats’ (and malware). On the other side of the coin.. you play with fire..

And of course, there’s always Iran: Anatomy Of The New Iranian APT

A newly unearthed attack campaign out of Iran targeting US defense contractors and Iranian dissidents confirms that Iran has expanded its cyberoffense capability and strategy far beyond its signature politically themed website defacements — into a full-blown cyber espionage operation.Read more..

Interesting times.

Today’s Pretty Picture:

ocean sunrise

Click on image to see more by this artist

Today’s quote:Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” ~ Lou Holtz

Today’s free idea: Have you been sitting and looking at your screen for longer than 20 minutes? Stop it. Stand up stretch! Better yet, get outdoors, take a walk. Get your body moving! Then come back and feed your addiction (screen staring). Doing too much sitting can kill you, you know.

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 18, 2014 Posted by | advice, Android, computers, consumer electronics, cyber crime, Cyberwarfare, gadgets, hackers, Internet, mobile, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OneDrive

I see Microsoft has – once again – decided that changing the name of something will somehow benefit them, increase sales, and that they are now going to call their “SkyDrive” cloud service “OneDrive”.

what_me_worryWhoopee!

Yes, I feel much better about cloud computing now. Sign me up!

For those interested:

Take a tour of the great new features in OneDrive and find out why it’s the one place to store and share all of your favorite things.  Learn more

Want to earn more free storage? Get up to an extra 8 GB by following the steps to enable your camera roll backup and by referring your friends. Log in at OneDrive.com.”

I’m sure the very highly paid People In Charge at Microsoft are a lot smarter than me. But I’m not seeing all that a bright a future for them…

Friday Fun video:

What can I say? That video has more than 10 million views…

Today’s quote:Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention.” ~ Jim Rohn

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.

February 21, 2014 Posted by | cloud computing, computers, Internet, Microsoft, News | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Amazon’s New Coins – the latest E-currency?

Today I received an email from Amazon telling me they had given me 500 free “Coins”  as a ‘thank you’ for being a Kindle Fire owner. (A $5 value!)

coin

Useful when you spend your time in the land of Elves..?

That was new to me.. I had never heard of “Amazon Coins”.. Is this the next Bitcoin?

So, I read the blurb.

What is Amazon Coins?
Amazon Coins is a new way to buy and enjoy Kindle Fire apps, games, and in-app items for less. Save up to 10% on apps and games by purchasing Amazon Coins.

Ah. “Buy”.
Why purchase Coins? (Besides “saving up to 10%”)

Where can I spend Coins?
You can spend Amazon Coins on your Kindle Fire or on Amazon.com. Explore great Kindle Fire apps and games on the Amazon Appstore for Android.”

(To see the Amazon product page, click here.)

Oh, how super-neato keen.

I can’t wait to buy a whole huge stockpile of Amazon Pennies!!!  Um, I meant “Coins”.

Is it just me, or is this just giftcards for timewaster games for kids (the overwhelming majority of Android “apps”)?

Yippee yahoo.

titanic_sinkingWhile I guess I am pleased with a free $5 giftcard ( now I can buy Angry Birds Star Wars Edition!!! ) … I still have to wonder whose idea was this, anyway? Did they go to college to learn to come up with ideas marketing strategies like this? ( I kinda suspect this will sail about as far as the Titanic did.. but has the advantage of costing a lot more. )

.. I mean.. nobody pays for apps any more. Right? (Everything on the Internet is free.. right? Just “download it”?) Could this be a way to artificially boost “sales” and “clicks” statistics? Nah. But Amazon just “sold” one more Angry Birds Star Wars Edition
Right?
(Actually, I wouldn’t be caught with an Angry Birds. I’m not 9.)

Today’s quote:Things are never so bad they can’t be made worse.” ~ From The African Queen

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 13, 2013 Posted by | Android, consumer electronics, News, tech | , , , , , , | 11 Comments

And Yet More Bad News About The Tech…

Some recent headlines you should might want to consider…

* Guess what? Your favorite websites are more likely to serve malware than p0rn sites

A new report may change your perception of websites and malware. Michael P. Kassner ferrets out what Cisco is excited about.Read more..

Uh, oh..
* U.K. spy agencies plan to install Web snooping ‘black boxes’

U.K. intelligence agencies are planning to install surveillance ‘black boxes’ on phone networks and ISP servers that utilize deep packet inspection to monitor Web traffic—including Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, among others.Read more..

[“the power of the state to monitor every aspect of our lives“.. That really shouldn’t surprise anyone. Think about what your ISP sees.. ]

Related..
* The Year of Being Watched

The FBI is reading David Petraeus’s email. Apple wants to help you find your phone, and your browser knows what kind of underwear you prefer. Welcome to the new paradigm of privacy: There isn’t any.Read more..

[This one is highly reco’d… and the comments are interesting too.]

And yippee yahoo..
* Federal Reserve Hit by Hackers

The Federal Reserve is the latest government agency to be hit by a cyber attack.” Read more..

Last but certainly not least..
* NY Times Hack Is Tip of a Cyber Iceberg

Last week’s reports that the Chinese government hacked into The New York Times were just the tip of the iceberg.Read more..

A Tool Kit:
* Staying Private on the New Facebook

Facebook is a personal vault that can contain photos of your firstborn, plans to bring down your government and, occasionally, a record of your indiscretions.

It can be scoured by police officers, partners and would-be employers. It can be mined by marketers to show tailored advertisements.

And now, with Facebook’s newfangled search tool, it can allow strangers, along with “friends” on Facebook, to discover who you are, what you like and where you go.Read more..

(I’m so *freakin’* glad I never signed up..!)

Lot of “food” for you thinkers out there. Have a happy day.

Today’s quotes:

* “Before we work on artificial intelligence why don’t we do something about natural stupidity?” ~ Steve Polyak

* “…but it is better to learn wisdom late than never to learn it at all.” ~ Arthur Conan Doyle, (Sherlock Holmes) The Man with the Twisted Lip

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.

February 7, 2013 Posted by | advice, cloud computing, computers, cyber crime, Cyberwarfare, hackers, Internet, News, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sinking To A New Low

Last night I happened to do something I do not do much of any more. I turned on a TV.

And took a look at a few minutes of the NBA Championship game. No, I am not a basketball fan. But it is a topic of conversations. And I wanted to get up to speed.

Of course, most of what I witnessed was not sport, but commercials (more than half the “airtime minutes” would be my estimate). That fact may have depressed me enough that I was not properly mentally armored when one particular commercial came on — a “trailer” for a Coming Soon To A Theater Near You movie.

It was the CGI that caught my attention, and I “tuned in” to this commercial (a Civil War battle scene..).

Big mistake.

The name of this film is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

President Lincoln’s mother was killed by a supernatural creature, which fuels his passion to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers.” ~ 20th Century Fox

I’m sorry. But I cannot find any humor in this. I am offended.

Insulted.

The Great Emancipator portrayed as an axe-wielding super-hero type.. able to fly, or jump 80′ .. or have X-ray vision, or such other tripe nonsense.

Hollywood is never, ever, getting another penny from me.

Ever.

Am I the only person bothered by this? Maybe. But I am beginning to think maybe clotildajamcracker was right when she wrote “.. So stop slacking and let’s end this world once and for all..” the other day… (though she was using humor.)

Needless to say, I turned off the TV mucho muy mas pront-o. Don’t plan to turn it on again anytime soon.

Swill.

Nothing but slop for the masses. Lowest Common Denominator.

Hollywood: We Excel At Reaching New Lows – Everyday!

I apologize to you Dear Reader. There is some techie stuff happening, and I really should have talked about that..
(Such as: Hacker claims mass bank breach; releases Visa, Mastercard data

More than 79 banks have been breached, claimed a hacker on Twitter. Following a data release on Tuesday, he said he has more than 50 gigabytes of U.S. and foreign bank data in his hands.Read more..)

But I am kind of curious.. am I alone in this feeling? I am the only one turning off the TV? Not going to theaters?

Oh, well. Doesn’t really matter I guess.. How I feel is how I feel. And I felt an urge to get that off my chest. I’d ask for a boycott of this movie.. but I am not so vain as to think anyone would hear, or heed.

I read it had a $70 million budget… and it’s in “3D”. I expect it’ll be a blockbuster.. Maybe THE summer blockbuster.

How sad.

(In RL, and Actual Fact, Abraham Lincoln happens to be one of those Historical Figures well-worth learning more about.)

Today’s Geekspeak: “CGI” = “computer generated imagery”, largely used for “special effects” in video production. (Back in the Dark Ages, they had to make movies without any help from CGI. So they compensated with things like acting, storyline/plot, costumes/wardrobe, and skillful photography.)

Today’s quote:He who gives when he is asked has waited too long.” ~ Sunshine Magazine

Your reward for reading this far down: Summer slots!

Want a spin? Click here!

Great software deals and giveaway you probably want to check out… (click on the image). Limited time offer. First come, first served!

~     ~     ~

.. 79 banks ..

Copyright 2007-2012 © “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.

June 19, 2012 Posted by | advice, free software | , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Wednesday’s Food For Thought

I only have time today to share a few item I hope you will find of interest.

I have a list, and I go through it each afternoon. I find that the more I can check off a “Yes”, the better I feel:

  • did I make someone smile?
  • did I answer all my mail?
  • did I ride a bike, or take a walk?
  • did I learn something new?
  • did I do a “random act of kindness”?
  • did I tackle an unpleasant chore?
  • did I tidy up a mess?
  • did I receive any money?
  • did I “stop and smell the roses” and/or appreciate nature’s beauty?
  • did I do anything nice for ME?

(I am curious.. Do you have a list like that? Does it work for you?)

Some “Tech News” items..

* The slow and steady evolution of cross-platform malware

Malware isn’t just for Windows anymore. As the number of Macs rise, the economic incentive for criminals to build cross-platform attacks rises. And so do the stakes.Read more..

* Over 1.5 million Visa, MasterCard credit card numbers stolen?

U.S.-based credit card processor company Global Payments is about to announce more details about the security breach that recently saw millions of credit card numbers stolen. It doesn’t look good.Read more..

* HTC One X is the best HTC device I have ever used (review & gallery)

HTC is focusing on quality instead of quantity this year with the HTC One series their premier launch device line. The HTC One X is fantastic and I have never used a better HTC device.Read more..

* California thanks Facebook for 800% boost in organ donors

*     *     *

Blowing my own horn department: Loyal readers might like to know that I have added to my already busy schedule, and now am writing for Find The Best.com, as their “resident expert” in Desktop and Laptop/Notebook PC’s.

Find The Best is a relatively new concept: a “comparison engine” (on virtually any subject or item).

FindTheBest.com | Unbiased, Data-Driven Comparisons.

FindTheBest is an objective comparison engine that allows you to find a topic, compare your options and select the best choice for you.”

*    *     *

Today’s quotable quote:The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid.” ~ Unknown

Copyright 2007-2012 © “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 2, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, News | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments