Tech – for Everyone

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

Friday Good Stuff

Here are a few items for your Friday.

* Why TV is doomed: HBO Now and the new cord-cutting economics

The entire old-school television distribution system has been rocked by a quake of epic magnitude. Now I can watch whatever I want — and save hundreds of dollars a year.” Read more..

Related: Add Pluto TV To Your Internet TV Lineup

If you are looking for a FREE internet based TV like environment you may enjoy exploring Pluto TV where the amount of content is amazing.” Read more..

That number should be much much higher, IMHO. But.

That number should be much much higher, IMHO. But.

* I don’t care about the Apple Watch. Would never own/wear an Apple Watch. And as a family-friendly blogger, cannot print what I think about the Apple Watch. If you’re looking for info on the Apple Watch, well, every single tech website out there has oodles & oodles of drooling propaganda advertising hype articles on the latest Apple gizmo, so feel free togo to one of those. (To do so, click here.)

* Firefox helps you cover your assets with latest Tracking Protection feature

Did you know that not all websites honor Do Not Track? If privacy while browsing is at the top of your priority list, Jack Wallen offers up a Firefox tip that just might allow you to sigh a breath of private air.Read more..

[My best guess is that no website {0} honors ‘Do Not Track’, actually.. Why should they? Tracking you pays $$$.]

Today’s Important Message: As you know, tax season is a “prime cybercrime season”, and we are warned to be on the alert for bogus IRS emails/phone calls. Truth is.. it’s always “Prime Cybercrime Season”, and we must realize it. Operating with an ever-vigilant healthy paranoia has to be our day-to-day.

Today’s Poll:

Today’s Fun Video:

Today’s quote:For it is in giving that we receive.” ~ Francis of Assisi

Copyright 2007-2015 © “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.

April 10, 2015 Posted by | Apple, browsers, cloud computing, consumer electronics, Firefox, how to, Internet, News, privacy, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Commercial Free TV*

Using Your PC to Record and Watch TV is “Good”. No Commercials Is Better!

I used the switch to digital TV broadcasting as my excuse to stop watching TV.

Why have I stopped? Because I reached a certain Maximum Threshold of Tolerance. And, I don’t want to risk a RSI, (repetitive-stress injury) ala “carpal tunnel”, from constantly reaching for the remote so I can hit the Mute, Skip, Pause, Die You Stinking Commercial, Die !!! buttons. Also, I despise “reality TV”. I don’t think I’m alone.

The usual method for defeating commercials is to record your desired program on a Betamax, VHS, TiVo, DVR, or Media Center PC, and then “fast forwarding” (skipping) over the commercial advertisements; which long ago failed to meet the most modest standards of taste and decorum. Or we purchase movies and watch those… a few trailers at the beginning we can tolerate.

There should be a better way, and there is.

Today’s free download: If you use Windows Media Center to record programs, there is a pure genius program, for which I would like to throw the author(s?) a parade, which will automatically strip the commercials out of your recordings. That’s right – remove. That results in smaller files, and more enjoyable entertainment.

Lifextender is a dead-simple commercial-removal application designed exclusively for Windows Vista Media Center users. There is ZERO configuration required, however, there are plenty of options if that’s your thing.

[note: Lifeextender is “donationware”, meaning you can “tip” the author any amount, if you so desire. I “tip” my geek hat, and that’s for sure!]

* Orig post: 6/17/09

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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June 12, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, digital Video, dtv, how to, software | , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

How To Watch TV On Your Computer

Q: Paul, I got an e-mail selling a program that it says will let me watch “thousands of channels” of television on my computer for a one-time fee. Seems like a good deal, but I thought I would ask you, do I need this program to watch TV shows, or is there a free one?

A: While your idea is singular – watching TV on the puter – the answer is multifaceted and complex.. I’ll do my best to break it into it’s logical chunks. When I’m done, I hope you’ll see why you don’t want to buy this program you refer to.

1) You’re thinking of two separate things by “TV”.. at least; because as you know, TV starts with a source (“feed” or “signal” or “transmission”).

For computers there’s two main sources:
a: the Internet via a “feed” called IPTV (the TV signals are sent as Internet “packets”, basically the same as any other Internet “packet”. {e-mail, VoIP (telephony), file transfers, datagrams, HTML webpages, etc.})

b: “normal” sources — Satellite, over-the air transmissions, and cable.
I assume that you know the difference between Adobe Flash-based ‘movies’ (and also WMV video files) that play on sites such as YouTube (frequently referred to as “videos”) and “TV” — and  I am assuming you’re talking about the latter. You are talking about NBC, CBS, CNN, TNT, etc., but using the computer as your “screen” instead of a television set. Right? Let’s proceed.tractor

The “thousands of channels”…
Spanish, Ruskie, Japanese, and Swedish language channels, French, Canadian, British, German, and Italian channels, the Upper Silesian Used Tractor Auction Channel (I hear it can get lively there, and sometimes fights break out), the South Korean version of C-Span (I hear it can get lively there, and sometimes fights break out).
The Internet doesn’t filter. If I typed in (home of the used tractors).. AND the Upper Silesian Used Tractor Auction Channel website provides a “live feed”.. I can click the link and start watching the auction.
Here in the US, I would be much more likely to type in

Go ahead and click that link now.. you will see a selection of “live feeds”, live feeds in HD, watch-TV-with-others-and-chat ‘rooms’, and pre-recorded episodes, to choose from.
No special magic. No special program to download. Usually, you get the commercials too (as an added bonus!)

So.. on the Internet.. how do you see what’s available? Unfortunately, there isn’t a TV Guide Internet Version per say. There are however, “feed aggregator” sites.. the most popular are Hulu and Joost.Typically, what people do is use a search engine to find a “feed” for something they know they want to watch

Now.. a separate question is taking your current “feed” (cable, satellite, etc.) and plugging it into a PC instead of TV. Well, the distinction between “TV’s” and “monitors” is .. well, there is none now. Modern TV’s are basically just great big monitors, and can be used as such quite easily. But they usually have two things the typical PC doesn’t, though:
a) a “tuner”
b) a coaxial cable port
This is solved by the use of a specialized graphics card.. or “TV Tuner card” (not much distinction) which will give you both a “tuner” and a coaxial “in” (the source feed). The most popular of these is the ATI “All-in-Wonder” series of cards.

In conclusion —
This program doesn’t do anything the Internet doesn’t already do, but, hey, it will make it easy to find Portuguese weather reports.. in Portuguese. (But then.. so will Google.)
If your PC doesn’t have a coax “In”, you have to buy an “adapter” (like the ATI card). As soon as you do, hook up one of your spare coax cables, and you’ll get the same “feed” your TV sets get.

Hope that helped… And I hope you know to always think twice about unsolicited e-mail. It’s called “spam” for a reason.

Today’s free link: Demo: Tune in to movies and TV shows on the web. Watch this demo to learn how to use your computer to watch entire TV shows and movies over the Internet.

Folks, what’s your favorite “web TV” site? Let us know with a comment.

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

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April 21, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, digital Video, dtv, how to, Internet, PC | , , , , , , , | 15 Comments