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Messages - tacit

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Tech / Ready or not...
« on: March 29, 2017, 04:05:57 PM »
QUOTE(Xairbusdriver @ Mar 29 2017, 01:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The "fat lady" is about to sign... oops! Correct characters, wrong order... She's about to "sing"! rolleyes.gif

The House of "Representatives" voted 215 to 205 to give ISPs total access to use any and everything you do with the web. Another vote for the little guy (formerly known as the poor, down trodden corporation). We have no printable 'smilie' to show my disdain for the main actors in this event.

Under the new law, ISPs may sell any information they wish, including browsing history, on any of their customers to anyone who wants to buy it. (Imagine your search and browsing history being sold to advertisers, private investigators, your employer...)

One group of people is now doing a crowdfunding campaign to buy the complete Internet search and browsing history for every lawmaker who voted in favor of this, which they intend to publish freely on the Web. smile.gif

Tech / GoDaddy replacement?
« on: March 15, 2017, 01:46:01 AM »
For a long time, I've had all my domains (about a hundred in all) registered at GoDaddy. Last year, I started moving them off GoDaddy for exactly the reasons you name: increasingly shoddy customer service, predatory pricing, and final totals that were higher than advertised prices.

I looked at registrars all over the place. I used Namecheap for a while--low prices but very poor customer service, and unfortunately they're owned by a parent company (eNom) that's notorious in infosec circles for being corrupt and supporting spammers. They also have rather poor security.

I finally ended up on Google, and I've started moving all my domains over. They're more expensive than GoDaddy's advertised prices but less expensive than GoDaddy's actual prices. And private registration is free.

Tech / Ready or not...
« on: March 02, 2017, 11:33:29 PM »
QUOTE(kimmer @ Mar 2 2017, 09:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If it's possible, without a political slant, could/would someone explain 'net neutrality' in nice, simple, terms so that this older gal is able to understand? If it can't be done without pointing fingers at one political party or the other, then please don't answer.

"Net neutrality" is the idea that if you are a broadband provider, you have a responsibility to carry all the information flowing over your network the same way, regardless of what it is.

If Alice, your customer, buys a plan that allows her 200 GB of data a month, Alice should get 200 GB a month. It should not matter if Alice uses that data to Skype, watch movies on Netflix, surf Amazon pages, or send emails to her mom. She is paying for 200 GB a month and she should get 200 GB a month, and the ISP should not care what she is doing with that 200 GB (so long as it is legal).

What the broadband providers want is the ability to charge other people for data, and give preferential treatment for people who pay.

So for example, broadband providers want to be able to say "Alice, your plan buys you 200 GB a month at 5 Mbit/second...but not for Netflix. If you want Netflix, you have to pay another $10 a month. Otherwise, when we detect that you are using Netflix, we can slow down your data." Or, in an alternate revenue stream, the broadband provider can go to Skype and say "We will slow down the broadband for all of our customers who use Skype. If you do not want us to do that, pay us $100,000 a month and we will allow Skype traffic on our network at normal speed. Or, if you pay us $500,000 a month, we will give all our customers faster access to Skype."

So "net neutrality" literally means that broadband providers are entirely neutral about the data they carry; they treat it all the same and carry it at the same speed. The alternative is they can speed up or slow down certain kinds of data (like Netflix), certain Web sites (for example, making traffic from preferred sites that pay them faster, and slowing down traffic from Web site owners who do not pay), or charging extra to get access to some types of network services (like Skype).

Tech / Hackintosh?
« on: February 04, 2017, 10:25:34 PM »
QUOTE(jcarter @ Feb 2 2017, 02:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My husband needs a new Mac, his is really old and you cant upgrade much of anything on it.
So our grandson wants to build him a Hackintosh, I said, no after reading and looking this up.
He builds some mighty nice PCs for friends and family, but he is only 16, and I really dont think it would work well trying to install a Mac OS.

Has anybody here done this?

Unless you like tinkering with computers for the sheer joy of tinkering, I would absolutely not recommend doing this.

Building a Hackintosh is a bit like jailbreaking an iPhone. You're doing something that you're really not supposed to be doing, by relying on hacks and exploits of MacOS, which means as Apple fixes problems, your Hackintosh quits working. It is normal for every new macOS update to cause a Hackintosh to stop working until the update is reverse engineered and a new exploit is discovered. That means Hackintoshes tend to be unstable and you often have to be an OS version or two behind, which means you're exposed to whatever security flaws are fixed by the updates.

It's fine for hobbyists who don't mind instability and like to tinker. It's not fine for an everyday machine.

Tech / Major security flaw in Netgear routers
« on: December 22, 2016, 10:34:11 PM »
QUOTE(Xairbusdriver @ Dec 17 2016, 04:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A remote attacker can potentially inject arbitrary commands which are then executed by the system.
Exactly what "system"? I assume they mean an "operating" system, but which one? The routers? The computers? Which computers? dntknw.gif

In this case, "the system" means the router's operating system, which is probably some flavor of embedded Linux.

Tech / Calendar app Spam
« on: December 02, 2016, 03:16:36 AM »
I've just started seeing this as well. For any new way people invent to share and communicate, some miscreant will use it as a vehicle for exploitation.

Tech / Questions on WMA files
« on: November 18, 2016, 02:04:28 AM »
QUOTE(kimmer @ Nov 16 2016, 10:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So here are my questions:
  1. Are WMA files actually MP3s in a windows format? My limited understanding is that the WMA format was a windows format that microslush hoped would take over the MP3 market from Apple, and they aren't the same thing at all.

No, WMAs are not MP3s. WMA is a proprietary Windows Media format completely unrelated to MP3.

QUOTE(kimmer @ Nov 16 2016, 10:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
  1. Are WMA files audio or video?

WMA is Windows Media Audio. WMV is Windows Media Video. Most converter programs that can convert Windows video can also convert Windows audio, since WMA is basically WMV with no video.

QUOTE(kimmer @ Nov 16 2016, 10:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
  1. Am I totally misunderstanding this "Smart Converter"? If it converts to QuickTime, it's still not playable in iTunes. Has anyone tried this free version for converting WMA files to MP3’s?

Correct. QuickTime-based converters will create QuickTime files, which are also not MP3s.

QuickTime is proprietary Apple. WMA is proprietary Microsoft. MP3 is made by the independent Moving Pictures Experts Group and is intended to be platform agnostic; it is an open standard that is available to everyone.

QUOTE(kimmer @ Nov 16 2016, 10:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
  1. Has anyone ever converted WMA files to MP3 and been able to play music in iTunes?

I haven't done it, but I know it can be done.

QUOTE(kimmer @ Nov 16 2016, 10:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And now for my real rant.  rant.gif
She pushed my button with this statement in her reply:
[Group Name] don’t provide any of their music to iTunes nor any other similar sources but that’s not to say something won’t be done illegally.

I wrote her back and told that "Since you've issued me a full refund for all the albums purchased, I’ve removed all the files from my library. I don’t keep music I’ve not paid for, nor do I purchase illegal music—and I’m fairly certain that Apple does not sell illegal music through the iTunes store.

Since some of their albums are available through the iTunes store (and at Amazon), she is either ignorant of the business side of things or implying that Apple sells illegal music. Really made me mad.

While I won't be converting this album, it would be nice to have answers to my questions. smile.gif  Thanks for letting me vent.

It sounds like you're dealing with a band that is completely ignorant of digital music production and distribution, who outsources all that stuff to other companies but doesn't know enough to make sure those other companies are doing their job properly.

Wish I could say that's an aberration.

Tech / Superdrive
« on: November 07, 2016, 02:26:52 PM »
QUOTE(george @ Nov 7 2016, 07:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My new 27in iMac  as you know does not have a external drive and I am toying with the idea of buying one.
I am hearing good/bad reports, on the down side there is no eject button and am also hearing that it when asked to eject it can be
a bit iffy and yet there are those that consider it to be the next best thing to sliced bread. I do know that one of illustrious committee members owns one and it sits snugly under the screen.
Advice or suggestions please.

My experience is this:

There are a lot of external optical drives on the market that all look pretty much like Apple SuperDrives. The genuine Apple article is more expensive than the lookalikes, but is much better made.

All the drives I've seen that have dodgy ejects (including my external drive) are cheap third-party drives. I personally have never seen a genuine Apple SuperDrive that has problems ejecting.

You can usually spot the difference pretty easily. Even though they look the same, Apple drives have metal enclosures; third-party lookalikes are most often plastic. The plastic is not as stiff as metal and the drive can flex, causing eject problems.

Tech / Two identical Macs
« on: October 24, 2016, 03:31:32 PM »
Your suspicion is exactly right. You're seeing beachballs and slowness on the one with less memory because it's running out of memory and using swap space on disk.

Tech / SOLVED! Do I have malware?
« on: October 11, 2016, 08:13:04 PM »
QUOTE(kimmer @ Oct 10 2016, 07:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here’s the 3 oddities:
  1. The first time I heard a loud beeping and walked around the house until I discovered my iMac was stuck trying to raise the volume level. I could see the “image” that represents the speaker and volume, but I couldn’t stop the attempt to increase. I tried hitting the volume button on my keyboard and there wasn’t a response. My mouse was also uncontrollable. I couldn’t shut down the iMac with the button on the back, so finally I simply pulled the plug from the outlet. I left the iMac unplugged overnight and then restarted the next morning. All seemed fine.
  2. The second time I walked into the computer room to plug in my iPad to recharge and discovered the iMac awake and a desktop file was highlighted and blinking. I was able to use the mouse and click on the finder desktop to stop the action. I launched console and saved the logs and shut the iMac down until morning.
  3. The last time was last night. I came in before bed and discovered an alert window open (see below). If you look, you’ll see a file is highlighted. When I clicked cancel on the alert, a second window popped up and said I couldn’t rename the file to “/.” Again, I used console to grab the logs and then shut the iMac down until this morning.

I have seen all of those things happen with a dying battery in a cordless keyboard.

The beeping was because the iMac "saw" the Volume Up key being pressed. Both the other two things can happen if the iMac "sees" the Return key being pressed.

Community / see ourselves as others see us...
« on: October 30, 2015, 04:51:53 PM »
I'm on a book tour of Europe right now. We spent a week in Britain at the start of October, before traveling from there to Belgium and the Netherlands and we're in Germany now.

I like visiting the UK; I have a girlfriend who lives there, and I've always enjoyed the skip across the pond. But I do have to say, as an American, British food can be downright horrifying. (Black pudding? Yikes!)

I'm here with my partner and co-author Eve, who'd never been to the UK before and found the food absolutely terrifying. Especially when I explained to her what black pudding (which is neither black nor pudding) actually is...

Still, we did find a lovely sushi restaurant in London and a wonderful pub in Haddenham that had amazing fish and chips.

Tech / Did anyone post to complain about losing iPhoto?
« on: October 23, 2015, 10:59:30 AM »
QUOTE(daryl66 @ Oct 22 2015, 07:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tacit: Did you "unduplicate" (seems like that should be a good word to me) the libraries??

Daryl wallbash.gif

I went back to using iPhoto and dragged the Photos library to the trash.

Tech / Did anyone post to complain about losing iPhoto?
« on: October 21, 2015, 09:23:24 AM »
One thing to be aware of: When you run Photo, it will make a duplicate of your iPhoto library. That duplicate remains if you switch back to iPhoto. In my case, that meant about 360 GB of duplicated photos!

Tech / Web Browser - What's your favorite
« on: September 25, 2015, 03:01:33 PM »
I use Chrome as my primary Web browser, and quite like it. I abandoned Firefox a long time ago--I find it clumsy and clunky, and the user interface seems to be getting uglier with each new release.

Chrome is fast and stable, and has given me no problems.

Tech / Latest bit of cleverness from our friends in Phishing Land
« on: September 25, 2015, 02:58:16 PM »
QUOTE(jchuzi @ Sep 24 2015, 05:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am waiting to hear from you.

Mavelous Kone

Don't you love his name? There was also Marvelous Marv Throneberry of the original Mets.

In the past few months, I have received these kinds of emails from "James Kirk," "Joe Stalin," and "Ansel Adams."

Most of these kinds of frauds happen in Nigeria (which is why they're called 419 scams, from section 419 of the Nigerian penal code), and I suppose the folks who do them can't really be expected to be familiar with Western names. But still...

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