Tuesday, December 06, 2011

IDC predicts PC users won't upgrade to Windows 8, tablet sales will be "disappointing"

"Microsoft's Windows 8 is still a year away, but IDC is already predicting that the new release will be "largely irrelevant" to conventional PC users and that its ability to sell tablets will be "disappointing."

While bullish about Microsoft's prospects for selling server editions of the new Windows 8, IDC states that "Windows 8 will be largely irrelevant to the users of traditional PCs, and we expect effectively no upgrade activity from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in that form factor," according to an overview of the report by Computerworld."

Thursday, December 01, 2011

HTC rootkit discovered phoning home with user data

"Remember Locationgate? Well, that might be nothing compared to a rootkit that’s been discovered pre-installed on some Android handsets."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kindle Fire vs. iPad heats up for holiday shoppers (survey) | ZDNet

"To buy a Kindle Fire or an iPad? That is the question on the minds of many consumers this holiday season, according to new research from consumer electronics shopping site Retrevo.com."

Geist: U.S. could claim millions of Canadian domain names in piracy battle

"SOPA’s potential impact on the Internet and development of online services is enormous as it cuts across the lifeblood of the Internet and e-commerce in the effort to target websites that are characterized as being “dedicated to the theft of U.S. property.” This represents a new standard that many experts believe could capture hundreds of legitimate websites and services."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Friday, November 04, 2011

Microsoft issues temporary fix for critical Windows hole - Win7 and XP

Trojans attacking Windows 7? Yep. And XP too......
A flaw in the Win32k TrueType font-parsing engine affected every version of Windows from XP throughWindows 7. The vulnerability is related to the spread of the Duqu malware, a Stuxnet-like Trojan infecting computers via a Word document. "An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in kernel mode," the advisory warned. "The attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights."

Thursday, October 06, 2011

A few thoughts on the passing of Steve Jobs

First, we knew it was coming.  This man's life was Apple, he's been ill for years, and his stepping down meant he probably wasn't doing too well.  Not knowing him personally, I can only speak to his professional legacy.  He was a true innovator.  He was a visionary and created products that made my life happier.    Many kids started out with an Apple II at home and or at school.  He brought the GUI to home users. Whether you have an iPhone or not, the currently available smart phones are a direct result of the innovation of the iPhone.  The same thing goes for the touch tablet revolution started with the iPad.  His friends and family will miss him on a personal level.  We will miss his innovation and enthusiastic keynotes.  Yes, watching a Steve Jobs keynote was like watching someone sell ice to Alaskans, but with a sincerity and an enthusiasm that allowed you to forgive him for exaggerating just a little.  So RIP Steve Jobs.  I for one will miss you.  Ironically I'm wearing the right thing for the occasion.  It is a cool fall day and I'm wearing blue jeans and a black turtleneck.  It seems fitting.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Web Browser Grand Prix 7: Firefox 7, Chrome 14, Opera 11.51

I remember that there was a time, after the death of Netscape, that there was no great or even superior rival on the Windows side to IE. MS, though they denied it had been successful in quashing their most prominent rival. They won by integrating their browser so tightly into Windows that to this day it is pretty impossible not to use IE in some capacity at some time if you are a Windows user. This in spite of the MS malaise that allowed IE six to live on and on well past its prime.

So, today we have some real and viable browser choices. Tom's Hardware has tested those choices and announced a winner. Chrome is coming on so fast; but I don't want to give away the winner, even though it was by a nose, so I can't say more. Go read the article.

Monday, October 03, 2011

MagicJack app brings totally free calling to iOS | iPhone Atlas

If we were doing the show, I would definitely be checking this out for the app corner. The concept seems better than the execution right now, but the concept certainly is intriguing.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Microsoft kills Google Chrome with bad malware signature

Deleting the browser of one of your most successful rivals is a noteworthy oops. Hey if you are going to foul up, go really, really big.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

IDC - Analyst Profile

I wondered about Bob O'Donnell in my previous post. Wonder no more. I'm glad to see him doing to well. Yes, this is the same person.

WTG, Bob!

Dell shrugs off harbingers of PC doom

I agree with this article. A tablet is a nice portable device, but it doesn't take the place of a desktop. In some instances it doesn't even take the place of a laptop. The PC is not dead.

Dell is certainly poised to be the winner here, but I personally wonder if Win 8 jeopardize that? Like Vista, if the OS is a flop (and it is poised to be unless we can fully turn of Metro on the desktop without crippling the OS) it will hurt MS Partners, too. Remember back when they offered an XP option when you bought a Vista machine? Companies like Dell had to do that or lose sales. Will they have to do that with Windows 8, too?

As a bonus, I wonder if the Bob O'Donnell in the article is the same guy we used to listen to together. I can't prove it, but I bet he is.

Well, read the article and see what you think.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Netflix goes from bad to worse

From the article: Netflix's woes took a strange twist on Sunday night, in an 11:59 p.m. EDT blog post by CEO Reed Hastings. "I messed up", he begins. Yeah, based on subscriber losses and punishing shareholders, Hasting puts it mildly. The gist is this: After jacking up the price of combined DVD rentals and streaming by an astonishing 60 percent, Hastings presents an unexpected solution: Netflix is splitting its streaming and DVD rental business into two operations.

My thoughts are summed up as this: In other news, CEO attempts to put lipstick on a pig...

Friday, September 16, 2011

5 deal-breaking flaws in Windows 8

I agree with this article. I absolutely love Window 7. In fact I talk about it little, not because it is bad, but because it is trouble free. It works. So I'm not in anti-MS mode. I live in a world that happily accommodates both iOS and Windows.

Now MS wants to enter the brave "old" world (after all the iPad is 1.5 years old) and has tacked a touchscreen interface on the front of what still looks like Win 7, sort of. It is a jarring and unpleasant experience. I read through the comments on this article and I laughed then I got to the one that simply asked "Microsoft Bob 2?". That nails it. If not Bob then consider this. If Vista was Me 2, maybe this is Me 3?

There is still time MS. Please reconsider and give us the choice to bypass Metro entirely. Make it a touch-tablet option. You can do it MS. Don't shoot yourself in the foot again.

If you are wondering I did download and run the Win 8 preview on Virtual Box (a virtual machine). So I have tried it. I'm sticking with 7 unless this silliness is sorted out.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Metro-style Internet Explorer 10 ditches Flash, plugins

"The rationale is a familiar one: plugin-based content shortens battery life, and comes with security, reliability, and privacy problems. Sites that currently depend on the capabilities provided by Flash or Silverlight should switch to HTML5."

Will Ballmer Kick Off Windows 8 Consumer Beta at CES?

Well Folks MS is going to do it again - a new OS both for your Smartphine and Desktop/laptop and one for the Server too! I can't wait. Didnt Apple just do this?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Michael Hart

I never knew his name, but his is an amazing story. He started the eBook revolution by typing the Declaration of Independence. What he started became Project Gutenberg. He passed away on September 6.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

The On Computers family joins the entire USA and world in remembering the victims, survivors, and families of 9/11 on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack. At some point during the day, please take a moment to remember and reflect.

Remembering Dr. Rick

Jayna, Sue and I had the privilege of attending the memorial service for Dr. Rick in Stockton, CA yesterday. We carried you there in our hearts. Rick's brother Ron specifically mentioned us as Rick's friends. We will remember him.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Photos from the AlaskaJoe Memorial

Rob_Bakersfield has been gracious enough to share with us all the pictures he took at the memorial. He has posted them on Flickr.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hackers acquire Google certificate, could hijack Gmail accounts

There is a lot of speculation as to who or how this was done. One thing is sure, the certificate has been revoked. Now we just need to get the updates.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Links from the Gregg Zone

Been a while since I ran across anything I felt strongly enough about to feel the need to pass on, I will try to change that as I adjust to this new format. Anyway when I saw this I thought this needs some attention. http://www.youtube.com

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

After months of blackouts, Web access returns to Libya

From CNN:
- If residents of a chaotic Tripoli were still awake in the early-morning hours Monday, they may have read this:
"Welcome to all our brothers & sisters from inside Tripoli on Twitter... Internet returns to them first time in a long time! #Feb17 #Libya."

Download.com wraps downloads in bloatware, lies about motivations

From the article:

Cnet knows that there’s something wrong with what they’re doing, and they’re trying to deceive developers and users. On the Upload.com FAQ, there’s a note posted to let developers know why the bundling is taking place: “for the users.” Yes, Cnet thinks we’re clueless enough to believe that their motivation is really to provide users with a less painful download and installation process. Because opt-out toolbars and homepage changes make software setup less annoying."

Because it is not infrequent to download an update to some tried and true freeware from Download.com it is important to know this. I certainly do not want any software wrapped with Cnet crapware. Frankly, I'd rather have a system with micropayments for clean downloads if that is what it takes. I understand that someone pays for "free" downloads, but in this case the cost is way too high.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dr. Rick Obituary

Dr. Richard W. Schrieve, MD | Recordnet.com

"A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 10th at 2 p.m. at DeYoung Shoreline Chapel, 7676 Shoreline Dr., Stockton.

If you wish to make a donation in Rick's memory, the family suggests the Assistance League of Stockton. Online guest book at deyoungchapels.com"

Many of us who were fortunate enough to attend the memorial for AlaskaJoe in Modesto were also able to visit with Rick's mother, Carol, and brother, Ron, this weekend in Stockton, CA. For those who don't know, Modesto and Stockton are very near to each other.

Here is a direct link to the Assistance League of Stockton.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

HP halts WebOS business, spins off PC unit

Interesting move on HP's part.

Guess buying the dieing Palm company wasn't such a good idea....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thoughts and wishes for Dr. Rick's family.

You are all invited to send your thoughts and good wishes to Rick's family at ronschrieve at gmail.com (this is Rick's brother, Ron -- email slightly altered to to help foil spam harvesters -- you all know what to do). I know that any memories of Rick or expression of friendship will mean a lot to them.

We will keep you posted with any news or updates we get them.

(email address posted with permission, via Sue)

RIP Dr. Rick

It is with sorrow I must inform everyone that our friend, Dr. Rick Schrieve passed away yesterday.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Memorial Service for Joe in California

Hi all.

There will be a memorial service for Joe in Modesto, CA next Saturday, August 20th at 2:00pm. The location is a clubhouse of an area community. If anyone is interested in going, please let us know via memorial@oncomputers.info so we can let Shana know.



Monday, August 08, 2011

Memorial Service for Joe

For those in Alaska, or with the ability to travel to Alaska, there will be a memorial service for Joe on Thursday, 8/11 at 10:30am at Congregation Beth Shalom in Anchorage.

For those not in Alaska, or unable to travel to Alaska, there will also be a memorial service in Modesto, CA. No date has been set yet.


Friday, August 05, 2011

AlaskaJoe: From all points on the compass to somewhere in heaven

From his Facebook Page:

"This is Christopher Smith; Shana Smith's husband. With deepest sympathies, Joe Polinsky passed away at 9:20pm August 4th, 2011. We all love him and miss him!"

Rest in peace, Joe.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Good Luck Today Dr. Rick

Well, since we've been mainly concentrating on keeping everyone updated about Joe, we should mention another one of our regulars who is not doing so well. Dr. Rick was recently diagnosed with a dangerous brain tumor and is going under the knife today to attempt to have it removed. Good luck Rick. Hope the surgery is successful.

Joe Update

Unfortunately, not good.

From Shana:
Another update. It looks like we are probably heading to the end. Joe has not been awake more than about an hour or so in the last 2 days. Nothing to eat or drink today. He is on a massive amount of pain medication and still having some breakthrough discomfort. Everyone is doing their best to keep him resting peacefully.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

British Library offers e-classics app for iPad. The British Library is making digital copies of more than 40,000 classic books available for the iPad.

From the BBC:

I though this was cool and I don't even own an i pad and it ain't free.

The British Library is making digital copies of more than 40,000 classic books available for the i Pad.

Texts appear in fully digitized form, complete with original page markings and drawings, as opposed to the plain formatting associated with other types of e-books.

All of the works date from the 18th and 19th centuries and include novels, poetry and historical accounts.

Users must pay a monthly subscription of £1.99 to access the full collection.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Joe Update

Well, unfortunately its not good :(
Recently posted on Facebook by Janet Sperber who is currently in Seattle:
Yesterday, Joe really showed signs of his decline. Sores and rashes all over legs and back due to Leukemia. Pain meds every two hrs. This past weekend he did great. We had him out in the sunshine in a wheelchair during BBQ hosted by Elk's Lodge. Yesterday, he was mostly in bed. At this point doctors trying too keep him comfortable. He is aware we are here. No solid food over two weeks. He is dying.
With a followup from Joe's daughter Shana:
This is Shana, my dad is declining rapidly. I will be going back up to be with him tomorrow.

Friday, July 22, 2011

How People see You when You Fix Their Computer versus Reality [Humorous Image]

Yes, it is safe for work. It is also way too true. Just keep the cats and coffee out of the way when you open this page.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

16 Suspected 'Anonymous' Hackers Arrested in Nationwide Sweep

From Fox news:

Sixteen suspected members of "Anonymous" were arrested this morning in states across the country, from California to New York, in a federal raid on the notorious hacking group.

Met Police accused of phone-hacking inquiry failures

This is big news in the UK. The news of the world paper in the UK got shut down over it. There's also links to more info on the page in the title.

From the BBC:
"The Commons home affairs committee also criticises News International's "deliberate attempts to thwart investigations" into hacking."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Search Engines Ruin our Memory, Make us Smarter

What a strange headline! The article doesn't support the fear mongering aspect of the headline. Changing which information we store is not ruining our memory. Humans are incredibly adaptable. We adapt very quickly to use what helps us and reject what doesn't. At least that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Another Joe Update

Hi all. I just wanted to give another Joe update.
As luck would have it, my work brought me to Seattle this week, so I had the opportunity to see him. We had a good visit on Sunday, though I would say he was quite a bit tired and had to disappear for a little bit to go lay down and nap. My understanding from Sue is that it was one of his more "up" days. She thinks it was actually the fact that I was coming by that kept him running. Needless to say, when he was dozing off and needed to take a nap, I fully understood. I had actually not expected to be there as long as I was. While I was there, he asked me for assistance getting his laptop connected to a MiFi so he could get online, which I was happy to do for him. He did have a very difficult time typing once we got him in the chat, but he was very happy to be there and at least say hi to everyone and read everyone's best wishes. Please keep that in mind if you see him in there again, please don't rush him. Its possible he may not even say anything at all, but assume he is reading so please go ahead and say hi.

To be honest, if I had not before seen the recently posted picture of him, I don't think I would have recognized him. Besides his beard being shaved off, he has lost a lot of weight.

Unfortunately, during another visit I had with him this week, he wasn't as "spunky". He was very tired, and unfortunately, his health does seem to be declining. Here is a post from his daughter Shana that was put up on Facebook:
This is Shana again. Joe getting very sleepy these days., as is expected. They will be giving him an IV to administer fluids and meds to help with the nausea. Prayers are appriciated. I know if you are on this list, you mean something to my dad and he does to you as well. Thank you for your support in this very difficult time!
Also, if anyone wishes to send a card to him, they can be mailed to:
Seattle VA
1660 S Columbian Way
Seattle WA 98108
Att: Joseph Roy Polinsky CLC #106
Please continue to keep Joe and Sue in your thoughts and prayers.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Netflix Users Protest Proposed Price Increases With Social Media Firestorm

During a discussion on this very subject today, we speculated that Netflix had thoroughly vetted this decision before announcing it. Maybe not, considering the reaction. This is one to watch. This is a huge price increase for those who both have one at a time DVD and also use the streaming.

Wi-Fi–Hacking Neighbor From Hell Sentenced to 18 Years

One of the morals of this story is don't use WEP. I know I've been using WPA for years. It is heartening that the victim's boss and associates believed him and helped track down the lowlife. I'd actually call the guy a cyber stalker. Hacker is too good a word to waste on him.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

let's hear it for building your own computer!

I know it might be cheaper to buy than building these days. I'm still a die hard builder. Since, I'm a geek my last computer cost me a total of under $60.00 with shipping. Had everything else. OK so it ain't the latest and the greatest. I can go online do email and word process. I've got 2 80 gig HD's 2 GIG's of MEM. threw in an older Nvidia video card. Also, an oldish DVD burner. I'm set.
This MB BTW.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Oracle and Microsoft could cash in big on Android | Wireless - CNET News

Here's an interesting article that Rob sent us in chat today.

From the article: "Both companies are seeking as much as a $20 licensing fee per device from handset makers that choose to use Android. That'd be roughly double the amount that Google makes in search revenue, on average, from every Android device, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Goldberg. Google gives away the Android operating system in hopes of generating that revenue."

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Joe's current condition

Many people have asked what Joe's current condition is. I asked our friend, Rick Schrieve (SchmooBro) to write something up that is easy to explain. The following are his words. Rick has been in contact with Joe daily to help explain what the doctors are telling him in more layman's terms, so I felt he was the best to explain what is going on. This is information is posted with permission from both Joe and Sue.

Now, from Rick:

First a disclaimer: I will not swear to the accuracy of anything here; best I recall from med school and the reading I have done for Joe and just sorta a summary off the top of my head.

This is just a short summary of the medical condition that has led our good friend AJ to find himself in his current dire medical straits, where, to be frank, with the withdraw of Dialysis treatments Joe has but days or at best weeks to live. His disease is now causing significant pain in the bones of his spine, and with the kidneys no longer filtering the metabolism products from his blood and the Narcotics used to treat his pain no longer being removed, he will just drift to a state of lesser mental acuity, and kind of a sleeping, "mead-like" not really drunkeness, but sort of lack of awareness. It really seems a pretty nice way to go, when your time is up. And in his current situation, there will be none of that shoving plastic tubes down your throat, cracking ribs with CPR, that too many people suffer in their last few moments of life in an acute care hospital as the Lord comes to take you to his arms.

Rick Schrieve
aka SchmooBro

Joe has had for years a long term low grade type of blood "disorder" sort of like a low grade lymphoma where his platelet making cells are too active, they are very low grade "cancerous", one might say. His body's immune system, which is the function of the immune system, is chronically attacking these bad crazy cells, causing inflammation and scaring - and over the years, he has been on various low grade anticancer drugs to slow the crazy cells, but there really is no "kill the cancer" treatment for his condition.

Over time, with the chronic inflammation of the places you usually make white and red blood cells and other blood elements, the scaring is making your back, and your pelvis, and your sternum just scar filled spaces rather than sites of active blood element production. Thus, your normal "protected" places to make blood elements are being slowly anatomically eliminated.

In response, your spleen is getting bigger. First, it is grabbing some of these weird, large irregular atypical platelet cells and trapping them; this fills it with lymphocytes and other white cells essentially containing these low grade cancer cells.

IN ADDITION, your body has to find other places now to make your red blood cells, white cells, normal platelets, etc -- this would be the SPLEEN AGAIN, as well as spaces in the LIVER. As the spleen grows bigger, it pushes and squeezes other organs, and becomes more fragile and less effective as a lypmphocytic organ itself. Thus, both the liver and spleen swell, becoming less efficient and more fragile to fracture from say external trauma.

So, these are definite problems. as the problem grows beyond the ability of the body to cope, and the low grade anti cancer drugs to help, the blood is more screwed up for carrying oxygen, and can get "sludgy", and all kinds of stuff. As things in your normally healthy blood become more "messed up", this is bad for all of your organs..... most specifically of concern, the heart and kidneys. So, as this disease progresses, you finally get to the stage Joe is at; you have multiple organ failure, a huge spleen, limited normal function of any organ, etc. From then on, the cause of your tiredness and lethargy is not a single problem like heart failure, but just a big blubbery mess of low efficiency and function, and in essence you just sort of "spiral down".

The usual only exception, which did not happen to Joe, is that the crazy platelet cells go totally wacky, and multiply like crazy, and fill your blood stream -- we call that LEUKEMIA... [The process is call a Blast process, as in mekakaryocytic blast cells, not as in "it's a blast to do this"] and the leukemia is pretty instant, massive, and usually you die of sepsis within a few days.

But that is pretty much the basic medical issue, best I can put it in lay terms.
Thank you Rick for this information.

To Slow Piracy, Internet Providers Ready Penalties

"Americans who illegally download songs and movies may soon be in for a surprise: They will be warned to stop, and if they don’t, they could find their Internet access slowing to a crawl."

Hope they do a better job in getting the identities right than they did with the lawsuits.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Joe gets a shave....

For the 11 years I have known Joe, this is the first time I have seen his chin.....

Sunday, July 03, 2011

An Update on Joe

A lot of people have been asking about Joe recently. As everyone is aware, Joe was forced to move to Seattle in May due to his health starting to decline. Though he has seen different specialists while there, his health has continued to decline. He was recently admitted to the hospital again, and it sounds like they are going to keep him for a bit, but unfortunately, he is not doing very well at all.

Joe and Sue are aware that all of the On Computers listeners are keeping them in their thoughts are are very appreciative of that fact. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts/prayers/etc as we get through the next few weeks.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Telstra, Optus in national broadband network deals

From the BBC:

Australia's two biggest telecoms companies have joined the government's A$36bn (£24bn) plan to roll-out high-speed internet across the country.

Telstra and Optus will close down their infrastructure and transfer customers to the state-owned National Broadband Network Company (NBNC).

About 60% of households have broadband, but speeds are slow compared with many industrialised countries.

The plan is to connect more than 90% of households to a super-fast network.

Firefox 5 is out

I've been using it with Ubuntu 11.04 for a few days and so far so good. All my add-ons work. Be a good geek and download today :-).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rare earths mining: China's 21st Century gold rush

From the BBC. It's a flash slide show thing. You have to sit through an ad but, worth it. Sound isn't important. just a drum beat kinda thing behind it. Rather sobering when you think about it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Apt-get replacement Apt-fast

Joe's the one that told me about this handy Linux tool. Think apt-get with multiple connections. You can get the script you need, for Ubuntu here. You've got to install Axel first. Should be in your repositories, was with Ubuntu anyway. There's also step by step instructions here to do after you have Axel installed. It helped me out. I was getting slower than I should "updates". Anyway, TY Joe.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I figured a work around my bank

OK, I've been ranting on Internet Explorer mostly because my work bank site has a problem getting check images. Well, yesterday I figured out a work around. I think this also proves sloppy JavaScript coding. Here goes. With chrome when you try to get a check image, you get a long line of what I think is the site's code. If I cut and paste a piece past an "?" into what is already in the address bar, I get my image, after I reload page. The bank you ask? HSBC.
Have a geeky day!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A way to take out spammers? 3 banks process 95% of spam transactions

Remember "Follow the money?" It seems to work for spam, too.

I still get questions from people about things advertised in spam. Is this legit? I tell them, no.

If no one bought from spam that would shut it down, too. Sadly only a very, very small percentage of people have to buy from spam to make it very, very profitable. So barring people suddenly getting smarter, if we could shut down the banking end of it, it might help. Then again it might just be another form of whack-a-mole.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Days after being bought by Microsoft, Skype starts installing crapware on Windows systems without consent

In spite of the headline, I doubt this crapware has anything to do with Microsoft. You can be sure that if anything get's bundled in with a Microsoft version of Skype that it will be Microsoft crapware, not some 3rd party crapware.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Russia's ChronoPay Executive Linked to Mac Defender Scam - International Business Times

Here's an interesting article about who is possibly behind MacDefender. MacDefender certainly is a nasty scheme that caught Mac users off guard.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A little rant RE: IE

Someone please tell me, why do folks insist on doing sites that only work fully in Internet explorer? Don't get me wrong, I'm far from a windows basher but, I do like running Linux whenever I can. It's free, for starters. OK, there is IE Tab for Firefox but, if your not running windows, good luck. It won't even install. Yes, Crossover Linux has helped me a bunch, it's not and you can't expect it to be "perfect" and it's not free. Like Jack used to say about Wireless LAN's, "It's like trying to balance a chair on one leg on one hand". Also yes, I can run a virtual machine on Linux but, then I may as well run windows. If anyone out there knows a better way, please clue me in. :-)
TY rant over.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ubunto 11.04 slow?

I installed Ubuntu 11.04 shortly after if came out. However, it ran sluggish, in my opinion. Slower than windows on the same computer. This has never been the case up to now. So, I did some Googlin'. Found the link in the title in the Ubuntu forums. In a nut shell:

Don't know if there's a bug report, the only related thing I found was this

Originally Posted by ShadowKyuzo
But i think i just solved it here on my pc.
Do you have Compiz Settings Manager?

I did this and video playback seems normal now:

1. Go to Compiz Settings Manager
2. On the "general" options, go to COMPOSITE
3. Disable "Detect Refresh Rate"
4. Set "Refresh Rate" to 60 (or your monitor's refresh rate)
5. Go back to the "general" options and now go to "OpenGL"
6. Disable "Synchronize to VBlank"

Thanks to the original poster. It help me a bunch.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fake security software catches out Apple owners

Thanks to Rob for giving me this link in chat.

Mac users aren't used to this stuff. But just like Windows users the advice is "don't click on it."

Friday, May 20, 2011

Apple triggers 'religious' reaction in fans' brains, report says

This is not great science because there was not a large enough sample among other things, but who really cares? That Apple has its fanatics is not exactly a news flash.

Firefox add-on with 7m downloads can invade privacy

Because the Ant.com is not responding to inquiries, it at the least makes the behavior on the extension very suspect. Not so much because it does what it does, but because what it does was not accompanied by an privacy disclosure.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

FAA warns pilots in Las Vegas vicinity on GPS

This is an interesting article about the clash of two technologies. I don't think anyone wants to see GPS impacted. What I don't understand is the hodgepodge that is seemingly being made of the spectrum. Why are these two technologies at odds with each other? Was the race to sell off spectrum to the high bidder ill considered?

I sometimes wish that spectrum could be allocated by impartial bodies whose only concern was the best frequencies being put to work for the highest purposes. Of course with humans who want to put spectrum to use to make profits, this seems to be impossible. Still spectrum allocation by the highest bidder seems to be leaving us with a royal mess that we will all be dealing with for years to come.

I wonder what will happen if all the people in cars in Las Vegas find their GPS units become paperweights during these tests. I guarantee you they don't have the warning systems that aviation does and there may be some unhappy surprises. Nor do they have the maps in their cars that pilots have in their planes. Most people I know no longer carry a map in the car. Do you?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

e-smoking gets social - “You’ll meet more people than ever, just because of the wow factor.”

Jason Healy, founder of Blu, which makes e-cigarettes with sensors that let smokers know when other e-smokers are nearby. The New York Times reports that the socially inclined e-cigarettes will be available for sale next month at a cool $80 for “smart packs” of five.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

FBI: You Might Sue Your Carrier If You Knew What They Were Doing

AT&T a powerful lobbying force, but because they're also now bone-grafted to the nation's surveillance apparatus. AT&T funnels all voice and data wholesale to the NSA, and helps the FBI not only with domestic spying, but has gone so far as to advise the FBI on ways to wiggle around privacy laws.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WSJ: Microsoft to buy Skype for $7bn. Rest of world: for real?

Okay, so what are they going to rename it? Microsoft Bing Windows 7 Live Voice Messenger Explorer?

Here's just hoping that MS doesn't screw it up. Hopefully they will take what users know and love about Skype and make it better. Let's also hope that they don't limit the platform to Windows either by design or neglect. Certainly MS has the people power and know-how to do Skype right, but do they have the vision? Only time will tell.

Microsoft to buy Skype

Posted without comment.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

New jumbo jet performs ultimate aborted takeoff | Technically Incorrect

I think this is a very neat video. The only problem is that it makes it look easier than it is. This is no small accomplishment. It certainly is an example of better living through technology.

Oh and even though it is his first name, the fact that the pilot is Captain Kirk is kind of neat.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Password-storing service may have been hacked

Here's the reason I don't use a cloud based password storing service. No stored password is secure, but at least mine are stored locally and are not nearly the target for hackers that LastPass is.

If you do use LastPass do change your password as soon as you can (which do to overload may be a few days).

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Amazon Tablet May Debut Late 2011

This seems to be a very logical move on the part of Amazon. Now the question is will there be a table and a color Kindle, or will a color Kindle and a tablet be one in the same. I do hope that Amazon will keep the option of a lower priced black and white Kindle. There still seems to me to be a place in the market for a small, light, inexpensive ereader.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

After botched child porn raid, judge sees the light on IP addresses

From the article:

"Several recent government raids on computer users suspected of sharing child porn online hit the wrong targets. Instead of getting the perpetrators, some of the raids nabbed a neighbor with an open WiFi network instead. One obvious takeaway: letting total strangers use your Internet connection for any purpose comes with some risk. But there's another lesson: IP addresses simply don't identify the people behind the computers."

I'm glad that at least some courts are taking a closer and more critical look at the issue.

AT&T's broadband data caps start May 2nd, 2011.

The new limits—150 GB for DSL subscribers and 250 Gigabytes for UVerse users (a mix of fiber and DSL)—come as users are increasingly turning to online video such as Hulu and Netflix on-demand streaming service instead of paying for cable.

Carriers crack down hard on wireless tethering app for Android

The application, “Wireless Tether for Root Users,” is still available on the Android Market. But if you have a phone that’s on the Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile networks, you won’t be able to download or install it.

Wired.com attempted to install the application on a number of devices, and was only able to do so on a Sprint-carried Evo 4G and Galaxy Tab, as well as WiFi-only products. Our Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T devices were unable to receive the app for installation.

How can people be so mean? ;) Earl

Ubuntu 11.04 is out

My verdict? Seems OK. It did solve one minor problem I was having with 10.10. For you geeks, when I'd enter my SUDO (root) password with update manager, the window didn't want to go away, I had to close it from the task bar. It has a "new"
desktop, kinda macish looking, which I'm not a big fan of but, you can choose the classic (old) desktop before you log in. So, I'd say no big rush if you are happy with 10.04 or 10.10 but, worth a look to see the new type desktop.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Pakistani Man Unknowingly Live-Tweeted Bin Laden Raid

Those helicopters sure were noisy and sure were an unusual sight in Abbottabad.

From the article:

After learning of bin Laden's death, Sohain tweeted, "Uh oh, now I'm the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it."

Cybercriminals Using Osama Bin Laden's Death to Spread Malware

This should come as no surprise. Just be careful what you click on.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to connect to On Computers Chat at Star Chat.

How to connect to our chat on StarChat using mIRC:

From the File menu select "Select Server...". That will take you to the "Servers" page of mIRC options.

From the list of "IRC Servers" choose the "StarChat" folder and click the "Select" button. That will take you to the "Connect" page of mIRC options.

Check that everything on that page looks correct for your Nickname. Double check that the it says Server:StarChat: Random server. Check "New Window" if desired. Click the "Connect" button.

Once connected type "/join #oncomputers" to join the On Computers room or "/join #icug" to join the ICUG room, omitting the quotation marks.

The generic connect instructions are as follows:

If you have an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client, connect to StarChat by opening the client and typing "/server irc.starchat.net" omitting the quotation marks.

Once connected type "/join #oncomputers" to joing the On Computers room or "/join #icug" to join the ICUG room, omitting the quotation marks.

To connect to the StarChat java chat open your browser and type "http://www.starchat.net/channels.php" into the address bar. Look at the list of rooms and find "oncomputers" or "icug" Click on the name of the room to join the java chat for that room.

It is a good idea to register your nick when using StarChat. The instructions from Star Chat as to how to do that are as follows:

If you are not on AOL, Compuserv, Prodigy, or Wal-Mart Connect as your Internet Service Provider, connect to StarChat and type:

/msg nickserv register [your E-mail address here] [create your own password here]

Example: /msg nickserv register star@starchat.net twinkle

Use your real E-mail address as StarChat mails you an access number to complete registration. Once you receive that number, follow the directions in the E-mail to activate the nickname. You need to activate your nickname in 24 hours after you register, otherwise the registration will expire and you will need to register again.
If after you log on you are asked to identify your registered nick type in "/msg nickserv id password"  without the quotation marks and your actual password instead of "password".   Please be careful to make sure others do not see your password.

You can find the complete StarChat help page here: http://www.starchat.net/help.htm
And you can find more advanced information here: http//www.starchat.net/services/index.htm

If you need further help with StarChat you can "/join #StarChat" which is the irc.starchat.net official help channel.

On Computers Moves On....

Hi all.

As we discussed last week, we have produced the final live edition of the On Computers Radio Show.

As we move on, we need to decommission the server that hosts our chat server and our newsgroups.

We are migrating our chat over to the Starchat IRC Network. Our new rooms are created and ready for you to join us in both #oncomputers and #icug. Connect to irc.starchat.net. Our existing chat server will be going down next Saturday, May 7. At that time, references to our chat server will be changed to point to Starchat.

Our newsgroup server, unfortunately, has not seen much traffic in recent months, and as such, we have decided to decommission it completely. It too will be going down next Saturday.

If anyone has any questions, please let us know.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

ipad makes it to southpark

I'm a big southpark fan. Yes, it's usually gross but funny! Season 15 started yesterday and the ipad plays a major part. Warning this one is NOT for the squeamish!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Apple cites bugs, user confusion in explanation of iPhone location data

Looks like there is going to be an iOS update in a couple of weeks to limit the stored data to one week. That's better. Also better is that we now know that our phones are doing this if location services are turned on. Some of the issue has simply been one of disclosure. I'm not entirely happy yet about the answers so far, but this is moving in the right direction.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

iHome - Clock Radio & Audio System for iPod / iPhone (iP9BR) BLACK

I'm usually not the bargain person. I'm not sure how long this Newegg deal will last (it is one of today's deals), but I've never seen one of this popular model iphone/ipod dock radios priced this low before. In fact I googled it and I still couldn't find any this low. With free shipping to boot. So if you've been wanting one, check it out.

We have one of these and I can vouch for it being a nice little unit. Only we paid a whole lot more for it.

(I know Earl usually does the deals, but since this was iphone related I went ahead and posted it.)

RealNetworks' Rinse for iTunes is good, not great

It is nice to see RealNetworks trying to switch gears. This program sounds pretty nice and is available for OS X and Windows (XP and newer). However, according to the article (I haven't tested it personally) it still is lacking in some areas.

I think the major mistake Real has made though, is in the pricing. This program should be $19 tops. It doesn't do enough to be worth what they are asking in my opinion.

Microsoft collects locations of Windows phone users

If this were a hockey game, I'd call it a hat trick. Apple, Google, and now Microsoft are collecting location data without disclosing it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pornography raid underscores Wi-Fi risks Wireless

I still know people who complain about setting up security on their router and who complain even more about having to type in a password the first time they use it. It is not that difficult folks!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 04-24-11

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 04-24-11.

Today is the end of an era. After just over 10 years, today was the last live edition of the On Computers Radio Show. We would like to thank our listeners for their continued support over the years.

Keep an eye out here, on our blog, as we will be doing the occasional podcast as well as continuing to post news items of interest.

It's been a great 10 years.

The On Computers Radio Show

Today's App Corner

Today we have two entertainment apps. The first is Crackle from Sony and the second is the Royal Wedding by NBC. Sadly Crackle is not yet available for Android. The content is lean at this point and it does occasionally crash, but the price for both content an app is free.

The Royal Wedding by NBC is an iPad only app, but if you are going watch the nuptials later this week, this is a very nicely done TV companion app. Yeah I know it is not geek to admit I'm going to watch the big event, but heck I'm a romantic and I love weddings so why not?

Here are the links:

Crackle Web Site

The Royal Wedding by NBC

Links from the Gregg Zone

1} Now, I think this is great news. Hertz has announced that starting very soon (like next week), you will be able to rent electric cars. If you have wanted to try driving one, you may now have that opportunity. This may be a very big step allowing people to test a car for a few days to help make a large decision. http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/06/hertz-to-start-renting-all-electric-smart-fortwo-eds-next-week/

2} I thought this was very interesting, while I do not know enough people in both camps to decide for myself it seems somehow logical to me. The idea that Mac, and PC people are different seems obvious, but how and where is interesting, and may prove of use to the observant. http://mashable.com/2011/04/23/mac-vs-pc-infographic/

3) This is a video about the inner workings of Google’s data center, for those who might see that as interesting as a trip to the back gate of area 51. http://mashable.com/2011/04/22/google-data-center-video/

4) We covered passwords several times in the past. When I read this article going into the breaking of them I was sort of comforted and relieved by the difficulty, but not sure if that is dangerous thinking or not, I suppose time will tell. http://www.baekdal.com/tips/password-security-usability

5) Last link of the day, just an article about the tit for tat, Samsung /Apple law suit back and forth going on over phone design. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1379632/Samsung-sues-Apple-just-days-accused-slavishly-copying-iPhone-iPad-designs.html?ito=feeds-newsxml