January 28, 2013

Updating iOS

Apple released iOS 6.0.1 which supposedly fixes some stuff.  Decided to update my iphone.  I guess I'll find out if this is a good or bad idea. 

I'll wait a few days to update my ipad, just in case. 

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January 26, 2013

And it was the charger all along...

Two weeks ago, when my laptop stopped charging, I had to try and figure out what was happening with it. There are 4 possibilities. It's a process of elimination to determine which it is and whether it should be fixed or not. My laptop is 3 years old so it's not worth much in money terms, OTOH I don't want to buy a new machine if I don't have to.

Let's start with the worst case scenario:

1 - Motherboard problem. If this is the case, it's not worth bothering to fix it. Just buy a new machine and be done.  This is the last thing  checked because it is the worst of the outcomes.

2 - Dock connector problem. This is the internal bit the power cord plugs into.  To get to it on most laptops, you have to take the entire machine apart. This includes taking the screen off and opening the whole thing up. It's quite the production. This laptop almost never moves. It doesn't get plugged and unplugged too much. Why would it break?  Save this one for second to last on the checklist.

3. Battery - being 3 years old and under constant charge, it is very possible the battery had given up and was dying, they have a finite life span. This being the case, the first thing I did was order a new battery. Unfortunately that did not solve my problem.

I will say though that Batteries Plus has an excellent system for finding the battery you need for your laptop. Not the cheapest, but reliable and easy to work with.

4. The charging cord. When this first happened my husband pulled out his voltmeter thing and checked the cord. The readings appeared to be normal. However, after the battery failed to solve the problem, I ordered a new charging cord, it arrived yesterday. Plugged it in, charging light lit right up.  Wow.  Unexpected, but I'll take it.

I used Amazon for this one, had to search using HP and the part number. It's far more difficult to find the right parts on Amazon since it's not always clear exactly what you might be ordering. However, it appears I ordered the correct part. Whew!

Thus I get to keep my laptop a while longer - thank goodness! I didn't want to go spending money on a new one. Next up, I suppose  the hard drive will die. I wonder if I can replace it with an SSD???? Must look into that.

Now I can relax for the weekend as I don't have to pull apart my computer. Nice.

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January 21, 2013

Hockey is Back! - Quick update at the end of the post

Yes, hockey is back!  The NHL finally got their act together and decided maybe they should play a few games this year so we don't forget they exist.  However, it will be a short season only 48 games long.  Might make things much more exciting though since there isn't half a season of "ho-hum, we have time to play hard later" games.

Because of the short season, the online broadcasting through NHL GameCenter is only 1/3 the price of last year's regular season viewing package.  On television they are pushing it like mad.  I figured for $50 I could try it out and see if I liked it  and not be too irritated if it didn't work out.  We have an Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone so 3 options to watch. 

NBC Sports tends to show far more games from the Eastern division of hockey.  We are in the viewing area for the Bruins, so we don't get much chance to see Western division teams play unless NBC Sports carries the games… mostly they don't.  This makes the GameCenter very appealing.  

Since I shelled out the cash, I figured I would review it. 

The rest is below the fold for those who could care less about sports.


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January 17, 2013

Privacy is so yesterday

It's hard enough to keep some stuff private in this world.  Every day a little bit more privacy is chipped away. 

For instance:

For those who donated to the genome project and were told there was a tiny chance they might be identified in the future... well the future is now.

Facebook no longer allows users to opt out of profile searches

The OKCupid blind date app... isn't blind at all, nor does it keep others in the dark.

So all this might make you think twice before downloading a smart phone app that could check you for skin cancer.

But it won't matter soon.  We have people like "Bob" working at our critical infrastructure
companies... Bob outsourced his job to China so he could browse the web all day at work.  Once China moves in and takes over, all the rest becomes a moot point.

It's a strange world out there. 

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January 15, 2013

Samsung device users take note!

If you have a Samsung Galaxy S3 or a Samsung Note, there is apparently a security hole. It is not yet patched and Samsung isn't talking when asked what they will do about it. They do know about it. In the meantime, be very careful of any new apps downloaded. So far this one hasn't been exploited in the wild, but I expect there will be some coming out this week. It is an exploit that is specific to the device chipset which is why the Nexus 10 isn't vulnerable.

Here is the Gizmodo article.

Here is the NextWeb article.

At the end of the NextWeb article there is a link to a site where you can download a fix for this.  Whether or not you do so is up to you.  If you don't download a bunch of apps all the time it might be better to wait and see what Samsung does.  I say that since I know nothing about the person providing the temporary patch. 

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January 14, 2013

It's always something

Over the weekend I got very industrious.  On Saturday I took apart all the wiring for the computers and network in my office, cleaned everything and rewired so I don't have tons of wires on the floor.  It looks so much better. 

However, every good deed has consequences... yesterday I checked my work computer.  (I leave both of my computers on all the time) and I found it had gone into the "hibernate" state. That should not happen.    I have it set to run all the time, not hibernate.  It should only hibernate when running on the battery.

A bit of checking showed it was indeed running off battery power,  not through the charger.  Oh joy.  Further checking shows that the charger is working, so it must be the internal power jack or its connection to the motherboard.  The power jack is in the upper right hand corner of the machine.  Here is what I need to do to get in there and check it out.   Yep, pretty much have to tear the sucker apart.  And that may not even fix it. 

How delightful. 


So, it's Monday.  This morning I headed out to get coffee and go to the grocery store to pick up odds and ends needed for meals this week. I stopped at the gas station to fill up my car.  This is a station with 16 pumps.  I was the only person there. 

I filled my car and got back in it.  I had just put my credit card back in my purse.  Hadn't even had time to turn on my ipod when someone honks at me. 

I look in my rear view mirror and there is an idiot behind me who wants me to move!  He's pulled right up behind me.  I look around, there is NO ONE else at the station. There are 15 other pumps free to use and he is right on my tail honking at me. 


I was seriously tempted to get out of my car and go ask what he wanted.  I should have.  But I hadn't had my coffee yet and it would not have ended well. 


I do hope your weekend and Monday are going well.  Someone should be having a good day somewhere. 

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January 11, 2013

Who Knew!

I don't have a cat, but...

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January 10, 2013

You might want to stick to regular coffee

Java is not at all good for your computer. Ars has the details on the most recent Zero day exploit (unpatched).

Critical Java zero-day bug is being "massively exploited in the wild”

If you haven't turned off Java in your browser or you aren't sure, click over to the article.  They have a link to a KrebsOnline piece that will walk you through turning Java off in any browser you might use.

Why should you care?  Because you don't really want a keystroke logger following everything you do... or do you? 

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January 09, 2013

Search me

Since I use Firefox as my browser, I have a search bar that can default to a number of different search engines.  Quite a while back I set it to duckduckgo.  I didn't think anything more about it. 

Then I was listening to the most recent Mike Tech Show podcast #440.  He had a segment about duckduckgo.  Apparently they are located in Phillie which is where Mike lives and they presented at a tech meeting he attended.  Thus I found new and shiny search information goodness.  

Here are some of the take-aways that are very nice and impressive.

1 - They don't track you.  Your searches are yours. They aren't watching what you're doing and where you're going like google does.  Granted google does it to send ads your way, but that's not important to me.  So I like this feature.

2 - They don't filter the results.  This means I may find something I would have to dig deeply to find on google, if I even bothered. 

and my favorite of all:

3 - The "bang" search (so called because in tech speak this: "!" is called a bang).  This is very very cool.  It allows you to search a particular site instead of the entire internet when you are looking for something. 

For example. 

Say I'm looking for a "desktop monitor stand".  If I search for this directly I will get half a bazillion different sites with monitor stands.  In some cases that might be what I want.  However, if I know I'm going to search Amazon for such a thing... it's duckduckgo to the rescue with a "one click search".  And since Amazon or Wikipedia among others are such heavily searched sites, they even have abbreviations to make the typing faster. 

Therefore in my duckduckgo search box I would type in

desktop monitor stand !a

This takes me to Amazon and shows me all the desktop monitor stands available.   

If I wanted to find out about the Mayan end of the world on Wikipedia, the search would be:

Mayan end of the world !w

I love this.

To find all the "bang" commands (of which there are many from shopping to research) go to their search bar and type in:


This will bring up their page showing what you can do to make your searching better and faster. 

Give it a shot as a search engine.  I sometimes go to google for things like game scores which it brings up on an initial search, but nearly everything else I search for is on duckduckgo.

You may want to watch their vid which is on their About page.

Happy searching.

***small update:  There's also an app for that!  If you are on idevices just go to itunes and search for it.  If you are on Android head to the app store and do the same - it's free. 

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 01:05 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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January 08, 2013

I need a larger purse

Duct tape... don't leave home without it!  You never know when it might come in handy.


CES is on.  The geek show to end all geek shows.  Ubuntu has a demo of a new phone, but they won't let anyone touch it.  I hope they keep a close eye on it, lots of geeks would love to get hold of it to play and they might not want to give it back. 


While it's maybe a nice thought, I'm pretty sure I don't want to watch the Super Bowl on my iphone... even though it goes everywhere with me.  Of course I know lots of kids probably think differently.  Ah me... to be an old fogey.


And of course the new Windows 8 doesn't like to play nice unless it's being used with a touch screen... so if you have an older computer, what can you do?  Buy a pen for it.  And we all know how well we keep track of pens... right?  Yeah. 


You are now up to date on the latest tech gadgetry.   

BTW if you have a yahoo email account... be aware it's got a big bug in it at the moment.  Please be careful.

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