Show of 07-23-2016

Tech Talk

July 23, 2016

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email from Ken in Gaithersburg: This is fairly urgent since July 29 is coming soon, and you will not have another live show until July 30. I installed Windows on one computer, and because of the problems it created I will not put it on other computers unless I can fix two things.
  • First, after an update, the computer restarts without my permission with at most a few days warning, wiping out whatever I may be working on, and I cannot stop it. I always have many things open. I don’t want the computer to restart until I am ready. Is there a way to stop that?  I have read that the registry can be edited, but I want to be sure that I make the right changes.  Do you know what I can do?
  • Second, the upgrade wiped out the Chrome windows I had open and the entire Chrome history. Is there a way to prevent that?
  • An additional question: Can I make disk images of both a drive C (solid state) and a 2 TB drive D on one external hard drive?  If so, can the images be compressed so that both images will fit on a 2 TB external drive? (I hate Windows 10 and 7 because I don’t know how to do things I used to do in XP). Thank you. Ken in Gaithersburg
  • Tech Talk Responds: The good news is that you can schedule your restart after an update. Open Action Center by clicking on icon in lower right. Then Click on All Settings, Click on Update and Security, Click on Windows Update, Click on Advanced Options, Under “Choose how updates are installed”, click on drop down menu. Select “Notify to Schedule restart.” You will now be asked to schedule a restart to finish installing updates.
  • As far a Chrome is concerned you can log into Google and sync everything (open tabs, history, bookmarks, etc. Click on the icon in the upper right hand corner. From the drop down menu, select Settings. Go to setting. Under Sign in, log into your Google account. Click on Advance Sync Setting and select what you want to sync. This will place the information on all Chrome browsers that you use on all computers.
  • You do a disk image with Macrium Reflect (http://www.macrium.com/). They have a free version and it can compress the image, usually saving about 40% of the space. Both images can be placed on the same hard drive.
  • Email from Mike in Maryland: Hello Mr. Big Voice, I need your suggestion for a internet radio or WiFi radio. I think it is ironic that you are in the radio industry, but living in your Mom’s basement how do you get radio signals? I live on the ground floor of a tall building and radio reception is difficult to get, as I like to listen to radio everyday. A computer is too cumbersome for channel surfing. I would like a dedicated internet radio with a remote control, large display and lots of presets and future software updates. I am currently looking at two models: CC Crane WiFi radio with 99 presets or Mondo by Grace. I am opened to your suggestions. Please tell the two gentlemen that I love the show. Mike from Maryland.
  • Tech Talk Responds: CC Crane WiFi was one on the first internet radios. It’s interface is quite dated. Of the two, I would prefer Mondo by Grace. Mondo has much better sound system (12W with a separate 3-inch woofer). Sound is everything. Plus it has a battery so you can listen on the deck.
  • I listen to Wi-Fi radio quite a bit. However, I use Amazon Echo. I just say the call letter and Echo finds the station, either on iHeart Radio or TuneIn. Plus Amazon Echo can function with so many other needs. After Echo, I would never get a stand alone Internet radio.
  • Email from Valerie in Boston: Dear Doc and Jim. We are planning to backpack for week and will probably not have access to electricity. I would like to keep my cell phone charged with a solar panel. Is this practical? Love the show. Valerie in Boston
  • Tech Talk Responds: I would recommend a foldable solar panel. It will be larger and provide more power. You need at least 14W to charge your phone in a reasonable time. I would recommend the Nekteck 20W Solar Charger with 2-Port. It is $59.99 on Amazon.
  • The power conversion rate increases up to 21%-24%, providing enough power to charger 2 devices at same time. It has abuilt-in smart IC chip, each port intelligently identifies your device and seeks to maximize its charging speed. Ultra lightweight (20 oz) and ultra compact (11.8 x 6.5in folded or 22.8 x 11.8in opened).
  • Email from Tracy in Fairfax: Dear Tech Talk. I have been playing Pokemon Go while taking my walks. I have an iPhone 6S. I have a big problem. My battery goes down too quickly forcing me to stop player. What battery pack do you recommend? Tracy in Fairfax.
  • Tech Talk Responds: I have the apply Smart Battery and it doubles the battery life. I have been using it for several months and really like. I is $99 at the Apple store. Everything is automatic, charging and discharging. There is not button or switch and it uses the same plug as the iPhone.


Profiles in IT: Ross William Ulbricht

  • Ross William Ulbricht, AKS as Dread Pirate Roberts, is the founder and mastermind behind Silk Road, which is eBay of the dark-web.
  • Ross William Ulbricht was born March 24, 1984 in Austin, Texas.
  • An Eagle Scout, Rossman, as friends called him, drove an old Volvo, smoked pot, and still got a 1460 on his SATs.
  • Ross earned a scholarship to the University of Texas at Dallas and majored in physics. From there he landed a graduate scholarship at Penn State, where he studied material science and crystallography. He published a paper dealing with solar cells.
  • When he finished his Masters in 2009, he moved back to Austin with his girlfriend.
  • Ross tried day trading, but it didn’t go well. He started a videogame company. That failed too. The setbacks were devastating.
  • During this time, his downstairs neighbor, invited Ross to work with him on Good Wagon Books, a business that collected used books and sold them on Amazon.
  • Ross built Good Wagon’s website, learned inventory management, and wrote a custom script that determined a book’s price based on its Amazon ranking.
  • But by the end of 2010, he was looking beyond the book business. He discovered bitcoin and dreamt of building a site where people could buy anything anonymously.
  • Then, one night in early 2011, Ross was working late, alone in the warehouse, when he heard an enormous crash — the sound of the library falling apart.
  • Following this ordeal, Ulbricht left the company and began working full-time on Silk Road. It sold its first items, a batch of psychedelic mushrooms, in January of 2011.
  • His pseudonym was Dread Pirate Roberts, borrowed the name from The Princess Bride, in which the pirate was a mythical character.
  • Silk Road was named after the Silk Route, a routes from China to the Mediterranean.
  • He’d been doing it all himself, learning on the fly, programming automated transactions and using CodeIgniter to write and rewrite the site.
  • By late 2011, he had banked $100,000 and was earning $25,000 a month.
  • As Silk Road became a true global market, DPR loved in his new role as leader.
  • The FBI began its probe of Silk Road around January 2011. By the summer of 2013 they were conducting surveillance on Ulbricht directly.
  • They located the Silk Road server and copied it in its entirety, including all accounts.
  • In June 2013, Ulbricht logged into Silk Road from an Internet cafe in San Francisco. From there the feds traced his Gmail logs and located his apartment.
  • On October 2013, Ulbricht was arrested in San Francisco.
  • On 4 February 2015, Ulbricht was convicted of all seven charges in a U.S. Federal Court in relation to Silk Road. Murder-for-hire charges are still pending.
  • He is currently serving his life sentence at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, NY.


 

Pokemon Go Update

  • Collecting Pokemon (Throwing ball at Pokemon)
  • Resupplying at Pokestops (Balls, Strawberries, Potion, Eggs)
  • Eggs are hatched by walking (2, 5, 10 km)
  • Incense and Lure Modules to attract Pokemon
  • Developing Pokemon (Power Up or Evolve)
  • Joining a Team (Red, Yellow, or Blue)
  • Competing with other Trainers
  • Competing with most powerful Pokemon at a virtual Gym
  • Use potions to restore health of Pokemon during battle.
  • Goal is for your team to control as many Gyms as possible.
  • Second Goal is to get your Pokemon in Gyms (earn rewards)
  • As you collect points by capturing Pokemon, you move up through levels
  • Don’t bother competing until a t least level 15 because you won’t have strong enough Pokemon. I am at Level 15 now.
  • Apparently the levels go as high as 40, but capturing gets harder as you move up.
  • The game sells supplies (balls, incense, lure modules, memory upgrades)
  • Advantages
    • Gets people moving (unless they cheat in a car)
    • Encourages people to explore their city
  • Dangers
    • Can be expensive
    • Can be dangerous (driving, remote places, dangerous places)
    • Addictive (don’t do it at work)
  • Opportunities
    • Marketing opportunities for retail outlets
    • Meetups at Gym (no other social networking included)
    • New genre of game (virtual tours of museums, for instance)

Drone Update: 7-11 Delivers Chicken and Slurpee’s by Drone

  • 7-Eleven Inc. and a tech startup called Flirtey have made their first drone delivery.
  • Flirtey is a privately held company based in Reno, Nevada, which builds and operates drones to make deliveries that are needed in humanitarian and health work, retail and food industries.
  • During the 7-Eleven delivery, which took place in Reno, Nevada on July 10th, Flirtey successfully transported: Slurpees, a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee and candy to the home of the family who placed the order.
  • To find customers willing to have their order handled by a flying robot, the companies surveyed households within a one-mile radius of the store from which they planned to deliver.
  • The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is expected to put new rules into effect in late August that allow the operation of small, unmanned aircraft in the national airspace.