Show of 11-18-2017

Tech Talk

November 18, 2017

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email from Youel Sarkis in San Diego: Dear Dr Richard. Hello and how are you? Love the show and I have been listening for few years religiously. You have a lot of great information that one can learn.
  • I have two questions. First, my church would like to broad cast/stream live our mass every Sunday live. I do not have time to sit there and start up the recording. Then up load it to YouTube or Facebook. Is there an ip camera that we can purchase that can do this automatically on a given time without anyone baby sitting it.  Mount it and set the program to stream. And on my second question. 
  • I have Google Wi-Fi at my home and love it. The only problem that I have is that it is a different network and I like it to have the same as my wired network. Anything on Google Wi-Fi network, I cannot see through the router on my computer. I cannot stream video to my TV. And so on.  Can I combine them as one network.  Where everything is together and can see each other. Thank you for taking my question looking forward on your answers.  Again, Youel have a great show and keep up the great work every week. Thank you again. Youel Sarkis, San Diego, CA
  • Tech Talk Responds: Let’s talk about your Wi-Fi. You can cascading two routers systems. You have plugged your wired network in the Cable Router and the Google Wi-Fi connected to the same Ethernet switch in the Cable Router. So you have tow different DHCP servers and two different networks. You can merget them to one network by plugging the wired network into the Google Wi-Fi. Then both your wired network and your wireless cascade through two firewalls and two NAT servers. That should solve you problem, although the piggybacked NAT servers could slow down your gaming. If that is a problem you can convert you Cable router to a bridge and only use the NAT server in the Google Wi-Fi system.
  • As for your charge, the easiest way to video is to use Periscope or Facebook Live. It is quick and dirty. You need to be mindful that most church music is copyrighted that that broadcasting it is outside of the fair use carve out. This gives a simple single angle view of the event. You should employ a wireless mike for anyone who speaks. Good sound is more important than good video. Plug the wireless mike directly into the camera. We simply use an iPad for the video streaming of the radio show on Periscope.
  • A good turnkey streaming service for Churches is DaCast. DaCast offers a well-rounded and comprehensive service at a competitive price. Smaller churches will gravitate to the Starter Plan, but will receive the same great features as larger churches on the Premium Plan. DaCast is easy to set up and get started, making it attractive for first time broadcaster. For pros, DaCast offers but also comes with sophisticated features and capabilities
    • Starter Plan $19/month (includes 100 GB of bandwidth & 20 GB of storage)
    • Pro Plan $165/month (includes 2,000 GB of bandwidth & 125 GB of storage)
    • Premium Plan $390/month (includes 5,000 GB of bandwidth & 250 GB of storage)
  • You get a lot more than just live streaming with DaCast. While most will enjoy the service being streamed live, some will not be able to watch it. With DaCast, you can create video on demand playlists so that your viewers can go back and watch any service they missed. You also can instantly embed any video content straight to your website or social media. Because DaCast is offered as a white label service, you can customize your content to display the logo or insignia of your church.
  • I would also suggest that you create a podcast. They are easier to manage. You can concentrate on getting great sound with a sound mixer. A reasonable service to work with is Podpoint.com (https://podpoint.com/). The simplest solution is to use a computer running software like Audacity (free) or GarageBand (free for Macs). You will just run a cable from your mixer into your computer, spend some time optimizing the audio, and you’re ready to go. This is the recommended route since it removes the step of transferring the file to your computer.
  • Email from Arnie in Colorado Springs: Hi Dr. Shurtz, Verizon Wants the FCC to Overturn State Internet Privacy Laws. The telecom giant filed a white paper with the FCC commission last week arguing that it had the authority to overrule recent state-level laws. It turns out getting national privacy laws dismantled was not enough for Big Telecom. Now, at least one wireless giant is lobbying to have state-level laws overturned as well. Fort Collins, CO, Pinetops, NC & a County/city in Michigan have taken advantage of the loophole that permits local municipal broadband. Do you have any inside info about this? Really enjoy your show. Thanks, Arnie, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Tech Talk Responds: I can see where privacy laws might want to be based nationally rather than state-by-state. However, as far as cable access in the cities, the cable companies should not have a monopoly. Fort Collin is a prime example. Voters in Fort Collins, Colorado, approved a ballot question that authorizes the city to build a broadband network, rejecting a cable and telecom industry campaign against the initiative. The vote doesn’t require the city to build a broadband network, but it gives the city council the permission it needs to move forward on the plan if it chooses to do so. The anti-municipal broadband group, called “Priorities First Fort Collins,” spent $451,000 campaigning against the broadband network ballot question. Priorities First Fort Collins received nearly all of its funding from the Colorado Cable Telecommunications Association and a group run by the city’s chamber of commerce. The pro-municipal broadband group in Fort Collins, the Fort Collins Citizens Broadband Committee, spent less than $10,000 in the campaign.
  • The anti-municipal broadband campaign had funded ads warning that a publicly funded network in Fort Collins would take money away from other infrastructure initiatives. The network would be funded by bonds, and supporters say it will be self-sustainable because of subscriber fees. Colorado has a state law requiring municipalities to hold referendums before they can provide cable, telecom, or broadband service.
  • Email from Harry in Chantilly: Hi there, I’ve really been enjoying your segments on your cord-cutting journey! In January of this year I officially cut the cord, and I couldn’t be happier.  It took about two years of research, planning, and waiting for the right elements to come together, though.  The first problem was dealing with Verizon.  Three years ago I tried to bargain down my bundle to just internet and phone and they threatened to jack up the price on the internet so that there would be little to no savings.  This past year, though, I was able to bargain them down to about $70 for the internet/phone bundle, saving me about $50 dollars a month. I already had Roku set up for my Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon accounts, and they continue to add lots and lots of free channels.  I gave up on over-the-air stations.  I do have a digital antenna but it seems that wherever I put it in my apartment I only ever got a handful of stations, most of them in foreign languages.  I really don’t miss OTA, though. My biggest concerns were getting local news and my PBS station, but Roku offered apps that solved both of those problems.  News On is an app that automatically tunes to your local news stations last broadcast, and of course PBS developed their own app. Next, I needed to get SlingTV.  They have been a work-in-progress for sure, but they continue to make the experience better by leaps and bounds.  For instance, earlier this year they offered Cloud DVR service and I signed up for it right away.  After about a week of recording, the whole system crashed and wiped out all my recordings.  It hasn’t happened again since, though, so I am thinking they have worked out the bugs. So when I add up all the services I pay for, it comes to about the same as I used to pay to Verizon for television service.  But I feel like I have much more freedom and choice in how, where, and when I watch and the channels I can get.  I look forward to the experience continuing to improve.  I hope your journey is equally as satisfying.  I look forward to hearing about it.  I’ll be listening! Harry in Chantilly, VA
  • Tech Talk Responds: BTW, you get the best price by quitting the cable company with an end date and then negotiating with the recovery specialist. You do not need to get the phone bundle. I switched to VoIP years ago and pay about $20 per year for my phone connection. I use Ooma ($200) and ported my landline number to it. My phone system plugs into Ooma. I can tell no difference, except that the blacklist system that Ooma uses has blocked all my spam calls. I can also have my cell phone ring when the home number rings and voicemails are emailed to me. Getting stations is all about the antenna and the direction it points. I would download a phone app like WatchFreeHD or Antenna Point to figure out the direction of the TV towers. I put a ClearStream 4MAX ($149) in my attics and get both DC and Baltimore stations, plus many others (55 stations in all, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, FoxPlus, WETA, Channel 20, Ion TV, meTV, Redbull TV, plus much more). Until I positioned the antenna correctly, I didn’t get much.
  • As far as content, Hulu with LiveTV will give you local content, so will YouTubeTV (local TV and sports is its sweet spot). YouTubeTV has the best DVR capability. My favorite layout is PlayStationVue. More about this later in the show.
  • Email from Azra in Fredericksburg: Dear Doc and Jim. I recently bought an iPhone X and love it. However, I do not like the notch at the top of the screen. Is there a way that I can hide this notch so it is not so annoying? Love the show. Azra in Fredericksburg.
  • Tech Talk Responds: You are not alone. Many users have grown to hate the notch. Fortunately there are two applications that create wallpaper with a black band at the top. This band is the same width as the notch and makes it seemingly disappear. The first is Notch Remover. It cost 99 cents and is quite easy to use. The second is Notcho. It is free. However, the wallpaper that it creates has a Notcho watermark. Wallpaper without a watermark costs $1.99. I have played around with both and prefer Notch Remover.

Profiles in IT: Donald Watts Davies

  • Donald Watts Davies was a Welsh computer scientist best known for developing the concept of packet switching, the baseline concept underpinning the Internet.
  • Davies was born in Treorchy, Glamorgan, Wales on June 7, 1924.
  • He attended the Southern Grammar School for Boys.
  • In 1943, he received a BSc degree in physics at Imperial College London.
  • He then joined the war effort working on the nuclear weapons Tube Alloys project at Birmingham University.
  • In 1947, he earned a first class degree in mathematics from Imperial College London.
  • From 1947, he worked at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) where he led the development of the Pilot ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) computer, which was delivered May 1950. The project had been started by Alan Turing.
  • A commercial spin-off, DEUCE, became a best-selling computer of the 1950s.
  • In 1965, Davies developed the idea of packet switching, dividing computer messages into packets that are routed independently and reassembled at the destination.
  • Davies’ key insight came in the realization that computer network traffic was inherently “bursty” with periods of silence.
  • Unbeknown to him, Paul Baran of the RAND Corp had earlier had a similar idea and used the term distributed adaptive message block switching to describe it.
  • Davies used the word “packets” after consulting with a linguist because it was capable of being translated into languages other than English without compromise.
  • In 1966, he designed and proposed a national packet switching network.
  • In 1966 he returned to the NPL, where he headed its computing networking activity.
  • He had become interested in data communication following a visit to MIT, where a drawback of MIT time-sharing computer was the cost of a phone line for each user.
  • Davies was the first to describe “Interface computer”, today known as a router.
  • Larry Roberts of the ARPA applied Davies’ concepts of packet switching in the late 1960s to the ARPANET, which went on to become a predecessor to the Internet.
  • Davis first presented his ideas on packet switching in Edinburgh on 5 August 1968.
  • At NPL Davies helped build a packet-switched network (Mark I NPL network). It was replaced with the Mark II in 1973, and remained in operation until 1986.
  • Davies relinquished his management responsibilities in 1979 to return to research.
  • He became particularly interested in computer network security.
  • He retired from the NPL in 1984, becoming a consultant on banking data security.
  • Davies died in 2000 and is survived by a wife and three children.
  • In 2007, Davies was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and in 2012 he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.

Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks Now

  • 2017 will be a great year to view the Leonid Meteor Show, since this year the shower coincides with a new moon.
  • This means that the lack of light shining from the moon in the sky will make everything especially dark, perfect viewing conditions for a meteor shower.
  • The shower this year runs from November 6 to November 30, but peaks on the night between November 17 and 18.
  • According to Space.com, Leonids got their name from the constellation Leo, where it seems like they originate.
  • They’re really just dust and debris left behind Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which was last seen in our solar system in 1998.
  • The best way to maximize your viewing experience is to be in a very dark area on a low horizon, such as a State or National Park.
  • com also says that people in the Northern hemisphere will get a slightly better view, though the shower can be observed from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
  • But if you miss the Leonids this year, don’t worry. They will literally be back on the pretty much the same days next year.
  • Depending on where you live, it’ll likely be a dark and cold night, so stay warm and enjoy the show.

US military Social Media Spying Archive Exposed

  • Three misconfigured AWS S3 buckets have been discovered wide open on the public internet containing “dozens of terabytes” of social media posts and similar pages, all scraped from around the world by the US military to identify and profile persons of interest.
  • The archives were found by UpGuard’s security-breach hunter Chris Vickery during a routine scan of open Amazon-hosted data silos
  • The buckets were named centcom-backup, centcom-archive, and pacom-archive.
  • CENTCOM is the common abbreviation for the US Central Command, which controls army operations in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.
  • PACOM is the name for US Pacific Command, covering the rest of southern Asia, China and Australasia.
  • Vickery stumbled upon them by accident while running a scan for the word “COM” in publicly accessible S3 buckets.
  • He downloaded 400GB of samples but there were many terabytes of data available.
  • Just one of the buckets contained 1.8 billion social media posts automatically fetched over the past eight years up to today. It mainly contains postings made in central Asia.
  • Documents make reference to the fact that the archive was collected as part of the US government’s Outpost program, which is a social media monitoring and influencing campaign designed to target overseas youths and steer them away from terrorism.
  • Another file refers to Coral, which may well be a reference to the US military’s Coral Reef data-mining program.
  • Coral Reef is a way to analyze a major data source to provide the analyst the ability to mine significant amounts of data and provide suggestive associations between individuals to build out that social network.
  • Vickery said he notified the American military about the error and the buckets have now been locked down and hidden.

Cutting the Cord Journey: OTT Providers

  • Direct TV Now – Owned by DirectTV, a subsidieary of AT&T. DirecTV Now is only $10 if you already have AT&T as your cell phone provider. That’s a great deal, but only for the first year. The channel lineup is solid (click here). The HBO add-on is only $5. You won’t get a price that low anywhere else. The interface is a mess and does a bad job curating shows. You are only allowed two concurrent streams. You can pause. No DVR.
  • Sling TV – Owned by Dish Satellite TV. Sling TV might be your best bet if you are NOT into sports and still want cable. Sling Blue is $25/month, Sling Orange is $20/month, or you can get them together for $40/month. Supports most devices. You can change the stream’s video quality by adjusting the amount of bandwidth allowed. Sling doesn’t focus much on sports. They don’t have a traditional guide with the grid, which is fine, but scrolling through channels and lineups isn’t easy. There are no profiles.
  • Hulu — Hulu is a joint venture with The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, Comcast, and Time Warner. Hulu uses huge fonts and focus on getting content in front of you through a curation process, rather than just showing channel names. It’s great at recommending new content to watch. You get Hulu Limited Commercials for free. So if you’re already a Hulu member, Hulu with Live TV is only $32/month. You can change your location four times each year. You only get two simultaneous streams. For $15, you can get unlimited streams. Hulu basics with ads (no live TV) is only $7.99 per month. A pretty good deal, particularly if you can get OTA TV.
  • PlayStation Vue — PlayStation Vue is owned by Sony. PlayStation Vue is the most polished live service around. All regional sports teams are available. You can stream with five devices at once with all of the packages. If you want to see your local sports teams, it’s $45/month; if you don’t care to see them, it’s $40/month. You must call customer support to change location.
  • YouTube TV — YouTubeTV is owned by Google. It is focused on securing regional broadcasters first, adding content second. YouTube TV’s Cloud DVR is amazing. You get unlimited storage and your stuff is stored for nine months. Shows are easy to find, record and watch. YouTube TV is by far the best in terms of DVR. You get six accounts. Membership is simple; it’s $35/month. You get three simultaneous streams. You will get your local sports teams in almost any location (50 locations available now). There is no Apple TV app, nor does it look like there are plans for Google to make one. You can watch on the iOS app and use AirPlay.

Tesla’s Announces Semi-trailer Truck

  • Tesla finally unveiled its electric semi-truck. Production is expected to start in 2019.
  • Walmart said it has made orders for fifteen Semi trucks in the U.S, and Canada.
  • Meijer, a Michigan-based supermarket chain, placed orders for four trucks, putting down a $5,000 deposit for each one.
  • And J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT), a top logistics and trucking company, said it had made a reservation to buy “multiple” Tesla Semis.
  • “Reserving Tesla trucks marks an important step in our efforts to implement industry-changing technology,” said J.B. Hunt CEO John Roberts in a statement.
  • John Roberts, J.B Hunt CEO, said that these trucks will be most beneficial for local routes.
  • That is because there still appear to be limitations for how far the Semi can go before being charged.
  • Musk said that the Semi will be able to go 500 miles at full speed before needing to stop to recharge the battery.
  • Still, the Semi is likely to make some waves in the industry. Hirsch said that the decision to have the driver sit in the center of the truck will improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle and that other truck manufacturers may follow suit.