Show of 08-31-2019

Tech Talk
August 31, 2019

Best of Tech Talk Edition

  • Segments taken from previous shows.

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email from John in Houston: Dear Tech Talk. I’ve been thinking lately about creating Linux installation media (DVDs and USB flash drives) on my home computer and selling them on EBay. My question is can I legally do that without getting into any kind of legal trouble? I see other sellers doing it but I don’t want to get caught up in some kind of sting. John in Houston
  • Tech Talk Responds: To answer your question, as I explained in this post it’s completely legal to sell free software that’s distributed under a GNU Public License (GPL for short), and that indeed includes Linux distros. Companies such as Red Hat have built profitable businesses by doing just that. All the popular Linux distros can be downloaded from the web for free by anyone with a computer. That might make selling them pretty tough, but you just might be able to pull it off if you can come up with some way to add some kind of extra value for the consumer to the deal. For example, if you could come up with some type of valued-added product or service that you can sell along with the installation media that would greatly enhance your chance of succeeding. You could use the Red Hat company as a guide.
  • Email from Susan in Alexandria: Hello again, Dr. Shurtz. I always thought you had to make an Ethernet connection to your router to change the Wi-Fi password. Is that no longer the case? That is why I asked how to connect a tablet to the router with an Ethernet cable, not so I could surf the web that way!  I appreciate the advice on what is required. Thanks for Tech Talk, it’s always interesting! Susan in Alexandria
  • Tech Talk Responds: You can configure everything without connecting to your router with Ethernet. You can change the Wi-Fi password, the login password, or anything else. After you make these changes, simply reboot the router. If you change the Wi-Fi password, you will have to connect again to Wi-Fi and provide the new password. When you set the password, do not use WEP. Use WP2 because of the enhance security.
  • Email from Wendy in Fairfax: Dear Tech Talk. My daughter helped me get on Facebook so I can talk to her and my grandchildren and share pictures back and forth with them (they live out of state). She sent me some pictures last night that I would really like to print but I cannot figure out how to do it. Can you tell me how to print photos from Facebook? My computer has Windows 10. Wendy in Fairfax
  • Tech Talk Responds: As you’ve already discovered, you can’t simply right-click on a Facebook photo and click “Print” as that option doesn’t exist. Fortunately, there is an easy way to print your Facebook pictures without using any third-party software.
    • Scroll through your Facebook photos until you find the photo you want to print, then click on that photo to open it on its own page.
    • Right-click on the photo and click Save as.
    • Save the photo to your computer’s Desktop.
    • Right-click on the saved photo and select Print from the drop-down menu.
    • Select the print settings that you want and insert a sheet of photo paper into your printer.
    • Click the Print button.
  • Your photos should print just fine, and you now have a copy on your computer as well as the originals that are still in your Facebook account.
  • Email from Lilly in Fairfax: Dear Doc and Jim. Why am I getting a delay notification on an email I sent? I am trying to send an e-mail to a co-worker and I keep getting the following message:
    • Delivery Status Notification (Delay). This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification. THIS IS A WARNING MESSAGE ONLY. YOU DO NOT NEED TO RESEND YOUR MESSAGE.
  • The strange thing is that it is only happening with that specific e-mail address. What does it mean, and why it is happening? Enjoy the show. Lilly in Fairfax
  • Tech Talk Responds: Email uses a transfer method called store and forward. When you send an email, it is received by a mail server, stored for some period of time, and then forwarded to the next server in the path on its way to your recipient. Eventually it is received by the recipient’s mail server, where it’s stored until the recipient downloads it, or reads it online. The time that a server holds your message before forwarding it is typically very short, which is why email often appears to be nearly instant. There could be any number of delays along the email’s path to your recipient. The most likely delay is that recipient’s mail server is temporarily offline. Rather than fail to deliver the email, your mail server keeps trying to pass the message along and send you a delayed delivery message. It keeps trying for around five days, then is stops and sends you a Failed Delivery message. If you message is urgent, you might try calling them.
  • Email from Tung in Ohio: Dear Doc and Jim. I am trying to call my friends in Vietnam. I would like use a cheap Internet connection. What are my options? Love the show. Tung in Ohio
  • Tech Talk Responds: There are a number of voice-over-IP options. If your friends also have Internet access with data, the ca is completely free. If they don’t have a data connection, you will have to call either their landline or their mobile phone connection. You can use Skype either on a laptop or on your cell phone. Skype client to skype client is a free call. If you use Skype to call a phone number in Vietnam is around 10 cents a minutes. This is called Skype Out and you will have to put money into your prepaid account. I like to use Viber on my iPhone. If your friends have Viber and they have data access, it will automatically ring and the call will be free. You can also Viber Out to a phone number for the same price as Skype. WhatsApp is another popular VoIP application. It is used extensively in Asia. I my case I have Ooma which is a VoIP phone system for the house. I have place about $30 in a prepaid account. If I call overseas, the Ooma rates are automatically at the low VoIP rate and I don’t have to do anything special. When I travel I used Viber whenever I have Wi-Fi access. Internal calling through the Telco’s is dying fast.
  • Email form Jim in Michigan: Dear Tech Talk. I keep seeing this option to eject my USB drive before removing it. Is that really necessary or can I just pull it out. Enjoy the show. Jim in Michigan.
  • Tech Talk Responds: Computers use something called write caching to improve performance: if you copy something to your drive, it’ll tell you it’s completed the task, but it’s actually waiting until it has a few other tasks to perform so it can do them all at once. When you press eject, your PC finishes anything in the queue to make sure you don’t incur any data loss. Windows does a better job of avoiding problems than OS X and Linux, but we recommend ejecting all your drives anyway. It is worth keeping your data safe.
  • Email from Lee in North Carolina: Dear Doc and Jim. I am having trouble connecting my new Bluetooth speaker to my laptop. Sometimes it works. Other times, it just won’t link. What can I do go get a reliable connection? Love the show Lee in North Carolina. Lee in North Carolina
  • Tech Talk Responds: Bluetooth depends on both hardware and software to work properly. What you can do about pairing failures. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
  • Determine which pairing process your device employs. The process for pairing devices can vary. Sometimes, for example, it involves tapping a code into your phone. Other times, you can just physically touch your phone to the device you want to pair it with. Or in the case of the Bose SoundLink, you only have to hold down a button on the speaker to pair it with a phone.
  • Turn on discoverable mode.
  • Once it finds your phone, the car may ask for a numeric code you need to confirm or input on your phone.
  • Make sure the two devices are in close enough proximity to one another.
  • Power the devices off and back on.
  • Turn off likely interferers. You may be connecting to your spouse’s device by mistake.
  • Delete a device from a phone and rediscover it.
  • Get away from the Wi-Fi router.
  • Make sure the devices you want to pair are designed to connect with each other.
  • Download a driver. If you’re having problems pairing something with your PC, you might be lacking the correct driver.
  • Email from Mary:  Shurtz, Here is the speed test for my FiOS Service w/ Verizon. My speed test showed 10 MB upload and 5 MB download speeds. I only have FiOS internet (no TV and no phone and don’t want TV or phone from them which are the only plans that give a better price plan or so Verizon has told me.) and pay 47.99/mo for this. I’ve called to try & get a better plan, but, in order to improve this he next step up is almost double my current price. Anyway, is this the reason why when I make phone calls via my OOMA service causing the receiver of my call to say that they cannot hear but ever other word? It happens intermittently; not all people say they cannot hear me. Thanks! Mary
  • Tech Talk Response: Your upload and downloads speeds are adequate for VoIP. Is there something on your network that is using bandwidth? You should not have any problems. Check the latency. Use www.broadbandreports.com and go to tools to find the speed tests. There is a discussion thread about a problem with Ooma and Verizon for some customers. Ooma has worked with Verizon to reroute the traffic and this worked for some regions. Ooma support is reading the threaded discussions and responded to voice quality concerns. Just Google “voice quality Ooma Verizon” to get to these threads. Ooma also has live customer service on their website. Try that instead of the support number.
  • Email from LedbyBrain: Dear Dr Shurtz, This is how my main, professional Gmail acct is set. I have enabled POP, IMAP, and archive deleted emails. I want to be sure a have a retained copy of all sent mail messages for at least 18 months. Will this ensure that? I am using Apple Mail client to view this account. I found an article on the internet that said that Gmail sent mail is not saved! Thank You!! LedbyBrain
  • Tech Talk Responds: You configuration looks good. Gmail never delete mail, except for the Trash and Spam folders after 30 days. A sent email is put into the inbox when some answers the email. It you delete that message stream, the sent email is also deleted. That is the most common error when losing sent emails. Good luck.
  • Email from Duc: Dear Tech Talk. I coach a local sports team and all the communication with my team is in my Hotmail account. Unfortunately I can’t access my email. How do I get into my Hotmail/Outlook.com account if I no longer have access to the phone number I set up on the account when I created it years ago. Thanks, Duc, an Ohio coach
  • Tech Talk Responds: It appears that when you are traveling to different countries, Microsoft is now often requiring that even when you know your password you also must be able to provide a code that is sent to your phone or an alternate email address associated with the account. Two-factor authentication is the best way to combat account theft.
  • It is critical that you keep your recovery information up to date. Not doing so is the fastest way to lose access to your account forever should something go wrong. It is also a way to end up unable to access your account until you return home after traveling.
  • Microsoft does have an account recovery process. It will opt to send you a code to either an email address for a phone. If neither of those channels works, you must provide enough information to prove who you are. You will be asked for information like:
    • Your name and birth date.
    • Your location.
    • The answer to your security question(s), if you had one or more set up.
    • Other passwords that you may have used on this account in the past.
    • The subject lines of any emails you may have sent recently.
    • The names of any folders you’ve created in your account.
    • The email addresses of any contacts to which you’ve recently sent email.
    • Billing information, including a credit card, if you have any associated with the account.
  • The goal here is simple: to be able to provide enough information to prove that you are who you say you are: the rightful account holder. Then that information is sent for an internal Microsoft review. No changes will be made to 30 days to prevent unauthorized attempts. They notify the owner via email of such attempted recoveries. If you are successful, you will be sent a reset link for your account. By the way, you can also set up a recovery code. You can save this code and provide this code to recover your account, if your email or phones are not available. Good luck, Coach.
  • Email from Bill Conley: Gentlemen, I recently reinstalled my Dell Latitude with Windows 10, storing all documents to an external hard drive. Prior to system reload had removed folder encryption from all folders, no more file titles in green, all black. Unfortunately I failed to notice that my Outlook pst files were still encrypted. Since they were encrypted under previous OS load, they are now inaccessible. Address Book, all email files are now out of reach. Do you have a means other than NSA of decrypting? Your assist most appreciated. Bill Conley.
  • Tech Talk Responds: If you encrypt data on your computer, you need a way to recover that data in case something happens to the encryption key. If your encryption key is lost or damaged and you do not have a way to recover your data, the data is lost. You will also lose data if you store your encryption key on a smart card and the smart card is damaged or lost. To make sure you can always access your encrypted data, you should back up your encryption certificate and key.
  • Encryptions is managed by the Certificate Manager, which is opened by typing certmgr.msc into the search box and pressing enter. Using this application, you can either import an encrypted file or backup your certificate. If you import encrypted files you will have to point to the appropriate EFS (Encrypted File System) certificate. If you did not back up your EFS certificate, your files are lost.
  • Email from John in Fairfax: Dear Tech Talk. I just came back from vacation. I had over 2400 photos on my memory card. When I went to off-load the photos to my computer, the card was reading blank. I know that I did not reformat the card. Is there any hope for me to recover the pictures that I took? Thank, John.
  • Tech Talk Responds: You have three options. First, take the memory card to a different computer and see if a different computer can actually make sense of it.
  • If so, copy that data off immediately and back it up. Second, try a data recovery utility like Recuva (https://www.ccleaner.com/recuva). Finally, you might want to look into locating a data recovery service. They may be able to recover data from that memory card that more traditional tools that you and I have access to would not be able to get.
  • However, 2400 pictures without a backup is not a good practice. You need to find a way to copy your pictures during your vacation to reduce the risk.
  • Email from Mike in Alexandria: Dear Doc & Jim. Your show is very informative & I enjoy the historical profiles. I have been an Android user for many years and been upgrading my phone, every 2-3 years.  I would like to keep some of the old ones for emergency purposes or re-purpose them as media players or whatever. I would like to minimize the number of apps on them and then perform some sort of reset to “refresh” them to kill the clutter from use.  But I don’t want to reload & configure each app one at a time after the reset. What is the best way to delete the apps & keep the ones I want still configured appropriately after the reset? How do I reset my old phones to get them to a pristine state? How do I identify the phone as one of my previously “active” Android devices, so Google Play will only reload the subset of apps that I left on my phone at reset time? What are the biggest pitfalls? Mike in Alexandria, VA
  • Tech Talk Responds: When you transfer your number to a new phone, you old phone will automatically be disabled and will not connect to the cellular network. However, you will still be able to access the Internet using Wi-Fi. You can have multiple devices connected to one Google play account. However, if you stream music only one device will be authorized at a time. You can reset the phones and delete all data to bring them back to their pristine state. However, if you want to keep the apps, your only choice will be to manually delete them.

Profiles in IT: Vilhelm Friman Koren Bjerknes

  • Vilhelm Bjerknes was a Norwegian physicist and meteorologist who did much to found the modern practice of weather forecasting.
  • Vilhelm Bjerknes was born March 14, 1862 in Christiania, Norway.
  • Bjerknes enjoyed an early exposure to fluid dynamics, as assistant to his father, Carl Anton Bjerknes, who had discovered by mathematical analysis of actions between pulsating and oscillating bodies in a fluid.
  • Vilhelm Bjerknes became assistant to Heinrich Hertz in Bonn and made substantial contributions to Hertz’ work on electromagnetic resonance.
  • He proved experimentally the influence which the conductivity and the magnetic properties of the metallic conductors exert upon the electric oscillations, and measured the depth to which the electric oscillations penetrate metals (skin effect).
  • In 1895 he furnished a complete theory of electric resonance. These methods contributed much to the development of wireless telegraphy.
  • In 1895, he became professor of applied mechanics and mathematical physics at the University of Stockholm.
  • He elucidated the fundamental interaction between fluid dynamics and thermodynamics, with his major contribution being equations used in climate models.
  • His work that inspired others to apply it to large-scale motions in the oceans and atmosphere and to make modern weather forecasting feasible.
  • Bjerknes himself had foreseen the possible applications as early as 1904. His work was supported by the Carnegie Institution, of which he became a research associate.
  • Statics and Kinematicsand Dynamic Meteorology and Hydrography, were published in 1913. These formed the basis of modern weather prediction.
  • In 1906, Bjerknes was the first to describe and mathematically derive translational forces on bubbles in an acoustic field, now known as Bjerknes forces.
  • In 1907, Bjerknes returned to the Royal Frederick University in Oslo before becoming professor of geophysics at the University of Leipzig in 1912.
  • In 1917, he founded the Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen where he wrote his book On the Dynamics of the Circular Vortex with Applications to the Atmosphere and to Atmospheric Vortex and Wave Motion (1921), and laid the foundation for the Bergen School of Meteorology.
  • He was the originator there of an improved and more scientific weather service, afterwards controlled by his son and collaborator, the meteorologist Jacob Bjerknes,
  • From 1926 to his retirement in 1932 he held a position at the University of Oslo.
  • He was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1905 and of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 1936 and a Fellow of the Royal Society.
  • He died in Oslo on April 9, 1951, of heart congestive heart failure.
  • The craters Bjerknes on the Moon and Bjerknes on Mars are named in his honor.

Amazon Wants To Stop Selling Items at a Loss

  • Amazon is rethinking its strategy for items it sells that it refers to internally as “CRaP,” which stands for Can’t Realize a Profit.
  • These items – which include things like bottled water, paper towels, and snack foods that sell less than $15 and are heavy or bulky to ship.
  • Amazon is trying to focus on more profitable items and wants to get rid of some CRaP items.
  • Amazon wants customers to buy less “CRaP” online.
  • Amazon is eliminating some of the items and working with manufacturers or vendors to repackage others so they’re more profitable to sell online.

Starlink Update: 60 Satellites Deployed

  • The first batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites has been orbiting Earth for about a week.
  • According to SpaceX, “all 60 satellites have deployed their solar arrays successfully, generated positive power and communicated with our ground stations.”
  • They aren’t expected to reach their full altitude for three to four weeks.
  • The observability of the Starlink satellites will be dramatically reduced as they raise orbit to greater distance and orient themselves with the phased array antennas toward Earth and their solar arrays behind the body of the satellite.
  • At this point, all 60 satellites have deployed their solar arrays successfully, generated positive power and communicated with our ground stations.
  • Most are already using their onboard propulsion system to reach their operational altitude and have made initial contact using broadband phased array antennas.
  • All the satellites have maneuvering capability and are programmed to avoid each other and other objects in orbit by a wide margin.
  • Astronomers are still concerned that these large arrasy of satellites will interfere with deep space exploration.

5G Networks Could Interfere with Weather Forecasting

  • Forecasters say interference from 5G radios in the 24 GHz band could reduce the accuracy of predicting the intensity and path of major hurricanes by 30%.
  • NOAA’s acting chief Neil Jacobs testified on Capitol Hill that the interference from new 5G wireless radios could reduce the accuracy of weather forecasting by as much as 30 percent.
  • The FCC began auctioning off the 24 GHz spectrum in March to wireless carriers who plan to use it for new 5G networks.
  • The problem comes from the use of spectrum in the 24 gigahertz frequency band, which is very close to a spectrum band that NOAA uses to collect data for weather prediction.
  • NOAA uses the 23.8 GHz spectrum to collect data about atmospheric conditions that’s then fed into its data model. The concern is that 5G radios carriers use in the 24 GHz band will interfere with these sensitive sensors on satellites monitoring the atmospheric conditions.
  • Turning down the power emitted by 5G wireless radios could help prevent some of this interference.

First Ride on the Bird Electric Scooter

  • Easy to locate with GPS system in app
  • First time required a driver’s license scan
  • First time required reading and agreeing to terms of use
  • Starting the scooter manually by pushing with one leg
  • Then hit the accelerator and speed up to 15 MPH, which is too fast for the sidewalk and too slow for the road.
  • Lock the scooter after riding is easy, but a picture of the scooter must be taken.
  • Overall a good experience.