February 1, 2018

Equifax Continues To Stumble

Equifax has an app that is supposed to allow the user to easily "lock" their credit files. The only trouble with it is that it is bug-ridden and doesn't work. Other than that...

permalink | February 1, 2018 at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

April 3, 2016

Los Angeles Public Wi-fi

There was a half-million dollar grant to provide free public Wi-fi in areas of Los Angeles. The company setting it up said "it had deployed free Wi-Fi hot spots at eight parks and 16 community Wi-Fi networks." "The [Los Angeles] Times checked seven parks and 11 network locations, finding no Wi-Fi at any of them."

permalink | April 3, 2016 at 08:41 PM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2015

Comcast Wins

That is, it wins in the race to be the object of the greatest number of FCC complaints. Here are the numbers of complaints for the major providers from January 1 to November 9, 2015:

Comcast 11,812 complaints
AT&T 3,896
Verizon 1,588
Time Warner 1,240

permalink | December 29, 2015 at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2015

Congress, Used Car Salesman, Comcast

Maybe sometimes a cable company does something right? Maybe. Wait and see. Comcast says it will upgrade its fiber system so that residential users can get 2 Gb/sec internet service. It'll start at 1 Gb/sec, but the technology will support 10 Gb/sec download and 1 Gb/sec upload speeds.

$300/month, plus installation and activation fees of up to $1,000.

Google Fiber in Kansas City provides "only" 1 Gb/sec and charges $70/month. Installation is $300, but if you commit for a year the installation charge is waived. So, even though slower, I would still prefer Google Fiber over Comcast. And, living here in DHS, I will probably be faced with that choice in 10 or 20 years. Planning ahead.

permalink | August 25, 2015 at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2015

ACLU California Video App

The California ACLU is making available an app that allows one to upload a video of a police encounter directly to the ACLU. You can also configure it to lock your phone as soon as the video is complete, which will prevent browsing by the police, but won't stop the old fashioned smash-the-phone-on-the-pavement technique.

The app is called "Mobile Justice - California" and is available for iOS and Android.

permalink | April 30, 2015 at 04:40 PM | Comments (0)

February 9, 2015

Cuba Gets Netflix

Yes, genuine, real streaming Netflix. Only $8/month, so the only challenge for a Cuban to overcome is finding eight U.S. dollars every month. Maybe this deal will serve mostly foreign diplomats and visitors to Cuba.

permalink | February 9, 2015 at 05:58 PM | Comments (1)

August 15, 2014

Watch Burning Man Live

Livestreaming from a camera at Burning Man will commence on Saturday, August 23 at http://www.ustream.tv/burningman

Android app.

Apple app.

The Man will burn on Saturday the 30th (15 days, 13 hours and 6 minutes from now, as I write) when it is nominally scheduled to start at 9 PM, but what actually starts at 9 PM I don't know because I don't wear a watch to the Burn. They've got to bring the flame out from near Center Camp and the firedancers have to dance, and I think all that happens after 9. They should keep the stream flowing until after the Temple burns on Sunday night the 31st. That's scheduled for 8 PM this year.

The Temple burning last year.

The beginning (13 minutes) of the burning of the Man last year is here.

Maybe the best show for streaming (I'm just guessing because I don't watch the stream) would be the burning of the Circle Of Regional Effigies. That covers more acres than any other burn and will happen on Thursday night the 28th, probably starting at 9 PM, maybe earlier.

permalink | August 15, 2014 at 07:53 AM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2014

Typepad Outages

Yes, we've been down for what must be the fourth or fifth time in the last month or so. Typepad has been the victim of DDoS attacks. All I can do while there's an outage is follow along on Typepad's Twitter where they should tell us when things start to get back to normal.

permalink | May 19, 2014 at 07:33 PM | Comments (1)

April 1, 2014

More Wi-Fi!

The FCC has decided to open up 100 MHz of spectrum for wi-fi, a 15% increase. But the government giveth and the government taketh away. Honest, hardworking 'muricans will not be permitted to crank their new frequencies of wi-fi up to a power level so high that it interferes with satellites, which use some of those frequencies. How then, I ask you, will we be able to get wi-fi at the Starbucks on the moon, huh? Didn't think of that, did they.

Our federal government tantalizes us with stories of 1Gbps connections.

permalink | April 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2014

Intrepid Explorers Discover Moviefone Is Not Really Quite Extinct - Yet

I can vaguely recall trying to use Moviefone via a real telephone many, many years ago. I was very surprised to read that the telephone version of Moviefone is still going, but will soon be killed off. AOL bought the company in 1999 for $388 million and then did a Yahoo! on it: allowing it to languish so that it would become a money-losing relic. Now AOL plans to drop the phone service and revise the internet service to either transform into something wonderfully new and useful, or just throw good money after bad. Anyone taking bets?

permalink | February 24, 2014 at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2013

Watch Wikipedia Edits In Real Time

And listen to them too.

Listen to the sound of Wikipedia's recent changes feed. Bells indicate additions and string plucks indicate subtractions. Pitch changes according to the size of the edit; the larger the edit, the deeper the note. Green circles show edits from unregistered contributors, and purple circles mark edits performed by automated bots. You may see announcements for new users as they join the site, punctuated by a string swell. You can welcome him or her by clicking the blue banner and adding a note on their talk page.

permalink | December 12, 2013 at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2013

Good News, Tecopa Fans

Delight's Hot Springs Resort in Tecopa has gotten a T-1 line and is providing Wi-fi so now you can indulge all your internet addictions while soaking in hot water way out in the middle of almost nowhere.


permalink | October 26, 2013 at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2013

Google Maps DDoS Attacks

Go here for more info.

permalink | October 21, 2013 at 08:30 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2013

Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player was announced just a very short time ago. It wasn't 100% clear what it did, but I had a general idea, and at only $35 it was worth the small risk to find out.

It arrived today and I had it operating in 15 minutes, if you count the time it took to take it out of the box and bring my laptop over to the TV. It allows me to display on my TV a tab that I have open in my Chrome browser. Any sound on that tab goes to the TV, not to my laptop's speakers. A Chromecast icon appears in the top bar of my Chrome browser. Hit it and it allows me to select which Chromecast device to send it to (I have only one). Click that and the page shows up on the TV. There is a tiny lag between what I see on my laptop and what I see on the TV. If the tab is YouTube, then the page isn't simply mirrored on the TV. YouTube videos can go full screen on the TV while staying at its original setting on my laptop. That's nice, allowing me to semi-watch a YouTube video on the TV while going to other tabs to do whatever.

Set up involves plugging the Chromecast device into an HDMI port on my TV and then providing power to the Chromecast device via USB cable plugged into either the TV or an AC converter. Turn on the TV and select that HDMI port. Then I open up Chrome on my laptop and go to the Google Chromecast setup page. I connect from my laptop directly to the Chromecast device via the Chromecast device's wi-fi. I give it identifying information and the password for my home wi-fi router. Chromecast then connects to my router. I reconnect my laptop to my router. And we're done.

permalink | August 17, 2013 at 12:55 PM | Comments (1)

July 4, 2013

Skype Bombing At Zimmerman Trial

The court calls in an expert witness via Skype and then it begins...

Whose low budget dictated the choice of Skype? Unless Florida allows the use of electronic devices in a courtroom, then someone must have noted the Skype handle for the witness, left the courtroom and broadcast it to whoever. But if use of electronic devices is permitted in the court room (it's Florida, after all), then the callers could be sitting right there.

permalink | July 4, 2013 at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

July 1, 2013

Like The Death Of Maudie Hopkins

Maudie Hopkins is believed to have been the last surviving Civil War widow. She died in 2008. Similarly, next week will be the death of Alta Vista. You remember Alta Vista, don't you? The best search engine the world had seen...until it was just barely three years old and Google appeared to show us that all earlier "search engines" were no better than drunks wandering from lamppost to lamppost with arms flailing this way and that.

Yes, AltaVista is still alive, just barely, for another week.

permalink | July 1, 2013 at 05:50 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2013

Google's Response To The NSA Story

Last Friday CEO Larry Page and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond published a blog post saying this:

First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers. Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a "back door" to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.

Second, we provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law. Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests are overly broad or don't follow the correct process. Press reports that suggest that Google is providing open-ended access to our users' data are false, period. Until this week's reports, we had never heard of the broad type of order that Verizon received—an order that appears to have required them to hand over millions of users' call records. We were very surprised to learn that such broad orders exist. Any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users' Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.

Yesterday they published another post that is a copy of a letter to Attorney General Holder asking him and FBI Director Mueller to "help make it possible for Google to publish in our Transparency Report aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures."

On this page Google publishes aggregate data on the number of requests they receive from governments and courts for user data. Here is the data for only American requests. In 2012 they began to break them out by source of request: search warrant, subpoena and "other." Subpoenas make up the great majority of requests. "Other" is the smallest. These data reports cannot show even aggregate numbers of requests that Google is not allowed to make public at all, so there's some invisible dark matter there that we have no way of measuring.

permalink | June 12, 2013 at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2013

That's Why They Call It "Yahoo!"

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said there will no longer be a "Pro" option at Flickr because "there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore." Just like there are no professional CEOs anymore. Ms. Mayer has spent her time since then apologizing for her misstatement.

As I read the language on Pro accounts and the new pricing structure it seems there are four membership categories now, not three. The three they talk about are

  1. Free (with ads)
  2. Paid ($50/year - no ads)
  3. One extra terabyte ($500/year) - this one has to be a joke, unless they will actually install a dedicated terabyte drive with my name written on the outside - and if they do that, there had better be a 24-hour camera on it so I can look at it and watch the lights blink

But there is one more option:

  1. If you are a Pro with automatic renewal, your automatic renewal will continue ($25/year) and your level of service will be the same as the $50/year members.

Refunds are available now if you "downgrade" to free.

permalink | May 23, 2013 at 07:35 AM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2013

It Was 20 Years Ago Today...

...that the first website in the newly public World Wide Web was published. And to mark that anniversary CERN has brought it back at its original address: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html

It looks like this:
The World Wide Web project (20130430)

Story here.

permalink | April 30, 2013 at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2013

Google Fiber Beyond Olathe

Google Fiber will expand to Austin, Texas, with hook ups starting in mid-2014.

And Google Fiber will acquire iProvo, an existing, municipally-owned fiber-optic network in Provo. Google will upgrade the network. Wouldn't it be nice if somebody brought old WordPerfect back as a cloud app for Provoans.

permalink | April 18, 2013 at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)