tall stack of papers

green floral button spacer

Tech Archive 2015


1st Quarter

Yosemite and Privacy

4th Quarter

Gadgets for Writers

Yosemite OS X, and privacy   January 9, 2015

    Since Apple released OS X Yosemite, 10.10.1, there have been complaints that the company that touts "At Apple, your trust means everything to us." is playing dirty with its user's privacy. Recently there have been such headlines as: FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlighttells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for and Apple's OS X Yosemite Spotlight Privacy Issues as well as Spotlight: Privacy Advocates Furious As Apple Feature Siphons Off Location Data of Yosemite And iOS 8 Users which leaves users scratching their heads wondering if Apple knows what the definition of 'privacy' means? Once Yosemite is installed, users searching for files - even on their own hard drives -- have their locations, unique identifying codes and search terms automatically sent to the company, keystroke by keystroke. The same is true for devices using Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 8." Why would they do this? Why do they needthis information? In a world where Big Brother is litterally looking over our shoulders would Apple violate their user's trust?
    The good news is that most of it can be turned off, the bad news is not all of it can be turned off. Apple even gives you the 'option' to search the internet in 'stealth' mode with DuckDuckGo search engine. Even though DuckDuckGo own privacy statement says, ...That's why we don't collect any personal information and therefore, have none to share. However, The logs show that a copy of your Safari searches are still sent to Apple, even when selecting DuckDuckGoas your search provider, and 'Spotlight Suggestions' are disabled in System Preferences > Spotlight. All of this leaves me scratching my head as to what is up at Apple headquarters. People say I'm paranoid, but if you stay informed that is different than being paranoid. At this point I don't trust any one/company no matter what they say. It's a sad day that Apple has decided to take this direction, after being known as loyal privacy advocate to their users.


How To Make Your Smartphone ProjectorMarch 26, 2015

From buzzfeed


Securing you Digital Legacy - Death in Cyberspace paddingApril 17, 2015

creative commons logo     It is inevitable that each one of us is leaving a digital foot print. Cyberspace is entwined in our everyday lives, with the use of Smartphones, devices, computers, emails, Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, Tumbler, etc.), blogs, websites, photos, music, movies, games, family trees and online banking, just to mention a few. What happens to all of that content when you die? That is the sixty-four thousand dollar question. As no one really knows. Its a very gray area in legal terms. Even though Cyberspace has been around for twenty years pervading our lives, the law is slow to catch up. Some of the providers, site owners, companies say that 'your' content is their property.
    You're thinking 'who cares, I'll be dead.' Unlike in times of yore, fifty years ago, when snap shots were physical things that came out of cameras, stored in photo albums, and journals were kept in hard bound books, and lineages were found in the family Bible, today its all digital. Fifty years from now your descendants are going to want to read your Tweets, Facebook pages, or check out the dozens of other digital footprints you left behind.
    Some companies are starting to realize that there is a need for some action in this area."     Yahoo Japan launched an end-of-life service called Yahoo Ending, which offers various services including farewell messages for loved ones, funeral planning, and removal of email and social media accounts."

     The Digital Beyond and Death and Digital Legacy are sites that offer news on what is happening in this arena. There is a book to help you plan for digital demise.' Only about a third of Americans even have a will.'
    Just like sitting down and making out a will, or instructions about your finale wishes, consideration for your Cyberspace life needs to also be considered. How many of our spouses or family know day in and day out what we are doing digitally?
    The Law Society suggested, leave clear instructions as to what should happen to your online accounts after your death. Having a list of online accounts, will make it easier for family members to deal with a loved one's digital legacy. "This is preferable to leaving a list of passwords or PINs as an executor accessing your account with these details could be committing a criminal offense under the Computer Misuse Act 1990."
    This becomes even more complicated for writers, our words are held digitally, how do you make sure that descendants will have access to your work? Assign an Literary Executor, someone who is in charge of your body of work, and can manage copyrights if you have them. But before you do that you will need to make a detailed plan, as to what you want done with your work. Don't assume everyone left behind will 'know' what you wanted done with it. Especially your loved ones, we've all been to an aged relative's house and were told, "Put your name on the stickers and then put them on the items you want after I'm gone." In most cases, for what ever reasons, this doesn't quite work out the way everyone thought it was going to.

    Most of us put off making a will, or even seeing a lawyer about our finale arraignments, its human nature. Here is a document, royalty free, to help you stop procrastinating this very important task. You have two choices, recopy the entire document by hand, date it and sign it without witnesses, 'holographic will'.Or fill it out, date it and sign it in front of two witnesses that aren't named in the will.
    The 'holographic will,' according to Wikipedia is valid in only thirty of the fifty states. But other jurisdictions will accept them with other supplemental legal paperwork. Of course the second option is the best.
    This is not a subject that any of us wants to dwell on, but it is a necessity, and if you put it off too long your wishes will not be carried out and you will end up with your heirs fighting over your stuff.


Capacity Collapse of the Internetpadding May 8, 2015

    With over seven billion people on the planet, its not hard to believe that we ran out of phone numbers, which is why we have to use the area code now as part of the phone number. California ran out of numbers for their license plates, and more recently we were told that the world was running out of IP addresses, (a unique string of numbers, that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.) This is the most shocking news of its kind since the report of Y2K problem (a problem resulted from the practice of abbreviating a four-digit year to two digits.)

    In the not too distant future the internet may collapse under its own capacity, because data is not moving fast enough for demand. Even with fiber optic cables it won't be enough, a completely new infrastructure is going to have to be invented.
    In 2012 there were 644 million active web sites. 728 million daily users of Facebook, 100 billion emails are sent daily, WhatsApp sees 50 billion texts per day, 90 million monthly active Instagram users, posting billions of photos. With statistics like these its not surprising that we will need to find a much fast way to move our immense amounts of data.


Switching from PayPaly:Other Online Pay OptionspaddingJune 8, 2015

    PayPal has been in the news lately, with their new user rules and regulations. Changes that many users are not feeling a warm and fuzzy for. According to In case you missed the commotion, the updated agreement posted here on PayPal's website is set to go into effect on July 1, 2015. As part of the changes, PayPal expanded section 1.10 of the agreement to allow the company to "poll your opinions through surveys or questionnaires," as well as "contact you with offers and promotions."
    There are other alternatives out there if you are intersted in not putting up with the crap from this company that is too big to care anymore.

1. Amazon WebPay WebPay is a free version of PayPal. Offering online payments with your email address, send or receive money, easily pay via text message on your mobile phone, You can fund your account via credit card or bank account all of this for free.
paddingamazon logo
2. Dwolla a payment system to help you easily pay for anything. It works with online and brick-and-mortar stores, as well as make person-to-person payments. They have apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7. Sending money is free, but it costs $0.25 (a quarter) to receive.
3. Google Wallet Is safe, with rapid transfers to and from your bank account. It also has similar features to PayPal, such as credit card processing and the ability to send out invoices.
4. Apple Pay paying in stores or within apps has never been easier. Gone are the days of searching for your wallet. The wasted moments finding the right card. Now payments happen with a touch.It works with most of the major credit and debit cards from the top U.S. banks. That might be the catch with this one.
5. Skrill offers free accounts, and works like PayPal keeping your payment options and financial details secret. Their Digital Wallet allows you to pay safely with a bank account, debit or credit cards or even send money internationally.
skrill logo
6. Pro Pay is very similar to Paypal, the big difference here is that it is accepted on eBay.
7. Click2sell PayPal, Google Pay, Skrill and Credit Cards ar all accepted without a merchand account
8. Stripe is very much like PayPal but cheaper.

The following are aimed more at business:

9.WePay This leans more towards merchant service with stellar customer service and fraud protection. Consumers can make purchases without leaving your site, makeing your site look more professional.
wepay logo
10. Brainfree PayPal, Bitcoin, Venmo, Apple Pay, Android Pay and cards all accepted.
11. Clickbank does everything for you, including building a site for your products.
12. Stripe handles all your payment needs including storing cards, subscriptions, and direct payouts to your bank account.
13. AuthorizeNet since 1996 and is supposedly the Internet's most widely used payment gateway.
14. 2checkout permits customers to receive credit card and PayPal payments.
15. Square along with the little square dohickey its a lot like PayPal.
square logo
16. Serve is an American Experess company. Works like a simplified bank account on your Android or iPhone. Like PayPal, you add money to your account via credit/debit card or bank and can send and receive funds with other Serve users from your phone. You'll also get a reloadable American Express card to use your Serve balance for purchases in the real world.


Ransom WarepaddingJuly 1, 2015

fake FBI notice

    More and more sites are starting to popup telling Mac users that their computers have been locked and their data encrypted. But if they call the number listed on your screen and pay some money all will be returned. What ever you do DON'T call the number - this is a scam!!!!!!! You browser maybe be locked but if you go up the apple apple icon screen (left hand top corner) click and highlight 'Force Close' then pick Safari, or whatever browser you were using the problem will go away.

    When you re-open Safari, hold down the Shift-key "reopen all windows from last session." Close the offending window from the list.

    Fixes to prevent this from happening in the future are to turn off Javascript from preferences in Safari. However, if you are using OpenOffice, this can cause some problems.
    Don't fall for these scams, be informed and prepared.


SSD's and TrimpaddingAugust 2015

    Solid State Drives, instead of a magnetic coating on top of disks, data is stored on interconnected flash memory chips that retain the data even when there's no power present. These flash memory chips differ from the flash memory in USB thumb drives in the type and speed of the memory. Suffice it to say that the flash memory in SSDs is faster and more reliable than the flash memory in USB thumb drives. SSDs are consequently more expensive than USB thumb drives for the same capacities.


    Instead of memory being stored in tracks or sectors in concentric circles, these new drives create small "pages" and groups of pages called "blocks." When you tell your computer to delete a page on the solid-state drive the page isn't actually deleted - it is merely marked for deletion. This is because data can only be deleted in blocks. You cannot delete individual pages on an SSD. Later on, when you tell your computer that you need the space, the pages marked for deletion are grouped into a block and the whole block is wiped clean. This process slows down the SSD when it is writing.

    This is where TRIM comes in.It enables your operating system(OS) to find the marked pages before you need them and wipe them clean. Cleaning these data pages beforehand saves you time when you need to write on the data pages again. This kind of cleaning and communication is essential to keep your drive performing to the best of its abilities. TRIM must be supported by both the solid-state drive and the OS you are using.

    Many things are different with SSD, than with their platter cousins. Don't do disk defrag anymore. Don't fill them to capacity. Don't write to them constantly. Don't store large infrequently accessed files to them. Don't wipe the drive. Don't disable TRIM. Don't use XP or Windows Vista.

    12 things you must do with SSD's and Win 7

    How do you know if you have TRIM enabled? If you purchased a new computer in the last couple of years and it has SSD then chances are its enabled. But if you'd like to double check:

    1. Open 'System Information' (Apple logo + Option)
    2. Find the SATA section


    3. If no, download and install
    4. Simply turn the switch on, reboot your computer.

    1. Open the search box from Start
    In the search box, type cmd.exe
    3. You can opt to "Run As Administrator"
    4. Now, the DOS command prompt window will open.
    5. Type fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify in the command prompt window and press the "Enter" key.
    6. If the result seen is DisableDeleteNotify = 0, it means TRIM feature is enabled.
    Otherwise, if DisableDeleteNotify = 1, then, TRIM is disabled for your SSD.

    Enabling TRIM for Windows:
    1. You have to open the DOS command prompt window by following the same steps as mentioned above. Type     fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify 0 in the command prompt window and press "Enter" from your     keyboard. This simple step will turn on TRIM support.

    This small tutorial has exposed you to this new type of hardware. I hope it hasn't further confused you, but has piqued your interest to find out more on your own.


Gadgets for WriterspaddingNovember 2015

    The biggest shopping day of the year is just a couple of days away, are you racking your brain trying to figure out what to get the writer in your life? Fear not I've compiled some ideas to keep you on the good side of your scribe. They show you put some thought into the gift, and its not that tired old Moleskin notebook.

Thoughtful ideas that say you really care:

A website, or someone that can build one. diversit computers logo

A Retreat, a weekend, or longer, away to write without distractions. Sylvia Beach Hotel

The services of an editor. New Writers Interfacenew writers logo

A membership to a writing group. Sisters In Crime

Keep your coffee hot for up to five hours. We all know that no writing can happen without caffeine and chocolate. This amazing device keeps your beverage at 140 degrees for up to five hours.joulies

Spill proof mug , thought those days of a Sippy cup were long behind you? Guess again. Protect your computer, paper and desk from sticky messy spills.brugomug

doormatDoor mat, this is a cute novelty letting everyone know what you do.

aquanotes Waterproof notepad, everyone gets that great idea in the shower. Now you can write 'em down.

Don't suffer from footwarmer cold feet, be comfortable while writing

Need a better way to mark your favorite pagenibs passages in a book?

Now for the tech goodies!

Stickers for laptop skins laptops, tired of that boring aluminum cover?

    laptop coversAnd

How about a computer sleeves carrier for your laptop?

Truly unique way to computer case carry your laptop.

scrivenerScrivener is a fantastic software program for writers. Read more about the program here.

Draftmapdraftmap logo is a program that helps with repetitive and passive words, adverbs and cliches. Read more about it.

Style guides - every writer should be familiar with one or all of these:

        AP for Word

        Strunk & White online

        Chicago Manual of style online

Epen like to write long hand, but need it to be digitized? This is the answer to your problems.

stylusStylus for Touchscreen Devices. Keyboard buttons too small on your device? Try using this.

iPhone dockchicken its a gooseneck cable to charge your iPhone. It will bend and hold its shape.

bluetooth keyboardBluetooth keyboard could you type faster on your iPad/tablet if you had an actual keyboard to do it on?

Virtual keyboard, virtual keyboard don't want to carry around a big keyboard? This is so cool!

cord buddy Cord keeper, tidy up your desk/workspace

Laptop proplaptop stand stand, elevates to allow passive airflow to cool laptop.Goes anywhere you want at only 2 ounces.Creates a subtle, comfortable viewing and typing angle.Quick and simple two-piece, one snap assembly Works with most 13-17" laptops.

Here is a the perfect desk laptop desk for your laptop, helps you maintain correct posture and even has a spot for a mouse and your smartphone.

noise canceling headphonesNoise Canceling headphones, shut out the world and concentrate on your writing.

Fitness band,fitness bandespecially this time of year, with the shorter days and all of those yummy goodies to eat - it is important to exercise.
laptop bed Want to use your laptop in bed?

Kindle,kindle this time of year there are always really good prices on one.

And finally if you MUST give that tired old moleskin notebook - give this one. Paper notebook, fill it up and send it off to be digitized - BRILLIANT!!!!


© Cyberdyke 2014-2018