About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

February 19, 2018

2018-02-19 WSVA Show Notes & Podcast

Filed under: WSVA Show Notes — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 10:30 am

Welcome back for this month and thanks to the listeners/readers that caught my, “2017” date from last time, oops.

Here is today’s podcast so if you could not listen this morning, enjoy!   The following are a few of the items we mentioned. 

Tech News

February 19, 2018

Report: Average business user must keep track of 191 passwords

The average business employee must keep track of 191 passwords, according to a report from password management firm LastPass, released Wednesday. That’s seven times higher than standard industry reports, which report the average is 27 passwords. It’s also a potential security concern, as 81% of all confirmed data breaches are due to weak, reused, or stolen passwords, a recent Verizon report found.

People often underestimate the number of accounts they actually have, according to the report. For example, marketing professionals use several advertising and analytics platforms, while systems administrators manage different services, and sales representatives set up demo accounts on a regular basis.

The average 250-employee company has 47,750 total passwords in use, the report found.

We talked about other items but some dealt with website construction which does not relate to many of you all, so I skipped them.

Enjoy your month and see you back in March!


January 15, 2018

2017-01-15 WSVA Show Notes & Podcast

The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was last week.

Today Jim and I look at a few of the items that we enjoyed – hearing and seeing about.  No we were not there but the internet is a wonderful thing to use.

The Podcast is available here, listen and enjoy. You can also visit all of the WSVA Podcasts.


Samsung has come to CES 2018 with an enormous 4K TV it’s calling The Wall — and it’s also claiming The Wall to be “the world’s first modular TV.” The Wall measures 146 inches and uses MicroLED technology to produce its picture.

MicroLED shares many benefits with OLED; each microscopic LED can emit its own light — no backlight is required — and that creates the deep blacks and lush colors normally reserved for OLED sets. It also gets incredibly bright.

Just one day into CES 2018 and the future of technology is already pretty spooky.

Convention Center on Tuesday, it was hard to miss the crowd gathered around around the “PsychaSec” display. Hosts draped in all-white were showing off two artificial bodies that, “in a few years,” humans could pay to trade their own crappy body for. At the same time, the host touted the company’s ability to plant chips into a person’s head and download every experience and memory they’ve had.

Sounds pretty trippy, right? Unfortunately, PsychaSec isn’t real. But even the CIA would’ve had a hard time getting the booth hosts to admit it.

Toyota outlined its e-Palette platform, which mixes mobility, commerce, and autonomous driving in a customizable package, and the idea could be used by multiple enterprises.

CES showcases the tech trends that will shape the year ahead. See the most important products that will impact businesses and professionals.

At CES 2018, Toyota President Akio Toyoda outlined the e-Palette concept vehicle. This vehicle is meant to be a blank slate that combines connected and automated driving with commerce.

Initial launch partners for this e-Palette platform, which uses Toyota’s mobility services technology, include Amazon, Mazda, and Pizza Hut. If you take the everything-as-a-service theme and extend it, you can get to Toyota’s Automated Mobility as a Service.

Samsung has come to CES 2018 with an enormous 4K TV it’s calling The Wall — and it’s also claiming The Wall to be “the world’s first modular TV.” The Wall measures 146 inches and uses MicroLED technology to produce its picture.

MicroLED shares many benefits with OLED; each microscopic LED can emit its own light — no backlight is required — and that creates the deep blacks and lush colors normally reserved for OLED sets. It also gets incredibly bright.

The Somnox sleep robot helps you fall asleep effortlessly, get back asleep when you wake up and helps you sleep feeling safe. Making it the ultimate sleep companion that induces sleep.

Nowadays we track our sleep. Knowing about sleep is nice. But isn’t it time to actually do something to get you to sleep? That’s exactly what the Somnox sleep robot does. When spooning the sleep robot during the night you will be soothed to sleep by the following functions, tickling the senses to relax body and mind.

A team of college hackers was disappointed with the selection of secure purses available. Nearly every purse on the market is attractive, secure, or neither so they are designing their own security purse with some style. Instead of just brass or leather clasps keeping unwanted hands out, they are upgrading to automation and steel.

Everything starts with a fingerprint reader connected to an Arduino. Once an acceptable finger is recognized, a motor opens a coffin lock, also known as a butt-joint fastener, which can be completely hidden inside the purse and provides a lot of holding force. That is enough to keep quick fingers from reaching into an unattended purse.

See you on February 19, 2018 for the next Tech Show on WSVA!


December 18, 2017

2017-12-18 WSVA Show & Podcast

Filed under: WSVA Show Notes — Ron @ 10:01 am

Welcome to another day of fun and thrills on the show.  If you did not get to listen live, listen the podcast and enjoy.

The following are links to some of the topics we discussed.

November 20, 2017

2017-11-20 WSVA Show & Podcast

Filed under: WSVA Show Notes — Tags: , , , , , , — Ron @ 2:31 pm

Here we are again, a little late getting this online, but it is Thanksgiving week!  The podcast is here and the notes are below for the main topics.

    • Informed Delivery® by USPS

      Digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon! Informed Delivery allows you to view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mail pieces and track packages in one convenient location.Images are only provided for letter-sized mail pieces that are processed through USPS’ automated equipment.

Amazon Key Services


  • ‘Payment by vein’ — Fingopay –

    A supermarket in London is trialling a biometric payment system that uses the unique vein pattern in fingertips to pay for goods. Costcutter said it would consider rolling Fingopay out more widely if the test, at Brunel University, was successful. An electronic reader maps the user’s finger veins, generating a unique key.During registration, users need to link their finger pattern to their credit or debit card and then they can pay for goods without the need to be carrying any cash or cards. The technology has been developed by electronics giant Hitachi, with biometric payments company Sthaler licensed to roll it out in the retail sector.Nick Dryden, chief executive of Sthaler, said the system would appeal to young people. “Today’s millennial generation now expects a higher level of ease, security and efficiency from the way that we pay.” he said.

  • Insulin Pump and Other Implantable Device Hacking

    HACKED MEDICAL DEVICES make for scary headlines. Dick Cheney ordered changes to his pacemaker to better protect it from hackers. Johnson & Johnson warned customers about a security bug in one of its insulin pumps last fall. And St. Jude has spent months dealing with the fallout of vulnerabilities in some of the company’s defibrillators, pacemakers, and other medical electronics. You’d think by now medical device companies would have learned something about security reform. Experts warn they haven’t.
    Wireless Devices that could be hacked

October 16, 2017

2017-10-16 WSVA Show & Podcast

Filed under: WSVA Show Notes — Ron @ 10:19 am

Take a listen to the show if you missed it.  We had way to much fun today but some good money saving information so be sure to check out the podcast.

Is it true are laser printers less expensive that ink jets?

Brother HL-L2360DW Printer

I had to get a new printer this past weekend…bummer. I have not shopped for a printer in quite a while so did not know the latest info on them. I talked to an employee at one store (that will remain nameless) and they told me about Home Laser Printers.  I do not get paid or enumerated in any way from links I post so get one wherever you find the best price.  Also, I cannot even vouch for the quality of this printer as I have only had it a few days but so far it has been fine.

Basically they have significantly dropped in price since I last needed one.  I could buy one for about the same price as an inexpensive Ink Jet printer but with, I believe, better capabilities.

First for the price I paid, less than the link above at the store in the link, it was a good deal either way.  But here are my reasons why it is a better deal.

  1. Toner cartridges cost about the same; however, with ink jet cartridge you may get 250-350 pages before you run out of ink, with laser jet toner you get maybe 2500 pages.
  2. If you do not print much for a while, a month or two or even more at a time, ink jet ink dries up and needs to be replaced.  Not so with laser toner, it is a dry powder and will not dry out, evaporate or anything else…it is always ready to go.
  3. My opinion is that the laser print looks cleaner and sharper but you may disagree.
  4. The only drawback, which did not bother us at all, is that this is monochrome only (black toner not color).  We hardly ever used color but if you do want a Laser Color printer figure another $150+ for the printer.

Brother HL-L2360DW Printer

Pinebook notebooks, $89 (11″) and $99 (14″) each, but wait there is more,
This is really a good deal, IF YOU ARE GEEKY or want to grow up and be one.

This is a pretty decent laptop; however, it is built with the Ubuntu (Linux) operating system. The cost is that low because they do not have to pay for the Operating System as the must with Windows and Apple computers.

Can Ubuntu benefit you? Test it out for free by downloading the Ubuntu OS and running it on your computer.

Be careful as you can install it to run off of a CD on any Windows computer but don’t click the wrong button.

Pinebook dimensions

Save $0.05 a gallon with the GasBuddy Card!

The title really says it all  I have been using this for a month or so and saved what it says.  On your first purchase you save $0.15/gallon so make sure you are low on gas!

It connects to your bank debit/credit card that you use for gas and pays for the gas with that card, not the GasBuddy card.  It just passes it through.  Your recipet will show what you paid at the pump but you will get an email in a few mintues showing what was accutally deducted from your account.

Mine has worked in conjunction with other gas discounts; however, GasBuddy says that may not work.


See you next month on Monday, November 20, 2017!


September 18, 2017

2017-09-18 WSVA Show & Podcast

Filed under: WSVA Show Notes — Ron @ 11:20 am

Welcome back to the Show for September! As usual if you missed it live you can listen to the podcast.

Equifax two top technology executives leave company ‘effective immediately’WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Equifax said on Friday that it made changes in its top management as part of its review of a massive data breach, with two technology and security executives leaving the company “effective immediately.”

The credit-monitoring company announced the changes in a press release that gave its most detailed public response to date of the discovery of the data breach on July 29 and the actions it has since taken.

The statement came on a day when Equifax’s share price continued to slide following a week of relentless criticism over its response to the data breach…

As a side note from Frank.

If you wish to freeze your credit so that only you can allow any action to take place on your credit report here are the links and numbers for the three major companies:

Things to know about the new iPhone X

  • It is pronounced iPhone 10, not X.
  • Front, back, top, bottom and sides are ALL glass. Quote, “Apple stresses that the glass is “the most durable” ever used in a smartphone.”
  • No home button
  • Face ID Recognition
  • Shipping should start on November 3, 2017
  • $1,000
  • Check the link above for a few more

reMarkable’s Pricey, Paper-Like Tablet Ready to Ship

reMarkable on Monday will begin shipping what might best be described as an “untablet” — a device that is, essentially, an electronic piece of paper.

The company is proud of its paper tablet’s simplicity, boasting that no other tablet has fewer functionalities.

reMarkable users cannot install apps, watch videos or take photos. What they can do is read, write and sketch on a paper-like surface with a modern twist.

The purchase price is $599 for the reMarkable paper tablet, marker, marker tips and cable. More than 35,000 units already have been sold, according to the company.

reMarable Non-Tablet

Ron’s Android App Recommendation
(This app can be found on Google Play from your Android phone,
tablet or viewed on your PC from the link below.)

GoodReadsDeciding what to read next?
You’re in the right place. Tell us what titles or genres you’ve enjoyed in the past, and we’ll give you surprisingly insightful recommendations.

What are your friends reading?
Chances are your friends are discussing their favorite (and least favorite) books on Goodreads.

It also has an even more detailed online version for your PC check it at

The best free VPN 2017

There are various reasons for wanting to use free VPN (Virtual Private Network) software.

Here are the top five choices from TechRadar listed in order. Read the entire article to find out their grading criteria.

  1. TunnelBear
  2. Windscribe
  3. Hotspot Shield
  4. Speedify
  5. Private Tunnel


Altenative to

AlternativeTo is a new approach to finding good software. Tell us what application you want to replace and we give you great alternatives, based on user recommendations. Looking for a free replacement for Office or Photoshop, try it out.

There are 55,830 alternative applications on this site. Some of them are paid apps but many are free. Search out the freebies.

That is all for today, please check back on Monday, October 16, for the next show.


Ron Doyle

August 21, 2017

2017-08-21 Show Notes @ WSVA

Filed under: WSVA Show Notes — Tags: , , , , , — Ron @ 10:30 am

Safe Eclipse Glasses

I hope you will use, have used or did use your Eclipse Glasses today!

It seems the last one of these I saw was in March, 1970…which means I most likely won’t see another, but who knows.

Enjoy listening to the shenanigans on the show today and read through the list below.


Tech News
August 21, 2017
The Eclipse in Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA

Local Eclipse Info

Local Eclipse Info

Details of the weather, times and animations.

Top five worst superstitions about solar eclipses

  1. It is unclear where this wive’s tale (pardon the pun) originates, but it persists. In the cultures where this myth is believed, women and small children are advised to stay indoors during an eclipse.
  2. According to, some cultures also believed that children born during an eclipse would turn into mice.
  3. In India, some cultures opt to fast during an eclipse. This is done because it is believed that any food cooked during an eclipse is impure, or worse, poisonous.
  4. Italians have long believed that if flowers are planted during an eclipse, they will be more colorful when it’s time to bloom.
  5. The Batammaliba of Togo and Benin believe an eclipse happens because the Sun and Moon are fighting one another. In order to get the Sun back, people on Earth are advised to settle their differences and make peace.

CNN — Amazon issues refunds for potentially phony eclipse glasses

Amazon says it is taking action against potentially counterfeit solar eclipse glasses.

The company said Sunday (8/13) that it contacted and issued refunds to some customers who purchased glasses on Amazon that “may not comply with industry standards.”

Amazon has also removed a few listings for glasses on its website “out of an abundance of caution.” It did not name any of those listings in its statement.

Newsweek — Total Solar Eclipse 2017: What Happens To Your Eyes If You Look Directly At The Sun?

Hundreds of millions of people will be in range to observe the Aug. 21 event as either a total or partial eclipse, and if they don’t use safe viewing methods, the results can be literally blinding. Light from the sun can burn your eyeballs, resulting in permanent damage. So if you want to look directly at the sun, it’s critical to use glasses with proper ISO certification, like those from vendors on the AAS list , Ramsden said.
Here’s how to make a solar eclipse viewer 5 easy steps:

  • Cut a small hole (about 1 inch across) in one end of the shoe box, near an edge.
  • Tape a piece of tinfoil over the hole.
  • Using a pin or needle, punch a hole in the center of the foil.
  • Tape a small piece of white paper to the inside of the box, at the opposite end from the foil-covered hole. The paper should be positioned so that light entering the box through the pin hole will hit it. This is where you’ll look for the sun.
  • Cut a 1-inch-diameter hole in the box near the image screen (the white piece of paper), but on a different side of the box — the side adjacent to the screen. This is your viewing hole; it must be positioned such that you can look through it at an angle and see the image screen.

When the time comes for the eclipse, hold the shoe box so that it lines up with its own shadow, demonstrating that it is aligned with light from the sun. Stand so that when you look through the viewing hole, you can see a tiny bead of light on the image screen; that’s the sun. During the eclipse, you’ll see the shadow of the moon pass in front of the sun.

Ron’s Android App Recommendation
(This app can be found on Google Play from your Android phone,
tablet or viewed on your PC from the link below.)

SpeedTest – Ookla

This FREE app that will check your internet connection speeds; ping, download and upload speeds. It also gives real-time graphs show connection consistency, helps you troubleshoot or verify the speed you were promised vs. what you are getting, and track past tests with detailed reporting.

Ookla is one of the main speed comopanies around used by businesses around the world. You can also get to it on your computer at

Thanks for the visit and I will see you here in September with Frank Wilt.

April 17, 2017

2017-07-17 Show Notes @ WSVA

Tech News

BIG news (April 3, 2017) as Android is NOW the world’s most popular operating system as it overtakes Windows

Android has now overtaken Windows to become the world’s most popular operating system, according to data from Statcounter. Looking at combined usage across desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone, Android usage hit 37.93%, narrowly edging out Windows’ 37.91%.

“This is a milestone in technology history and the end of an era,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. “It marks the end of Microsoft’s leadership worldwide of the OS market which it has held since the 1980s. It also represents a major breakthrough for Android which held just 2.4% of global internet usage share only five years ago.”

First, and more trivially, Statcounter only measures Internet-connected devices, which will exclude a small number of desktop PCs used for specialist tasks. Second, and more significantly, Windows still dominates PCs, both desktop and laptop, with an 84% share.

Congress just obliterated Obama-era rules preventing ISPs from selling your browsing history

Rules preventing internet providers from selling personal information, such as customer browsing histories, will be repealed, following a vote in the US House of Representatives this afternoon.

The Republican-led House voted 215-203 in favor of repealing the rules, implemented just a few months ago under the previous Obama administration.

The bill has been met with considerable controversy and anger from privacy and rights groups, for fear that internet providers, like Comcast and Verizon, would be able to gather and sell data about your browsing history to marketers and other companies, including information on where customers are, as well as information about customers, such as financial or health status, and what people shop and search for.

For internet privacy, a VPN won’t save you

…Congress voted to gut proposed internet privacy rules set out by the outgoing Obama administration that would have prevented your internet provider from selling your browser history to advertisers. President Donald Trump signed the bill a day after, making it law.

General Amazon Scams

Ron's personal Amazon scam
  • Know What Amazon Won’t Ask
  • Review for Grammatical or Typographical Errors
  • Check the Return Address
  • Check the Website Address
  • When in Doubt, Go Directly to the Amazon Website
  • Do not “Unsubscribe”
  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is
  • Report Spoofed E-mails to Amazon

The Tile App
Where did you leave your phone, wallet, keys, purse, etc.? The tile can help. You can add the small “tile” to most any item, then use your phone to track it with Bluetooth technology. Did you misplace your phone, no problem use one of the tiles to find your phone.

Prices start at around $25 and go up for the more you buy.

Click here to watch how it works.

Have a great month everyone! The podcast was not available this month, so hang in there for next month.

Thanks for reading.


March 20, 2017

2017-03-20 Show Notes @ WSVA

Welcome back for another month of the WSVA radio talk show!  I hope you enjoyed it if you were able to listen this morning at 9:00 am ET.  If not you can listen to the show here.

These are a couple of the major things we mentioned today.

Have at ‘em.

Tech News

March 20, 2016

5 Technologies That are Making Farms Smarter and More Efficient Than Ever Before

  • Wi-Fi-connected crops
    A modern farm typically has electronic sensors distributed throughout the field that can monitor for different conditions; in some cases the gadgets send data to an on-the-farm server or to the cloud
  • “Liveware” gene editing
    Gene/DNA edits can make some plants more resilient to climate change, consume less water and increase yields, etc.
  • Robot farmers
    The rapid pace of development in self-driving cars is also happening on the farm. Self-driving tractors and robots are becoming more common as a way to control payroll costs by automating time-consuming tasks done by humans. This doesn’t include even more harvesting which has been done mechanically for years.
  • Eyes in the sky
    Mapping technology (along with other uses) is a vital part of data-driven agriculture, and getting those maps is easier and more cost-effective than ever before thanks to the explosive growth in drone technology.
  • Wavelength management
    Urban and vertical indoor farming is becoming more popular, giving growers of specialty crops ways to produce year-round regardless of outdoor weather conditions. But one challenge has been helped by now being able to provide the ideal wavelengths of sunlight that optimize growth in cramped indoor spaces.

Surprising Number Of Americans Would Chop Off A Finger To Stay Online Ouch

Americans love the Internet. Some love it so much that they’d rather chop off a finger than stay offline forever, according to a new survey.

In March, 2016, researchers at AT&T asked over 2,000 Americans what they’d give up to stay connected, and people admitted that they’d part with some pretty essential things. Their answers, which are meant to be more fun than scientific, illustrate the extent to which the Internet has become a nearly indispensable feature of modern life.

A full third of respondents said they would sacrifice a digit. Another third said they’d ditch their sense of taste. More than 15 percent of the people surveyed said they’d forgo human interaction before ditching the Internet, and nearly 20 percent said they’d give up love.

Over half said they would allow a stranger to die if it meant holding onto their Internet connection. And a measly 35 percent said they would give up the Internet if doing so would allow them to cure cancer.

EU authorities demand changes from Facebook, Google, Twitter

Social media companies Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc and Twitter Inc will have to amend their terms of service for European users within a month or face the risk of fines, a European Commission official said on Friday.

Germany, the most populous EU state, said this week it planned a new law calling for social networks such as Facebook to remove slanderous or threatening online postings quickly or face fines of up to 50 million euros ($53 million).

That is all for today see you next month at 9:00 am on WSVA, April 17!


February 20, 2017

2017-02-20 Show Notes @ WSVA

Welcome back, do to holidays, job changing and a variety of other things I have not had the show for a couple of months.

But today you may relax, we are back. Listen in at WSVA’s podcast and enjoy the show now.


Tech News

February 20, 2016

FORBES: Google’s Chrome Browser Crushes The Desktop Competition In 2016 and keeps crushingA seismic shift occurred in the way the world browses the web in 2016. Google’s Chrome browser supplanted Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as the world market-share leader in desktop browsers. That’s a genteel way of putting it. “Google crushed Microsoft as Chrome dominates the desktop browser field” gives a clearer picture of what happened.

The market share numbers reported in this article come from Net Applications’ Net Market Share Report which measures unique visitors from approximately 40,000 global websites. Net Applications weights their results using the CIA’s internet traffic by country data. This reduces distortions caused by differences in a country’s percentage of global internet use and the percentage of its users captured by the websites Net Applications monitors.

IE remained the global market share leader until it fell into a virtual tie with Chrome in March 2016 when IE held 39.1% and Chrome had 39.09% market share. After that it’s been all Chrome. IE began 2016 with a 43.82% share and ended the year with 20.84%. In January, Chrome held a 35.05% share and it rose to 56.43% in December. The pattern continued in January of this year with IE falling to 19.71% share and Chrome rising to 57.94%. Game over.

Edge usage grew in 2016 but not nearly enough to offset IE’s loss. Edge began the year with 3.07% share and ended it at 5.33%. Almost all of the people who abandoned IE moved to Chrome.

Google Search a Specific site
Search for specific words or phrases on only one site and any site you know the URL to. Just type in Google like this –
– with the quotes.

See you next month on March 20, 2017. Listen up!

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