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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Why phishing won't go away on: January 24, 2015, 11:07:53 AM
This is from the reply received in response to an email forwarded to the address Intuit provides to report phishing attempts.

Thank you for your recent message to the TurboTax Privacy Team.

We also thank you for reporting this e-mail to us as it is not legitimate. We are investigating now and will take action on it. We have the following support site article to help you understand phishing and what you can do to avoid it.

http://turbotax.com/support/go/-------    [case reference # removed]

When you suspect you are being phished :

1.    Do not click on a link in a suspicious email, but rather go to the company site and view the information. Even if a suspicious email is not requesting personal information, it may contain viruses that can retrieve personal information off of a computer.

You really have to wonder how Intuit's "Privacy Team" could be so clueless as to not notice the disconnect between the first paragraphs and the advice immediately following.
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help on: January 22, 2015, 02:54:23 PM
@xtabber - That's good news to hear. This was my first Brother multifunction appliance purchase (for myself) and I was a little leery of dropping about $250 on this type of device.

It's a good investment.  I paid $280 for my DCP 8080DN (not wireless) 4 years ago and have never had a problem.  Brother's network administration utilities are excellent, and they support both printing and scanning from Android devices too.  

My previous Brother printer lasted 5 years and was replaced with this one only because it needed a new drum and and it didn't cost much more to buy a newer and faster model than it would to buy a new drum.  As Stoic Joker said, most personal and workgroup printers today are designed to be disposable, so you don't want to spend time fixing them, but you also don't want to have to replace them before their time is up.
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help on: January 22, 2015, 10:09:56 AM
My experience with low end Samsung printers is very discouraging, whereas I have had nothing but good results with Brother.

I have set up several technologically challenged elder relatives with inexpensive Brother wireless printers  (e.g., 22780DW) and had no problems at all, unlike with the Samsungs that they replaced in some cases.

4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ASUS routers hacked on: January 22, 2015, 09:33:27 AM
After recent revelations about how many routers (not just ASUS) can be easily hacked to gain access to wireless networks, ASUS has just released new firmware for the RT-N66U (which I have) and others in their product line that closes the infosrvr and cross-site request forgery vulnerabilities.

Whatever your router make, it's a good idea to check for firmware that addresses these issues.
5  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: 010 Editor (hex editor) discounted today at bitsdujour.com on: January 22, 2015, 09:27:32 AM
This is back on BDJ today - Jan 22, 2015.

Version 6 has added 64 bit executables and regex searches, among other things.

While not my working text editor (I still use Kedit and EditPad Pro for that, depending on what I am doing), this remains my everyday go-to tool for quickly examining and/or editing ANY kind of file from an explorer right click.

Runs on Windows, Mac & Linux (Ubuntu) and a single user license is good for all your computers and operating systems.
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: issues with uefi, more than 6 drives, ahci, windows 8. on: January 19, 2015, 01:14:33 PM
i thought i learned that you need uefi for large drives (>2tb)

You can use non-system drives >2TB if the partition table is GPT and not MBR. You must also be running a 64-bit operating system because a 32-bit OS cannot address more than 2.2TB.

UEFI is a replacement for the system BIOS, not a drive partition manager. You only need UEFI if your system drive is >2TB because a BIOS cannot boot from a GPT partition table.

Windows can support up to 24 drives (C through Z), but your motherboard will limit the number of internal drives your system can support.   If you have more than 4 drives in a PC, you really should be looking at offloading them to a NAS box.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software? on: January 14, 2015, 04:01:09 PM
The dtSearch search engine is available for Windows (.NET) and Linux developers to include in their own applications. The developer's license is pretty pricey at $9,995 (going up to $12,495 on February 1, 2015) per application.  It is royalty-free, but does not allow use in general purpose applications, so you can't use it to build a program that would compete with dtSearch Desktop.

It's interesting that the engine is available for Linux but dtSearch does not sell a desktop Linux application.

8  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / WinPatrol & WinPrivacy holiday discounts on: December 21, 2014, 11:52:27 AM
WinPrivacy beta 1 was released today.

Ruiware has extended the pre-beta 80% off lifetime license offer and is also offering WinPatrol licenses at 60% off for the holiday season.http:  http://www.winpatrol.com/discounts.html

Use coupon code: Happy Holidays
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Farewell, Dr. Dobbs on: December 16, 2014, 06:51:52 PM
After 38 years of glory, the long run of Dr. Dobb's has come to an end.

To be quite honest, I was hardly aware that it was still around.  Although I had been a subscriber since shortly after it began, and remained so for nearly as long as there was a print edition, I hadn't looked at it in many years.

Nonetheless, it marks the passing of an era.
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: 2014-2015: Best tablet specs for ebook reading on: December 15, 2014, 08:52:30 PM
As I said, this would not be my ideal general purpose Android tablet, but for the stated purpose, you won't find anything that provides more bang for the buck, at least as of this writing.  And at two pounds, it still weighs less than most textbooks.

BTW, for $100 more, you can get a Windows version of this tablet which is slightly heavier but has better battery life, and an HDMI out instead of the built-in projector.  If you are going to be using it mostly for working with pdf files, that might be an even better choice.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: 2014-2015: Best tablet specs for ebook reading on: December 15, 2014, 07:39:42 PM
I shouldn't just say that I'm looking for a tablet for e-book reading.  What I should say is that I'm looking for a tablet to read full-page-at-a-time textbooks and 8.x5x11 pdf journal articles.

But I am interested in a device for reading pdf papers which can show and let you comfortably read a page at a time from a pdf article, without scrolling.

For your stated purpose, the Lenovo Tab 2 Pro is probably the best device available at this time, although for some of the reasons in this review, it would not be my ideal general purpose Android tablet.
12  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals on: December 02, 2014, 06:32:48 PM
The VMware 30% off sale runs through December 5, 2014.  U.S. link is here.
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: VMWare Player 7.0 Released on: December 02, 2014, 06:29:24 PM
VMware Workstation 11 is also out. 

Gouging pricing is $250 for a new license, $150 for an upgrade from WS 9 or 10.  Upgrading from earlier versions requires a new license.

All VMware licenses are 30% off through December 5, 2014, but that's still pretty steep for upgrades.

Been using Workstation since Version 4 (2003), but VirtualBox is starting to look mighty tempting.

14  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals on: December 01, 2014, 02:59:30 PM
ExpanDrive is on sale today for 50% off.  This includes upgrades and multi-user packs.

Use coupon code HOLIDAYS14 at checkout.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: 2014-2015: Best tablet specs for ebook reading on: November 25, 2014, 10:31:19 AM
The Nexus 7 (2012) is 1280x800 and works just fine for reading epub ebooks because text fonts scale to be readable on the small screen, so you don't notice the jaggies much.

The Nexus 7 (2013) has the same size screen, but the higher resolution (1920x1080) makes it noticeably better for reading pdf documents, which scale as an image rather than as flowed text.  Although some readers allow you to flow text in text based pdf files, all formatting is lost and I find it almost unreadable.

The Nexus 10 has 2560x1600 resolution on a 10 inch screen and I find it much easier to read most pdf documents on it.  But it weighs more than twice as much as the Nexus 7 (21.3 oz. vs. 10.5 oz.) which gets tiring after a while if you are holding it up while reading.  I tend to use the Nexus 7 to read epub books most  of the time.

I personally find higher resolution to be more important than screen size, but YMMV.  I just don't think that 1280x800 on a large screen would be a very pleasant experience.
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / WinPrivacy on: November 24, 2014, 09:13:22 PM
Bret Lowry's Ruiware took over WinPatrol from BillP Studio earlier this year.  Now he is planning to introduce a new program called WinPrivacy which, as best as I can tell, will be sort of like WinPatrol for Internet connections with additional abilities to block some of the sneakier tracking methods.

WinPrivacy is expected to begin beta before the end of the year and to be available sometime in early 2015. Unlike WinPatrol, it will be sold on a subscription basis.  However, until the beta actually begins, Ruiware is offering a lifetime WinPrivacy license at 80% off to anyone with a paid WinPatrol Plus license.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Can anyone advise this developer on commercial licensing? on: November 18, 2014, 05:55:19 AM
My guess is that he uses components in his code that have restrictions on commercial use or redistribution.

He is located in Germany and I know nothing about German commercial law, but he seems knowledgeable enough to have consulted a lawyer.  If not, he should do so now.
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: location triggers for android on: November 07, 2014, 07:11:23 PM
I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to do with cell location, but Locale might do what I think you want.
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Component return rates on: November 07, 2014, 11:23:22 AM
French web site hardware.fr has a comparison of computer component return rates.

The information was obtained from an unnamed major e-tailer. It ranks brands and models by name according to the percentage of items sold that were returned as defective.  Only models with a sample of 100 or more were counted. According to the author, the sample size for some unspecified items was in the tens of thousands.

The article is in French, but you don't need to understand the language to follow the return rate listings.

20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DRM in your coffee maker, to stop you from brewing unlicensed coffees on: October 15, 2014, 12:02:27 PM
If you just want to use unlicensed pods in a Keurig 2.0, it is extremely simple to get around the DRM, as demonstrated in many YouTube videos like the following:


Keurig machines are great for places like offices and showrooms since they allow many people make single cups quickly with minimal mess, but for home use, I don't see any advantage. Aside from convenience, coffee has better flavor when made using the drip process than with the Keurig pressure system.

I prefer to buy coffee in the bean, grind small quantities for use within a few days, and use Melitta type filters, either in standalone cones or a drip coffee maker.  For single cups, a #4 cone works just as well as the "single cup" #2 cone, just use the right amount of coffee and water for what you want. 
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Win9 will be FREE! on: September 30, 2014, 03:09:52 PM
Since the next version of Windows will be called Windows 10, Windows 9 might as well be free.
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for desktop calendar software that can sync with Google Calendar on: September 14, 2014, 10:11:50 PM
If you want to keep Outlook on the desktop, CompanionLink will do what you want at least as well as Google Sync.  Until a couple of years ago, I used Outlook as a PIM (I never used it for email) and found CompanionLink much better than Google Sync.

Since ditching Outlook, I have used EssentialPIM as a desktop client to keep a local copy of my Google calendar and contacts.  It's a solid program with a few infuriating design quirks, in particular, in how it handles multiple Google calendars.  I have also had occasional problems with synching complex situations, such as recurring events that have been modified both locally and on Google since the last sync.

I recently started using EMclient for its calendar and found it to handle Google synchronization much better than EPIM, but as a desktop client it is nowhere near as sophisticated. 

EPIM can be installed as a portable app and uses a single database file.  You can have as many databases as you want and put them where you want on your system.  You can specify when and where you want backup files created.  This makes it really easy to keep archives and to recover from problems.  It has a Year calendar view that I find useful for finding past events quickly and it seems to have no problem keeping data going back 3 or more years.

EMclient appears to use multiple files and provides no flexibility in where anything is located. While they do provide for automatic backups and export to iCAL or text files, they provide no information about what is what or where they put it, which makes me reluctant to trust them for archival purposes.  While the EMclient calendar is nicely done, the contacts module is, IMHO, too primitive to be useful.
When I get a chance, I'll probably give Vueminder a try.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Beyond Compare v4 Open Beta on: September 05, 2014, 06:30:42 PM
Beyond Compare 4 was released on September 1, 2014.

A list of changes from BC3 can be found here.

A list of features that also indicates the differences between Standard and Pro editions can be found here.
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / What Google (and others) know about you on: September 04, 2014, 12:02:33 PM
If you aren't already paranoid about  just how much information Google and others are collecting about you, this article by Woody Leonhard will probably cure you of your complacency.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Chrome and Malware detection on: August 16, 2014, 10:59:06 AM
Use 'autoruns' from the Sysinternals Suite before you install Chrome. Repeat this after Chrome is installed. There are quite some additions. One of these is Google Update. When using 'autoruns' to disable it from running when Windows starts...you just get a new entry of Google Update, that is set to boot automatically. Repeat ad infinitum.

Technically Chrome is not malware, but accompanying Google software behaves just like it. So....pot calling kettle black?
That's as major reason why I will not run Chrome, except in a VM.

I've recently been playing with Opera 23, which is based on Chromium and almost as fast as Chrome, but without the baggage.  Furthermore, it can be run as a portable app from a USB or a hard drive.

Opera 2x is still a work in progress, ,missing some critical features, like print preview, and some of the things that make Opera 12 such a joy, like the Wand password manager.  It is, however, noticeably faster than Firefox or Opera 12, so I'm using it more and more for casual surfing and reading, even if it isn't ready yet to become my main browser.
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