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Living Room / Re: Anti-Tracking Smartphone Pouch
« on: January 28, 2014, 11:54 PM »
If the cell phone is in my pocket, and the LEOs know it's in my pocket, seems to me they have to overcome the legal barriers to searching me in order to get at the cell phone in the first place.
IOW, how can they say 'Hand over your cell phone' if they have no legitimate excuse to search me?
There's another 'know your rights' or 'how to deal with police encounters' video, which says that when they 'ask' if they can search your bag, you say 'No, am I under arrest or can I go now?'.
You do not wimp out and say 'Yes' and cave in for no reason.

So if the cell phone is known to be in your bag, or your pocket, why can't you just say 'No' if they want to get their hands on the cell phone and download its data?

It's almost to me, like, they say, "Can I search your bag?"
"No, thank you." Or maybe, "I respectfully decline." Or just a flat "No."
"Then give me your cell phone."
"Sorry, it's in my bag (or pocket)."

IOW, gaining access to the cell phone involves gaining access to my bag, which I have a right to deny access to.
In fact, even if they say, "Do you have a cell phone in your bag?" I can decline to answer and refuse to allow permission to search the bag or myself.

I'm just enormously curious because I've never owned a cell phone and currently have no intention of getting one, and I hear all these stories.

Living Room / Re: Anti-Tracking Smartphone Pouch
« on: January 28, 2014, 01:22 PM »
Yes, that is a very informative video which I have seen previously and find very excellent, thank you very much.
"The US Constitution does not 'grant' citizen rights, so much as it 'limits' government powers"; am I right?
Which would mean to me -unless I'm missing the point somehow- that a so-called 'Constitution-free zone' would mean that the officer has no police powers, not that the citizen has no rights.
Not that it really is a 'Consttitution-free zone', just that they claim it is by spouting a lot of legalistic-sounding nonsense.
But go figure.

I did wonder if they actually ask if you have a cell phone, or how precisely do they find out you have a cell phone.
So they ask, 'Do you have a cell phone', you can say you refuse to answer.

At that point, they don't know if you have a cell phone, and since we're discussing a random stop, I suppose their only way to get their hands on it is to turn a 'stop & question' into a 'stop & frisk'.

That's where I got to wondering, why keep all that data on a device that can be surrendered so easily.
Is there a way to program the cell phone so it never saves incoming or outgoing numbers, contacts, messages, or texts, and so on.

Then one simply keeps a few numbers in one's head, or written down on paper.
From my POV, it does not seem so inconvenient, as I do not yet even own a cell phone; but I suppose for the person who is an habitual one-button caller and memorizes or writes down nothing, my idea may seem too unworkable.

I wonder if they use hard-wired connectors to connect to and copy a cell phone or is it done wirelessly?
Maybe you could make up or buy a 'jumper cable' adapter about two inches long, that has an oddball size at one end, and is permanently glued into the cell phone, so that without a matching jumper cable adapter to readapt it to common civilian or police plug sizes you cannot copy the phone's contents.
And of course your matching adapter is at home or misplaced under the car seat rug.

Seriously, with all the innovations in different plugs, I should imagine there must be quite a number of oddball or misfit plug sizes out there -worldwide- that with a protracted search one might come up with something truly difficult to match up.
Presuming a wireless connection is not possible, which I'm not certain.

Or I suppose someone may say to just encrypt the data in the cell phone somehow.
Or you could just epoxy the cell phone socket so nobody can ever plug into it at all.
Or if you have a steel case for your phone with a combination padlock on it, in a shoulder bag; can they order you to unlock the case?
IOW, if you must legally surrender your cell phone to be copied, why make it easy for them; why not interpose physical barriers which you are not legally obliged to help them overcome?

But I do seem to remember seeing a movie in which the cell phone number was copied wirelessly somehow.

Living Room / Re: Anti-Tracking Smartphone Pouch
« on: January 28, 2014, 02:12 AM »
I thought I read somewhere that if you wrap your cell phone in aluminum foil, it will keep trying to check for incoming calls and run its own battery down in a short time.
Or is that not so?

Cell phones are designed to reach out and find cell phone towers so they can maintain connections with the mobile network. If they can't make contact they'll keep trying to reach out over and over again until the battery dies. This is why if you are in a remote area with spotty cell phone service your battery will drain more quickly. In this aluminum foil scenario what you would want to do is turn on Airplane Mode before you wrapped your phone.
I've never owned a cell phone so I just don't know these things.
I've read often enough about LEOs having the right to search your laptop or cell phone at will or at random...
1. How are they supposed to know you even have a cell phone if it's in your pocket and you're pulled over?
I mean, do they say, "Do you have a cell phone we can search?" and you obligingly say, "Oh yes, and I don't want you to know that, but I certainly do and it's right here in my coat pocket."
2. Is it possible to set up the cell phone so it never saves phone numbers, incoming or outgoing call recoreds, or text messages, IOW so it contains no useful information, so you can just keep the numbers written down?
Then you could change the same decimal point of number in all phone numbers by one digit up or down, a general 'rule' to keep anyone from getting accurate information out of you, for your real paper note pad of written numbers.

1. Chrome listens to you without being prompted:
"Whistleblower: Google Chrome Can Listen To Your Conversations"

2. Adware vendors buy Chrome Extensions to send ad- and malware-filled updates:
Adware vendors buy Chrome Extensions to send ad- and malware-filled updates
Once in control, they can silently push new ad-filled "updates" to those users.
One of the coolest things about Chrome is the silent, automatic updates that always ensure that users are always running the latest version. While Chrome itself is updated automatically by Google, that update process also includes Chrome's extensions, which are updated by the extension owners. This means that it's up to the user to decide if the owner of an extension is trustworthy or not, since you are basically giving them permission to push new code out to your browser whenever they feel like it.

To make matters worse, ownership of a Chrome extension can be transferred to another party, and users are never informed when an ownership change happens. Malware and adware vendors have caught wind of this and have started showing up at the doors of extension authors, looking to buy their extensions. Once the deal is done and the ownership of the extension is transferred, the new owners can issue an ad-filled update over Chrome's update service, which sends the adware out to every user of that extension.

Living Room / Re: Facebook D.O.A.
« on: January 23, 2014, 11:41 PM »
"Facebook will lose 80% of users by 2017, say Princeton researchers
Forecast of social network's impending doom comes from comparing its growth curve to that of an infectious disease."  ;D
"Scientists argue that, like bubonic plague, Facebook will eventually die out."

General Software Discussion / Re: need freeware .vob to MP4 converter
« on: January 14, 2014, 09:19 PM »
I spoke too soon; 'Free PPTPVPN' and 'Free Canada VPN' both require rather detailed manual set-up.

Um, it takes literally ~1 minute to set up a PPTP VPN, after that it's just three clicks to connect.

eg. Windows 8:
 (see attachment in previous post)
Windows 7 is similar, (the connection list opens above the network tray icon).

Addendum: Attached is a RAS phonebook containing entries for PPTPVPN:
a) Extract
b) Double-click PPTPVPN.pbk
c) Choose US or UK, then hit Connect
d) Enter User/Password, (from web page), then hit Connect.

To disconnect:
a) Double-click PPTPVPN.pbk
b) Choose the connection and hit Hangup.
Tnx, I'll check this out.
One of the supreme virtues of TOR Vidalia is that once you set it up, it doesn't pull unexpected switcharoos from encrypted to unencrypted mode; in fact it bundles its own version of Firefox that -in a word- is tailor-made to be paranoid in the extreme by passionate security-conscious zealots.

Compared to that, the way some VPNs jump in and out of protected mode, with just a little bitty color-coded icon in your bottom tray to warn you, it's inviting accidental exposure that can take way too  long to become aware of before you realize your mistake.

That's about like the woman who always did base jumps with a shoulder-pull rip cord, and one day she tried a pack with a waist pull-cord instead, stepped off a cliff, reached for her shoulder cord, remembered it was on her waist, started to reach down instead, and hit the rocks.
True story; her b/f or husband co-base jumper was quite grieved by her death.

IOW, you take care of your habits, and don't switch around too much, and they will take care of you.

For .vob conversion, I hate to sound sloppy, but I just click on one file in the folder [an entire folder full of sub-files for one single vid], and it converts the entire folder bundle into a neat single mp4 file.
And cuts the size from 4GB to 1GB.

Okay, immediately on pressing the power button to start the computer with the GTS 450 installed, I got 3 or 4 beeps and a prerecorded message, "System failure VGA patch" with a black screen and never even got to BIOS.

I tried it a few more times, and double-checked everything, and still no soap.
I do need to mention, my monitor uses an older three row plug, an analogue 15-pin D-Sub VGA, whereas the GTS vid card only has two DVI ports, but I used a certified video adapter to match it up to the GTS video card port, so I am not sure if that jinxed it.
It's too bad, as the GTS has 1GB of ram vs. 256MB for my 6800 GS.

I know where to get my hands on an nVidia 6800 GT, so I searched for a comparison, and the GS and GT are already very close to each other in performance as shown here which gives a thorough comparison;

Here are more comparisons between the 6800 GS vs. GT, and they are quite close;

At this forum...

...user Tim_S says he tried to run a 6800 GS paired with a 6800 GT in SLI mode, and 'tried several driver revisions with no luck'.

So the 6800 GS is back in place and everything is working fine again.

General Software Discussion / Re: need freeware .vob to MP4 converter
« on: January 13, 2014, 01:31 PM »
^Gee, that's a way cool offer.
But I'd hate to impose on your generosity because it's a lot more data than I first mentioned.
There are two lecture sets, one is 12 vids and one is 14 vids, about 1.5 to 2 hours per lecture.
After conversion, each would probably be about 1GB, which takes 2 or 3 hours to convert to mp4, and only one's been converted yet.
Let me see what I can do first, please, and tnx very much.

Hotspot Shield loads on boot, and sometimes it does not self-activate but waits to be manually started...
--and then again, the last time I booted, it self-activated, jumped online, and begged me to suggest it to 10 friends...
--after which, I got it to uninstall very cleanly leaving no noticeable tracks or left-over folders like so many other programs seem to do.

However, just prior to uninstall, I ran CCleaner, which ran about 1.5 minutes longer than usual to clean a bunch of extra temp files with a total of only 47MB (MB not GB).
So Hotspot was creating a ton of small temp files somewhere, which CCleaner took an unusually long time to hunt down and erase.
So Hotspot gets a 'qualified' approval for being so easy to install, and uninstalling so cleanly, but I really did not like it self-activating and popping online like that.

The 1st and 3rd of the other three VPNs mentioned above seem well worth checking out, so tnx very much.
I spoke too soon; 'Free PPTPVPN' and 'Free Canada VPN' both require rather detailed manual set-up.

Whereas Hotspot is practically one-click installation, and may be worth another try, if I can get it to settle down and stop self-activating and jumping online by itself like that.

General Software Discussion / Re: need freeware .vob to MP4 converter
« on: January 12, 2014, 12:34 PM »
I'm giving the free version of Hotspot Shield a try.
Seems to work, starts automatically on boot and engages Firefox and Chrome.
Prompts me to register, but seems to work even without being registered.

For most needs, I think TOR may be free of backdoor tracking, whereas Hotspot may not.

edit-- Hotspot insists on auto-starting on boot, and I see no option in settings to reset it to only start manually, and this -I hate to say it- creeps me out.
I would venture to paraphrase the words of my programmer friend, that it is not 'polite'.
I also don't like it that it is based in the US, and therefore probably backdoored, unlike TOR Vidalia.
At this point, maybe I'm totally wrong, but I have to say I just don't like it.

^agree with every posted criticism of Google & Youtube, don't use Google or G-mail anymore (use Startpage instead), and don't visit Youtube nearly as much as I used to and absolutely never post anything to it anymore.

Living Room / Re: Amazing stories ...
« on: January 10, 2014, 03:33 PM »
Can't resist replying to this...

Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins?
« on: January 10, 2014, 03:30 PM »
No, I never bite my coins, and if I saw anyone else biting one before giving it to me I'd refuse to accept it in case I got rabies or something.
wahahahah!  :P

By the way, my user name has nothing to do with this thread or post.

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: January 05, 2014, 02:52 PM »
Well, it's sort of 'video'; the sound track to the video game Portal 1, with this full title in a yt search window;

Soundtracks : Music Collection: - (Season 2) (Episode 1 - PORTAL)

I really only like the first 2/3rds of it, which is quite dreamy in a soft throbbing electronic sort of way.

Living Room / Re: Malware attack hits thousands of Yahoo users
« on: January 05, 2014, 02:47 PM »
Thankfully I do not normally use yahoo except as an alternative backup, and have not visited it since a little before this was reported.
And I shouldn't need it before they fix this.
Tnx for the update.

General Software Discussion / Re: need freeware .vob to MP4 converter
« on: January 04, 2014, 12:22 PM »
Okay, thank you everybody, let me see what I can figure out...

General Software Discussion / Re: need freeware .vob to MP4 converter
« on: January 04, 2014, 08:58 AM »
Oh, and BTW, There's a bad nor'easter dumping mountains of snow on the North East US.
So be sure and download a new Driver for your car so you won't have to deal with it yourself.  ;D

General Software Discussion / Re: need freeware .vob to MP4 converter
« on: January 04, 2014, 08:54 AM »
VidCoder seems possible.

General Software Discussion / Re: need freeware .vob to MP4 converter
« on: January 03, 2014, 05:40 PM »
I use, and like, VidCoder.
Thanks everyone! :)
If one doesn't do the trick, another should.

VidCoder is a 'front ender' for Handbrake, and says "Calling directly into the HandBrake library gives it a more rich UI than the official HandBrake Windows GUI."
But there are 4 different download choices.
I'm running Win7 32bit on an AMD machine; which download should I choose?

General Software Discussion / need freeware .vob to MP4 converter
« on: January 03, 2014, 01:51 PM »
This is for uploading some approx 1 hour 45 minute Public Domain educational lectures to DailyMotion that are each currently about 4.3GB in size and .vob format, with each video actually consisting of multiple sub-files of audio and video.
DailyMotion says it accepts Format: mp4 (H264), mov, wmv, avi.
I tried to read up on mp4 (H264), didn't learn much, and ended up just focusing on 'plain vanilla' unadorned MP4 as a possible method.

I first tried converting to .wmv using freeware 'Prism Video File Converter', and before my pc finally locked up after a 5 or 6 hour run, it had increased the file size from 4.3GB to an unmanagable 6+GB, so I don't need .wmv format b/c it wouldn't be burnable to regular DVD disks.
When I tried 'Prism' again to go for a different format, it told me it was a 'paid feature', so I bugged out of that.

I also see DailyMotion has a nifty-looking beta Mass Uploader based on Adobe Air that allows pause and resume functions and 'offline' uploads; but its 'fine print' agreement had a lot of scary talk about giving 'third parties' various liberties and I wonder what's the general concensus about doing that?

I'm also open to suggestions whether I should consider .mov or .avi format instead of mp4, but would still need a good freeware bug-free program to do it. :)

^wow. I only have 1 monitor.
Okay, I misread the specs on the 6800; mine is a GS, his is a GT, so that's a mismatch and a no-go.

So the way to go would be with the GeForce GTS 450, as advised below in the next post. Thanks!

Older mobo.
I have (1) 6800 GS w/256 ram, and someone is offering to give me two of their older vid cards, a 6800 w/256 ram, and a GeForce GTS 450.

If they are the same maker and general specs, I propose to run the two 6800GS/256MB video cards in dual-mode using the bus bar, that jumper link thingie, and see what happens.
Or if they are slightly dissimilar specs somehow, what will that do? or not do?

Or, should I just pop in the GeForce GTS 450?

Assuming the dual mode 6800 option works, which would be faster, that or the GTS 450?

Living Room / Facebook D.O.A.
« on: December 29, 2013, 05:36 AM »
Facebook 'dead and buried'
“What we’ve learned from working with 16-18 year olds in the UK is that Facebook is not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried.”

Gee, does that mean all the 'like us on Facebook' pop-ups will finally start to go away?

General Software Discussion / Re: 'logging off' & 'shutting down'
« on: December 27, 2013, 08:35 PM »
Thank you very much.  :D

General Software Discussion / 'logging off' & 'shutting down'
« on: December 26, 2013, 11:46 PM »
When I go to shut down my Win7, first it displays something like 'logging off' and then it says 'shutting down'.
Is it 'reporting' (i.e. 'phoning home' to Microsoft or somewhere) when it 'logs off'?

Living Room / Re: 'gallows engineering' expression?
« on: December 22, 2013, 12:10 PM »
There's a 'dynamic' factor involved, in that improvements are not made to a given design until after X-number of people die from the negligently cheaper design first.
There've been any number of movie remarks addressing this, as in, "Why did/does someone have to die first, before they finally fix (that rotten design)?"
The expression is supposed to encapsulate this, and the closest I can come to recalling it is the one I suggested; necro-engineering.
But I'm not sure if that's it or not.

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