FTC Disclosure

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. I do not collect information on my readers. If cookies or other tracking stuff is used on my blogs it is due to BLOGGER not ME. Apparently the European Union's new rules state I need to inform you if cookies are being use. If they are it isn't byu me, consider yourself INFORMED.
Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't, whether I got it free or NOT!



Please check out my other blogs
Pick of the Literate 
or Azure Dwarf’s Horde
or visit my web site

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wi-Fi Direct Is Coming!

Bluetooth is being called out by Wi-Fi direct. This is a new specification that announced by the Wi-FiAlliance (the industry group that promotes Wi-Fi) that will allow wireless devices to connect to each other without needing a router. They claim it will work out to about 300 feet and have data rates compatible with current Wi-Fi technology. This could put a serious hurt to Bluetooth if widely adopted. The new peer-to-peer spec is expected to be published soon and the industry group plans on certifying devices in the coming year. It should be an interesting face off. If you want more detailed information, the article I read was on Cnet.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CounterSpy® Award Winning Antispyware Software

Periodically I get a request to write a review on a product and in return get some financial consideration. Being retired, if I can in good conscience write something without impugning by personal ethics, I am happy to accept. I did receive a fee for writing the following blog and that did not impact whatsoever my writing. For those of you that know me, that is easily accepted, for those of you who don’t, in some circles I am considered opinionated. I can’t imagine why?

Sunbelt’s CounterSpy has some very nice characteristics. First, you should MOST DEFINATELY be using some product to protect you from spyware and malware. Since most of us resent anything that hogs our computer resources, you want to use a program that demands the least resources and yet provided maximum protection. Take a look at the charts at Sunbelt’s site and look at resource allocation; I think you may find some eye opening information. At $20.00, this program is a very good value. I know I spent way, way more than $20.00 worth of time getting a piece of malware off of my daughter’s computer that her free antispyware software let through. Check it out and ponder, what is your time worth and will this product save you some time and aggravation?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

An Interesting Site with a Fun IPhone Ap

I just ran across an interesting site that evaluates On-Line Universities. It only evaluates accredited schools which, of course, is the only kind you want. The fake diploma game is too easy to expose with the ease of data search brought about by the Internet. Anyway there was an interesting post titled

75 Apps to Turn Your iPhone into the Ultimate Personal Library.  

Of course having a boat load of books on my PDA, I am predisposed to the exciting concept of e-books.  I still prefer holding a book in my hand but there is something to be said for holding 75 books in the palm of my hand.   Click on the title if you want to read the blog.  Think of the bucks you can save downloading free books.  I found it interesting and if the IPhone ever becomes a good phone as well as an excellent PDA, I may get one.   

BTW the bat graphic is apropos of Halloween not the iPhone.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

First Sale Just saw

First Sale Just saw my first copy of "Daddy Goes On A Trip" was sold on Amazon. WhooHoo! This is so much fun!

Nerds by Michael Buckley

Nerds by Michael Buckley posted today at http://htxt.it/GZXY An amusing book on nerds by a self professed nerd, targeting middle school kids.

Backup Applies to Phones Too

If you have followed this blog, you are aware that I periodically write a rant about not backing up. Backup of computers is the normal topic. Recently after reading about the Sidekick debacle, it occurred to me that people need to backup their phones too. We all have myriad phone numbers and addresses in our phone. Many of us have photos that are important to us. The more sophisticated phones and users have data, contacts, emails and more on their phones. As the Sidekick sideshow demonstrates, this is just a disaster waiting to happen.

With the astounding drop in prices in the flash memory arena there is no excuse for not upgrading your phone memory card and storing your data on the card as opposed to the internal memory. Then it is a relatively simple procedure to periodically pull the card, pop it into your flash drive and save the info to your laptop. (which is, of course, backed up to your desktop, which has at least one external drive, and network connections to your other computers all of whom back up each other.)

Sounds paranoid but ….if you haven’t lost data at some point in time due to not having had it backed up, you probably aren’t using a computer of any kind and face it, our phones are now computers. I am an obsessive grandparent, I would be crushed to lose the photos on my phone which is why they are all backed up.

Don’t be one of the unwashed, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth users who don’t back up. Do it now, while you are thinking about it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

FireFox Alert

Not long ago Microsoft introduced a plugin to FireFox without asking permission thusly most users of FireFox have this plugin without their knowledge or consent.
As the ZDNet article said, ” Well, the code in that add-on has a serious code execution vulnerability that exposes Firefox users to the “browse and you’re owned” attacks that are typically used in drive-by malware downloads.”

Due to the normal vulnerability lapses that Microsoft builds into their software I have accepted the need to do automatic updates when they send out the patches for the problem they created in the first place. I admit to a burning rage whenever they do an automatic update that isolates each computer on my network and I have to reconnect everything. I admit to the same rage when one of their updates negatively impacts another vendors software that I use regularly.

I found ie8 so astoundingly slow that I finally moved to FireFox just to be able to surf the net without ie8’s plodding behavior. Imagine my surprise on reading the ZDnet article and discovering that Microsoft has secreted a plugin on my FireFox that increases my vulnerability to malware. I guess surprise isn’t accurate, perhaps resigned to BigBrother hosing me again is more appropriate. Now that I have vented my spleen I can move to the fix for the Microsoft intrusion into the security of my FireFox.

Again from ZDnet, “Now, Microsoft’s security folks are actually recommending that Firefox users uninstall the buggy add-on:
For Firefox users with .NET Framework 3.5 installed, you may use “Tools”-> “Add-ons” -> “Plugins”, select “Windows Presentation Foundation”, and click “Disable”.

I followed these instructions and disabled the Microsoft plugin. Once again, Microsoft has stepped into my home, crapped on my floor and leaves it to me to clean up the mess.

Friday, October 16, 2009

On days like this a

On days like this a good book, a comfortable chair and a warm afghan seems so appropriate. That is a knitted type afghan as opposed to a newsworthy combatant.

Cheap Laptop For the Brave

Cheap Laptop For the Brave
Get the details on Compaq's new cheap laptop with Windows 7
Are you brave enough to go the Windows 7 route? 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Daddy Goes On A Trip

"Daddy Goes On A Trip" passed final edit. My 2nd book will be available for sale at Amazon, next week.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mobile Plate Hunter-900

Although this sounds like something you might see in a Road Runner cartoon, it is a pretty cool tool. This isn’t a money saving tech tip or a philosophic musing, just a Wow, that is a cool device.

The Mobile Plate Hunter-900 is license plate recognition software combined with a camera to enable cops to catch creeps. It has three cameras that record license plates and vehicle images. It can do up to 3,600 per minute and supposedly is not impacted by day, night or inclement weather. Not faulting the human eye or brain but I sincerely doubt most people could process that level of information in a timely manner. The captured images are automatically processed through the data base to determine if any of the plate numbers have been stolen or involved in a crime. It can even tell the officer the type of crime so they can be prepared for the type of perpetrator they will be pulling over.

It isn’t cheap but for about $20,000 you have a tool that greatly enhances the ability of law enforcement to nail the miscreants. It sounds like a very cool tool.

Particulars from their web site:
Real time technology of the MPH-900 greatly increases the odds of resolving issues and in severe situations, can be the difference between life and death. Our advanced License Plate Reader system:
• Captures up to 3,600 license plate reads per minute, day or night, accurately recognizing plates from all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and many Arabic characters
• Processes parked and moving vehicles across up to 4 lanes of traffic, day or night, in any weather
• Transit speed up to 75 mph can be easily managed by our License Plate Reader system. It exceeds the normal speed of vehicles through the pathway (due to pathway infrastructure limitations)
• Allows officers to update “Hot Lists” manually at any time and also query them for new tags that may match a recently captured vehicle
• Alerts officers within milliseconds if a vehicle is suspect
• Works at patrol and highway speeds - oncoming differential speeds in excess of 120MPH and passing speeds in excess of 75MPH, plus; The ALPR translates the license plate data into a digital image, checks versus an onboard hot list, and returns an alarm back to the operator in milliseconds for appropriate interdiction
• Hot Lists can be updated manually or wirelessly
• Officers can search LPR system for previous reads at any time in reaction to notification of a suspect vehicle

Friday, October 9, 2009

Flash Memory Deals Good Until October 11, 2009

This is not a paid blog and I have no relationship to SuperMedia besides being a customer. I have received no compensation whatsoever for this posting. That being said, I thought the prices on flash memory on this flyer were so good they deserved to be posted. I have purchased from SuperMediaStore.com for several years and have never been disappointed with their prices or product. I am not endorsing these products but the pricing appears to be very good.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Notebook Theft Alarm Using Your Flash Drive

I got this email recently and checked out the website. It sounds interesting. I am not recommending it since I haven’t tried it. I am passing it along since it sounds pretty good but as always buyer beware and do your research. It doesn’t seem like a scam so I am posting it.

Hi, I am submitting a money saving tech tip for your blog readers.
A New Life To Old Flash Drives
Don't throw your old USB flash drive away. Instead, you can use an old flash drive as a laptop alarm to prevent your laptop from being stolen. Here is how.
1. Install free software on your laptop. www.lalarm.com/LaptopAlarm. (free for personal use)
2. Fasten a neck strap to your old USB flash drive.
3. Fasten the other end of the strap to a table.
4. Plug in the USB flash drive into a USB port of a laptop.
5. Lock the laptop by pressing the Windows logo key and L key together.
When a thief removes the laptop from the table, the USB flash drive will be disconnected from the laptop and then a loud siren sound will be emitted. (See photos: www.lalarm.com/arm2) In addition to sounding an alarm, the software sends an alert to your mobile phone. This tip is also useful if you worry about identity theft. The free software destroys data in case of laptop theft.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Get Published

This falls under the philosophic musing heading. There are many claims that self publishing is becoming more popular. I think many people who feel a need for self expression have finally found a reasonably inexpensive way of doing it. The traditional publishing scenario where an author submits books to a publisher and spends years being rejected continues but now there is an alternative. Previously in most cases if you didn’t have an agent, you couldn’t get a publisher to even look at your manuscript with self publishing it is more dependent on your tenacity to get it published.

Self publishing can be done for nothing on Amazon. Their publisher CreateSpace will allow you to put your book into published format and sell it on Amazon. If you want a proof to insure what you did online is what you really wanted to do, it costs $10.00. When you are satisfied, it goes up on Amazon and you are published. Now some people believe that until someone buys your work you really aren’t an author. I think perhaps a better definition might be you aren’t an author until someone actually reads your book. Regardless of how you define authorship getting your book printed really is the first step. Now you have to market your book.

Marketing a book submitted to a publisher is generally the publisher’s problem not the authors. For the self publisher, marketing can be daunting. If you hope to sell to someone besides your relatives you will need to make a commitment to as much or often more time than it took to get the book written in the first place. Perhaps when I am successful in marketing mine I will be better able to blog on the process.  There are other blogs that can help in the process.

Bottom line is if you have something to say and want to get it in print their no excuses anymore. You can do it and do it without spending a fortune. If you have a few bucks and want more help, Lulu and iUniverse are two of the publishing services I have found that seem well reviewed. I have no personal experience with them so do your own due diligence. Be aware that there are many online outfits that will suck your bank account dry while promising to make you a best selling author. Do your research; I am sure that there are other inexpensive methods of getting publishing that I haven’t found yet. Remember no excuses, if you want to do it you can.
 Money Saving Tech Tips