Blog Index for 2018

How to edit movies on iPhone or iPad with iMovie - 2018

(November 26, 2018) Not long ago producing video required special purpose equipment and heavy-duty computing. With iMovie any iPhone or iPad can be a powerful video editing and production studio on the go. This video is a complete tutorial for using iMovie to produce videos. With iMovie you can upload videos directly to YouTube and other destinations.

Trump Daughter using private email server, but what does that mean?

(November 20, 2018) In the 2016 elections (and before) the constant refrain against Hillary Clinton was her use of a private e-mail server. They're still chanting Lock Her Up three years later. So it is with great irony that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have been using a private e-mail service for official e-mails. Having done so is in violation of the Official Records Act, because both are (for better or worse) officials of the Trump Administration.

Low-tech air filter for bad air quality emergencies

(November 16, 2018) This week the SF Bay Area is suffering from yet another massive wildfire filling our air with smoke, causing unhealthy air conditions. The Camp Fire sprang up on November 8, 2018, and destroyed Paradise California, a town in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. While there is a serious tragedy happening in the zone directly affected by the fire, a large chunk of California now has unhealthy air. Further, officials are predicting unhealthy air conditions will remain in place for another week. "Unhealthy" is the designation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for air conditions we currently have. The situation does not warrant spending hundreds of dollars on a fancy air filter system that will be used only for a few days. Fortunately there is a lower cost easy-to-implement solution.

Learn how bad the air is if nearby forest fires fill your air with smoke

(November 16, 2018) A predicted result of climate change is increasing forest fires, thanks to dried out vegetation acting like tinder. As I write this California has several massive wildfires - the Camp Fire just destroyed the entire city of Paradise California, and a pair of wildfires are threatening to destroy Malibu and/or Thousand Oaks. But that's not the only tragedy, because the smoke travels and creates unhealthy air conditions a hundred miles away or more. If you can see the air, and smell the smoke, just how bad is it for your lungs and health?

Razer Core-X said to be best eGPU option for the Mac

(November 13, 2018) Recently Apple added support to macOS to attach external GPU's (eGPU) to beef up graphics performance. For most of us high power graphics is not important - we're simply using word processors, browsing the web, and the most taxing task is watching videos. But some of us demand higher graphics performance for video processing or gaming. According to this video review the Razer Core-X is the best bang-for-the-buck in external GPU boxes.

Congressman Ro Khanna calls for USA Universities to be innovation hubs serving the modern technology era

(November 5, 2018) Machine learning and artificial intelligence are not just the new hotness in software development, they represent a whole new model of computing. The old style of training software engineers does not work because the new model is so different. Generally speaking "Technology Breakthroughs" are showing no signs of slowing down, and therefore any country desiring to have a global leading role must have a smart educated workforce. Since it was the USA which invented most of these technologies you might think the USA would be doubling down on educating its children to ensure it maintains a leadership role in technology development. The current climate of USA politics is, however, not driven by wisdom. Silicon Valley's Congressman, Ro Khanna, has a different vision than what is currently driving American Politics.

Solution on macOS High Sierra when iShowU Audio Capture or other Kext cannot be installed - Kext rejected due to system policy

(October 13, 2018) I needed to use OBS Studio to capture some video/audio from my desktop. On Mac OS X that in turn requires installing iShowU Audio Capture. That installation should be trivially easy, but it took me 2 weeks to work out how to get it installed, and a long email thread with the Shiny White Box support staff. The problem was the installation required that I give permission, but giving permission meant opening up the System Preferences to the Security pane and clicking on a button, and clicking on that button did not work. There is a fairly long list of possible suggestions that I have to share.

Robots keeping track of inventory in retail stores are coming to take retail worker jobs

(September 9, 2018) The biggest threat to American Jobs is not Mexicans but Robots. Case in point is a job description I found in a company saying they "specialize in providing any retail store with live robots that keep track of their inventory". The job in particular is for a software engineer to implement artificial intelligence driven image processing. The stated goal is to build a robot to scan shelves in retail stores, to check the inventory. Thing is, the inventory management job is one of many that humans have held for hundreds or thousands of years. Now "they" want to replace humans in this job with Robots.

The rise and death (sort of) of Java

(September 4, 2018) In 1995, with great fanfare, Java was unleashed on the world. It was going to give us interactive web pages, and also run on the server, and by having Java at both ends of the Internet programmers would live in nirvana. While Java is still hugely popular on the server, it died on the browser due to security bugs and the success of JavaScript in the browser. With Node.js letting programmers use JavaScript on the server, we can achieve nirvana using a different language - JavaScript.

Facebook 'allegedly' inflates reach of targeted advertising on Facebook

(August 19, 2018) In what should be no surprise to anyone placing Facebook advertising, it is likely Facebook inflates the "reach" of an advert. A lawsuit which hopes to become a class action lawsuit alleges that Facebook employees do not give a "s---" about accuracy in the Potential Reach and Estimated Daily Reach figures shown to advertisers. Instead, Facebook plans to continue showing inflated numbers and does not care so long as it does not affect advertising revenue.

Example phishing attempt - bogus try at grabbing $10,000 in BTC

(July 20, 2018) In the interest of exposing scammers let me share a phishing attempt I just recieved. The email includes a lot of technological-sounding phrases that are a threat to reveal compromising information. The supposed kompromat would be deleted if one sent some BTC to a named address, otherwise it'll be shared to all my friends.

Guccifer 2.0 and fake Romania connections to Russia hacking 2016 USA elections

(July 16, 2018) Last Friday (July 13, 2018), the Meuller team issued an indictment of a handfull of Russian GRU agents who are claimed to have hacked the DNC and DCCC servers, then distributed stolen information in an attempt to discredit the Hillary Clinton campaign. Or maybe the goal was to have Donald Trump elected President, which did happen. In any case a big figure in the story is Guccifer 2.0, who purported to be a Romanian hacker, but the Meuller team claims was actually Russian agents. This seems like an interesting angle to explore a bit.

A Technologists Deep Dive into indictment detailing Russia's Hacking of the 2016 USA elections

(July 14, 2018) Since the 2016 USA elections evidence is piling up that Russia's Intelligence services attacked the election process with an attempt to derail Hillary Clinton's candidacy. Evidence is piling up in other countries about similar cybersecurity attacks by Russia against other elections. On Friday, the special prosecutors office investigating the USA election hacking (Robert Meuller's team) released an indictment laying out the Russian Intelligence service officers involved, and more importantly the technology and techniques being used. In part this story is about misapplying technology in order to create more chaos and confusion in the world.

Apple updates MacBook Pro specs to 8th Gen CPUs

(July 12, 2018) Apple has updated the specs on the MacBook Pro line, addressing an issue raised a few days ago by a commentator claiming Apple is screwing its customers. The 8th Gen CPU's for laptops have been available since last fall, 9 months ago, and gave a huge performance boost. But, Apple was taking its own sweet time updating the laptops to use the 8th Gen CPU's, and in the meantime Apple's customers were paying the premium price for hardware that's inferior to laptops from other makers. Apple has fixed that today with new laptops incorporating those 8th Gen CPU's.

Gemini PDA reinvisions the Palmtop PDA form factor, bringing a real keyboard to a modern mobile device

(July 10, 2018) The new Gemini PDA is like a Psion 5 reimagined for the modern age. Among the currently available computing devices, there is no equivalent to the clamshell PDA's of old. Instead we have touch screen phones with large screens and soft keyboards. The keyboard is very useful, obviously, and soft on-screen keyboards don't quite cut it. Therefore one hopes the Gemini PDA might encourage other newfangled palmtop computers to appear.

In China, facial recognition technology is used to create a Big Brother tracking system

(July 10, 2018)

Modern technology is gifting society with many wonders, including democratization by giving more creative power to individuals. In some countries the Internet is not allowed to be used for democratization, but for authoritarian control. One particular area is facial recognition technology which is how social media networks like Facebook can automatically tag your pictures with your friends. That same technology can be aimed at a crowd, and used to implement real-time tracking of where folks walk throughout a city. Supposedly the benefit is catching wrong-doers, but in every movie about ubiquitous monitoring the government doesn't use the information for the benefit of all, but to squash freedom.

Looking at a huge astrophotography telecscope, The Explore Scientific ED140 CF APO home

(July 10, 2018) This home astrophotography telescope is what you'd upgrade to after several years experience with smaller telescopes. It has a carbon fiber body that keeps the weight of the scope to 20 lbs, even though it is a large telescope.

Apple may be screwing itself by how Apple overcharges its customers

(July 10, 2018) Apple's computers are overpriced, and offer lackluster performance compared to the competition which has updated to 8th generation CPU's. Apple's phone products are designed to be expensive to buy, and expensive to own. Apple foists hardware choices on us, like that touch bar, which are of questionable value, and are highly priced.

SD Express, finally an SD card that doesn't suck - 985MB/sec 128 TB maximum

(June 29, 2018) SD Cards are convenient bits of storage you can slide in and out of computers, cameras, and the like, but their slow performance makes them unattractive for anything much. Plus SD cards are not exactly reliable, so anything put on a card can easily be lost. This week the SD Association announced an update to the SD Card standard, SD Express, that promises to solve the speed problems and stands to make SD cards more equal to SSD drives.

Facial recognition technology used to solve cases like Capitol Gazette newspaper shooting in Annapolis

(June 29, 2018)

The immediate reaction on Thursday to the Capitol Gazette newspaper shooting was that the climate of violence encouraged by Pres. Trump, all the vindictive aimed at newspapers by Trump, has resulted in some lunatic acting out the grievances inflamed by Trump's rhetoric. In other words, some Patriot believing the Capitol Gazette to be a hub of Liberal nonsense could have decided to shoot the place up. Supposedly the shooter, to mess up law enforcement efforts, had damaged his fingerprints, and did not carry identification, making us think maybe this was some kind of terror attack. At the end of the day, "Facial Recognition Technology" was used to identify the shooter as a person with a long-standing personal grievance against the staff of that newspaper, because of reporting by that newspaper about that person.

In other words, there is no nefarious dark scheme here. While it is true that Pres. Trump, and others in his administration, are inflaming the public against journalists with eery similarity to the Nazi Germany playbook, this particular case is a straight-up personal grievance. And, we have proof that while we should be concerned about big brother implications of facial recognition technology, in some cases like this one the technology is higly useful.

Google employees demand AI rules to preclude use as weapons

(June 28, 2018)

Google's culture of open free-flowing discussion could be ending in the wake of an uproar over Google's partnership with the US Dept. of Defense, called Project Maven, on AI software to analyze drone footage. Since Google's participation in Project Maven was publicly revealed in March, a raging debate with Google has swirled around whether the company famous for its "Do No Evil" slogan should be involved with making weapons. Googlers even sent an open letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai starting with the declaration "We believe that Google should not be in the business of war." That letter flatly called for Google's participation in Project Maven to be canceled.

On June 27, 2018, it is learned that Google has instituted new rules for internal discussion and workplace conduct within the company.

Inside the RFID cards running a cashier-less shop in China

(June 22, 2018) Scotty from Strange Parts stumbled across a cashier-less store in Yiwu City, China, that may predate the cashier-less stores fielded by Amazon and others in the USA. In this store every product has an RFID tag, and the checkout process involves reading the RFID tags and using a smart phone to read QR codes on a screen to approve the purchase. Inside the RFID tag is a curious little chip, and the opportunity to talk with some experts on such technology about how RFID tags work, and the equipment used in studying and designing these tags.

Amazon employees demand stopping face-recognition contract with federal government

(June 22, 2018) Among the Amazon Web Services is Rekognition, a facial recognition system running on Amazon's cloud. Anyone can sign up with the service, to have video analyzed to identify people or objects. Turns out the federal government is using this service for various tasks including deportation and detention programs run by ICE, the Immigration Control force. A group of Amazon employees have written to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos demanding that Amazon not do as IBM did during the 1940's when IBM's systems were used by Nazi Germany to help round up the Jews.

Apple might not actually be ignoring the Mac

(June 15, 2018)

Despite appearances to the contrary, Apple might not be ignoring the Mac, instead Apple might be on the verge of announcing some big things regarding the Mac. Long-time Apple-oriented tech journalist Rene Ritchie tries to make the case that Apple has been making significant changes to the Mac, and has some interesting stuff in store. And, he points to a recent series of advertisements that Apple is indeed still focusing on Mac development.

Will Microsoft be able to steal from private Github repositories?

(June 11, 2018)

The biggest concern with Microsoft's Github acquisition is whether Microsoft will do something evil with the private repositories stored on Github. Some of Microsoft's competitors use Github, and they should be concerned. Any company has to be worried about leakage of intellectual property -- with Microsoft ownership, does that risk increase?

Inside a huge Printed Circuit Board factory in China

(June 11, 2018) Curious how the printed circuit boards in electronics gadgets are made? Scotty from Strange Parts takes us to a PCB Factory in China, showing us the manufacturing process from design files to the finished product.

Microsoft is buying Github, the end of the world?

(June 4, 2018)

Invoking memories of The Empire Strikes Back when Lando Calrissian warns everyone in his city that the Empire has taken over, I awoke this morning to news that Microsoft is buying Github. Microsoft has long been the arch enemy of open source advocates like myself. But the irony in this is that I'm a happy user of Microsoft's Visual Studio Code, and am using that editor to write this post. Truth is that Microsoft is seeming to be changing for the better.

Apple introduces macOS Mojave

(June 4, 2018)

Today's release of a new macOS appears not befitting of a major version upgrade to a major operating system. The feature list here is a bunch of simple additions and changes, and does not describe any deep or significant update to the operating system. Between this and the migration of iOS application frameworks to macOS is what gives us the justification to think Apple is slowly abandoning the Mac. Obviously the majority of Apple's income is from iOS devices which would tend to draw the attention to that market area, and away from the Mac.

Apple previews iOS 12

(June 4, 2018)

Massive market in China for factory machinery

(May 29, 2018) This massive market in Yiwu City specializes in showcasing factory machines and the associated parts. The video is second in a series looking at the massive scope of China's industry. In both we're looking at the massive industry in China that's making almost everything we buy in stores no matter where we go. The International Production Materials Market has the machines and materials used by factories to make those products.

See this amazing ultra-quiet ultra-powerful custom Intel i7 PC build

(May 28, 2018)

An ultra-powerful PC with high end CPU and high end graphics is supposed to be loud because of the cooling fans, supposedly. In actuality an ingenious air cooling system coupled with low-noise fans can keep even a high-end system cool while making essentially no noise. Watching this makes me think of Apple, whose attempts at low-noise ultra-powerful machines look pale in comparison to the visual esthetics of this computer.

DIY Solar powered Weather Station [WiFi, MQTT, Smart Home, ESP8266]

(May 27, 2018)

Why spend a zillion dollars on a commercial weather station that doesn't do what you want? With some time and ingenuity you can design and build your own weather station.

Peeking inside the dizzying breadth of China's manufacturing prowess

(May 13, 2018) Almost everything is Made In China, with a whole gamut of ramifications. China is receiving all the economic wealth that used to flow to corporations with local manufacturing - every factory that relocates to China gives China more economic power. Shipping products from oversees adds to the environmental burden of those products, because of the dirty diesel fuel burned to transport products across the planet. It is difficult to wrap your head around the extent of the manufacturing in China, until you go there and see it for yourself. The next best thing is watching videos made by people who travel there in our place, to show us actual conditions.

Apple's Mac Mini inexcusably trounced by the Intel NUC

(May 12, 2018)

Apple is losing to Intel in the Mini-versus-NUC battle. Ten+ years ago the Mac Mini was a very interesting machine, small enough to stick in a corner so we could put our computing where we want. But Intel's NUC is a better Mini than the Mini ever was, and Intel is selling a ton of NUC's. Apple should be ashamed of themselves.

Google Duplex, the AI Assistant we should avoid using

(May 9, 2018) Google demo'd a cool "Digital Assistant" that will solve first-world problems like booking restaurant reservations. You will tell the Google service "book an appointment" and it will attempt to do so with an API, or else by placing a phone call and pretending to be a human. That leaves us without the supposed hassle of making the appointment. Sounds cool, eh? And it is an awesome achievement in artificial intelligence, to make something that can mimic humans well enough to handle human tasks. At the same time its best to be very very wary because of the potential for misuse. Google and others are waiving their hands and saying don't worry. I say - we should all worry about this - while Google may be deploying it with safeguards, others will develop a similar thing and not all will enable safeguards.

SmugMug Buys Flickr -- leaving free account holders in the dark?

(April 21, 2018)

For years Yahoo's acquisition spree built them an impressive portfolio of websites, that may have sunk Yahoo's financial stability. Now that Yahoo has been acquired, some of its properties may be up for sale, and today SmugMug sent notification to Flickr account holders they'd purchased Flickr. For some Flickr account holders this will be good news since it appears SmugMug has some top-notch photography archiving and sales tools. But, what about the Flickr account holders who don't want to pay a monthly fee? While the announcement implies that, initially, the Flickr account tiers will remain the same, what will happen over the long term?

PAY ATTENTION: Facebook showing users permissions granted to 3rd party apps

(April 18, 2018)

Buried in the Facebook user settings area is a page showing the permissions that have been granted to 3rd party applications. Most of us click through the permissions granting process - we just want to get to that game or whatever, and it's like a click-through-license that nobody ever reads. But recent events in Facebook's ecosystem shows the extreme danger of information leakage, of personal identifying data, from being too liberal with permissions grants. It's extremely useful that Facebook is calling attention to the permissions grants.

Apple's monopolistic repair policies bite YouTuber who disassembled iMac Pro

(April 18, 2018)

Apple's hardware designs are thin and sleek, a heavily-stressed selling point. Getting that thin/sleek design motif requires impeding the repairability due to soldered-on parts, or parts that are glued in place, and easily shattered glass panels. A popular YouTuber in January disassembled an iMac Pro, then botched the reassembly, and now Apple is refusing to repair the machine, so the YouTuber now has a prominent video up complaining about Apple.

Facebook has built a surveillance state where the inmates WANT to be in the prison

(April 6, 2018)

Facebook may need to come under government regulation. Facebook's COO claimed in a TV interview that the company has an advertising-driven model just like Radio and Television, both of whom are regulated by Governments. She also said that what Facebook is selling is access to people, but that's not for sale, which causes a big "HUH"? Any owner/operator of a Facebook page knows that over the last year or so Facebook has diminished the organic growth potential of Facebook Page postings. Such postings previously showed up organically in the newsfeed of folks following the pages, today that doesn't happen organically (very much). Instead, Page owner/operators are constantly barraged with please to spend money on advertising, in other words Facebook begs page owners to buy access to Facebook's users.

A DIY iPhone storage upgrade - the upgrade Apple hates the most

(April 6, 2018)

Price any Apple hardware and you'll find they charge a pretty penny for larger memory capacity. In Apple's latest design iterations it is getting harder and harder to make upgrades, and upgrading iPhone memory or storage capacity has never been possible. You could say Apple's whole business model is predicated on charging a premium for memory and storage.

Facebook is selling user data, even as Facebook does not sell user data

(April 4, 2018)

Facebook is under extreme fire currently over "leaks" of user data to 3rd party firms, such as Cambridge Analytica who has reportedly used that data for political manipulation projects. The current issue is that miscreant 3rd parties have been exploiting Facebook API's to access user data and build gigantic databases of user information and preferences. The situation is causing Facebook to loudly deny it is selling user data to anyone, and claim the company sells NO user data at all. Unfortunately that's a lie.

The YouTube Adpocalypse enraged a YouTuber to randomly shooting people at YouTube HQ

(April 4, 2018)

For months a growing anger among YouTube "content creators" has bubbled due to de-monetization of videos. There are many people building large audiences, whose videos are seen by lots of people, and who are able to make a living making videos for YouTube. In some cases YouTube's policy changes have decreased income for those people thanks to demonetization, or when YouTube turns off monetization for certain videos. On Tuesday April 3, 2018, a YouTuber started shooting YouTube employees at the YouTube HQ, and then killed herself, and it's clearly because of her rage at YouTube's policies.

Yesterday: Visit website; Today: ads for that site following me around the web; PRIVACY VIOLATION

(March 30, 2018)

A meme going around says -- "I spoke aloud yesterday about cialis, and now my Facebook feed is full of ads about Cialis". The reality isn't quite that bad, but yesterday I opened the TransferWise website for one page view, and now Facebook is showing me a TransferWise advertisement. How did Facebook know I visited that website? how did TransferWise know to put advertising in front of me? Isn't this a privacy violation?

NVIDIA Boosts World’s Leading Deep Learning Computing Platform, Bringing 10x Performance Gain in Six Months

(March 29, 2018)

NVIDIA is upping their game with GPU's meant for "machine learning" computational workloads. Such systems are installed in cloud server facilities to assist with Machine Learning computations. What NVIDIA is doing is to pivot their expertise in graphics processors into supplying high performance numerical calculation engines. These systems pack 2 petaflops of computation ability into a relatively small box, that also contains some conventional CPU's and a massive amount of SSD-based storage. The need being fulfilled is the massive computation required to implement artificial intelligence algorithms.

NVIDIA claims the improvement rate for this product line is faster than Moores Law - meaning that system capabilities are doubling faster than every 18 months - meaning that a revolution is underway in areas requiring this sort of massive computation capability.

Emma Gonzalez did not rip the constitution, another victim of doctored truth

(March 26, 2018)

A couple weeks ago yet another mass shooting at an American school left yet another student body shell shocked and traumatized because of a gunman committing random violence. What's different this time is the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are speaking up, and are working to organize a movement for social change. Obviously there are now tens of thousands of school kids who've directly experienced this gun violence, and millions of others living in fear. However doctored images have begun showing up with a manufactured reality - instead of showing Gonzalez ripping up a shooting target, it shows her ripping up the US Constitution. It's false, it's bogus, and that's what we call social media manipulation or social media warfare.

What did computers use before the Windows operating system was invented?

(March 24, 2018)

Microsoft's Windows operating system family seems ubiquitous today, but that wasn't always the case. Windows was introduced in the 1980's, and computers of various kind date back to the 1950's. That means a whole lot of computer history predated Windows.

Was the Windows operating system ever reverse engineered?

(March 22, 2018)

Microsoft's Windows operating system family is an egregious example of closed source operating systems and the risk to consumers from overly-controlling manufacturers. Many of us worry what Microsoft does with information collected from its customers, and chafe at the lack of control we have over our computers. But the popularity of Windows means there's lots of enticing software and a large number of folks comfortable in that environment. As they might wish for an open alternative, with a strong NO SPYWARE guarantee, they want a thing which behaves like Windows. Getting there means undertaking an effort to reverse engineer a Windows implementation in the open source world.

The modular DIY cell phone you can upgrade yourself

(March 8, 2018)

Most cell phones are built to prohibit repairs or upgrades by the owner. Instead the manufacturers seem to want to force us into buying new phones every two years. The Fairphone is different, using a modular design it can be completely disassembled, and parts can be easily swapped out or even upgraded.

YouTube video recommendation algorithm reportedly preferences conspiracy videos

(March 5, 2018)

A cool thing about YouTube is as you browse the site, it recommends videos based on your viewing history. YouTube's engineers have carefully tuned artificial intelligence algorithms to keep track of your viewing history, and recommend more of the same to you. Simply browse the YouTube home page and this is obvious, as the selections will match what you've recently watched. YouTube does this to increase viewing time on the site, and success at matching recommendations to a viewers history directly impacts Google's revenue. But does the algorithm skew its results in order to increase viewing time?

Quick review of ReactOS, a Windows alternative with blast-from-the-past user experience

(March 3, 2018)

Your search for an open privacy-intrusion-free method of running Windows software may, one day, be satisfied by ReactOS. This Windows-like operating system looks and feels like OLD SCHOOL WINDOWS, and you can (in some cases) install regular Windows applications and use them directly. ReactOS is a completely free open source operating system that's an interesting experiment, but clearly not ready for prime time.

The first web page, viewed by the first web browser, on a teletype, retrocomputing completeness

(March 3, 2018)

In 1989-1992 when the World Wide Web was being invented, computers were rather different than today. Tim Berners-Lee used a NeXT computer to do the implementation, but it wasn't uncommon to use a paper-based terminal or a dumb CRT terminal. The first web browser, called the Line Mode browser, was rather primitive, but it worked okay on a character terminal.

Is HTTPS Dangerous? HTTPS is incredibly useful but there may be critical flaws making it dangerous

(February 26, 2018)

HTTPS encrypts our website connections and it authenticates website identity. Both are excellent reassurances for website users, to give us a feeling of safety online. The video attached here makes a bold claim that HTTPS is actually dangerous. Let's take a look at that claim.

Udemy caught selling a Python programming course with stolen content

(February 22, 2018)

A semi-pro YouTuber found some of his instructional videos had been incorporated in a Udemy course. The response exposes a dark underbelly to Udemy that should cause one worries - how many of Udemy's courses are using stolen content? Does this raise a question whether Udemy is worthy of our support as customers?

Eliminate certain annoying/suspicious/intrusive Windows 10 features

(February 17, 2018)

Want to eliminate Cortana? How about the popup notification urging you to get on with installing Microsoft Word? Or that other about the lack of virus protection? Microsoft has a history of poor respect for their customers, and instead aggressively pushing products. And then there's the history of Clippy (ugh) and the modern incarnation, Cortana, that's simply more irritating than valuable. And finally a bunch of default Windows settings are downright intrusive or put extra load onto the computer than is necessary.

How to fix GitKraken Inotify Limit Error - upgrading Ubuntu/Linux inotify limits

(February 7, 2018)

GitKraken is a totally excellent Git client. If you're a software developer you should absolutely give GitKraken a try. Today I went to do some commits in one of my repositories but GitKraken told me it had gotten an Inotify Limit Error, and that I needed to increase this limit. Turns out the issue has nothing to do with GitKraken, and is also fairly easy to fix.

Move Windows Laptop to SSD drive without reinstall, for greater performance

(February 3, 2018)

Upgrading an older computer with an SSD drive breaths a new life into the computer. I have upgraded several MacBook Pro's (2009 through 2012) and joyfully experienced a great performance improvement -- each felt like a new machine, even though we're talking a 6-8 year-old computer. Today the task is upgrading my girlfriends Windows laptop with an SSD drive. You know the story, it takes 2+ minutes to boot the system, and doing anything takes forever. We're hoping that an SSD drive will mean a huge experience upgrade. Fortunately the process is fairly simple, even though Windows does not have built-in migration software.

Google possibly dooms YouTube by explicitly cancelling monetization for channels with low viewership

(January 15, 2018)

Cries of "YouTube Adpocalypse" have been heard from certain YouTube Creators when advertising monetization has been denied. Some on YouTube are small-time "content creators" who are hoping to make it big by recording videos about how to knit sweaters, or make yogurt, or repair laptops, or whatever topic it is they're chasing. The carrot that was dangled in front of all of us is Monetization, meaning that Google would enable Adsense advertising, and the YouTube Creator could earn revenue. I have a couple channels where I'd enabled monetization, but hadn't gotten enough traffic on my videos that the revenue was worth getting excited over. Today, YouTube sent me the following notice telling me that monetization is being turned off on my channels. We can now expect more uproar from YouTube Creators - the AdPocalypse is Coming!