Can you hear me? Can you hear me now? (8/17/19 Part 1)

Sam Show Archives, Topics

Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Hey Google are all great voice assistants. This is a good thing, and a very useful feature of modern computers, smartphone, and more! However, your voice doesn’t stop with you. It goes from your device to the internet and onto a cloud server somewhere “out there,” only to return back with instructions the device understands and executes. Listening Up! Oh, and sometimes people listen. Computers can’t figure us humans out entirely. How to stop Alexa, Siri, and Google: https://slate.com/technology/2019/08/how-to-stop-alexa-google-siri-recording-human-review.html (thanks Alert Internet Surfer Perry!) How to stop Cortana: https://lifehacker.com/how-to-configure-windows-10-to-protect-your-privacy-1716204024

But do you own it? DRM and you 101 (7/13/19 Part 1)

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When you buy something digitally, do you actually own it? Are you sure about that? Do You Own It? Wouldn’t it be a shame if it went up in a puff of smoke? Many digital things you buy can get Digital Rights Management (DRM), be it eBooks, music, software/apps, movies and more. While its understandable for renting or borrowing, what about something you’re buying? We talk about this and offer our thoughts on the matter! https://www.cordcuttersnews.com/ultraviolet-is-shutting-down/ https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/3k3wkk/microsoft-ebooks-will-stop-working-because-its-shutting-down-a-drm-server https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/12/cant-stream-that-christmas-movie-you-bought-on-amazon-blame-disney/ https://io9.gizmodo.com/amazon-secretly-removes-1984-from-the-kindle-5317703

Lock boxes and Gambling… uhm… (5/18/19 Part 2)

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So, your friend plays a game. And in that game there are these boxes that show up. And they’re just a dollar (or so) to open. You could win some cool stuff if you’re lucky! No big deal, right? Loot! Well, it turns out they’re big money. https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/05/senator-hawley-announces-bill-banning-loot-boxes-pay-to-win-mechanics/ https://massivelyop.com/2018/09/17/international-regulators-co-sign-declaration-to-investigate-lockboxes-and-skin-gambling/ https://www.polygon.com/2019/5/7/18534431/fortnite-rare-default-skins-bullying-harassment

Windows? Mac? Chrome? What’s the right fit for me? (4/27/19 Part 1)

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Would you wear a pair of high heels for a hike in ‘Iao Valley? Or go ballroom dancing in steel-toe construction shoes? Ever saw someone tap-dance wearing diving fins? Which Fits? – Part 1 Even if its the best of what they are, the wrong shoes are simply the wrong shoes. Computers are no different, believe it or not! Today we’re talking about Windows, Macs, Chromebooks plus tablets and phones! What do you need? Well, sit right down, and let us listen! Oh, and if you’ve not seen Avengers Endgame yet? You might want to read this article by PC Magazine on how to limit spoilers! https://www.pcmag.com/news/368011/how-to-avoid-spoilers-online

Surfing the Internet 101! (3/9/19 Part 1)

Sam Show Archives, Topics

If you’re here, you probably typed AlertInternetSurfer.com! Well, why did we name our website that? Because that’s what we want you to be! So, in our ongoing 101 series we go into Surfing The Internet! Computers 101 – Safe Surfin’ Tired of Internet Explorer? Edge? Safari? Try out a new browser today! Mozilla Firefox – https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ Google Chrome – https://www.google.com/chrome Opera Browser – https://www.opera.com TOR Browser – https://www.torproject.org/ Vivaldi Browser – https://vivaldi.com/

Office, Office, and Office! (2/2/19 Part 1)

Sam Show Archives, Topics

Office productivity software is a staple for businesses, schools, non-profits, and many households. Word processors, spreadsheets, even presentation software! Which Office? What’s out there? Well, we look into Microsoft Office/Office 365, LibreOffice, and GoogleDocs/GSuite for Business, talking about them and asking, “what about you?”  

2018 Predictions: How’d we do? (12/29/18 Part 2)

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We continue our mad parade of seeing how good our psychic powers of prognostication are! Predictions we made and covered this hour: 2018 Scorecard – Part 2 AI will be the complete and total fad of 2018 but nothing will pass the Turing Test. Cryptocurrency theft and mining zombies will be this year’s flavor of malware. A caller prediction! Alexa voice files will be hacked, and people will start getting very rude responses. One of the big password managers will get hacked and have to admit it publicly. SSDs will replace conventional hard-drives by the end of the year. One of the top companies (IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc) will report a major data breech. Maybe not in a timely matter, but they’ll report it. Crypto-currency will have a major correction, but there’s so much money it’ll continue. 1st year that energy costs will be a big concern. AMD and Intel’s partnership for CPU/GPU on laptops will be a big hit, but won’t be in anything except Macbook Pros so far as Apple is concerned. There will be no fully autonomous cars on the road this year. Apple will indeed start trying to make easier to develop iOS and MacOS apps, just like Microsoft has been and Ubuntu wanted to. Virtual reality will continue to improve, sell, but will not have explosive growth. 10-15% growth maybe?

Bad News and Fake News (11/10/18 Part 1)

Sam Show Archives, Topics

Look! Bat Boy is cheating on Marilyn Monroe with an Alien Elvis Clone! It used to be that bad news was confined to the pages of the supermarket tabloids. Aliens! Secret Conspiracies with Lizard People! The Pope is a 1,000 year old Vampire! Fake News! – Part 1 Likewise, some “news” were more sensationalist in nature. Remember Y2K? How many times have “its the end of the world!” come up as a headline? There might’ve been a kernel of truth or just an opinion at the core, but it got spun up to be more headline grabbing. Now? Not only is it easy to find bad and sensationalist stories online, its exploded. Additionally, you can find anything you want. Got an opinion? Someone out there will cater to it. Chances are, there’ll be dozens of sites out there. Is it  fake? Is it bunk? Why would we make this up? Oh, right, there’s money to be made. Join Jonathan, LD, Sam, and special guest Tracey as we talk about bad and fake news!

Protecting yourself against Fake News (11/10/18 Part 2)

Sam Show Archives, Topics

Self-defense isn’t just a physical thing: it relates to your mind as well. While you can’t judo-chop lies and flim-flamery, you CAN go through your due diligence. Fake News – Part 2 Fact checking! Axios as a nice list of some of the initiatives out there to help sift the wheat from the chaff. https://www.axios.com/fake-news-initiatives-fact-checking-dfa6ab56-3295-4f1a-9b38-e61ca47e849f.html If you have library near by, you might be able to get a groovy bookmark to help you with this! What’s on there? A short little list to help you karate-kick fake news! Want to buy the bookmark for friends, your classroom, work place, or group? You can get it online at https://www.alastore.ala.org/content/fact-or-fiction-bookmark You can also download and print or buy ready-made posters with logical fallacies, cards with critical thinking skills, and more! https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/shop