Web Browser Extensions – making your browser better! (10/12/19 Part 1)

Sam Show Archives, Topics

The humble web browser is probably one of the most commonly used pieces of software out there. It works hard running web apps, playing videos, music,  and just getting stuff done. But, did you know you can make it better? Browser Extensions Jonathan, LD, and Sam talk about web browser extensions: what they like, and more! Now, where do you get them? The browser’s OFFICIAL STORE. Its much safer than downloading from random websites! NoScript blocks scripts, only allowing what you want! Lightbeam shows you where your internet cookies are going for any given website. Where is your data going? AdBlocker+ helps keep obtrusive (and sometimes dangerous) ads from driving you crazy! NewsGuard is Sam’s favorite and only extension which helps him get initial gauging of websites. Flash is one of those most popular plugins, but its dying! We mention this so you know. Password managers abound, but get one from a reputable service. The Mercury Reader is a Chrome extension that will let you have a “Reader Mode” for websites! Adobe Reader for PDFs! Privacy Badger helps keep trackers from tracking you! It tells them “stop!” and if they don’t? It’ll block them!

Botnets: badware getting better and smarter… grrr… (9/21/19 Part 1)

Sam Show Archives, Topics

Don’t call it a comeback! Emotet has been going to the gym and on a diet. What is Emotet? And what is a botnet? Bad Botnet! Bad! No Biscuit! How to recognize Emotet – https://blog.malwarebytes.com/botnets/2019/09/emotet-is-back-botnet-springs-back-to-life-with-new-spam-campaign/ Deeper reading – https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/09/worlds-most-destructive-botnet-returns-with-stolen-passwords-and-email-in-tow/ What is a botnet? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botnet

Books have Chrome! Chrome of Books! (9/14/19 Part 1)

Sam Show Archives, Topics

Today we talked about Chromebooks! They’ve come a long way over the past few years. Tune in as we  talk about: Is the ChromeBook for me? Chromebooks pros: Websurfing and webapps! Android apps! Chromebooks can run Android apps now! Relatively inexpensive for modest machines, although better machines in terms of build quality and specs are available (even up to $999!) for serious/professional users. Chromebook cons: You can’t buy and download big, full-professional programs like Adobe Creative Cloud, Final Cut Pro, FULL Microsoft Office, etc. You’re stuck with web apps or Android apps. You can’t buy and download Windows or Mac games. You’re stuck with web games and Android games. Chromebooks generally do best with wifi or an internet connection. Without internet access you lose access to a lot of functionality. Things to consider Design. Is it a laptop or a convertable/2-in-1? Touchscreen? How well is it made? Stylus support? What sort of ports? USB? HDMI? How much RAM? 4g is minimum recommended for light use. 8g or more for heavier use, demanding Android apps/games, etc. 16g is going to be overkill for most users. CPU. Many will have Celerons or similar low-end CPUs which is okay for casual browsing and light use (Celerons, ARM, m3’s), but the nicer ones can have i3, i5, and i7 CPUs. Storage! 32g is probably a safe starting point, but if you want to keep files locally, download Android apps, etc., consider 64gb to 128g. If you plan to do photo editing or video editing then look for more. Budget. Be …

Yu-Es-Bee See? Whuzzat? (8/10/19 Part 1)

Sam Show Archives, Topics

USB, short for Universal Serial Bus, came about in 1996 because computers used to have WAY too many different plugs/connections. From USB 1 to 2 to 3 to… C! Wait, what? USBisms USB-C is the newest member of the USB family, but its a different looking plug! In exchange for this small headache, do you get anything in return? You bet! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB-C https://www.howtogeek.com/211843/usb-type-c-explained-what-it-is-and-why-youll-want-it/ https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-usb-c-hubs-and-docks/ https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/understanding-usb-cable-types-one-use/  

Do you leave your house key under the mat? (7/27/19 Part 2)

Sam Show Archives, Topics

So, your local police department want help catching the bad guys. You want to help, right? But, to do so, they insist that you always leave your house key under a door mat so they can always have access to your house “when they need it.” They promise they won’t tell anyone about the key, and promise nobody will ever abuse it. Back Doors, and Why They are Bad Sounds great, right? Law enforcement has been asking for weaker encryption and “back doors” in encryption for decades. They insist it’s only to get “the bad guys,” won’t get abused, and doesn’t really pose a risk to the public. Bologna, you say? We agree. Join us as we talk about that! https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614003/trumps-justice-department-calls-for-encryption-backdoor-law/ https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/fbi-weaker-encryption-is-a-worthwhile-tradeoff-for-law-enforcement-access-to-data/458622/ https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/05/caleatwo   This podcast is brought to you by Audible!

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

Sam Show Archives, Topics

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