Free Freeze

The credit bureaus will no longer be able to charge you for placing a freeze on your credit report as of next Friday, 21 Sep.

So set a reminder, calendar appointment, or whatever it takes, because you will no longer have cost as an excuse for not taking the time to protect yourself from identity theft when it comes to some lowlife obtaining credit in your name.

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/09/in-a-few-days-credit-freezes-will-be-fee-free/

https://www.aarp.org/money/credit-loans-debt/info-2018/protect-credit-by-freezing.html

 

Coffee, Tea, or IoT

News from the IoT (Internet of Things).  It’s a coffee delivery drone that can sense when you are tired and automatically deliver coffee to you. Or you could use hand gestures to call for a coffee delivery.

IBM patents Drone Delivery of Coffee based On A Cognitive State of an Individual

https://www.networkworld.com/article/3301277/internet-of-things/ideas-this-bad-could-kill-the-internet-of-things.html

If Jules Verne Built a Data Center

It’s Microsoft’s Project Natick, an experimental undersea data center off the coast of Scotland.

It has 12 racks containing 864 standard Microsoft datacenter servers and has enough storage for about 5 million movies.

Spencer Fowers, senior member of technical staff for Microsoft’s special projects research group, prepares Project Natick’s Northern Isles datacenter for deployment off the coast of the Orkney Islands in Scotland. The datacenter is secured to a ballast-filled triangular base that rests on the seafloor. Photo by Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures.

There are also 2 underwater fish cams.

More at Microsoft.

Roughing It

Have friends who are into glamping?

Requirements:

  • Unique structure
  • Immediate access to the outdoors (as opposed to a hotel lobby)
  • All of the comfort of a hotel (at the very least a bed and hot water)

 

Or in other words:
It’s a way to experience the untamed and completely unique parts of the world—without having to sacrifice creature comforts.

Then here’s a perfect gift to help keep them connected – a $599.95 battery with 428 watt-hour capacity, to power lights, USB devices—even a mini fridge.

There’s an App for That – Birth Control

FDA allows marketing of first direct-to-consumer app for contraceptive use to prevent pregnancy.  

The app, called Natural Cycles, contains an algorithm that calculates the days of the month a woman is likely to be fertile based on daily body temperature readings and menstrual cycle information, a method of contraception called fertility awareness. Designed for mobile devices, it is intended for use in pre-menopausal women aged 18 and older.

 

Culture: Burning Man Edition

If you ever considered attending Burning Man, but didn’t find a week in the desert appealing, now you only have to endure Washington, DC.

The Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery has a large-scale, participatory work from the desert gathering. The exhibition takes over the entire Renwick Gallery building and surrounding Golden Triangle neighborhood, bringing alive the maker culture and creative spirit of this cultural movement.

 

 

How Hot Was It?

July was the hottest month ever recorded in Burlington, Vermont, according to records from the local office of the National Weather Service.

And you know the warnings against leaving pets and children in the car, no matter how briefly you’ll be away.

Apparently, the warning is just as applicable for the parabolic mirror you plan on converting into the best solar oven ever.

 

 

Apple Joins Microsoft and Adobe with Patches

It’s another Patch Tuesday week with Apple joining Microsoft and Adobe in issuing security updates.

Pain Reduction Tip: Keep a current image handy as it’s much easier and more certain to restore your system if you encounter a bad patch than attempting to back it out/uninstall it.  And be especially mindful with Windows 10 and Office 365 automatic updates.

Apple Releases Multiple Security Updates

  • iTunes 12.8 for Windows
  • iCloud for Windows 7.6
  • Safari 11.1.2
  • macOS High Sierra 10.13.6, Security Update 2018-004 Sierra, Security Update 2018-004 El Capitan
  • watchOS 4.3.2
  • tvOS 11.4.1
  • iOS 11.4.1

Adobe Releases Security Updates
Adobe Acrobat and Reader, Adobe Connect, and Adobe Experience Manager.  And of course, as always, the not to be gone soon enough Adobe Flash Player.

See Krebs on Security for a full overview and recurring admonition to ditch Flash. 

 

 

Memory Lane – Laptops

I just remembered that once, log ago and far away (mid-1980s), I had an NEC PC-8201 (Radio Shack marketed it as the Tandy 100), quite possibly the first “laptop” computer.

It ran 16 hours on 4 AA batteries!   It’s probably stashed away in one of the overwhelming number of boxes yet to be unpacked from my last move (2005) along with any number of technological artifacts.

Quick Facts:

Announced:     March 1983
Price:   US $599 w/ 8K RAM
Weight:            3.8 lbs.
CPU:    80C85, 2.4MHz
RAM:   8K, 32K max.
Ports:   RS-232, parallel port, bar code reader, 300 baud modem
Display:           40 X 8 character LCD display
Power: 4 ‘AA’ batteries or external 9vdc power supply
Storage:           audio cassette in/out
OS:      Microsoft BASIC v1.1 in ROM

I even stumbled across an active project site devoted to it.

I’d take it with me on walks, stop and sit with my back against an old tree and type away, expressing whatever was on my mind at that very moment.  Not being one to discard things unnecessarily, I probably have those old (ancient?) missives archived on some floppy, firmy, tape, or CD/DVD somewhere.  <grin>  Hard to convince myself that even if I did find and resuscitate them, it would be significantly illuminating.  But then again…………………..

Fur Babies

 

Is there no limit to what can be spent on our pets?  I offer Neuticles, prosthetic testicles for neutered pets, for your consideration.  Over 500,000 (is that each or pairs?) since 1995.

And don’t get me started on cloning!

Barbra Streisand revealed in an interview that two of her three Coton de Tulears had been cloned from her beloved late dog Samantha, who died last year at the age of 14.

 

 

Memory Lane

At Vault Of VHS, Vaulto humbly puts together these portraits of the lowly VHS tape. Many hours of collecting, scanning, and photoshopperey have gone into this effort of preservation. No two tapes are the same here. you may find some that look familiar, or seem like a tape that has come before, but look closely if you dare. Something is different, be it a sticker, or a manufacturing date

 

 

(not so) Boring Company News

The Boring Company has been selected by the Chicago Infrastructure Trust (CIT), on behalf of the City of Chicago, to design, build, finance, operate and maintain an O’Hare Express service. The Chicago Express Loop will provide fast and convenient transportation between O’Hare Airport (Terminals 1-3) and Block 37 in downtown Chicago.

Loop is a high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported on autonomous electric skates traveling at 125-150 miles per hour. Electric skates will carry between 8 and 16 passengers, or a single passenger vehicle.

 

June Patch Tuesday

Here we are again, another Patch Tuesday week.

June 2018 Security Updates

Release Date: June 12, 2018

The June security release consists of security updates for the following software:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office Services and Web Apps
  • ChakraCore
  • Adobe Flash Player

And if you missed it, there were also recent patches to iOS, Acrobat, and Firefox.  Manually check, just to be certain that you have them.