The Tech Side of Me Tech News 4/25/2015

This is the start of something new. This idea has been going around in my head for weeks and the idea was to feature my favorite articles I tweeted this week along with some commentary about each one. This may go through some changes but as this is Week 1, let’s get started.

Currently I use Hootsuite to schedule and post my Tweets, Google+ Posts, and Facebook. So from that I get an idea of how many people click on my links. It doesn’t tell me who (that would be scary) but it does tell me how many. So using the unscientific approach of number of clicks shows how popular a tweet was, I will definitely feature those, but sometimes a tweet a topic I hold near and dear fails to get traction either because of the time of day it is posted or some other factor. I will feature those as well.

Have an Android Phone? Want to Find it? Google it

From the Creepy but Cool files, if you enable Google location services on your phone, finding your phone could be as easy as going to and just typing in “Find My Phone”. It will ask you to log into your Google account (use the primary Gmail account you use on your phone), and then show you on Google Maps the approximate location of your phone. If it is accessible it will also give you an option to ring your phone.

Verizon says “unlimited Data Plans are stupid”

Verizon basically said we are idiots to want unlimited data plans. I know everything has to have a limit so to speak but first selling us unlimited plans and then calling a 2 gig plan unlimited is false advertising. But are we silly to want what we want? We don’t really want unlimited. Instead, we want to pay one price and use it as much as we want and not have to pay ridicules overages. For some of us, unlimited is 2 gig, others it is 6 gig, etc. Granted, we know if someone is using 10 gig plus, well, maybe they should pay more but the system as it is punishes even the least data users. What do you think?

Sysadmins every where Scream at Once

This week two scary security alerts went out. For Windows admins with Internet facing Internet Information Server instances, there was the “HTTP Ping of Death”. Basically a header problem that when attacked would cause a “DOS” Denial of Service issue. Basically the server would hang or even blue screen so that the server wasn’t responding or available. Hopefully everyone is all patched up by now. Hopefully.This was my most clicked tweet of the week.

In other Security news…

Popular eCommerce application Magento finally have an exploit in the wild for a security issue they published about in February. This is a bad one and you need to get patching quickly as exploits are in the wild and thousands of servers were attacked.

Who wants to live forever… Digitally anyway?

So if you should die tomorrow (hopefully you won’t) but if you did, who would you want to have access to your Digital assets? Who would have access to your Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, YouTube Channel, your iTunes account? If you don’t give someone access to these things, the courts may not help. There isn’t much legal precedent for what to do with these elements of a human life. In fact, iTunes as it is currently setup basically belongs only to the person who originally purchased it. So you go and so would your tunes. So if you give access to someone you trust to your digital elements, you allow your digital elements to keep going. Google offers a way to designate someone your Digital Heir. In my case, I designated my wife. This article talks about how laws have not kept up and you really can’t even “Will” your Digital assets to a loved one. But some social media accounts give you a way to allow your designated person to access your accounts.

Jedi Marriage

This is my favorite story of the week: Jedi’s can now get married. (Dang I hate typos! It’s Official.)

A little boy sends a letter to George Lucas asking why Jedis can’t get married. The reply is awesome and a win for Jedis every where. I am so glad. I married my wife in secret because she is a Jedi. Now we can be public about it.

And those are my favorite stories of the week. I hope you enjoyed them.

Cablevision Offers Cord-Cutter Package For TV, Internet

Cablevision Systems Corp. is yet another traditional pay TV operator responding to the needs of “cord-cutters” — even naming a new product for those TV consumers. But it’s not cable-related. It’s adigital antenna to get over-the-air TV stations, high-speed internet access, and, for one package, WiFi phone service.

Source: Cablevision Offers Cord-Cutter Package For TV, Internet 04/24/2015

Cablevision $79 Cord Cutter Deal
Cablevision Screenshot

So it seems Cable providers are slowly giving us almost what we want and they are going to make us pay a pretty price to do it.  We have wanted “a la carte” television selection as we don’t watch but maybe 15 different channels on average. Instead, they are offering packages where they pick the channels for us and charge us the same if not more than we would have paid for these channels via a cable package. And these packages often only have live streaming of channels so there is no pause (so we can run to the bathroom, do something for the kids, eat dinner, or grab the pizza that just arrived) or fast forwarding past commercials so we can get back valuable minutes of our day. Additionally we still have the conundrum of local channels. Every once in a while we want the local version of the weather or the story about the latest car wreck. Not often mind you, but occasionally. After all, we do have a weather app, Google Now is telling us what the current temperature and if it is raining or snowing, and the local stations have an app or a Twitter feed to tell us the big stories and we can determine in 140 words or less if we need to know any more about them.

In a perfect TV viewing world, we have a Tivo like box that can record our favorite streaming shows so we can time shift our viewing times. Local channels are free as they are free over the air if we had an HD antenna where local channels are free. (Strangely CBS has their $5.99 subscription and app when again, it is free “over the air”.) We can pause, fast forward, and rewind our stored programs. And best of all this same box lets us do Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and maybe even HBO Go. Sure, there are ways to do this now, but they require technical skill that your average person wouldn’t want to fool with.  So a simple TV appliance that can do all of this now would be the ticket.

But now that providers know what we want and they know we love the subscription model for buying things, they are slowly charging us the same if not more than we pay with the cord. So in the end, to get what we think we want, we will pay more, but it will be nickeled and dimed from us in $7.99, $8.99, $19.99, and $79.99 chunks so that it doesn’t seem all that expensive until we really think about it.

Careful what you wish for, you  might get it and greedy companies will figure out a way for us to overpay for it.