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Past Episodes

#494 ChromeSafe, Partial Solar Eclipse, ApplePay, Unprotected WiFi, Taming the Terminal Part 23a Networks

How to protect Chrome on OS X from POODLE vulnerability using Dorothy’s Tutorial. Capturing imagery of a partial solar eclipse – Steve’s video, my photo. A little rocky trying to use ApplePay for the first time, but it worked in the end. Unprotected wifi fun thanks to Andy sending in the link to medium.com and another reason to use Cloak from getcloak.com. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart takes us through the first half of Taming the Terminal Part 23a of N explaining Network protocols and layers.


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How to Protect Chrome on OS X from POODLE Vulnerability

chrome safe shown in the dockLast week on the show Bart talked about the POODLE vulnerability that was avoidable if you told your browser to remove support for SSL. I hopped over to podfeet.com to find the link he posted on how to tell Chrome to ignore SSL. The instructions given were anything but clear. They made me hop from page to page, and open a Terminal (which I’m not afraid of) and run some commands I didn’t understand, which launched Chrome in a safe state but left the Terminal running with all kinds of glop on the screen. I posted about my confusion in the comments and Bart explained that even with all that work the fix is only one time, the next time I’d launch Chrome it would be insecure.
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Unprotected WiFi Fun

Cloak VPN logoAndy sent in a link to a really interesting article over on medium.com about exactly how easy it is to be hacked if you’re using open wifi networks. Mauritius Martijn takes a trip to a random cafe in Amsterdam with Wouter Slotboom who uses a small black device to spoof the wifi network in the cafe. Bart has been warning us for years about his but reading exactly what this guy was able to do is pretty chilling.

One of the things that makes it so easy is that our devices will automatically connect to a network which we’ve already connected to in the past. So imagine you’ve been to a Starbucks and connected to the wifi network called Google Starbucks, his device can tell you’ve been attached to that network in the past. All he has to do is create a hotspot called Google Starbucks and your device will auto-connect to that network. Once your device connects to his network, he has access to all of the traffic you send – user names, passwords, everything. You are owned. Read More

Capturing Imagery of a Partial Solar Eclipse

This week there was a partial solar eclipse around 2 in the afternoon in Los Angeles. Steve suggested a play date up to the hills in Palos Verdes where we’d have a nice view of the city and the Santa Monica Bay, he could take video, I could take photos, and we could maybe play with his DJI Phantom Quadcopter with the GoPro camera attached.

Steve's cardboard duct tape and electrical tape filterWhen Steve and I went on the Mac Mania Cruise in Australia, we were lucky enough to see a total eclipse of the sun. Steve bought me a very nice solar filter for my DSLR, but too late before the trip he realized that if he wanted to take video, he too would need a filter for his video camera. We had been issued official paper solar sunglasses for viewing the eclipse on the cruise, so he cut one in half, used a stiff paper program guide he found on the ship, borrowed some duct tape from our good friend Wally, and fashioned up a filter of his own to fit over his Canon HFS100 camcorder.

He’s great at keeping track of things (ok, maybe not his wallet and keys) so he actually still had his goofy filter. The duct tape when we were on the cruise 2 years ago was starting to get weird, but by now it was really starting to fall apart, so he dressed it up with a fresh coat of black electrical tape and he was ready to go.
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A Little Rocky Trying to Use ApplePay for the First Time

touched showing on Passbook with a credit cardLike so many others I had to go out right away and try ApplePay on the iPhone 6 on day one. I knew I’d have to put in my credit cards first, so I opened up the languishing Passbook app and tried to scan in my credit card. The little box kept bouncing in and out but never recognized the card. That’s when I realized that I probably had to upgrade to iOS 8.1, right? Duh.

After the upgrade to 8.1, I immediately saw the change in Passbook, you get a new option on top to add a credit card rather than another kind of card. Unfortunately they sucked all the fun out of adding the card by offering to let me use the card already on file with Apple. Of course that’s the one I wanted. I decided to try my backup credit card. I have to have a backup because Citibank is ALWAYS claiming I’ve had unusual spending and blocking my card, like if I buy something from Apple they stop my card. Seriously.

Anyway I tried my second Citibank Mastercard, and it didn’t work, got a popup suggesting I call the bank. Oh well.

So now it’s time to go on the hunt for somewhere to spend my money via ApplePay. As luck would have it, my son Kyle and I were driving around on Tuesday and so I convinced him to stop by Walgreens because they take ApplePay. Unfortunately he thought I meant CVS (who don’t take ApplePay), so he missed the turn to Walgreens and he was hungry so he wouldn’t go back. I should have made him go to MacDonalds because they take ApplePay, but he wanted El Pollo Loco who don’t. I missed day one. He told me to quit my whining, I’d be going to Starbucks the next morning anyway and I could use it there.
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#493 – Move Mouse, Security of old Mac, Chronicle, POODLE Vulnerability, and Security from a Mac User’s Point of View with George Starcher

Bart Busschots is guest-hosting the show this week. Allison tells the story of Move Mouse – a Mac app written for a Nosillacastaway by a Nosillacastaway! Bart answers a great dumb question from listener Lynda on the security of old Macs, Ken Wolf from the Manhattan Repertory Theatre reviews Chronicle, Bart fills us in about the POODLE vulnerability that’s been in the news this week, Allison describes how you can become a hero with Clarify, and in Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart talk to George Starcher about security from a Mac user’s point of view.


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How Can You Move the Mouse on a Mac a Precise Distance?

A little while ago, good friend of the show Slau wrote to the Mac Geek Gab boys, Dave Hamilton and John F Braun with a very interesting request. Dave included me on distribution thinking I might have some ideas. Here’s Slau’s original question:

MoveMouseIcon that I spent 2 hours creating for people who can't see.Hi Dave and John,

I have an issue that I’ve been trying to solve for quite some time. In fact, it would help a great deal of blind Mac users such as me.

I’m trying to find a way to move the mouse pointer in fixed increments (pixels or inches, whatever) using only the keyboard or preferably the numeric key pad. While there’s a way to move the pointer using Mouse Keys (within the Accessibility pane of System Preferences), the result is based on factors like delay and speed and vary according to how long you hold down the key so results aren’t exactly repeatable or translatable from user to user.

With VoiceOver, it’s possible to read the mouse coordinates in inches relative to screen or window but it’s not possible to enter coordinates manually. An example of where moving the pointer manually would be helpful and even necessary is when there are invisible elements on screen that are not recognized by voiceOver but need to be clicked. One can navigate to the closest recognizable element and then manually move the pointer from there. I’m thinking there might be an AppleScript or something that could perform the mouse pointer movement and it could be triggered by a keyboard shortcut. What do you think?

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#492.5 What Macworld Meant to Me

By now you’ve probably heard that Macworld Expo has officially been put on hiatus and that there will be no show in 2015. I have to say that I was, like many of you, terribly saddened to find out that such a big part of my life will cease to exist. Paul Kent, General Manager of IDC World Expo and the man behind Macworld Expo wrote in a Facebook post that he’s looking back with fondness and looking forward to what the future will bring. Rather than wallowing in sadness about it, I’d like to take his approach and instead talk about the good times and what Macworld Expo meant to me.


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On Ada Lovelace Day I Honor Kirschen Seah

kirschenAda Lovelace was an English mathematician who lived in the 1800s. She is often described as the world’s first computer programmer because of the work she did on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer. Her notes include what is recognized as the first algorithm to be carried out by a machine.

I only know about Ada Lovelace because Kirschen Seah of freerangecoder.com told me about her last year on Ada Lovelace day. Kirschen explained that this day was created to encourage people to write about those women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math who have inspired us. The hope is by celebrating Ada Lovelace’s accomplishments along with other outstanding women in STEM, we will be able to encourage more girls to go into these scientific fields.

I’ve worked with a lot of brilliant scientific women over my 35 year career but I’ve chosen Kirschen Seah herself to honor on Ada Lovelace day. Kirschen is a computer scientist, a bicycle mechanic, a photographer, and a pilot. I’m inspired by her not just for her accomplishments in industry but because of her relentless enthusiasm towards encouraging more girls to join the technical disciplines. For example, she works like a mad woman on Take Your Daughter to Work Day to help develop experiments and design contests to stimulate young minds. When you hear her talk about how much fun she has helping them you cannot help but feel the thrill she gets from stirring young minds to show them what they can do.

I got to see her excitement first hand this year. During Macworld Expo, App Camp For Girls was looking for volunteers to help young women in the program to get a taste for programming. You could not have kept Kirschen from volunteering to help if you’d had an army to help you. When she came out of the session she was so invigorated by the amazing young minds she’d met and clearly she had gained energy by being allowed to help them reach their goal to become programmers.

Kirschen brings such excitement for engineering and computer science that her presentations are positively infectious and she’s done more to encourage young female minds than anyone I know. Thank you Kirschen for being a role model for so many young women and for being a role model to me.

If you want to learn about more incredible women inspiring young women to join the STEM fields, check out findingada.com.

#492 Ada Lovelace Day, Sennheiser PMX 685i Headphones, Facebook Ruining My Life, TTT Part 22 Tips and Tricks

Correction on editing widgets on iOS (hint, unlock your iPhone). Kirschen Seah challenges us to write blog posts in honor of Ada Lovelace on Tuesday October 14th talking about a woman in the STEM field that you admire. Learn more at FindingAda.com. Sennheiser PMX 685I In-Ear Neckband Headphones are a winner at $50. How Facebook is ruining real life for me. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart gives us some really fun tips and tricks in Taming the Terminal Part 22 of n.


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