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#441 RadTech ACpower Compact USB Charger, In Car USB Charger, RadSleevz and ScreenSavrz, Orange Chef iPad Stand

Episode #220 of the Mac Roundtable podcast is fun where we rant about iOS 7, Corky Heath teaches us how to reorder podcasts in iTunes 11, Claus Wolfe teaches us his native Germanic language Hessisch. Four quick reviews of some cool RadTech products: ACpower Compact USB Charger is only $14.95 over at RadTech.com, AutoPower in car USB Charger, RadSleevz, and Screensavrz. Mark Pouley reviews the Orange Chef iPad Stand and Sleeves from theorangechef.com. In Dumb Question Corner Professor Albert asks about upload and download speeds, and Terry Austin gives us a pro tip for Clarify. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart teaches us the steps he went through to create his amazing image of the International Space Station passing in front of the moon.


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Hi this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Mac Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Macintosh bias. Today is Sunday October 20, 2013 and this is show number 441. Hey this week we recorded episode #220 of the Mac Roundtable podcast with me, John F Braun, Steve Stanger and Chuck Joiner. We had a blast as always – I think my favorite part was when we went sort of on a rant about all the stuff that bugs the heck out of us about iOS 7. At first I really liked it but as I spend more time with it, a lot of things are starting to annoy me. I won’t go into it here, because you’ll probably check it out over at macroundtable.com.

We also spent some time going off on iTunes 11 and how much they borked up podcasts. We wished Bart had been there to rant with us because he has quite a few things to day about how much it annoys him. Anyway, one of my giant peeves about iTunes 11 and podcasts was that they ruined the sort order if viewed as My Podcasts. It used to be alphabetical, but it suddenly turned into some crazy random order with iTunes 11. I threw it out as a challenge to the community to explain what logic they had. I actually don’t mind change, I mind change that is inexplicable what problem it solves.

Well Corky Heath cracked the code. My Podcasts is sorted by the latest podcast you subscribed to. So since Bart’s two shows, Let’s Talk Apple and Let’s Talk Photography (available over at lets-talk.ie) are both at the top of my list. While I appreciated Corky figuring this out, I couldn’t figure out how that information helped me, unless I unsubscribe to all of them and resubscribe in the reverse order in which I want to see them! While he applauded my idea for creativity, he then pointed out that you can DRAG them to the order you want! Woohoo!!! who knew? this is soooo awesome – way better than alphabetical! I sync my iPod Nano every morning at 7am so that I’m sure to have Mac OSKen to listen to that day. Now I can drag him to the top which is way easier than finding him alphabetically. I resorted all of my shows so the ones I listen to as soon as they come out are all at the top, and the “filler” shows are down at the bottom. Thank you Corky!!! And you guys should all follow him over on Twitter at @corkyh. And then go listen to the Mac Roundtable.

Correction on Safari copy URL

Remember last week I told you that I was going to have a regular segment on the show where I do corrections? Well we have another one today! Last week I answered Steve Davidson’s dumb question about search on page in mobile Safari under iOS 7. In my answer I complained about how you can’t just tap and hold to copy the url any more, that as soon as you tap it changes the page, tap again and it stops selecting. Donald Burr wrote in to say I was doing it wrong. He wrote:

You don’t have to press and hold on the URL to copy it. Just tap on it. So, tap once to get the URL bar and the screen that shows you your bookmarks (which I really like btw) then tap on the URL again to select it. (not too close together, maybe about half a second apart) That brings up the cut/copy/paste menu.

Well he’s right. Tap once, pause, tap again and there’s your copy button. It will take me a while to get used to this, but it may actually be easier than the old press and hold method. We still have to remember that method for selecting OTHER things so remembering when to hold and when to tap might be hard on this old brain, but I do appreciate that it’s still there and that Donald sent that in.

Claus explains Hessisch

When I sent out the notice through the NosillaCast News on how to enter to win a copy of Prizmo 3 from Creaceed, I asked that people write something clever or entertaining in their emails to me. I told them that it wouldn’t increase their chances of winning, but it would make me smile. I’ve gotten some very lovely letters – including a very nice note from Rainer Selenius who is my first friend in Finland! Claus Wolfe from Germany took things up a notch – he decided to make a recording to expose us to his native tongue. Let’s listen in:

Ei guude wie?

When Allison sent the note about the Prizmo 3 Giveaway she asked for something delightful to be included. Now delightful is hard, so I figured I’ll teach her a
little about my native language: Hessisch

If Allison so pleases there will be a link in the show notes to a guide to the language of Frankfurt. It was written by someone with a good sense of humor and I hope that you’ll get a laugh (or two) out of it. Just remember, we ARE Germans after all, so being funny doesn’t come easy. Here is a famous poem that my dad would recite frequently when I was a child:

Uffem Termsche
sitzt e Wermsche
mit em Schermsche
unnerm Ermsche
kimmt e Schdermsche
werft des Wermsche
mit em Schermsche
unnerm Ermsche
vom Termsche.
Ach,
des aam’e Wermsche.

So after demonstrating that we have mastered the art of poetry, and who could have doubted it after all Goethe [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Wolfgang_von_Goethe] was born in Frankfurt, let’s show how efficient our “language” is:

If I wanted to say: “I beg your pardon. Would you please repeat what you’ve just said” I would simply
say “hä”. Not the most polite way of translating it, but universally understood and even my four year old daughter is a master at this particular question. Or considering the beginning of this recording: Ei guude wie? really translates into : Hello my friend, how are you doing today.

In the end there is only one bit of advise
I can give you all:
De Allison Ihrn Podcast, derfd er ned verbasse.
You can’t possibly miss Allison’s podcast.
Thank you for doing the podcast Allison, I love listening to you and the awesome content you put together every week!

Claus – this is soooo cool. I really should have said I would pick the winners by how delightful and entertaining they are! I love how self-deprecating every German I’ve ever met is, you ARE funny and entertaining Claus, even if you have to work hard at it! Good luck in the giveaway too. For everyone else, unless you have an ear for the German language, or specifically Hessisch, you might want to listen again while reading the text version Claus supplied! I really do love the diversity of the NosillaCastaways.

RadTech Power

Last week I talked about a few cool devices from RadTech sent to me by John (Grez-Ko-vee-aak) Grzeskowiak (he told me how to pronounce his name this time!) I figured out in writing back with him why so many of their products really sing to me – they have a prerequisite for products they represent, “Solutions That Make Sense”. Sounds a lot like they must solve a problem, doesn’t it?

ACpower Compact Dual USB Device ChargerWell next up I want to tell you about two more great products, both of which solve the same problem but in different ways. The problem is charging (I know, sounds familiar, right?) The first is the ACpower Compact Dual USB Device Charger. It mounts into a wall socket horizontally so it doesn’t block the other socket, which is really unusual. Another unusual feature is that this wall charger sports two 2-amp USB charging ports, so you can actually charge two iPads at the same time! It also means you don’t have to remember which port will charge your iPad and which one won’t. Sometimes it’s the little things that make me happy too – the power pin blades actually fold into the box so when you’re traveling it won’t snag on things and it’s nice and compact like the name says. The best part is that the ACpower Compact USB Charger is only $14.95 over at RadTech.com

Auto USB chargerThe second device is the RadTech AutoPower in car USB Charger. Again we have the same problem, USB devices that need to be charged, but we’re on a road trip or heck we need to charge our devices every day, why not in the car during our commute? Unfortunately the AutoPower charger only has 1 amp power ports so you won’t be charging your iPad with this device. I wish it was 2amp but at least you can keep your iPhone or Android happy while driving and using it to power Bluetooth in the car. There’s a link in the shownotes to the AutoPower in car USB Charger for only $9.95. I’m going to keep this in the glove compartment at all times, ready to keep my devices charged!

I should mention one more thing that makes me happy about the RadTech devices I’ve been reviewing. You know those nasty hard plastic boxes everything comes in these days? The RadTech devices have that same packaging, but John put a sticky note on a few of them to make sure I noticed the easy open zip back on their packages. There’s a little tab you can grab to simply pull off a section of the back of the package. Works like a charm and didn’t leave me open to one of those nasty packaging cuts! I suppose we should expect this but it’s sure not standard these days!

RadTech RadSleevz and ScreenSavrz

fuschia radsleevz on a laptopTwo more fun products John put in the box are the RadSleevz and ScreenSavrz. The RadSleevz are designed to protect the exterior of your notebook during travel and daily carrying around. It’s an interesting product – it’s made of a microfiber material and stretches around your notebook to protect it from dings with a really soft cover. It doesn’t latch or close, leaving one side open so you can grab your notebook and pull it out easily. I think this is a nice product for someone who puts their notebook in a bag unprotected today, and at $24.95 it might be worth it to protect a couple thousand dollar Apple notebook! The RadSleevz come in 6 different colors – John sent me the fuchsia and it’s really pretty. I happen to put my laptop into a sleeve in my backpack, but I have to say I have a couple of scratches in the case that perhaps the RadSleevz might have prevented. Check out the link in the shownotes to the RadSleevz. When I went to find that link, I discovered that RadTech makes the RadSleevz for a ton of different products – not just MacBooks but Kindle readers, Kindle Fire, iPads – the list goes on and on. I recommend going to the Radtech.com website and searching RadSleevz (spell) and finding the sleeve that’s right for your device. I’m adding the RadSleevz for my Kindle Paperwhite to my Christmas wishlist because I do throw that into my suitcase or back with zero protection!

Screensavrz on the keyboardWhen you close some Mac notebooks, the keys actually make little marks on the screen. They’re easily wiped off, but they bug you, right? If you have this problem, you might be interested in the RadTech ScreenSavrz, which is a very thin, microfiber cloth (in six colors!) that you just lay over your keys when you close the lid. I was very dubious of this because I couldn’t imagine that the magnet would still hold my laptop closed with the ScreenSavrz in place, but it worked like a champ. If you’re anal like me and constantly cleaning your screen, you’ll really like the ScreenSavrz because that’s it’s second job. I can’t stand it when I’m out somewhere and I see fingerprints all over my screen – I have to clean it immediately. The Screensavrz is $16.95 and you can choose from all different Macbook sizes, PC notebook sizes, and even custom sizes and colors over at Radtech.com.

Mark Pouley reviews the Orange Chef iPad Stand and Sleeves

Hello NosillaCastaways, this is Mark Pouley back with a review of a product I picked up at Macworld this year.  Actually I received it as a gift, so I didn’t purchase it and that may influence my review a bit. But lets get to that in a minute.

orange chef sleeveI identified the problem to be solved the moment I saw the Chef Sleeve covers and iPad stand by The Orange Chef.  The iPad has become an invaluable tool in the kitchen with a multitude of cooking apps and just as many stands and holders being pitched to home chefs. Finding a way to keep the iPad close at hand but safe from splashes and splatters is important. I haven’t tried many of these stands so I can’t offer a comparison. But the folks at The Orange Chef booth at Macworld got my attention, not with the product I’m reviewing, but with something I considered completely ridiculous.

They had a demo station set up with an iPad perched in a groove carved into the edge of a cutting board. They were chopping away on vegetables or something with the iPad just inches away from their blade.  This seems totally impractical. But next to that was an iPad inside a Chef Sleeve, propped in a small, attractive stand.  The iPad was dusted with flour and other cooking ingredient cast off.  That’s what I’m reviewing here.

The stand is only 5 inches tall by 4 inches wide, with noticeable weight and rubberized anti-sleep feet on the bottom. It’s constructed from composite materials, but looks like layers of wood and I think its a pretty simple and attractive style. The stand has two grooves to hold a tablet or phone at different angles, portrait or landscape.  One of the slots is wider then the other, so you can use an iPad in a thin case, but the other slot seems to be just wide enough to hold a naked iPad. If you like keeping your pad in a case, this might limit the usefulness of the stand. I didn’t find it to be a problem.

The small size of the stand makes it easy to move around the kitchen where ever I need it. And because of the weight and rubberized feet, it easily holds the Pad in a stable position.  This makes the stand very convenient in the kitchen (I’m not locked into “mounting” a stand on a cabinet or finding something metal to magnet too like other popular stands)  When the stand is not in use it is easy to set aside out of the way, and it looks really nice sitting on the counter.

The construction of the stand not only looks nice, but it’s completely dishwasher safe. This is great. Not that the stand gets particularly dirty, but if it does pick up the normal kitchen splats and splashes its easy to just toss it into the dishwasher now and then to keep it clean.

The other item in this 2 item review are the Disposable iPad sleeves. This is a pretty simple idea really. These are thin plastic sleeves that slip over an iDevice and seal with an adhesive strip (like an envelope) to keep the Pad clean and dry. While Orange Chef promotes the safety of getting the pad slopped with dry or wet kitchen goo, I wouldn’t call these water tight and I won’t be dunking my iPad in the sink with one on. Still, they do protect the surface of the device and they don’t interfere with the touch controls at all. The sleeves are pretty closely measured to the device, so you won’t be using them with a bulky case, but again, with my slim case I’m still able to get my iPad into the sleeve (but not close the adhesive flap). The sleeves are reusable, but the adhesive is going to get mucked up and really is more of a one time use and the sleeves are so tight I find they will split and tear if you try to take them on and off too many times.

Out of curiosity, I put my iPad in an ordinary gallon size zip loc bag for comparison. I was a bit surprised to discover I could still use the touch controls pretty effectively. The zip loc also probably offers a better seal and water protection. I was able to replicate the basic protection and functionality slipping the iPad into a clear 8.5 x 11 notebook sheet protector you can find in an office supply store. The zip loc and sheet protector don’t fit the pad as well as the chef sleeve, but does raise an interesting economic question.

The Chef Sleeves sell for about $20 for 25 sleeves, about 80 cents a sleeve. Gallon zip locs are about $7.50 for 30 or 25 cents each. 8.5 x 11 clear sheet protectors are about $8.00 for 100 sheets or 8 cents a sheet. You can get the stand on Amazon for $30. I can’t price out every comparable stand, but this seems like a fairly high price for a stand of this size.

As I said, I received the Chef Sleeves and Stand as a gift and I know my benefactor also received them for free so I don’t think I’m being unappreciative when I consider and comment on the cost of the item. I use the stand all the time in the kitchen and I find it really useful and convenient. I’ve used the sleeves less frequently, but not because of the way they work, but because I don’t often think to grab a bag and slip the ipad into it. The stand is always there and easy to use. The sleeves are put away and “out of sight out of mind” If, however, I was deciding whether to buy these items I would have to seriously consider if they are overpriced or if there is a more economical way to get nearly the same functionality. Happily I didn’t have to decide that question, but I think it is a fair criticism of these products.

Price is for you to decide. On functionality and convenience I give the Chef Sleeves and kitchen iPad stand a positive review and I would recommend them.

Looking at the Orange Chef web page preparing for this review I see the folks at The Orange Chef are looking at new ways to bring tech into the kitchen and perhaps we’ll see that at the next Macworld. But until then, it’s back to the kitchen to whip up something delicious.

Thanks, Mark. At the very least getting this review from you proves that you’re not lying when you say you can’t come to the live show when you claim you’re cooking. I’m glad you’ve gotten so much use out of it, the pictures you sent over look really nice and the fact that you threw flour all over the screen (with the sleeve on it) was a real nice touch.

It occurs to me that I give you some useful info at the end of the show, that you probably never hear, because if you’re anything like me, you always hit “next podcast” as soon as you know the show is ending. One of the things I like about iPad Today on the TWiT network is that they take a quick 20 second break in the middle to remind you that they have great shownotes with links to the stuff they talk about. I’m going to try this idea out, not for everything we do on the show but for two things that I think people might be missing.

You all know about the shownotes, but if you haven’t checked out the NosillaCast Google Plus community yet you’re missing a great resource. It’s there so that you guys can talk to each other, and more importantly get help from each other. Just this week alone, Ian Douglas got help from Kim Landwehr about a photo problem, Kate Thomas started a discussion on application compatibility in Mavericks, Steve Sheridan posted about a Macbook Air recall, Ryan Sakamoto posted another of his awesome Hawaii photos, and Todd Olthoff posted a video about preparing your Mac for Maverics. It’s just active enough to be pleasant and engaging, but not so active that you feel overwhelmed. I highly recommend turning notifications on (there’s a little bell above the logo) so you get an email when someone posts so you don’t have to remember to go check. Our community is at podfeet.com/googleplus.

Steve asked me to be sure to remind people about how fun the live show is to attend. If you go to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time you can join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. They chatter about while I slave away recording the show. You will not find a more inclusive and welcoming crowd on the Internet, period. There’s instructions on that page on how to download and configure standalone chat clients, or you can get Donald Burr’s awesome NosillaCast app for iOS if you’d rather listen and chat that way.

I won’t be talking THIS much each week about these things but I think at least for a while I’ll insert something about the G+ community and the live show in the middle (and stop yapping about it at the end).

Dumb Question Corner 2 – Professor Albert

Hello Allison, dis is Professor Albert and I need your help again. Yesterday I vas attending a Computer Seminar in Frankfurt because I like to be in da know about da Tech Vurld. Well, I vas sitting in da Cafeteria for my lunch break eating my Melba Toast and saurkraut, and I heard two TECHIES talking. One said” I have 4 up on my computer” and den da other said, “I have 10 down on my computer!” and den da other said ” Vell I have 12 down so dere!” I vas very confused so I vent home and I looked at my computer. I looked at da top and den down at the bottom dere, and den I looked up to da ceiling and den I looked down on da floor dere. Vat is going on here? Vat is up and Vat is down? So I spent da whole night looking up and down in my office trying to figure out vat dey vere talking about. Now my head von’t stop going up and down like a Professor Albert Bobblehead doll.

Please Allison, help me out vith dis dumb question for I have to stop myself looking up and down othervise my head is going to pop right off! Vat does dat mean “4 up” and “10 down”? And is dat good “4 up” and good “10 down” and does it really go up and down for I have been looking and I don’t see anything dere! Help me out, Allison. You ah so smart!

When I first heard the Professor’s question I wasn’t sure how to answer it because it seemed very obvious to me, but then I remembered that’s the real purpose to Dumb Question Corner. If every question is hard, then we’re not all asking the easy questions which sometimes get us in trouble. We have a wide range of NosillaCastaways and I figured out a way to maybe reach a a wider audience with the answer.

At the simplest level, Professor, when people say a numbers and down/up, they mean how fast they can receive data from the Internet and how fast they can push data up. Let’s talk a little bit about what that actually means. When you view a web page for example, your computer sends data up to the Internet to request that page to be shown. When the request is received, the web page sends that data back down to your computer, through your router and a lot of other servers and routers along the way. Now let’s say you go to the Mac App Store to get an application – you send a request up to search for an application, and when you click download, the data comes back down. So that’s the up/down people are talking about.

But then the next question is, what’s a good number? In the old days, dialup modems sent data back and forth at 56kilobits per second, which is really slow. Nowadays the phrase “broadband Internet” is super generic, it just sorta means “fast”. When you first could get 1 Mbps down, that was broadband, but no one would brag about that today. On a cable modem, you’ll hear numbers like 10mb down, 1mb up, leaving off the “per second” as understood in that context. If you’re lucky enough to get FiOS where you live, 50mbps down/ 15mbps is one of the lower tiers, and you can go a lot faster than that.

While most people will benefit from a faster download speed, most don’t need the super fast upload speeds. Normal people are requesting from the web and getting stuff from the web, like downloading applications and files and watching videos, all of which is pulling data down from the Internet. If you are a content creator however, producing videos, producing a podcast, posting images to a website, then you care deeply about fast upload speeds. For example, it used to take several minutes to upload my podcast on a 2mbps cable connection, but now with FiOS it’s about 3.5 seconds. think about how big of a difference it makes to Steve when he uploads our videos to Youtube now.

Now that we’ve got the basics down, how about we take it up a notch. When you look at a file on your computer, it’s usually defined in kilobytes for text files or megabytes for images or big presentations. A typical photo might be 2MB. That’s abbreviated with a capital M and a capital B. You might think I’m being picky here, but that capitalization is REALLY important. Did you hear I said megaBYTES, but when I talked about download and upload speeds I said megaBITS which is abbreviated capital M, lower case b. Well now I can hear the Professor spinning in confusion at bits vs. bytes. It turns out these are two different units, and the conversion between them is that there are 8Mb in every 1MB. Let’s do some math with that now – still with me Professor?

So we have a 2MB file, and we want to know how fast it will go UP to the Internet, if we have a 1Mb per second upload speed. 2MB x 8Mb/MB = 16Mb of data in that photo. so 16Mb of data would go up in 16 seconds on a 1Mb/sec cable modem upload link. See how that works?

The only reason this really will affect you is when you want to get in snotty arguments with people when they say it wrong. If you ever hear someone say, “I have 50MegaBYTE/sec up” then you know they’re either lying, are actually a corporation, made a booboo or live in South Korea where they have wicked fast Internet. In your snottiest nerd voice, say, “well actually I think you mean megaBITS/second, don’t you?”

One last thought on this whole up/down question – it’s super fun to actually look at your speeds while you’re on your computer. There are two menu bar apps for the mac that do this for you. I started on MenuMeters from ragingmenace.com, which is donationware and is a fun way to get started measuring your speeds. Once you get into it though, you may want to take things up a notch and measure a lot more stuff! I use iStatMenus from bjango.com. It’s only $16US and it will give you metrics beyond your wildest dreams. You can of course see your up/down speeds, but look at temperatures of the different sensors on your Mac, watch your CPU utilization, watch your fan speeds, memory usage – it’s a whole lot of fun in a single package for that price.

I hope this answered your question Professor, it was a lot more fun to answer than I thought at first!

Clarify Tip from Terry Austin

Hi Allison and all my fellow NosillaCastaways! I wanted to share a sleeper feature I stumbled on in Clarify this week. You know how easy it is on the Mac to do screen captures with command/shift/3, even dragging out specific areas of the screen with command/shift/4. I’ve done this forever to put screenshots into Keynote presentations, or other places where I need them.

Of course lots of you have discovered how handy Clarify is for marking up images with cool arrows and text and more…One thing I’ve always wished I could do is show ACTION in a screenshot. Say indicating that something was being dragged someplace. Ok, here’s where this gets cool. Clarify will let you do that!

You can set a timer – just to the right of the camera. Set it to 2, 4, 6, or 8 seconds. Click the camera icon then go start your action… Grab something to drag, begin dragging it with your mouse button.

For example I was dragging a podcast manually over to my iPhone in iTunes to illustrate something for my students. Mid-drag the timer expires and the screen freezes showing the drag actually happening. At that point you drag the mouse to indicat the area you want for your screenshot and VIOLA! Your image in Clarify shows the drag in progress.

Of course you can then add arrows, text, blur out sensitive information so the image really illustrates what you need in your Clarify document. BUT – this gets better! If, like me you needed this action packed image somewhere else, like in Keynote. Click File/Export/Images to folder. Now you’ve got your screenshot with all its Clarify flourishes in a folder to go anywhere you need it! Slick, eh?

Thanks for your time today. If you’re interested in more tech thoughts, especially technology in education, feel free to follow me @ielectrons on twitter.

Ok, guys – I did NOT know about the drag action shot capability in Clarify! Thank you so much for sending this in Terry. You guys should follow Terry on Twitter, he’s really fun! And when you go over to clarify-it.com to buy Clarify, be sure to tell them that Terry sent you!

Chit Chat Across the Pond

Security Light

Important Security Update:

Important Security News:

Suggested Reading:

Main Topic – How the Sausage is Made

A look at the creation of a single photo, from idea to final image:

http://www.bartbusschots.ie/blog/?p=2622

That’s going to wind this up for this week, many thanks to our sponsor for helping to pay the bills, Blue Mango Learning at bluemangolearning.com makers of ScreenSteps and Clarify. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at allison@podfeet.com, follow me on twitter and app.net @podfeet. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

3 comments to #441 RadTech ACpower Compact USB Charger, In Car USB Charger, RadSleevz and ScreenSavrz, Orange Chef iPad Stand

  • In all fairness those D-Link routers can be fixed by switching to one of the open source firmwares such as Tomato or DD-WRT. True, it’s somewhat challenging and non-intuitive, but nowadays it’s not TOO difficult, not like compiling a kernel or anything like that – usually it’s just a matter of logging in (or using the backdoor if you want to be snarky ;-) ), clicking the upgrade tab, feeding in the new firmware file, and clicking the large upgrade button. And if that still makes you nervous, you can always get the local college kid to help and bribe him/her with tacos or something. :)

  • George from Tulsa

    RE: D-Link Routers — Cutting to the Chase for Security REAL Lite

    “A Web search turned up the suspicious user agent string in a post on a Russian forum three years ago, Heffner wrote, which means somebody has known about it for a while.

    The affected models likely include D-Link’s DIR-100, DI-524, DI-524UP, DI-604S, DI-604UP, DI-604+, TM-G5240 and possibly the DIR-615. The same firmware is also used in the BRL-04UR and BRL-04CW routers made by Planex, Heffner wrote.

    http://www.infoworld.com/d/security/backdoor-found-in-d-link-router-firmware-code-228725

  • Having your own domain has benefits, in that it gives you a permanent presence on the Internet. Back when I first got online, I was an AOL user. (yeah, I know, lame.) I gave out my blahblah@aol.com address to everybody with wild abandon, and everyone I knew wrote me there (along with over 9,000 spammers, but that’s another story). Printed it on all my fancy business cards, letterheads, rubber stamps, etc. Then AOL went the way of the dinosaur and I moved to a place with DSL, and got that. Gave out my blahblah@some-dsl-provider.com address, got a whole new set of business cards/letterhead/rubber stamps/etc. Then I moved and had to switch DSL providers. Lather rinse repeat. Two or three changes like that and that was enough for me. Now if I had gotten DonaldBurr.com right off the bat from day 1, I could have just given out my-email-address@DonaldBurr.com to everybody, printed it on business cards/letterhead, etc. And never have to worry about it every again.

    As Bart pointed out, you do not need to run your own server to host a domain. Most likely the place where you bought the domain from offers email and/or web hosting to go along with it. The beauty part of it is, if you ever get tired of that provider, they piss you off, etc. you can get a hosting account somewhere else and re-point your domain there. (One such place is Google itself; with Google Apps you can host your-domain.com and have Google handle all the mail (using the same software that runs Gmail, complete with their legendary spam blocking), etc. Not to mention that there are tons of other great anti-spam solutions that work with domain-hosted email: Mailroute, Sanebox, etc.

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