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  • Geebo 10:12 am on June 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: computers, , selling   

    Don’t make this mistake when selling your computer 

    Don't make this mistake when selling your computer

    So you’ve decided to sell your computer or laptop online. Before you post that ad online you want to make sure of one thing. You want to make sure that none of your personal information is left on the hard drive. Now you may think you have just because you deleted all your personal files. Unfortunately, that doesn’t actually delete the files, it moves the file to a section of the computer’s hard drive where it waits to be replaced by some new data. If your old computer were to fall into the wrong hands after the sale, your personal information could be compromised.

    What you should do before selling your computer online is to first backup all your data. You can backup your data to either USB thumb drives, an external hard drive or a cloud based backup service. Then you need to reformat your hard drive. How to do that depends on what kind of operating system (Windows or Mac) that your computer uses. There are several utilities and resources available online that will help in either reformatting your hard drive or permanently deleting the previously deleted files on your computer.

    It may be a difficult chore in reformatting your hard drive before selling your computer but a few minutes of difficulty can prevent a lifetime of headaches.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on June 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , two factor authentication   

    Are your online accounts secure enough? 

    Are your online accounts secure enough?

    What are your most important online accounts? Probably your bank, your email and your social network of choice in that order. Now you may have those accounts protected with a strong password, but is that enough? You may have a password that contains alphanumeric characters both upper and lowercase among non-alphanumeric characters and that is 12 characters long. That’s all well and good but it’s not perfect. Having your accounts protected by a strong password is only one layer of protection but it is also one level of failure.

    Most online services today offer a feature that’s known as two factor authentication. When you activate two factor authentication your username and password is only one step to logging into your account. The second part to the authentication, in most cases, is that the service you’re trying to access sends you a personal one-time code, usually through a text message. That means that if you activate two factor authentication, if someone were to ascertain your username and password they still wouldn’t be able to access your account without having your cell phone.

    While two factor authentication isn’t perfect it can go a long way in keeping your online life secure.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on June 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , military, telescope   

    Find of the Week: Korean War Era Military Reflecting Telescope 

    Find of the Week: Korean War Era Military Reflecting Telescope

    In case you missed the post on any of our social networking accounts, yesterday we promoted an ad for a most intriguing item. A seller in Lompoc, California, posted an ad for a 12″ military reflecting telescope that is said to date back to the Korean War.

    According to the seller…

    This Telescope was originally used at the end of the Korean War and in all of the Vietnam War for spotting high-flying enemy aircraft and was phased out as computer controlled radar aiming was phased in. The telescope casing is 12″ diameter And roughly 15″ long.

    This collector’s item could not only be a great purchase for military collectors but also for history and science buffs as well.

     
  • Geebo 10:56 am on June 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Casey Nocket, Creepytings, Reddit, vandalism   

    Off Topic Friday: Reddit gets a vandal banned from the National Parks 

    Off Topic Friday: Reddit gets a vandal banned from the National Parks

    The collective hive mind at Reddit assisted in the apprehension of a wanted criminal, but as the saying goes even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile. After infamously accusing the wrong people in the 2013 bombing at the Boston Marathon the armchair sleuths at Reddit finally got one right, except the mystery wasn’t exactly on the same level as say finding D.B. Cooper.

    A graffiti artist (read: vandal) was tagging various natural formations in a number of National Parks. The so-called artist was using acrylic paint to display their handiwork in such parks as Yosemite and Death Valley. The vandal in question signed each of their works with the signature of ‘Creepytings’ and some of their work was posted to Redddit. Pictures of the vandalism made it to Reddit where it was spotted by a National Parks official. It only took a quick Google search of the name ‘Creepytings’ to link the vandal to an Instagram account of the same name that had posted pictures of the vandalism in question. The account holder tried to delete their social media account but by then it was too late. The accounts had been linked to one Casey Nocket, aka Creepytings.

    Ms. Nocket was recently sentenced for her acts and received a two-year ban from all National Parks and she has to pay an undisclosed fine, but this being the internet that’s not all she had to endure. Some of Reddit’s more anti-social users took it upon themselves to ‘dox’ Ms. Nocket, that is they discovered and made public her personal information such as home address and the like. Even in success Reddit acts like the petulant child of the internet.

     
  • Geebo 9:50 am on June 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fireworks,   

    Deadly illegal fireworks appear online 

    Deadly illegal fireworks appear online

    With the 4th of July fast approaching, a number of ads for illegal fireworks are appearing on some of the less than reputable online marketplaces. While many states allow the purchase of consumer fireworks many do not. Even then there are many local laws regarding the use of fireworks. For example, California has varying laws regarding fireworks and in Sacramento County, California, fireworks are banned altogether and with good reason. In 2014, a massive fire that caused hundreds of residents to be evacuated was caused by the illegal use of fireworks.

    In the hands of professionals fireworks can be a breathtaking experience, in careless hands they can be quite dangerous. If you insist on purchasing and using fireworks this year please consult your local laws regarding their use and please try to use them safely. Also, if you are in the market for purchasing fireworks please purchase them from an authorized dealer because would you really trust the safety of fireworks when they’re purchased through a site that generally disregards the safety of its users? I know I wouldn’t.

     
  • Geebo 11:11 am on June 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Interview with a scam artist: What they think may surprise you 

    Interview with a scam artist

    If you’ve ever been scammed out of money online or if you’re just curious to take a look inside the mind of a scam artist I recommend reading this post from Inforworld by Roger A. Grimes. In it Mr. Grimes was able to briefly interview someone who reportedly scams people online for a living.

    One of things I took away from the interview is that even the scammers get scammed. It sounds like that the online classifieds scams are a pyramid scheme in itself since the low men on the totem pole are losing money to the higher-ups. Some may think that’s justice but that doesn’t bring the money back to the victims. One of the other things I found interesting is that at least this scammer seems to see his activities as almost like stealing bread for a starving family. He seems to have the attitude that Americans have all sorts of money lying around and can afford to be scammed even though that a lot of scamming victims have lost what eager life savings they may have had.

    The good news is that the scammer says it’s getting harder and harder to scam people out of their money online. As the number of people who have been raised with the internet increases hopefully these scams will become a thing of the past.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on June 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mark Zuckerberg, ,   

    What does Facebook’s shareholder vote say about a free press? 

    What does Facebook's shareholder vote say about a free press?

    Peter Thiel demonstrates how he choked the life out of Gawker.

    In a follow-up to yesterday’s post about Facebook’s shareholder meeting, Peter Thiel was reelected to the Facebook board of directors amid the Gawker and Donald Trump controversies. The vote itself really wasn’t much of one since, as TheStreet points out, Mark Zuckerberg controls 60% of Facebook stock which pretty much makes him the benevolent dictator of the Facebook board.

    With Zuckerberg basically giving Thiel a vote of confidence what does that say about Facebook’s stance towards a free press? As BuzzFeed points out, one of Facebook’s mission statements is “to make the world more open and connected.” With Thiel’s reelection it gives the appearance that Facebook wants the open and connected world to be only made in their own image.

    With Facebook being the primary source of news for many people, they wield a mighty big stick when it comes to determining what news people see. With Thiel’s reelection it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Facebook could start limiting exposure to news outlets that are critical of them.

     
  • Geebo 9:15 am on June 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Will Peter Thiel be ousted from Facebook? 

    Will Peter Thiel be ousted from Facebook?

    Later today the board of directors of Facebook will meet for the annual shareholder’s meeting. One of the items said to be on the agenda is whether or not venture capitalist and Gawker lawsuit backer Peter Thiel will remain on the board.

    According to TheWrap The Writers Guild of America East sent a petition to Facebook stating that Peter Thiel’s presence on the board is too much of a threat to freedom of the press.

    “Facebook is the portal through which so much news, particularly online news, is accessed and even sent out now,” WGAE executive director Lowell Peterson added. “[News outlets] depend on social media like Facebook for their survival, for getting their message out, for getting their stories and videos out.”

    Another point of controversy is that Thiel is a delegate for Donald Trump. This kind of explains why Thiel’s attack lawyers are threatening Gawker with legal action over Donald Trump’s alleged hairpiece. However, could it also mean that with Thiel in Trump’s camp will this start a campaign where media outlets critical of Trump are threatened with legal action?

    So will Facebook take a stand in defense of the press or will they continue to support a legitimate threat to journalism?

     
  • Geebo 10:28 am on June 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: father's day   

    Off Topic Friday: What is the right Father’s Day gift? 

    Off Topic Friday: What is the right Father's Day gift

    With Father’s day being this Sunday I’m sure some of you still haven’t picked out a gift for the man you call Dad. The cliché is you can just get him a tie or some cologne and be done with it. That’s what I gave my dad when I was young. However, after becoming a father myself I learned that the right gift can make all the difference in the world.

    If you’re still looking for a gift for Dad this weekend I have one bit of advice for you, think it out. A thoughtful gift can often be better than an expensive gift. A gift that has a lot of thought put into it can show just how much you appreciate your Dad rather than saying “I picked up the first thing I saw” or “I spent a lot of money on this so you better appreciate this.”

    In my case there are two Father’s Days that stuck out in my mind. The first one was the time I got a t-shirt from a TV show I watched for one season with my wife. This was obvious that my wife got it for me at the last-minute because the kids forgot. No harm no foul because it happens to the best of us sometimes. The other one that sticks out in my mind was the year that my adult children only got me a card. It wasn’t just any card though. It was a card that was not only funny but mentioned something that was an inside joke between me and the kids that I hadn’t thought about in a long time but something that obviously stuck with them through the years. It was the greatest Father’s Day present I could have ever received.

    So if you find yourself hitting the stores this weekend remember, it doesn’t have to be lavish, it doesn’t have to be practical, and it sure doesn’t have to be a tie. As long as you put some real thought into it, Dad will probably be more than happy.

     
  • Geebo 10:37 am on June 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , mental health, suicide prevention   

    Are Facebook’s new suicide prevention tools susceptible to abuse? 

    Are Facebook's new suicide prevention tools susceptible to abuse?

    Recently, Facebook announced that they will be adding new suicide prevention tools to the ever burgeoning social network. Some of these tools will include being able to flag a friend’s post if you think they may be in danger of harming themselves. According to Tech Crunch this could result in a number of options…

    Facebook gives them several options. For example, a list of resources, including numbers for suicide prevention organizations, can be shared anonymously, or a message of support can be sent (Facebook suggests wording).

    The post may also be reviewed by Facebook’s global community operations team, which may then “reach out to this person with information that might be helpful to them,”

    However, with this being the internet every tool that’s designed to help can also be used to hurt, or as the saying goes ‘this is why we can’t have nice things.’ While Facebook should be applauded for adding this feature there is also a potential for abuse, especially when it comes to younger users who may be cyberbullied.

    It’s almost inevitable that group of trolls or bullies will hammer someone’s Facebook posts with this ‘suicide flag’, for lack of a better term, as either a threatening message (e.g., the ‘kill yourself’ type of harassment) or just as a way to interfere with their Facebook experience.

    Mental health is still a tricky topic even in today’s society and is still somewhat stigmatized. In that case Facebook should be commended for helping to try to bring the topic to the forefront however, they need to be careful that this feature isn’t used to even further stigmatize though who may be in need of mental healthcare by allowing this new tool of theirs to be abused.

    Engadget is reporting that Facebook does have a team in place to monitor for potential abuse. Hopefully they’ll be able to curtail abuse so resources for those who need it can be effectively put to use.

     
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