News You Can Actually Use!

5 Reasons to ditch Windows for Linux! 

Porn Studio that sued thousands for piracy now fighting its own lawyer?!

Fedora 24 pushing the boundaries of Linux! Great alternative to Windows! 

Apples iOS 10 Goes to Eleven!

New Linux Lite 3.0 is a Powerhouse!!

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/New-Linux-Lite-Is-a-Powerhouse-Distro-in-Disguise-83606.html

FCC Wins Major Victory over Greedy Telecoms!!!

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/83607.html Continue reading

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Today’s Tech Tips!

Using Windows 7 or Windows 8 or Windows 10 or OS X and a bit frustrated? If not and completely satisfied, then ignore this post. However if not…

Give Linux a try.

At work I support Windows and Mac machines.

At home I use exclusively Linux for the last decade or so, and it has only gotten exponentially better in that period, till today Microsoft is incorporating Linux pieces into their newest versions of Windows, including giving away Windows 10 for free and collusion with hardware vendors in an attempt to make using Linux more difficult.

And despite all that… Linux Distros just keep getting better.

It’s fun. It’s loaded with apps and utilities and the ability to download same for free.

There are tons of tutorials to help you every step of the way.

And did I mention it was fun. 🙂

Now the biggest thing about Linux on the laptop/desktop is which version do you choose.

Distrowatch which has just celebrated its 15th anniversary, is the best place to learn about and find new Linux Distributions.

Two good ones they have recently covered are:

Gentoo Linux’s new LIVE DVD is a great place to start (The livedvd-x86-amd64-32ul-20160514 ISO which will work on 32-bit x86 or 64-bit x86_64 systems)
http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=09415

and

Debian
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=debian

Use the links to try them!

Now, I do think it is a shame that hardware vendors are releasing new laptops, that while they give us a slimmer size, do so at the expense of DVD/CD players and more importantly longevity and stability. I’ve had the chance to support these newer laptops that are coming out and they are almost across the board, ready to fail in the first year.

It’s close to criminal.

In a future update I’ll review some newer laptops that are still worth your money, but honestly get yourself an older generation Dell Latitude 6430 ATG series, wipe it and put Linux on it, and you have yourself a tank in the form of a computer that will last you years. Like a tank it’s not slim and it’s not the lightest, but hey that’s what your tablet is for. However for getting down to work, it is a reliable desktop replacement (particularly when using Linux) in a portable size.

Now that we have the basic of what you should be using, here are today’s tweaks!

Firefox version 46.0.1 is out and I probably do not have to sell anyone on using this browser.

However two features that do not come activated out of the gate that you may find useful are:

1/ The DO NOT TRACK ME feature

https://www.bestvpn.com/blog/8499/make-firefox-secure-using-aboutconfig/

and

2/ Block Tracking Attempts

Mozilla launches Tracking Protection feature in Firefox Nightly

And beyond those helpful tips, the biggest tip I can give you for security while surfing the web, keep Javascript disabled for all but trusted sites.

Your webmail, bank, paypal, school site, vendors you buy from. Firefox has an exception list you can use to just give Javascript access to those sites you trust, and the rest you let eat cake. Makes a huge difference in your browser’s vulnerability, by closing down the default attack vendor of giving everyone javascript/programming control of your browser.

If you have found this post helpful, pay it forward by supporting the Electronic Freedom Frontier and becoming a card carrying member.

https://www.eff.org/

If you use the internet, whether via desktop, laptop, tablet, or your refrigerator, these are the guys and gals fighting to keep your digital and therefore physical world, just a little more free.

I’ve been supporting them for three years now, and it’s every year some of the best money I donate. These people are Daniel’s fighting in numerous Lion’s Dens. They are doing noble work.

You can view and support them here:

https://www.eff.org/

Well that’s all for today’s Tech Tips!

Website of the Day: https://www.whatismybrowser.com/

Try it both with and without Javascript turned on and you will see a drastic difference.

Thanks for reading and safe computing!

Podcast of the Day

PODCAST OF THE DAY

Linux Outlaws 312 – Bullshit off the Starboard Bow
Linux Outlaws

I’m listening to this podcast at work, and generally I’ve tried this particular podcast show before, and previously it just didn’t engage me.

However this time, this particular episode they are discussing items I’m familiar with such as Linux Mint vs Ubuntu. Cinnamon vs Mate, and the general look at the Linux Desktop options /environment.

Based on their review I’m actually going to download and try Linux Mint after a hiatus of several years.

You can download Linux Mint 15 here. (Going along with my previous post, if you are sick of Windows, then here is another Linux Distro you have as an alternative to Microsoft)

I’m also loving their take on Youtube ‘Youtube is the sewer of the internet… should turn comments off.” as well as their view of Microsoft’s X-BOX “X-Box needs to die”. Viewpoints I entirely agree with, and the reason I don’t use or frequent YouTube or own an X-Box or Wii.:).

And on a funny note… “the house that looked like Hitler”?

Just found this podcast episode informative and even fun listening. Take a listen and see if you agree,

Tech Tip of the Day: Using the Keyboard to easily take a snapshot in VLC

Tech Tip of the Day: Using the Keyboard to easily take a snapshot in VLC.

If you’re reading this you probably know VLC stands for Video Lan Client and started out as an open-source project to create a cross platform (ie works under all operating systems, Windows, Mac, Linux, etc), versatile, ‘it just works’ software video player. And I’m pleased to say VLC does what the name says on the tin… it just works.

Get latest version of VLC here.

I say started out open-source due to Microsoft buying their way into all things open-source in the last few years. I remember the first browser wars, when there was tons of variety out there and the big dog on the web browser scene, before ie, was the then, unstoppable, Netscape Communicator.

Microsoft started throwing their money around, and that ended up with Netscape Communicator going the way of the dodo and IE being the only man (web browser) standing when the dust settled. For years before the coming of Firefox, IE was the only game in town.

I see a lot of similarities in Microsoft’s buying their way into open-source projects such as VLC, and various Linux distros. Microsoft has a history of buying things to burgle and then bury them.

So I have my doubts about the future of VLC, though hopefully my fears are unwarranted, but either way that is a story for another day.

This article is about helping you the user, be more effective at using VLC, specifically being more effective taking snapshots and screen-captures, something I do when I review DVDs. Using the mouse to try to initiate a screen-capture can be a hassle, particularly when you’re trying to capture the perfect frame of video, and that’s where keyboard shortcuts come in.

So Today I thought I would share my research into better screen captures with VLC.

Well quick searching with your favorite search engine, will suggest using the following kybd combination (for Windows/Mac/Linux) in VLC to take a screen-shot of whatever you’re watching:

Alt+Ctl+S (hold down all three keys, and tada snapshot)

However I find the default command in Linux VLC versions is not the above, but rather:

Shift+S (hold down those two keys, and tada… Snapshot!)

So one of those two should work for most of you using VLC. And of course you can designate/change which keys you use to take screen-captures by clicking TOOLS/PREFERENCES and then choosing INTERFACES and editing the HOT KEYS to your liking.

Okay, that’s today’s Tech Tip!

If you found it of help leave a like! And support this blog by swinging by my WEDNESDAYS WORDS column and purchasing something through the handy-dandy links!

Thanks!

FAVORITE Website & Program OF THE DAY: CELESTIA?!

FAVORITE WEBSITE OF THE DAY: CELESTIA

I’m kinda double-dipping here because this is not just my favorite website of the day, it’s one of my favorite programs to use on the computer.

Just addictive as well as being fun and educational. How often does that happen?!

I’m speaking of a mad open-source astronomy project called Celestia.

You can see what I’m going on about here!

As well as here andhere!

It’s like having an endlessly configurable planetarium on your computer. The idea of creating simulations of voyages through the stars, and sampling amazing voyages and scripts that other users create… well all that functionality makes Celestia pretty close to great. 🙂

You can get download links for the program and user created voyages/scripts from the link above. Okay need to go do some Celesting now! 🙂

(Yes. it’s geeky but it’s also pretty… [wait for it]…stellar! You see what I did there? :))

TECHNOLOGY ALERT: FLASH is dead, and reasons why HTML5 should join it!

For years I’ve been warning what an insecure, privacy obliterating piece of crap Adobe’s FLASH plug-in was. And finally people are agreeing with me, in their defense of a new technology to replace it… HTML5.

The only problem with that is HTML5 is a cure that’s more deadly than the sickness. It’s all the vile privacy obliterating backdoors and insecurity of Flash, but instead of being built into a plug-in you can disable, it’s part and parcel of your browser and every web-page you visit.

It’s a better way for content providers to control content of what you see, browse, and when you see, browse it, as well as creating detailed profiles to allow better targeted marketing and advertising.

In short HTML5 is a more comprehensive bloated version of FLASH, with no disable or off switch. All control, and all tracking. and no privacy all the time. Only way to defeat HTML5 is for reputable websites to offer basic HTML alternatives (which they should do anyway for backward compatibility) and for users to leave Javascript turned off except where absolutely necessary.

Here endeth the lesson. You can take it or you can leave it alone. But don’t say you haven’t been warned. Yall take care now.