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!

Today’s Winners and Losers : Microsoft, Apple and You?!

Winners and Losers

Losers:

Today’s losers are Software Patents and the companies that use Software Patents to destroy the selfsame innovation and opportunities that allowed them to flourish.

These companies, such as Microsoft and Apple, are burning the ladder that they used to climb from small company to successful giant. If IBM had used the same tactics against them, that these companies are now using against others to suppress competition, there would be no Microsoft or Apple. Frivolous and Expensive lawsuits would have crushed them before they had the chance to innovate and thrive, and the innovations they spurred would not have happened.

We would still be on the Big Blue(IBM) time-line, which largely means the PC revolution and laptop revolution and now smart phone and tablet revolution, would likely have been delayed generations, or never happened at all.

The push to computers as a consumer device and away from simply the business market, that young stupid and brash companies like Apple and Microsoft helped spearhead would not have happened in an environment of software patents and companies utilizing them to crush competition, secure market share, and generate revenue.

There’s no telling the marvelous companies and inventions that have been delayed or destroyed by this present environment of software patents; destroyed by the current short-sighted business practice of making money being the only goal, and making a great product and earning customers that way, largely a fallen idea for suckers.

So yeah today’s losers are: Software Patents, Microsoft and Apple.

And the winners…

You.

For trying the various Linux Distributions out there, for informing your representatives that you want software patents made illegal, and generally not jumping on the Windows 8 or I-phone or Itunes or Cloud bandwagon. Play around with them by all means, but buy into them not at all.

Monopolies were outlawed for a reason. And that reason is coming around again. And many who have barred up the doors, and held back the river… will be swept away when the levy breaks.

Yes they will. And I can hear it, starting… to crack.

There’s something… satisfying in that thought.

Well enough presentiment for this installment, you gals and guys have a great day and… stop by next time for more.

ANOTHER Java vulnerability puts 1 billion users at risk?!!!

Courtesy of Computer World, on the heels of a recently released patch to address a vulnerability in Java 7, a new even more serious flaw has been found affecting users of Java versions 5,6, and 7.

Read the whole article here.

But in short, if you don’t need Java on your computer, now may be a good time to disable or uninstall it.

Tech Talk of the Day and…. Lizards?!!

“What good is wisdom, if it gives no solace to the wise?”
— Dark Side of the Moon

I do think, somewhere the military was fighting Godzilla, as we had helicopters in formation, and fighter planes roaring above our heads, in a hurry to get somewhere.

And it could have been my imagination, but in the distance I could just make out a sound that could have been the roar of a righteously pissed off, gigantic atomic lizard. 🙂 .

Well enough with my perhaps peyote inspired dinosaur diatribe, onto today’s tech tips:

If you use Firefox there’s a feature called Pipelining that’s turned off by default. Here’s an article about turning it on to offer a marginal increase in page load times/responsiveness:

Firefox and Pipelining!

A decent read. And so far I’m testing it out, with no issues.

A couple other tweaks…

A few items I had turned on in the Firefox browser by default, that I’m currently testing in disabled mode, as I don’t use fancy high-faluting graphics when I surf, Plus some of them have, like WebGL, known security issues:

webgl.disabled;true
media.webm.enabled;false
html5.parser.enable;false
html5.offmainthread;false
geo.enabled;false

browser.sessionstore.resume_from_crash;false

And yes I know HTML5 is all the rage these days, but I’m not really a rage type guy. :). Still toying with it and seeing what it offers enabled as opposed to disabled. So I’ll report back on the effect of these tweaks after I’ve browsed with em for a bit.

Oh and here’s a pretty cool read if you are, like me, a newbie to the Opera browser:

Recent versions of Opera by default have a web server built-in, and TURNED ON. Who does that? The vast majority of people using a browser have no need for it to be broadcasting and requesting information like it is a web-server. So if you don’t need your computer/browser to be a web-server, you should consider disabling the Unite and Web Server functions of opera. Here’s more discussion on the pros and cons:

Webserver in your browser?
thoughts on opera browser

So if you read all that and decide you want to disable Unite/Webserver in Opera do the following:

• Enter opera:config in that browser.
• Expand the “User Prefs” section and turn OFF the checkbox for “Enable Unite”.
• Expand the “Web Server” section and turn OFF all those checkboxes, especially the 2 labled UPnP.

For more details go here!

Okay that’s all for this installment. Hope you’ve found some of that useful.

And goshdarn it… is that sound getting closer?!!! GOJIRA!!!! Ahhhh!! Ahhhh! (Yes I have watched too many Godzilla movies :))