Tag Archives: Dropbox

PTJ 113: A Good Turn For Cybersecurity Awareness Month

David Perry, threat strategist for F-Secure, joins J.D. and El Kaiser on the show this week and reminds us to remain steadfast and ever vigilant against the scourge of malware.

In the news, Apple rolls out new hardware; Google experiments with with video links for live medical chats; Symantec considers breaking up into two separate companies; Aereo keeps swinging away; Microsoft reports that more than a million people have registered for access to the Windows 10 Technical Preview; Samsung works on speeding up WiFi specs; and Mars gets set for a close encounter with a comet.

PTJ 113 News: Close Encounters

iBabyApple continues its fall rollout of hardware and software, and even smarthome devices designed to work with the iOS 8 HomeKit software in iOS 8 can be found in the Apple Store. Need a connected kitchen thermometer, baby monitor or weather station? How about digital door locks? They all await you. And the  Apple Pay service may launch this weekend — the MacRumors site posted an internal note from Walgreens telling stores to be ready to go live with Apple Pay on October 18th.

redcrossGoogle is  experimenting with video links for live medical chats with doctors over a video link. The feature is still in the experimental phase, but could wind up as one of the Google “Helpouts” video sessions that connect a user to experts or professionals for online help.

Symantec now says it’s breaking up into two separate companies, probably because everyone else is doing it. One of the new firms will keep concentrated on security and the other on information management.

Aereo — the feisty little company with the tiny antennas that got slapped down by the Surpeme Court last spring — has not given up the fight to remain in business and has sent a letter to the FCC saying it would be willing to accept new regulations like cable and satellite companies do. If that all goes through, it means Aereo will also have to start negotiating for retransmission fees with all the broadcasters that massively sued it in court the past few years.

Some people are interested in Windows OS X, er, Windows 10. A Microsoft blog reports that more than a million people have registered for the Windows Insider program that gives users access to the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

qikMicrosoft continues to tinker with the Skype voice and video-calling service. This week, the company announced the new Skype Qik mobile app for sending short video messages to friends. The Skype Qik app, available for Android, iOS and soon Microsoft’s own Windows Phone, is a little bit Vine and a little bit Snapchat. Perhaps Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella can use Skype Qik to send personal video apologies to the women who attended his appearance at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference last week, where he told the audience that women should trust karma if they don’t get the raise they want. As an F5 vortex of backlash ensued, Mr. Nadella quickly sent out a memo to Microsoft employees and the world saying “I got that question completely wrong.” No argument here.

Samsung announced that it’s working on its new 60 GHz Wi-Fi technology that allows for data speeds of up to 4.6 gigabits per second. All this is five times faster that the current possible speeds. The new Wi-Fi flavor is officially called 802.11ad and Samsung hopes to get it out there for consumers by next year.
Please hurry, Samsung!

tux_cloudsWe’ve heard all about the Google, Facebook and Amazon drones this year, and now the Linux Foundation is encouraging developers to check out the new Dronecode project that unites the existing PX4 open-source hardware and APM Autopilot projects. The Linux Foundation would like to remind us that drones can be used for good, too!

Dropbox posted a statement online this week saying that it wasn’t hacked and it was third-party services leaking user credentials. (So there.) The company also advises turning on two-step verification for your Dropbox account.

Snapsaved, one of those third-party services designed to save self-destructing Snapchat messages, got hacked and 500 megabytes of images that the original senders probably wanted to disappear forever are now free in the wild. Yeah, didn’t see that one coming.

nasamarsAnd finally, two little nuggets of Mars-related news. For one, technology developed to help the Mars Curiosity rover look for methane on Mars is being adapted by California’s Pacific Gas & Electric Company for a hand-held device that can locate gas leaks here on Earth for immediate repair. And second, comet watchers at NASA and other space agencies around the world will be tuning in on October 19th when Comet C/2013 A1 will fly within 87,000 miles of Mars. Now, 87,000 miles is practically spittin’ distance in space terms, and thanks to all the orbiters and rovers up there on the Red Planet, we ought to have a pretty good view of things. In fact, NASA already has an info page and its “Near Miss With Mars!” logo up and ready for your visit.

PTJ 102: Making The Leap From Windows to OS X

This week on a super-sized edition of the best geek culture web radio show on the planet we answer a question from a longtime listener who is about to make the dramatic leap from a Windows PC to a shiny new Mac. J.D. and El Kaiser offer suggestions on how to make the transition painless.

In the news, Apple edges closer to official i-branded wearable tech; a forensic scientist and hacker claims there are a slew of attack points, system backdoors and surveillance mechanisms purposely built into iOS devices; The Electronic Frontier Foundation has developed its own browser plug-in that prevents third party online snoops;  Facebook tests new “buy now” and “save for later” features; The FCC closes out the first round of public comments on its proposed new rules for Net Neutrality;  Samsung gets into the luxury headphone game; and The Simpsons get the marathon treatment.

Moving to Mac

So, after all these years, you’ve decided to leave the familiar Windows PC behind and switch to the Mac.  Whether it be corporate migration, fear and annoyance with Windows 8/ditching Windows XP (at last), or just the need for a change, the process isn’t as drastic as it used to be. Let’s break it down: After you get the new Mac, you have three basic steps to make it feel like home.

Step 1: Move Your Stuff

You can physically schlep your files from the PC to Mac in a number of ways, including copying folders and files to an external hard drive for a SneakerNet transfer, or moving them over a network. But Apple, wanting to make PC refugees as happy as possible, has its own free Windows Migration Assistant program (shown below) and detailed instructions for using it on its site. The Assistant moves basic stuff like contacts, calendar info, mail accounts, browser bookmarks and more — but not Windows programs. (These won’t run on OS X anyway unless you get fancy, as we’ll discuss in a bit.)

WMA

You can also use the Migration Assistant to move files and folders. Common file formats, like JPG photo files, text files and unprotected MP3 audio files work well on both platforms. The Assistant can even put your pictures into the free iPhoto program that comes with the Mac, but if you prefer other photo-editing and organizer programs like Google’s Picasa or Adobe Photoshop Elements, there are OS X  versions to download or buy.

Likewise, if you need Microsoft Office, you can either buy the Mac version, use Office 365 or get one of the various other programs out there that can open and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Apple’s iWork productivity suite is now free with every new Mac and can handle a lot of Office chores.

Apple’s iTunes program can’t plan Windows Audio Media files, but iTunes can convert unrestricted WMA files to iTunes-friendly formats. If you were using iTunes for Windows, you can transfer all your ripped and purchased iTunes content between computers.

Many apps and services are cross-platform — Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon’s Kindle Reader, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and so on. You can download new versions from the sites themselves. The Mac App Store may also have useful software.

The bummer for most people is that PC games will not work on the Mac and the Mac has never quite caught up with Windows in that area. (Some say Macs are getting better for games, though, and Steam might help ease the pain of PC-game withdrawal.)

Step 2: Get to Know Mac OS X

Let’s face it, over the years, both Windows and OS X have gotten similar: Taskbar/Dock, Programs/Applications folder, Recycle Bin/Trash Can — navigating the desktop is not that hard to do anymore between the two systems. Mac keyboard shortcuts may differ, as well as the placement of desktop icons, but these are often minor things to relearn.

pchabits

Apple’s site has tons of basic info about getting used to Mac OS X and even an “On Windows, I used to…” page.  Many people around the Web have posted their personal tales of switching from PC to Mac. Resources abound online, so read up.

Step 3: Fine-Tuning, Workarounds and … Windows on a Mac?

Once you get your stuff moved over and become somewhat used to navigating the Mac interface, you’ll probably find some things you need to tweak. You may also find you need some programs that just aren’t available for the Mac.

As for the tweaking, the Mac OS comes with a ton of printer drivers already installed, but you may need to snag more obscure ones or utility software from the manufacturer’s site. Many new Macs don’t include disc drives or Ethernet jacks anymore, so if you need these, external add-ons are available. Of course, you’ll want to get a backup drive for your system, but you get free backup software with Mac OS X called Time Machine.

If there are some Windows programs you still need to use, you have options. Programs like Citrix will let you tap into some Windows servers and systems virtually from your Mac. Apple’s free Boot Camp software (below) basically lets you partition your Mac’s drive and carve out space to install a copy of Windows side-by-side on the same machine. Virtualization software like the $80 Parallels Desktop can also run Windows on your Mac, but without all that partitioning business. Note that you do have to buy the copy of Windows, however. (Microsoft software sold separately. Void where prohibited. Your mileage may vary.)

bootcamp

After years of Windows, it may take a few weeks to get used to OS X — especially if you’ve never used a Mac, but go on in and get comfortable. To help you relax, check out these OS X Easter Eggs left by kindly Apple software engineers. You can play a round of Tetris, see the legendary Mrs. Field’s cookie recipe — and if you miss it from Windows — watch the ASCII version of Star Wars over a Telnet connection in the Mac’s Terminal window. Feels like home already now, doesn’t it? And if it doesn’t…well, Windows 9 is due out next year!

PTJ 87: Say It Ain’t So, Oculus VR

J.D. tells us where we can find the trendiest trends and a tanned, rested and ready Kaiser has confession to make. In the news, tech sites get foolish on the first day of April; Facebook buys Oculus Rift and breaks the heart of millions of gamers; Apple appears to be almost ready to crank out the iPhone 6; the FCC frees up even more radio frequencies; Stephen Colbert catches all kinds of heat; and settlement checks and credits from the e-book pricing case have begun making their way to customers.

PTJ 87 News: Checks and Balances

Another year, another pile of April Fools’ Day Jokes from tech companies. As usual, general wackiness ensued and even the CERN site played along as it announced a move to Comic Sans as its typeface for official communications. Try as they may, however, nobody is ever going to top the ThinkGeek site for April Fools’ whimsy. The nerd emporium had its usual display of fake products up for April 1st. This year’s crop included Rosetta Stone® for Klingon, a Laser-Guided Tactical Necktie and a Flux Capacitor Car Charger.

rosetta stone

Back in the non-prank world, Facebook did actually agree to pay two billion dollars for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset company last week. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post that games are just the start. The move did put virtual reality back in the news, long after everyone stopped talking about Second Life. But Facebook is looking at the future here and it’s not alone. As part of a series on the World Wide Web at 25, the Pew Internet and American Life Project had several big thinkers predict digital life in the year 2025.

Microsoft has updated its Bing search engine to include a Snapshot feature to help flesh out queries. Yahoo continues its move to be more of a media and social media company and less of a search-and- services site. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is in talks to buy the News Distribution Network video service, along the deal is still unconfirmed at this point.

While we’re touring downtown Rumorville: Reuters and other news organizations are reporting that Apple is gearing up to make parts for the iPhone 6. It’ll be fall before you know it. (And finally in the Not a Rumor column: The Amazon Fire TV box, to be discussed on next week’s show.)

Lawyers for Apple and Samsung picked jurors Monday for their latest patent infringement fight.  Opening arguments in the case — Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Company Limited 12-00630 — began Tuesday morning.

In government news, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has mandated that all vehicles less than 10,0000 pounds include review video cameras to cut down on backup-related accidents. That smartphone kill switch law proposed by members of the U.S. Senate a few months back could potentially save consumers $2.6 billion dollars if it’s passed, according to a report from researchers at Creighton University. (The wireless industry has previously spoken out against the bill, saying hackers could wipe people’s phones for fun, although some sources have pointed out that smartphone companies and carriers could lose money on those smartphone insurance policies they sell to customers.) And the Federal Communications Commission voted this week to open up another bunch o’ megahertz for use by Wi-Fi devices on the 5 GHz band.

Online protest, or clicktivism, is back in the news as the OkCupid dating site called out Mozilla’s new CEO Brenden Eich for his past views on same-sex marriage and his donation to California’s 2008 Proposition 8 campaign. Mr. Eich, for his part, put up a post on his personal blog talking about the issue and his devotion to diversity at Mozilla and a company blog reaffirmed its commitment to equality. (OkCupid yanked the Firefox protest screen after a few days. UPDATE: On Thursday, April 3, Eich stepped down as CEO of Mozilla.)

Stephen Colbert, who plays the overstuffed host of a mock political show, also faced a heated campaign on Twitter after the account connected to his show tweeted a message that some found racially offensive. Colbert addressed the controversy with a dream sequence on his show this week and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone appeared to shut down the @ColbertReport account.

Have you ever wondered who looked at your Google+ profile page? If so, you may have noticed Google recently added the number of page views since October 2012 to your profile page. (Oh, and in case you like anniversaries, this week marked the 10th year of Gmail.)

Google is also cracking down on bad app behavior; check out the update to the Google Play Developer Program Policies. The sharing of intellectual properly and copyrighted works is a standard issue these days and will likely be back in the news this weekend when Game of Thrones returns for its fourth season on HBO. A Twitter post last weekend about Dropbox blocking copyrighted material from being shared saw thousands of retweets from people wondering if the online storage site was going through people’s stuff.  The short answer? No, but the TechCrunch blog has a good breakdown of how the Dropbox system works.

As mentioned back in January, the Rosetta spacecraft woke up from hibernation and was preparing to trail Comet 67P/Churyumov- Gerasimenko as part of its mission from the European Space Agency. Rosetta has now begun to beam back its first photos of the comet taken from a distance of about three million miles. The pictures should be a little closer to the actual comet by this summer.

And finally, watch your mailboxes. Settlement checks and credits from the e-book pricing case have been rolling out over the past few weeks. Some online retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, are issuing customer credits and have guides on their sites. It may just be a few dollars, but with those low, low ebook prices, surely you can find something good to read.

PTJ 78: The Case of the Missing Kaisercoins

Series 3 of the BBC’s “Sherlock” finally makes its debut on PBS stations across the United States but if you can’t get enough of the deerstalker hat wearing detective, J.D. fills us in on other ways to get our Sherlock fix. Pedro deals with the disappointment of not having any cryptocurrency named in his honor by telling us what he knows about digital money.  In the news,  the U.S . Court of Appeals strikes down F.C.C. net neutrality rules; hackers mark the one-year anniversary of the death of programmer and digital-rights activist Aaron Swartz; Winamp will whip more llama ass; Google goes shopping; Snapchat continues to deal with its growing pains; and the bells begin to toll for Microsoft’s Windows 8.

PTJ 78 News: Whacks and Hacks

The year’s not even three weeks old and plenty of change is in the air. Earlier this week, the US Court of Appeals bounced the net neutrality’s rules put forth by the Federal Communications Commission. This gave Verizon Communications a legal victory over potential restrictions that would have made the company treat all traffic over its broadband lines equally. Continue reading PTJ 78 News: Whacks and Hacks

PTJ 73: Eco-Friendly Cans and Private Picture Shows

Pedro reviews new on-ear headphones from two companies that are doing their best to keep things friendly between them and this big, blue marble we call earth: House of Marley’s EM-JH073 “Liberate” and ThinkSound’s On1 Studio Monitors. J.D. has a (Hopefully) Helpful Hint™ for those of you dreading the photographic evidence of your antics guaranteed to flood your social networks this holiday season. In the news, Sony sells more than 1 million PlayStation 4s with Microsoft’s XBox One on-deck; Samsung claims Gear smartwatch sales are brisk; Google and Bing get set to take on pedophiles; Facebook confirms that anything you post on their service is fodder for advertising; Sprint and Best Buy offer students a deal on phones; and the world awaits the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who. 

(Hopefully) Helpful Hint: The Personal Picture Show

2103 is in the home stretch and Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s are all looming. With the holidays come lots of family events and seasonal parties where photographs will be taken — but not necessarily pictures you want to have posted outside your circle of family, friends or co-workers. You’d also like to see all the pictures everybody else took without having to dig through your mailbox or wander all over the Web.

So how do you keep your party and family photos visible only to the people you want to see them, all without having to email buckets of pixels? Sure, there are always shared photo albums on Facebook or Google+, but some people aren’t so comfortable with the privacy on social-networking sites these days, no matter what controls you have over who sees your stuff.

But you have other options, specifically sites and services designed for group photo sharing. Although features and steps vary from site to site, you can basically set up a private, members-only Web page or photo feed and only the people you have approved can see or post pictures to it.

For example, you have online file services like Dropbox or Microsoft SkyDrive. Here, you post photos online and dole out links for people to click and see the pictures in your own little personal area of the site.

You’ve also got the mega-photo site, Flickr, as another option if you have an account there or want to set up a free one for the occasion. Say you’ve got a big corporate holiday party and you want everyone there to be able to share their photos with each other, but not necessarily the outside world. One way to do it: use Flickr’s groups feature. You can make a new group page on Flicker for the party or event (call it Holiday Party 2013 for argument’s sake) and invite friends to join the group by email. Once they accept your invite, they can all upload their own photos to the private group page. Flickr also lets you post photos by e-mail, so if you’ve created a Flickr account for the event, you can give the email address out to friends and let them post pictures to the page from their smartphones — even while the event is taking place.

streamshareIs your family is all hooked into Apple and iCloud? If so, you’ve got the option of shared photo streams. You can create shared streams on iOS 6 and iOS 7 devices, Macs and Windows computers, but you need an iCloud account on the participating computers and gadgets. You start by selecting some photos to share, creating a photo stream and sending e-mail invitations to friends and family. You can allow these “subscribers” to post their own photos and videos; they can also comment and “like” your pictures in the stream while uploading their own to the mix. When people share photos in the stream, others can download and keep them.

Sure, hoisting images up to SkyDrive, setting up a Flickr group page or creating an iCloud shared stream may take a little extra work up front. But if you want to keep those photos in one place and all in the family, it’s worth the effort.