HARDWARE: Apple spits in the face of “right to repair”!


iFixit Calls the iPhone 13 “a New Low” for Repairability
ANDREW HEINZMAN @andrew_andrew__
SEP 27, 2021, 5:48 PM EDT | 1 min read

*** begin quote ***

As Right to Repair legislation garners support from both sides of the political aisle, Apple is doubling down on its anti-consumer practices. A now-complete teardown from iFixit shows that the iPhone 13 reaches “a new low” for repairability, as it’s effectively impossible to repair at home without losing key features like Face ID.

*** end quote ***

Way to lock in the consumer.


TECHNOLOGY: What a freak accident


Cancer survivor killed after beer keg explodes at 43rd birthday party
By Ben Cost September 22, 2021 10:58am 

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A Brazilian man died at his own birthday party last week after a beer keg exploded while he was trying to fix it.

The tragedy occurred the evening of Sept. 17 after Gilson do Nascimento, 43, rented the booze barrel for his b’day bash in Campo Bom in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, Newsflash reported.

*** end quote ***

What a freak accident.

I foresee a big lawsuit about who said what!


HARDWARE: Chromebook versus Apple care

My experience with getting my ROSE Mac book air repaired continues. 

Yeah, I spilled coffee on it — thanks Dunkin Donuts — and I sent it in and paid for repair — spills not covered by Apple Care — back it came still broken.

Just went thru the process again because the box got lost. Argh!

I’m going to chrome books completely.  When they break you just recycle them.  Argh!

My fiancé’s chrome book broke down and I had her back in operation in less than a day.  Most of the time was to drive to Best Buy and pick up a new one. 

Chromebook = Appliance like “Toaster” where as the Mac Book Air is more like a cranky computer. Argh!


TECHNOLOGY: Texting sucks

2021-Jul-23 2148

Texts have been really screwed up on the TMobile network.  All sort of weird crap going on.  Texts to and from TMobile are just going into the bitbucket.

My work around is just to use the damn phone as a voice call.

All communications protocols SHOUD BE authenticated and error-resistant!



TECHNOLOGY: Can’t Sue the Corporation that Wrongly Marked You a Terrorist?


Supreme Court Says You Can’t Sue the Corporation that Wrongly Marked You a Terrorist

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court barred the courthouse door to thousands of people who were wrongly marked as “potential terrorists” by credit giant TransUnion. The Court’s analysis of their “standing” —whether they were sufficiently injured to file a lawsuit—reflects a naïve view of the increasingly powerful role that personal data, and the private corporations that harvest and monetize it, play in everyday life. It also threatens congressional efforts to protect our privacy and other intangible rights from predation by Facebook, Google and other tech giants.

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Seems like they made big mistake on this one.

Gooferment politicians and bureaucrats are immoral, ineffective, and inefficient. As well as untrustworthy.



TECHNOLOGY: “peak” cell phone?


Wait a second, does the 2-year phone upgrade still make sense? I think not
Commentary: Flagship phones are giving us only incremental improvements, and our upgrade culture makes less sense than ever.
Sareena Dayaram  
July 7, 2021 5:00 a.m. PT

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Smartphone innovation has stagnated, and this is not a knock against the consumer electronics companies or the tech giants that design them. Maybe we’ve reached peak smartphone, and this is as far as it needs to go. It could well be part of the reason why the race to upgrade your phones is slowing.

*** end quote ***

I have a “broken” iPhone 10 (some broken glass on the back?) and pristine iPhone 7 (I brought to one of the cable companies cheap plans)..

Ever since I’ve found that there was no real reason to upgrade the 10 to the 12.

While I like technology, a $1,000 is an expensive “want”; not “need”.

Then I read about that NBA star from a third world country who uses a broken screen phone explaining that he can use the money for helping his people.  I guess that really shamed me.  If he can do it, so can I.

So I guess we have reached “peak phone” for me UNLESS there is some striking each-shaking feature “I just can’t live without”.

Sigh!  But upgrading was fun!


TECHNOLOGY: Don’t depend on ANY Google product ever


Google Fails: 10 Google Products Discontinued in 2021

*** begin quote ***

If you have used some of the above Google products in the past, you will agree that some will be missed. We hope that Google will shape the lessons learned from these failures into better products in the future.

*** end quote ***

Unless YOU can see the “value equation” (i.e., how does a service pay for itself), do NOT commit yourself to using it.

Perhaps, it’s unique or serves you well, then just make sure you can get your data “out”!

Note how many of the ten “products” just “silently” disappeared!


TECHNOLOGY: Podcast will disappear behind paywalls


The Conversation – Articles (US)

Apple threatens to upend podcasting’s free, open architecture
by John Sullivan, Professor of Media and Communication, Muhlenberg College

*** begin quote ***

A medium that exploded due to the lack of institutional gatekeepers is now seeing big tech companies act like traditional media networks, signing popular hosts and shows to exclusive contracts. Of course, other publishers like Slate and Stitcher have offered subscriptions to their shows via their own websites and mobile apps. But the m

uch larger audience share of Apple Podcasts and Spotify has much greater potential to move the podcast ecosystem in the direction of premium paid content.

This presents a potential long-term threat to the free, open architecture of podcasting, though projects like The Podcast Index are aiming to preserve the medium as platform-agnostic.

One thing is for certain: Apple and Spotify have given us a glimpse of a podcasting future where the walled gardens of platform-exclusive, premium content become the norm.

*** end quote ***

The Podcast Index are aiming to preserve the medium as platform-agnostic.

Guess that’s all that can save us from paywalls and the Apple Tax?


TECHNOLOGY: Buying a Tesla? You could be “owned”

Researchers hack into a Tesla from an aerial drone

This one is material for a scene in a cyber-thriller: a Tesla speeds down the highway carrying “The MacGuffin” in the trunk…. suddenly a scary looking drone with spikes and a razor teeth paint job zooms out of the sky, falls into pace above the car, our hero takes evasive actions but no, the drone has put the vehicle into autonomous mode and veers it… off a cliff… the hero bailing out just in time (or a red-shirt unceremoniously disposed of)… an LED lights up on the drone and trunk pops open, it zooms in, scoops out The MacGuffin and soars away, as the Ian Fleming-esque music begins rolling….

Well we’re not there yet. But security researchers did hover a drone over a parked Tesla, and used a weakness in the vehicle’s WiFi to take control of the onboard infotainment center and make changes to the vehicle’s internal settings, including unlocking the doors and moving the seats (perhaps in our cyber-thriller the drone ejects the driver at accelerated force through the front windshield).

The duo of researchers work for a German cyber-security research firm called Comsecuris GmBH and they’ve dubbed the security flaws “TBONE”

Read: https://futurism.com/the-byte/hackers-tesla-drone

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Seems like an obvious hack.  What about the important controls?



TECHNOLOGY: Yet Another “technology” abuse, hack, or immorality?

“Wise guy figures out a way to park free on college campus but it’s kind of a d-ck move.” In short: guy buys a fake charger plug to make his Jeep look like an EV to get free parking. It’s sadly a total d-ck move because he’s leaving EV owners without a charger, but …I offer a respectful nod at the hustle (Jalopnik).

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Funny but immoral?


TECHNOLOGY: WHAT3WORDS may not be suitable for the task? NOT-RECOMMENDED!


What3Words Sends Legal Threat To a Security Researcher For Sharing an Open-Source Alternative (techcrunch.com) 133
Posted by msmash on Monday May 03, 2021 @11:38AM from the how-about-that dept.

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A U.K. company behind digital addressing system What3Words has sent a legal threat to a security researcher for offering to share an open-source software project with other researchers, which What3Words claims violate its copyright.

*** and ***

But security researcher Andrew Tierney recently discovered that What3Words would sometimes have two similarly-named squares less than a mile apart, potentially causing confusion about a person’s true whereabouts. In a later write-up, Tierney said What3Words was not adequate for use in safety-critical cases.

*** end quote ***

Maybe Google’s system is better?

40.48453468598731, -74.42346811440515

As opposed to:

safety freed solo

AKA https://w3w.co/safety.freed.solo

WhatFreeWords should NOT be suppressed.



What3Words Sends Ridiculous Legal Threat To Security Researcher Over Open Source Alternative
(Mis)Uses of Technology
from the never-use-what3words dept
Mon, May 3rd 2021 10:47am — Mike Masnick

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The only proper response to this is never, ever use What3Words for anything that matters. Beyond not giving in to censorial, abusive bullies, their legal reaction to a security researcher doing reverse engineering work to help find potentially dangerous problems with What3Words screams loudly to the world that What3Words has no confidence that it’s products are safe. They’re scared to death of security researchers being able to really test their work.

Both of these reasons means that What3Words should be remembered as little more than a failed.dumpster.fire rather than the cool.mapping.idea it could have been.

*** end quote ***


TECHNOLOGY: Yelp replaces restaurant phone numbers


LPT: Yelp replaces restaurant phone numbers with a special number that charges that business a marketing fee. If you find a good restaurant on Yelp Google their phone number instead so they don’t lose any money.


TECHNOLOGY: What are we “buying” or are we “renting”?


The erosion of personal ownership
Everything from your fridge to your tractor can change without your permission.
By Dan Greene Apr 21, 2021, 9:20am EDT

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These dual trends — the rise of purchased and subscription-based non-physical media — are driven by the benefits such consumption provides, chiefly convenience. Digital and streaming media generally offer minimal effort to access and strong portability without physical degradation or the constraints imposed by taking up physical space (say, in a box on a TV stand). But such benefits do impose costs, like streaming’s aforementioned unending billing cycles and lack of library control, or the limits a digital purchaser faces when trying to lend or resell their wares. In fact, as some digital consumers have found out firsthand, they may suddenly no longer have their purchases at all.

*** end quote ***

Sounds like the “consumer” is getting screwed.

I look at my collection of Iomega Zip drive media and say “WTH”.

No sense saving them or the data on them.  

I don’t even know what I have lost.


TECHNOLOGY: EV cars seems to have some BIG problems — with recharging


Sans Garage
By eric-
April 15, 2021

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There are many obvious problems with electric cars as mass-market cars, most of which have been discussed. But there’s one that’s regularly overlooked:

The lack of mass-garaging.

Having a garage, of course, is not a necessity. But without one, owning – charging – an EV becomes more . . . problematic.

Without a garage – and the electrical outlets most garages have – where do you plug the electric car in overnight to recharge? An extension cord can be run from an outlet inside the house sans garage to the car parked outside – assuming you have a long enough cord.

*** end quote ***

As a fat old white guy “e-leck-trick-cal” injineer, I know a little bit amount moving electrons.  Clearly recharging is going to be an issue in several ways.  L think that this point about recharging infrastructure is a killer.  Anyone who has recharged a phone or laptop knows how long it takes,  Now imagine if your car is unusable while you’re waiting.


SOFTWARE: EVERNOTE can’t sort the contents of a note.

Earl John S. (Evernote Help and Learning)

Apr 9, 2021, 10:04 PDT

Hi there,

Thank you for contacting Evernote Support.

I understand that you are unable to find an option to sort the contents of a note, and if it is not possible, you want to know why it isn’t.

In Evernote, you can sort your notes but not its contents. This feature is not yet built in the Evernote app. However, thank you for sharing this good idea with us. It’s super valuable in helping us build the best Evernote we can. I’ve gone ahead and made note of this for our development team. While we can’t commit to getting all feature requests into the product, we do rely on our community to tell us what they’d like to see in the future. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any other ideas.

Your ideas and feedbacks are incredibly valuable to us so we built a new “Share Feedback” button into the app to make it quick and easy for you to send us your thoughts. If you are using a Mac, you can find the “Share feedback” by clicking the “Help > Share feedback” in the menu bar (Please see attached image). The comments go directly to our product team. I encourage you to use the button to submit your feedbacks and ideas.

I hope this helps.

Please message us again if you have any outstanding concerns.

Best Regards,

Earl John S.
Customer Support Representative

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Seems like a simple straight forward function to have?


TECHNOLOGY: Digital services ARE “common carriers”


BULLETINS Justice Thomas argues for making Facebook, Twitter and Google utilities
Thomas argues that some digital platforms are “sufficiently akin” to common carriers like telephone companies.
Issie Lapowsky
April 5, 2021

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Thomas argues that while private companies aren’t subject to the First Amendment, common carriers are unique to other private businesses in that they do not have the “right to exclude.” Thomas suggests that large tech platforms with substantial market power should be bound by the same restrictions. “If the analogy between common carriers and digital platforms is correct, then an answer may arise for dissatisfied platform users who would appreciate not being blocked: laws that restrict the platform’s right to exclude,” Thomas writes.

Such a restriction would substantially curb tech giants’ ability to moderate content, a proposal that both tech giants and those on the left who want to see more aggressive content moderation online would almost certainly reject.

Thomas goes on to describe the sheer scope of Facebook and Google’s market power, citing Facebook’s roughly 3 billion users and Google’s 90% market share in search. “It changes nothing that these platforms are not the sole means for distributing speech or information. A person always could choose to avoid the toll bridge or train and instead swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon Trail,” Thomas writes. “But in assessing whether a company exercises substantial market power, what matters is whether the alternatives are comparable. For many of today’s digital platforms, nothing is.”

*** end quote ***

And, as I have often posted before, if they want to moderate content, then they should be responsible for ALL content!


APPLICATION: Gmail can’t use different stars in filters; frustrating to me


Become a Gmail pro with these 10 tools and tips
Check out these Gmail tips for accessing multiple accounts at once, setting up filters and more.
Shelby Brown  
April 2, 2021 9:41 a.m. PT

*** begin quote ***


Labels can make your inbox way more manageable. They’re kind of like filters (and you can set up a filter to send an email to certain labels). Labels live in the sidebar where you’ll find Inbox, Sent, Junk and other folders. Scroll down at click Create New Label. From there, you can name your label as well as group labels.

*** end quote ***

A filter can only yellow star a message.

I haven’t been able to figure out a work around.

Eventually this may “cook GMAIL’s goose” with me.

Maybe it’s time to move on?


HARDWARE: Do as I say; not as I do


OK, I have put my coffee tray on my truck set many many times.

Today, it cost me when I spilt two large DD coffees on my seat.  

So was my laptop.

It appears that I now have a problem or three — sticky keys, a partially damaged screen, and some power issues.

New machine comes in tomorrow.

Reminds me of why I like CHROMEBOOKS.  Cheap and cloud based.

If only MARSEDIT would run on the CHROMEBOOK, then I’d have migrated completely years ago.

Oh well, live and learn!



TECHNOLOGY: Take Control of Your Online Presence


‘Digital Anti-Hate’ Group Puts Dr. Mercola on Hit List
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola
March 17, 2021

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For example, free-speech alternatives to Facebook and Twitter include Gab, MeWe, Minds and Parler. Uncensored alternatives to YouTube include Bitchute, Rumble, Brighteon, Banned.video and Thinkspot.

*** and ***

Take Control of Your Online Presence

Beyond that, consider safeguarding your own online privacy if you haven’t done so already. To encrypt your text messages and keep them from becoming data mining fodder, download the Signal or Telegram app and/or use a virtual private network (VPN) on your desktop, laptop and mobile devices.

Telegram has grown in popularity as many who have been banned on other social media platforms have migrated there. In addition to encrypting your text messages, the app also allows you to subscribe to channels. Read-only messages (although some also have the ability to comment) are sent to your phone from any channel you subscribe to.

Lastly, if you care about privacy and free speech, stop using any and all Google products, including its search engine, browser, email service, Google docs, Google Home devices, Fitbit and Android phones. There are alternatives to all of them.

For search, check out DuckDuckGo and SwissCows. For a browser, consider Brave or Opera. From a security perspective, Opera is far superior to Google Chrome and even includes a free VPN service. For encrypted email, sign up with ProtonMail, which is based in Switzerland. As for online document sharing, Digital Trends has published an article listing a number of alternatives to Google Docs.

*** end quote ***

I think this is an excellent list of alternatives.

And, I’m on many if not all of his suggestions.

You should be too.


TECHNOLOGY: The shopping and delivery trend


Streaming, shopping and delivery: Why COVID may have changed our habits forever
The pandemic made subscription services like grocery delivery and streaming part of daily life. We examine what’s changed and what it means for the future.
Shelby Brown  
March 17, 2021 4:00 a.m. PT

*** begin quote ***

“I’ll likely go out to stores I enjoy browsing in, but I doubt I’ll go back regular grocery shopping. It’s just too convenient,” she said. “At the end of the day, I’ll pay a little more to have it delivered so I can spend some extra time with my daughter at home than spend 2 hours at the grocery store, shopping.”

*** end quote ***

Out of a sample size of two young women grocery shoppers, I know one who is NOT going back to the old way of schlepping to the grocery store.

The other is a tactile strap of consciousness lady who wants to see and feel stuff.

But I do think the author has identified a trend.

In my case, I’m lazy and, as a child, my sainted Mother used to drag me to go shopping many Saturdays.  Hence, I HATE it.  So for as much as like the power of Big Tech, I’m a keyboard warrior when it comes to shopping.

No going back for me unless I’m dragged into it.


TECHNOLOGY: Speaking of old technology … … Laugh!


The television disrupted internet connections for the village when it was turned on every morning
Adam Smith@adamndsmith Tuesday 22 September 2020 14:41

*** begin quote ***

TIL that for 18 months, a village in Wales was mystified as to why their broadband internet crashed at 7am every morning, until engineers “picked up a large burst of electrical interference” springing from one dude turning on his very old TV.

*** end quote ***

And they didn’t even buy him a new TV?

I’d have “traded” it with them or begun to turn it off and on several times a day.

But, then I am just grumpy old fart.


TECHNOLOGY: The FBI Should Stop Attacking Encryption


The FBI Should Stop Attacking Encryption and Tell Congress About All the Encrypted Phones It’s Already Hacking Into

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The first step is to start keeping track of what’s happening. Congress should require that federal law enforcement agencies create detailed audit logs and screen recordings of digital searches. And we agree with Upturn that agencies nationwide should collect and publish aggregated information about how many phones were searched, and whether those searches involved warrants (with published warrant numbers), or so-called consent searches. Agencies should also disclose what tools were used for data extraction and analysis.

Congress should also consider placing sharp limits on when consent searches can take place at all. In our January blog post, we suggest that such searches be banned entirely in high-coercion settings like traffic stops, and suggest some specific limits that should be set in less-coercive settings.

*** end quote ***

As a little L libertarian, my first step would be “no warrant; no search”.  PERIOD!


TECHNOLOGY: Google Pay loses functionality permanently

*** begin quote ***

First, starting on April 5th, the following features will no longer be available from the old app and at pay.google.com:

Ability to send, request or receive money

View of your recent activity or transaction history

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That sounds like a pretty big change to me.

Guess google can’t compete with all the other ways to “send, request, or receive” money?

No impact to me, but maybe to Google’s Users of their phones?


TECHNOLOGY: Paytrust changes their UI and makes it unusable

*** begin quote ***

Unfortunately, the old interface is no longer available. We understand that the new interface takes some time getting used to and we are definitely here to assist. We apologize for the inconvenience.

If you need further assistance with the new interface, please contact us at 800-729-8787 for your bill payment needs. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to serve your bill payment needs.

*** end quote ***

What a way to lose Customers!

What pain in the A-double-Q to change out.


Oh well, an idea who’s time has past.

I wonder who did their User Interface design.