SOFTWARE: New release of Portable Software/USB for Windoze

Monday, October 3, 2016

Portable software for USB, portable, and cloud drives

Brought to you by: chriswombatcritternycmarkomlm

Editor’s ReviewRead User Reviews

PortableApps is an open source, application launcher that you install directly to your USB or cloud drive and use on any PC. You can download hundreds of portable applications from the PortableApps integrated directory, like Firefox, Skype, and more. This means you take your browser with your bookmarks and extensions, your office suite, your photo editor, your music collection, your games, your development tools, and more with you everywhere you go. And because everything stays on your drive, every PC becomes your PC. Additional features include integrated backup, interface themes, a search option, support for personal files, favorites and more. at a Glance

It took a few minutes to install the PortableApps Platform, and several more to install six apps including ClamWin, Firefox, GIMP, KeePass, Skype, and Stellarium. To start, we launched the heavyweight GIMP without a hitch, while each additional app opened just as quickly. The idea of carrying apps around on a USB seems plausible but the idea of loading the PortableApps Platform to Dropbox, or the like, seems like an even better idea. So, without further adieu, consider trying the PortableApps Platform, especially if you’ve been thinking about the best way to take your apps for a joy ride. 

Product Details

Here is a detailed breakdown of PortableApps’ features: 

  • Take your apps everywhere—PortableApps lets you carry all your favorite apps on a portable device or cloud drive and use them on any PC.
  • Use a portable device, cloud directory, or local drive—The PortableApps Platform comes with a smart installer that easily installs your environment to a portable device, a cloud drive (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.), or a local PC, so you can safely back up data to the cloud.
  • Quickly find and install apps—PortableApps has a built-in app store that lists apps by category, title, or new and recently updated so you can install the apps you want with just a few clicks. And there’s no download limit.
  • Easily organize apps—Grow and organize your app collection with folders that group them automatically or as you see fit. Pick favorites and have the menu learn what to keep up front and center. Or use the search to find what you’re looking for.
  • Easily update apps—When a new security fix for your browser is released or a new feature in your favorite game is available, the PortableApps Updater automatically lets you know. Just click a button and the updates are downloaded and installed without messing up your settings and saved files.
  • Personalize your app menu—With a dozen bundled themes, each with a rainbow of color selections, the PortableApps Platform lets you pick a different look every day for months and never have the same menu twice.
  • Take your fonts along too—The PortableApps Platform supports the ability to carry fonts on your portable device and use them with your portable software without needing to install them on the local machine.
  • Advanced Features—The PortableApps Platform has the power and the options to work the way you want. And if there’s something we haven’t added that you’d like to see, just ask in the forums. We add new features every month!

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Always handy for when you have a windoze box to work on.

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HARDWARE: Safety jewelry

Monday, September 19, 2016

“Smart safety jewelry designed to help reduce assaults”

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$100 pre release.

A little pricy, but it may be a lifesaver.

Marketed to women, but maybe should be for children?

Interested in opinions?

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TECHNOLOGY: A cardboard small house

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Published on Feb 28, 2016
A special little house, made out of cardboard. Sustainably built to last. And suit all your needs.

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Most impressive. Cheap, small, and apparently long lasting.

Could solve a lot of “housing issues”.

Better than a shanty or a mcmansion!


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TECHNOLOGY: I just refuse to buy anything that’s “locked”

Monday, August 8, 2016

DRM: You have the right to know what you’re buying!

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Today, the EFF and a coalition of organizations and individuals asked the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to explore fair labeling rules that would require retailers to warn you when the products you buy come locked down by DRM (“Digital Rights Management” or “Digital Restrictions Management”). 

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Clearly, it’s a “devil’s bargain” to buy anything that has “DRM” on it.

At the very least, this has to be disclosed well in advance of the purchase of “crippled wares”.


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TECHNOLOGY: Comcast service plans — worthless according to WA

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Washington state sues Comcast, says it sold near-worthless service plans
Comcast defends $5-per-month service plans, will fight $100 million lawsuit.
JON BRODKIN – 8/1/2016, 1:42 PM

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Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced a $100 million consumer protection lawsuit against Comcast, alleging that the nation’s biggest cable company “engag[ed] in a pattern of deceptive practices constituting more than 1.8 million individual violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act.” Comcast’s conduct affected about 500,000 customers who purchased service protection plans in Washington, Ferguson said.

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It’s amazing that corporation would be so … … rapacious … …  as to sell basically worthless service plans.

Where’s the FCC and the other 49 states?

And Comcast can’t be the only one.

How about these “extended warranty” products? Where three years equals the cost of the product!

Makes me think that the product is so poorly built that it won’t last three years.


That’s why I advocate for chromebook for the average User. Something goes wrong, buy a new one. It’s so cheap. Of the 8 that I am aware of the only failure was from a wine spill over it. My oldest is 4 years old (I think) and has only barfed  up the OS once requiring a reload. (So now all the chromebooks I support have the rescue USB velcroed to the power cord.)

That’s what technology and technology offerings should be like — how Western Electric used to make telephone handsets. 


One can only hope

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TECHNOLOGY: SSA goes to two factor authentication

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Interesting that the industry is moving AWAY from cell phones as a form of two factor authentication.

Clearly, there is a spectrum of added risks that may NEGATE this additional control.

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Starting in August 2016, Social Security is adding a new step to protect your privacy as a my Social Security user.  This new requirement is the result of an executive order for federal agencies to provide more secure authentication for their online services. Any agency that provides online access to a customer’s personal information must use multifactor authentication.

When you sign in at with your username and password, we will ask you to add your text-enabled cell phone number.  The purpose of providing your cell phone number is that, each time you log in to your account with your username and password, we will send you a one-time security code you must also enter to log in successfully to your account.

Each time you sign into your account, you will complete two steps:

  • Step 1:  Enter your username and password.
  • Step 2:  Enter the security code we text to your cell phone (cell phone provider’s text message and data rates may apply).

The process of using a one-time security code in addition to a username and password is one form of “multifactor authentication,” which means we are using more than one method to make sure you are the actual owner of your account. 

If you do not have a text-enabled cell phone or you do not wish to provide your cell phone number, you will not be able to access your my Social Security account. 

If you are unable or choose not to use my Social Security, there are other ways you can contact us.  To learn more, please review the Frequently Asked Questions found here.

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TECHNOLOGY: Sears Quiz-A-Tron is a coding trick

Saturday, July 9, 2016

by: Gerrit Coetzee
June 29, 2016  

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… looks back a time in the 80s when kids would learn by answering the questions to quizzes on their “TOMY Teacher,” or, “Sears Quiz-A-Tron”. There’s a bit of a conundrum with this toy. How did it know which answers were correct. Chip memory of any kind wasn’t the kind of thing you’d sweep into the dust bin if you had extras like it is now; it was expensive.

To use the toy, the child would place the notebook in the plastic frame on the device. They’d open the page with the quiz they would like to take. Printed in the upper left hand corner were three colored squares. There was a matching set of colored buttons on the device. They’d press the corresponding buttons in order from top to bottom and then the machine would magically know which answers on the quiz were correct.

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If it looks too good to be true, then there is a hidden trick somewhere.

I found this entertaining!

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