Dr. Bill.TV #288 – Video – “The Bring Back the Button Edition”

Windows 8.1 brings back the Start button, GSotW: SpaceSniffer! Japan has 2Gbps Internet! Gamers can order Pizza Hut from the Xbox; murders in the U.S. related to Internet Explorer usage? Ubuntu 13.04 is out! Chrome plug-in to view Microsoft Office files.

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

Blubrry Network

SpaceSniffer – Control Your Diskspace!


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Available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/2KMfh70BbV8

Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/64960553


Dr. Bill.TV #288 – Audio – “The Bring Back the Button Edition”

Windows 8.1 brings back the Start button, GSotW: SpaceSniffer! Japan has 2Gbps Internet! Gamers can order Pizza Hut from the Xbox; murders in the U.S. related to Internet Explorer usage? Ubuntu 13.04 is out! Chrome plug-in to view Microsoft Office files.

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

Blubrry Network

SpaceSniffer – Control Your Diskspace!


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio





Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

Available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/2KMfh70BbV8

Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/64960553


Now There’s a Chrome Plugin to View Microsoft Office Documents!

Made with the Chromebook in mind, but hey! It works in the Chrome browser too!

A speedy, more secure way to view Microsoft Office files directly in Chrome

“If you use a Chromebook, you’ve already been enjoying the ability to open Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files directly in your browser. Starting today, we’re excited to bring this same functionality to Chrome on Windows and Mac.

If you’re running Chrome Beta on Windows or Mac and install the Chrome Office Viewer (Beta) extension, you’ll be able to click a link to an Office file and open it directly in Chrome.

In addition to saving you time, the Chrome Office Viewer also protects you from malware delivered via Office files. Just like with web pages and PDFs, we’ve added a specialized sandbox to impede attackers who use compromised Office files to try to steal private information or monitor your activities.

To give it a try on Windows or Mac:

  • Get Chrome Beta
  • Install the Chrome Office Viewer (Beta) extension
  • Start clicking your favorite Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint slides on the web”

Ubuntu 13.04 Will Be Released Tomorrow!

The new release of Ubuntu is almost here, and it looks like there are some significant improvements in memory usage and boot time!

Ubuntu 13.04 release: Laying the groundwork for OS’ phone and tablet future

“Ubuntu 13.04 goes on general release tomorrow – bringing with it improvements to support the open source OS’ transformation into a platform that runs across phones, tablets, PCs and TVs.

The release demonstrates consistently faster boot speeds than earlier versions — down to about 40 seconds on Intel and AMD-based Acer Veriton desktop machines — shrinks memory usage by as much as 50MB, reduces image size and cuts power consumption, according to Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu.

‘We’ve been driving Ubuntu to be a coverged OS across different client form factors – tablet, phone, desktop. A lot of underlying work to make that happen has been happening in this development cycle,’ said Canonical CEO Jane Silber.

‘From the user perspective I think what people will notice is a real increase in speed and the visual smoothness of the experience. It’s a polishing of the user experience.’

Canonical is working on bringing the OS to two reference phones and two tablets, including the Nexus 7. The Ubunutu community already has the OS in some sort of working order on about 40 devices, said Silber.

At present there are code differences between the Ubuntu 13.04 release and Ubuntu Touch stack targeted at phones and tablets, but Silber says the two will converge with a future release, probably with the 13.10 Ubuntu release due out in October. 13.10 will see the X windows system used in 13.04 replaced with the MIR display server, which Silber said will make for a streamlined code base that can be more easily updated to support a range of devices. MIR is available as an option for developer testing of Ubuntu.

While producing a unified OS for multiple devices and form factors is’a big challenge’, according to Silber, she said the work is simplified by relying on a common core platform.

‘In some ways it’s increasing the work, but probably less than you would imagine. We’ve been working on Unity as an environment for several years now. From the outset we’ve designed it as an environment that appears differently in different form factors,’ she said.

Mark Baker, product manager for server at Canonical, said: ‘We’re a relatively small company in comparison to the people operating in the spaces we’re looking to push into: the tablet, phone and thin client space. We have to find a model that allows us to scale that development.

‘That means having the core Ubuntu platform – the kernel, libraries, APIs and other bits and pieces – that’s common across the whole Ubuntu product set. What varies is the presentation layer. Therefore while it’s more work than previously it’s a lot less work compared to say Apple that has completely different platforms based on the form factor or device they have. We’re at least compiling Ubuntu from that common platform.'”

Gamers Can Order Pizza Hut Pizza From Their Xbox Consoles!

So now they never have to leave their consoles? Will I ever see my son again?! (Fortunately, he prefers Mario’s Pizza to Pizza Hut, or I might have a REAL problem!)

Gamers can order Pizza Hut straight from the Xbox — with hand gestures!

“Long slave to the physical demands of picking up a phone, computer, smartphone, or tablet to place an order for food delivery, gamers can now create their own custom Pizza Hut pizzas — and order them — from their Xbox 360 console thanks to a unique partnership between Microsoft and the international chain.

The ‘Pizza Hut for Xbox’ app, now available, is even compatible with Kinect’s voice and motion-controlled input. Yes, users can simply speak to their console or wave their hands to create a custom pizza with personalized toppings.

Hungry gamers must first sync their Xbox Live account with a Pizza Hut account and select a nearby restaurant from which to place an order. The app also offers integration with Facebook, allowing users to post details about their order or just brag to their friends about how they just told an inanimate object to bring them dinner.

‘We’re always looking at ways to give our audience more of what they’re interested in,’ Microsoft’s director of programming for Xbox Live Larry ‘Major Nelson’ Hryb told the gaming site Polygon.

‘If you look at our audience, they love pizza. I mean, who doesn’t? It has international appeal, and Pizza Hut is a recognized brand that matches up well with the Xbox brand.’

The Pizza Hut app launched today in the U.S., and Pizza Hut is offering customers a 15 percent discount on their first purchase, provided they place the order before May 6.

Neither Microsoft nor Pizza Hut has given any details about a possible international launch of the Pizza Hut app in the future. Representatives from both companies were not immediately available for comment on this story, though the official Pizza Hut Twitter account did share the news.”

Japan Now Has 2Gbps Internet Connectivity to the Home!

I NEED this! But, I don’t want to have to move to Japan! Come on, America! You have to catch up!

Japan introduces world’s fastest internet speeds with Sony Nuro Fiber service

It appears as though the competition for highest internet speed is on the move as the use of optic fiber connections begins to make lasting strides. Broadband, a term once upon a time used to describe wider band frequency usage to provide faster data throughput rates, has now become a mere marketing gimmick by ISPs advertising their high-speed services. Now, it seems as though the key word to look out for is “fiber.” With that, just a few days ago, a Japanese ISP launched its new fiber connection service that boasts the world’s fastest data rate at 2 Gbps.

Fiber optic communication currently reigns supreme in wired networking thanks to its simple principle of carrying data through fast moving pulses of light. Google Fiber has recently pioneered the efforts of providing its blazing speed connections to a limited number of cities in the United States – Kansas City (MO and KS), Austin, and a handful of others will soon have 1 Gbps connections available. The reason for such slow implementation is simply due to the complexity involved in implementing an optic fiber network – lots of time, effort, and money goes into taking down and putting up new connection lines. Thus, densely packed communities are most likely to benefit more immediate implementation as is seen by the United Arab Emirates’ 70% fiber availability, and Japan’s recent move raising its availability to 25% of households.

Japan’s So-net Entertainment ISP is being backed by Sony during the launch of its ‘Nuro’ fiber-based service. To be available for the upgrade, residents must be located within the Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Saitama, Tochigi, or Tokyo regions of the country. The service will cost customers ¥4,980 ($51 USD) for a two-year contract on top of a one-time ¥52,500 ($537 USD) installation fee. Their monthly bill will also cover the rental of an Optical Network Unite (ONU) – a device necessary for converting high-speed fiber connections for in home, broadband use.

Due to the lack of computer network support for fiber connections, it is unlikely that Nuro fiber internet subscribers will actually see speeds close to the advertised 2Gbps down/1Gbps up anytime soon. As these fast internet connections become more abundant with time, network adapters capable of handling such speeds will too begin making their way into more homes. Let’s hope the technology roll-out begins making its way to our respective communities soon.”

Geek Software of the Week: SpaceSniffer!

You can now visualize your diskspace, and get control over your drive and the space that you are using!

SpaceSniffer – Control Your Diskspace!

“SpaceSniffer is a freeWare (donations are welcome) and portable tool application that lets you understand how folders and files are structured on your disks. By using a Treemap visualization layout, you have immediate perception of where big folders and files are placed on your devices. Treemap concept was invented by Prof. Ben Shneiderman, who kindly permitted the use of his concept into this tool.

Start a scan process and see the overall situation. Bigger are the elements on the view, bigger are folders and files on your disk. You need more detail on a big folder? Just single click on it. The selected element will be detailed with its content.

Need more and more detail? Keep selecting elements and they’ll discover their secrets to you. Need a larger view of a small folder? Then double click on it, and it’ll zoom to the full extent of the view.

If you need to understand why no more free space is left on media, keep following bigger elements. Maybe you want to focus only on particular file types… ok. Just type the file type on the filter field (example: *.jpg) and press enter. The view will react and show you only JPEG files.

Want to exclude files? Then type a starting pipe before the filter (example: |*.jpg) and press enter. The view will show everything but JPEG files.

If you want to keep track of examined files you can tag them. Four colors are available. Just hover the mouse on a file and press CTRL+1 to tag it red. There are keys also for yellow, green and blue tagging. Use them as you wish. You can also filter on tags (example: :red will show only red tagges files, :all will show all tagged files and so on). You can also exclude tagged files (example: |:red will exclude all red tagged files)

Want to know if you have old files? Type the condition in the filter field (example: >2years) and the view will react accordingly.

You can also filter on file size, file date and combine all filters
(example: *.jpg;>1mb;<3months;|:yellow)

Once you have your result, you can produce a textual report by using the embedded Export Module. You can even customize the report layout to match your needs.

Why another disk scanning utility?

I must admit, in past years I looked for long time to a quick and easy way to analyze my disks space occupation. Found many products, some free some commercial but I never accustomed to anyone of them. It’s only a matter of taste but… since my work is not to analyze disk space all the day, for this annoying task I wanted a software that does not need to be re-learned every time I run it. Everything should be directly accessible. In my opinion, if I wonder what is the meaning of a button, then that button should be removed. This is the need that urged me to program SpaceSniffer.

SpaceSniffer tries to be intuitive. Moreover it has some graphical effects. Maybe people think they’re useless. I think they help to understand what’s happening. The zoom in/out effect for instance helps me to understand where i’m going. The blinking effect helps me understand what has been just scanned or what has changed under my eyes. I found them useful for me, and hope they can be useful for others.

Obviously, it’s a matter of taste. Sure there are people that cannot live without complex statistical functions and so. Maybe SpaceSniffer is too simplistic for them. But, if you don’t have much time to recover free disk space you’ll like a minimal interface.

Please don’t misunderstand: minimal interface does not mean simple program. The smart caching engine of SpaceSniffer is designed to permit navigation even during the scan process. More views can be opened on the same disk with different filters and different navigation paths, and a single scan will be performed. If the file system changes then SpaceSniffer reflects those changes even during a scan operation. In my opinion, the complexity of an application must not be visible to the user. Everything should appear simple and obvious. This is the target in the develop of SpaceSniffer.

So, there is plenty of disk analysis tools over the internet, each one has his own features and his own dignity. I hope that SpaceSniffer can be accepted for what it is: simple way to free space with minimum time expense.

There is a lot of room for improvements: suggestion are welcome!

In few words:

  • Fast and easy to use
  • Supports drag and drop
  • Export module lets you produce customizable textual reports
  • Intuitive structure layout, multiple views for different media
  • Zoomable elements, navigate like a web browser
  • The Windows folders and file popup menu is accessible by right mouse click
  • It’s possible to restrict the view content by typing simple yet powerful filtering criteria
  • Lets you temporary tag files with four different colors and perform filtering on them
  • Different views of the same media can show differently filtered elements
  • Customizable in geometry, colors, behaviors
  • You can navigate even during the scan
  • Smart cached scanning engine, multiple views, single scan
  • You can refine a zoomed area by a secondary scan process, even with main scan active
  • Reacts to file system events, keeps always in synch, warns you by blinking elements”
  • Can scan NTFS Alternate Data Streams
  • It doesn’t clutter your registry, only a plain XML configuration file
  • It’s portable, no installation required, just put the executable somewhere and let’s go
  • It’s freeWare (donations are welcome)

The Windows Start Button is Coming Back!

The Verge says that the Start Button will be back in Windows 8.1. Well, I would hope so! Unless Microsoft wants to keep turning a deaf ear to it’s users! Yeesh!

Windows 8.1 set to bring back the Start button

“Microsoft is preparing to revive the traditional Start button it killed with Windows 8. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans have revealed to The Verge that Windows 8.1 will include the return of the Start button. We understand that the button will act as a method to simply access the Start Screen, and will not include the traditional Start Menu. The button is said to look near-identical to the existing Windows flag used in the Charm bar.

Microsoft’s change of heart follows another recent planned change for Windows 8.1: a boot to desktop option. We understand Microsoft will add an option to allow users to boot directly to the traditional desktop environment in future builds of the upcoming Windows 8 upgrade. Most internal builds of Windows 8.1 do not include the Start button or boot to desktop options, but Microsoft is said to be planning how to add these into the operating system. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley previously reported on Microsoft’s plans to bring back the Start button and a boot to desktop option.

The death of the traditional Start button in Windows 8 was one of a number of controversial changes introduced with Microsoft’s latest operating system. In our review of Windows 8 we called the new navigation changes ‘a steep learning curve,’ and feedback on the Start button removal has been mixed. 1.5 million downloads of Pokki, a Start Menu replacement, and other similar tools suggest that Windows 8 users still want the Start button and Start Menu. Microsoft explained away its removal using data it gathered from the company’s Customer Experience Improvement Program, but we understand the return in Windows 8.1 is due to customer feedback. We may see the Start button return in the upcoming Windows 8.1 Public Preview, if not expect to see it in the final version due later this year.”

Dr. Bill.TV #287 – Video – “The Phred’s Revenge Edition”

Microsoft pulls Patch Tuesday fixes, WordPress blogs under attack, GSotW: WinCDEmu! Patton Oswalt’s Geeky filibuster, Google Affiliate Network is shutting down, OpenVAS security scanner, a new version of VLC, Amazon has fourteen pilot shows to vote on!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

Blubrry Network

WinCDEmu – An Open Source CD/DVD/BD emulator


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
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Available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/-sHlwwOZQe8

Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/64486722


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