Dr. Bill.TV #323 – Audio – “The Pro Net Neutrality Geek Show Edition!”

YouTube launches new comments, why I am pro Net Neutrality! Glucose monitoring via Google contacts, Google purchases Nest! 3-D TVs are out, 4K TVs are in! Novena: a leather-bound Open Source laptop. GSotW: Free File Shredder, Acer C720P Chromebook report!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

Free File Shredder


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

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Available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/sc3fKQdHxy4

Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/84491196


Chromebook Experiment Report!

Acer Chromebook C720P
So, a lot of you have been waiting patiently for me to report on how my experiment is going with my new Google Chromebook. Well, I can report great success! I find my new Google Chromebook, which by the way, is an Acer C720P, to be very light, small, easy to use, and very, very fast!

In terms of actual use, since a lot of what I do is already in the Cloud, it’s really no different than using my Chrome browser on a regular computer. And, that makes sense. Since I use my Chrome browser exclusively, with a few minor exceptions, such as, I use Mozilla Firefox to view certain RSS feeds because I like the way it displays the feeds, and Google Chrome does not display those feeds, except as raw XML. Now, yes, there are tools available as Chrome plug-ins that will allow me to view those feeds. In fact, I use one called “Slick RSS.” It works really well and I like it. But, sometimes I just want to see an RSS feed displayed like Mozilla Firefox displays it, so there you go…

What I was most concerned about when using a Chromebook was my ability to be able to connect to other computers, which I need to manage. I have two options to do this, which I use for different situations. One is the Google Chrome Remote Desktop, which can be set up very easily on computers that you own, such as your home PC, and it allows you to connect to, and display the console of that PC. The other option that I have is the use of VMware View, which I use to connect to a View session at work to do computer management at the hospital that I work at. VMware has an HTML5 View Client that works well under Chrome.

Now, you might say that it’s cheating for me to use a Chromebook to connect to a full-blown Windows computer to do certain things that I need to do at work! Maybe. But that’s the nature of the technology at this point. I have to work with what I have to work with. So, you may say that I’m not really using my Chromebook to do everything I need to do, but within the parameters of my experiment, I think I’m doing pretty well.

The question was, “can I use the Chromebook for the majority of my computing and get the job done?” To me, the answer is “yes.” You may quibble with my belief that I can do all my computing via my Chromebook. That’s entirely up to you. But for me, I find that I can function quite nicely using the Chromebook as a primary computer. Notice I said a primary computer, not the primary computer. That’s a fine distinction, but one I feel I have to make. A lot of what I do requires a lot of computing power. One thing that I do every week is my own video netcast. This requires editing my video and then rendering it into different formats. Now, there are video editors available that work well with chrome. One is WeVideo. It’s okay. I’m not that enthusiastic about it. Maybe it’s because I’m really used to the editor that I use every week. That is, the AVS Video Editor. It simply rocks!

But again, other than that, most of what I do, I can do with a Chromebook. At least, that’s my findings so far.

Geek Software of the Week: Free File Shredder!

Free File ShredderWe should all be concerned about security. That pretty much goes without saying. However, every so often, somebody has to say it! So, “be concerned about security!” There, I said it!

This week’s Geek Software of the Week provides you with the option of not just deleting a file, which we all know, doesn’t really delete the file. What? You didn’t know that deleting a file doesn’t delete the file? Well, it’s the truth! All deleting the file actually does is mark it as deleted in the file table of your computer. The file is subject to then be written over by new data, which will eventually render it irretrievable, but, if you want to be absolutely sure that a file is gone forever and cannot be retrieved, then you need this week’s Geek Software of the Week! And, it is, Free File Shredder!

Free File Shredder

“With File Shredder you can remove files from your hard drive without fear they could be recovered. There are quite a few software tools today for retrieval of deleted files under Windows OS. Those tools, often referred to as ‘file recovery’ software, are taking advantage of shortcoming of Windows ‘delete’ command that we all use regularly to delete files. Actually, the ‘delete’ operation in Windows only removes bits of information from files so they appear deleted in OS. It is easy to retrieve those files using aforementioned specialized file recovery software.

In order to remove, or shred files permanently from your system you have to use a program that is capable of rewriting the files with random series of binary data multiple times. This process is often called shredding. That way, the actual content of the file has been overwritten and the possibilities to recover such a shredded file are mostly theoretical.

File Shredder has been developed as fast, safe and reliable tool to shred company files. The author of this program released it free under GNU licence and you are welcome to download File Shredder and use it without any restrictions. File Shredder is simple but powerful program that surpasses many commercial file shredders out there. The Author believes that such a utility should be available to anyone for free and that permanent and safe removal of confidential documents is a matter of basic right to privacy.

In File Shredder you can choose between 5 different shredding algorithms, each one gradually stronger than the previous one. It also has integrated Disk Wiper which uses shredding algorithm to wipe unused disk space.”

Open Source Laptop!

How cool is this? An Open Source, leather-bound laptop computer! If you are a hardware geek, and have plenty o’ money, this would be a very cool project!

Novena: A leather-bound open-source hacker laptop that you can build yourself

Novena Project LaptopExtremeTech – “The beautiful laptop that you see before you, called Project Novena, was built from scratch. Because its creators have open-sourced the laptop’s blueprints, you can even build a Novena yourself — if you had a lot of time, money, and technical expertise, anyway. In keeping with the laptop’s open computing roots, even the motherboard was designed and created from scratch. Inside the laptop, which was created specifically for hardware hacking, there’s a whole range of goodies: an FPGA on the motherboard, dual Ethernet sockets, a USB OTG port — and again, due to the open-source requirement, a Freescale iMX6 quad-core ARM CPU. The build took more than a year and a half to complete.

Built by Sean ‘xobs’ Cross and Bunnie Huang, Project Novena is truly a wonder to behold. We’ve seen a lot of DIY desktops and case mods, but laptops — because of their smaller form factor and non-standard parts — are very rare indeed. Open source DIY laptops are almost unheard of. In this case, ‘open source’ means two things: The blueprints for the custom circuit boards (the motherboard and battery board) are available on the Project Novena wiki, and where possible Xobs and Bunnie tried to use components that had complete and NDA-free documentation. That’s why they chose the Freescale iMX6 CPU — unlike most CPUs, you can simply hit up the Freescale website and download an almost-complete 6,000-page programming manual. If you wanted to get your hands on Intel’s internal documentation, you would need to sign a lot of paperwork.”

4K, 3-D, and Other Acronyms!

One thing that we saw a lot of at CES this year was the introduction of much more affordable 4-K television sets. Some of you may be asking what’s a 4-K TV? Basically, think of it as a television system that allows viewing of four times the information of a 1080P television system. That’s much denser pixels that we currently have on our flatscreen TVs!

Now, for all intents and purposes, 3-D didn’t make it as a popular TV option. Now, before I get a lot of letters about how great 3-D is, and how much you love your system, hold on! You have to agree that 3-D as an option on HDTV’s has not really caught on in a big way commercially. In fact, Visio has announced that their new lineup of TVs for 2014 will not include any 3-D systems. That ought to tell you something!

Call me old-fashioned, but when I go to see a movie these days, I specifically go to see the 2-D movie, and skip paying extra money for the 3-D movie. The 2-D version is much clearer, easier to watch, and I don’t really feel that I’ve lost anything by losing 3-D. It’s just not that big a deal. Maybe it’s because I’m used to 2-D, or maybe my mind allows me to conceive of what I’m seeing as a 3-D spatial environment without any visual trickery!

Either way, expect 3-D to be totally phased out by other manufacturers as well, and look at it this way; your current 3-D HD television will be a collectors item! Although when it comes to technology, that’s not necessarily a good thing!

Google Purchases Nest!

So, I was reading this week that Google purchased Nest for $3.2 billion! Nest is a developer and manufacturer for home automation devices, such as smartphone controlled thermostats, and other innovative home automation.

Nests products do look very cool, and actually bring to mind the design style of Apple. These devices appeal to high-end homeowners that want a “cool factor” in their household automation devices. In fact, these devices can be controlled by a user’s iPad, or Android tablet, which again, is a pretty good idea!

Some pundits are asking the question, “Do we really want Google to have access to data from our homes through these devices?” I’m not sure what Google would do with information on what temperature I keep my home, are how often I turn my lights on and off, but then, I’m not Google! I’m sure they could come up with a way to monetize it, if they put their mind to it!

And, I’m sure my buddy at work, that I call “Jim Bob Not-his-real-name” would remind me that Google is “the devil” and, that one should never let Google monitor anything… much less your house! So I’m sure he would find their purchase of Nest very troubling.

This could begin Google’s entry into what some pundits are calling “the Internet of things.” The idea being that having your toaster, or your microwave, or your refrigerator, connected to the Internet can be useful. So, I understand that having your refrigerator report via e-mail that you need to buy some milk on the way home from work could be handy. But, maybe a little creepy! Welcome to the future!

Having an Internet connected house would provide a lot of neat information to the homeowner, but, I would be concerned about how that information could potentially be hacked and used! We seem to be losing more and more privacy every day as these Internet connected conveniences make it possible to have information from our homes, and our devices; and as we saw all in an earlier post, even from our bodies!

If hackers can get to this information, they would have even more information about us! For instance, if they can find out by your home automation system that you’re not at home, then it would make your house an easier target for people that want to break in and steal all your cool gadgets. Something to think about!

Google’s Glucose Monitor in a Contact Lens!

Google ContactsThis week Google started working on a smart contact lens that monitors glucose levels within the wearer’s human tears, or more precisely, the moisture on your eye. The idea being that wearers of contact lenses which also happen to be diabetics, can monitor their blood sugar at all times. An interesting idea, but is it practical?

One thing that Google promised in their announcement on Thursday was that the data received concerning blood glucose levels would never be stored on Google servers. I find that really interesting that they understood that the public is concerned about their health information being made available on Google servers! At least Google’s thinking about the issue and is responding to that problem right up front.

Keep in mind that this device is a prototype, it contains a sensor that measures glucose levels in the tears and moisture through a tiny pinhole in the lens that lets tear fluid be analyzed by the device. Google says that the device can take glucose level readings once every second!

Now, I’m not sure that anyone needs to know their blood sugar level once every second. It seems to me that that would give you an opportunity to obsess about it! But the technology involved is pretty cool.

Google is a technology company, and prides itself on innovation. I suspect they’re working with this device as much to prove that they can do it, as to provide a useful service. Although I do believe that health monitoring is one of the next great frontiers for computer technology. In fact, there were a lot of health and fitness devices demonstrated at this year’s CES. So I think we have a lot to look forward to in that space. Maybe it won’t be long until we have really accurate, and useful, “Star Trek style” tricorders available!

Why I am Pro Net Neutrality!

A court decision this week has a lot of people concerned about whether net neutrality is dead. I’m pretty concerned as well. This whole situation got me thinking about the issue of net neutrality. A lot of people don’t understand what net neutrality is, so let’s talk about that.

Think of net neutrality this way, the interstate highway system, believe it or not, was originally set up to provide the federal government open lanes for military equipment to be transported within the country in case of an attack from the outside that required us to defend our cities. I know this sounds crazy to most folks, who drive our interstate highway system, and don’t think the thing about the military aspect. Some might say, that the military side of this equation was put in place to justify the expense of creating a large interstate highway system. And, there may be some truth to that! Politicians are experts at coming up with ways to justify getting large amounts of money for pet projects! But, putting that aside, I think we can all agree that the interstate highway system has been a benefit to the citizens of the United States. Why? Because when it’s time for you to travel on your vacation, let’s say to Disney World in Florida, you don’t think anything about jumping in your car and simply driving south! You have nice, open, highways that are convenient and allow you to travel inexpensively without paying any tolls.

Now, there are highways within our country that are privately developed and privately owned, and the owners of these roads charge a toll. The idea is that toll roads provide high quality roads that quickly connect things from “Point A” to “Point B.” And, since they are privately owned, or in some way subsidized by a private entity, we should pay them for developing the road. And, that’s fine, if I choose to use a toll road, for convenience sake, that’s my choice, and I can spend my money to do so. However, it’s nice to be able to use the Federal Interstate Highway System to go from that same “Point A” to “Point B,” perhaps having to go a little further around, in some situations; but by using it I have the option of a free trip (not counting wear and tear on my car… and gas prices, of course!)

So, why all this talk about interstate highways? Well, the Internet has been called the “Information Superhighway.” And, indirectly, that’s why Al Gore once claimed to have “taken the initiative to create the Internet.” You see, his father was instrumental in creating the Federal Interstate Highway System. He championed it. Al Gore, in somewhat the same way, was actually claiming to have championed the “Information Superhighway,” which we call the Internet. Now, he stuck his foot in his mouth, when he made the statement, “that he took the initiative to create the Internet.” I don’t believe his father would have claimed to have created superhighways. But, I might be wrong! The point is, that the Federal Government did create the superhighway system, and anyone of us can use it freely! In the same way, the Internet is open for all to use and “drive on” as we see fit. No one is charging us extra for using a certain part of the Internet while not using another part of the Internet. It is all free and open.

If I want to create a website, or service, and use the Internet to deliver it, that’s my business. I don’t have to pay anybody anymore than anyone else to put my business, or video, or audio, or website… whatever, on the Internet! This concept is the essence of net neutrality. That the Internet should be free and open for all to use just like the superhighway system of the United States is open for anyone to drive their car, or truck; and in the process, perhaps even make money, such as truck drivers do today on our highways.

So, this is the reason that I’m for net neutrality. I hope this recent court case won’t stop the innovation, the creativity, and openness, of our “Information Superhighway!” That would be tragic and it would restrict not just the flow of of ideas, but the innovation that I’m sure will continue as our linked information society continues to innovate in the Internet space!

YouTube Responds: New Comment Management

YouTuber’s rejoice! YouTube has been working on a fix to it’s very unpopular change to it’s comments section!

YouTube Launches New Comments Management Tool

Techcrunch – “YouTube today launched a new tool for managing comments on its site that gives video creators a central inbox for all the comments their videos receive.

When YouTube made the controversial switch to Google+ comments, it also added a number of new tools for managing these comments. With this change, however, it also took away the ability to manage comments from the YouTube Inbox and moved comment notices to alerts instead.

YouTube’s users weren’t all that happy about this change, so as the company announced today, it ‘fast-tracked the development of a new comment management page that lets you see, respond to and moderate your comments all in one place.’ This change essentially brings the old YouTube Inbox back.

Using this page, video owners can quickly scan their comments, remove offensive ones, flag comments for spam and give comments a thumbs up. The new comments inbox is divided into areas for published comments, pending comments and those marked as spam.

None of these changes will make a big difference for those who simply hate the new YouTube commenting system, but it will make life a bit easier for those who publish their videos on the site.”

Dr. Bill.TV #322 – Video – “The TPN Does CES 2014 Edition!”

TPN covers CES 2014, Vimeo – a new video player, CentOS and Red Hat join forces, RokuTV introduced at CES, ASUS Transformer Duet, Toyoto’s FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) runs on hydrogen! GSotW: MBRTool! WaRP – wearable tech, the open Linksys WRT1900AC router!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

MBRTool – Web Site


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/Kvhy3QZM8z4

Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/83936224


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