DrBill.TV #489 – Audio – The Tricky, But Can You Do It With a New Haircut Edition!

Roku Channel offers a new original drama, Chromebooks turn ten! Locast now supports the Cleveland DMA, GSotW: Location Guard! Add any program as a Windows Service, NSSM and Locast2Plex, using an older camcorder with the Atomos Ninja, or Ninja2, Happy Pi Day on 2021-Mar-14, LastPass sells out, so use BITWarden! (Mar 13, 2021)

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Lastpass Sells Out!

BitWardenBarry Collins in an article in Forbes said it best:

“LastPass has announced sweeping changes to its free accounts, making them much less useful than they were before.

From March 16, free account holders will no longer be able to access their passwords on computers and mobile devices – they’ll have to choose between one or the other.

The first device you log into after March 16 will determine your ‘active device type,’ as LastPass calls it. So, if you fire up LastPass on your laptop, you’ll be able to access your passwords on any laptop or desktop computer, but not your smartphone or tablet. The opposite applies if you open LastPass on a mobile device first.

LastPass says customers will have three chances to switch their active device type.

This pretty much ruins LastPass’s free tier as the entire point of a password manager is being able to access your strong, impossible-to-remember passwords on any device. By making customers choose which type of device to use, LastPass is clearly hoping to nudge customers towards the paid-for Premium accounts, which start from $2.25 per month. However, such bait-and-switch tactics are likely to leave a bad taste in the mouth of some users.”

What are we to do?!? Well, he agrees with me! (Yay! Somebody finally does!) I long ago switched from Lastpass to BitWarden, because it is Free, Open Source, and awesome! If you aren’t using it, why not? It is awesome! Check it out at this link: https://bitwarden.com/

Be Sure to Wish Fellow Geeks, “Happy Pi Day” on Sunday!

Happy Pi Day!Yep, that venerable Geek holiday, “Pi Day” is tomorrow! March 14. 3.14, get it? Well, since May the fourth is “Star Wars Day” and is a Geek Holiday, then March fourteenth is as well! And, we geeks are becoming so mainstream, it seems that businesses are recognizing us!

7-Eleven: Participating stores will be offering up large pizzas — cheese, pepperoni and “extreme meat” varieties — for $3.14 each. You can get this in-store or via the 7-Eleven app. 7-Eleven will also donate one meal to Feeding America for every whole pizza purchased on Pi Day.

Blaze Pizza: As in Pi Days past, the chain is offering any regular-size pizza for $3.14. You’ll need to download the Blaze Pizza app, create an account and access the deal in the Rewards section.

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse: From now through Sunday, you can get half off a large pizza for takeout or delivery with the promo code HALFOFF.

Hungry Howie’s: Between March 13 and 16, you can get a $3.14 medium one-topping pizza with the purchase of Howie Bread.

Marco’s Pizza: Buy any large pizza at menu price and get a second one (of equal or lesser value) for only $3.14. Use promo code code PIDAY.

Papa John’s: Order one large pizza, get a second for $3.14.

Save A Lot: If you have one of these grocery stores nearby, stop in on March 14 for a Mantia frozen pizza for $3.14.

Your Pie: Get a 10-inch pizza for $3.14 off when you install the Your Pie Rewards app and redeem the Pi Day offer.

Boston Market: Buy one pot pie and a drink, get a second pot pie free. Also known as a BOGO, this deal requires you to use the Boston Market app. It’s good only on Pi Day.

The Fresh Market: On March 14, you can save $3.14 on the store’s 9-inch apple and cherry pies and chicken pot pies.

Jamba Juice: It’s not a pizza or a pie, but from March 12-14, My Jamba Rewards members can get one small smoothie free with the purchase of a large one.

Using an Older Camcorder to Record to an Atomos Ninja for High Resolution Video

This British gentlemen shows you how to use the Atomos Ninja to record higher resolution video even with an older camcorder, which in this case is a Sony HVRV1U. This professional, broadcast quality, 3 CCD camcorder once ran for thousands of dollars, and can now be obtained for around $350.00 on eBay. Likewise, you can get decent deals on the Atomos Ninja in the $450.00 range. So, for under $1000 you can shoot high quality video, suitable even for broadcast! I have access to both, and have used this combo to shoot remote video. Check out his demo:

Our church uses the Sony HVRV1U’s to shoot service video, or at least we will again, once we are back in a permanent building. Right now, we are meeting in another church building and “running mobile” with a Mevo Start camera.

Setting Up Locast2Plex As a Windows Service!

Setting up Locast2Plex as a Windows Service

These instructions use a different utility to set up the Service. Unlike the “HowToGeek” article, it uses one called “NSSM” available at this link: NSSM – the Non-Sucking Service Manager rather than SrvStart. Microsoft also has instructions to deal with services here: Create a user-defined service

The advantage to NSSM is that it does provide a way to more gracefully handle failure of the application running as a service. Here is a link to that program. https://nssm.cc/ And, here’s more detailed instructions on it’s use here: https://nssm.cc/usage

Because I am not in a supported DMA, I could not (yet) test this with Locast2plex, as I would need access to having Locast use specific local ports (6077 and 1900) which must “connect” to my PC’s IP address. Hopefully if Locast ever supports the Greensboro / Winston-Salem / High Point DMA, I will be able to set this up.

Add Any Program as a Windows Service!

Windows ServiceDo you have a program that you need to run when your system reboots, even if you do not log-in to the system immediately? That is what “running as a Windows Service” is all about. The key is that you need to run the program with permissions and credentials that will allow this to happen. This “HowToGeek” tutorial shows how to set this up.

How to Run Any Program as a Background Service in Windows

“If you’re like most Windows users, you have lots of great little utilities that run when you start Windows. While this works great for most apps, there are some that would be nice to start even before a user logs in to the PC. To do this, you’ll need to run the app as a Windows service.

Windows services are a special class of programs that are configured to launch and run in the background, usually without any sort of user interface and without needing a user to log in to the PC. Many gamers and power users know them as those things you used to disable to help speed up your system, though that’s really not necessary any more.

The primary advantage of running an app as a service is that you can have a program start before a user to log in. That can be particularly important with apps that provide important services you want to be available when you’re away from your computer.”

By the way, the SrvStart program he mentions is no longer at the link provided, it is available here: https://github.com/rozanski/srvstart This method is no longer supported, so use at your own risk. However, Microsoft also has instructions to deal with services here: Create a user-defined service

Geek Software of the Week: Location Guard!

Location GuardThis week’s GSotW is a browser plugin that demonstrates the security issue of using browser technology and Javascript to allow “spoofing” your location from your browser.

Location Guard

“Location Guard is a browser extension that allows to protect your location while using location-aware websites, by adding controlled noise to it.”

The Chrome Web Store description says: “Hide your geographic location from websites.

Modern browsers such as Google Chrome can tell websites where you’re located in order to provide location-aware functionality. Your geographic location is obtained through various means (eg. using WiFi data) and is often highly accurate, which can be a violation of your privacy.

This extension allows you to enjoy the useful applications of geolocation while protecting your privacy. It does so by reporting a fake location to websites, obtained by adding a certain amount of ‘noise’ to the real location. The noise is randomly selected in a way that ensures that the real location cannot be inferred with high accuracy.

Three configurable privacy levels are provided. The higher the privacy level the greater the amount of noise, which gives better privacy at the expense of a less accurate fake location. This can be configured per-website for flexibility: a more accurate location can be provided for driving directions than for a weather forecast. There’s also an option to use a fixed location, instead of adding noise to the real one. This offers the best privacy (no dependence on the real location at all), at the cost of very low accuracy.

Note: your location can be also detected from your IP address, but usually with poor accuracy. Location Guard protects the accurate location revealed through the JavaScript API.”

Chromebooks Turn Ten!

ChromebookBelieve it or not, it has been ten years since Chromebooks came out! I was an “early adopter” because I have always been a Linux geek, and I wanted to see a Linux based system in the hands of “regular users.” Because of that I started the “Chromest” Netcast to chronicle Chromebook adoption and features. Since then, “Chromest” was retired, and “rolled up into” this main “Dr. Bill.TV” podcast, along with “VirtZine” (about virtualization) and the “HandHeldHack” (about hand-held devices.)

Here’s a link to the Google Blog post, where they discuss the decade of Chromebooks:

Chromebook turns 10: Looking back and moving forward

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