The Answer to Life is NOT 42, it’s CHEESE!

Cheese!Hitch-hiker’s tells us the answer to life, the universe, and everything is: 42. On Kim Possible Ron Stoppable’s naked mole-rat, Rufus, told us that the answer to life is CHEESE! It seems Rufus may have have been right all along!

NBC News this week had a story with a sub-title proclaiming: “Cheese and yogurt were found to protect against death from any cause, and also against death from cerebrovascular causes, like stroke.” Wow. “…Death from any cause!” So, if you eat cheese then riding a motorcycle with no helmet is OK again? Sounds good.

It’s time to reconsider low-dairy diets, new study suggests

On the other hand, I say… fake news!

To be fair, they are saying that adding cheese to your diet may be helpful in preventing diseases. But… watch your wording, guys!

Firefox to Improve Anti-Tracking Feature

More power to them!

Firefox: changing our approach to anti-tracking

OSnews – Anyone who isn’t an expert on the internet would be hard-pressed to explain how tracking on the internet actually works. Some of the negative effects of unchecked tracking are easy to notice, namely eerily-specific targeted advertising and a loss of performance on the web. However, many of the harms of unchecked data collection are completely opaque to users and experts alike, only to be revealed piecemeal by major data breaches. In the near future, Firefox will – by default – protect users by blocking tracking while also offering a clear set of controls to give our users more choice over what information they share with sites.

Firefox continues to do great work in this department.”

Microsoft Removes Device Install Limits For Office 365 Subscribers

Microsoft Office 365

If you aren’t using LibreOffice for free, this is at least nice.

Microsoft Removes Device Install Limits For Office 365 Subscribers

SlashDot – By: BeauHD – “Starting October 2nd, Office 365 Home users will no longer be restricted to 10 devices across five users and Personal subscribers will no longer have a limit of one computer and one tablet. The catch is that you can only stay signed in on five devices at once. Engadget reports:

Meanwhile, Home users can let another person use the productivity suite through their account, with Microsoft bumping up the number of licenses per subscriber from five to six. Each user has access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote, along with 1TB of individual storage. Microsoft is also integrating Home subscriptions with its family service, so you can automatically share your Office 365 plan with people you’ve set up as family members. Elsewhere, you’ll manage your subscription from within your Microsoft account settings from now on.”

The Linux-Based ZeroPhone!

ZeroPhoneA Raspberry Pi based Linux Phone? For $50.00? Cool!

Raspberry Pi-based ZeroPhone promises ‘an open-source, Linux-powered’ handset

ZDNet – By: Nick Heath – “If you’re looking for a smartphone that doesn’t harvest data 24/7, then the ZeroPhone may be the device for you.

A project to build the $50 phone has been launched on Crowd Supply, promising to deliver ‘an open-source, Linux-powered’ handset with ‘no carrier locks, bloated apps, or data mining’ and that ‘doesn’t depend on big companies’.

Android smartphones have hit the headlines recently, first for Google tracking users who had switched location tracking off, and second for sending data to Google’s servers 50 times more often than an iPhone.

The ZeroPhone will be based around the tiny Raspberry Pi Zero, an Arduino microcontroller, and the ESP8266 Wi-Fi module.

The ZeroPhone comes with several extras not found on your typical handset, including a mini-HDMI port and a single full-size USB 2.0 port, alongside the more typical support for Wi-Fi and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

One downside is the phone will initially launch only with 2G GSM connectivity, with 3G expected to be added later. The screen is also far smaller than is typically the case, with a 1.3-inch, 128 x 64 OLED display.

‘ZeroPhone is user-friendly and will have the typical features of a phone, but will give you advanced features when you need them,’ according to the ZeroPhone’s creator Arsenijs.

‘You can modify and repair it easily, and it’s power-user and programmer-friendly. It’s also built from widely available components, so you can build a ZeroPhone independently if you need to.’

To get the most of the phone, users will need to be technically proficient. While the splash page for the project says the likes of IR receivers and the Pi’s 5 and eight-megapixel cameras can be wired up the phone’s electronic interfaces, this will require users to hook up the electronics themselves.

However, if you’re confident using the Linux terminal, you’ll be able to SSH into the device for remote access and run a wide range of Linux software on the phone.

It can even be hooked up to a keyboard and mouse and used as a desktop, although the Pi Zero’s ageing single-core processor isn’t capable of running a heavy graphical desktop comfortably.

The ZeroPhone project is listed as ‘coming soon’ and those interested can sign up for updates on Crowd Supply.”

Dr. Bill.TV #442 – Video – “No On-Line Censorship Edition!”

Cord Cutters: Rescan to update channels, Chromebooks may get Windows 10 Dual Boot with ‘Campfire.’ GSotW: Malwarebytes Browser Extension! My view of Internet Censorship, Star Trek: Discovery’s Spock will be played by Gregory Peck’s grandson. Use this link to join BitChute: https://www.bitchute.com/accounts/referral/drbill/

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Dr. Bill.TV #442 – Audio – “No On-Line Censorship Edition!”

Cord Cutters: Rescan to update channels, Chromebooks may get Windows 10 Dual Boot with ‘Campfire.’ GSotW: Malwarebytes Browser Extension! My view of Internet Censorship, Star Trek: Discovery’s Spock will be played by Gregory Peck’s grandson. Use this link to join BitChute: https://www.bitchute.com/accounts/referral/drbill/

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

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Gregory Peck’s Grandson Cast as Discovery’s Spock

Ethan Peck Cast as SpockI can see the resemblance, it could work.

Star Trek: Discovery’s Spock will be played by Gregory Peck’s grandson

The Verge – By: Devon Maloney – “Earlier this summer, at 2018’s San Diego Comic-Con, Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Alex Kurtzman confirmed that Spock, the beloved half-Vulcan second-in-command of the original Star Trek’s U.S.S. Enterprise, would be appearing in the newest Trek series. After much searching, CBS has announced that the show has cast the role. Ethan Peck, whose previous credits include playing Patrick Verona (the Heath Ledger character) in the TV adaptation of 10 Things I Hate About You — and who also happens to be the grandson of legendary actor Gregory Peck — will fill the TV shoes of the late Leonard Nimoy. (Peck is not related to Zachary Quinto, who currently plays the character in the film franchise, but there certainly is a non-familial resemblance.)

Noting in the official CBS press release that Spock ‘remains the only member of the original bridge crew to span every era of Star Trek’ — Spock technically did not appear on the early aughts’ Star Trek: Enterprise, but the man can be forgiven for overlooking the least-beloved Trek series — Kurtzman explains that the showrunners were looking for an actor who could ‘effortlessly embody Spock’s greatest qualities, beyond obvious logic: empathy, intuition, compassion, confusion, and yearning.’ Kurtzman says Peck seems “aware of his daunting responsibility to Leonard, Zack, and the fans, and ready to confront the challenge in the service of protecting and expanding on Spock’s legacy.”

The wording of Kurtzman’s statement is notable, because its reassuring language speaks to the anxieties fans have expressed about Trek in recent years, about the quality of the new TV series, the continuity weirdness between Discovery and the J.J. Abrams reboot films, and the entire idea of Spock — in addition to Christopher Pike, the captain from the original 1965 Trek pilot, and Number One, Pike’s female first officer — being pulled into Discovery in a misguided attempt to give the show additional legitimacy or appeal.

Other fan concerns have involved the crew shake-ups that have plagued Discovery since its inception, from co-creator Bryan Fuller notoriously exiting the show to the recent firing of his replacements, Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, over budget issues and alleged harassment. This statement, combined with the announcement out of the annual Star Trek Las Vegas convention earlier this month, that a new series in the works will bring Patrick Stewart back to the franchise as Jean-Luc Picard, seems to indicate that Trek will be leaning hard on nostalgia going forward. At least this time, we’ll be returning to the past to find comfort in a better future.

As it stands, Peck has clearly made a measured effort to start off on the right foot, too. In his announcement tweet about his casting, he posted a photo with Nimoy’s family, and for good measure, signed off the way the late Nimoy (RIP) used to: with a #LLAP — Live Long and Prosper.”

Google’s 8.8.8.8 DNS Celebrates a Milestone!

As somebody that was married on 8/8/88 – I like those kind of dates… so check this out!

Google’s Public DNS reaches its 8.8.8.8th anniversary

The Inquirer – By: Chris Merriman – “The Google Public DNS service was launched in 2009 and allows users to route their internet traffic through its servers, using the IP address 8.8.8.8 and thus avoiding their own ISP. It often makes for a faster service, and in some cases, can get people online when they otherwise could not.

On Sunday 12 August 2018 at 0130BST, the Public DNS celebrated eight years, eight months, eight days and eight hours online.

Google is very proud of this feat. It has been instrumental in some public censorship battles – for example when internet access was blocked in Turkey.

Elsewhere, developing countries are using it for all kinds of things, which is facilitating Google’s ‘next billion users’ initiative.

For the rest of us, its frequently used in free public WiFi spots, information terminals, and of course our own routers – not least of all Google WiFi which defaults to 8.8.8.8 and its backup 8.8.4.4.

If you’ve never tried it – find the setting in your router and add it in place of your ISPs numbers – you may find you get a significant speed boost and improved security.

Of course, putting all your data through Google’s services might feel like a nightmare to the more suspicious out there. Google has given full transparency in how it uses the telemetry and more importantly, how it doesn’t.

Other similar services exist such as the venerable OpenDNS, now owned by Cisco, and the recently launched Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 option.

As one of the less publicised features of the Google empire, it’s surprising to even hear this being talked about, but in this case, there’s been a comment from Google. More is coming thanks to some ‘exciting Google Public DNS announcements in the near future.’

Comparing the Google service to some of its rivals, it’s quite clear that the possibilities for additional functionality such as parental locking and a premium service for businesses are quite possible. As long as the data it collects is done in a privacy-respecting way, we’re pretty cool with it. But that’s always an if.”

My View of Internet Censorship

No Censorship!How do you guys feel about censorship online? I’m a free-speech kind of guy! I don’t want anyone to be allowed to approve, or disapprove, of what I’m saying in my blog posts, on my show, or in anything that I write, or present. That’s just me! To me the right of free speech is a key to our personal freedoms in our representative Republic form of government.

And yes, you may note, that I said representative Republic, not Democracy! That is because, while we do have a democratic form of government in one sense, that is not the official form of government we have according to the Constitution of the United States. I’m just being technically correct here. The problem with a pure democracy, in which everyone gets a single vote, is that it can become, simply, mob rule. If you look around you, you will find, that there are a lot of people that have opinions, that do not have the brain cells to back up those opinions!

This is merely an observation! You may think what you will, and you may say what you will. That’s the beauty of free speech! But, this is a tech blog, not a political blog. So, it is not my intent to get into politics at all! What I want to talk about is: “What are we to think of the censorship that is being done on the Internet to all kinds of sources, whether they are politically left, or politically right?” Do you want to be the arbiter of what others see and are allowed to read? There are many that want to be just that for all of us! And therein lies the problem.

How are we to know, and trust, the self-appointed censors? The bottom line is, I don’t! I don’t want you censoring what I read, or what I watch, no matter who you are, and no matter what your credentials are! This is a really slippery slope. And, once we surrender this right to read, and to see, anything that we want to read or see, then we are in danger of entering into a totalitarian society.

You may not like what I like to watch. And, that’s your right! You may not like to read what I like to read. And, that is your right! Just don’t tell me what I am allowed to read, or to watch, on the Internet! That’s NOT your job! In fact, that’s not anyone’s job!

But, “Dr. Bill,” you might say, “what about hate speech?” Well, the problem is one person’s hate speech, is another person set of facts! The viewer, or the reader, should be the one to decide which category what they are viewing, or reading, is falling into. That’s the way it’s been with newspapers, books, magazines, and other sources for a long time, and it has worked out well up to now.

Remember those folks with only a few brain cells to rub together, that I mentioned earlier? What if those are the people that decide what you can read, and what you can see? You see the problem! The pursuit of knowledge and your personal intellectual, and social, development, should be up to you! It should not be the purview of anyone else to direct your attention to any form of information, whether it be political, social, or personal. And, this applies to technologies as well.

I don’t want anybody telling me to avoid Linux simply because it’s Linux, and not Windows! You know, that I like to spout off about Windows, and how it’s “evil,” even though I still use it! That’s just me. But I’m not telling you that you can’t use Windows. I’m just telling you that in my opinion, Microsoft is trying to have too much control over the operating system and their users. I know that, and I accept that it is true, and I still use Windows. And yes, I know that that’s a surprise to a lot of folks! But, I can use Windows and I can use Linux and I don’t see the problem with that! That’s my choice! If I want to point out how heavy-handed Microsoft is to my viewers, and listeners, and readers, then I should be able to do that freely! And, you should be able to absolutely disagree with my stand as a viewer, or a listener, or reader! I have the right to my opinion. You have the right to your opinion. But no one has the right to determine my opinion, or your opinion!

That’s really the point! So, am I a ardent supporter of “Infowars,” the website? That website, by the way, is the one that everyone seems to be “banning” these days. No, as matter of fact, I’m not! I don’t go to the website, I don’t read anything on that website, but does that website have the right to exist? Absolutely! That is really my point. Heavy-handed organizations, and companies, that censor the Internet are very troubling to me! I am not pro-hate speech. I am pro-free-speech. The decision of what is hateful should be left to the eye of the beholder.

There is an old saying, “Don’t tread on me!” That is pretty much my stand, don’t tread on me when it comes to what I read, view, or watch! I want everyone to simply leave me alone and allow me to make my own decisions, thank you very much!

Geek Software of the Week: Malwarebytes Browser Extension!

Mallwarebytes Browser ExtensionYou guys know that I like to keep you safe online! This week’s Geek Software the Week allows you to protect yourself from all kinds of Internet chicanery! I’m talking about Malwarebytes Browser Extension, which is in beta right now. It is available for Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.

I would encourage you to go to the respective stores for these browsers and look for the Malwarebytes Browser Extension. As you can see from the image above when I went to a website that had been listed as a “clickbait website,” it gave me a warning that would have allowed me to either go back, or continue to the site.

There is a small ad at the bottom of the screen that let you know that you can sign up for Malwarebytes Premium, which I use myself, but this is not a great price to pay for such an excellent tool! The Malwarebytes Browser Extension is very aggressive, and will protect you from sites that you may consider safe. That’s why they have the box that says, “Continue to site.” But at least they warn you, and give you a choice, as to whether to proceed.

I really like the way this works! And I would encourage you to seriously consider using it!

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