Tag: Internet

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Internet, Technology

Staying anonymous on the Internet

Part One

So, thanks to our wonderful, outstanding, useful, totally not-bought-and-paid-for United States Congress® combined with our Reality-TV-star president, there is a very good possibility that your online activity soon can and will be collected and sold without your express permission.

Up until now, Internet Service Providers, who can track all of your online activity, had to get your express permission to collect and sell such information. (Of course, how many people read the entire Terms and Conditions before clicking “OK.” But it was at least nice of them to ask. So it’s likely that we’ve already voluntarily signed a lot of rights away in exchange for a service.)

But there are ways to obfuscate quite a bit of your online activity. In this video, former hacker and current author Kevin Mitnick explains some things you can do to protect yourself.

Now, some of these suggestions only help protect your information and not necessarily your browsing habits. If you visit bankofamerica.com, even with secure sockets layer enabled, your ISP will still know you’ve visited the site. They just can’t see what you’ve done there. Using TOR, as also suggested in the video, would help prevent that type of monitoring.

None of these suggestions is a guarantee of safety or anonymity. They just help.

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Computing, Internet, Video Games

Relive your childhood through your browser

I’ve seen this trend toward classic computing really take off lately. My favorite is probably the Amiga Forever emulator by Cloanto. I like that one because I actually converted several Amiga disks over to *.adf format before disposing of the old Amiga machine.

But now there’s a way to enjoy some “new” classic games straight through your browser. The Internet Archive has recently added several games from the 80’s and 90’s. Just click on the large green power button, and you are on your way!

You should thank me for successfully wasting your otherwise productive day!

Video Source: time.com

Computing, Internet

Google ‘Chromium’ Video

Looks like Microsoft may be facing some actual competition.  If Google can make an OS based on Linux that Grandma can use, well, we might have a game changer.

If everything takes place in the browser… think of what’s possible…  go ahead.  I’ll wait.

But then, think of what’s not possible.  I’ll wait for that too, If you like.  I can see Chrome OS filling a little bit of a void, but it’s not going to get rid of your desktop PC anytime soon.  With no local storage, and no local apps, specialty applications like video and audio editing won’t be going anywhere else, anytime soon.

What I do like about Chrome OS is that it could possibly give users the look and feel of a Linux-based system.  And I think that’s good for everyone.  Except Microsoft.

You know they had to cringe when they heard the line “Well, maybe we don’t need this anymore.”

Computing, Internet

New WV area code and Windows dial-up

Now that West Virginia is getting the new 681 area code, some Internet dial-up users are finding themselves in a pickle…  Not only is the new 10-digit dialing a requirement for us, it’s also a requirement for our computers.

As a friend pointed out to me last night, most people around here have set up their computers to dial only the last seven digits of their ISP’s dial-up number.  (623-xxxx) Well, effective February 28, all 10 digits must be dialed, including the area code.  For a quickie guide to setting this up, look below.  (Of course, if you can’t get on the Internet, how are you reading this?) 🙂

For Windows XP and Windows Vista, the fix is basically the same.  These screenshots are from Vista, but the steps for XP are just the same:

Go to the Windows Control Panel and double-click “Phone and Modem Options”

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The “Phone and Modem Options” window appears.  (Imagine that!)

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If you already have a location titled “My Location” you’re on your way! Not all dial-up software is the same, and some do not use the Windows modem options to configure their dialing.  Hopefully, yours will.  If you have a “My Location” line like mine above, click on “Edit…”  If not, click “New…” (Though I can’t guarantee you that this will work for you.  If you don’t have a location to start with, your software probably doesn’t use Windows to configure the modem.  Sorry!)

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If this is a new location, you’ll have to give it a Location name.  “My Location” is just fine.  Or, you can make up your own.  Once you’ve reached the above screen, click on the “Area Code Rules” tab.

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You may have an existing rule for 304.  If you do, select it and click “Edit…” If you do not have an existing rule for 304, click “New…”  Either way, you will reach this screen:

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If the Area Code field is empty, type 304 in there.  Here is the key step: Click the box beside “Include the area code.” That should be all there is to resolving this problem!  Click OK three times to get out of there!

And, hopefully, you will be back online.

Internet, Politics

President 2.0? Interesting article…

How Will Obama Now Use the Internet Army He Built?

http://www.newsweek.com/id/170347

Obama harnessed the grass-roots power of the Web to get elected. How will he use that power now?

This is a good little article.  I think this issue deserves some attention because a lot of people who helped elect Obama expect to continue to be involved.  But I can also understand the fine line that now must be walked by former campaign managers and staffers who now find themselves working for the president-elect.

The rules have certainly changed.  Things like transparency and data-retention are serious issues that are complex but need to be addressed.

If I were Obama, I wouldn’t give up my Blackberry.  I would certainly be very judicious about how I used it though.  It’ll be most interesting to see how he will be able to use the small army of volunteers and “Facebook followers” that have been built up over the past two years.  You see, it’s great that President-elect Obama uses technology to establish a two-way communication between the governed and the government, but he also doesn’t want to create a fundamental gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots.”  Believe it or not, there are still people who don’t spend their days YouTubing.

There is a lot of potential here.  But the right balance has to be struck, and that little ballet will be entertaining to watch.

Politics

NBC’s Today – “High-tech keys to election victory”

I was keenly aware of this online battle:

I really believe that the way the Obama camp immersed itself with technology was a key to victory.  They did an outstanding job with facebook and MySpace profiles, with their MyBO portal, their personalized e-mail and text message distribution.  We all know that Barack didn’t personally pound out a text message at 12:52am on November 5th, but there is still a certain amount of satisfaction from receiving a “thank you” from a candidate mere minutes after watching his acceptance speech.

What will be truly interesting to me is: Where does this go from here? They’ve spent 21 months compiling a massive list of supporters with e-mail addresses and phone numbers… well what happens next?

I don’t think it ended on election night.  In fact, the last e-mail I received from the campaign states “I’ll be in touch soon about what comes next.”  So I do believe there’s more to come.

But for how long? Once he steps into the oval office, a whole new set of rules will apply.  And since we haven’t exactly had a “high-tech” president yet, we really don’t know how text messages and e-mails can be used to govern.  But it will at least be interesting to watch.