Meeting Notes - 11 November 2014

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Meeting Notes - 11 November 2014

Post by bdahm on Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:34 pm

No free lunch - We’ve heard this expression time and again. It’s true. It’s equally true here. We don’t charge anything for our meetings, perhaps on the philosophy that you get what you pay for. Be that as it may, the River Market is providing us with a place to meet every week. They are providing us with parking, a projector and a screen and even a sound system for our videos (if I can figure out how it works). All they ask in return and all we ask in return is that you purchase something from the menu, even a cup of coffee or a soft drink. Information wants to be free. Food is something else. For those who may have eaten or are not hungry, a tip for the wait staff would be appreciated.

Fun Facts
People spend more time staring at their tablets/smartphones than at their TV.

Netflix accounts for 35% of bandwidth us in the US and Canada during the prime time evening hours.

Backup Backup Backup
One of the most important basics that everyone needs to know is the necessity to backup your device, be it computer or mobile platform. Not a week goes by that I don’t hear about someone who has lost vital data and irreplaceable photos because of a failed hard drive. That data may not be retrievable at all or if it is it will be very costly. So, the first question you have to ask yourself is, what is your data worth? If it’s not worth anything to you, then no need to read any further on this topic. If it is worth something to you, it may be priceless.

A good backup strategy is the 3-2-1 approach. You should have 3 copies of your data (one on your computer), two separate media or Hard drives to store it on, and one copy in the cloud. The reason you need two separate copies besides what’s on your computer, is because that external hard drive is going to fail at some point (usually in the 3-5 year time frame) and when that happens you had better have another option. Hard drives are dirt cheap these days and you can get large capacity drives for something like 3,000 baht. The cloud is there incase of theft of your device (if someone breaks into your house and steals your computer, do you think they are going to leave that external hard drive just sitting there?) If you alternate backing up to multiple hard drives, it would be good to keep one of them off site (perhaps at a friend’s house) should there fire or flood come to visit you. The cloud backup servers this same purpose, though it will take some time to retrieve all that data once you replace that failed main hard drive.

Stefan’s “Big Ol’ Bag of Tech”
Stefan showed off his recently purchased FireFox phone. Mozilla, the developer of the FireFox browser has also created a mobile operating system to compete with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone OS. The phone itself is reasonably priced at around $200 and is feature rich. It’s aimed at emerging markets, but it has a bit of an uphill battle against the established OSs. 

Stefan gave us the scoop on a spyware application know as FinFisher. It is particularly dangerous because once it infects a system it is hard to locate and root out. Even if you reformat your HD, FinFisher hides in your system Bios and reinfects your system again.

Stefan showed us some alternate search engines, the most notable of which are and Both of these search engines allow for private browsing and thus you cannot be tracked. They may not be as power as Google search, but they are adequate to the job and don’t have their thumb on the scales in terms of prioritizing results. 

When a question about Chromebooks came up, Stefan said they were very economical, costing anywhere from $140 - $400. Since for the most part they depend on the internet to store files (some local storage is available), they are light duty products, which may not have the full range of capabilities. They certainly don’t meet his needs, but for someone who has more modest needs, they are perfectly adequate. There are no HD or CD/DVD players and all memory is flash storage, so that my limit the amount of space you have to work with unless you have cloud storage, which Google practically gives away.

A question came up about backing up one’s cell phone contact list and Joe said that the major carriers offer such a service at low cost. There are also third party shops, which will provide this service as well.

I guess that pretty well covers it, so I’m going to call it a wrap.



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