Meeting Notes - 17 February 2015

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Meeting Notes - 17 February 2015

Post by bdahm on Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:44 pm

CM Geeks - Notes

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. 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.

Drones are all over the news these days. We’ve seen breathtaking aerial shots from drones and we’ve had some celebrated incidents, such as the one that crashed onto the White House lawn. There’s no doubt that drone sales will be taking off (pun intended) even more in the future, though governments are trying to regulate and even restrict their use. That’s not going to happen. The only defense against a drone is a shotgun and we will, no doubt, be reading about those in the future as well. 

For those involved in extreme sports, the drone offers a unique way to capture them in action. One of the most successful KickStarter campaigns to date involves the development of the AirDog, a GPS, remote activated drone that follows the user by locking in on an electronic leash that is attached to his/her wrist. Read all about it and watch the video at the link below.

Here are some stats of Facebook usage in Thailand:

28M Thais on Facebook last year. 26M used cellphones. On average, logged in for 2.35hrs/day 

People now posting more videos on Facebook than YouTube. 51% of Thais who use FB have uploaded videos. 

4.6 Billion messages were sent online in #Thailand in 2014. Twitter was No.1 with 3 Billion messages. 

Yet Another Reminder
By now we should be well aware of the danger of clicking on links in emails from people we don’t know. Indeed, there’s some need for skepticism even from people we do know, who send uncharacteristic messages. The number one virus/malware vector these days is the phishing attempt whereby a person or what one things might be a company that one does business with wants you to click on a link to their site to correct some kind of problem. Typically you are greeted with what looks like an authentic web site, but is a virtually identical replica that is just waiting to snatch your log-in credentials. Banks, email providers and PayPal are the fronts for these operations. 

If you get one of these messages, either call the institution on the phone or use a bookmark to their site to check out the claim. Most banks and financial institutions have posted notices that they will never contact you via email if there are problems with your account.

A couple of weeks ago Chris talked a little bit about podcasts. Podcasts, programs that are distributed over the internet took, off years ago and have been going strong ever since. Today they are well produced and rival the quality of radio. 

For the iTunes user, I recommended that for starters people just go to the iTunes Store and look at the top rated podcasts for things that look interesting. Just scroll through the top 200 and you are bound to find something worth checking out further. One can also search for podcasts on various topics. There’s something for virtually every interest. 

Once you find something of interest, read the description and download an episode to see if it meets your expectations. If it does, you can download other episodes or you can subscribe, which means that in the future whenever a new episode is released (most are released weekly, but there are some, particularly news related that are released daily) it will download automatically to your PC or mobile device. You can also just do a Google search using the word, “podcast” and whatever subject you are looking for, and you will find sources for those podcasts. I watch a lot of American TV series, many of them Sci-Fi, and there are podcasts, which examine each episode adding considerable insights to my own viewings. 

Two of the best podcast apps for iOS are Downcast and Overcast. There are also good podcast apps for Android. Then there’s Stitcher, which unlike the others does not download the podcast to your device for future listening, but streams it to you on demand. As long as you have an internet connection you’re in business and can access any of your favorite podcasts.

That’s going to round it out for this week, so that’s a wrap. Next week is Show and Tell and as always, I do not provide notes on those meetings. You’ve got to be there.



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