Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thanks for 2015

As I hit the road doing what I do I would like to thank the trolls and fans, the listeners and viewers, the clients and suppliers, the businesses and people in them, the nuisance callers and the regular ones and most of all my family and friends for making 2015 what is was.

Last loud shirt locked and loaded for 2015
Last loud shirt locked and loaded for 2015

I am really looking forward to what 2016 has to offer in both my regular line of work as well as what my association with the media will bring. So many projects I want to complete and so much I want to achieve in the next year.

Thanks again everyone and see you all on the other side.

Special 50% Discount Code for ProXPN

After a missed start, I can now offer the discount codes for all followers and listeners that want to subscribe to ProXPN premium.

Go to proxpn.com and use the offer code EZI015  (that is ezi-zero-15) to get 50% off the subscription cost of ProXPN premium which is only US$5/month for a 12 month subscription.
You can even subscribe with paypal or bitcoin! Continue reading Special 50% Discount Code for ProXPN

Podcast : Tech Tonight 13/10/2015

This week on Tech Tonight Charity gaming event this weekend. Is computer gaming a sport? What’s the deal with mobile data and the internet and what about that Microsoft announcement? Continue reading Podcast : Tech Tonight 13/10/2015

Weekly News Roundup 10/8/2015

Find out how to protect yourself from the Ransomware scourge. Sydney couple sued to the tune of $15000 for what they did on facebook. Apple’s next phone could be a month away.

Ransomware is still a big thing but you can stop it in its tracks.

Ransomware is making news in the mainstream media again after revelations that people are actually paying up to have access to their data restored and typical costs are around AUD$650. Continue reading Weekly News Roundup 10/8/2015

Apple Macs vunerable to admin level exploit that fits in a tweet.

apple_hackA newly discovered (7/7/2015) exploit in OSX, the operating system used to power all Mac desktop and laptop products allows an attacker to gain root access (the most powerful user/admin account on a Unix, Linux or OSX) and subsequently access and change all files in the operating system pretty much at will.

Continue reading Apple Macs vunerable to admin level exploit that fits in a tweet.

This… THIS is how we should be using smartwatches.

I think the interface with smart watches has been cracked.

Working out ways to work with new technology is always a struggle until someone comes up with that “special something” that sets the standard for the industry.

I believe the Aria wearable is the way this is going to happen. Not only will this negate the need to build tiny touch screens that we will have to poke with fingertips that seem too large but this system opens the door for more than just scroll and tap with an amazing array of combinations possible with just one hand.

Take a look at the video below. The kickstarter project for this goes live on 1st June.

As a side note, there is also the MYO armband that uses similar technology to control your devices. Gesture control has been around for a while but it looks like we have found that killer integration with new technology that is screaming out for it.
Check out the video below.

Weekly News Roundup 6/4/2015

Intel Compute Stick available for pre-order

intelcomputestickAnnouced earlier at CES 2015, the Intel Compute Stick is available for preorder now from a handful of retailers and delivery is expected to be later this month.

There are 2 models expected. For around $200 you can get the 1.3Ghz/2GB/32GB Windows 8.1 device or for around $150 the specs take a dive and you get a linux PC on a stick.

Both models seem pretty cool and for a device that plugs straight into your TV this has the grunt to do the basics like access web pages and read email. Just don’t expect to store anything of size on this device or play high end games.

A device like this that runs Windows 8.1 (and possibly Windows 10 when it comes out) should look glorious on a massive LCD screen and the pricing may be a lifesaver for people needing a cheap PC.

If you use cloud services then this tiny computer should take care of all your needs.

Little computer guy teams up with little mobile technology guy to launch new youtube channel.

YouTube-social-icon_red_128px*Shameless plug*
I have just started a new venture with a mobile technology expert and we are eager to try something new, joining forces to bring you Tech Help Oz.

This channel will be dedicated to bringing technology tips, news and opinion to the general public with easy to understand instructional videos, industry updates and some fun along the way.

Subscribe to the channel now to get new shows as they come along.

Large Hadron Collider restarts after 2 year overhaul.

After 2 years of work, the LHC in Bern Switzerland has been started up with a few tentative tests of each section of the massive facility. Recently tests have been ramped up to allow two low energy parallel beams to be run through the entire facility.

Eventually scientists expect to work up to running at twice the energy (13 trillion electrovolts) of the first collection of tests that confirmed the existence of the Higgs Bosun field which until recently was theoretical.

The Higgs Bosun field is thought to have an effect on the mass of a particle and is exciting for researchers as the ability to manipulate the mass of a particle (and in turn an object) could in theory allow breakthroughs as big as faster than light travel.

One of the current goals for the new round of experiments will include the investigation of dark matter or anti-matter and the “web” that holds all matter in it’s place. Discovery of this phenomenon could explain why the standard physics model does not seem to apply to things such as why galaxies seem to spin faster than calculated.

Read up on the story here from the BBC.

Other stories.

Jay-Z and other artists launch Tidal.com to rival Spotify and others with CD-Quality streaming.
http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/567430/Tidal-Explained-Jay-Z-Event-Pricing-Spotify-Rival

April 1 + Google = Pacman?
http://www.eziwireless.net.au/google-maps-april-1-pacman-in-the-streets/

iPad turns 5 years old!
http://www.zdnet.com/article/apple-ipad-five-years-tablet-market/

Hyundai offers Australia’s first fuel-cell passenger car.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/latest/hyundai-offers-australias-first-fuel-cell-passenger-car/story-e6frg90f-1227290421096

iiNet blames Telstra for slow internet speeds.
http://customstoday.com.pk/iinet-blames-telstra-for-slow-internet-speeds-customers-report-since-netflix-launch-in-australia-7/

Google maps the human body.
http://www.cnet.com/news/when-google-maps-meets-the-human-body-heres-what-happens/

Google Maps + April 1 = pacman in the streets

There are multicoloured ghosts roaming the streets all over the world and they want you!

pacmanIn a fun little tweak to Google maps, you can hit an overview in your browser next to the satellite view to turn the streets around you into a big game of pacman. It works on mobile devices too so you can munch all those dots/cars stuck in the freeway as you enjoy your daily commute.

Samsung is in on it too with the new Galaxy Blade Edge smartphone.
Part phone, part cook’s cleaver. Funny but as far as April Fools pranks go, kinda obvious.

I am really looking forward to the sneaky ones just like the one my daughter sent me a few minutes ago.
“DAD! Daft Punk is coming to Perth! Watch this!”
Then she Rick Rolls me with a Youtube clip.

I have trained her well.

Weekly News Roundup 16/3/2015

Third week in with this new format and I think I might be onto a way that suits me better. Less double handling and more content to share. Thankfully the news cycle is giving me cool stuff to write about.

Just for fun, I will be messing around with Meerkat Live Video. Keep an eye on my twitter feed for more information.
Get the app here.

After 30 years, VR may soon be a thing.
I have been following and tinkering with Virtual Reality for some time now and I have seen many iterations. From the nausea inducing days of laggy response with bulky heasets and Dactyl Nightmare to the newest offerings from Samsungs Galaxy VR Gear partnership with Oculus. It seems that the Hollywood dreams of VR may be coming true in the very near future.
Just last week at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona HTC and Valve unveiled a joint venture called the HTC Vive/Steam VR and has joined the ranks of the new VR players. The big deal for me though is that a mobile technology giant and one of the biggest names in game publishing and distribution have approached the field from the hardware and software angles simultaneously. This drastically shortens developer delays as software authors come to grips with the new technology. This latest chapter could weed out the serious competitors from the rest and I have my money on HTC/Valve as being a heavyweight contender.
Other new players include the Oculus Rift, Sony’s Project Morpheus and the Samsung/Oculus Gear VR.
In other VR Related news…
http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2015/03/aussie-father-watches-sons-birth-4000km-away-using-a-virtual-reality-headset/

TPG to swallow up iiNet
Late last week I was surprised to hear that iiNet is considering selling to TPG Internet in a deal worth AUD$1.4B cited as a bargain by Credit Suisse.
For me as an iiNet customer this is highly concerning as I have experienced more reliable services from iiNet and better customer service when things do go wrong.
These two ISPs are different classes of operator. I view iiNet as a high performance provider. You pay a little extra and sometimes the features fall behind some of the budget operators but you are chasing quality of service with a provider with iiNet. TPG to me competes with unlimited and low cost services but this all comes at a hidden price.
The stability and quality of the TPG service is considered to be below par compared to iiNet and I fear that combining these businesses will water down the experience for iiNet subscribers and hurt opportunities for iiNet’s push into the eastern states.
For a run down on what it could mean for the consumer, read this article by ITWire’s Sam Varghese.
There is talk that the ACCC will review the merger set to make TPG Australia’s second biggest ISP behind Telstra so there is an ever so slight chance that this might not go ahead as planned but the issue that iiNet would consider sale to a competitor is concerning for many existing subscribers.

Yahoo may kill off the Password
Well, kind of..
In a bid to end the cumbersome and very outdated practice of using usernames and passwords, Yahoo has deployed an authentication system that claims to
do away with passwords altogether. I welcome the effort but think that there could be another way. It is a step in the right direction but it is making 2 factor authentication the primary means of verification. It strengthens the 1st factor but renders the traditional 2nd technique useless.
The idea is that you will go to your login page and enter in your username or email address. Then an SMS or other message is sent to your phone with a short code for you to enter in place of your usual password.
This is all well and good as long as you have your phone with you and working. I am not about to say that this is not a good thing but it might need refinement to cater for all situations.
Read the article from the Verge here.
Have a look at the Yahoo Announcement here.

FLYING CARS!
What more is there to say?
The Aeromobil has been a prototype for around 5 years and CEO Jurac Vaculik has revealed plans to sell to consumers by 2017.
Coming with a price tag of a “Couple hundred thousand Euros” (approx AUD$275000) the vehicles are likely to take off and land on grass strips placed next to freeways. The vehicles are expected to require 200m to take off and 50m to land and reach a top speed of 200km/h.
Of course you will need a private or sport pilot license to operate the aircraft but a standard drivers license should be all you need to keep it on the ground.
Similar to Tesla’s development of the electric car, the first models will be aimed at enthusiasts and early adopters as high end models followed by a more commercial version once development allows in which case we might expect to see fully automated models requiring no pilot behind the controls.
Read more about this at Engadget.

Windows 10 may employ peer-to-peer for updates.
Inspired by filesharing used by software pirates and other more legitimate distributors of files, there are hints that Microsoft will employ similar technology to distribute software updates to users of Windows 10.
Software updates and security patches have become an accepted part of owning technology and the hassle of leaving your computer running while an overloaded server sends the patch to you can mean updates are downloaded at speeds much slower than what your internet connection is capable of.
Using Peer to Peer (P2P) technology Microsoft will employ other users with the updates to distribute parts of the update files to other users in their area. This could effectively allow updates to be downloaded in a fraction of the time it usually takes to get the files from a single point.
Read the Engadet article here.
Those that make reference to BITS this seems to only share data between other computers on the same subnet. This article outlines the transfer of files between computers on the same subnet as well as on the internet.

Lenovo! Stop being dumb!

It has recently come to light that Lenovo has been busted for installing a program called Superfish to “improve the shopping experience using their visual discovery techniques.” (quote from this press statement).

This in my opinion this is very disappointing and damaging to one of my favorite brands.

Past experience with Lenovo has been extremely positive as the name for me has synonymous with solid build quality, robust design and well matched software.
In fact, Lenovo was the company that was building for IBM when IBM was building computers. Back then the saying was “Nobody has ever been fired for buying an IBM” and it held true after Lenovo took over the branding of the IBM designed products.

However this latest event has tarnished a pretty spotless name and it will take some time to get this stain out.

Of all the things to be accused of, making computers with software that has a poor reputation for security of user data is pretty high on the list of dumb things.

If you have a Lenovo Product that matches the list below you might need to take action by using this link (Lenovo Superfish Removal Tool) or by getting in touch with me so I can address the issue on your behalf. This can be resolved by remote control so no matter where you are in the world, I can assist you with resolving this issue.

Lenovo models affected.
G Series: G410, G510, G710, G40-70, G50-70, G40-30, G50-30, G40-45, G50-45, G40-80
U Series: U330P, U430P, U330Touch, U430Touch, U530Touch
Y Series: Y430P, Y40-70, Y50-70, Y40-80, Y70-70
Z Series: Z40-75, Z50-75, Z40-70, Z50-70, Z70-80
S Series: S310, S410, S40-70, S415, S415Touch, S435, S20-30, S20-30Touch
Flex Series: Flex2 14D, Flex2 15D, Flex2 14, Flex2 15, Flex2 Pro, Flex 10
MIIX Series: MIIX2-8, MIIX2-10, MIIX2-11, MIIX 3 1030
YOGA Series: YOGA2Pro-13, YOGA2-13, YOGA2-11, YOGA3 Pro
E Series: E10-30

Holo-Windows!

Microsoft takes a new approach to the OS game.win10logo

  • Microsoft made new announcements regarding its new operating system Windows 10 at a presentation earlier this month at its corporate headquarters in Washington.

This is a very early entrant for my list of big tech innovations for 2015 and I am honestly pretty excited to see Windows 10 later this year.

Continue reading Holo-Windows!

Where do you keep your geeks?

In business the IT geek (or team of geeks) usually are regarded as an ancillary part of the organisation.

Usually the “digital plumbers” occupying a small, windowless room filled with tech in various states of operation are regarded as a necessary part of the structure that supports the day to day operations. Not so much a part of the decision making process as the cleaner or aircon repair man would usually be.

Should that be the case? Would it be better to have the systems that support your business be more of a part of the business? Would it make sense to have the geeks to have as much input in the direction of the business as the sales team?

Could your IT people step up with business ideas? Are they comfortable with helping to find improvements and solutions instead of just going through the motions of keeping everything running?

This article from CA Technologies poses some interesting questions regarding today’s IT department and its role within a business.

Even small businesses that do not have a dedicated IT department can benefit from having a computer guy on call to not only just make things work but make things work better for your business (that would be me in case you didn’t catch the pitch).

Read the article here.

http://rewrite.ca.com/us/articles/grow/from-the-back-office-geeks-to-hackers-and-hipsters.aspx?mrm=431697&CID=GLOB-DSP-CORP-AAP-000004-00000270

Keeping Malware at bay

IMG_1302.JPGLast night I was on my regular #techtonight radio spot at 6PR and conversation turned to dealing with popups and malware. It is possible to catch malware before it takes hold with a simple tip.
As soon as you see a suspicious message you use the key combination to close whatever active program is running. For windows folk it is ALT & F4, for Apple people you use option & Q.
This morning I visited a new client and they obviously were listening to the show because I found my tip copied word for word on a post it note.
It feels great to make a difference.

Tech Tonight 1/9/2014

  • Podcasts are 10 years old!
  • Apple announcement coming on the 9th of September, what can we expect?
  • Michael wants to access the internet on his TV.
  • Ben’s partner has lost calendar entries.
  • Brian wants to know about photo stitching.
  • Angela wants to know about safely disposing computers and making vinyl digital.
  • David is having trouble opening some excel files.
  • Yvonne has lines on her TV.
  • Paul is looking for antivirus software for his Galaxy Tab.
  • Gary is having problems with tuning in his TV.
  • Fraser wants to know about building a PC and we talk about DDR4 memory.
  • Bob is getting popups everywhere!

If you like the intro/outro music, it is Console Wars by Liltommyj and you can purchase your own full version at bandcamp.com. This song is created entirely from samples of gaming consoles. Support this artist by buying his works from bandcamp.com.

This work is created under the creative commons 3.0 license and is free to share and redistribute as long as you give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license and indicate if changes were made.
Here’s the link to the human-readable version and the full license terms.