Tech Miser: Bye bye Evernote, maybe

smartphone sales

If you’re like me and have been using Evernote Basic for years, you may have gotten the same email I did on June 30th from the Evernote Team.  It starts with a headline that reads “Evernote Basic is changing.” Then they get to the nitty gritty. At Evernote, we are committed not only to making … Read more

Bitcoin, Is It Money or Not Money?

Hong Kong

There are many places where Bitcoin is accepted as currency. But does that make it money? A Florida criminal case may be the path to deciding that. In 2014, a Florida programmer was arrested for money laundering. An FBI sting operation had several agents come to him to convert money to $1500 in Bitcoin, which they … Read more

Tech Miser: We Have Weather! Part 2

Weather-Underground-Screenshot

Last time we talked about the two “pretty boys” of the weather apps I like, and, frankly, as good as they are, they’re not my “go to” choices. Our last two are nice looking, but more info than looks. — and they’re crowdsourced. Before we look at the two apps, let’s look at what “crowdsourcing” … Read more

Microsoft Selling Off Feature Phone Business

We all love smartphones,  and so does Microsoft.  The next step down toward “dumb” phones is the feature phone — not as featureless as a dumb phone, but having fewer features and flexibility than a smartphone.  There’s a market for those, too.  But, for a phone maker, at the cost of maintaining focus on its … Read more

Strength From Adversity, Through 3d Printing And Other Tech

Asem Hasna

We all know how bad things are in the Middle East.  We get headlines and videos of it daily.  And we can’t picture much good coming out of it.  Picture Asem Hasna, a volunteer paramedic.  Before the war, he was a university math student.  One day, near Damascus, his ambulance was hit by a shell. … Read more

Tech Miser: Smartphone Sales, Free Security Stuff, And An Android Keyboard

smartphone sales

If you’re not a brand fanboy, you’ve most likely tried a variety of phones, all with different OSes, each tried for different reasons. And, as smartphone sales flatten, more sales come to light. And that’s where we start today’s Tech Miser. Blackberry Savings For years, anyone really into smartphone security would at least try a … Read more

Supreme Court Ruling May Broaden Where FBI Can Hack Computers

Supreme Court

We’re all pretty sure that whatever country we’re in, we suspect that its authorities are legally free to browse our devices.  We may even accept it as part of the cost of security. We do tend to get upset at stories about foreign governments hacking devices in the US (or wherever we live).  It just … Read more

LeEco CEO Calls Apple “Outdated,” Outlines Plans For The Future

If you’re like me, LeEco and Jia Yueting aren’t household names.  Mr. Yueting is a Chinese billionaire who runs LeEco.  We’ll talk aboutLeEco in a minute.  But consider our picture of communism  and socialism, laden with poverty.  That may have been true in the past, but China seems to have blended some variation of socialism … Read more

HOW TO: Tech Security: Part 7 – App Permissions, Location Services

Hopefully, this series has awakened some to the need to adjust security settings, without launching into full blown paranoia.  We do need a wake up call, but there’s no need for panic.  The series has covered quite a bit of territory.  But there are a few basics we need to look at, some fairly important. … Read more

The Tech Miser: Browsers And Device Stands

Our last few Tech Miser articles have focused on Bluetooth headphones and a few browser extensions. Today I’ll dive into browsers themselves, and a few other handy items for your technological needs. Vivaldi No, we’re not talking about classical composers.  But we are looking at browsers, or at least one.  If you said all browsers … Read more

HOW TO: Tech Security: Part 6 — More on Encryption

security breach

Last time in this series we talked about encryption, viruses and malware, and now we’re going to continue that conversation and talk more about encryption. Point A to Point B Very few of us sit at home all the time, using only our home wifi.  More often than not we make use of public wifi to cut … Read more

HOW TO: Tech Security: Part 5 — Encryption And Malware

Tech-Security-Malware

Last time we talked about two factor authentication, passcodes, and using the cloud. We’re not quite done yet as there are still a couple of places where we want to go that tie in. Next up, we’ll discuss device encryption and malware. Scrambling We can turn on device encryption. That scrambles the contents so that only … Read more

HOW TO: Tech Security: Part 4 — Authentication, Password Managers, And The Cloud

Tech-Security-Authentication-Password-Cloud

Last time in our how to avoid tech security and privacy risks, we talked about the lockscreen and passcodes. As we continue investigating how we can better lock down our devices, finances, and lives, there’s one more item in this category that we need to acknowledge. Two factor authentication. It’s a way of making money … Read more

The Tech Miser: Another Bluetooth Headset And A Privacy Browser

In the last miserly column, we talked about the Jarv Joggerz Pro. Today, let’s start with the Photive BTH3. These are not the small, lightweight earphones like the Joggerz Pro, nor are they tiny, unnoticed earbuds. They look more like the headphones used by studio engineers. You know, the big ones that are sometimes referred to … Read more

HOW TO: Tech Security: Part 3 — It’s a Lock

security-lock-privacy

So far, we’ve dealt with social engineering as a threat and scanners for the credit cards in your wallet. In both cases, thieves and scammers rely to some degree on our own normal behavior. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s Benjamin Franklin. There are some steps we can take on our … Read more

HOW TO: Tech Security: Part 2 — In Your Pocket

security privacy risks

Last time, we talked about Facebook — not to warn about how bad Facebook is, but to highlight that we’re our own weakest link in our cybersecurity.  People can fake who they are online.  We’re not there with them to see that the picture of them doesn’t match who they really are.  Or that online … Read more

HOW TO: Tech Security: Part 1 — Facebook

Privacy Risks

We all like to keep our info private and secure and our devices working the way we expect them to.  And there are a whole slew of folks who want exactly the opposite.  There are ways to avoid having those people make us unhappy via our tech. The least secure connection to our devices isn’t … Read more

Apple vs. FBI Has Turned Into King Kong vs. Godzilla

The Apple vs. FBI battle has been going on for some time about hacking the iPhone from the San Bernardino terrorist attack. None of us wants to see all iPhones hacked, whether it’s by black hat hackers or legally sanctioned government hackers. At the same time, I doubt even Apple wants to see a missed opportunity … Read more

Steam Hack Drains Your Wallet, Increasingly Popular Among Cybercriminals

Techaeris has written in the past about a Steam hack that can drain wallets faster than our own spending.  It’s a real threat that we shouldn’t ignore.  International Business Times reports, “Cybercriminals might be paying more for your Steam password than you spend on games.” Steam, itself says, “We see around 77,000 accounts hijacked and pillaged … Read more

Apple Users Targeted By Ransomware

ransomware

Ransomware seems to be the hacker’s latest toy.  When I say it that way, that’s not to minimize either the hackers or the potency of the attack. I might better have started by saying that ransomware seems to be the tech security writer’s latest darling.  It’s what they’re focusing on, right now.  That’s because of … Read more

[Update] Amazon: Double-Minded About Security?

security

Apple’s security battle with the FBI has been aided by the competition. That includes Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, who had at one point suggested Apple should help the government in this one case.  Now you can add Amazon, among others, to the list.  The last two — Google and Amazon — are where that gets … Read more

Some Bitcoin Transactions Excessively Slow, Causing Issues With Businesses

Hong Kong

International Business Times notes that Bitcoin transactions are becoming excessively slow. The result is that some businesses that had accepted Bitcoin are now refusing to accept it.  Others are warning Bitcoin that continued issues could result in more of them terminating the relationship. IBT describes the problem this way: The problem relates to how transactions are … Read more