All posts by MikeScott

News Roundup for 3/1/2017

YouTube Cable Service? – YouTube TV

(Via The Verge)

Well, not cable, but it includes cable networks.

When I first saw the headline, “YouTube launches its own streaming TV service” I didn’t think much of it. Then I read on a little bit. $35 gets you the four major networks, (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC), and 35 cable channels. – That caught my attention.

The price includes 6 accounts, similar to how Netflix has profiles.

Evidently there are going to be some gaps in channel availability due to various broadcasting agreements not being in place, but it’s progress. It also sounds like the programming will be available on demand, no worrying about watching at a particular time. Hmmmm….

Check the service out here.

Xbox Game Pass – Library of games available to play

(via Gamespot and xbox.com)

Scheduled to launch in Spring of 2017, it’s going to be similar to a Netflix Streaming subscription in so far as you can play whatever games are available on the service, all you can eat, with new game being added and removed monthly. Right now it’s expected to be $9.99 / month.

I’m not sure about you, but I don’t think I would go for it, unless possibly it included the Live subscription as well. The FAQ on the Xbox site says that you don’t need a Xbox Live membership to subscribe to the service, but not playing online removes a lot of the fun of games.

In my house, we buy a game, and go nuts playing it until we get tired of it. With Xbox live Gold membership, we get 2 games a month, and we don’t even play most of those. Unless it’s a title that we desperately want, we wait for sales to buy games.

I’m sure that this will be a popular service though, just not for me.

Amazon’s S3 service has problems Tuesday – Chaos ensues

(via CNET and personal experience)

The amount of chaos that ensued I’m sure varied from person to person and company to company. I noticed it when Amazon Music Unlimited stopped working. Of course, the ironic part of this is that the web site Is it Down right now? runs on Amazon’s S3 service, and of course was down as well.

I can’t blame Amazon, I can count the number of outages I’ve experienced from them on one hand, but this still outlines the issues with sending your infrastructure to the cloud. As a community member in this thread mentioned, ” I prefer a crew of Amazon or Google engineers working on a solution to my outage rather than me”. I don’t necessarily echo the sentiment, I would still be clicking refresh over and over, but I can see his point.

Travelers renewed for Season 2!

Netflix’s Travelers is a very interesting twist on time travel, and I really enjoyed season 1. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying that Season 1 ended with a total pile up of plot lines, and we really didn’t know what was going on.

Being a sci-fi fan, I was worried about that we would experience  the worst case scenario. You know what I’m talking about. You watch a great show, and it ends with a cliffhanger, and then never gets renewed again. The horror!

Well, good news my friends, according to Deadline, Traveler’s was renewed for Season 2!

The creator and writer, Brad Wright, is going to be at the helm for this season as well, which is great news.

Will Smith, Orcs, and super weapons!?!? Netflix Bright coming in December

 

Do I really have to say much more to get you interested? The trailer starts out looking like a typical LA Cop movie or TV show, that is until you realize the guy with the shotgun isn’t wearing a mask. Then what’s going on with the two girls? Why is Will Smith holding a sword? Check it out yourself in the trailer below.

 

According to this Engadget article, this $90 Million movie is going to feature Will Smith in a world where humans and fantasy creates live side by side.

The only bad news I have for you is that it isn’t coming out until December 2017. I’m really looking forward to seeing some more trailers.

You can get news by following @BrightNetflix on Twitter

Get a much faster Clonezilla

CloneZillaIf you haven’t downloaded Clone Zilla since before January 27th, 2012, do yourself a favor and go get it. Version 1.2.12-10 is out, and holy mackerel is it fast.

I just started taking an image of a drive, and in less time than it normally takes to get to the “Start Clonezilla Live” screen, I already had the image going. I’m not sure if the speed of the cloning is any faster, but it’s well worth the download.

I also noticed an option to check to see if the image file is restorable. That’s pretty sweet too.

Many thanks and Kudos to the CloneZilla group!

The Downloads page is here:

http://clonezilla.org/downloads.php

Let me let you in on a little secret, this is a really old post. I originally wrote it in 2012, but I think it’s still kind of relevant. If you haven’t downloaded CloneZilla in a long time, do yourself a favor and go get it, they are continuously improving it.

Need a great Python Tutorial–Python-course

Let me preface this with the fact that this isn’t my first time trying to learn python, and this certainly isn’t the first tutorial that I’ve tried, but I decided I should take another shot at it.

I ran across a recommendation to try www.python-course.eu and I figured, heck, let’s give it a go.

I’m working my way through it, and I have to say so far so good. Of course, I started following the Python 2 tutorial, which seems to be the default, and I’m using Python 3, which has different syntax. Do yourself a favor, and if you’re using Python 3, follow the Python 3 tutorial.

If you’re using Windows, you can download Python here at Python.org

BBC gives some insight into the Cybercrime Underground

The BBC has an interesting article titled “A Guided tour of the Cybercrime underground”, which gives a bit of a rundown on how the attempts to get money from regular users has evolved into the ransomware we have today. As well as the role bitcoin has in it.

I’ve had to deal with the earlier attempts that the article mentions, the fake anti-virus scam and the warnings that child porn was found on your computer and the FBI was coming, unfounded warnings of course.

These days we have ransomware variants all over the place, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a new ransomware variant. That is illustrated in this article on Softpedia which reveals a fifth of spam emails sent in 2016 had ransomware included.

Narcos – More Great Netflix Original Television

I’m generally not a big fan of crime shows, my wife loves them, but with the exception of the original “Law and Order” (Lenny rules!), and “The Americans”, I don’t watch them. The Netflix Original Series “Narcos” is the exception.

Narcos follows the rise of cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar. The show is Pablo_Escobar_Mugnarrated by the character Steve Murphy, a DEA agent in Columbia, and the show is filmed in Columbia. It’s also a “period” show, taking place during the 80’s.

If reading isn’t your thing though, you may not like the show. Taking place in Columbia, as you would imagine, Spanish is spoken a lot. Luckily for those of us who don’t speak the language, it’s subtitled. I personally don’t mind, I pretty much keep subtitles on all the time.

The show is pretty fast paced, and you really see the characters change over time. The “newb” DEA agent quickly turns into a jaded veteran, and the main character, Pablo Escobar, starts out as someone that you can relate to pretty easily, even though he’s a smuggler and getting into the drug trade, and you just can’t help but watch in horror as he slips down the dark rabbit hole.

I was a little slow to get on the Narcos bus. I started watching Season 1 after Season 2 had already came out. I can’t regret the delay too much, because now I have a whole 2 seasons to binge. 🙂 I actually figured I would give it a try one day, and ended up watching all of season 1 over a weekend.

One of the aspects of the show that amazes me, and I’m not giving much away here, is the massive amounts of money that Pablo has. He throws around millions of dollars like they are candy bars. I just can’t imagine having access to that kind of money. According to a Wikipedia’s Article on Pablo Escobar, his cartel “supplied 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States”. As you can imagine, that would be a metric ton of money.

Also, Columbia is beautiful! Wow.

If you need a show to watch, I have to recommend Narcos.

Sources:

Netflix – Watch Narcos Online

Wikipedia – Pablo Escobar

Yahoo Data Breach – Change your yahoo passwords / Look out for Scam Emails

You may have already seen news coverage about it, but yesterday Yahoo announced that data from at least 500 Million email accounts had been stolen. The data stolen may have included:

  • Names
  • Email Addresses
  • Backup email addresses
  • Telephone Numbers
  • Dates of Birth
  • Hashed passwords.

If you have a Yahoo account, even if you haven’t used it in a long time, login and change your password. If you use the same password for any other accounts, then change those passwords as well.

Also, be on the lookout for scam / phishing emails about the breach, this is a great opportunity for the bad guys to attempt to steal your information, even if you weren’t effected by the breach. Don’t follow links that you receive in emails, and do not open attachments in any suspicious emails.

The data was apparently stolen in 2014, and has recently been seen up for sale on the dark web. Yahoo believes it was a state actor (someone working for a government) responsible for the breach.

Sources:

These 500 Million Hacked Yahoo Accounts Are A Phishing Paradise. Warn Your Users!

500 Million Yahoo accounts Breached

News Roundup for 9/23/16

500 million Yahoo Accounts Breached

USA Today reports that the accounts were stolen in 2014, and security researchers have been hearing rumblings of a hacker trying to see them since about August.

In an article from Business Wire, Yahoo believes it was a state actor that did it.

Of course, the scary thing here is that many users use the same passwords for everything, and although the passwords stolen were hashed, we all know that won’t last forever. Of course, Security Questions and Dates of Birth were also stolen, combine that with the other information, and you can see why this is so big of a worry.

Google Allo

I’m a bit confused on why Google spent time on Allo, sure, a the smart assistant seems pretty sweet, but why not put that into “OK Google” instead of a proprietary messaging app. Is there really a need for another messaging app? The reviews aren’t terribly good,

Snowden says that it’s a honeypot for US surveillance Efforts

The Verge Review says it’s “fine”.

Gigabit Speed for Rural users using Power infrastructure?

AirGig – Uses Power lines for 1G data. Not how you think though. They put a wireless device on top of the powerline.

ArsTechnica says that it’s very experimental. AT&T says it’s not even on their technology roadmap yet. The antennas are inexpensive though, and it would be a huge boost for rural areas who are historically underserved.

Bedtime Stories for Cynics is absolutely Checking Out

I mentioned in an earlier post that  Amazon added Audible Channels as a Prime Membership Benefit, and as soon as I signed up, I started exploring the channels. Sure, there are a lot of podcasts in the channels, but I really wanted to explore the Audible Originals.

I immediately found a gem, it’s Bedtime Stories for Cynics, Presented by Nick Offerman.

When I see or hear Nick Offerman, I can’t help but picture his Nick-Offermancharacter on Parks and Recreation, Ron Swanson, and his voice and style in Bedtime Stories for Cynics matches perfectly. I love the lines near the end of the introduction “If our language offends you, then you are a child. Congratulations, you have your whole life ahead of you, don’t F**** it up.”

The first story is “Todd the Dragon Slayer”, read by Lewis Black. I don’t know who was in charge of picking out who does the reading, but Lewis Black was perfect. After listening to the story, I realized that it would probably be a good idea for me to see if he’s ready anything else. I hope he comes back for more.

Of course, you can tell that I highly suggest checking it out. To locate it, start the Audible app on your device, then open the menu, and choose Channels > Browse All Channels (you may have to select the “Featured” Tab to see Browse all channels) > Audible Originals, and you should see a banner for “Bedtime Stories for Cynics”.