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February 22, 2017




Welcome to the Portal Pages

Welcome to my portal pages.  A full description of the capabilities of the 'ReadyPortal' software can be found at RedDog Software.  I hope you enjoy the discussions, polls and other functions.  If you have any things you would like to see implemented here let me know


MacWorld

58% off Alinshi Foldable Soft Silicone USB Waterproof Keyboard - Deal Alert
Podcast 547: WWDC heads south to San Jose

Do you know the way to San Jose? It’s super easy, you just head south on the 101 or the 280 (or the 680 or 880 if you’re in the East Bay), and just between us, the airport there is way better than SFO anyway. Oh, and it’s where Apple is having WWDC 2017 starting June 5. That’s confirmed, but before we get that far, rumor has it we might get an Apple event in March, to announce new iPads, an iPhone SE with more storage, and maybe even a cherry red iPhone 7. Which would be nice.

Show notes

New macOS ransomware spotted in the wild

A new file-encrypting ransomware program for macOS is being distributed through BitTorrent websites, and users who fall victim to it won’t be able to recover their files, even if they pay.

Crypto ransomware programs for macOS are rare. This is the second such threat found in the wild so far, and it’s a poorly designed one. The program was named OSX/Filecoder.E by the malware researchers from antivirus vendor ESET who found it.

OSX/Filecoder.E masquerades as a cracking tool for commercial software like Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Microsoft Office for Mac and is being distributed as a BitTorrent download. It is written in Apple’s Swift programming language by what appears to be an inexperienced developer, judging from the many mistakes made in its implementation.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Instagram's new galleries will let you share multiple photos per post

Instagram has become something of an art form. To avoid cluttering your friends’ feeds, you have to pick the best photo from a day or an event, the one that perfectly encapsulates the experience. Then you artfully edit the image by choosing the perfect filter and tweaking it in advanced options. A sardonic or heartfelt caption rounds out the post, which you then share and wait for the likes to come rolling in. But today, Instagram is changing the game.

You don’t have to share just one photo per post anymore. In an update rolling out for iOS and Android users Wednesday, Instagram is lifting its limitations with multiple images and videos per post—up to 10, to be exact. This is a feature that Instagram actually launched two years ago, but was previously only available to brands.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Apple's new HQ, Apple Park, will open in April

In 2011, Apple CEO Steve Jobs showed the Cupertino City Council plans for his company’s new campus. Six years later, Apple Park is set to open.

Apple employees will begin the process of moving to the new campus in April, and in six months more than 12,000 people will work in Apple Park.

Jobs conceived of the 2.8 million-square-foot building, which evokes a flying saucer with panels of curved glass, and Apple will honor its late founder’s memory with a 1,000-seat auditorium named Steve Jobs Theater. Apple Park sits on 175 acres of land designed to be part nature refuge, part center for collaboration and creativity.

steve jobs apple Apple

The campus replaces Hewlett-Packard’s concrete jungle with 9,000 trees, two miles of trails for employees to walk and run on, plus an orchard, meadow, and a pond. Apple claims its new HQ is the world’s largest naturally ventilated building and won’t need heat or air conditioning for nine months of the year. The building has 17 megawatts of rooftop solar energy.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

The Week in iOS Cases and Accessories: Snapchat Spectacles are ready for purchase
Today Only, Amazon Will Discount $8.62 off All Orders $50 Or More - Deal Alert

Buy at least $50 worth of stuff on Amazon today, Feb 22, and you'll see a magical $8.62 discount applied at checkout when you enter the code BIGTHANKS. Yes -- it's free money. Amazon is offering this one-day discount to celebrate a 86.27 score they were given on a recent corporate reputation survey. If you've been putting off some purchases, today might be a good day to pull the trigger. Head over to Amazon and get your discount right now.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens review: New elements give a familiar formula replay value

Even after a slew of Lego video game adaptations over the years, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($40 on the Mac App Store) is able to offer new elements and add humor and replay value. Beginning with the Battle of Endor from Return of the Jedi, the game has you and your Ewok allies take on the Imperial forces while Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader team up against Emperor Palpatine aboard the second Death Star, the game running you through its tutorial segments all the while.

legoswtfa1 Lego Group

Start with the classic Endor setting from “Return of the Jedi” and go from there.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Hands-on with Omnicharge Pro, one smart battery for all your devices

We live in an age where belief, in anything, can be difficult—especially where crowdfunded products are concerned.

I’ve been burned several times by kickstarted tech projects over the years. Mostly, the delivered goods underwhelm compared to what was promised. In some cases, a return on my investment never materialized at all. I’d all but given up on crowdfunded gear, but after using their Omnicharge’s batteries for the past few months, I want to believe that this startup is doing things right.

solar Séamus Bellamy

Omnicharge batteries can be juiced up via an included wall wart or, if you have one, using a solar panel.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

How to rip DVDs with Handbrake

[Editor’s note: The MPAA and most media companies argue that you can’t legally copy or convert commercial DVDs for any reason. We (and others) think that, if you own a DVD, you should be able to override its copy protection to make a backup copy or to convert its content for viewing on other devices. The law isn’t entirely clear one way or the other. So our advice is: If you don’t own it, don’t do it. If you do own it, think before you rip.]

You may buy and rent digital movies, or even get digital copies of your films when you buy DVDs so you can watch them easily on an Apple TV or iOS device. But not all movies offer digital copies, and you may not want to buy movies from the iTunes Store; you may want to own hard copies of your favorite films. Or, you may, like me, buy DVDs of concerts and operas, or have a collection of older DVDs, such as my box sets of The Honeymooners and The Twilight Zone.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

It's not too late for Apple TV
Best Bluetooth speakers
Last updated February 21, 2017 to include our review of the Vizio SmartCast Crave 360.

There was a time when Bluetooth speakers were like jelly beans: They were cheap, they all looked the same, and they were invariably of dubious quality. Times have changed. Every major audio manufacturer has at least one model on the market today, and most have several. If you haven’t listened to a Bluetooth speaker lately, you’re in for a very pleasant surprise.

But the industry’s progress doesn’t mean that every Bluetooth speaker justifies its price tag, no matter how inexpensive it might be. There’s still plenty of dreck floating around. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you steer clear of the junk and point you to the best speakers at the price range that fits your budget. To that end, we’ve picked the best Bluetooth speakers in four broad price ranges: budget, mid-range, high-end, and—yes, there are ultra-high-end Bluetooth speakers—price is no object.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

75% off Brother P-Touch PT-D210 Label Maker - Deal Alert

The PT-D210 makes it easy to create great-looking labels for your home and office. With convenient one-touch keys, you can quickly access fonts, symbols, frames and templates. Plus, you can preview your work on the display. The highly rated unit is a #1 best-seller on Amazon, where it has been discounted 75%, for what will likely be a limited time. So instead of $40 you'll be paying just $10. See the deal now on Amazon.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Steam Link Is 60% Off - Mirror Your Gaming Setup to TV at 1080p - Deal Alert

The Steam Link allows existing Steam gamers to expand the range of their current gaming set up via their home network. Just connect your Steam PC or Steam Machine to your home network, plug into a TV, and stream your games to the Link at 1080p. Video and audio data is sent from your computer to the Steam Link, while your controller input is sent back in real time. Virtually every game that your computer runs can be played on your TV. Steam Controller, Xbox One USB wired, Xbox 360 USB wired, Xbox 360 wireless, PS4, PS3 wired and Wii-U Pro controllers are compatible, as are many third-party Xbox controllers. Steam Link's typical price is $50, but right now you can get it on Amazon for just $20. See the significantly discounted Steam Link on Amazon.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Best Buy has cut the MacBook Air's price tag to $800



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MenkBlog

Personal Opinions and Rants
FBI wants legislative fix on device encryption -FCW

What are these morons thinking? They could possibly make it illegal for Manufacturers to make phones with strong encryption for sale in the US. That would result in the ability for the Government and Law enforcement to spy on US Citizens leaving them still unable to to see data from foreigners and offshore terrorists. Get [...]

Review: The iPhone 5S really is the best iPhone yet - Computerworld

Review: The iPhone 5S really is the best iPhone yet - Computerworld With cutting-edge architecture, a better camera and a motion coprocessor, the 5S offers a lot of hardware for the money

Homeland Security: Hackers Love Android

The Department of Homeland Security is warning that Google’s Android OS is a major target for hackers and represents the single largest target for security issues having 79% of the malware for mobile platforms targeting Android. By contrast Apple’s IOS has only 0.7% of the malware focused on trying to exploit that much more [...]

Obama WhiteHouse Dinners $5000/Person!

Wow, $5000 a plate dinners hosted by the Obama’s on the Taxpayers dime. This is exponentially more than any other President in History. Perhaps this explains the need for tax increases Obama is pitching for.

In any case, clearly Barrack and Michelle are NOT one of us.  Dig in Mr. President the taxpayers are [...]

Obamas Failed Wealth Redistribution Goals

A Recent Letter to the Editor of the Daytona Beach News Journal. (Oct 4th)

Wealth redistribution a failure Barack Obama is the self-proclaimed middle-class advocate and defender.

Yet on Obama’s watch, for the first time since the Franklin Delano Roosevelt presidency: 1) the middle class has shrunk, 2) the median income of the middle class has decreased and [...]

Microsoft Unveils Logo For Windows 8

Microsoft has unveiled the logo for the next version of Windows. Consistent with prior versions of their Operating System and other products; the software giant has spent more time ruminating about the pointless than the important. I find it fascinating that they would pre-announce the logo along with a stream of drivel seeking [...]

Apple unveils Mountain Lion OS X Preview

Apple unveils Mountain Lion Preview: iOS-ification of OS X continues with Messages, AirPlay Mirroring, Notification Center, Game Center, Twitter and more | 9to5Mac | Apple Intelligence

The Macintosh platform continues to evolve in ways that make it easier to work across multiple devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac) and serves as a guidepost for Microsoft to develop versions [...]

10 Incredible Stats From Apple Q1 Earnings

Ever wonder why everyone seems to have an iPhone and an iPad?

10 Incredible Stats From Apple’s Q1 Earnings

Why Android updates are a mess: its the business model | ZDNet

Ever wonder why the most tech saavy of your collegues use an iPhone or chose the iPad over 10 to 1 over the abundance of Android based tablets available today? It’s because despite the fact they are technically capable of getting applications (as opposed to malware) from the Google Market and the fact they [...]

Dubious about investing in Facebook? You are not alone.

Having worked at Netscape in the Internet bubble, I have a natural pessimism when it comes to Internet pure play stock valuations. Duff McDonald at Fortune Magazine also shares my perspective and has a pretty good writeup on his reasons the discussed valuations of Facebook are interesting but probably not realistic.



CNET News

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Marketplace Report - APM

Browse the latest stories from Marketplace.org and all of our Marketplace radio programs
Meet the workplace sensors that are watching you
Bloomberg Reporter Rebecca Greenfield talks about the new ways companies can track employees.
Interscope Geffen A&M CEO says industry has got to figure out streaming
John Janick was hand-picked by Jimmy Iovine to replace him. And he knows all about bringing down barriers.
02/22/17: Watching $100 million go down the drain
We're exploring the financial turmoil that ABB, a Swiss engineering group, is currently facing. The company may lose $100 million because of a criminal scheme at a South Korean subsidiary. Next, we'll talk about a turnaround for U.S. coal mining companies and then take a closer look at one small California community where arsenic is contaminating its groundwater.
Dangerous passage: Refugees in Minnesota risk death to reach Canada
African asylum seekers are streaming to the border, making a perilous journey that has immigration and security officials worried.
Mining companies bounce back after years of losses
Why it might be a good thing if your boss is an introvert
Extroverts, take note.
Small community is one of many grappling with big water problems
In Kettleman City, California, where arsenic contaminates groundwater, the state supplies every home with bottled water.
Help is wanted at Six Flags, but will the park operator find it?
A new 3-D pen lets kids create their own toys
Children can use the 3Doodler Start Pen to make sculptures.
Nation’s mayors hold 'day of action' on ACA
Civic leaders sound an alarm on repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement.
New immigration guidelines would stretch legal, detention and enforcement capacity
The system already has a hard time filling border patrol positions and has a backlog of pending cases.
Sexual harassment allegation throws spotlight on Uber’s reputation
Georgia sees good relationship with China as one key to its economic future
International companies have been helping to create domestic jobs.
What challenges does McMaster face as Trump’s national security adviser?
The lieutenant general really has three new jobs. Security consultant Erin Simpson explains.
Economists outraged by Trump plan to 'cook the books'
The White House may ask for changes to trade deficit and economic growth data.
Coal miners from two generations betting on Trump
We hear from a retired West Virginia miner and another just starting his career.
5: Reputation in the age of the protest economy
Why reputation matters abroad, at home and at Uber. Also, we dig into the protest economy and what that means for the yarn industry.
02/21/17: Uber to investigate allegations of sexual harassment
Uber has hired a former U.S. attorney general to investigate allegations of sexual harassment within the company. We'll look at how other companies have handled similar cases. Next, we'll compare the market values of the top U.S. banks with their European rivals, and then look at Seattle's efforts to reform campaign finance.
EPA bracing for big cuts under Trump administration
In addition to being required by law, Environmental Protection Agency funding is critical to state budgets.
New Philadelphia law stops employers from asking salary history
The law, slated to go into effect in May unless it's stopped by the state legislature, aims to close the gender salary gap.


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