Archive for the ‘Watch Out!’ Category

Two weeks without full Electricity.

Our family has now gone two weeks on emergency power.

My own fault for not doing maintenance on the outdoor service panel. I could happen to you.

When We bought this place about 16 years ago, nobody ever tole me I had to do regular inspection of the outside electrical panel. Or maybe they did and I just forgot.

To keep the cost of repair down, we decided to not do a full replacement of the entire service panel.

Only a portion was damaged due to wear, age and hot weather. Our neighbor has allowed us to have some power using an extension cord.  So we have some lights and can use the microwave if we are very careful.

From this  learned a lot about the use of  AL (aluminum) in residence electrical wiring.  No, this house does not have AL winging inside the house. Instead, AL is used outside in the service panel.

(I am still editing this… more later.)




What did Yahoo due to you?

You must averted by now, Yahoo lost data on over 3 billion records.

Actually the data was leaked or revealed to another party. It would have been better if it had literally been lost instead of compromised

It is hard to believe that billion users could have their information leaked out. Yet the press reports comes listed lycée that in 2013 Jacob didn’t have a massive security breach that revealed private information about billions of Yahoo users. That appears to be hard to believe. Even just 300 million would be devastating. It’s reports indicate it was over 3 billion. That is billions built with the capital B.

Yahoo is a milk sucking goat

What would Lyon do with a goat that drinks your milk? What do you do with a service that takes your personal data and lets other use it?

So what can you I do? Almost nothing. It’s water under the bridge. One expert said now it’s time to change your password. Was he kidding West and Mark changing your password now is not going to make a bigger difference about something that was compromised four years ago. They already got your phone number, name and address. The only thing you could protect by changing word your password would be any new information you’ve added since the data breach. In my opinion, and I am not an expert, you just cannot trust Yahoo anymore. But who can you trust? Would AT&T be any better? Hardly, actually AT&T uses Yahoo mail for its own mail servers.
Quite frankly, I now doubt that any electronic mail service can be relied upon for secure communication.
But in all fairness, the compromise was not really about the data, the compromise was about your personal information. This means a lot of people now have access to your phone number and your street address and your date of birth and also your first and last name. That’s more than enough information to start a criminal action. Using just basic information, the criminal can steal your identity and get credit cards and write checks in your name and it will take you quite a while to trace it down and put a stop to it. Meanwhile, you are held guilty or responsible for anything a criminal does with your credit card or your checkbook.

Yes, the criminal can get checks from your bank using your private information that would be in your e-mail account.
Like I said, too late to do anything about it now. But be aware that whatever information you give to an e-mail provider has the potential of getting into the wrong hands.

Why Good Passwords Are Not Enough.

Of course weak password is bad. However, the major problem is not easy to fix.

More and more criminals are trying to attack data centers that have important user information and use that to unlawfully take your money.

Do a Google search and find a number of the big banks in the USA and overseas have had data loss. Data loss can be a polite way to say that data was stolen from the bank. So far, the banks and governments have helped resolve the trouble. But too often the criminals do not get apprehended and they go on to try again and again.

What can you do? Be careful about having large amounts of money in just one institution.  Avoid credit cards that can be used to drain all the money from your cheeking account.

Some people now prefer to buy a plastic card for a given amount and use it to pay on-line bills or to go shopping.  This is safer t than having your checkbook or cash in your purse.

The limited funds plastic cards are not linked to your bank and therefore a thief would  only get the value of the card and nothing more. The card does not even have your name on it.

Wiki Leaks and Computer Hacking.

NBC says  the Wiki Leak things reveals a major hacking tool used by CIA.

But now the attention is about who told. The government reaction is al about who told and not about the harm that was done. Here is a quore from the NBC news website:

A MAJOR mole hunt is now underway as the Federal Bureau of Investigation tries to find out how anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks got its hands on alleged CIA hacking tools.

Here’s the link for the Full Story y from NBC.

What can you do? Protect your self with Anti-Virus and backups.


Can the IRS Hrass Anybody

The answer might surprise you. The really do it all the time.

Personally I have had this. An agent will go beyond what it can legally do and ask questions that are not his business. This is a physiological trick to catch you.

This has been documented elsewhere. Here are just a few of the websites where individuals claim the government went to far in an attempt to get more money.

Account Forums

Kemberley Washington on CBNC

UncleFed’s Tax Board

Internal Revenue Manual

Please notice this post does not say yu should stop paying tax. Not at all. Rather do not let a few greedy people cheat you to promote their own self-interest. Pay you tax. Pay only what you owe.

Freedom pop. Is it Free or not ?

The Ffreedompop co,pany  claims a free monthly service to smart phone users.  Not  exactly what you think.

Here are the details. Read carefully, very carefully. You buy a Sim card from them for about one dollar and from then on you are able to make phone calls without the need to pay anything more. But it has a  catch, you must agree to a  30 day trial.


During the 30 day trial plan you must cancel your plan. But you get to keep the Sim card and use it to make a few phone calls once in a while. How can they do that? Well, I was not able to locate this information actually printed out in a clear and concise form,.

Here is what I assume they are doing. If you do  go over a certain amount of time any month, they will bill you. But  they don’t tell you. Now if you protest they cancel your account. That, in a nutshell is there a business plan. Now I admit, but I cannot prove it, but this seems to be the case judging by complaints that many have made against the company.

Currently I have a Sim card from freedom pop that works. I only use it when absolutely necessary to make a call when I don’t have my cregular ell phone with me. Here’s what I do: I put  an old smart phone  in my car.  It has he freedom pop Sim card in it along with the freedom pop messaging software. With that I am able to make an occasional telephone call with just that smart phone and the freedom pop Sim card. I

I am unable to tell you exactly how it works, because my online account with freedom pop does not tell me how many minutes I have used and I cannot depend on the phone itself to tell me how much time I have left .

You can check this out yourself and find that a number of big companies have invested in venture capital into this idea. The company is located in California and has expanded into the United Kingdom recently.

This is not an endorsement. I just want to warn you that if you do get into freedom pop expect to have to pay something for the service. It  is a free service only when you  pay attention to the rules, which are rather narrow and hard to understand.

Above is a picture of what they will send you in the mail. It contains a Sim card that looks like any other Sim card. Plus they give you instructions about how to get there messaging service from the Google place site. They claim it also works on the Apple iPhone, but I have not been able to confirm this.


Ifyou need a bigger image to read, click here

If you have comments?

Disclaimer. I don’t work for anyody. I am retired.

Learn More About Methane.

Methane will be a big part of your future. For  better or worse.

Credible publications are warring people about the the dangs and the benefits of methane. Yes,  the common invisible gas that is made by animals and vegetable decay can benefit you if men make the right decisions now. But if not, methane will bring on global warming more that just carbon dioxide.

But here is the good part. Methane is a good fuel. It becomes Co2 when consumed. But that is good. Because CO2 is much less harmful to the earth than  methane.

True, this may seem hard to understand. If we ignore it, methane can make weather on the Earth much more severe. But if you harness it, we can have abundant energy for our needs for a long time into the future.

I will post some news findings about methane in my next post.

Don’t buy a solar energy system now.

Don’t get caught up in the current solar energy mania. There are other ways to cut your energy costs without doing a major investment.

First of all, do you live in an area where solar energy would be very productive? Actually, only a portion of the United States is well-suited to solar energy. It is the area known as the Southwest United States which includes the lower half of California and the western half of Texas and all of Arizona and most of new Mexico.
Do not expect a solar panel salesmen to provide you with all the relevant facts. In some areas the cost of electric power is very low and will probably stay that way for a long time. Also, if some new development should occur, the power companies would be the first to take advantage of it for their own benefit.
What many homeowners do not realize is that many large companies have looked at the alternatives and have made other decisions. In some cases they are using fuel cells to convert natural gas and electricity. Of course, that doesn’t do a whole lot for the environment, but it is very cost effective. The reason is that natural gas is available almost everywhere. It can be piped across United States through pipelines or it can be liquefied and freight trains. Natural gas is extremely available everywhere. In some parts of United States is not enough sunlight to justify solar energy installations. But those areas can benefit by the use of fuel cells that depend on natural gas.
So then, to answer the question here are the two major issues. The first is do you live in an area where solar energy really would be productive? The second question: What is the cost is relative to the cost of electrical energy in your area?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating that we consume all the fossil fuels we can find. Rather my objection is to the flimflam shoddy misrepresentation being made by solar panel salesmen. It is not a good return on your investment. It takes years and years for become cost effective. There are other ways to save your energy costs.
Here are some other things that will help you cut your energy costs. Improve the insulation in your existing home. Think about heating or cooling your home with other types of equipment. In some places a water-cooler can be just as effective as an air-conditioning unit and cost a lot less to maintain and use.
At the present time there is a lot of research being done on alternate forms of energy. Most likely the big energy companies are going to get into this before the average person can benefit. It is just the way it is. It takes money to save money. The big companies will invest their money in the kind of research that will produce real results inside of a reasonable timeline.

Now in your case, do you really think that you can wait 40 years to see if you got the right return on your investment?  Probably not.

What the FBI wabts Apple to do.

The government wants Apple to unlock  cell phones that were found on two terrorists.

They hope the  i Phones will reveal information about his contacts  and past activity.Two terrorists were killed after the tragic San Bernadino Shooting.

San Bernardino Shooting

Back in December er 14 people were killed in the southern California city. The two shooters were killed before they could destroy the  two Phones.  The FBI  was not able to unlock the phones.

Modern cell phone and tech companies commonly use encryption to protect customers’ data, features that terrorists used to communicate secretly. If a phone is secured with a password, it is almost impossible to access the data.

Apple claims it does not know how to do this. Some lawmakers want to make companies like Apple responsible for this problem. Therefore all phones swill become subject to search if police think it is important to an investigation. It may be that the engineers at Apple did  a very good job. So good it can not be creaked with any reasonable effort.

Here is my thought. Watch this  story. It could mean a major change in what we do with lout cell phones. Someday nothing will ever be private again. Except maybe in your bedroom bathroom.

California Law Would Make Apple Weaken Security.

The Apple iPhone Security will weaken if a new bill becomes law.

Some government authorities want to make it easy for police to see what is in your iPhone or tablet. This has come up before, but now it is getting to be a thing for the politicians to toss around.

Here is post written by Benjamin Mayo elsewhere:

Benjamin Mayo  – 1 day ago

Although the bill is only being proposed and isn’t law at this time, it poses a big issue for Apple which is facing pressure from politicians across the US to relax its stance on privacy in favor of security. The California case is especially problematic given the location of Apple’s HQ. It would be very awkward if Apple was barred from selling iPhones in the state where they’re designed.

If the bill came into effect as written, anyone caught buying an iPhone past January 1st, 2017 would be fined $2,500 per device. Naturally, there’s a reasonable chance this will not be instated, or at least delayed for further review. It is nonetheless a worrying trend for users interested in controlling their own information.

Tim Cook and Apple has repeatedly taken a hard-line stance on privacy.

To see the full text of his article, click here.