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Topics - benali72

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All Technology & Tech Help / Linux backup by Timeshift
« on: March 09, 2018, 06:19:29 pm »
Re: previous discussions about linux backups...

Just ran across a tool called Timeshift.  It appears similar to Windows' System Restore utility.

For screenshots and discussion, see

All Technology & Tech Help / The Net Slowly Closes
« on: February 18, 2018, 08:47:34 am »
It appears the internet is slowly but surely becoming a paywall.

I see more and more websites that require a login so you can read your "5 free articles this month" or similar. More websites are requiring a subscription to read their better articles, or their archived articles. Even Youtube is starting to force you to watch commercials prior to viewing many of its videos.

I think we're seeing the same evolution as we did with cable TV. Remember back in the 80s, it was sold as "No commercials!" Then it evolved into "Our commercials are shorter than free tv!" Now most channels have way more commercials than free tv.

Do you see this trend, too?

All Technology & Tech Help / What's Your Internet Speed?
« on: February 02, 2018, 05:34:30 pm »
What is the speed of your internet download connection?

What do you pay for it monthly?

How many broadband providers can you choose from?

All Technology & Tech Help / An Internet-connected Heart
« on: January 27, 2018, 07:28:45 pm »
Here's an article by a 34-year-old guy who's pacemaker is monitoring him from inside his body.

He claims that the maker, Mediatronic, and the doctors get access to the data, but not him as the patient.

The guy's also worried about being messed with through the internet connection to his heart.

(Apparently former VP Cheney convinced his doctors to turn off his internet connection to prevent assassination attempts).

A thoughtful article --

One other fun fact. I've read from several sources that devices implanted in patients in the U.S. (eg, pacemakers, stents, artificial knees and hips) are essentially unregulated, that the US govt just takes the manufacturer's word that the devices are suitable and work as claimed. Amazing!

All Technology & Tech Help / Which Office Suite do you use?
« on: January 20, 2018, 09:34:33 am »
I'm wondering which word processor / office suite everyone here uses.  Vote for more than 1 if applicable. Thanks!

FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Do independent consultants still exist?
« on: January 15, 2018, 06:46:47 am »
I'm wondering, do many independent consultants still exist?

My friends have largely had to mate their fates to contracting or consulting firms, or have gone native.  I recall the ICCA folded years ago.

Anyone know of any ICs still out there?

FTE, Job and Career Discussion / How many H1B's are in the U.S. ?
« on: December 29, 2017, 06:50:25 am »
How many H1B's are in the U.S. ?

Seems like a simple question, but the officially accurate answer is -- the U.S. govt doesn't know.

H1Bs are issued for 3 years and can be extended for 3 more. The "caps" or maximum issued varies by year.

I've found estimates of H1Bs in the U.S. right now ranging from a low of about 450,000, to a high of 800,000.

Estimates of the total size of the IT labor force in the US vary too (since one can define an IT worker differently). US Census bureau pegs it at 4.6 million as of 2014.

FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Tax Law Favors S-Corps & LLCs
« on: December 14, 2017, 04:02:08 pm »
The new tax tax (assuming it passes) favors S-Corps and LLCs.  Pass-thru taxes are less than individual taxes.

So if you have the option and haven't incorporated, you should seriously research this.


All Technology & Tech Help / New Browsers
« on: December 14, 2017, 09:17:44 am »
Some new browsers are on the scene. Anybody using them? Your experiences?

1-  Firefox Quantum version (if you have v 56 or above you've got it, it automatically installs as an update)
2- Brave (mainly for privacy, see )
3- TOR Browser (a privacy-optimized version of Firefox, you can use it without using the TOR network if you want -- see

I've found Quantum better like they claim, mainly when running browser scripts.

Discussions - Public / r u Sending Xmas Cards this year?
« on: December 09, 2017, 10:39:47 pm »
Do you still send out Christmas or Holiday cards?

With email, voicemail, texting, etc, I got out of the habit years ago. Plus you have to do it right at the busiest time of the year, a real pain.

But this year I'm going back to it. It's a good way to reconnect with people you've lost track of.

How about you?

All Technology & Tech Help / LED light bulbs are finally here!
« on: November 26, 2017, 10:29:55 pm »
I see Home Depot offers 8 LED 60-watt-equivalent bulbs for only $10. Either in Bright or Soft versions. They consume only 8.5 watts each. Finally! Looks like led bulbs have arrived for general use. I'm very happy with them and have replaced all my CFL 60-watt-equivalents with them. Nice!

All Technology & Tech Help / Linux Loses a big one
« on: November 24, 2017, 07:43:30 pm »
For 12 years, the city of Munich has had its 20,000 desktops run Linux instead of Windows. They've recently announced they're converting to Windows 10. It's a big victory for Windows and a big loss for Linux.

The reasons are complicated and disputed, but very interesting. See --

All Technology & Tech Help / The End of Net Neutrality
« on: November 22, 2017, 12:55:27 pm »
The end of net neutrality is near.

Without it, one day you can expect a message like "You must upgrade your internet package to access this site" to pop up on your smartphone or computer screen.

But the public doesn't get it. I think the term "net neutrality" is why it failed. That means NOTHING to most people.

They should have asked whether the internet should be treated as a public utility or a corporate-owned asset. Then people would get it.

If you want to have a voice on this, visit --

Good article on how Facial Recognition, the ultimate tracking technology for physical movement, is creeping into our lives --

If it continues to spread without restriction -- very likely -- it will hugely change our lives.

Discussions - Public / How Silicon Valley Hooks Us
« on: November 19, 2017, 10:42:02 am »
The article "How Silicon Valley Hooks Us" tells how digital technologies are designed to consume our constant attention.

Our phones and social media hook us by as Likes, Texting, Friend Requsts in red to get your attention, and other addictive feedback loops. See

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