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  • TECH

    Microsoft Paint might be fading

    Life, James Hein, Published on 02/08/2017

    » What is the one program you can count on to be in Windows, apart from say Minesweeper? Microsoft Paint. It's the poor man's drawing tool and screen capture tool where it is as simple as Alt-Printscreen, Start-Run MSPaint, CTRL-V, Crop Marquee Select Crop, CTRL-A CTRL-C, Switch to email and CTRL–V to get something from your screen into an email (or anything else).

  • TECH

    Even writers need to think before tweeting

    Life, James Hein, Published on 16/08/2017

    » Without the internet, there would only ever be part of a story. Consider the recent example of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. She watched an edited video and then took to the internet using her fame to decry the treatment of a small child by a prominent leader. Her concerns were quickly and widely spread but the unedited footage showed the opposite. Even the mother of the child finally got involved and asked the internet to please tell J.K. Rowling that she was wrong. At the time of writing Rowling had apologised to the mother but not the leader she smeared. In the current fast pace and instant Twitter-response world it is important to take a step back and do some personal investigation before reacting, often incorrectly, to a flash tweet or news story. If you see a clip try and find the full or unedited version, that extra time can save you from future embarrassment, though some personalities seem to be immune to it.

  • TECH

    Size counts in the world of IT

    Life, James Hein, Published on 04/05/2016

    » When it comes to implementing systems, it is all about scale. If you have ever been a system tester you will know that what works one at a time may not work well if a whole bunch of them are processed all at once. Those who have ever used an old fashioned typewriter will understand this. Volume testing and scalability of system is one of the biggest problems a development testing team faces.

  • TECH

    Entering the darkness

    Life, James Hein, Published on 03/06/2015

    » You may have heard of the terms "Dark Web" or "Deep Web", then again you may not have. First of all these two terms refer to different things. The first is a series of websites that provide illegal services, such as ordering drugs, and a range of other things typically purchased using Bitcoins. The second refers to all the unindexed sites that exist across the World Wide Web. According to some reports, Google indexes about 16% of the internet, leaving the majority of sites not findable through most search engines.

  • TECH

    The internet grows darker

    Life, James Hein, Published on 08/05/2019

    » Social media has reached danger levels of influence and like anything powerful it can be used for positive or negative purposes. In countries like China you can say as many good things about the government on social media as you like but anything negative typically triggers a rapid response. The US and UK has its own sets of problems, with a tug-of-war between liberals and conservatives over the truth, with each side seeking to banish the other from social media. Self-defined open, inclusive and balanced social media platforms like Twitter are removing accounts on one side of politics in countries before elections, effectively meddling in elections.

  • TECH

    Next-gen Wi-Fi technologies on the way

    Life, James Hein, Published on 07/11/2018

    » The fixed line versus Wi-Fi debate continues to be a popular one. And with technologies like Wi-Gig and Wi-Fi 6 in the pipeline, the debate will only intensify. Current Wi-Fi technologies work inside the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands; they also have user-friendly version numbers now. Wi-Fi 4 came out in 2009 under the name 802.11n, Wi-Fi 5 arrived in 2014 as 802.11ac and Wi-Fi 6 is due in 2019 as 802.11.ax. In the near future, you'll see these numbers start to appear on your devices, but not every manufacturer will bother to use the new designations. Wi-Fi numbers 1-3 represent even older, now mostly unused versions.

  • OPINION

    Words don't come easy to millennials

    Life, James Hein, Published on 23/05/2018

    » Next time you're in a restaurant or where people gather in small groups, sit and watch for a while. Note how many of the groups are silent, all doing something on their phones. When you find such a group, note how long they go without saying a word to each other. There is an interesting behavioural shift occurring in the phone-enabled world where casual conversation skills are being replaced by surfing, messaging and instant posting. It won't be too long before the best way to find out what the person next to you is thinking is to live feed their Facebook, send them an SMS or Line message, or heaven forbid a tweet.

  • OPINION

    Your TV is watching you

    Life, James Hein, Published on 15/03/2017

    » Love them or hate them as I write this WikiLeaks has just dropped a large batch of new documents for all the world to see, this time CIA secret materials. The part that has caught most attention is the information on how to spy on people, using commonly found household items. Apple and Android devices, Samsung TV's (glad I recently changed to Sony), Macs and Windows devices can all be used to spy on people -- no one in the US of course -- and pass info back to the CIA. There are also different malware products that can be used to infect all manner of devices including a USB stick that can be used to jump that critical air-gap between your system and the outside world. For anyone living in the real world none of this will be of any surprise. All the leaks really do is confirm what everyone knows and every country does.

  • TECH

    Not all cookies created equal

    Life, James Hein, Published on 15/02/2017

    » I was on a technical support call recently after having problems accessing a service provider's product. The advice given was "Use Internet Explorer and make sure to clear all cookies and cache". There are multiple issues here. The first is coding to a single browser platform, and all too often that is still Internet Explorer. According to www.w3counter.com, the current usage stats for browsers is Chrome at the top (with 58.4%), followed by Safari (13.3%), Firefox (9.5%), IE and Edge (8.1%), and Opera (4.4%). Another problem is with the advice to clear all cookies. This is like using an atomic bomb to get rid of a mosquito. If you have years of cookies working for you, then one bad one shouldn't be taken care of by getting rid of the lot. I advised the help-desk staff member to review their suggestions, especially since this was the first time I had used IE to access that site, so there would be a fresh cookie.

  • OPINION

    Praying to false idols

    Life, James Hein, Published on 18/01/2017

    » The "Apple didn't invent the iPhone" story you may have seen in the media recently, originating from the BBC, has been found to have a number flaws. Using the tried and true tactic -- if you repeat a lie enough times it becomes the truth -- they managed to convince media people everywhere that Apple didn't create the concept of the iPhone. Besides showing just how low and lazy many media people have sunk, the story is far from true.

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