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Microsoft requires disabled to have email and cell phone

Today I helped an old man who wanted help restoring Windows 10 to his laptop that his kid gave him. The hard drive was broken and needed replacing.

The install went fine until Microsoft asked for an email account. He does not want to receive any emails from anyone but family so I gave it a test domain email address to use, and then it came to needing to send a text to his cell phone on order for them to be able to verify who he was. We entered his number, which is not a cell phone and cannot receive texts and that was the end of the install.

They try to send you a text which you are then supposed to enter into the computer. But without the ability to receive texts you are left out. There was no way of moving forward.

Looks like a dangerous road where they are limiting people with disabilities just because they are not fully on-board with technology.

Networking 101

I’ll share some basics here:

All computers and devices on a network are each called a host. Each must
have a unique IP address just like each house has a unique address.

IP addresses are broken into the older IP version 4 (IPv4) which has
four numbers separated by a period ‘.’ like this 8.8.8.8.

Each number must be in the range of 0 to 255, but no host can have an IP
that ends on 0 or 255.

There are three main ranges of IP addresses which will not be routed
(forwarded) across the internet. These ranges are intended to be used in
local networks, which in practice means you can have a number of
computers with their own IP address on your network without it being
open to the world.

In other words these ranges will not work across the internet and is a
direct solution to not wanting to give up a “routeable” address for each
internal device. Otherwise the available IP addresses would be used up
very rapidly by large corporations. Plus, this way we have a layer of
security. There is a technology called Network Address Translation (NAT)
which ensures internal communication traveling from the inside of a
network to the outside is properly tracked.

The three ranges are:

10.0.0.0 – 10.255.255.255 with 16,777,216 IPs
172.16.0.0 – 172.32.255.255 with 1,048,576 IPs
192.168.0.0 – 195.168.255.255 with 65,536 IPs

There is an address for all computers to test networking without needing a
network card which is 127.0.0.1. It is called the loopback device.

The new IP version is called IPv6 and in theory allows for 2 to the
power of 128 (128 digits) versus IPv4 which only have about 4.3 billion
addresses. I’m not going into the details of it here.

A network that is under another one or is internal is generally referred
to as a subnet.

Each network reserves a few IPs for its own use:

For a network able to use all 256 addresses on a subnet , for example, 192.168.1.0 is called the network address, which obviously is the beginning of it.

Usable addresses then would be 1 through 254, except generally the first
usable one is usually the gateway to the network “above” it. So .1 is
usually reserved as the gateway IP.

Then the last IP is usually the broadcast address. The purpose with that
is when a device needs to reach another computer and does now know has
the IP sends out a broadcast asking “who has (IP)?” which is sent to the
.255 address. The gateway will then answer.

192.168.1.0 is the network IP
192.168.1.1 is the gateway
192.168.1.255 is the broadcast IP

We humans have a hard time tracking IP addresses so a system was
designed to allow up to use names instead. A server function called
Domain Name Server (DNS) translates the name to an IP address which is
needed to actually reach another computer.

Now for a computer to save time and not bother the DNS with questions
that it could answer a network mask was created which by its design can
tell if the computer you are trying to reach is on the local network or
needs to be sent to the gateway server to figure out. (And if it does
not know it sends it up to its gateway and so on.)

It is called subnet mask and for the above example it would look like
this 255.255.255.0. Thereby knowing that any host on 192.168.1.0-192.168.1.255 can be sent directly, anything else would need to be sent to the gateway, 192.168.1.1 for it to forward up the line.

Due to criminal elements online it is crucial that you have layers of
security. The first one is called a border firewall and is the first
layer of security. Other layers can be local firewalls on each computer,
educated users on what to do and not, log files that are monitored,
security patches applied in a timely fashion (immediately) and so on.

You do NOT need a separate subnet for VMs unless you WANT to have it. I
rarely do it. But if you do then simply assign IPs for the VMs that are
on the same subnet. If they need to go outside that subnet then make
sure you have a gateway assigned which sits across both subnets. That
will have port forwarding turned on which allows traffic to flow between
the network cards. (Google linux router.)

When you use virtual machines they too will each need an IP to talk to
any other host.

(You could create a subnet which does not have the ability to talk
outside that specific network, which could be handy when testing
something that could be interrupting other hosts on the main network.
Being totally isolated means it cannot be hacked nor leak something
outside that network.)

When you sit inside your subnet you may not allow random external (on
the internet) traffic to reach your internal computers unless there is a
hole on the firewall to allow some traffic in. For example, you might
have a web server which is reachable from the outside, which in turn
uses a database. Access to the database must be guarded to ensure it’s not reachable directly or via a flaw in the code.

You have to make the call if you can or should allow the VMs access to other networks.

First Amendment Rights?

Intended to those in charge.

As someone who has visited Auschwitz as a young man while traveling through Europe, who met people who were deformed from being concentration camp guinea pigs and saw the horrors that came because nobody would do anything about it before it became too late, I was utterly stunned to see how my all time favorite service appears to actually be taking a stance supporting extreme violence hate sites.

I’m guessing it has something to do with the 1st amendment which is generally a great thing to support, though one has to be aware that it only refers to what the government is not being allowed to violate:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Clearly free speech is a crucial part of society, but common sense can step in and say if, for example, you want to insult my wife in my own house, you must leave. If you want to proclaim death to my neighbors, you can’t stand on my stoop to do it from. If you try to promote violent rhetoric using my company – it will be removed.

Doing anything less is supporting what ultimately becomes criminal activities which at the very least is bad for business in the long run.

I also find it shameful. Certainly ignorance and stupidity alike can be very dangerous given the right situation. When I look myself in the mirror I much prefer to feel strength from doing the right thing, and not having acted from ignorance or misinformation.

There is a very real situation where people don’t bother to investigate what they are being told. They are commonly not very well versed with the world outside their own nor have a solid education. Thus being at a disadvantage frequently find themselves not finding any road to success but reasons to be unhappy. Some take advantage of that to misdirect their unhappiness towards people and activities that actually seek to help society. These “some” are stuck wanting to take the world down with them. Meanwhile the lesser educated and informed, but not automatically less valuable, fall pray to the lies and propaganda and with little to loose stand up ready to fight the false evil. Others even less educated about life become willing to meet the vestigial virgins supposedly waiting for them once they click the detonator. The price for freedom is constant alertness and willingness to fight back, not blindly supporting any activity or “right”.

Thus, I frequently assess who I associate myself with and as someone who has so far been a staunch supporter for a decade am now wondering what is your intention visa vie Nazi hate propaganda, and similar sites?

Gray Body Text Is Non-Optimum, Try This:

A number of developers and designers have gotten the idea that having dim text is the way to go. And I can see for a number of youth that stares on the screen all day long it might be annoying, even infringing. Especially if you sit in a dimly lit room where the only light comes from the monitor(s).

May I make the suggestion that black on white is not my first choice either, but rather than making it hard to read for a good percentage of people, use a different color, for example, a blue.

Blue would immediately change the impact to those with sensitive eyes. Not to say that dimming the monitor would create the same effect across the board.

It appears that too many developers are not fully considering who their public might be. Which of course also applies to any designers that use the same.

Now, I’m not at all totally against using gray to separate a section of text, or copy for marketing people. It does not require much change to stand out either, as you saw there.

How about a site function where you can store the color value in a cookie ensuring everyone can read it the way they like! Much like we can often choose different languages. Which is very handy when traveling to a country with a language you are not fluent in.

Point being making websites available for as many as possible is the goal for most websites wanting maximum return on investment, by attracting people with all kinds of eyesight on normal monitors. I’ve yet to try this out on the new 4K monitors, but I’d bet it is still true.

We have come a long way in making the web a universal tool that everyone can use, lets not go backwards by making it hard for a good swath of the population.

What Is Food Sustainability?

Yes, what is food sustainability?

There are things that can and does continue on and on, they simply never stop. The reason it continues is that it is workable, it does not cause problems along the way which later ends up working against it.

Simple examples to make the point would be if you throw wrapping paper and anything else you discard on the street rather than in a proper location such as a dumpster, others would need to clean up after you or the street would end up a mess. Which would eventually lead to attracting rats and other vermin. It would attract more garbage and causing ever more problems.

Or, if you always offered a friendly and helping hand to your community whenever you could, that would lead to goodwill and others helping you when you needed it. It would set a good example and other would follow.

The first example is clearly not a sustainable way, whereas the second is.

When an activity is in harmony with everything else and it is in turn helped by the environment you could say it is contributing to the survival of the environment.

Growing tropical plants in a cold environment would be another example of not being sustainable. They require a hot humid climate which without it, would make it very hard or impossible to grow.

Nature has a wonderful design that when left alone will survive just fine by itself.

We on the other hand wish to conquer our environment, make it just the way we like it to be. Which does not have to be wrong, it’s actually very good to be in control of ones environment. But what does that mean?

Being in control does not necessarily mean you bend things backwards and eventually stress it beyond it’s capability of bending, thereby breaking it. Requiring more and more work to just to keep up.

There is good control and bad control.

Yelling at people who are already listening is normally bad control as force is only needed to get their attention, once you have it you back off. You communicate with a person on their level of reality which would allow you to have positive control. For example, martial arts are mostly based on utilizing the existing momentum and to simply redirect it, not directly stopping it head on. That is an example of good control.

Growing things which naturally grow in that environment makes it easier. But there are more to the equation. When you only consider one very localized thing and ignore everything else it tends to end up not very successful in the long term. In other words something is missing. When things are not working out as intended you can say that there is a lie there, the lie being one or more missing datum. If you had all the data needed and how to do it, it would work, would it not?

So how much is needed?

When we engage upon an activity it is handy to see how that fits into the overall picture. By understanding how the activity does or does not fit, we can predict the success rate of our activity.

When talking about, for example, growing food we have a number of factors that immediately comes to play. As a starter we have climate with temperature, humidity, the soil, it’s pH value, wind, and the directions, animals and insects not to mention other humans and then change and rate of change on each of the above. They can each play a vital role on the outcome of growing food. If the food is an animal then even more factors come into play.

Food sustainable means it can go on and on forever. To reach that type of success you will do well to consider how it affects everything in your immediate environment, the environment beyond that and then on the whole grand scheme of the planet as it will in turn affect you. If all are ignoring others we do it at our own peril as it does come back to bite us.

Are you using something that is not natural part of life? Such as chemicals to help food grow? What is the short and long term impact of those chemicals on your immediate environment and the larger picture? Where does it go when you spray or pour it? What does it affect, maybe your soil, the ground water, other living things? What changes are you actually making when applying those changes?

Thinking very locally, such as just yourself or the tree you are growing is likely to create other longer term problems, as we have seen with things such as DDT, a chemical thought to be very helpful but is now banned due to the high toxic content. It is not usually easy to be aware of, never mind understand all these factors. But they do come into play!

We like to think of ourselves as being more valuable than destructive. We help our neighbors and maybe that stranger who dropped something. However it requires a bit more understanding of how things work than simply following others lead as that will end up with people who don’t know or understand leading others afoul. Kind of like the lemmings that follow each other off the cliff. Neither knowing what is actually going on, but continuing in some direction because everyone else does. Trust me doing something because others do it is not a safe way to go as many can and often definitely are wrong at the expense of their own success and survival.

We need to have a better grasp about how creating and supporting sustainable methods will improve life conditions and avoid following clueless, and maybe unintentional, leaders off the proverbial cliff. Educate our self, be in control of our own future and survival.

Fortunately one such piece of technology is in existence and is called Permaculture, from permanent culture. A way of growing that is based on coexisting with the natural environment that surrounds us.

Go to growpermaculture.com and get in control of your food supply!

Google Suggests Reporting Their Charges as Fraud

In short I tried to cancel a commercial app service for my business but they claim unable to do so.

We had an account with Google which provided a few apps for us. Then that same functionality was moved in house and the use dropped to zero. The account sat there for about two years collecting the monthly charge with no use.

At one point I decided to cancel the service, which is when it got interesting. First I screwed up on how I canceled the service and in effect only killed the admin account. Then forgot about the whole thing while busy with some new and exciting things. After a while I did notice that the charge was still coming through from Google so I attempted to have them close it.

However they told me that the only way I could stop them from taking my money each month would be to login as that admin. Problem is I have a lot of different accounts and that one was cleaned up and deleted, a long time ago. There’s no way for me to recover that information.

However Google obviously have records of transactions and should be able to ask questions that would verify my identity and then stop taking my money for the service I don’t use. Not so, even after escalation to a supervisor, they still said they could not cancel the service.

Google does have a pretty good security record and maybe they only allow a very select few access to data that could authenticate me. But the idea that a company could not stop putting through a charge for a service I’m not using is, let’s be nice and call it odd.

In the end I was told to go to my bank and tell them the charges are fraudulent so the bank would no longer pay Google. That is supposed to lead to the account being suspended and stop the charges. Of course once I told the bank they simply don’t accept the charge anymore, solving my problem. I found the whole thing is pretty unusual. There must be a ton of people that made the same mistake and could not get out of it in a simpler way.

Ideal Gender Equality

I see a lot of attempts to have more females in computer technologies such as programming.

I hold a firm view that whoever does the job they should be equally paid. To me that does not mean I expect to see a drive to get more females in what are traditionally more dangerous jobs or physically tough.

Why? We are not built the same. We don’t have the same basic drives, which is a good thing! The genetic build shows that males are more densely made, look at the muscle mass. Makes us better at handling cold weather for example. Carrying heavy things etc.

Females are typically more interested in things that provides a stable environment for rearing children. While males are more interested in, well getting into trouble. From an early age we throw our bodies around and brag about who beat it up the most.

Obviously it’s a generalization but the point is the game of life clearly has different designs for the two sexes. My observation has been that women are better at having order inside but are poor at external directions and males the opposite.

The most important job anyone can have is rearing our children to become able and responsible adults. That responsibility is to create a good home and females usually does a better job of it. Males provide the energy (money for example) and raw material to build the physical structure.

Now why is it important to have more women in various jobs, does it make them more equally worth? No, they are already probably more valuable than men. But the idea that males bring home the money so it belongs to them is a bunch of single minded bull!

For those of you who live together, but don’t share everything – something is out. One or both of you are only thinking of self. Once you got together and became a couple you need to work and act as one. One spouse does something bad like driving into the fence, you then don’t yell at that person but simply get the fence fixed, acting as it was you who did it, because it was. Remember, you are One. If backing into the fence continues then help practicing backing up.

The joy of going to a workplace and performing a job is valuable and key, but if you raise a family you’d better make sure your offspring are properly cared for. Which means sitting down and do your financial planning together. Work as the team you supposedly are and stop putting self first. In the long run you will be a lot happier.

Life requires a stable base to operate from. When the base is unshakable you can really create success. Actions with long term pro-survival effects are those most valuable.

Then the “equality” of the work space might solve itself.

WorldVentures ventures where the world should not go

Today I ran into an interesting article by Ken White, an attorney who often blogs on legal thuggery, as he calls it. The blog is called Popehat. As he puts it:

It’s time for the Popehat Signal — the call for pro bono assistance for a blogger threatened with frivolous and censorious litigation. This time the victim in need of help is Stephanie Yoder of www.twenty-somethingtravel.com. She needs your help to face a thoroughly bogus and repugnant threat by multi-level marketing scheme “WorldVentures.”

 

My thought is that it’s quote possibly attorneys like the ones used by WorldMisadventures who gives attorneys a bad name. One likes think that an officer of the court would be a person of strong integrity, but of course that’s not always the case.

Though it surprises me each time I see a person who managed to get through the bar exam and then operates as if he thought he could not do an honest day’s work by doing this kind of, in my eyes, despicable work. I’ve been a student of life for many decades. I know that people who fester on other’s weaknesses have their own skeletons in their closets. It’s those past transgressions which bears down on an individual and makes them cry out for help by hoping someone will handle what they are not able to handle. Namely themselves.

Mess After Duke Energy Fixed Downed Wires

Of little interest to anyone but me and my neighbors was how electricity was cut on Thursday around midnight. A cracking sound not unlike a transformer failure was followed by the light and sound of nothing as all things electrical went dead.

When the outside temperature has dropped to around 45 degrees (F) it is not an optimum time to be without electricity. 🙂 My neighbors and I each called in and were all told nobody had reported any issues and that each one of us were the first to do so.

Around 5 am I was awoken by the sound of a chainsaw and went to investigate. The crew had shown up and were shining lights up my neighbor’s tree trunk to where the top part of it was hanging on the electrical cables.

Someplace around 8 am on Friday morning the first crew had cut down the trunk hanging on the cables and been replaced by a new crew who in turn had replaced the wires between the poles. Electricity was back on.

Seven days later I’m wondering why I’m left with my neighbor’s tree trunks on my lawn. Is there a third crew who are supposed to come by and clean up after the first, or did they just leave it for me?

I can understand how their messaging system reported first-to-call to each of us, which is not really a problem. But why did not somebody leave a simple message on my door explaining what’s going on? Why is the trunk and all the branches off it still on my lawn?

It was a windy night but not any worse than not being able to tear away my pool tarp. Plus the tree is looks to be in pretty poor condition. I can’t imagine there being so many other emergencies that they could not clean up after themselves. And even so leaving a message would have been good manners. Something like “Sorry we have not picked up everything but we’ll return on such and such a date.”

This is not the first time I’ve been faced with this from Duke Energy. Last time they came out and decided to work off my lawn I had to run down a foreman to get them to come back onto my backyard and clean up.

I find that for Duke Energy to be so sloppy is plenty reason to complain as they are far to experienced to be so unprofessional.

They eventually came out and said that the “brush is due to non-preventative tree failure. Duke will not pick up.”

The fact that Duke brought my neighbors tree onto my lawn and then left it is poor to say the least.

Interestingly they also say that “All pruning is conducted with consideration for the health of the tree while allowing for proper electrical line clearance.” and “Our pruning program adopts the latest standards of the American National Standards Institute and pruning recommendations of the National Arborist Association.”

Looking at the damage they left I cannot imagine how ANSI and NAA have such poor standards as to leave this gaping wound:

IMG_20140106_125050-top

Again this is moot since it was Duke that dragged the trunk onto my property. If it had simply fallen straight down it would have landed either in the right of way or my neighbor’s side. Which is the whole contention here. I let them in to access the tree from my property thinking they would act responsibly

OSDial.com

We have joined the two domains osdial.com and osdial.org and made it the primary site for OSDial with a new interface. This is part of the overhaul of OSDial and focus on the brand name OSDial represents.

This will place all resources on the same web site including some new capabilities that will make it easier to track both development as well as support issues.

You are always welcome to give us your thoughts and considerations, which is available under Feedback at http://osdial.com/contact/. See you there!