Monday, December 17, 2012

Tivo Copy Protection

Having seen an article on Tivo usage, the running out of disc space, I thought that I would do some research on the matter.

When I first looked at Tivo it was little more than a curiosity, now it is the major PVR system that is offered worldwide. My interest lay in the recording of TV from various sources and not necessarily the ability to program the periodic capture of content. In 2005 there were a number of forum threads on how you can copy files from a Tivo onto a computer. These posts can still be found. The main thrust was that it could be done but it involved "hacking" the Tivo and subsequently voiding the warranty. The bottom line was that if your primary goal was to record DRM free video then a Tivo was not the way to go.

As the Tivo is supported by the copyright owners it is not surprising that the majority of the video that can be downloaded to a Tivo is Copy Protected. This protection hinders the transfer of video to other devices such as an iPad, it also affects the ability of streaming to such portable devices.

When it comes to the capture of TV signals you have 3 options:
  1. Capture the TV from the broadcast, cable, satellite or off-air. Using a video recorder that is connected to a TV tuner card in a PC or a dedicated video recorder from which you can copy the recorded files. Remember that a lot of digital video recorders will have the same problems that the Tivo has, the inability to copy files from the internal hard drive.
  2. Download the TV programs directly from the Internet. This is done by accessing the RTMP feeds on the servers run by the TV companies. This is the method I use when accessing BBC programing that is available on BBC iPlayer. Other TV networks use similar IP based distribution methods for their Internet services. I use get_iplayer.exe to download BBC programming I also have a program that can access You Tube files directly from the Google server.
  3. Capture the video in real-time from a stream that is played on a computer using one of the many available `capture`programs. These programs generally yield low quality results that are not worth the time and effort involved. These programs are generally what you will see promoted on the Internet.
The TV content you see on torrent (P2P) websites has not been captured by a Tivo or using the 3rd method I describe above.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Copying video to your iPad

or iPhone, Android (or other OS) tablet.

Transferring media ripped from DVDs BDs and downloaded files from the Internet. Conversion of iPlayer downloads so that they do not have a time-limit and can be played without restriction on any portable device over and over again.

Bandwidth saving as a consequence of the avoidance of excessive streaming and the freedom from the forced exposure to unwanted advertising.

With the current popularity of tablets and smartphones more and more users want to be able to watch their favourite videos on their devices even when it is not possible to access the Internet. There is an ever increasing selection of video programming that is uploaded onto You Tube, however, this is often less than convenient and is laced with unwanted ads and often of poor quality and spit into small chunks.

All of the techniques that I use to download and transferred to my portable devices are described on my website

The programs I describe are all free and there is nothing you have to download that you have not done so before. The techniques that I describe are valid for both Windows and Mac computers.

Some searches seen:
  • ibbc download itunes
  • best video conversion setting for ipad avs
  • transfer programmes from iplayer to ipad
  • tranferring downloads from iplayer desktop to iphone    
  1. AVS4You is not a FREE software package and in my opinion is not the best conversion program for the Apple iPad or iPhone. I recommend Handbrake.
  2. I use get_iplayer.exe to download BBC programming. This is again FREE and you do not need to convert the file format to transfer to the iPad.
  3. You can use iTunes to transfer ANY video to the iPad. Some file formats will need conversion.
  4. You DO NOT need to convert files to transfer then to an Android Device or a Blackberry Playbook. 
  5. You can use Handbrake and DVD43.exe to convert DVDs to formats that will play on mobile devices.
  6. Whereas there is no such thing a DVD43 for 64 bit Windows, DVD43 can be made to run on a 64 bit computer.
  7. I understand that MakeMKS can be used to convert Blu-Ray discs to .mkv files. These mkv files can be converted to formats that will play on all devices. MakeMKS will defeat the AACS encryption used on BD and the profiles are updated regularly. 
  8. I recommend the VideoLan's VLC player be used for playing all media on a computer, Windows and Mac.
  9. I do not recommend that you use Apple's iTunes to archive your downloaded media. There are many reasons for this, detailed on my website, one of reasons is that the media does not get stored in iTunes itself. If you download to multiple devices and drives iTunes, and you, will get confused.
  10. You cannot transfer or convert BBC programming so that it will play another device, including a tablet, if you download using the iPlayer Desktop on your computer. Files so downloaded will only play on the machine that they were downloaded and will have a time-limit restriction. To transfer this programming to a portable device you need to use a program such as get_iplayer.exe.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Surface was not bad as I had expected

Having had a chance to actually play with one in the Microsoft store in Times Square, I was pleasantly surprised in how it worked for what it is. Whether it is "better" than its competitors that remains to be seen, it is a competent tablet, but is just that, a tablet. Windows 8 performs quite well on it, i still remain to be convinced that it belongs, in my case, on a computer.

My general observation is that Windows 8 is "navigation overload". My usage of a computer mainly consists of just turning it on and checking my email or looking something up. I don't need to have icons or tiles over my start screen. In fact i do all that I can to make this screen as uncluttered as I can. I am reminded of the days of Windows 3.1, I was always bemused by those that had screens that were covered in icons of all the files and websites that the users had worked on and visited. My take was that I could not put all of these on my screen so I tended to have very few. I was, and still am, very annoyed when a program places an icon on my desktop on install.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Touch Screen Laptops

In my local Best Buy I was curious to see what, if any, touch-enabled Windows 8 machines they had for potential customers to try out. I had looked on-line and I thought that I had seen a couple of laptops and possibly an Asus Convertible tablet (although I did not see this on display) I knew that there were no Microsoft Surfaces to be seen other than what MS have in their stores (none located in this particular country), so I was pleased to see a Lenovo laptop with a touch screen. There was another laptop, I can't recall the make but it could have been a Samsung.

Both of these Windows 8 laptops had the same problems with Windows 8. This was the inability to bring up the "Home" screen or the "gadget" menu on the right of the screen using a finger on the display. As these were both laptops that had keyboards and pointing devices, track pads, the menu and navigation was possible by reverting to that method but THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A TOUCH DEVICE! This leaves me to wonder how Windows 8 would perform on a purely touch device such as the Surface.

I am going to be in New York next week so I may get a chance to play around with a Surface. I am also curious to see how the sales staff approach my evaluation of the device. From what I have heard there is a large measure of "hard sell" and potential customers do not get much of a chance to actually use the Surface for themselves and had it "demonstrated" to them. I realize that to most new users of Windows 8 they will not be aware of how you are supposed to navigate the new GUI, but I do and it seems to be lacking. At least on the hardware that I have had a chance to try it on. Previously I had played around with Windows 8 on a non-touch device and that is somewhat missing the point and I can't say that I was at all impressed.

Another point was that all the Windows 8 machines that I have tried have not been connected to the Internet. This is presumably due to the, still, threat of infection that Windows presents if this was allowed (all Apple devices in Best Buy are connected to the Internet). I would like to see how I.E.10 performs, but I can't do this if the machine is not Internet enabled. My first impressions of IE10 is that it has a "clunky" interface as compared to IE9, but I can't really tell.

get_iplayer solutions for the Mac

I am increasingly dismayed by what I find when investigating searches such as:

"get_iplayer automator latest download"

I am doing this using the real get_iplayer! I would love to find a Mac solution, but this is just vapourware. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

How do you tell if DVD43 Plug-in is working

If you can copy DVDs using 1-ClickDVD then it is. If you cannot then you have fallen for the scam perpetuated by LGSoftwaresolutions.

This was prompted by a search: "how do i know if dvd43 plug-in is working"

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Someone else's name that  comes up when you "Goggle" yourself.

I have been long interested in this and have made various studies on how this works and how not to appear in a Google SERP. I didn't realize that there was a term for the wrong name coming up when you search for yourself.

I guess that most people want to find themselves, or at least have the situation where their name will be at the top of the list when somebody else looks for them. Hopefully the listing will reveal good things about you and reflect you in a good light.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I see that Rogers have changed their small print

They are now charging $100 max for additional usage:

I forgot to capture the Deep Packet Injection screen that warns me that I am over my limit.

When I first came across this the maximum was only $25. I thought it was currently $50 but it has been increased again. I am not sure when this happened as I haven't had cause to go over by this much for a while. Still I have managed to get the "overage" to below $1.00 per G and it is only early in the billing cycle. There is now no reason for me to curb my usage as my bill is now fixed to the maximum.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Downgrading Windows 8 to Windows 7

Now that you have lashed out and purchased that new PC in the Black Friday sales you find that it has the new Windows 8 and you are not happy. Why did Microsoft do this? What were they thinking?

What's more there seem to be no "downgrade rights" as there were with previous versions of Windows. Even if you get a copy of Windows 7 your UEFI/BIOS will likely not let you install it as a replacement operating system.

I explain how to do this in detail on my website

There is currently a lot of misinformation regarding UEFI and Secure Boot. Whether or not alternative operating systems such as Linux will be "locked-out" from running on "Windows 8 hardware".

Friday, November 23, 2012

What's on my desktop

or rather what icons, if any, do I have on my screen?

Having thought about my computer and tablet usage I have concluded why I do not like Windows 8. My Windows 7 computers have only the recycle bin icon on them. I would rather see the background that I have selected than links to programs that are easily accessible from a menu system.

This is probably why I would have no problem in using a Mac and OSX and I prefer the Android screens to that of iOS.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Windows 8 Acivator on Softpedia

Does anyone know if this is for real:

1st order obfuscation

or making it more difficult for copyright holders to track you.

When discussing whether we need to take additional steps to obscure our downloads when we move to the UK, the subject of whether we need to maintain the subscription to our current VPN.

It was decided that we probably need to as the principle is that the owners of the intellectual property are more likely to "go after" those that have not taken any additional steps to hide their IP address when downloading torrents and other media from the Internet. We will not need a VPN to access and download BBC iPlayer programs.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Getting a private real estate listing in the Google index

I have an observation about an attempt in getting a page to be found by a Google search.

I have noted in the past how it is almost impossible to get a real estate listing to show up in a Google search. At the time I thought it was mainly due to the proliferation of real estate sites and commonality of the search terms that are used on such sites. For example, it is more than likely that a real estate company has sold a property on your street and the number of your house is going to turn up all over the Web.

It seems that this is even more sinister. I made a page that has an address for a property that I know has not been offered by any real estate company. I know that the page has been spidered as I have seen GoogleBot access it in my server logs. However, the page is not in the Goggle index even if specific search terms are searched for, ones that I know that are unique to my page.

There must be a process that excludes the page from the Google index. It is something that over-rides the uniqueness of the page content.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Usage of a tablet

Having owned a number of tablets I think it is time to review what I actually use them for.

We own the original iPad and the "New iPad" (iPad 3). I have purchased and returned an Asus Transformer TF101 and a Transformer Prime TF201 (with a keyboard). While I am satisfied that the Android operating system is adequate for tablet use I cannot see a compelling reason to switch from iOS. The ability to play media without conversion is convenient and means that I didn't have to use iTunes to transfer video files to the tablet.

I thought by this time I would have seen a Microsoft Surface so that I could compare the performance and features with what I have used to date. I have yet to see any RT device in a retail store although I understand that BestBuy are carrying the Asus Iconia W510, the Asus Vivo TF600T and the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro (of various models). Only the Vivo is an RT device and I feel that BB do a poor job of explaining the difference between RT and Pro versions of Windows 8.

I see no reason to purchase a Windows 8 tablet, not that I have seen them for sale in retail stores, only online from Microsoft.

There is much debate on whether a tablet can be used for "creative" work. In my mind this is missing the point of the tablet format. Many rationalize the purchase of a tablet in that they can do all they can on a laptop, you can't! If you need the functionality of a laptop then get a laptop, it will be cheaper. A tablet is always going to be a compromise and if you want to type efficiently then you are going to need a keyboard. This is not to day that a tablet cannot be used in this way as we use an iPad with a Logitech keyboard cover quite effectively and have just returned from a 2 week trip having left the laptop at home. However when it comes to transferring media to a tablet a laptop or other full computer is needed.

I also run a program editor and administer a website and I have tried to use a tablet for this and have given up due the fact that there were programs I just couldn't run and I was constantly hunting and pecking around on the touch screen.

Friday, November 16, 2012

AMD C-70 Specifications

The successor to the C-60

Kernel-based APU Zacate (Brazos 1.0 platform) and comprises two bobcat cores running at 1GHz (1333MHz Turbo Mode), AMD Radeon graphics with 80 shader processors VLIW5 running at 276MHz (400MHz in Turbo mode) and integrated memory controller single channel DDR3-1066. This APU has a TDP of 9W, interestingly their specifications are very similar to the AMD C-60 APU, although it may be a typing error in the AMD site.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Is Windows 8 an "Upgrade"?

The supporters of Microsoft are saying that Windows  is a worthwhile upgrade for those currently using XP or Windows 7. I take issue with that and would suggest that it is just hype to get you to purchase "new product".

I would agree that it is probably an upgrade from XP as it is basically Windows 7 with a new coat. However, are there any performance benefits in upgrading from 7?

I was reading 8 reasons to Upgrade on Marc Saltzman's website (curiously not accessible when I started writing this), I will take his points one by one.

1. It is cheap.

2. It is the safest Windows yet - MS have always said this. All they seem to have done is to build in their own Anti-Malware program that was available for free for Windows 7 and called it Windows Defender.

3. Live Tiles are seen to be something that you would want. This could be a USP for the "Touch Interface" and make the Home screen different from that of the iPad. They tried this before with "Gadgets" on Vista and 7 but users where unimpressed then.

4. Massive Storage - well, "the Cloud" and "Drive" are available for Windows 7 so I don't see this as a reason to upgrade.

5. Easy to customize - we have to see what the critics say about this one

6. Okay, okay ...... this post was in draft for too long. I lost interest in the subject.

The points above are not in the order that Marc had them and I am not sure if I had them all covered. I think the other points were to do with X-Box integration and other irrelevant things.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Where is Windows 8?

Having been in Tokyo during the launch of Windows 7 and in Hong Kong for Windows 8 their has been a marked difference in what was seen in the stores.

For Windows 7 there were posters all over Akihabara and other stores in Japan and around the world, but with 8, no such promotion.

Even if you look at the pages of Best Buy they only have a single Windows 8 RT device for sale. Where is the Surface RT?

Microsoft said that they were going to release the Surface with Windows Pro until next month so that is no surprise, but I thought that they would have had at least some demo models of the RT for prospective purchasers of the device to play with. Perhaps there is a reason that this is not the case? I have also failed to see any critical reviews of the Surface - this could be that I am on vacation and have not been following the tech-press to the same degree.

Another observation for Hong Kong, there is a noticeable presence of the Apple iPhone 5, both in the stores and on the streets. Well over 50% of subway users can be seen with their noses pinned to their smartphones, I have yet to see a single poster for Windows 8.

On the cellular front maybe the rest of the world needs to take the lead from Hong Kong's MTR and extend their w/l networks to their complete systems, underground and all!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Surface RT vs. Surface Pro

Do you think that Microsoft do a good enough job in explaining the differences between Windows 8 RT and Windows 8 Pro?

Even in a review heard on the radio yesterday a well known Windows Guru, Marc Salztman, failed to point out that the Surface RT that has just been released runs a different operating system to the Windows 8 that was released on the same day.

He also failed to mention that the Surface RT currently priced without the keyboard (Touch or Type) and that is the price that most use to compare with the Apple product. For this reason alone there can be no comparison between the Surface and the iPad 4th Generation.

Marc also stated that the Surface, and Windows 8 in general, has a "learning curve". In my estimation that means "a fail". Electronics sold today should be self explanatory in it's use. Only advanced functions need to be learnt and basic operation should be expected "out-of-the-box".

It was also overlooked that the version of Office on the RT is a different one to that you would want to use on a regular computer or one running Windows Pro. Marc did say that the typing using the "touch" keyboard was slow but as this is the Surface's USP (even though it is extra money) it was hardly a compelling reason to purchase a Surface RT.

Looking at the website that Marc Salzman writes on there was another article on why you should consider the upgrade to Windows 8. This was penned by Lee Mathews.

I also see that Lee has a new article on the differences between Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT - perhaps he should tell Marc!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Windows Updates for Windows 8

Seeing as Windows 8 Pro is officially released today, 26 October 2012, all updates on "evaluation" copies of Windows 8 are not likely to be forthcoming. In fact, they have probably been disabled for a while now.

In addition, if you try and install a copy of Windows 8 Pro upgrade edition without a previous Windows license on the machine that you are attempting to, you will probably get the following error:

To install a copy of Windows 8 Pro on a new PC or one that did not have a previous legal copy of Windows you will need a 3rd party Loader or Activator.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Auto focus noise heard on movie soundtrack

The Canon T4i (650D) was returned to Best Buy as I found that the noise of the Auto Focus on the playback of recorded video to be unacceptable.

At first I thought it was the fact that I was using an older non-IS lens (Tamron XR DiII 18-200mm) but the sound of the "focus hunting" was also present using the Canon 18-55mm IS lens supplied with the camera body.

Seeing that I have over $1,000 tied up in this package I thought that my money be spent better elsewhere.

Product success is more a question of perception

It doesn't really matter how good a product is, it is whether the marketplace is receptive to that product.

In the case of the Microsoft Surface RT and the Apple iPad Mini it is not whether they are better or worse than their competitors (and these two products are clearly not competitors). The common feature is that their timelines of release is concurrent. This is probably due to Microsoft and Apple "playing games" - there is no way that this is a coincidence, the 23rd of October and the 26th.

I predict that the iPad mini will succeed - not because it is better than the Nexus 7 or other tablets of a similar size. More that it is an Apple iPad. My partner says she wants one!

I further predict that the Surface RT will be another Zune. This will be due to that it will not be what the market expects and it will get mixed reviews. The fact that it has the mighty Microsoft backing it may not be enough and Windows  has not had a stellar round of acceptance to date.

I am also seeing a lot of interest from those trying to find ways to pirate Windows  Pro - the RT version of Windows 8  is scheduled to go the way of the Dodo bird. Once the Surface has debuted it will soon be forgotten as other Windows  products come available. The Surface Pro is WAY overpriced at the present time. The Surface RT will let MS know this.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Surface Keyboard Problems

My prediction is that there is going to be a major problem with the Microsoft Surface's keyboards.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Comparing the Tegra 3 processor with the A5 and A6X

The processor in the Microsoft Surface RT and the new iPad Mini and 4th Generation iPad.

Why the Microsoft Surface is dead in the water.

The Tegra 3 may be Quad core in nature but the proof will be in the pudding. Those that try and differentiate the current  tablet offerings by "core count" are going to have egg on their faces.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Touch-Screen computers seen

With Windows 8 to be released next Friday, 26th October 2012, the following touchscreen computers have been found for pre-order:

  • HP Envy 23" Touchscreen All-In-One Computer with Intel Core i5-3450S Processor  - scheduled to arrive in Best Buy warehouse on 11/09/2012  - Windows 8
  • Samsung 27" Touchscreen All-In-One Computer with Intel Core i7-3770T Processor (DP700A7D-S01CA) - scheduled to arrive in Best Buy warehouse on 11/09/2012 DP700A3D-A01US  DP500A2D-A01UB
  • HP 23-d034  20-b014 20-d034
  • Sony SVE14A27CXH a laptop with a touchscreen
  • Lenovo - 27" Touch-Screen All-In-One Computer  - A720 - 57309906  23" - B540 - 57310058
  • Samsung - Touch-Screen Ultrabook 13.3" Laptop - NP540U3C-A01UB
  • Sony - 24" Touch-Screen  - SVL24127CXB
  • Toshiba - 23" Touch-Screen - LX835-D3300
  • Asus - 21.5" Touch-Screen  - ET2220IUTI-05  Asus - 23.6" All-In-One Computer - ET2411IUKI-05
  • Acer - A5600U-UB308- A7600U

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Do I need to bother with IS lenses?

Having purchased a new DSLR with a couple of Image Stabilized lenses the question I have for myself is whether I need to worry about the fact that the old lens for the DSLR that the new one is to complement can be used on the new camera body.

Searches for "are Image Stabilized Lenses worth it?" just returns the argument on whether they work (do what they claim to do - the consensus is that they do) or is it worth paying the extra money for IS.
The cost aspect is a moot one at the moment as most of the inexpensive lenses on sale are IS, so the question is: are the old lenses going to be noticeably more prone to shaky images?

My old lens is 18mm-200mm whereas the new lenses are 18mm-85mm and 85mm-250mm. The old lens is heavier and not IS but it is more convenient in that I don't need to swap the lens so often.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

What is with daz loader for windows 8?

I love the wording of this search that found this blog from a visitor in Dravograd, Slovenia.

Perhaps it is that the Daz loader (for Windows Vista and Windows 7) does not work for Windows 8. Why should it? Windows 8 uses a different activation to XP, Vista and 7. The Daz loader also does not work for Windows XP.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Windows Surface at Best Buy

Why are Best Buy listing Windows 8 for pre-order and not the Microsoft Surface?

Perhaps this is coming next week? I would have thought that they would, or the manufacturers of the Surface, would have shipped to their warehouses. Unless there is a problem in the supply of said tablets?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Windows 8 Pro Release Date

It would seem that the general consensus is that Windows 8 Pro will be available at the same time as Windows 8 RT.

My original opinion was that I had read that the Pro version was to be released 30 days after RT and the Surface. Looking at other sources this statement seems to have disappeared. My suspicion is that Microsoft are planning on making their :"Windows 8 Event" one that they will announce a general availability.

The large "box stores" are listing that the Windows 8 Pro Upgrade Edition DVDs will be available on the 26th October. However, they  are also listing their "touch-screen" PCs as available at a later date.

I would not be surprised if Apple don't try and steal the day by announcing an iPad Mini on the 26th.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

KMS Activator

KMS stands for Key Management Service - Another name for Microsoft's Volume Licensing.

Volume License Key (VLK) is a term used by many computer software companies to denote the product key used when installing software licensed under volume licensing, which allows a single product key to be used for multiple installations

If you search for "KMS Activator" you will find various postings that claim to have software to allow you to download to activate Windows software by the application of a Volume License (OEM) Product Key.

This is most prevalent for the Windows 7 operating system and Office suite software. As far as is known there is no working KMS Activator for Windows 8 RTM (build 9200).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Codice product key windows 8

This is a bogus download - DO NOT DOWNLOAD

AviiNL's Windows 8 (9200) KMS Activation Tool:

Has the following description -

I have made a simple console application using C# that helped me activated windows just now. This application is written using Windows 8 (9200) Enterprise x64 but should also work on x86 (32bit)It probably won't work in Windows 8 Pro (MCE) as personally I don't use it and have no need for it Maybe I will implement support for Pro later when KMS activation becomes possible for it.

Please note: this is not me, the author of this blog



Looks like Touchscreen PCs are due in November

If you look on the Best Buy websites you will see that the HP and Samsung Windows 8 touchscreen all-in-ones are scheduled to arrive in Best Buy warehouse on 11/09/2012.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Microsoft Surface - A preview

What do I expect from the Microsoft Surface when it is released on the 26th October 2012.

A competent tablet that it very similar in operation to the iPad and the many Android tablets currently available. Windows 8 RT will offer nothing of substance that will differentiate the Surface from any of its competition.

The release of Win 8 Hybrid devices, which may or may not be concurrent with the release of the Surface, but I doubt it - will only come into its own when Windows 8 Pro devices are released by Microsoft. It seems to be something that could be under debate seeing that the OEMs have Windows 8 RTM in their hands and MS are not saying that they are going to have a Windows 8 Pro Surface until the end of the year. Whether of not the OEMs will feel that they need to release their "hybrids" at the same time as the original Surface we will have to see.

Devices that have the x86 version of Windows 8 will be the test to see if  "touch" devices are going to be the equipment du jour. Even a straight tablet is not going to be much use in the business sector unless it runs ALL legacy software.

I also expect the keyboard/cover, especially the "rubber" one, to disappoint. This will have to be reworked as it will be deemed to be inferior to those offered for the iPad and Android market by Apple, Logitec and Kensington.

Microsoft may have great hopes for the Surface but I fear that they are too late to the table and those that are going to be "adopters" have already purchased an iPad, or if they have an aversion to Apple, an Android device.

Windows 8 phones will be forgotten just as W7 ones did. The iPhone 5 will continue to be the smartphone of choice going into 2013.

Windows 8 Loader

This is one of the most popular searches that find this blog.

It is well known that the Daz loader has not been made to work for Windows 8, although it is early days as the OEM versions of Windows 8 have yet to go on retail sale.

In your search you may have found a blog entry saying that I may have deleted a page. The information is now to be found on my website,

Friday, October 12, 2012

Countdown to the Surface

2 Weeks and counting.

Are you going to buy?

Let as all know here.

I can understand the frustration with Windows 8 Activation

The fact that there is so much interest in finding ways to steal an operating system that has not even been released to the general public.

My posts are designed to gauge that interest not to suggest that this is to be done or that there are ways that it can be done.

I am not sure what the comment that (someone made on this blog that)  I didn't read "the article". If it was the ZDNet article I can assure you that I did. If it was the MyDigitalLife threads I must admit that I may have missed some of that. My point was that the activation method for Windows 8 has changed and that is going those that stole Windows 7 using the Daz Loader to look for new ways.

I will be very interested to see what the reaction is when Windows 8 finally hits the stores and there are those that are uploading torrent downloads of the the DVD image. So far the RTM version has been released and while it is possible that there are copies of this available for download I think that this is only a minor occurrence.

I am more interested in seeing how Windows 8 is reviewed by the consumer than suggesting ways to be able to bootleg it. At the moment I remain skeptical, but, we shall see.

The release of Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 RT on the 26th should prove to be a landmark.

I see that this frustration is similar to those looking for ways to unlock their Insyde H2O BIOS to reveal hidden start-up menu options. The fact that there are sites on the internet that claim that this can be done, does not stop those searching for instructions on how-to do so. If you read and understand what I have written then you can save yourself some time and effort trying to do the impossible. Or, at least, the very difficult.

BT Vision Problems

Please post your experiences here

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I am getting less and less impressed with WordPress

As time goes on the Google Blogger platform seems to be the preferred platform.

Not only does it keep up with typing but I hopefully can upload images in a more consistent manner.

For example, the image above was uploaded with no problems. When I try and upload to the Wordpress blog, and it is hosted on my own coin!, the image above stalls at around 72%.
It is not as if the file size is too large. The WP help says that the image has to be less than 2M. The image above is a jpg and is smaller than the original png which was around 500k.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Playbook to PC connection is broken

This seems to be an "Elephant in the room"! Nobody on the Blackberry forums, including Crackberry, seem to come to this conclusion.

I know that I had this working before on many computers in the past, but when I tried to configure a new computer so that I could transfer video onto my Playbook for an upcoming trip, the PB refused to show up in Windows Explorer.

Before it was very simple. All I did was connect the PB to the computer using a USB cable and allowed the drivers and software to install. A drive automatically appeared in Windows Explorer. I quickly established THAT I DID NOT NEED BLACKBERRY DESKTOP SOFTWARE, all I needed was the BB Device Manager. This small (although I think fundamental fact) is ignored by all that I could find on the forums.

So how did I find a solution?

I did find one, on the Crackberry forum. The solution/workaround (I will not say it is the answer as I think that RIM have truly broken this!) was provided by Bronco26. The date of the post was 2 Sep 2012, which brings me to another pet peeve, in that when you search for a problem you are then faced with determining if the post is current and whether your problem is a new one. You can clearly see the date of this post. My work-around was in the mapping of the Playbook by determination of the network name and making a mapping in Windows Explorer manually. Bronco26 explains how to do this so I will not repeat it.

However, this is not the solution, the BB to PC connectivity is BROKEN! I cannot see how RIM (or anyone else) expects users to do this. I did not have to so this before and I certainly don't have these problems with my iPads.

Monday, September 24, 2012

DVD43 Plug-in still seems to have the problems that it did before

Looking at some of the visits that found my website, I see that DVD43 Plugin still seems to be confusing those that download it:

Looking at some of the comments, and the one below was seconded today, there is still those that cannot get it to work.

I guess the main problem is that it is not clearly stated on the Brothersoft download site that the plugin will only work with 1ClickDVD from LGSoftwareInnovations.

Unlike when I downloaded the Plugin in 2010 the current Plugin does not contain the text file so that I can look at the source code to see if it makes sense.

More Non-US computers users seem to want Windows 8 for free

Judging by the search results that I am seeing:

Most of the "hits" are from those outside North America


The risk of an unsecured WiFi network

I have just listened to a Radio 4 program where a "Wireless Security Professional" was talking about a  survey that he was conducting that claimed the a large number of WiFi Network users were at risk due to the fact that their routers were either not protected by a password or they were using "Old Technology" (using encryption such as WEP).

This is largely nonsense! It is just a way of him promoting his business and others like him that would like to sell you a solution to this "problem".

I am not saying that your information cannot be obtained by the so-called cyber-criminals but I have been studying this for as long as there have been wireless networks and I have yet to find a way! You could say that this is because I am not as smart as the criminals and those that are supposedly taking advantage of all this, however, I do not think that this is the case.  If you read this blog and my website, - I think that you will see that I have been looking at this at great length for a lot of time.

There were many other inconsistencies and errors in what the "expert" was saying and I will go into these with others that may want to ask questions. The radio piece had far too many "coulds" for my liking. Like "a criminal could see what your banking details are." The emphasis was on the could and not that the criminal can.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I am at a loss to see the value of Bogus Videos

Having had the reason to look to see what was posted on You Tube and other video hosting websites I am confused to see what the value and motives of those that create and post bogus videos on the Internet.

My assumption is that creators get some sort of kudos for the fact that their videos are viewed and also appear in search engine results lists.

Of the ones that I have seen, and I don't make a major habit of this, are clearly attempts at making out that the poster has the solution to enable the pirating of Windows 8. Seeing that Windows 8 has yet to be available in the stores on hardware and the software (Windows 8 Pro RTM) has only been released to manufacturers for a month or so, it is doubtful that there will be copies of Windows 8 that can be downloaded and installed in a non-legal manner.

The activation methods used by Microsoft for Windows 8 is completely different from what they used for Windows 7 and Vista. Posting a video that shows the activation of 7 and saying that a Loader for Windows 8 will be released when Windows 8 is officially released is wrong. Similarly, if you post a video of a "beta" version of Windows 8 it is as useless as claiming that it will be possible to activate Windows 8 in the same way as 7.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Will Windows 8 Hybrids have Win8 Pro?

When Microsoft release the Surface on the 26th October 2012 it will be the WinRT version. The Windows 8 Pro models are slated for release 90 days after this, in 2013 (or rather ?? December 2012).

The question is, will there be Windows 8 Pro "hybrids" available before that date?

Surely, if the "competition" get a "toe-hold" on the market before "Balmer's boys" they will be behind the 8 ball?

The WinRT models, in the shape of a Surface or another "Hybrid" device are likely to reveal that they are not any more use than an iPad. Let's hope they are priced accordingly.

Logged visits:

Montgomery Village, Maryland

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Universal Benefit and Data Security

I don't see what the issue is with Data Security and the proposal for Universal Benefit.

Maybe there are many in the UK that cannot get access to the Internet, although I find this difficult to believe, but the fact that there is a concern with keeping claimants information secure seems to be a "red herring".

Data security has been a well crafted part of e-commerce for a long time now. Even banks use it - and we all know they have no problems!!!!!

Installing Windows 8 RT on an Android Tablet

This is collection of "How-to"s and discussion on the method to install the Windows 8 RT image onto a rooted Android device.

First you need to download the Windows 8 RT image that is  designed to run on an ARM device. This version can be made to run on similar NVidia Tegra and A5X SOC powered devices such as the Asus Transformer Prime and iPad 3

The exact procedure and links to where to download the required software will be featured on my website.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What will the consumer opinion on Windows 8 be?

Now that Microsoft are about to release Windows 8, initially as RT (the tablet - cripple version) and then Windows 8 Pro. It will be interesting to see what the reviews on how it is accepted by the consumer.

Many of the "big-box" stores are offering deals such as $14.99 for Windows 8 Pro when it is released if you purchase a computer with Windows 7 on it now. The question is, is this a reason for either upgrading to Windows 8 or just stay with 7, as it is not a bad operating system as it is. If you are purchasing a computer that does not have "touch" capability, there is little reason to want to go to 8. Sure, there will be those that tell you that 8 is "faster" or "more secure" than 7,  but are they just trying to spin you a line?

I say - stick with Windows 7 until Windows 8 has proven itself. In any case the Metro (and MS don't want you to call it that!) interface is pig ugly. It may be good for a tablet but for a regular computer...............?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Upgrading to Windows 8

There must be a lot of computer purchasers that have bought Windows 7 computers for going "Back to School".

Many retailers, including Best Buy, have offers that if you purchase a Windows 7 computer now they will give you are copy of Windows 7 Pro when it is released.

If this is not the case you will have to either purchase a copy and install it yourself, later on this year. You may even want to download a copy of Window 8 Pro RTM from a file sharing site and activate it with the
Windows 8 Loader.

On the other hand there is probably little to be gained by installing Windows 8 on your Windows 7 hardware. It is likely not to be "touch screen" enabled and the reports of performance improvements are speculative at best.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Commenting on a blog with the express purpose of improving PageRank

PageRank as in Larry Page -  Larry, one of the principles of Google - or it could refer to "page" as in web page and the ranking of such pages in the Google, or other search engines, indices.

There is no point in making comments on most blogging platforms and placing links to a website that you may be trying to promote. In fact, it makes you look stupid! If you want to be taken seriously by those that know how the Web works you should know what Google and other large web operators do to combat spam on their blogs, websites and forums.

In fact, even on Google Blogger if you make a comment and add the URL to your profile it will also have a rel="nofollow" attribute added to the link:
The link above I added the rel="nofollow" attribute to it. This is so you can see what sort of operator uses this technique and how their Blogger page is full of nonsense and looks like it is just a place to put advertisements. 

Not only will this technique not work it is also an indication that the person that made the comment did not read the note that I have on my Blogger comment page. I used to either re-post or delete the comment, but now that I have found out about nofollow I don't need to bother.

As I was saying in my earlier post, the addition of this attribute to the link will tell Googlebot, Google's search engine robot, to ignore any authority that it may have had. In fact, there is no reason that the Google algorithm that determines the "value" of hyperlinks can process such links in ever more "special" ways depending on whether the nofollow is present.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Google Analysis and WordPress

If you search for this topic you will find that the official Wordpress websites (.org and .com) will tell you that you cannot use Google Analytics with WP.

I interpret this as to a statement that they have not found a way to put a "hook" to GA in the WP user interface. The way that GA works is that is not just a simple one step process and involves the placement of tracking code in your webpages and the registration of your website with Google Analytics.

The registration will tell you what code to place on your pages and where to put it. The code will contain an identifier for your site and JavaScript code that will send off the data collected from visitors to your site so that it can be included in your GA reporting.

Google Blogger now have this feature integrated into their user interface but I guess they have an advantage as they are introducing a Google product for use with another Google product. However, I was using GA before this was featured and it was just a matter of finding where to put the tracking code and then to do exactly the same that I was doing with my website. In fact, I think the tracking is done on this blog is still done in the same way. i.e. modifying the template and not entering the tracking ID in the UI.

As far as I can see this should still be possible with WP. The explanation of how to get it to function is another matter.

There are blog posts and You Tubes that say that you can do this - it is left to you to see if they work. There are also plugins that allow you to use Google Analytics - however, looking at the website below, Wordpress plugins, I am confused at the moment as it is not the experience that I am currently seeing using GA.

Although the WordPress Plugin website says that the plugin is only compatible to an earlier version this does not mean that it will not work.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The NOFOLLOW tag and blogging

In my investigations on the differences between the WordPress platform and Google Blogger I was initially disappointed that a NOFOLLOW attribute was not offered when a link was added to a blog post.

It had been my suspicion that the attribute had been added automatically to hyperlinks that visitors had added to comments on Blogger. I had not checked this but I have on posts that I had made on WordPress. I now find that this is common practice in the case of blogging software. In fact the practice is rife with the large sites and it has been a source of criticism by the "community". I can see the naysayers point of view as this is not well understood by the small website owner or the blogger.

I think that is a case of "Do as you would want to be done by". In that if you link to a website you should be treated in the same way as if they link to you. By adding the NOFOLLOW attribute large sites were getting inbound links from the unwary were they were not giving the same in return. I have adopted the stance that I will not give a site that I link to unless I have a link back to me. As I have no way of determining this I place a NOFOLLOW attribute on ALL my hyperlinks.

When I was placing links on my website I either put them in an area where the search engines were banned or I just placed a link to a "links" page that stated that I had the links and if you wanted them you would have to write and ask for them. Thanks to Google Blogger I discovered NOFOLLOW.

Hard-coding the HTML it is a fairly easy task to add this attribute, as it is will Blogger. WordPress is somewhat more difficult but not impossible. The reasons for Google adding this to the Blogger platform is somewhat different as it was a made a requirement that if you had Adsense on your blog you would be penalized unless you used the attribute. I guess this was so that you didn't have 2 outbound links to the same website on your blog, one that they benefited from and the other you do - the net effect was that the one you had cancelled out the one that they placed in the Adsense ad.

A Google Adsense ad is a "Paid" link.

To add the NOFOLLOW attribute to a WordPress post or page you need to install a plugin and use "shortcode". While this is a little cumbersome, I am sure that it is worth it in the fact that ranking is not degraded as a consequence. In fact, I learn't about [shortcodes] and WP.

The syntax that you have to use in WP is better off documented here as the Nofollow plugin by bitacre will expand the shortcode to the required hyperlink syntax.

[nofollow href=""] Site wanted to be not followed [/nofollow]

The text in red needs to be replaced by the site you want to link but not give ranking credit. In WP you can see the {shortcode] when the post is edited and it appears as a normal link in the post.

I checked this by looking at the source code of the webpage when I had the plugin active and when I did not. I also checked that hyperlinks placed in comments have the NOFOLLOW set by default.

There are many versions of this plugin - I only tried the one from bitacre. The Bitacre website is also an example of a website built using WordPress. They do have an error on the post relating to Nofollow.

I have an examples of this on my WordPress blog and I will continue to use this technique for all outbound links.

How does nofollow work with the Social Graph API (rel="nofollow me")?

Google also add some "get out of jail free" advice. This is to allow their social networking scheme to work. If you want to a person to link to you in your profile and want to link to them, they have added an extra "me" microformat to the nofollow attribute.

With rel="me nofollow", Google will continue to treat the rel="nofollow" as expected for search purposes, such as not transferring PageRank. However, for the Social Graph API, we will count the rel="me" link even when included with a nofollow.

To me this is an admission that they are really concerned about the ranking behavoiur of the Googlebot algorithm.

The added proviso that if you can verify ownership of the link than you can remove the nofollow. I am left wondering whether the users of Google Social Apps are even aware of the nofollow.

If you are able to verify ownership of a link using an identity technology such as OpenID or OAuth, however, you may choose to remove the nofollow link.

You can read exactly what Google say about this in the link above.

Google Sitemaps

I need to create another sitemap. It seems that I was editing it on the server directly.

As I am reconfiguring the site I can start a new one from scratch. In any case I am not sure of the value of having one in the first place.

I have added a robots.txt file and I need to add my IP address to Google Analytics to stop the logging of my own visits. It seems that I do not have the option of doing this for AWStats - I will have to look into this.

This is just a "to do" posting.

  • My original post on Google Sitemaps.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It appears that if you submit listings to you can earn points and kudos.

It also appears that the listing information does not have to be accurate! Within 24 hours of being resurrected a listing was found (due to looking in an AWStats report) for me at an address that is incorrect.

Looking to see who posted the listing it appears that the individual was involved in a thread on the forum where the discussion about the number of points that are earned for a given number of listings.

My previous postings on Social CRM (Customer Relationship Management) seem to have my suspicions on their value as a viable business tool confirmed.

The Jigsaw kudos model


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Should I switch over to Wordpress?

As has been dormant for a while I was thinking about re-instating it using Wordpress, adding new and unique content and even monetizing it. I am likely to have some editorial input on it if I do which should help with content generation. The skills that I have gained from creating and hosting on my own should see me in a good position to make a website that could generate revenue.


I do have a few observations on my intial usage of Wordpress.

However, it seems that the capabilities of Google Blogger are probably good enough when it comes to a simple blog. The main advantages that WordPress would offer are in the maintenance of a "proper" website. For example, there is much more flexibility when it comes to the generation of menu systems, in fact, you can make nested or cascading menus. Examples of this can be see on

I have tried to use Blooger and WordPress on an iPad. They both have the same problem, the inability to upoad photographs to blog posts. The editing of exisiting posts works just fine, especially with a Bluetooth keyboard (like I am editing this post with).

The other main difference with respect to outbound links is that I cannot see an option to a add a NO-FOLLOW attribute to hyperlinks in blog posts. I am not sure if this will have a negative imact on ranking.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Regional Filtering

I am of the opinion that there is some measure of filtering with respect to where an Internet user is making a search.

For example, if I make the search: "windows 8 daz activation" one of the searches that finds my blog (this blog), I cannot find a link to me in the SERP that is returned here in Canada.

The results extracted from Google Analytics are from:
  • Czech Republic
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • France
  • Hungary
  • Belgium
These results are obviously skewed from the North American perspective. How else would Internet visitors find me and Canada and and the USA be excluded from these results?

It is also my belief that Google Analytics is far less useful than they were since changes were made to the way that Keywords are now reported. I described the reasons for this in my post:

Using Tor with get_iplayer

As get_iplayer downloads the BBC programming using Tor to connect to the BBC servers will alleviate the buffering problems that streaming the content directly from the iPlayer site would have if you attempted to use Tor.

The trick here is to configure get_iplayer to use a proxy that you have configured using Vidalia Tor.

I cover this topic in greater detail on my website

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Taking advantage of the WIndows 8 RTM announcement

Most of the SERP listings when you search for Windows 8 Loader are You Tube videos and file download services.

This is not really a good sign and an indication to me that there are those out there that are trying to take advantage of the Windows 8 RTM (Release To Manufacturing)

If you look at the search result above you will see that the majority of entries are from those that claim to have a download for a Windows 8 Loader. If you read the mydigitallife posting you will see that even the "experts" don't think a loader solution is going to work.

The listings for downloads are your typical "bait and switch" offerings that you see common on file-sharing sites. Promises of the "goods" that will often be "password protected" for you to find that once you have visited the website that you are told to obtain the password you will have to sign-up to a service to get the files. Or worse, your computer will get infected!

Install windows 8 without product key:

This was a search that was logged from Wheaton, Illinois


Tuesday, August 14, 2012


The following search was seen originating from Merrimack, New Hampshire:

smidgeonsoft or pebrowse64 or pebrowsedbg64 or "russ osterlund" or "russell osterlund" or pebrowse


rtl60.bpl was not found

This was an old posting that I had on my website

The error "rtl60.bpl was not found", was seen when a program that was written using a Borland programming language was transferred to a new computer.

The error was seen due to a number of factors and was seen to be still occurring even if the file rtl60.bpl was located off the old computer that the program originally ran successfully. This was surmised to the such that there was also a difference in the way that dll's are linking in different versions of Windows. The location of Linked Libraries in different directory locations was see as a culprit. Paths to these libraries were hard coded into the executable files such that the linked file was still not found even if it was present on the new machine. It was just in the wrong place and would not be found unless the executable were to be re-complied. 

The error was not specific to any one program and could occur for many. The example that I found reported on the Internet was for a program written for a model train controller program.

More information on this can be found on my website -

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Searching for you own name online

I don't know if this is an example of extreme paranoia or just one of vanity. The continual searching for what is being said about you on-line seems to be what many do.

I guess is it okay to do this from time to time, but to do so on a weekly basis for well over a year is a little obsessive.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

AO722 dies again!

I really don't seem to be having much luck with my Acer AO722, it has broken again!

This time the display "fritzed out", it started off with a flashing display (accompanied by a whistling in the audio - first detected by Skype), then the computer would not switch off completely (there was a glow from the display even though it had been switched off - this went away if the battery was removed) and now I get no display at all apart from a very faint display some of the time after the computer boots.

I know that the computer boots as it starts up and connects to the WiFi (the light comes on) and I can shut it down by using the keyboard in a blind fashion. i.e. Ctr-Alt-Del then Tab Tab Tab and Enter - the control menu is invoked and then I tab to the shut-down button (I found this out on my AO522).

I guess the Acer is going back for repair as it is still well within warranty. I can't say that I am that impressed with its reliability. It may have known that I was playing with a Mac Book Air earlier in the day. I must admit that if this is the reliability that I can expect from it I may be better off with the Apple. Funny that I don't seem to have as many problems with my AO522 computers.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Forums that discuss P2P issues

.... are generally full of crap.

You can believe what I say on this blog or you can continue to search for an answer that you want to hear.

Every now and then I repeat the searches that find this blog (from analysis of Google Analytics). I often come across these forums and most of what I see is miss-information or just plain wrong.

I will not repeat what my findings on the efforts to obscure your identity on this post, you can easily search for those yourself. Suffice it to say that I lot of what you will find in both out-of-date and incorrect. I encourage you to check the dates of the original posts and the comments made on them.

You will not find such comments on this blog as I do not post ambiguous questions that allow those with agendas to post their own solutions. The owners of these forums and authors of software such as PeerBlock are not likely to comment as they probably agree with what I am saying here. It is not in their interest to do so as it would curtail the traffic to their sites and their claims to fame.

I don't care if you find this blog or follow my advice, I have no such agenda. It just amuses me that there is so much nonsense out there!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Why Powerline Netorking has problems

Whilst powerline networking is a great idea, the reason that it is flawed and not reliable for streaming video over a home networking is nothing to do with noise. The reason is that the current protocol under Windows 7 does not work consistently.

When you configure a powerline network you will find that it will work just fine for a while but will exhibit problems in recognizing the shared resources when you want to use it. This "connectivity" can sometimes be restored by running the Windows 7 Homegroup troubleshooter, but not always.

When the connections are made, in a relatively noise-free environment, the streaming speeds are adequate for HD video distribution. As such it is very easy to demonstrate that this is a viable solution and the use of lightning-surge protector filters actually helps to make this possible. However, this is NOT what the issue is with Home Group Networking and Power Line Networking.

Hardware vs. Protocol:

I have both Netgear and Western Digital powerline adapters. Both these exhibit the same behaviour with respect to the inconsistencies of making Home Group Shares. It is my opinion that the reason that the shares do not appear without having to run the troubleshooter is that there is a fundamental flaw in the HomeGroup protocol and specification with respect to the hardware that is currently available.

This may be fixed with newer releases of Windows (and other operating systems) and the revision of the networking specifications and protocol. However, at the present time IT DOES NOT WORK!


Claims of Unlimited Download Speeds

I never cease to be amused when I see ads for BTGuard claiming that you will get unlimited download speeds if you use their services.

It is not the VPN or IP obscuring software that limits the download speed of a torrent download it is the health of the torrent that is the dominant factor when it comes to the rate at which you are accessing the files.

In addition services such as BTGuard and TorrentPrivacy are likely to be well on the radar screens of Anti P2P Organizations and the servers that you may have to connect through are most likely to be blocked. This blocking is likely to add to the latency of your downloads.

I have discussed the merits of using BTGuard and Torrent Privacy on this blog and my website ( I have used one of the services in the past. I have found a much better solution.

BTGuard and TorrentPrivacy are aggressively advertized on sites such as Isohunt and The Pirate Bay. This is because it is there they find a target audience. As such, this is an indication of what not to use to download. You are far better off choosing a service that is off the radar and not advertized on a network that the copyright holders know are promoting the stealing of their property.

What VPN service should you use for P2P

Following a a visit from Pleasanton, California searching for "p2p vpn" I am making this post.

When it comes to the choice of a VPN service to use for downloading from a file sharing (P2P) source you are far better off choosing one that is not advertised on one of the major torrent locator sites such as Isohunt or The Pirate Bay. Companies that advertise there are more likely to have their servers blocked by AP2P Organizations and are likely to be too slow.

Update 28 Aug 2012:

Looking at at the Hide-My-Ass website I cannot see any reference to using their services for P2P or downloading from File Sharing services using BitTorrent.

Hide-My-Ass are a popularly advertised service that can be used to provide anonymity while you are using the Internet. As such they fit the criteria for their rejection for use for this purpose. However, I cannot believe that there are not users of the service that are not using HMA  for downloading copyright material. I would add the caution that seeing as they make no mention of this being a prohibited activity on their website and Terms of Service, it may be something that you only find out after you sign-up. This is the case with BTGuard.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why Peerblock is mis-named

Peerblock and Peer Guardian 2 should be called APOBlock.

All these programs do is to block Anti Peer to Peer Organizations from accessing your computer. They do nothing to obscure your download activity.

You cannot block your ISP with Peerblock. If you do, you will have no Internet access. To prevent your ISP knowing what you download you need to use some other method.

In my opinion PeerBlock and.or PG2 are useless and only add an unnecessary layer to your connection to the Internet.

Please search this blog for "peerblock" for all my posts related to the operation of this blocking software and a discussion on AP2P and circumvention. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

12 years of Digital Photography

Having been taking photos using digital technologies since 2000 I have decided to consolidate my photos that have spread out over multiple drives and computers. This reminds me why I was so pissed off with Joshua Sham and my subsequent dealings with Wayne McAlpine and OneWorld.

It was the back and recovery of digital photos that set me off on my series of posts relating to the OneWorldDataRecovery service that I saw on the Canada Computers website. I was probably in the process of purchasing an additional drive to backup my photos when I came across it and thought that it was too good to be true. I made a blog post to that effect and I received a comment from Joshua Sham, shown below:

Joshua has left a new comment on your post "One World Data Recovery Protection Plan":

You obviously didn't read the website properly. First off, I wanted my DATA back, and I paid $$$ to get my DATA. I didn't care about getting my hard disk back because I wanted my pictures from my vacation to New York.
The $14.99 does cover the cost of the actual data recovery. There are no other charges other than those listed in the FAQ. Get your facts straight! Total Bill $220.34 because everybody pays tax. I think you should probably know that data recovery from CBL or seagate start at $400 and climb easily to $2000 and more. Good luck with your blank drive through the manufacturers warranty. A whole lot of good that will do you when you want back your DATA.

The comment was followed by a series of other communications from Joshua Sham and Wayne McAlpine and it became clear that the original comment was not only a Shill comment (Joshua was an employee of Wayne McAlpine) but it was also "blog Spam" (i.e. it was only made in an attempt to show the OneWorld service in a good light).

I took exception to the statement that I didn't read the website (OneWorld's) correctly and I was subsequently proved right, the service WAS to good to be true.

The fact that Joshua was claiming that he got his data back from his New York trip struck a note with me. I am not sure of his math and the total bill of $220.34 for his data recovery, that sounded like an awful amount of tax! but, that was not the main issue I was commenting on.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Using Robocopy to backup My Documents

Having attempted to use robocopy.exe to make a backup of a users data files I came across the following behavior.

I was trying to be "pure" and use the command line and not just to use drag and drop using Windows Explorer. The theory here was not only that it should provide a more robust copy, i.e. I could restart the copy if it was interrupted, but also I could then incorporate the command into a backup script.

It became obvious that the file structure for Windows 7 was not as simple as it first might appear and I was concerned that all the iPad and iTunes files, plus others, were being copied as well as the contents of the directory that I wanted a copy of. The resulting copy reported 52G Bytes of data when the actual data that I wanted to copy was only 8G Bytes. The copy took 1.5 hours as opposed to a matter of minutes for the copy that I wanted.

Junction Points and the solution:

Like a lot of the replies you see to problems that you find on blogs and forums this is no exception. Many of the solutions posted had nothing to do with the original question. However, having read the solution (linked below) it made sense to what I was seeing.

The answer was to use the /XJ switch telling robocopy to ignore the Junctions or the directories that the Windows 7 file system includes behind the scenes.

Running the help for robocopy shows that the response detailing the answer to the problem is actually the case. I guess that I could have worked out the problem for myself.

The other thing that is confusing is that the answer on the Microsoft Windows 7 forum is that it is not easy to see who is replying to whom. The answers are there but a lot of what there is in the post is occluded. The original question was phrased in a way that an infinite loop was being seen, my problem and solution was not that but I guess that I could have been fooled into thinking that there was one.

In addition, there is another answer to what I was seeing in the Microsoft forum replies. A commenter was warning that there could be other problems if a robocopy command was used to change the target of a junction directory as there would be problems in the future. In my case the copy on the target drive ended up hidden as I guess that the permissions and/or the resulting junction confused Windows Explorer when the drive was viewed. Searching the drive for the copied files revealed that the files were there but could not be seen. I will have to re-format the target drive as the disc space is being used but I cannot see the files!

Folder permissions and other things found when using robocopy:

 In addition to the behaviour that I describe above you may also find that you will get "permission denied"  messages when you try and copy files and directories from the root of a drive. The cause of this is due to a similar to reason as the directories that are attempted to be copied in this instance are again Junction directories.

I covered this on my website in more detail and possibly made another post on this blog. I discussed the command syntax that you need to use to stop the errors due to these "forbidden" directories asking to be copied:

robocopy /mir k:\ \\Mybookworld\public\ /XD dirs $RECYCLE.BIN /XD dirs RECYCLER /XN /XO

In the command above the directories are excluded from the robocopy processing - I had not found a way to set the Windows permissions to allow the copying of these directories. However, I would suggest that you would not want to in any case as it would probably give you problems in the future.

Santa Clara County

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Six Strikes and Copyright Law

Today I logged a search for: will peerblock stop the six strike law?

The answer to this is "No" - as Peerblock will not protect you against anything! (see my other posts on the subject). In fact I was not aware that there was a "Six Strikes" law, I thought it was just a proposal by the media industries in an attempt to contain piracy. I will not try to enter into this argument, you can read this for yourself on the links below. I am just taking issue with some of the technological issues that are raised by this discussion.

Following some of the links that I have found on the pages linked below, I take issue with some of the statements that I find.

The discussion here was prompted by some of the comments on the articles I found when making a search for "Six Strikes" - i.e. the article by Ian Paul, PCWorld,    Jul 8, 2011 and others.

Like most forums the nature of the comments is more from the nature of appearing smarter than the other participants and insulting each other.

RIAA MPAA and (The Center for Copyright Information)
Hardly an independent organization:
  • Executive Vice President & General Counsel - Executive Vice President & General Counsel Steven M. Marks, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Recording Industry Association of America    (RIAA)
  • Member - Marianne Grant, Senior Vice President, Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.  (MPAA)
  • Chairman - Thomas Dailey, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Verizon Communications, Inc.
Plus representatives from Verizon, Viacom, Comcast,, Future of Privacy Forum, 
Jerry Berman, Chairman, Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee 
Gigi Sohn, President and CEO, Public Knowledge

Some quotes from the Center for Copyright Information:

I don't really see what the following means:
"..... helping consumers take action to protect themselves, their internet accounts and home networks."
The only ones that are possibly being "protected" are the music and movie industry themselves. I think that it is very much "wishful thinking" on the part of the "industry" here. The threats that they are proposing are not likely to be so, the "six" that is, and they are unlikely to be passed into law.

Also, the information is hardly "educational" as it is purely FUD being spread by the "industry"
"........ the educational information provided in an alert will lead to very few subscribers who persist (or allow others to persist) in illegal file sharing."

It is not likely that those that are persisting in file-sharing  are not likely to be frightened off by idle threats and are more likely to step up their efforts to avoid detection in the first place.

Those allowing others to persist are likely to be the ISPs themselves - I would say in general that the ISPs are more interested in staying clear of the "industry" and are probably just paying lip service to them as they do not want to appear as being um-cooperative or not obeying local laws.