Sunday, May 20, 2018

Zoolz

That title is not a typo. When CrashPlan withdrew home support I investigated a number of alternatives.

You know I'm cheap frugal.

Zoolz for $40 for life was on my short list so I installed it and started backing up the files/folders I had targeted with CrashPlan.

The first set was about 40,000 files and just over 300 GB. I set the upload speed to 256 Kbps.

The upload went smoothly taking just over 4 months. I suspended it a couple of times and rebooted several times. Zoolz never complained.

I have tested restoring from Zoolz's Cold Storage and that went fine. It took about 2 hours as expected.

I haven't tried the Instant Vault storage yet and don't know if I will.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Macrium Reflect

I've been using Macrium Reflect for almost 2 years since I built Trump.

Recently LifeHacker ran an article on it and I thought I should talk about how it's been working for me.

Great.

It treats the Resilient File System (ReFS) like a fully used GPT volume. With Reflect's compression and differential backups this has been acceptable.

I've been taking a full backup once a year and then differentials about monthly.

I have a 5 TB external drive. I created a TruCrypt volume for almost the entire drive and backup to that volume.

I have a Reflect "schedule" that takes a differential so I just run that manually.

It takes 3-4 hours to create the differential for my 2 TB data drives.

You can mount the differential backup as a virtual drive and drag and drop files for restoring.

Nice. And the price is right. Free.


Sunday, May 06, 2018

Windows Defender Browser Protection

I'm a fan of Windows Defender. I've written about it several times.

In April 2018 Microsoft introduced Windows Defender Browser Protection for Chrome.

Yeah, you read that right: For Chrome

It's a Chrome extension. In less than a month it had more than 64,000 users and a 4 1/2 star rating in the Chrome store.

Here's (archive.is) Microsoft's product page.

Here's the description from the Chrome store:
The Windows Defender Browser Protection extension helps protect you against online threats, such as links in phishing emails and websites designed to trick you into downloading and installing malicious software that can harm your computer.

If you click a malicious link in an email or navigate to a site designed to trick you into disclosing financial, personal or other sensitive information, or a website that hosts malware, Windows Defender Browser Protection will check it against a constantly updated list of malicious URLs known to Microsoft.

If the malicious link matches one on the list, Windows Defender Browser Protection will show a red warning screen letting you know that the web page you are about to visit is known to be harmful, giving you a clear path back to safety with one click.
It doesn't seem to take up much memory.


Why not?

Oh, don't look for their privacy policy. But you're running Windows 10, aren't you?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Windows 10 Photos App

I'm not a big video editor but from time to time I need/want to trim/combine videos.

I've been using YouTube's Video Editor. It wasn't pretty but it did the job.

Up until September 20, 2017 when YouTube killed it with no explanation.

I needed something else simple.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709) included a new Photos store app.


It doesn't have the most intuitive interface but it's way better than YouTube's Video Editor.

Here's an example of a video I made with it.


Windows Central has a nice article on it.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

iOS Battery Usage

I check and log my smartphone battery reading at 10:00 each night and calculate % of battery consumed per hour.

Here's a chart of my findings on my iPhone 6.


I don't claim this to be scientific, just interesting.

iOS 11 introduced a significant increase in battery consumption then something was changed in iOS 11.2.1 that noticeably reduced battery consumption.

As the phone ages, the battery capacity reduces thus increasing the % per hour due to a smaller base. I didn't include this in my logging as until iOS 11.3 Apple didn't expose the battery capacity.

Incidentally, my battery capacity was 87% on the first of February and 86% on the first of April.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Google Maps Timeline

I use Google Location Services to create a timeline of my travels.

Since I've been using the iPhone 6s I've noticed that the resolution of the tracks has been pretty coarse.


When I switched to the Essential Phone there was a significant improvement in resolution.


Undoubtedly at the expense of battery life.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

How to Sandbox Facebook

Facebook "follows" your web browsing even on other sites.
Facebook's business model is to amass as much first-party and third-party data on you as possible, and slowly dole out access to it. If you’re using Facebook, you're entrusting the company with records of everything you do.
I try to minimize the opportunity for Facebook to gather information. I'm sure my technique is not foolproof but it is better than nothing.

When I launch Facebook I do it in a Chrome incognito window.



To be the most effective this should be the only tab that you are using as incognito.

If I want to click on a link in a Facebook post (which I generally don't recommend), I right click on the link and choose "Copy link address".


Then I leave the incognito window and go back to my normal browser window.

Open a new tab and paste the copied URL into the address bar. BUT DON'T PRESS ENTER.

Look at that link and see if it looks like this:
https://www.facebook.com/topic/Baton-Rouge-Police-Department/1040460436008909?source=whfrt&position=1&trqid=6538904751892597700&impressionguid=0Ho4cQev8pMnPWgOe
DON'T PRESS ENTER.

If you really HAVE to go to that link, type the title of the page into Google (or DuckDuckGo) and let Google find it for you. Because if you click on that link Facebook will record that you've been to that page and "follow" you wherever you go from that page.

When you're through with that session of Facebook, log out and close that incognito tab. That should close the incognito window as well if that was the only tab.

As an example of what various pages do to track you. The Guardian posted an article (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/28/all-the-data-facebook-google-has-on-you-privacy - intentionally NOT linked) on "Are you ready? Here is all the data Facebook and Google have on you". That web page had four sets of Facebook tracking and nine sets of Google tracking.

You can see where Facebook has followed you by going here.

I also run uBlock Origin. You can get it here for Chrome and here for Firefox. If you use the above technique of running Facebook in an incognito window be sure to allow uBlock Origin to run in incognito. This article has a discussion of uBlock Origin settings for Facebook.