Sunday, February 28, 2021

QR Code Generator

10+ years ago, I put a QR code on the back of my business card. Let's just say I was ahead of the times.
Then Apple included QR code recognition into their iPhone camera app.

And then the COVID pandemic caused QR codes to pop up in restaurants with links to "touch free" menus.

QR codes can contain a variety of information. You can create your own here.

But for URLs, it's even easier than that.

Google has included a QR code generator in the latest versions of Chrome. I just noticed the new icon in Chrome's address bar.

Here's what it generates.

Point your smartphone camera at that and see what happens.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

More 5G

A year ago, I posted on "What is 5G." I started it with "It depends."

It still does, depend.

But a lot has happened in the last year.

Android Central's podcast is one of my favorites. Their Episode 510 features Sascha Segan deep diving into the current state of 5G worldwide. Just listen to the first 30 minutes or so.

Here are a few excerpts:
... 5G can use bigger wider radio channels than 4G can. And if we look at the countries that have the best 5G performance, it's generally places where their governments have allocated the appropriate wide channels exclusively for 5G. And so you see places like South Korea where they had a very orderly very thoughtful allocation of useful mid-band spectrum to their carriers who cooperate moderately well. And so as a result you have a really nice 5G layout that is operating in channels wider than could have been used for 4G and is operating in cooperation with 4G ...
And the result is the vast majority of people in the US who see 5G on their phone, that 5G is just operating in the little odds and ends and corners of the existing 4G frequencies. It's just ... using bits of leftover 4G, essentially. And so for the vast majority of 5G users, especially on AT&T and Verizon, they see that 5G and they're "Like this doesn't seem faster than 4G. In fact, it even sometimes seems slower" and they're right. Because the 5G that they are getting, most of the people in AT&T right now, is just little odds and ends of 4G with a number 5 tacked on.
T-Mobile's in a slightly better position. T-Mobile, because of their purchase of Sprint, had some suitable mid-band 5G spectrum available and over the last half of the year, of last year, they've been building out that spectrum in a lot of major cities ...
Take the time. You'll learn a lot.

PS. I used Google's Recorder app to transcribe this podcast.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Chrome Scroll to Text Fragment - Redux

Last year I posted on how to create a link to scroll directly to a text fragment using Chrome.

At that time, there wasn't a tool to help with this. I noted that I did it with Notepad.

Thankfully, that has changed. Now there's a Chrome extension from Google that will do that for you.

With that extension installed, all you have to do is highlight the desired text and right click on it.

Then your clipboard has a link that will take the browser to the selected text.

Here's what it looks like:

That was easy. But wait, there's more.

Look at the part of the generated URL that I highlighted with the red box.

This extension has inserted "ezoic-pub-ad-placeholder" in the URL.

Now go Google that. Ezoic is an ad tracker.

Shame on you Google!

I still use that extension. Now I just take that string out of the generated URL.

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Find Saved Wi-Fi Passwords

Recently, the screen on my ThinkPad X250 died.

It kept running. I just had to work around the defective part of the screen.

I bought a refurbished ThinkPad X390 and moved on.

Until I needed the password (pre-shared key) for a Wi-Fi network that I couldn't remember.

That's easier than I imagined. iTechtics has a great article on it.

For me, the easiest way was to run a simple Windows command.
  1. Open command prompt (Press the Windows key and then just type "com" without the quotes).
  2. Run the following command:
    netsh wlan show profile name=WifiConnectionName key=clear
Replace WifiConnectionName with the Wifi SSID

That was almost too easy.