Topic: Technology Trends And Directions

So, Let's consider: Guarding Against Identity Theft 0





So, Let’s consider: Guarding Against Identity Theft

Identity Theft. We’ve all heard it. Some of us have be the victims of it. It’s a royal pain in the ass when it happens to you. It’s not going away any time soon.
So, let’s consider a few things we can do to help protect ourselves in this war against identity thieves.

Memorize your Social Security Number (SSN) and leave the card at home!

Frankly, unless you’re applying for a job or have to show proof of citizenship, etc., there’s no real reason to be carrying your SSN card around with you at all. Leave it at home in a secure place. Perhaps the same place you leave your passport, birth certificate, etc.
Your SSN is THE biggest piece of identity information that a thief would want. Once they have it, there’s very little about you that they can get, find and use against you. It IS the key to your identity.

PROTECT YOUR SSN

We’ve already said that it’s the single most useful key to you that anyone would want. So, don’t give it out to anyone that doesn’t have a REAL need for it.
Real needs to NOT include: Credit card application, “we need it for ID”, or my favorite: “we need it for our computer…” Trust me, their computer won’t die of malnutrition if it doesn’t have your SSN and if they want your business they’ll find another way.
One of the biggest issues I run into with SSN’s is things like doctor’s offices that think they need it to “verify your insurance.” Uh, that’s what your insurance card is for. Period, end of story. Ask them how they treat patients that aren’t US citizens and you’ll find that they generally assign them some arbitrary number – tell them to do the same for you. Having been in IT for over 35 years I’ve seen how your SSN can be used and abused against you and trust me you don’t want it out in some medical history database for any other insurance companies or vendors to be able to paw through at will.
Further if your student ID or driver’s license is your SSN, ask that it be removed and that another number be issued to you immediately.

Get a good shredder and USE IT

In getting a shredder you want one of those models that makes total confetti out of what you feed into it. The ones that just make strips of paper out of your documents are basically useless. Here what you’re doing is making the other guy’s data easier to use than yours. Thieves are generally looking for quick access to information and if you make yours hard to get then they’ll most likely go on to someone else that’s not as smart.
If you have a fireplace or a fire pit handy, use it. In my office I have 2 trash cans by my desk. One is for non-burnables (empty coke cans, etc) and the other is a paper bag for burnables…I call it my “burn bag”. When it gets full, I take it over to the fire place and strike a match to it. Problem solved.

Shed or burn anything sensitive

My personal policy is that if it has “names or numbers” on it, it gets shredded or burned. This includes credit card statements, bank statements, anything from any government agency, tax office, business associates, etc. If it’s not something I wouldn’t mind reading on the front page of the Washington Post, it gets shredded.

Use public Wi-Fi hot spots with care

Connecting to Wi-Fi in the coffee shop can be really convenient, but don’t use it to pay your phone bill. Same thing with any other public Wi-Fi connection be it at the airport, school, shopping center, etc. Presume that someone is monitoring what you’re sending across the internet, and trust me it’s not hard to do.
Further, if you don’t see “HTTPS” at the start of your web url line, DO NOT EVER trust the connection for any financial transaction security or any other connection security that you’re going to be sending someone private data to. Connections without the httpS at the front of them are presumed to be unsecure by definition.

Use common sense with your mail

OK, this may sound redundant, but don’t leave your outgoing mail in a pile somewhere. Put it IN the US Mailbox. Also give serious consideration to getting a post office box for your mail. They’re not cheap but they’re not that expensive either and they can buy you a lot of peace of mind when it comes to reducing the risk of someone pilfering through your stuff.

Treat your personal information as “need to know”

To many this is obvious but you’d really be surprised how stupid some people can be. If it’s your private information and someone doesn’t have a need to know it, don’t tell them! When filling out forms that want your whole life history and all the information they can get about you, THINK! If they don’t need it to provide the services that you’re negotiating for, then don’t give it to them! You can’t control what other people do with your information but you can damn sure prevent them from getting it in the first place!
This also extends to what you share on social media. Presume that if you post it to your page that the whole world can find out about it. It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people can be when I read “we’re going to Aruba next Sunday for 2 weeks!”….if I’m looking for a house to hit I now know I have 2 weeks to hit theirs! Wait until AFTER you come back to post your pictures from your vacation and share your good times with others. And avoid the “check in” options on social media where restaurants and other sites use the “check in at Charley’s bar and grill” feature while you’re there. You’re just telling the world where you are and making yourself a target. THINK!

Don’t share PIN’s or passwords – and don’t write them down!

You’d be surprised how obvious this is and how frequently it’s what compromises a persons security. Never tell anyone security access information unless you not only trust them BUT that they also have need to know. And, NEVER WRITE THEM DOWN in a public place – like posting them to your fridge door, under your keyboard, post it pads on your computer screen, etc. This is just asking for problems and they will find you.
These tips are not intended to be totally foolproof or to provide 100% security. Nothing can do that, but they’ll go a long way to making someone else a much easier target for someone that wants to do harm. Don’t make life easy for criminals. They’re unforgiving once they find a way to get what they want and that can be really expensive and painful for you to recover from
Finally, some companies offer what they call “identity theft insurance”. If you look at this kind of a policy, use a strong reputable firm and make sure you read all the details before you sign up. Caveat emptor.
If you feel that your privacy has been compromised, contact the appropriate agency, vendor, credit card company, law enforcement agency, etc., and get things resolved quickly. The sooner you’re aware and act the sooner things can get fixed. Be proactive at all times. Read and review all your financial statements watching for any anomalies and transactions that you didn’t incur.
Here’s hoping that you’ve gained a few items you can use from this list and that the crooks find someone else more interesting than you.

I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.



Verizon’s FiOS – Something to be avoided 0

<meta name=”keywords” value=”fromwhereistand,don rima,rima, verizon, fios, cable, telephone, phone, internet, ISP,cable, wifi”>
</meta>



Verizon’s FiOS – Something to be avoided – Updated 4/25/2017
As those in their market service area are well aware by now due to the deluge of mail, phone calls, barrages of TV and radio advertisements, not to mention the pages and pages of print ads and mailers, Verizon has a product called FiOS.
FiOS is Verizon’s all in one answer to putting voice, internet and cable TV functionality in your home and to do so at a low cost – low cost at least to them.  Once they get all the fiber run in an area they then can pump a wide variety of goods and services down that one single little piece of fiber optic cable into your home.
Now, I have to admit, Verizon services and support are generally about as good as it gets.  You usually don’t end up with a brain dead technician to answer your tech support calls, coming out install or fix any of your problems, unlike some cable companies I know.
My problem with FiOS isn’t the services or support, it’s what happens AFTER they install the product to a home or site that has existing telephone service.
Keep in mind that with a regular telephone that is wired to your house with what we call “twisted pair wiring”, that the power supply that drives this connection, gives you your dial tone and makes things work when you pickup the phone is supplied by the telephone company.  They generally do a very good job at making sure that there’s power to the phone lines even if there’s no power to the house.   Your home can be as dark as a cave and there’s a good chance your telephone will still work.  This comes in handy for things like natural disasters from storms, power loss due to bad weather, your neighbor deciding to play Paul Bunyan and dropping a tree across your power line, or any of many other reasons we’ve all run into at one time or another in our life.
But, this all changes when you convert to FiOS.  During the conversion process, your copper cable is disconnected.  All power supporting the cable, internet and telephone functions is provided by you in your home.  Yeah, I kinda wondered if the power companies weren’t in on this as well when I first started thinking about it.  But the big hazard comes in when you lose power to your home.  At this point, you are switched to a very small short term running uninterrupted power supply (UPS) which is also installed with the FiOS.  How long this will keep you up and running will depend on its size and age.  Like all rechargeable batteries (of which this is one) they tend to deteriorate over time and they also have a short finite life when they’re fully charged.
The kicker is, when this UPS goes dead, your whole house goes dead.  Forget making any phone calls.  It just won’t happen.
For a good part of the population, this may not be a concern or just a passing pain in the tuckus, but, for the older parts of our population, this is a concern.  These are the people that may have a medical or other issue and need to be able to call someone for help or other logistical issues or needs.
When I first published this, I was fairly immediately hit with comments about how one could go out and recharge their cell phone on their cars, or how the current trend was away from copper and into fiber due to the amount of additional services we could have marketed to us.  Well, what about the older parts of our population that may not be able to go out to their car and recharge their cell phones?  And why do I need to buy additional services from Verizon, or whomever, if the current works just fine and even in a disaster?   Speaking of disasters, this now means that in a Katrina type event, you now not only have to wait for your local Telco to fix THEIR wiring, you have to wait also for the power company to send power to your house.  Is this really goodness?
Let’s look at the demographic trends of our population.  Guess what, we’re getting to have a much larger older population segment.  This trend is not in question. They’re going to be a concern due to their lack of availability to call out once the touted 4-hour limit of their UPS is dead.  This segment is growing and it’s not going to stop.  They can live VERY well without cable TV, but they can’t live without the means to call for help.  And for many shut ins, this is their social network.
So, I asked a Verizon representative about that and their reply was “go buy a cell phone”.  Now, let me get this straight, you want me to go buy another phone which is very expensive just to be able to call you and tell you that your service is broken and my house needs power and the phone at my house doesn’t work?  Well, their response is basically “yes”.  Granted, many of us already have at least one cell phone so for most of the reporting part isn’t an issue…unless you don’t have access to it…or the battery is dead…or you’re in one of the many dead cell zones that the Verizon Bimbo and his army of “technicians” just haven’t found yet.  Hello Verizon, can you hear me yet?  My house is in one of those partial dead zones.  And I’m on a ridge about 1200 feet about sea level.
Then, nobody is talking about what’s going to be done to handle all the toxic waste created from all these UPS batteries when they go dead and are past their usefulness time!?  If you figure out how many houses in the US have a phone in them in a metro area, figure that they’re going to need their battery replaced every 3 or so years.  In a short period of time, we’re going to dumping a lot of batteries in landfills and when they start to leak that’s a lot of lead acid that’s got to go somewhere.  Hello Al Gore, where are you and why aren’t you thinking about this as well?  Or are you too busy flying around in your private jet and calculating how big the carbon footprint of your house is this week?  Want to retire early and rich?  Figure out a way to PROFITABLY recycle these  batteries!
My recommendations are thus:  Avoid FiOS totally.  If you MUST have FiOS make sure that they install it separate from your existing telephone lines and if you’re a multiple phone line home (which many are due to internet dialup from several years ago), make sure that at least your main line is still a twisted pair copper wire connected to the home telephone switched network.  If they can’t guarantee you that you’ll keep your original copper line for telephone voice calls, you need to tell them “NO THANKS!”.
I’m Don Rima and that’s the way I see it, From Where I Stand.


Filing your taxes – when Free really isn't – are you being "monetized" ?? 0






Filing your taxes – when Free really isn’t – are you being “monetized” ??
OK, so you’re intrigued by those online services and all that nice software that says they’ll do and file your taxes this year FOR FREE! Hmmmmm… We all like stuff for free, but hold the phone here folks – there’s more happening here than you may be aware of…
You may not be aware, yet, but you’re being mined and sold. Yupo folks, once again if it sounds too good to be true it most likely is.
It would appear that there’s really a growing and big business in mining as much information about you from your tax forms and from all those piles of paperwork that you have to use to create those monstrosities that you have to send the IRS each year! Think how much information you really tell about yourself when you file your 1040. Do you have any loans? Investments? Outside business interests? Student loans or college payments of any sort? Well, it’s all on your 1040 and it’s all there for whomever is doing your electronic filing to mine, aggregate, package and sell to whomever will buy it. The latest buzz word is call “monetizing the customer” – uh, that’s you! And it’s big business and big money.
SO, if you don’t want to be sold you may want to read the fine print and make sure that your privacy stays that way – private.
I’m Don Rima and that’s the way I see it, from where I stand.


FCC Frequency Allocations for Amateurs – aka Hams 3







FCC Frequency Allocations for Amateurs – aka Hams

One of annoying things about life is the “use it or lose it” properties. If you don’t use it, you tend to lose it. Generally this applies to things learned or perhaps memorized at one time.
I used to be semi-fluent in several languages – even translated for my parents when we traveled as I picked it up faster than they did. I also lost it faster than they did.
When I got my Amateur Radio (Ham) license I tried to remember all the frequencies I could play on and what I was allowed to do on them, and NOT to do on them. Frankly, I gave up.
To make life easier for me I consolidated a few frequency lists from good Ham sources and reorganized them into a form that I could use alot easier. I broke it down by license class then frequency
and frequency use restrictions.
Here it is in order of license class progression. Just print and take a pair of scissors and chop off what’s not relevant to you and tack it up in your ham shack. If you see any fat fingers or if the laws change and I’ve not caught it, please let me know for an update.
Enjoy.
NOVICE:
80 Meters
3.525-3.600 MHz: CW Only
40 Meters
7.025-7.125 MHz : CW only
15 Meters
21.025-21.200 MHz: CW Only
10 Meters
28.000-28.300 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data–Maximum power 200 watts PEP
28.300-28.500 MHz: CW, Phone–Maximum power 200 watts PEP
1.25 Meters – limited to 25 watts PEP output
222.00-225.00 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
23 Centimeters
1270-1295 MHz: CW, phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data (maximum power, 5 watts PEP)
TECHNICIAN:
80 Meters
3.525-3.600 MHz: CW Only
40 Meters
7.025-7.125 MHz : CW only
15 Meters
21.025-21.200 MHz: CW Only
10 Meters
28.000-28.300 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data–Maximum power 200 watts PEP
28.300-28.500 MHz: CW, Phone–Maximum power 200 watts PEP
6 Meters
50.0-50.1 MHz: CW Only
50.1-54.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
2 Meters
144.0-144.1 MHz: CW Only
144.1-148.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
1.25 Meters
222.00-225.00 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
70 Centimeters
420.0-450.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
33 Centimeters
902.0-928.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
23 Centimeters
1240-1300 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
 
Higher Frequencies:
2300-2310 MHz
2390-2450 MHz
3300-3500 MHz
5650-5925 MHz
10.0-10.5 GHz
24.0-24.25 GHz
47.0-47.2 GHz
76.0-81.0 GHz – Amateur operation at 76-77 GHz has been suspended
122.25 -123.00 GHz
134-141 GHz
241-250 GHz
All above 300 GHz
GENERAL:
160 Meters
1.800-2.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, RTTY/Data
80 Meters
3.525-3.600 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
3.800-4.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
60 Meters – 100w ERP
5330.5 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
5346.5 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
5357.0 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
5371.5 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
5403.5 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
Amateurs are permitted to operate on five frequency channels, each having an
effective bandwidth of 2.8 kHz.
These frequencies are available for use by stations having a control
operator holding a General, Advanced or Amateur Extra class license. It is
important to note that the frequencies shown above are suppressed carrier
frequencies – the frequencies that appear in your transceiver’s tuning
display when your transceiver is in the USB mode.
Amateurs may transmit with an effective radiated power of 100 W or less,
relative to a half-wave dipole. If you’re using a commercial directional
antenna, FCC Rules require you to keep a copy of the manufacturer’s gain
specifications in your station records. If you built the directional antenna
yourself, you must calculate the gain and keep the results in your station
records.
40 Meters
7.025-7.125 MHz : CW, RTTY/Data
7.175-7.300 MHz:: CW, Phone, Image
30 Meters – Maximum power, 200 watts PEP
10.100-10.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
20 Meters
14.025 -14.150 MHz CW, RTTY/Data
14.225 -14.350 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
17 Meters
18.068-18.110 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
18.110-18.168 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
15 Meters
21.025-21.200 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
21.275-21.450 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
12 Meters
 4.890-24.930 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
24.930-24.990 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
10 Meters
28.000-28.300 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
28.300-29.700 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
6 Meters
50.0-50.1 MHz: CW Only
50.1-54.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
2 Meters
144.0-144.1 MHz: CW Only
144.1-148.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
 
1.25 Meters
219-220 MHz amateur use on a secondary basis.
222.00-225.00 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
70 Centimeters
420.0-450.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
33 Centimeters
902.0-928.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
23 Centimeters
1240-1300 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
 
Higher Frequencies:
2300-2310 MHz
2390-2450 MHz
3300-3500 MHz
5650-5925 MHz
10.0-10.5 GHz
24.0-24.25 GHz
47.0-47.2 GHz
76.0-81.0 GHz – 76-77 GHz has been suspended
122.25 -123.00 GHz
134-141 GHz
241-250 GHz
All above 300 GHz
ADVANCED CLASS:
160 Meters
1.800-2.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, RTTY/Data
80 Meters
3.525-3.600 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
3.700-4.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
60 Meters – 100w ERP
5330.5 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
5346.5 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
5357.0 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
5371.5 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
5403.5 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
Amateurs are permitted to operate on five frequency channels, each having an
effective bandwidth of 2.8 kHz.
These frequencies are available for use by stations having a control
operator holding a General, Advanced or Amateur Extra class license. It is
important to note that the frequencies shown above are suppressed carrier
frequencies – the frequencies that appear in your transceiver’s tuning
display when your transceiver is in the USB mode.
Amateurs may transmit with an effective radiated power of 100 W or less,
relative to a half-wave dipole. If you’re using a commercial directional
antenna, FCC Rules require you to keep a copy of the manufacturer’s gain
specifications in your station records. If you built the directional antenna
yourself, you must calculate the gain and keep the results in your station
records.
40 Meters
7.025-7.125 MHz : CW, RTTY/Data
7.125-7.300 MHz:: CW, Phone, Image
30 Meters – Maximum power, 200 watts PEP
10.100-10.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
20 Meters
14.025 -14.150 MHz CW, RTTY/Data
14.175 -14.350 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
 
17 Meters
18.068-18.110 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
18.110-18.168 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
15 Meters
21.025-21.200 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
21.225-21.450 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
12 Meters
24.890-24.930 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
24.930-24.990 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
10 Meters
28.000-28.300 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
28.300-29.700 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
6 Meters
50.0-50.1 MHz: CW Only
50.1-54.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
2 Meters
144.0-144.1 MHz: CW Only
144.1-148.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
 
1.25 Meters
219-220 MHz to amateur use on a secondary basis.
222.00-225.00 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
70 Centimeters
420.0-450.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
33 Centimeters
902.0-928.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
23 Centimeters
1240-1300 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
 
Higher Frequencies:
2300-2310 MHz
2390-2450 MHz
3300-3500 MHz
5650-5925 MHz
10.0-10.5 GHz
24.0-24.25 GHz
47.0-47.2 GHz
76.0-81.0 GHz – 76-77 GHz has been suspended
122.25 -123.00 GHz
134-141 GHz
241-250 GHz
All above 300 GHz
AMATEUR EXTRA CLASS:
160 Meters
1.800-2.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, RTTY/Data
 
80 Meters
3.500-3.600 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
3.600-4.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
60 Meters – 100w ERP
5330.5 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
5346.5 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
5357.0 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
5371.5 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
5403.5 Khz – USB phone1 and CW/RTTY/data
Amateurs are permitted to operate on five frequency channels, each having an
effective bandwidth of 2.8 kHz.
These frequencies are available for use by stations having a control
operator holding a General, Advanced or Amateur Extra class license. It is
important to note that the frequencies shown above are suppressed carrier
frequencies – the frequencies that appear in your transceiver’s tuning
display when your transceiver is in the USB mode.
Amateurs may transmit with an effective radiated power of 100 W or less,
relative to a half-wave dipole. If you’re using a commercial directional
antenna, FCC Rules require you to keep a copy of the manufacturer’s gain
specifications in your station records. If you built the directional antenna
yourself, you must calculate the gain and keep the results in your station
records.
 
40 Meters
7.000-7.125 MHz : CW, RTTY/Data
7.125-7.300 MHz:: CW, Phone, Image
30 Meters – 200 watts PEP.
10.100-10.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
 
20 Meters
14.000 – 14.150 MHz CW, RTTY/Data
14.150 -14.350 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
 
17 Meters
18.068-18.110 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
18.110-18.168 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
15 Meters
21.000-21.200 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
21.200-21.450 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
12 Meters
24.890-24.930 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
24.930-24.990 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
10 Meters
28.000-28.300 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
28.300-29.700 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
6 Meters
50.0-50.1 MHz: CW Only
50.1-54.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
2 Meters
144.0-144.1 MHz: CW Only
144.1-148.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
 
1.25 Meters
219-220 MHz to amateur use on a secondary basis.
222.00-225.00 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
70 Centimeters
420.0-450.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
33 Centimeters
902.0-928.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
23 Centimeters
1240-1300 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
 
Higher Frequencies:
2300-2310 MHz
2390-2450 MHz
3300-3500 MHz
5650-5925 MHz
10.0-10.5 GHz
24.0-24.25 GHz
47.0-47.2 GHz
76.0-81.0 GHz – 76-77 GHz has been suspended
122.25 -123.00 GHz
134-141 GHz
241-250 GHz
All above 300 GHz
73 🙂
I’m Don Rima and that’s the way I see it, from where I stand…