Quick Bytes News – January 2017

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Spammed Again?

 

To me SPAM is a response to success, and rather as in nature the  success I mention is like that of when a successful system becomes established that enables a species to improve on their prospects.

And then WHAM along comes the inevitable parasite specie that feeds off it somehow … evolution or just a pain where its not wanted!

So the parasitised specie has to develop a protective response or be consumed into oblivion, such is the way of these things it seems.

Now, to get to why this is relevant.

 

Along came email and enabled millions to communicate rapidly and en-masse to each other and naturally along came scamsters, thieves, bullies etc with their SPAM.

The imuno-response by the email system was to introduce Spam filters which work … mostly … but inevitably some ‘friendly fire’ casualties do happen which is the legitimate emails sent to you that are mistakenly trapped in your recipients spam trap. Often they don’t check to see if its there and so remain unaware that they have missed your email. Luckily this is a relatively rare event in the big picture but sometimes it might matter to see an email that is trapped.

 

So what can you do?

Google Mail (Gmail) has a long established reputation for having an effective spam trap that at times can be over zealous in its efforts. I show this email provider as my example because it is a very prominent player.

So if you know of senders to your Gmail mailbox who’s emails you would be particularly interested in seeing reliably then you can take a few simple pro-active steps to ensure you always allow through emails from that sender.

It goes like this;

Log into your Gmail account using your web browser (Edge, Firefox, Chrome, IceDragon etc)

Click on the ‘Show Search” options (a downward-pointing triangle in your Gmail’s Search field box.

Find the persons email address that you want to allow in your White list under the “From” listing.
Now select it to add it.

Multiple Selections
You do not have to create a separate filter for each address.
Separate addresses with an ‘|’ character in the “From” field instead.
Example:- To whitelist both “jenny@example.com” and Jelani@example.com”, enter “jenny@example.com|jelani@example.com”

To White List an entire Domain.

To whitelist an entire domain (all mail from an address ending in “aboutguide.com”, for example), type only the domain name or the domain name preceded by the ‘@’ character.

e.g. To whitelist “aboutguide.com”, type “@aboutguide.com” (not including the quotation marks).

Follow the Create filter with this search ›› link at the bottom of the search sheet.

Finally –  Do ensure the “Never send it to Spam” option is checked.

Now click “Create Filter”

DONE.

Naturally there are many other email providers who’s systems also allow you to establish a WhiteList similarly. All you need to do to find out how to do this for your particular one is to do a web search using the words …

“How to Whitelist a Sender or Domain in < e.g.Yahoo mail etc>”  (exclude the quote marks and squared brackets)

Obviously this only will work when your email recipients take these steps to help your emails to reach them, you cannot do it for them so please do feel free to send this article to them and just to ensure they do see it maybe phone or text them to say you have sent it so its not lost in their ‘Spam’ folder.

The link to reach it is:-    https://itsupportstroud.site/2017/01/05/quick-bytes-news-january-2017/   (copy paste it into your text or email to them)


vlc

Play it Again – VLC!

VLC is an abbreviation of  VideoLAN Client and this often unsung and free little hero application that has been around for a very long time and constantly improved with new features that are actually useful. And it is available on every operating system worth mention including smartphone OS’s!

It is from the ‘Open Sourced’ community of programme developers and these people have a long deserved reputation for producing software which is needed and useful, which in my view makes a nice alternative from the unnecessary feature-trivial, obese bloat-ware of paid vendors.

A useful short article on VLC’s many good uses is here

I have used it for years and must admit I didn’t know them all! Mostly I use it for listening to Radio Caroline or Classic Rock online radio stations, what are your choices of favourite music?

To download it I recommend getting it only from its original source as adware packed copies have been known to exist from those ‘downloads’ websites who make money by bundling up good software with their sponsors junkware.

You can Download VLC from here


mint

Linux Mint – Fast, Free to use, and much like Windows 7

 

Linux Mint is really proving itself these days!

And just like the VLC player above it is made and supported by an ‘Open Source’ community of programmers and so its provided free to use!

I have been testing it and trying out procedures on it to see how easily it could be used in substitute of Windows 7 which as you may know has nearly 3 more years of updates available from Microsoft remaining.

So its not panic time yet by far but unless you are happy to use the tiled and over colourfully activated  ‘App Happy’ desktop of Windows 8.x or 10 (which I see as like using an interface built by Fisher Price for kids!) then take a look at Linux Mint.

By comparison you can have a sensible attractive interface that has the , square and X placed in the top right of all windows just like in Windows 7. It also has a start button and programme listing that makes sense and is not trying to flog you junk and games when trying to use it!

Mint comes preloaded with the Firefox browser, LibreOffice (like MS Office and works with its data files), Thunderbird email client and the other useful apps for Video, Audio and more and you can add more applications yourself through its own Software Manager interface.

Try before you Jump!

And you don’t have to jump entirely into it unprepared either, it can run well in a Virtual Machine that runs inside Windows and so you can try it out and become confident using it before you need to make the change over. I use Oracle VirtualBox and guess what! That is free as well!

You can see more about Linux Mint here


And finally I use this opportunity to mention that I can also work on your telephone wiring to add a new extension or maybe to tidy it up or remove old wiring. I can also work with network cabling perhaps to help those of you unnerved by the concerning views of WiFi health  effects and Lloyds of London refusing to insure against them. (see point No 6 here)

I can provide guidance and solutions to mitigate your exposure to WiFi as best as possible, please do ask.

 

Happy New Year

 

Greg

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Quick Bytes News – Supplemental – November 2015

Observations from a meeting I attended concerning Electronic Hypersensitivity Effects on Humans from WiFi (RF) Transmissions in the Home or Office. 14-11-2015.

I have written this article mid-month instead of waiting until the onset of December which we all know as the month of buying and receiving gifts because this article may influence how you, the reader does this.

I write this because I attended an important talk last weekend which highlighted the sheer scale of radio emitting devices which now exist in many homes and these emit concerning levels of microwave frequencies into your living spaces.

Radio Frequency emissions (RF) do not travel in a line from a transmitting device to the receiving device, they radiate in all directions and so will inevitably contact human and other living bodies within the radio range of their design. As we all know now any street in the UK is also a veritable bath of emitted radio signals from all of the communication devices in buildings and carried by millions of us on our person every day.


So whats all the Noise about?

As I understand it, ‘the noise’ is about the large gap between the official safe limit for human exposure to microwave energy emissions and the one measured by medical professionals and the insurance industry’s own risk assessments. Outdated standards of safety that are still in use, state that harm is not caused unless heating of the body happens as a result of exposure to RF emissions, and these standards were written before our current knowledge of the harmful effects on human living tissue and its cellular structures were as well known as they are today.

Manufacturers of the devices emitting microwave signals will put disclaimers with the devices they sell in very small print in its box, knowing that no one reads the small print as they rush to use the new device.

Insurers avoid litigation by excluding any harm caused from devices from insurances, so they do know and yet the sales of these devices romps on regardless. User beware!

Devices we Use

Baby Alarms and Monitors, Door Bells, Blue Tooth headsets, Wireless Mice & Keyboards, Wireless Thermostats, Bluetooth in Cars, Utilities installed Smart Meters (Electric, Gas and Water), Laptops, Smart Phones and Tablets and the list grows constantly.


Why the Concerns?

“The World Health Orgnaisation (WHO) / International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Classified RF as a Group 2 B ‘Possible Human Carcinogen” (2011). Despite this, there has been no attempt in the UK at disseminating this important information to the public”.

I will not try to explain why medical professionals and scientists are alarmed at the rapidly increasing harmful effects being reported by doctors, but I do understand that because we human beings are bio organisms that are little different from other aninal species, we in common with them have never evolved to live in a smog of electromagnetic microwave emissions.

It seems inevitable to me that at least some sensitive groups will be affected by microwave RF especially when exposed on a constant basis, and that some will be more seriously affected than others. Naturally the weaker are more vulnerable, the young especially because microwave signals penetrate their thin skulls more easily than adults thicker skulls if using devices against the head such as phones and bluetooth headsets..

The full detailed document giving details of medical and other studies is here. Its a long and detailed read but because safety controls are behind the wide scale deployment of devices inside our homes it is worth at least a quick scan over.


Avoidance

You can try avoiding having too much in your living space where remember, you are the ones in charge as an important first step.

Naturally some RF will enter your living spaces from nearby buildings and cellphone towers but those generally won’t be as energy intense because of increased distance.

  • Refuse Smart Meter installations, you have the right to do this! From recorded data it has been found that these meters emit RF energy in very high powered bursts that are much higher energy than any device in your home.

    They have to get their signal out beyond your home to receiving stations and so the energy bursts they emit will be designed to get there through any walls or people in the way. And yes, they emit radially in all directions! They have been identified as fire hazards in homes in the USA by many fire departments so insurance cover may be hard to get.

  • Use wired device connections where ever possible instead of WiFi, this can be achieved by using wires directly to the device from the router, or you could use your homes/offices power ring main to carry the signal using Powerline plugs which are not expensive. Once those are in place the routers and the devices WiFi can be disabled.

  • Usage Habit changes – Try keeping any active WiFi enabled devices you retain in use switched off  (or in airplane mode) or well away from sleeping inhabitants or close to where people or pets spend long periods resting such as lounges or beds. The greater the distance between peoples bodies and RF devices, the better.

  • Disable the 3G or 4G when not in use as well as the WiFi, those G’s are very powerful and only are used when you are emailing or browsing the web. You can buy wired headsets which allow you to use the phone with it away from your body, so reducing your exposure to the highest energy density levels when in use.

  • Tablets were mentioned as always using maximum power transmissions (unlike smart phones) so can be more harmful.

Source:- http://www.iemfa.org/wp-content/pdf/Mallery-Blythe-v1-EESC.pdf

If you wish for PC Techniques to assist you with any technical changes to your systems do give me a call.