Rich

Blackphone, Phil Zimmermann, Geeksphone, Knox Security, Samsung 840 EVO-500GB, SED-self-encrypting hard drive, cpu-world.com – RRPG026

Jim and I discuss the soon-to-be-released Blackphone – product of a collaborative effort between Phil Zimmermann (PGP) and Geeksphone. This is their way of taking back privacy for consumers in wake of the NSA revelations. We also talk about Knox Security for the GS4, the SED technology found in Samsung’s 840 EVO 500GB SSD, hacked Internet-connected appliances, McAfee’s rebranding by Intel which is a good idea considering snafu’s McAfee has had in the past which includes a virus definition update that quarantined a critical Windows system file rendering the OS unbootable, and more. Listen Mobile: Intel ditches McAfee name for Intel Security The McAfee brand name will be replaced by Intel Security, according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. Considering some of the snafus McAfee has had over the years and the fact that it has long been associated with bloatware and actually breaking computers, this is probably the best this that could happen. If you hadn’t already heard, John McAfee is currently a person of interest in a year-old murder in Belize. He’s also done a nsfw YouTube video making fun of uninstalling McAfee AntiVirus software –    You heard me say the video is nsfw, right? You’ve been warned! Blackphone SilentCircle (Phil Zimmermann of PGP fame) & Geeksphone have teamed up to create the soon-to-be-released BlackPhone, an Android-based smartphone which uses the PrivatOS operating system. The OS features built-in, continuous encryption for voice communications, email, messaging, and other user data. This is one company’s answer to all the NSA snooping that’s been going on. Read more here: GS4 – Knox Security The last major AT&T OTA update on my Galaxy S4 smartphone included Knox Security which could neither be disabled nor uninstalled. Knox Security is aimed at the enterprise and is intended to make Android phones safe for the workplace. Knox says it adds a layer of security between business apps and your personal apps. Knox described this as ‘containerization’. That’s all well and fine except the program currently sports a security flaw that gives hackers ‘easy’ access to communications data, email, messaging, and other personal info. Of course… Also part of Knox Security is Customizable Secure Boot which prevents any alteration to the ROM. No root for you! I’ve been using CPU World as a nice alternative to I’ve found the easiest way to use the site is to do a google search like this: i7-2600 vs i7-4770 CPU World gives you a ton of various metrics and benchmark comparisons. Samsung 840 EVO – 500GB SED – self-encrypting drive hardware-based encryption w/o the overhead of software-based encryption transparent to the user technology is not new; previously available with spinning drives MEK – media encryption key which is always active KEK – key encryption key – this is optional. When set, the user must provide the KEK before the boot process can continue Once set, if you destroy the KEK, all drive data is permanently permanently encrypted, thus safe from prying eyes. No need to run DBAN for hours! Check out this great article about SED technology at ComputerWeekly: How does an SED work? The encryption key used in SEDs is called the Media Encryption Key (MEK). Locking and unlocking a drive requires another key, called the Key Encryption Key (KEK) supplied by the user (or the platform, or the network). As the name implies, the KEK is used to encrypt or decrypt the MEK. The KEK is never stored in plaintext inside the drive. If no KEK is set, the drive is always unlocked and appears not to be encrypting even though it is. If a KEK is set, the drive will power up locked until the correct KEK is given to the drive by the user. preview expires I was caught off guard by the expiration of preview, but since then I’ve installed the full version of so I’m good to go. While I know this is not a new feature, I used ’s built-in ability to mount ISO’s for the first time so I could install Office 2013. The ISO appeared as a disc in a new DVD drive in Windows Explorer. Cool. A shout out to… I picked up a new (used) i7-2600 system (mobo, proc, hsf) from pcdoc, Mike Faucher. It was a great deal on some great equipment. Thanks, Mike!   – Rich   Rich’s RPG is a podcast hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil in Google+ Hangout. We talk tech with like–minded folks, covering stuff that’s interesting to us. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. And we welcome newcomers. Got your headset and a bit of free time? Join us on the show by contacting us at: or Facebook Page: Facebook Group: Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network. Podcast intro and exit music is used by permission from “In the Shadow of the Great Machine” by Fool’s Chaos. Hear more great tunes at Fool’s Chaos.
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Rich

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, OCZ Bankruptcy, Buy The Right Tablet!, DNS Explained, nslookup, TestDisk, Thoughts on Google Glass & Privacy – RRPG025

  Black Friday, Cyber Monday, OCZ Bankruptcy, Buy The Right Tablet!, DNS Explained, nslookup, TestDisk, Thoughts on Google Glass & Privacy – RRPG025Kevin Schoonover(@schoondoggy1979) joins Jim (@jcollison) and Rich O’Neil (@dvn7) for RRPG #25. We’re all over the map on this one as you can tell by the title of the article. Kevin’s been coming up with a lot of great online deals and posting them in the Home Server Show forums. Listen Mobile: Kevin’s notes: Determine your needs before you buy anything – server, laptop, PC, tablet. Don’t assume anything, do your research! STec was acquired, OCZ files, who will be next? This weeks project 1: My wife is moving from an Android phone to a Windows phone This weeks project 2: Setup three Nest Protect CO detectors in our home Post BF Deals Jim – Slacking today Rich’s notes Consumer SSD giant OCZ files for bankruptcy! Problems with Vertex line (and other things??) was downfall. Toshiba to acquire?? Read it here: – recover deleted partitions:  did I accidentally delete a partition about 2 hours before the show?? yup and did TestDisk restore that partition in about a minute?? yup It’s been around for years. Rock solid, IMO.   From my Intro to Networking class at University of Southern Maine: DNS – Domain Naming System My write-up: Fun things to do with nslookup type nslookup at the command prompt and press Enter then try each of these switches and see what you get when you do a nslookup on a site: set type=CNAME set type=MX set type=NS set type= AAAA Still using for additional lessons on networking Free through my school’s connection with Microsoft’s Dreamspark Otherwise – $29/$49 per month Google Glass – Is it weird? Creepy? Are you concerned about privacy? Multiple VM instances of Spinrite running in my WS2012E machine ripped the disk to ISO and built vm’s on that ikon, watch out!   – Rich Rich’s RPG is a podcast hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil in Google+ Hangout. We talk tech with like–minded folks, covering stuff that’s interesting to us. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. And we welcome newcomers. Got your headset and a bit of free time? Join us on the show by contacting us at: or Facebook Page: Facebook Group: Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network. Podcast intro and exit music is used by permission from “In the Shadow of the Great Machine” by Fool’s Chaos. Hear more great tunes at Fool’s Chaos.
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Talking About Phones – Windows Phone 8, Nokia Lumia 928, Nokia Lumia 520 , Samsung Galaxy S4, Verizon, Best Buy Mobile, Microsoft Store – RRPG024

Verizon Window Phones – Nokia Lumia 928 & 520 Kyle Wilcox and Eddie Ramirez join Jim Collison and me to talk about smartphones, specifically a couple of Windows phones from Verizon – the Nokia Lumia 928 and Nokia Lumia 520. We don’t go into all the features as much as hit upon some key points to compare and contrast with the Samsung Galaxy S4 which Jim and I are both using. Kyle, Best Buy Mobile guy, talks about customers and what they consider to be important to them. Everyone’s different, so it’s not a one size fits all solution as Jim keeps reminding me. Kyle has been working at Best Buy for 4+ years and he shares his knowledge, insight, and passion for phone technology. Listen Mobile:   Microsoft Store and Verizon’s 14-day return policy I picked up a Nokia Lumia 928 at the Microsoft store in Indianapolis, IN after the 3rd annual Home Server Show meetup. It was a sweet deal at $0 plus they threw in a $50 gift card which covered the cost of a wireless charger. But coming from the Android environment is not so easy, and after a week of really trying to adapt, I ended up returning the phone and cancelling the Verizon contract. Surprisingly, I was not able to do that at my local Verizon store here in Portland, Maine. Since I had gotten the phone from a Microsoft Store, I had to travel 2+ hours to the one nearest me in Burlington, MA. (Thank goodness I they didn’t make me fly out to Indie.) At the Microsoft store, it turned out to be quite a complicated process for them to take the phone back, but after nearly and hour and a half, the phone had officially been returned. However, voiding the Verizon 2-yr. contract took some more doing, and at one point, the mall’s Verizon store manager walked into the Microsoft store to sort it out with them. Everyone was as cool, calm and pleasant as could be the whole time, but it took just over 2 hours to get through the process. Lessons learned? Buy local, of course! – Rich Rich’s RPG is a podcast hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil in Google+ Hangout. We talk tech with like–minded folks, covering stuff that’s interesting to us. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. And we welcome newcomers. Got your headset and a bit of free time? Join us on the show by contacting us at: or Facebook Page: Facebook Group: Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network. Podcast intro and exit music is used by permission from “In the Shadow of the Great Machine” by Fool’s Chaos. Hear more great tunes at Fool’s Chaos.
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Rich

Talking About WordPress – WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org, Windows Live Writer, BlueHost.com, DreamHost.com, VPS, Blogs & Blogging, Plugins & Templates – RRPG023

  vs. Jim and I discuss WordPress, the free blogging software that makes it easy for anyone start their own web site with freely–available site templates and plugins. Jim is the experienced one having set up and run his WordPress–based web site for the last few years now. I’m just a beginner who’s recently set up a blog so I can post some of my tech–related articles and stuff. At this point, I want to use my site as a sort of catch–all where I can post some work–related articles as well as personal tech notes and scribblings that I’ll revise over time. Listen Mobile: Jim talks about the WP plugins he uses and a number of other WP–related items. It’s good stuff and a lot of it, coming from an experienced web site administrator who’s been at it for a while. There are two types of WordPress sites – one from  which WordPress themselves hosts for you, and one from which you must provide hosting for. Our friend and fellow podcaster Christian Johnson hosts which is based on for Jim on a VPS. Jim uses because it’s more flexible. It allows him the site folders via FTP and he can get at the CSS if he needs to. allows neither of these things, but that’s ok. It’s really meant to be more first–time user friendly. A little bit of HTML knowledge can be useful, but it isn’t necessary. Windows Live Writer sees to that. Windows Live Writer for Editing For writing and editing our WordPress sites, Jim and I both use Windows Live Writer which is part of the Windows Essentials package. I’ve used it for these RRPG posts, but apparently now that I’m running my own blog, I’m trying to do too much with it or at least more than it was intended for. Jim talks me off that ledge, suggesting that I need to simplify my formatting approach and kind of let Live Writer have control. Jim’s right, of course. It makes sense and I’ll change my approach going forward. A head’s up about Window Live Writer… It crashes. Occasionally. <sad trombone> And it’s a bit unnerving when it happens, but then it always seems to pick right up where it was before the crash. Just so you know. Recommended Hosting Providers For hosting, the guys in live chat during the show recommended either of these two providers: – Rich Rich’s RPG is a podcast hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil in Google+ Hangout. We talk tech with like–minded folks, covering stuff that’s interesting to us. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. And we welcome newcomers. Got your headset and a bit of free time? Join us on the show by contacting us at: or Facebook Page: Facebook Group: Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network. Podcast intro and exit music is used by permission from “In the Shadow of the Great Machine” by Fool’s Chaos. Hear more great tunes at Fool’s Chaos
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Choosing a laptop for Rich, Windows 8, Intel Haswell, Iris Graphics, HD 5200, LGA 1150 socket, On-Die Voltage Regulator, ASUS VivoBook, Ultrabooks – RRPG022

The guys from Home Tech Podcast show #117 hang around post-show to help me, Rich O’Neil, figure out what to buy as a replacement for my 2 1/2-year old $199 Acer Aspire 5251-1317 laptop. The cheap little laptop has been holding its own, especially since I had I installed an SSD in it, but the screen is beginning to die and I don’t know if I’m going to replace it. Besides, it really doesn’t have enough power to run virtual machines well, something I occasionally require for testing and  schoolwork. Listen Mobile:   The guys and I talk about hardware and choice of OS – Windows 7 or Windows 8. If I’m going with W8,  they recommend getting the touchscreen so I can experience Windows 8 in all it’s glory. I agree. I also like the fact that W8’s Hyper-V feature makes working with virtual machines fairly easy. It’s nice to have a decent alternative to VirtualBox. As far as when to pull the trigger on a purchase, Michael Martis suggests waiting until Haswell, Intel’s newest CPU series, arrives next month on June 3rd or 4th. It’s a good idea and I think I’ll wait. The decreased power consumption by itself is reason enough – Intel is claiming at least 20x power consumption improvement over Ivy Bridge. But Intel is also claiming up to a 2x boost in graphics performance with support for 4k video. Whoa! I guess it’s a tough time right now to be in the market for a new laptop. Having said that, Martis recommends the ASUS VivoBook X202E-DH31T ” Touch Laptop he recently picked up from his local Best Buy, and Jim Collison snaps up one of these from Amazon after the show. For $399, it’s a really nice, tight little laptop with touchscreen included. But I cannot deal with an screen. Ultrabooks with SSD caching and a ” touchscreen are an interesting thought. Maybe I’ll look for a Haswell proc in one of those? Anyway, thanks to the guys for giving me good stuff to think about and letting me bounce some of my thoughts off them. – Rich Rich’s RPG is a podcast hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil in Google+ Hangout. We talk tech with like-minded folks, covering stuff that’s interesting to us. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. And we welcome newcomers. Got your headset and a bit of free time? Join us on the show by contacting us Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison If you have a product or a topic you would like us to discuss, please tag your articles in Delicious using the tag “TheAverageGuy“. Check out other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Podcast intro and exit music is used by permission from “In the Shadow of the Great Machine” by Fool’s Chaos. Hear more great tunes at Fool’s Chaos’
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Interview with John Horton,USM EE Student Turned Theatre Major: MadMapper, HTTPS Everywhere, Wireshark & WinPcap, Metasploit, Forrest M. Mims, Packet Radio – RRPG021

This week on Rich’s Random Podcast Generator, we’re joined by John Horton, a University of Southern Maine theatre major on the Gorham campus who’s involved in the technical aspects of theatre. John grew up in a hi-tech household. His dad was a MIT grad who worked as a design engineer for DEC, and later Intel. John was breadboarding basic circuits as a child – flip-flop, 555 timer IC, etc. – and picking up whatever else he could from Forrest M. Mims‘ instructional books originally sold by Radio Shack. Listen Mobile:   John talks about acquiring some old computers from dad’s work place and building a network environment with machines running Unix, Linux, Apache, Mac, and Windows. He learned how to get these machines to work together, and then learned about system vulnerabilities and pen-testing with Metasploit. As we talk with John about Wireshark (and WinPcap), the subject of the Chrome and Firefox plugin HTTPS Everywhere comes up as a way to protect oneself against traffic sniffing. The discussion inevitably branches to the topic of antivirus/malware protection and security in general. HOSTS files rule!? I did mention that John is a Theatre major involved in the tech side of things, didn’t I?  USM’s last play production of the year – Orlando – will feature scenery created with projection mapping. Instead of painting scenery forms to look like buildings, living rooms or what have you, the scene shop crew paints the forms with a special projection paint – an off-white paint with glass beads. Then the forms are illuminated by video projector(s) with scenery images or video. The video projectors are controlled by MadMapper, a program that maps the images or video to conform to the shape of the forms. This will be very exciting to see, and see it I will as I regularly attend opening nights of all USM plays. -Rich Rich’s RPG is a podcast hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil in Google+ Hangout. We talk tech with like-minded folks, covering stuff that’s interesting to us. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. And we welcome newcomers. Got your headset and a bit of free time? Join us on the show by contacting us at: Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison If you have a product or a topic you would like us to discuss, please tag your articles in Delicious using the tag “TheAverageGuy“. Check out other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Podcast intro and exit music is used by permission from “In the Shadow of the Great Machine” by Fool’s Chaos. Hear more great tunes at Fool’s Chaos’
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Rich’s Random Podcast Generator: LastPass with Amber Gott – Online Password Security, Multi-factor Authentication, One-Time Passwords, Phone Apps, LastPass Security Challenge – RRPG020

“The Last Password You’ll Have to Remember!” Amber Gott, Online Community Manager for joins Jim and Rich to talk about online password management and security. Online security has always been a hot topic, and it’s only going to be more so as time goes on. With that in mind, there’s never been a better time to look at how you’re handling your online presence, specifically the passwords you use for site logins, be it a gaming site or commerce such as Listen Mobile: To start with, people are known for using the same password across multiple sites because it’s too hard remembering all the site/password combinations. Or they have a similar reason.  Quite often, they use very simple passwords that are easily guessable. Passwords such as ‘123456’ and ‘password’ are just plain horrible choices.  Dictionary-based passwords such as ‘smellycat’ are not much better.  They’re way too obvious and lack any level of complexity that would prevent someone from cracking them. So this presents a huge security hole, one that could cause a lot of heartache, not to mention significant financial loss. And yes, this stuff really happens. Every single day! This is where LastPass comes in. LastPass is a secure password manager that integrates with your favorite web browser for the purpose of managing online sites and passwords. It stores those sites and passwords in an encrypted vault which you alone can access. All that’s required of you is to remember a single master password. And while you’re at it, you really ought to make it a complex password, one with at least 8-characters, though longer is always better. And it ought to contain at least one each of the following: caps and lower-case alpha (A-a) numbers (0-9) special characters such as ` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ + ; : ’ ” \ / | < > so you end up with something like this: Z*&e#sDM6d9cQ …because this password is the key to your online kingdom.  Oh, and you’d best not forget it because LastPass keeps no record of your password whatsoever. That’s right.  There is no ‘answer a secret question for a password reset’ workaround.  And this is by design.  Your master password stays with you. When you type it in, it’s concatenated with your username (email address), and then hashed with SHA to create an encryption key. This is the key used to encrypt/decrypt your vault locally, , the process takes place right there on your computer.  Not online.  That means you never have to worry about someone at LastPass accessing your vault.  They wouldn’t, of course, but more than that, they can’t.  You alone hold the master password, and your key never leaves your computer. And what about credit card numbers and shipping information? Do you dislike typing out all that stuff when making an online purchase?  LastPass has you covered there. Create a new Form Fill Profile to hold such personal information as name, address, gender, birthday, SSN, credit card number, bank account routing number, and any related notes you’d like, and LastPass safely stores this alongside your passwords in the vault. LastPass offers free and paid subscription versions.  The subscription is dirt cheap at $12/year.  What do you gain?  Take a look at this comparison page, and you’ll see that phone/mobile apps are one additional feature. Yubikey support is another. Yubikey provides one of a number of ways to implement multi-factor authentication, something which provides an extra layer of security for logging into LastPass when you’re at less than ideal location such as a hotel, public library, or any open wi-fi. Is it time to secure your online life?  You bet it is.  So head over to and get started by hitting the Download LastPass button and grabbing the installer.  Once you’re done with installation and setup, take the LastPass Security Challenge.  That’ll show you just where you stand with your own online password security, and what you can do to improve it. You’re going to love the “…password manager that makes browsing easier and more secure.”   -Rich   Rich’s RPG is a podcast hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil in Google+ Hangout. We talk tech with like-minded folks, covering stuff that’s interesting to us. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. And we welcome newcomers. Got your headset and a bit of free time? Join us on the show by contacting us at: or Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison If you have a product or a topic you would like us to discuss, please tag your articles in Delicious using the tag “TheAverageGuy”. Check out other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Podcast intro and exit music is used by permission from “In the Shadow of the Great Machine” by Fool’s Chaos. Hear more great tunes at Fool’s Chaos!
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