Just how BIG is Big Data? Some fun internet facts

Ah, the internet… It’s big. Really, really BIG.

We don’t often think about these things, but just how much storage space is needed for the internet to go?

What kind of power is needed to make Google googley?

How on earth does YouTube store and process all that crazy video data?

Join Cletus and me for a look at some fun facts and statistics about YouTube, Google, and the internet as a whole!

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Is Firefox Content Blocking screwed up?

Recently, Mozilla introduced a fabulous new feature to Firefox: Content Blocking!

The idea is that Firefox will automagically block the tracking processes of web sites to increase your privacy.

By default, this tracking should only be enabled in Private Browsing Mode, which makes sense. You don’t want everyone’s web site experiences to be suddenly broken.

One minor detail: It appears that for many people, “broken” is exactly what Content Blocking is…

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Big Data, spying, & 5G pushers: Who are THEY??

We hear a lot of about “THEY”. Big data violates our privacy, new potentially dangerous tech like 5G is pushed by “them”, and so on.

But just who is this “they“, anyway?

It turns out, the answer is: It’s complicated!

The best place to look is the big data/spying nonsense. The real history of the internet gives a pretty good idea of just how it all works.

When you lump greedy CEOs together with power-hungry (and often paranoid) politicians, and then toss in some Tech Evangelists for good measure, you get exactly what we have today…

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Roll your own Router with OpenWrt – but not with a Turris

Everyone has a home router, whether they know it or not.

For most of us, our router is the DSL / Cable / Fiber “box” given to us by our ISP.

You can, of course, add your own home router in between your home network and your ISP’s box. This provides an extra level of safety – among other things.

Those of us who are a bit more techie (and crazy) like to roll our own router. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is security.

Unfortunately, not all routers are created equal, even when they’re “created” by you!

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GPS vs Smartphones: Which is better?

These days, everyone just uses their smartphone for GPS navigation.

GPS is also present in most cars.

In the olden days, we had dedicated GPS gizmos for navigating. You can still grab a GPS-only device these days – and for fewer bucks than you might think.

But is it worth it to have a dedicated GPS?

It turns that yes, it is… For quite a few reasons, actually, not the least of which is simple privacy.

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Just how EVIL is Chinese tech?

We hear a lot these days about China and the E-vils of their techie toys.

Obviously, there is also a lot of political nonsense going on here given China’s economic rise on the world stage. But how bad are Chinese toys – really?

I mean, everything is Made in China anyway, right?

Join Cletus and I for a fascinating look behind the tech curtain! Iron curtain? Red curtain? Some kind of curtain!

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How to manually Shuffle music files on your not-fancy MP3 player

Shuffle your MP3 files

Bluetooth speakers are pretty popular these days. Unfortunately, I don’t carry a smartphone around with me.

That means my “wireless speaker” is actually an Anker SoundCube Mini – complete with microSD card for storing and playing all my MP3 files. No smartphone or Bluetooth required!

There’s just one problem: portable speakers like the SoundCube Mini don’t have a shuffle mode. They just read the music files off the SD card, and play them in order.

That means I have to shuffle the files myself, which is easier said than done… Until now!

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How to use Ethernet for your Smartphone or Tablet

Ethernet for smartphones and tablets

Many people have asked me how to use ethernet instead of WiFi with their tablet or smartphone.

While the idea is simple enough, getting ethernet to actually work with your gizmo can be anything but easy…

Some devices simply won’t work with certain USB-Ethernet dongles, and other devices won’t work at all with any dongle – period.

So, the short answer is: it’s complicated!

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VICTORY! Reactivate Windows 10 after a hardware upgrade

Windows 10 Reactivation after hardware upgrade: CONQUERED!

Regular readers are aware that I have been doing battle with re-activating Windows 10 after performing numerous major upgrades on various puters.

I had another opportunity recently to upgrade yet another machine… This time, the entire computer was replaced – except the graphics card and power supply.

Once again, I was confronted with an activation error after the upgrade.

Out of desperation, I tried something crazy… and it WORKED!

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