It would be hard to throw this water heater robot away …

Posted By on March 29, 2017

Passwords and protecting your digital data

Posted By on March 29, 2017

We all struggle with ease of use and security when using a computer and online services … what’s the best way?

passwordeasy

That’s likely a debatable question since we want easy access, but don’t want our data compromised – "how easy is too easy?" What we do know is that a simple or "no" password is a prescription for trouble. In the early days, when computers were not connected to the Internet, having a relatively simple 6 digit password that accessed your computer on "boot up" was sufficient for most users. Nowadays, computers and devices are online all the time, networks are interconnected an open to attack even though we don’t know the attempts are happening. Apps, software downloads, thumb drives, SD cards, etc can have malware designed to log keystrokes or open ports to malicious users from halfway around the world … and to add to that, the "Internet of Things" (IoT) trend has 100s of devices now all wanted access to the same network we use everyday.

So the least we can do is adopt safe practices to secure each device … and that starts with multiple secure passwords for each device and sites that are changed once in a while.

Maybe a few "don’t do" thoughts (below) and consider a password keeper IF you think how you manage your own passwords is questionable when it comes to secure practices.

These passwords will get you hacked

Earlier this year, security firm Keeper found that the most common password across the globe was 123456. The firm analyzed millions of leaked passwords. Other top-ranked secret codes were hardly more secure. They included 12345678, 123456789 and 1234567890.

The third most popular password was “qwerty,” which is the first six keys on the top left row of the computer keyboard. Far too many people use the remarkably unimaginative password 111111. And many others can unlock their accounts by just punching in seven 7s in a row.

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Recalculations, cabinet modification and flaws

Posted By on March 28, 2017

The kitchen remodeling hit a snag today as the custom cabinet that was suppose to fit the new Bosch double-oven was way off. KitchenProjectOven170327I’m not sure why it was off because the specifications sheet for the oven was sent to the manufacture, but it wasn’t even close. The "fix" is that the installer will butcher (my term) the new cabinet instead of having the shop factory build an entirely new  "box" built. Supposedly this is "normal" ???

QuestionableJoints170325

Unfortunately the size miscalculation has also impacted the electrical switch for the disposal and existing drain under the sink (probably fixable). Hopefully with some trimming of fillers, we might be able to make it all work?

My final "nit" is that a couple of the doors and draws have some imperfections. Again, they say this is normal, but I would have preferred a little bit of quality control before shipping dovetails that look like this (left). A black-eye for the company … although before naming the company, I’ll see how they handle my complaint (archiving initial alignment  below, which I’m sure will be adjusted).

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Mood enhancing photos – Sunsets and Annalyn

Posted By on March 27, 2017

Every once in a while a nice sunset can brighten my mood. The rain gave way to a beautiful sunset on Sunday night just as I was passing over IMG_8245I-75 near our home. Of course a sunset is not the only thing that brightens my mood!

AnnalynFaceEyesSmile170326s

Music Monday: Rocket Man recorded in the bluegrass sound

Posted By on March 27, 2017

What do you get when you mix 1960s space history, some classic 1972 Elton John music and a twist of Bluegrass flair? Rocket Man with banjos and country harmony! Good stuff.

So much for economical tax preparation software this year

Posted By on March 26, 2017

Two years ago, Intuit’s Turbo Tax software tried their "money grab" in attempted to strong-arming their long-time and new customers into paying substantial more to use their software to file their 2014 taxes. TaxAct1yrPriceJump170325The CEO took to the Internet and made an apology and stepped up to Intuit’s greedy "mistake." One would think that competitors might have learned from such "mistake" … NOPE, not in the case for TaxAct (the company I switched to after the gouging attempt by Intuit). This year, there has not been the same outrage, likely because it impacts only their download products and TaxAct is a smaller company, but a quick glance shows me a similar money grab (click image right – which doesn’t even include an additional $19.99 state filing for 2016!). For those comparing … it will cost me nearly twice as much for the same packages as last year!

To be fair, TaxCut has lowered prices on their online offerings, so IF you are able to use them, you may save a few dollars, but if you want downloads and prefer working off-line, look out! 

I double checked to be sure I was comparing "apples to apples" and that the prices have been jacked up … and below was their 3/25/2017 email answer … in short "YES":

Dear TaxAct® Customer,

As part of our continued efforts to provide you with the best possible products and experience, we’ve made a few changes for the upcoming tax season; which affected the pricing of our current products. These changes have resulted in some customers paying more than in prior years, many also pay less or nothing at all. 

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Every Vloging sailor needs a friend and a schtick

Posted By on March 25, 2017

Just when you think you’ve heard and read it all when it comes to sailing and telling the story … Guirec Soudée and his chicken Monique goes one step further. Crazy.

The adventure of Monique & Guirec

Our adventure is going global! Thank you all for your support!

Notre aventure se mondialise! Merci à tous pour votre soutient!

Posted by Guirec Soudée Adventure on Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.