Tuesday, March 16, 2021

RFID and Security


Destroyed credit.

Unfortunately, the number of ways this can happen keeps increasing as new technology is introduced into our lives.

The RFID chips in the credit, debit, and ATM cards that we carry in our wallets put us at risk of having our information stolen.

These Radio Frequency Identification chips are designed to make our lives easier  - no contact and transactions are processed much quicker.

The chips need a reader to capture the needed information to complete the transactions.

When we use our cards with trusted merchants, we can be assured our info is encrypted and safe with their readers.

But these readers are fairly inexpensive and when placed in the wrong hands, that's where the trouble begins.

Nefarious individuals have been known to place these readers over the trusted merchant's machines to capture our info.

We can be make ourselves aware of these instances if we pay attention, but it's the unknown lifting of our information that we need to prevent.

The pickpocket no longer needs to physically remove the wallet from the pocket these days.

He just needs to pass a reader by a wallet to capture all the credit card info he needs from the RFID chip on the cards.

Social distancing these days will help with people getting too close to do this, and there are a few other ways to block the readers from accessing the card info.

The cards can be wrapped in foil as the metal will shield them from the signals of the reader.

An RFID blocking wallet is also an option.

Wrapping your hand around the card also blocks the reader signal.

Not having the chip on your card is the most secure way to protect it.

It's hard to keep aware of everything when we're out and about in his fast paced world, so each little thing we do to protect ourselves in advance will certainly save some big headaches in the future.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Thermal Camera


Thermal imaging has been around for quite some time, but until recently, it has been unaffordable for most people.

We were lucky enough to run across a deal and were able to purchase one of these amazing units.

It is a FLIR TK Scout, and is a monocular style of thermal scope.

It has a camera and video mode to capture small resolution photos and short video clips.

There are a range of various color modes in which to view the heat profiles of objects.

As a photographer, it is the light that we chase, so it took some time to get used to looking for the heat.

Even though it looks dark in the image above, there was plenty of light when it was taken.

A dog's nose is always cold - hence the very black nose - no heat is being emitted from it.

Her eyes and face certainly loose heat as well as her chest.

The hair on her back holds in her heat more than I thought it would as Yorkiepoos tend to be colder since they don't have fur.


The chickens are really a lot more insulated than I thought they were as well.

Just their faces and feet loose heat.

The feathers do a spectacular job of keeping them warm - which is especially needed when the temps fall into the single digits.

We have skylights in our kitchen and it was surprising to see them from the outside through this scope.

We purchased this unit to bring along with us on hikes and travels so we could "see" what our eyes might be missing.

Technology gives us some added security in the woods and wherever else we may be.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Lenovo T15


After reading many reviews and putting lots of time into researching, a decision was finally made.

The Lenovo T15 Thinkpad Laptop was going to be the new addition to the office.

With so many options available, having an idea of what one is looking for in a new computer is a must.

I have been using a Lenovo G500s laptop for the last seven years, so I knew what a reliable, well put together machine that Lenovo makes

I also have been using a Dell desktop for the past nine years, and that has also been a workhorse of a machine.

The operating system hasn't changed much over this time, but the innards certainly have.

The processors are much faster which make this machine fly.

The hard drive is big enough, and the 32 GB of RAM should take us well into the future as technology grows and is always needing more.

It's very lightweight with a slim build, and the 15 inch screen is perfectly sized for viewing and portability.

But when you think about using a computer, the most important thing for the user is the amount of time spent looking at the screen.

And that's where this one shines.

It has 4K resolution.

The crispness and color of the display are just amazing.

No pixelization, no blurriness, no dullness, just sharp, vibrant, precise viewing of reports, photos, videos, and everything the internet has to offer.

It took five weeks for this machine to be built before it was shipped, but it has been certainly worth the wait.

It has a 4.8 out of 5 rating by hundreds of users, and it is easy to see why.

This little beauty will serve our home office quite well and the joy of using it is an added benefit.


Saturday, January 12, 2019

To HTTPS or Not

In the last couple of years, secure, encrypted websites are being pushed as the norm.

This isn't a bad thing for any website that uses or collects any personal, confidential, or financial information from the visitor.

It's a layer of security that is needed on the internet today.

Most browsers will indicate if a website is encrypted by a green or red warning in the URL.

In a recent study, it was found that 28% of internet users regularly look to see if they are visiting a secure website.

I picked this habit up many years ago by looking at each web address to see if it started with HTTPS.

I knew it was an encrypted site, and most likely a safe place to visit.

I just recently changed my blogger blogs over to HTTPS.

Not that it really matters on my blogs - there is no pertinent information that my visitors need to log in with or give to me.

I think it will become more of an issue with all websites as time goes on, so I'm just as glad to have it taken care of now.

Most self hosted websites, blogs, and e-commerce sites will have to have it added as an extra option - and it can get expensive to add an SSL certificate to the site.

I am seeing this on my one self hosted wordpress blog.

But since it is only a blog, I will not worry about it at this time.

 I am just appreciative that Google includes the HTTPS option on their blog hosting platforms.

It helps the website owners and their visitors to feel a bit safer.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

No Contract for Now

For years we have kept the same provider for our cell phone service.

Every two years, a new phone and a new contract.

This time around, we are making a different decision.

The phones, especially my iPhone, are in great shape, and they both still work as if they are brand new.

And with all the different ways they are offering cell phone service these days, we are taking the non-commitment path.

And we are saving quite a bit of money while getting more minutes, texts, and data.

 And because we don't need the new phones - they're making it cheaper.

This fits the bill for us at this time in our lives.

I am glad that two years ago, I went with a good phone.

I really don't see the need to upgrade to the next one - mine does all it needs to for us.

Since it is a month to month plan, we will stick with it for a bit.

If things don't change, and if we don't need to change, it should be perfect for quite a while.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Amazing 3D Printers

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Makism for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Just when you think you have seen the best that technology has to offer, something new comes along that is even more awesome.

The 3D printers have been around for a while now, and it is pretty amazing to see what they can do.

But for the ordinary user, setting one up and getting everything to work has been quite an undertaking to say the least.

But that is all about to change with the Makism 3D Printers.

The Makism 3D Products come ready to use right out of the box.

And they are just as easy to set up and use as the inkjet printers that we all currently use now.

They can be connected to the computer by a USB cord or by wifi - it doesn't get any easier than that.

These 3D Wideboy printers from the Makism 3D Corp are also a sleek, elegant addition to any home office.

When I first saw it, I was reminded of a microwave oven - it looked very unlike the printers we are all used to.


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But what it can produce is simply astounding.

There are several different materials that can be used to make the required item.

The possibilities are endless to the creations that can be made with these printers.

I can see where they will get to the point that homes that use computers regularly will have one of these printers too.

The cost of them isn't too bad either - these Wideboys range from $1500 to $4000.

As awesome as these guys are now, I can only imagine what the future holds for them as the technology improves.

Check out the Makism website to see these out of this world printers for yourself.

And don't forget to share what you learned with your friends too!







Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Logitech Mouse

I love my new laptop.

And I love the touch pad mouse.

Even though I do find it a bit too sensitive at times, and that was after setting it up with my preferences.

The biggest job I use the laptop for is for processing my images with photoshop.

After using only the touch mouse for a couple of months, I plugged in an old wired mouse to see the difference.

Of course I had much more precise control with the hand held device than the touchpad - and photoshop needs precision.

So I was off to search for a decent, comfortable mouse for this laptop.

I tried many in the store, and finally decided on a Logitech M510.

It is very comfortable in the hand - that is one of the most important features since it will be held for long periods of time.

The wheel is smooth, and there are two buttons on the side for programming - which is a must for me too.

This mouse can be used on any surface - a handy feature for sure.

It is a wireless device with a little dongle that stays securely in the USB port on the side.

It can also be stored on the bottom of the mouse in the battery compartment.

The single battery will last for months as the mouse can be turned off when not in use.

 I like the choice of this mouse and I would recommend it if you are looking for an affordable, comfortable, and precise wireless mouse.