Testing software

I test software all the time as I need to be familiar with any products my customers may use or try.  Today’s test was for Easeus partition master 12. A consumer level drive partition and maintenance utility.

While I would give the program itself a 3 out of 10 for usability, as most of the real functions you would need already exist in other free utilities and the price they want for their version is hundreds of dollars over what their competitors ask for.  The real disappointment was with their business practice of including crap ware with their product, and the fact the program changes your default search and home pages.

Now  I know if you look carefully and unchecked the right box on the right EULA page you don’t have to install this junk. But for their target end user who would be using this utility because they are not very computer savvy, it can easily be missed and that consumer would then have five extra programs and new search and home pages they never asked for.

Also as a bonus lesson on how not to do a uninstall program. I would suggest they dump the pop up webpage asking yet again to change your search pages when you try and uninstall the program. After all if your uninstalling, you are saying in general you did not like the program and want to go back to the way things were before installing said software. Right?

Information about wannacry

Most people over the last week have seen reports about the new ransom-ware that has been released and is infecting computers worldwide. Some big companies like Fed-Ex and even the English  health care system have had outages due to this new bug. And I have already gotten many calls and emails about it since the week began.

So what can you do about it? Well first as with all computer problems the best insurance is a good backup stored in a location under your control. The virus can not encrypt files it has no access to. So a back up on a external hard drive not attached to your computer is ideal.

Next the older your O/S the higher your chance of getting this or many of the other viruses floating around the Internet. So update to a current O/S and make sure you keep up with the current security patches. Which you can find here.

Last practice safe hex (old computer joke)…
Don’t click on links from unknown sources. Don’t read email from people you do not know or with weird spam like subject lines. Don’t visit download and porn sites. Use a modern antivirus products (that are also updated).

If none of this makes sense or your not sure you have followed these instructions correctly, feel free to give RenoGeek a call to setup a service call to double check your security.

Windows 10 creative edition

The new service pack or update for Windows 10 comes out next Tuesday and seems to have a few new useful features. Such as better privacy controls. A Bluetooth enable smart lock that uses your phone’s proximity as a “key” to unlock your system.  And a “smart” menu that adds folders back to the “start” or Windows flag main menu. Which should make some people that have switched to “classic menu” and other software add-ins think twice about adopting the new defaults.

I have already installed a “Early” adopter version of the update and over all it seems ok except it is missing some items on the right click “context” menu, Control panel seems to be one of these missing items. Time will tell if this was just a oversight of the early edition or dovetails into MS plans to put the guts of a windows machine deeper and deeper in the system to avoid regular user from messing with settings.

As always, I anticipate a number of service related issues requiring service calls over the next few months as the kinks are worked out of this new update.

 

Talk about bad tech support.

Here is a link to the .garadget tech support forum.

Seems they shut down a customers device because he gave them a bad review. Not the coolest way to do customer service.

http://community.garadget.com/t/iphone-app-will-not-stay-open-just-flashes-when-trying-to-launch/1706

and it’s even funnier when you see that this was a indiegogo project…

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/garadget-app-smartphone/#/

How much money does it take to buy a politician?

Your online privacy was recently given away so that your ISP can sell your data to the highest bidder. While some may think this is not a big deal. You may want to think about the people your online habits will be sold to.

If you have a cancer scare and start looking up symptoms, will your insurance company have the chance to buy your web surfing data and raise your rates after they see the night you spent on youtube looking up a cure?

Will your insurance company raise rates after you tried to look up how to repair a bumper yourself after a minor fender bender?

Here is a list of how much the telecoms paid your politician…

Alexander, Lamar Republican TN $86,400
Barrasso, John Republican WY $63,000
Blunt, Roy Republican MO $185,550
Boozman, John Republican AR $56,450
Burr, Richard Republican NC $58,500
Capito, Shelley Republican WV $24,675
Cassidy, Bill Republican LA $34,909
Cochran, Thad Republican MS $123,750
Collins, Susan Republican ME $57,550
Corker, Bob Republican TN $43,600
Cornyn, John Republican TX $148,800
Cotton, Tom Republican AR $70,025
Crapo, Mike Republican ID $11,000
Cruz, Ted Republican TX $40,840
Daines, Steve Republican MT $38,700
Enzi, Mike Republican WY $45,100
Ernst, Joni Republican IA $28,200
Fischer, Debra Republican NE $21,850
Flake, Jeff Republican AZ $27,955
Gardner, Cory Republican CO $95,023
Graham, Lindsey Republican SC $74,522
Grassley, Chuck Republican IA $135,125
Hatch, Orrin Republican UT $106,750
Heller, Dean Republican NV $78,950
Hoeven, John Republican ND $25,800
Inhofe, Jim Republican OK $38,000
Johnson, Ron Republican WI $123,652
Kennedy, John Republican LA $1,000
Lankford, James Republican OK $21,000
Lee, Mike Republican UT $60,913
McCain, John Republican AZ $84,125
McConnell, Mitch Republican KY $251,110
Moran, Jerry Republican KS $130,950
Murkowski, Lisa Republican AK $66,250
Perdue, David Republican GA $37,000
Portman, Rob Republican OH $89,350
Risch, Jim Republican ID $27,000
Roberts, Pat Republican KS $100,200
Rounds, Mike Republican SD $40,166
Rubio, Marco Republican FL $75,535
Sasse, Benjamin Republican NE $31,800
Scott, Tim Republican SC $60,200
Shelby, Richard Republican AL $27,000
Strange, Luther Republican AL $0*
Sullivan, Daniel Republican AK $10,550
Thune, John Republican SD $215,000
Tillis, Thom Republican NC $41,220
Toomey, Patrick Republican PA $143,456
Wicker, Roger Republican MS $151,800
Young, Todd Republican IN $28,670
*Senator Strange was appointed to Congress in February 2017 to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ seat.

US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Abraham, Ralph Republican LA 5th $5,750
Aderholt, Robert Republican AL 4th $26,500
Allen, Rick Republican GA 12th $9,500
Amodei, Mark Republican NV 2nd $22,000
Arrington, Jodey Republican TX 19th $8,450
Babin, Brian Republican TX 36th $8,000
Bacon, Donald Republican NE 2nd $7,000
Banks, Jim Republican IN 3rd $12,100
Barletta, Lou Republican PA 11th $14,700
Barr, Andy Republican KY 6th $28,400
Barton, Joe Republican TX 6th $39,750
Bergman, Jack Republican MI 1st $21,200
Biggs, Andy Republican AZ 5th $5,000
Bilirakis, Gus Republican FL 12th $55,000
Bishop, Mike Republican MI 8th $40,500
Bishop, Rob Republican UT 1st $5,500
Black, Diane Republican TN 6th $27,750
Blackburn, Marsha Republican TN 7th $84,000
Blum, Rodney Republican IA 1st $5,500
Bost, Mike Republican IL 12th $29,750
Brady, Kevin Republican TX 8th $20,000
Brat, David Republican VA 7th $6,000
Bridenstine, Jim Republican OK 1st $1,000
Brooks, Susan Republican IN 5th $44,300
Buchanan, Vern Republican FL 16th $18,900
Buck, Ken Republican CO 4th $15,750
Bucshon, Larry Republican IN 8th $33,000
Budd, Theodore Republican NC 13th $10,000
Burgess, Michael Republican TX 26th $39,500
Byrne, Bradley Republican AL 1st $17,500
Calvert, Ken Republican CA 42nd $12,000
Carter, Buddy Republican GA 1st $12,250
Carter, John Republican TX 31st $22,500
Chabot, Steven Republican OH 1st $25,500
Chaffetz, Jason Republican UT 3rd $38,100
Cheney, Liz Republican WY 1st $18,400
Cole, Tom Republican OK 4th $14,000
Collins, Doug Republican GA 9th $42,850
Collins, Chris Republican NY 27th $57,500
Comer, James Republican KY 1st $14,750
Comstock, Barbara Republican VA 10th $56,457
Conaway, Mike Republican TX 11th $18,500
Cook, Paul Republican CA 8th $15,000
Costello, Ryan Republican PA 6th $38,750
Cramer, Kevin Republican ND 1st $71,750
Crawford, Eric Republican AR 1st $9,000
Culberson, John Republican TX 7th $8,000
Curbelo, Carlos Republican FL 26th $45,700
Davis, Rodney Republican IL 13th $49,000
Denham, Jeffrey Republican CA 10th $47,000
Dent, Charles Republican PA 15th $25,200
DeSantis, Ron Republican FL 6th $21,634
DesJarlais, Scott Republican TN 4th $3,000
Diaz-Balart, Mario Republican FL 25th $26,500
Donovan, Daniel Republican NY 11th $16,000
Duncan, Jeff Republican SC 3rd $12,610
Dunn, Neal Republican FL 2nd $13,750
Emmer, Thomas Republican MN 6th $18,500
Farenthold, Blake Republican TX 27th $19,000
Ferguson, Anderson Republican GA 3rd $7,000
Fitzpatrick, Brian** Republican PA 8th $32,600
Fleischmann, Chuck Republican TN 3rd $18,000
Flores, Bill Republican TX 17th $40,500
Fortenberry, Jeff Republican NE 1st $3,500
Foxx, Virginia Republican NC 5th $13,250
Franks, Trent Republican AZ 8th $16,500
Frelinghuysen, Rodney Republican NJ 11th $55,456
Gaetz, Matt Republican FL 1st $7,000
Gallagher, Mike Republican WI 8th $16,019
Garrett, Tom* Republican VA 5th $3,250
Gibbs, Robert Republican OH 7th $8,000
Gohmert, Louie Republican TX 1st $8,000
Goodlatte, Bob Republican VA 6th $73,950
Gosar, Paul Republican AZ 4th $2,000
Gowdy, Harold Republican SC 4th $15,750
Granger, Kay Republican TX 12th $15,000
Graves, John Republican GA 14th $34,000
Graves, Sam Republican MO 6th $31,000
Griffith, Tim Republican AR 2nd $16,915
Griffith, Morgan Republican VA 9th $36,500
Grothman, Glenn Republican WI 6th $10,600
Guthrie, Steven Republican KY 2nd $81,500
Harper, Gregg Republican MS 3rd $33,800
Harriis, Andy Republican MD 1st $3,000
Hartzler, Vicki Republican MO 4th $10,500
Hensarling, Jeb Republican TX 5th $10,000
Hice, Jody Republican GA 10th $6,000
Higgins, Clay Republican LA 3rd $300
Holding, George Republican NC 2nd $31,100
Hollingsworth, Trey Republican IN 9th $10,000
Hudson, Richard Republican NC 8th $45,400
Huizenga, Bill Republican MI 2nd $7,500
Hultgreen, Randy Republican IL 14th $10,000
Hunter, Duncan Republican CA 50th $19,000
Hurd, William Republican TX 23rd $63,000
Issa, Darrell Republican CA 49th $66,275
Jenkins, Lynn Republican KS 2nd $34,750
Jenkins, Evan Republican WV 3rd $10,000
Johnson, Bill Republican OH 6th $56,500
Johnson, Sam Republican TX 3rd $16,700
Jordan, James Republican OH 4th $24,750
Joyce, David Republican OH 14th $16,500
Katko, John Republican NY 24th $32,250
Kelly, Trent Republican MS 1st $3,300
Kelly, Mike Republican PA 3rd $34,700
King, Steve Republican IA 4th $20,500
King, Peter Republican NY 2nd $9,000
Kinzinger, Adam Republican IL 16th $75,250
Knight, Steve Republican CA 25th $32,500
Kustoff, David Republican TN 8th $16,300
Labrador, Raul Republican ID 1st $10,000
LaHood, Darin Republican IL 18th $15,500
LaMalfa, Doug Republican CA 1st $5,000
Lamborn, Doug Republican CO 5th $28,400
Lance, Leonard Republican NJ 7th $43,000
Latta, Bob Republican OH 5th $91,000
Lewis, Jason Republican MN 2nd $10,500
LoBiondo, Frank Republican NJ 2nd $14,500
Long, Billy Republican MO 7th $57,250
Loudermilk, Barry Republican GA 11th $8,000
Love, Mia Republican UT 4th $16,500
Lucas, Frank Republican OK 3rd $14,500
Luetkemeyer, Blaine Republican MO 3rd $21,000
MacArthur, Tom Republican NJ 3rd $19,000
Marchant, Kenny Republican TX 24th $12,000
Marshall, Roger Republican KS 1st $20,500
Massie, Thomas Republican KY 4th $2,750
Mast, Brian Republican FL 18th $10,500
McCarthy, Kevin Republican CA 23rd $99,100
McCaul, Michael Republican TX 10th $37,200
McHenry, Patrick Republican NC 10th $51,000
McKinley, David Republican WV 1st $24,500
McSally, Martha Republican AZ 2nd $40,500
Meadows, Mark Republican NC 11th $4,000
Meehan, Patrick Republican PA 7th $64,200
Messer, Luke Republican IN 6th $18,750
Mitchell, Paul** Republican MI 10th $10,000
McMorris-Rogers, Cathy** Republican WA 5th $75,900
Moolenaar, John Republican MI 4th $12,500
Mooney, Alexander Republican WV 2nd $6,000
Mullin, Markwayne Republican OK 2nd $47,250
Murphy, Timothy Republican PA 18th $26,000
Newhouse, Daniel Republican WA 4th $10,000
Noem, Kristi Republican SD 1st $38,200
Nunes, Devin Republican CA 22nd $37,750
Olson, Pete Republican TX 22nd $57,500
Palazzo, Steven Republican MS 4th $11,100
Palmer, Gary Republican AL 6th $2,000
Paulsen, Erik Republican MN 3rd $50,500
Pearce, Steve Republican NM 2nd $20,400
Perry, Scott Republican PA 4th $17,000
Poe, Ted Republican TX 2nd $23,000
Poliquin, Bruce Republican ME 2nd $47,500
Posey, Bill Republican FL 8th $3,000
Ratcliffe, John Republican TX 4th $24,500
Reed, Thomas Republican NY 23rd $31,500
Renacci, Jim Republican OH 16th $48,000
Rice, Hugh Republican SC 7th $18,500
Roby, Martha Republican AL 2nd $33,200
Roe, Phil Republican TN 1st $500
Rogers, Mike Republican AL 3rd $25,000
Rogers, Hal Republican KY 5th $12,500
Rohrabacher, Dana Republican CA 48th $1,350
Rokita, Todd Republican IN 4th $20,200
Rooney, Laurence Republican FL 19th $16,625
Rooney, Tom Republican FL 17th $19,000
Roskam, Peter Republican IL 6th $33,600
Ross, Dennis Republican FL 15th $17,000
Rothfus, Keith Republican PA 12th $30,900
Rouzer, David Republican NC 7th $15,000
Royce, Edward Republican CA 39th $14,000
Russell, Steven Republican OK 5th $16,450
Rutherford, John Republican FL 4th $6,000
Scalise, Steve Republican LA 1st $121,750
Schweikert, David Republican AZ 6th $4,000
Scott, James Republican GA 8th $6,000
Sensenbrenner, Jim Republican WI 5th $30,000
Sessions, Pete Republican TX 32nd $40,400
Shimkus, John Republican IL 15th $104,425
Shuster, Bill Republican PA 9th $35,500
Smith, Jason Republican MO 8th $47,500
Smith, Adrian Republican NE 3rd $28,500
Smith, Christopher Republican NJ 4th $6,000
Smith, Lamar Republican TX 21st $56,200
Smucker, Lloyd Republican PA 16th $8,000
Stewart, Chris Republican UT 2nd $12,500
Stivers, Steve Republican OH 15th $27,000
Taylor, Scott** Republican VA 2nd $14,000
Tenney, Claudia Republican NY 22nd $8,500
Thompson, Glenn Republican PA 5th $16,500
Thornberry, Mac Republican TX 13th $32,025
Tiberi, Patrick Republican OH 12th $53,250
Tipton, Scott Republican CO 3rd $23,500
Trott, Dave Republican MI 11th $12,500
Turner, Mike Republican OH 10th $6,000
Upton, Fred Republican MI 6th $108,250
Valadao, David Republican CA 21st $37,400
Wagner, Ann Republican MO 2nd $45,750
Walberg, Timothy Republican MI 7th $38,500
Walden, Gregory Republican OR 2nd $155,100
Walker, Bradley Republican NC 6th $16,750
Walorski, Jackie Republican IN 2nd $21,250
Walters, Mimi Republican CA 45th $47,450
Weber, Randy Republican TX 14th $4,000
Webster, Daniel Republican FL 11th $2,500
Wenstrup, Brad Republican OH 2nd $9,400
Westerman, Bruce Republican AR 4th $11,000
Williams, Roger Republican TX 25th $5,500
Wilson, Joe Republican SC 2nd $11,500
Wittman, Rob Republican VA 1st $11,050
Womack, Steve Republican AR 3rd $15,500
Woodall, Rob Republican GA 7th $9,250
Yoho, Ted Republican FL: 3rd $4,000
Young, Don Republican AK 1st $28,650
Young, David Republican IA 3rd $41,750

Source:

http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/29/15100620/congress-fcc-isp-web-browsing-privacy-fire-sale

Home Repair Portal sites

Most have seen the home repair and service portal websites. Angie’s List,  (I won two customer service awards from them) Thumbtack and the newcomer on the block Home Adviser.   All these sites claim to be “customer review” sites but my experience has been a bit different when viewed from the business angle. Please keep in mind I do not have any bad reviews with these sites, but want people to know how they work.

Most would think the business with the most reviews (or at least best) would get top listing but that is not true. Within minutes of signing up with one of these sites a business will receive various offers to “improve” their position on these repair portals via email and through cold calling by these companies.

So you as an end user might never see the best repair companies because they might not have paid to get higher rankings. And you maybe exposed to less then stellar companies just because they paid to be seen first. Now some would say “what’s the big deal, it’s advertising”. And to a degree, I agree. Any company can place ads wherever they please.

But the part I object to is that these sites cloth themselves in the illusion that it’s the reviews that drive what you see and in my experience it is not true. If the review placement you see can be changed by cash, then your not seeing a real review. Simple as that.

Adding to the “fake feel” of all this to me is the way these sites deal with businesses. First with all the emails and phone calls about getting “new” reviews. Some of which were over six months old when I checked them. But when looking online always seem to dovetail right into a new sales pitch. But at least you can in most cases get removed from or at least reduce your exposure to these sale attempts.

While it took me a few tries to get me removed from Angie’s list sales calls and thumbtack lets you opt out on their settings pages. It was not too painful.  And for the most part I forgot about these companies.   Until yesterday when Home Adviser contacted me …

with three emails In the space of 2 minutes, saying I have signed up with them (I have not) …

And the last email is from “Rebecca” saying she has new sales leads on “her desk” right now. So somehow I signed up for this service, confirmed my email address (as all signups would have you do nowadays) and got brand new leads printed out and ready for “Rebecca” to review with me?

As I am sure you have figured out by now all this is just to get a potential business excited about their service. As all this could not have happened in two minutes time.

But it leaves a bad taste in my mouth when business is conducted in this way. As the truth seems to be bent for both the consumer and the businesses involved. Paid placement or ads should be obvious and not “hidden” in the review context. And fake “sign ups” and sales leads are just lies. Why do business with companies that can’t pass a ethics 101 class?

LastPass warns users while it fixes a ‘MAJOR’ vulnerability.

While I am all for any attempt by end users to secure their passwords, I have always been a bit leery of using services such as Lastpass. As they are a high value target. Hackers know if they can get into a service like this they will have access to millions of accounts. I prefer my passwords in a spread sheet encrypted with a strong password. Seems old school to some. But I don’t have to change all my passwords every time Lastpass is in the news. And this is not the first security threat they have had to warn users about.

So….

If your using LastPass, time to do the password dance again…

ie: change your passwords now.

Monday in computer repair

Hitting the road soon for computer support calls. And have the first half of the week booked already. Just stopped for a sec as I look at some of the devices I am returning today to clients. 2 macs, a Linux box, a tablet and 3 windows machines. Always something new, 🙂