Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hard Answers

If last week was "Simple Answers, " I guess this week has to be "Hard."  <grin>  Otherwise known as our "That's a Good Question!" session, this week we primarily talked about Windows Libraries, How does SSL work, (PKI & Certificates,) and What's an IP address?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation recent published, "Who has your Back?" - a review of company policies regarding protecting their customers.  Twitter: Good!, Comcast & Verizon: bad.  See the full report here.  <link>

Foxit, our previously recommended PDF reader has turned to the darkside and is now including lots of crapware in it's install.  Use Sumatra PDF instead!  Get it here:  <link>

Adding white bars in an animated GIF can make it 3D:  <link>  Check it out!

Lastly, I'm liking 'Ask Leo' more and more.  Here's why he thinks, "I Know Less than You Think I Do" <link>  Sign up for his email newsletter for good, thought-through, answers to everyday computer questions.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Simple Answer!

New Proposed Bylaws passed by unanimous vote.  Yay!  (And sorry, but the purpose of our Computer Club is not "for $5 we fix your computer."  <grin>)
Links for reference:
Optic Nerve: Millions of Yahoo Webcom images captured <link>  But the problem wasn't the legal or privacy issues – it was trying to keep the staff out of the images containing “undesirable nudity.”  (ahh … makes me think how many contained Desirable Nudity?)
Microsoft Technical Support Calls  <link>  Or the short version:  if you get a shady 'technical support' telephone call out of the blue, ask "What is my IP address?"
Maps to understand the world:  <link>
How to I change my email address?  <link>  See presentation for more links - I'm really liking "Ask Leo" for his answers.
Lastly … Don't call your self stupid for not understanding computers!  <link>

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Updated Senior Surfer Bylaws

On Mar 13 2013, at our usual Thursday afternoon meeting, we will be voting on a new set of proposed bylaws. In summary, the major changes are:

· Formalization that “New members joining {on or} after April 1st will be considered paid up to the following membership year” and the membership year and all officer terms to start on 1 July.
· “… the Board will designate a spring/summer meeting as election day. Although not a requirement, election day will typically coincide with a spring/summer social.”
· An expansion of voting from one day to one “starting at least two weeks before and concluding with an election day.”
· Clarified expenditure requirements
· Revised committees to those of significance and actually in existence
· Miscellaneous corrections of grammar and meanings

The current bylaws, dated Mar 1, 2012, is available at the club web page, or in PDF form here:  <link
The new proposed bylaws are available in PDF form here: <link>   

Substantive comments can be submitted below.  Final comments will be considered at the general meeting on Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 prior an acceptance vote.

Here is the background information to that action:

Since last year’s survey of the membership, the Club officers have been wrestling with the idea that our voting should be expanded to more than just the day of the spring social.  This would necessarily involve a change to our bylaws.  Like any good bureaucracy , a committee was formed to update and revise the bylaws for this change.  That committee (Ed Wirth, Paul Wojtkowski, Barb Greer, Becky Bennett, Janet Belles submitted the proposed bylaws to the Club Board of Directors on Feb 6, 2014 and it was subsequently accepted on Mar 6, 2014.

This was a huge effort by those in the committee and we sincerely thank them.  Now it’s time to present the proposed bylaws to the entire membership for approval.  The proposed bylaws have been posted outside the computer lab and on the message board for review.  Although the primary change was to the voting procedures, nearly every section was changed in some way, mostly to clarify the language and to minimize the need for future changes.

We hope to see you there!

Astronomy For Everyone!

Judi Provencal of the University of Delaware, Mt Cuba, and Director of the World-Wide Telescope project joined us for a discussion of the Kepler telescope and made a call for help in finding new planets.  Yes, you can comb through the Kepler data yourself and help the search for Goldilocks planets.  (Not too big, not too small, not too cold, and not to hot for liquid water to exist.)
Click through the above slides for Bob's introduction: from the size of Delaware all the way up to the size of the Universe.

Judi's Presentation:
Some links:
    Thie 'Zooniverse' site has a bunch of things to help Astronomers - there aren't enough of them to do everything that needs to be done.  You can:
  • Search the surface of the Sun, the Moon and Mars
  • Find new stars
  • Look for exoplanets
  • Classify galaxies
  • Search for gravitational lenses in galaxy clusters  - but out of data for now!
  • Look for black holes in the Universe

Microsoft has a free telescope application available here:
Download and install to explore the Universe from planets to galaxies.  Or run directly from the browser - a bit slower, but still impressive.

"Test Drive" was an Pepsi commercial in which Jeff Gordon, the NASCAR driver, took an unsuspecting car salesman on a wide ride.  The Internet quickly exposed it as a fake: Although Gordon was in the ad, it was not him driving and all the other people were actors.  Apparently Gordon was not happy that it was exposed as a fake, and decided to do it 'for real.'  The unsuspecting victim: the blogger that exposed the original as a fake.  Test Drive 2:  Poor Travis writes about the experience here:

Check the last slide of the intro for links to:
    A computer generated Audrey Hepburn - impressively real
    The PianoGuys with a Let it Go / Vivaldi mashup
    'This is why we fly' for what it looks like from above Queenstown, New Zealand.
    Plowing the line at the Strasburg Railroad
    'Hazmat Highway to Hell' - don't go there!