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Tech 425

Member Since 04 Feb 2009
Online Last Active Yesterday, 11:56 PM
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Topics I've Started

We Must Act Fast to Save Net Neutrality

04 December 2017 - 12:58 PM

We Must Act Fast to Save Net Neutrality & Our Internet Before December 14th - Urgent Call to Action
 
 
 
 
If you think "Well this is a US problem" Think again as alot of the places you go might be a US Company (Like Netflix) or the fiber line goes though US territory

 

 
 
The FCC and Congress are voting on December 14th, 2017 to repeal the Net Neutrality laws that protect us internet users from ISP's Throttling, Blocking or Prioritizing internet traffic by regulating the ISP's (not the internet) as a utility so you can buy bandwidth and use it however you like without restrictions. Without the Net Neutrality laws in place the Internet as we know it will no longer exist and we will have to pay for premium packages and bundles for our favorite websites like Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. 
 
The internet service providers like Comcast, Charter, AT&T and Verizon have been campaigning with the FCC using lies claiming that Net Neutrality means the government has control of the internet which couldn't be further from the truth. If Net Neutrality goes away the government can literally control what you see and what you can post and I'll tell you why in this video. Please make sure you share this video with as many people as possible and get the word out. It's critically important everyone gets involved and lets congress know we will not vote for people that takes bribes from ISP's like 265 people already have.
 
Comcast is so confident Net Neutrality is going away that they've already updated their promises to include they will start prioritizing traffic the second the law is repealed. Please use the links below to contact as many people as possible and voice your concern and let congress and your senators know you will not vote them back in if they vote against Net Neutrality.
 
💥 Here is a list of congress people that sold your internet rights to ISP's 💥
^ - If your representative is on the list contact them by every means possible and let them know if they don't vote to keep it you WILL not vote for them come election time.
 
💥 Find out if your identity was illegally used to vote for repeal by FCC 💥
^- After being caught red handed they started deleting the comments they created fraudulently, so your name might have been on the list before but not now. Comment if your name is still in there.
 
💥 The FCC committed fraud with public comments to mislead people 💥
 
💥 Comcast wavering on Net Neutrality pledge, lying to the public 💥
 
💥 Proof of Ajit Pai (FCC Chairman) conflict of interest 💥
 
💥 Comment on the Net Neutrality repeal proceedings directly 💥
 
💥 FCC contacts so you can voice your concerns 💥
 
💥 Contact your ISP and let them know your fighting publicly 💥
Comcast - @Comcast on Twitter
Charter - @CharterGov on Twitter
AT&T - @ATT on Twitter
Verison - @Verizon on Twitter
 
💥 Publicly and privately tell Ajit Pai his conflict of interest is bad 💥
@AjitPi on Twitter
 
💥 Tell Donald Trump you won't vote him a 2nd term if he keeps this up 💥
@realDonaldTrump - His personal Twitter
@Potus - Official presidential Twitter
@Whitehouse - White House staff Twitter
 
💥 John Oliver on Net Neutrality (Very Good) 💥
 
💥 Easy way to send comments to the FCC 💥
 
💥 Audio recordings of what Verizon is planning when Net Neutrality is gone 💥
 
💥Ship a bag of gummy dicks to these asses 💥

Anyone can log into your Mac without your password

03 December 2017 - 06:32 PM

Anyone can log into your Mac without your password — here’s how to fix it
 
 
image.jpg
 
 
Anyone using MacOS High Sierra should be on high alert. A Twitter user revealed a massive security vulnerability which allows anyone to log into your system as an administrator without valid login credentials. All a malicious user has to do is attempt to log in as “root” from the login screen, leave the password field blank, and press enter over and over until the system allows access.
 
Capture.png
 
 
The scary news is that it’s true, or it was before Apple released a security patch. So all you need to do is open your Mac App Store and check for updates. You should see a security update available, go ahead and download that and you’re all set.  Before it was fixed, the vulnerability meant anyone could approach your iMac, MacBook, or Mac Pro and access your computer without anything more than a couple keystrokes and zero technical know-how.
 
Additionally, it’s never a bad idea to change your system’s root password; leaving it blank was the key to the vulnerability before it was fixed. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do just that.
 
Assuming you’re running MacOS High Sierra, we’ll teach you below how to fix the problem.
 
First, we’re going to open up System Preferences, open Users & Groups, select Login Options, then click the lock on the bottom left side of the window and enter your password. Next, hit Join right beside Network Account Server. This will open up a small dialog box, there you will want to click Open Directory Utility. Now we’re going to click that little lock again, and enter your password.
 
image.jpg
 
From here, mouse up to your Finder bar, and click Edit. From this drop-down menu click Change Root Password. This is the most important part: Pick a strong, unique password that you won’t forget.
 
image.jpg
 
That’s it, just an extra layer of security for your Mac, now that Apple has addressed the vulnerability with a security update.
 
The whole issue came to light after an industrious Twitter user pinged Apple Support’s official Twitter account for help regarding the vulnerability and from there it caught fire and spread. Twitter users from all over the world were confirming that they could replicate the vulnerability, and access their own computers without using anything more than a four-letter word.
 
Even though it’s fixed, this wasn’t just a minor vulnerability, like a loophole in some bit of code somewhere that only a security expert could exploit. This was a dead-simple way to break into someone else’s computer, so make sure you download and apply that patch from the Mac App Store.
 
 
Note: Apple might have released a patch, I'm not sure as I don't us Apple products

HDMI ARC and eARC: What they are, how they work

03 December 2017 - 06:16 PM

HDMI ARC and eARC: 
What they are, how they work, and why you should care
 
 
 
 
HDMI ARC is one of the coolest TV features at your disposal. But if you're like most folks, you have no idea how it works, if you know what it is at all. Here's our explanation of what HDMI ARC is, and how it can make you life easier.
 
If you're the owner of a 4K TV or newer HDTV, A/V receiver, soundbar, or home theater in a box, you may have noticed (and then promptly forgotten) a little symbol on one of the device's HDMI inputs that says “ARC” or “HDMI ARC.” What does this mean? Hint: It has nothing to do with the reactor that powers Ironman's suits.
 
ARC stands for Audio Return Channel, which is a little-understood protocol that started showing up on HDMI-equipped devices a few years back, standing today as a ubiquitous standard. The technology is especially useful and has the potential to significantly simplify your home entertainment system. Unfortunately, few know it even exists, much less what it can do. Here, we'll go over the basics of ARC (as well as the forthcoming update to the protocol, called eARC) so you can put its powers to work for you.
 
First, a quick refresher on HDMI itself (feel free to skip ahead if you just need to know about ARC).
 
 
HDMI: The basics
 
HDMI has been around for over 13 years. You probably use it now, but you may not know how versatile it actually is. The system was created as a faster, more efficient way to deliver high quality digital video and audio to and from consumer electronic devices. A constantly evolving format, HDMI 2.0b was a baby step up from HDMI 2.0a, allowing for transmission of 4K Ultra HD video with HDR) at up to 60 frames per second, as well as the ability to transmit information for up to 32 channels of audio.
 
image.jpg
 
The latest iteration, HDMI 2.1, which was just announced at the end of 2017, pushes the format even further. With HDMI 2.1, a single HDMI cable can carry 4K video at up to 120 frames per second, 8K video at up to 60 frames per second, and even 10K (now that is looking into the future!). That equates to faster and more efficient transmission to keep up with the monsterous amount of bandwidth video and audio of the future will require — right up to a whopping 48 Gbps! Want even more details? Here's everything we know about HDMI 2.1 so far.
 
Don't freak out, though! HDMI 2.1 format is fully backward compatible with all older hardware. This does not spell certain obsolescence for your existing entertainment system. While it is true that you will eventually need a new Ultra High Speed HDMI cable to take full advantage of the spec's new features, that need is at least a year away for even the most enthusiastic early adopters, and even further out that that for most of us.
 
Back to modern day: Many people currently use HDMI strictly as a means for connecting their cable boxes, Blu-ray players, and game consoles to their TV, but that little cable connection can do so much more.
 
Besides transferring both video and audio in a single feed, HDMI was also designed to carry what the industry refers to as “handshake” information from one device to another. These shared transmissions were originally intended to communicate copy protection data to prevent piracy, and transfer messages about what type of components were connected to each other, and what their capabilities were (and weren't).
 
But the system was also designed to share more complex messages as a part of what's called Consumer Electronics Control (CEC). CEC lets a single remote control operate features on up to 15 connected devices. There are as many names for CEC as there are electronics brands: Samsung calls it “Anynet +,” for instance. Unfortunately, the system has never really lived up to its potential, and is often mistranslated or simply lost between components from different manufacturers. ARC can help.
 
 
The power of HDMI ARC
 
ARC, along with help from CEC, can simplify your home theater system in two important ways. The first, and perhaps most useful feature HDMI ARC brings to casual users is the ability to use one remote for all of your audio device's most common functions. For this example, you may need to go into your TV's settings and activate CEC (Consumer electronics Control), usually found in the general settings. Once everything is set up, your TV remote control could power on your A/V receiver or soundbar at the same time as your TV, and control the volume of either of those devices. Simplicity is the name of the game here.
 
image.png
 
In some cases, HDMI ARC sends your TV's audio to your sound system without you having to deactivate your TV's on-board speakers. In other cases, though, you'll need to go into the settings in your TV's menu to activate “external speakers” or “receiver” to send sound out from the ARC port to your audio device. (More on that below.)
 
The ARC HDMI port can also be handy for connecting outboard components like streaming devices, and make controlling them easier. Plugging a Google Chromecast into your TV's ARC port, for instance, may allow you to automatically switch sources or even turn on your TV when you click the cast icon on your phone or tablet. You may find similar results with other components as well, including Blu-ray players.
 
 
In through the out door
 
As touched on above, the other important function ARC performs is sending audio signals both “upstream” and “downstream” over a single connection, meaning signals can travel in and out of a device over a single ARC HDMI port and cable. “Downstream” refers to signal that is being passed from the source, say a Blu-ray player, “down” to another device. “Upstream” would then mean sending signal the opposite way over the same cable. Why is that necessary? Convenience and sound quality.
 
For those who use an Audio/Video receiver (or a soundbar with multiple HDMI inputs) as a hub instead of their TV, ARC can simplify cable connections. While audio and video from various sources is going directly to an A/V receiver in this kind of setup, any audio coming from the TV still needs to get to the receiver or soundbar somehow.
 
For example: Let's say that you like your television's built-in streaming apps better than the apps built into your Blu-ray player, or even a Chromecast. Any audio from those streaming apps, like Netflix, Hulu, etc. — or an over-the-air antenna — need to get to your receiver somehow. In the past, this would have required that you connect an optical digital audio cable to link your TV with your receiver. But with HDMI ARC, audio can be sent back down to the receiver through the same cable that already connects the two devices. For those with wall-mounted TVs, that's at least one less cable to snake through the wall!
 
If you think that sounds great, just wait for eARC, likely coming to devices as early as 2018. As we explain in more detail below, with eARC, your TV's audio processing capabilities are no longer part of the equation. You will be able to get the very best surround sound to any of your audio devices with no compromise.
 
Today, TV's dumb down audio signal from glorious surround sound signals to basic 2-channel audio before passing them down an HDMI cable. With eARC, the original, full-resolution audio signal can be sent down the HDMI cable — again, the very best sound, no compromises.
 
Let's say you don't have an A/V receiver, though. As noted above, many soundbars (from Yamaha's affordable YAS-207 to Samsung's powerful HW-K950 Dolby Atmos) also include HDMI inputs to allow a direct connection from a Blu-ray player or other source, allowing you to better preserve the audio quality.
 
i_1.jpg
 
Again, today you can connect the bar to your TV via the ARC HDMI connection to pass the video signal to the TV, and also to receive audio back from TV programming, or any other components connected to the TV. With eARC, that connection just gets better, with no degradation of the audio signal imposed by your TV.
 
 
eArc: The new kid in town
 
With HDMI 2.1 comes eARC, short for Enhanced Audio Return Channel, the new standard designed to allow for better audio resolution from your TV. The new configuration will require eARC support from both your TV and your audio device, which means your devices must support HDMI 2.1 — older HDMI versions will not support eARC. Once standard, eARC will allow easy access to high-bit-rate sound from your TV.
 
This essentially allows you to output the best surround sound signal, including top 3D surround sound like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, from over-the-air broadcasts, internal streaming apps, and Blu-ray players or game consoles connected directly to your eARC-enabled TV.
 
Previously, decoding high-bit-rate audio like Dolby Atmos required plugging your source device into a compatible audio/video receiver or similar device, as most TVs are limited to outputting compressed surround sound or even stereo audio. With eArc, you'll be able to plug your HDMI devices directly into the TV, which will then send the uncompressed, high-quality audio to a soundbar, receiver, or amplifier directly from the eARC port.
 
What's more, since the HDMI 2.1 spec will offer faster data transfer with more bandwidth, both audio and video will essentially be transferred in real time, with no more worries about adjusting sync issues between the two. Ever had trouble with lip-sync problems? Those issues will be a thing of the past with eARC.
 
In theory, this new protocol also means manufacturers could create a new wave of audio-only receivers, soundbars, and amplifiers, as your TV would be able to handle the video signal, while still allowing for the highest quality audio to make its way to your sound system. This could significantly reduce the cost of all kinds of home theater components!
 
Obviously, it will take a while before eARC is everywhere, but when it is here, we'll enjoy a new level of simplicity and flexibility.
 
With that in mind, it's important that we point out new technology takes time to become widely available. Don't hold off on buying that new receiver or 4K HDR TV you've had your eye on. HDMI 2.1 is a very forward-looking, future-proofing technology still in its infant stage, and while very small corners of the world have begun enjoying 8K content, most of us are still waiting for the full incorporation of 4K content into our setups.
 
i_2.jpg
 
n other words, this is a gradual evolution, and not one that should keep you from enjoying the still burgeoning world of 4K HDR TVs and Dolby Atmos/DTS:X-enabled audio devices. Like all technologies, the future of home theater is announced and planned long before it becomes the standard. Yes, it is impossible to stay on top of the very latest and greatest from home theater land — and that's OK.

New trailers: Avengers, Black Mirror, Batman Ninja, and more

03 December 2017 - 05:55 PM

New trailers: Avengers, Black Mirror, Batman Ninja, and more
 
 
image.jpg
 
 
I was a little skeptical about going to see Coco last weekend, since I've heard mixed things about some of the recent Pixar films. Aside from the studio's shorts (which have been very good!), I haven't seen anything it's put out since Up, which was around the time Pixar started really leaning into sequels.
 
But it turns out my worries were for nothing, as Coco really is a sweet, fun movie. And while I think it could probably do with a smoother first act, the film as a whole gets into some really tough issues — like abusive men and absent fathers — and deals with them in surprisingly direct ways for a kids movie.
 
If you go, my only advice is this: wait to get popcorn during the Frozen short. You'll have time.
 
Check out nine trailers from this week below:
 
 
Avengers: Infinity War
 
 
The first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War came out this week, and it provides a nice, moody overview of what exactly is going down. I like this trailer for how simple it is — instead of teasing us with lots of quick and shaky action shots, we're mostly looking at Marvel's roster of heroes solemnly staring down the huge threat that's quickly approaching them. The film comes out May 4th.
 
 
All the Money in the World
 
 
This is really wild. After shooting this entire film and putting out a first trailer for it, Ridley Scott decided to completely cut Kevin Spacey out of the movie earlier this month, recast him with Christopher Plummer, and now we're already watching Plummer act in a trailer. Seriously, they reshot portions of the movie and got them ready for viewing in three weeks. And it's still on track for the film's original December 22nd release date.
 
 
Black Mirror
 
 
Black Mirror is coming back for a fourth season, and this week, Netflix put out teasers for four of its episodes. The one above, for the episode "Black Museum" is probably the creepiest — if you're interested, you can watch the others
 
 
 
http://youtu.be/yef_HfQoBd8
 
 
Flower
 
http://youtu.be/a_DAjaPVw0A
 
In her review of Tragedy Girls, my colleague Kaitlyn Tiffany pointed out a "can you believe two pretty teen girls are saying this stuff?” shtick that can easily get taken too far. I'm a little concerned that's the case here too, but until we find out, I suppose it's still better to have too much of this stuff for once instead of too little. The film comes out March 16th.
 
 
Thoroughbreds
 
http://youtu.be/TPcV_3D3V2A
 
And then there's Thoroughbreds, which takes that trope to a way more intense, stylized, and hilarious level, at least from the looks of this trailer. It's filled with the kind of great shots and painfully uncomfortable moments that are impossible to look away from. The film comes out March 9th.
 
 
Mary Magdalene
 
http://youtu.be/JS3rRHwrOpM
 
This is a weirdly star-studded Bible adaptation.
 
 
Jupiter's Moon
 
http://youtu.be/ou5oxqQq95Q
 
A few years ago, director Kornél Mundruczó made a big splash with the film White God. Now he's back with a new movie that looks just as gorgeous and sad and strange — Jupiter's Moon, which is about a refugee who's able to levitate. There seems to be a real Children of Men vibe here with a frenetic, busy look and a troubling journey these characters seem to be going through. The film comes to the UK on January 5th. No word on a release in the US just yet.
 
 
Birdboy: The Forgotten Children
 
http://youtu.be/yZ-jIaCityo
 
IndieWire posted a trailer for this bizarre, eerie, and really beautiful new animated coming of age film called Birdboy: The Forgotten Children. I'm pretty sure children should not actually watch this movie, and honestly I think the trailer might be enough for me, too. But it's definitely worth taking a look at just for this animation. The film comes to the US in limited release on December 15th.
 
 
Batman Ninja
 
http://youtu.be/8mVTKEc-mu8
 
This is the best thing I've seen all week.
 

New trailers: Avengers, Black Mirror, Batman Ninja, and more

03 December 2017 - 05:55 PM

New trailers: Avengers, Black Mirror, Batman Ninja, and more
 
 
image.jpg
 
 
I was a little skeptical about going to see Coco last weekend, since I've heard mixed things about some of the recent Pixar films. Aside from the studio's shorts (which have been very good!), I haven't seen anything it's put out since Up, which was around the time Pixar started really leaning into sequels.
 
But it turns out my worries were for nothing, as Coco really is a sweet, fun movie. And while I think it could probably do with a smoother first act, the film as a whole gets into some really tough issues — like abusive men and absent fathers — and deals with them in surprisingly direct ways for a kids movie.
 
If you go, my only advice is this: wait to get popcorn during the Frozen short. You'll have time.
 
Check out nine trailers from this week below:
 
 
Avengers: Infinity War
 
 
The first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War came out this week, and it provides a nice, moody overview of what exactly is going down. I like this trailer for how simple it is — instead of teasing us with lots of quick and shaky action shots, we're mostly looking at Marvel's roster of heroes solemnly staring down the huge threat that's quickly approaching them. The film comes out May 4th.
 
 
All the Money in the World
 
 
This is really wild. After shooting this entire film and putting out a first trailer for it, Ridley Scott decided to completely cut Kevin Spacey out of the movie earlier this month, recast him with Christopher Plummer, and now we're already watching Plummer act in a trailer. Seriously, they reshot portions of the movie and got them ready for viewing in three weeks. And it's still on track for the film's original December 22nd release date.
 
 
Black Mirror
 
 
Black Mirror is coming back for a fourth season, and this week, Netflix put out teasers for four of its episodes. The one above, for the episode "Black Museum" is probably the creepiest — if you're interested, you can watch the others
 
 
 
http://youtu.be/yef_HfQoBd8
 
 
Flower
 
http://youtu.be/a_DAjaPVw0A
 
In her review of Tragedy Girls, my colleague Kaitlyn Tiffany pointed out a "can you believe two pretty teen girls are saying this stuff?” shtick that can easily get taken too far. I'm a little concerned that's the case here too, but until we find out, I suppose it's still better to have too much of this stuff for once instead of too little. The film comes out March 16th.
 
 
Thoroughbreds
 
http://youtu.be/TPcV_3D3V2A
 
And then there's Thoroughbreds, which takes that trope to a way more intense, stylized, and hilarious level, at least from the looks of this trailer. It's filled with the kind of great shots and painfully uncomfortable moments that are impossible to look away from. The film comes out March 9th.
 
 
Mary Magdalene
 
http://youtu.be/JS3rRHwrOpM
 
This is a weirdly star-studded Bible adaptation.
 
 
Jupiter's Moon
 
http://youtu.be/ou5oxqQq95Q
 
A few years ago, director Kornél Mundruczó made a big splash with the film White God. Now he's back with a new movie that looks just as gorgeous and sad and strange — Jupiter's Moon, which is about a refugee who's able to levitate. There seems to be a real Children of Men vibe here with a frenetic, busy look and a troubling journey these characters seem to be going through. The film comes to the UK on January 5th. No word on a release in the US just yet.
 
 
Birdboy: The Forgotten Children
 
http://youtu.be/yZ-jIaCityo
 
IndieWire posted a trailer for this bizarre, eerie, and really beautiful new animated coming of age film called Birdboy: The Forgotten Children. I'm pretty sure children should not actually watch this movie, and honestly I think the trailer might be enough for me, too. But it's definitely worth taking a look at just for this animation. The film comes to the US in limited release on December 15th.
 
 
Batman Ninja
 
http://youtu.be/8mVTKEc-mu8
 
This is the best thing I've seen all week.
 

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