Writings from the beyond Totnes, two great phone deals I’ve spotted today:
Smarty, a virtual SIM only mobile phone network which has partnered with the 3 Network which isn’t bad in the Totnes area. https://smarty.co.uk/
The first 12 people to click on the Smarty link above will get a free month!
Here is the deal, the base package is £7.50 per month, unlimited calls and text +2GB of data. But the difference with this GiffGaff challenger is the data component rolls over to the nearest megabyte of data if you do not use it! Yes, unused data rolls into next month!
Now it does not stop with the roll over. Running out of your data allowance from any other network provider is either capped or prohibitively expensive to extend. Smarty on the other hand is dead simple: run out of data, the next GB is £1.25.
They could have also called the company, thedeadsimplecompany.co.uk but that’s probably a bit long to type in and not very memorable.
Next up is Virgin! “Possibly the data contract in the world”, actually I exaggerate a little. But certainly the best for Totnes as it’s on EE.
Their Pay Monthly SIM only 12 month contract on the EE network, which is the best in Totnes has the following deals until the end of August 2018
When you receive a totnesIT.com Windows PC back from our workshop we will normal install two new icons to your desktop and it should look like this:
Now click on the “Window Update” icon every time you switch you PC on. This allows you to see if Windows is updating your PC in the background and will also tell you if any updates have failed.
If your PC has any updates failed then your PC will be less protected
If updates are being applied then your PC will be running VERY slowing; explaining your frustration…
3. When your updates have finished, you should see this:
Finally when you get to a position of being able to click on “Check for updates” and there are no further updates and it says “Last checked today” and the time given is right now; then you can proceed to use your PC.
You know the PC is up to date
There are no updates downloading and installing in the background slowing your machine
Now the other button we’ve probably added is the “shutdown” button. Believe it or not, the normal way of shutting windows down from the start button in the bottom left hand side or pressing the on button down for the PC only puts your PC in to hybrid hibernation mode. Click on this link here if you want to get a better understanding.
However we recommend a full shutdown which you can perform by clicking on the red icon we’ve installed.
They are a visualized hard drive of your computer that can be used to either recover data or run your dead PC in a visualized environment. These are slight different to backup software that run continuously on your Windows PC like the native “File History” facility.
Think of “File History” back up as day to day. It bails you out of:
Accidentally deleting a file or folder
Allowing you view a file from several saves back with the same file name
A System Image can be thought much more of a get of jail card for complete failure and disaster recovery if the data is kept off-site and the data since last system image is also held off-site.
With a combination of the two backups and additionally the use of cloud services such as GDrive and DropBox could form a complete disaster recovery process.
100% of the details on this page are correct BUT the backup that this procedure does is really a lot more useful than it appears.
While you can’t restore a system image backup on another PC, you can extract individual files from a system image backup. Microsoft says it’s not possible to extract individual files from a system image backup, and they don’t provide an easy tool to do so — but they’re just standard VHD (virtual hard disk) image files that you can “mount” and copy files from using File Explorer or Windows Explorer.
It says that you cannot take restore the “system image backup on another PC”, whilst this is technically correct we can do something really cunning with this .VHD backup.
We can install Microsoft Virtual PC software on another powerful Windows PC and copy the .VHD file to it. He we can now run your old PC inside another PC while your replacement PC gets to you.
In Windows 7 the scheduling for creating an automated “Create a System Image” was built into the operating system. Then Microsoft removed this method making it very complicated. This will have been due to commercial agreements drawn up with third party backup vendors like Acronis who offer some very good comprehensive paid for solutions.
This youtube clip demonstrates your emergency fall back. It shows a Windows PC running a Windows PC inside it. The Windows PC inside it is a .VHD file
Automating the creation of .VHD files on Windows 8 / 10
Decide whether you want to run a daily or weekly backup of Windows 8.1. Also make sure you understand that every new backup will overwrite the previous one. So, if the backup fails, you won’t have a recovery copy to fall back to.
Connect an external drive with enough free space. This will depend on how much data you have in your hard drive(s).
Launch PowerShell as administrator (this is really important because this operation needs the highest administrative privilege as possible).
Quick Tip: Go to the Start screen do a search for PowerShell, from the result right-click Windows PowerShell, and select Run as administrator.
Type the following command to create a daily full Windows 8.1 backup and press Enter:Syntax:
Finally, if you want to double-check whether or not the task has been fully created. Go to the Start screen, do a search for Task Scheduler, expand the Task Scheduler Library, and on the list from the right, you should be able to see the task. This is also a good place to visit and troubleshoot the task if it isn’t running correctly.
There is lot of discussion in the media right now about about terrorist videos being published on the likes of YouTube and FaceBook, something must be done… Even the Daily Telegraph joined in last Saturday 25th March 2017.
Why nothing will be done about terrorist videos
But NOTHING is going to happen, because this material is actually being used to track and profile terrorists:
As long as terrorist videos help the security services, they will be allowed on the web. (Whether there will be any advertising next to them is a different matter.)
WhatsApp encryption is another RED HERRING because of zero-day vulnerabilities
January 2015 David Cameron made this statement:
Thanks to the CIA’s Dark Matter leak this month, we discovered that zero-day software has being deployed on computers and phones for a LONG time. Even Apple once thought to be pretty impregnable has been as open as the proverbial barn door.
A zero-day vulnerability – commonly just called zero-days by hackers – is an undisclosed computer-software vulnerability that both hackers and the security services can exploit.
Zero-day software allows your devices to be controlled by other people – in most cases now; remotely. And this software implanted on the device is not detectable for many years into the future due to its sophistication.
With regards to computers and phones a zero-day allows the security services to read the messages of the terrorist as they are being typed into an application like WhatsApp before it’s even encrypted. So being able to decrypt the encrypted message is totally unnecessary. It’s red herring.
The British security services were using zero-day exploitation more than fifty years ago. During the early Common Market discussions in 1960 – 1963, We created remote monitoring facilities that could listen to the French encryption devices before the messages were encrypted. This was brought to light by Peter Wright’s revelations in Spy Catcher, published in 1987. The Song remains the same.
We live in a world where you can safely assume that any Internet connected device can be remotely monitored by the security services. The recent Wikileaks Dark Matter Leak implies this clearly.
The issue of encrypted communications is a red herring. That problem was solved a very long time ago, The bigger fish is whether the security services can use zero-days without a warrant and with impunity? This is the news item.
Three lines icon (top RHS) – [this is the Menu icon in FireFox speak]
Use Master Password
In effect you use two browsers, Chrome for your Google intensive work where you get the tight integration and FireFox for your general with password protection for locally stored passwords. If you don’t get a Mozilla account then there is no risk of them ending up in Mozilla’s cloud either. If you use a Master Password on your computer then passwords are held on the machine encrypted unless you enter your master password when you first start using FireFox.
To more fully appreciate the risks, then read what the FireFox Senior Security Engineer has to say which is the first reply
A deterministic password generator allows you to remember one simplistic pass-phrase that you can remember for all your passwords but
Unique passwords are generated for each site and logins you use
They gives you the ability to rapidly change all your passwords in one go
Actually I recommend a combination of the two, my favourite is KeePass for a Password Manager with the password management file store on DropBox and SaltThePass which is a deterministic password generator on you mobile. Android or iPhone. KeePass is also available for Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS.
I use KeePass as Password Manager with the password management file store on DropBox + two-factor authentication, this gives me the facility to cope with some complex information I don’t want to write down. This is the same for all Geeks, we ALL use KeePass like the early days the Geeks were the ones that used Google first.
So when do I use SaltThePass? I typically only use it with web sites that provide two factor authentication to login. That means that you need you mobile with you to be able to access the web site, pretty much using the same technology that you use when you log into your bank account with the PIN generator which is different each time.
My next related article in this password series is here:
Two-factor simply means that there has to be something else other than a password entered when you log into a web site. Try this explanation by BritChristopher Bernatt, missing the 1970’s Open University BBC 2 late spots, then he’s our man.
Common UK sites and sites that you might use offering this now are:
The Seagate 2TB External Hard Drive comes with an external mains power supply. Laptops often cannot supply enough power through USB ports for reliable data transfer, not a good idea when you are doing a backup…