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back in May of 2022

BugWalk

If your looking for a fun way to learn JavaScript, try BugWalk. This simple JavaScript will add bugs to any website.

Developers can make all sorts of adjustments such as; the amount of time the bugs appear, the speed of the bugs, mouseover effects, and more.

Java Script Bug

How Can You Learn from This?

QA Developers can manipulate the JavaScript file and learn various parts of JavaScript. This is also useful to learn how to use JavaScript with sprite.

To get started, download the project from GitHub and start playing around with it. The nice thing is that you don't need to be connected to the internet to play around with the project.

 

Health Care Services Scam Call

You may have recently received a call from someone purporting to be from a health care services company, asking for personal information like your Social Security number or credit card number. This is a scam ' do not provide any information to these callers!

There are several variations of this scam, but in all cases, the caller is trying to get your personal information so they can steal your identity or use your credit card without permission. They may even promise free health care services if you give them your personal details.

If you receive one of these calls, hang up and report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can also file a complaint with the FTC online at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.

Why Do You Need My Age?

Here's a caller pretending he works at Health Care Services. I asked him why he needs to know my age and he gives me a very strange response.

 

Natick Mall Time Capsule

The Natick Mall Time Capsule is a unique and interesting attraction located in the heart of the Natick Mall. The time capsule was created as part of the mall's 25th-anniversary celebration in 1992, and it has been a popular destination for visitors ever since.

The time capsule is a large, cylindrical metal container that is about six feet tall and three feet wide. It is filled with memorabilia from the mall's first 25 years, including newspaper articles, brochures, shopping bags, store receipts, and more. There is even a piece of the original flooring from when the mall opened in 1967!

Natick Time Capsule2022

Opening This Fall

Expect to see some announcement about the opening of the time capsule on October 11, 2022. Since it falls on a Wednesday, I wonder if they will have an opening on the weekend instead.

Finding the Time Capsule

The time capsule is located in the center court just in front of the former Lord and Taylor.

Latitude: 42- 18' 3.282' N
Longitude: 71- 23' 0.822' W

Google Maps Location

 

Plagiarism Checker

If you do any online content creation for a living, you don't want to be caught plagiarizing someone's work. That would not look good on a resume.

Use a reliable Plagiarism Checker like the one from PL Text. Simply paste in your text and instantly find out if the text you wrote has been written someplace else.

This is a very useful tool to audit someone's work to see how original the content is.

Website Description

Plagiarism Checker is a plagiarism detector and remover tool. Our best free plagiarism checker analyses text using AI deep check to find duplicate content from your text. Our high-level search algorithm recognizes plagiarized content and provides you with necessary recommendations to guide you on how to avoid plagiarism. We will precisely modify your content as per your specific topic to avoid plagiarism.

 

iMac Boxes

If you're like most people, when you get a new iMac, the first thing you do is toss the box. After all, who needs it? You've got the computer and that's all you need, right? Wrong! If you're ever planning on moving your iMac, or even just transporting it from one room to another, keeping the box is a must.

iMac Box 2022
iMac on a Desk - Don't you love the new iMac Smell?

Here are four reasons why:

  • The box provides great protection for your computer. If something happens during transport and your computer gets damaged, having the original box will make filing a claim much easier.
  • The box can serve as extra storage for your cords and other accessories. Once everything is packed up inside of it, there's no need to worry about losing any of your cables or adapters - they'll be safe and sound until you need them again.
  • The box can help keep your desktop clean and organized. When everything has its own designated space in the packaging container, there's less chance of things getting jumbled around or misplaced during transport.
  • Finally - and this may be the most important reason of all - if something goes wrong with your computer after purchase but still within Apple's one-year warranty period, having the original packaging could mean that Apple will consider repairing or replacing your device under their warranty policy."

 

Google Chrome URL

Google Chrome has limited support for AppleScript. Which means that you can use third party tools, like LaunchBar, to be more productive.

I created a simple LaunchBar action that creates an anchor tag based on the current page loaded in Chrome. This action displays 2 formats - one HTML and the other Markdown. The HTML version is perfect for pasting in any HTML editor. The Markdown formatis great when you want to reference the page in a Slack chat.

Chrome H T M L Launch Bar
Download the Action

Installing the Action

  • Download the Chrome URL Action for LaunchBar
  • UnZip the file
  • Double Click on the file to properly install it in LaunchBar

Tips on Using this Action

  • Use the LaunchBar shortcut and type in "URL"
  • Hit Enter to create a link to the current Google Page.
  • The first time you use this action, Apple will ask you to allow LaunchBar to interact with Chrome - simple say Yes!
  • After the Permission box disappears you should see the URLs. Select the format that you would like to use, by default the HTML is selected.
  • Use "Shift Return" to insert the text in the current application
  • Use "Command C" to copy to the clipboard.
  • Use "Tab Title" to Convert the word to Title Case.

 

Canon XA40 Bad Features

I really like the Canon xa40, but there are a few quirks that I don't like. Here's my rundown of the most annoying features of the Canon xa40.

Three Features that I wished Canon would have done differently.

Canom X A40 Power Button

Power Slot Location

The power port is located on the right side of the camera. It's next to the eye viewfinder. This is where you plug in the camera to charge.

The problem is that the cover that protects the port makes it really hard to connect the power cable.

Canom X A40 Menu Button

Menu Button

The menu button is conveniently located at the back of the camera. This is how you access certain settings on the screen.

The problem is that it can be difficult to figure out where the button is when there is low light. I can see the word Menu, but I am pushing around trying to find the button.

Canon X A40 Audio Port

Microphone/Headphone Port

The audio and headphone ports are located next to each other on the front right of the camera. This is where you connect a microphone or headset.

The problem is that is very hard to tell which port to use when I want to connect an external microphone. The microphone/headphone text is hard to read - since I am still new to the camera, it takes me a second to try to figure out the right port.

On the Sony TRV-720 they have different color ports so it's easy to figure out which port is which.

 

XPath Validation

Selenium automation requires getting the XPath to find elements on the page. There are all sorts of third-party tools that can help make the process easy. Did you know that Chrome and Firefox have a built-in tool that can show you the value of a given XPath?

Discovering the Value of a Given XPath

There is a hidden variable: $x while echos the content of given XPath. Example Use:

$x("//BODY")

XPath Console

Four Things I Learned

In Chrome, If you just type in "$" in the console, you'll see all the available commands. However, Google doesn't show $x in that list. Firefox does show that $x is a valid variable.

The $x XPath Validation is very useful to discover the value of an object. Especially useful when automation is trying to click on something and it's not working. This is also useful when running automation against different browsers - you can see the different XPATH values each browser takes.

I have used this after an automation failure, with the browser still open, I would open the console and then use the $x to see the value of that location.

In Chrome, When you mouse over the 'i" the selected area is highlighted. In Firefox it's the cog icon.

 

Final Expenses Phone Scam

A recent scam making the rounds is targeting seniors with a promise of help paying for final expenses. The scammers call and say they are from a funeral home or other organization that helps with end-of-life arrangements. They then ask for personal information, such as Social Security numbers, in order to process the payment.

Don't be fooled by this scam! There is no legitimate organization that will contact you out of the blue and asks for your personal information in order to pay for your final expenses. If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately and report it to the FTC Consumer Sentinel Network .

There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from scams like this:

Never give out personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call and know who you're talking to. Legitimate organizations will never ask for your Social Security number or other sensitive information without first verifying your identity.

Sample Call

This is a sample of the Final Expense call that I get many times a day. In this call, the call get lost in some computer glitch and I end up hanging up because they are using too much of my time.

 

Improving Speed and Slashing Carbon Emissions

Drone delivery is a promising solution to America s supply chain crisis. As increasing demand combined with growing customer expectations for next-day or even same-day delivery continues to push the supply chain past its breaking point, current ground vehicle-based logistics networks are proving inefficient. Fortunately, drone technology is helping to transport goods with on-demand, just-in-time access, while also improving speed and convenience and slashing carbon emissions.

Drone Delivery

Drone delivery service live in Virginia

After getting the green-light from the government, Wing, an autonomous delivery drone service, successfully began delivering goods to residents in Christiansburg, Virginia over two years ago. They ve now made over 100,000 commercial deliveries. Walgreens, the first retail pharmacy to team-up with Wing, provides customers with over-the-counter medicines and health and wellness items, while FedEx Express are also working with Wing to provide some of their shipments via drone. Local Virginia retailer, Sugar Magnolia, is also selling gifts, sweets, and birthday cards with the option of Wing drone delivery. In fact, most orders within the four-mile radius of Wing s distribution facility arrive at customer s front doors in just 10 minutes.

Innovative technology

Wing s drones can travel at impressive speeds of up to 78 miles per hour and for around six miles in between charges. Two propellers and a dozen vertical rotors equip them with the ability to take off and land vertically. During pickup, the drones hover around 20 feet in the air, before a tether drops and a human operator connects the package to it. Next, the drone secures the package before delivering it to the recipient (it lowers and releases the package in the correct designated location). After sensing the package has been delivered safely, the drone continues to the next pickup destination. Routes are planned with automated flight-planning software, while a camera and in-built sensors help the drones avoid obstacles.

Improving efficiency and sustainability

Drones are just one piece of technology helping improve speed and efficiency in logistics. For example, rail freight is also becoming increasingly automated. In fact, 43% of rail operators intend to invest in artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve efficiency within the next three years. But, when it comes to drones, 87% of Christiansburg residents are happy with the service as it s convenient and reduces traffic congestion. In fact, drone delivery in a single U.S. metropolitan area is estimated to take the equivalent of 25,000 cars off the road and slash carbon emissions by up to 113,900 tonnes every year. Drones are also energy efficient and use far less energy than electric vehicles. As Wing explains, It takes more energy for you to boil pasta on your stove than it does for us to deliver you a box of pasta .

Although drones clearly aren t capable of handling all logistics, they re playing a key role in optimizing modern supply chains. By improving sustainability, speed, and resiliency, drone delivery services are set to become a lot more commonplace across the country in the near future.

 

CameraBag Pro

CameraBag Pro is a professional photo editing software for macOS that can help you to improve your photos with just a few clicks. The app offers an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, as well as a wide range of features and filters that will let you edit your photos to perfection. CameraBag Pro also includes support for RAW files, so you can get the most out of your images. If you're looking for an easy way to improve your photography skills, then CameraBag Pro is definitely worth checking out.

Product Description

CameraBag lets you instantly apply one of the hundreds of beautiful presets to your photos (and videos with CameraBag Pro), and then dive deeper with ultra-intuitive professional adjustments. It's no wonder Apple awarded it the #2 Mac App of the Year and Professional Photographer Magazine called it "a revolution for photo editing."

Camera Bag Pro

Five Things I Like About CameraBag Pro

Here are the five things that I like about CameraBag Pro - and why you should get it if you are a videographer.

Color Correct Videos - The Pro version has the ability to correct videos and images. Now you don't have to play around with Final Cut Pro color settings. You can touch up videos right in CameraBag Pro and save the changes. This feature is really worth the $50 by itself. Basically, you save a lot of time second-guessing how to make a video clip better.

Export Filter LUT - When you have found the color style you like for a particular situation, you can save it as a LUT. You can then easily apply it to similar shots in Final Cut Pro. So for example, you can take a short video before a major production shoot, and use CameraBag Pro to create a LUT that will work for that scene and lighting.

20+ Classic Motion Film Stock Filters - CameraBag Pro 20+ Classic Motion Film Stock Filters is a professional photo editing app that allows you to add beautiful and realistic film stock filters to your photos. With this app, you can give your photos an old-school film look with just a few taps. The filters are adjustable, so you can customize the effect to suit your own style.

Quick Look / Presets - You have the ability to preview at all the settings. This gives you a good visual of what setting works for your particular image. Maybe you need Grain, Dynamics, or a slight Tone Curve adjustment? No more second-guessing - that's what the Presets are there for. Check to see how your image/video will look - you can still make adjustments to make the image stand out.

Not a Subscription Service - No monthly/yearly software subscription fees. Instead, a one-time payment for lifetime use of the software. Just pay for it now and use it whenever you need it. A nice change from other MacOS apps.

 

Random Email Generator

This week's LaunchBar Action is a Random Email Generator.

A random email generator is a great tool for engineers that want to test email functionality. Also great for consumers that don't want to use their real email address at the risk of getting tons of spam emails.

Emails addresses generated by this action can be check using Mailinator.

Random Email Launch Bar

Installing the Action

  • Download the Random Email Action for LaunchBar
  • UnZip the file
  • Double Click on the file to properly install it in LaunchBar

Tips on Using this Action

  • Use the LaunchBar shortcut and type in "Random"
  • Hit Enter to generate the Random Email
  • Use "Shift Return" to insert the text in the current application
  • Use "Command C" to copy to the clipboard.
  • Use "Tab Title" to Convert the word to Title Case.

 

XA40 Features That I Like

The Canon XA40 camera is a great choice for professional videographers. It has three key features that make it stand out from the competition. First, the camera allows multiple audio inputs - allowing the videographer to use multiple mics at the same time. Second, it has a powerful 20x optical zoom lens that allows you to capture close-ups of your subject from a distance. Third, the camera's dual SD card slot makes sure you have a good backup plan in case something happens to the primary card.

Multiple Audio Inputs on the Video Camera

While many video cameras only have a single input for an external microphone, there are now a number of video cameras on the market that have multiple inputs. This is great news for anyone who wants to do video interviews because it means you no longer have to worry about connecting your microphone to the camera.

Just because a camera has multiple inputs, however, doesn't mean that it will work well with all microphones. Some microphones are designed to be plugged into a standard audio input, while others need their own power source. Make sure you know what type of microphone you're using before you start the video project.

Having multiple audio sources works well in Final Cut Pro. You can easily select the audio channel to use and mute the other channels.

20x Camera Zoom

The Canon XA40 is a great camera for anyone looking for an affordable, high-quality zoom camera. The camera has a 20x optical zoom, which means you can get close to your subject without having to move around. This is great for events or nature photography where you need to be able to capture a wide range of images without having to go too far from your subject. The image quality is also fantastic, with the ability to shoot in both 1080p and 4K resolution.

In my tests, I find the zoom to be similar to the 300mm lenses on a Nikon DSLR. You can zoom into a scene without a loss of video quality. The lens can give you a range of 29.3 ' 601mm.

Canon xa40 with Dual SD Card Slot

When it comes to video, the more safety you have, the better. That's why dual SD card slots make it easy to keep your footage safe by allowing you to record simultaneously to two cards. This way, if one card fails or is corrupted, you still have the other copy of your footage as a backup.

You can also set it so that if one card happens to fill up before your shoot is over, you can simply switch to the other card and keep going without missing a beat! This is useful when shooting in 4K which takes up a lot of space.

The nice thing too is that you can set the video to be on one card and photos to go on the other card. This makes it easy to separate video and photo work on a project.

 

Canned Responses in Jira

Canned Responses in Jira is a powerful feature that can save you time and improve your productivity. It allows you to create and store reusable responses for common tasks, such as creating issues, assigning them to someone, or commenting on them. This can be a huge time-saver if you need to respond to the same types of issues frequently.

To create a canned response:

  • In the issue's Quick Actions menu, select Create Canned Response...
  • Enter your response text in the editor window and click Save .
  • The canned response will now appear in the list below. You can edit it at any time by clicking its name. To use it in an issue, just type $ followed by its name (e.g., @$yCannedResponse).

This is useful for QA to create custom responses to testing results. This helps maintain some stability in the testing results.

Canned Response
Sample of where the Canned Reponse is in the comment text dialog box.

Some Example Canned Responses

Issue Ready

*Ready:* Tested using the react app on the QA Server with the latest-$issueKey$ branch

(/) Validated that

Failed Issues

Hey $assigneeFirstName$, I found an issue testing this issue.

Any Testing Steps?

How should QA test this ticket? Do you have a case study so we can validate this functionality? What are the risk points?

What are the expected results of going to each environment'

 

Yellow Can Man

This week's video features a truck loading up a 15-yard Dumpster onto a truck. Probably not the most exciting video that I have posted up on this site, but it is interesting to watch how they manage to get the heavy dumpster up on the truck. It seems like it would be difficult to get such a large object onto the back of a vehicle, but these professionals make it look easy!

I think this video is worth watching because it shows how much effort goes into waste management. It can be easy to take for granted all of the work that goes into keeping our environment clean, but videos like this remind us of just how important it is. I encourage you to watch this week's video and learn more about what goes into waste management!

Watch the Video!

 

Declutter Time

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in your home? Are you struggling to find a place for everything? If so, it may be time to consider donating some of your belongings to a declutter donation center.

Donating your excess stuff can be incredibly freeing. It can help you get organized and make space for the things that matter most to you. Plus, it's a great way to help those in need.

There are many declutter donation centers out there, so do your research and find one that best suits your needs. Some centers accept donations of all kinds, while others specialize in certain types of items. Be sure to read up on the center's policies before making any donations.

If you're not sure what to donate, here are a few ideas:

  • Clothing: Donate clothes that are no longer wearable or no longer fit. Hey if your not going to wear it anymore, why are use still keeping it.
  • Books: Donate books that you've already read or don't plan on reading again.
  • Toys: Donate toys that are no longer played with or have been replaced by newer versions.
  • Household Items: Donate unused furniture, appliances, and kitchen supplies."

 

Beep Clock

Have you ever had the need to convert a time format to 2.563 hours into something more human-readable? If so, you're not alone! In fact, this is a common task that many people need to do on a regular basis.

Luckily, there's an easy way to do this - and it doesn't require any special software or tools. All you need is a basic calculator! Here's how it works:

First, divide the number of hours by 60 (or 6 if you're working in minutes). So, in our example case, 2.563 divided by 60 equals 0.041666667 (or 4 minutes and 16 seconds). Now take that number and multiply it by 100 (or 10 if you're working in seconds). So 0.041666667 multiplied by 100 equals 4.16667 (or 4 hours and 16 minutes).

And voila - your time has now been converted from Hours:Minutes:Seconds format into something more human-readable!

Better Solution

beepmyclock.com has a handy tool to convert decimal time into something that is more readable and easier to explain.

It's a handy tool to have when you need to know the conversion.

This online tool will help you convert decimal hours to hours, minutes and seconds.

Beep My Clock
https://beepmyclock.com/decimal-to-hms

 

Macintosh ExFAT Format

Macintosh ExFat Format is the best way to format your USB drive for use with a Macintosh computer. This format provides compatibility with both Mac and Windows operating systems, making it the perfect choice for cross-platform users.

If you're having problems copying large files to a USB, chances are it's because the USB is using an outdated file system. Unfortunately, the only way to convert to ExFAT is to reformat the USB.

Enfain Ex F A T

Use ExFat Format

USB thumb drives are a convenient way to move files between computers, but their size can be limiting. A USB thumb drive formatted with the Macintosh ExFat file system can store large files without running into the size limitations of other file systems.

The ExFat file system was designed for flash drives and other portable media. It supports files up to 16 terabytes in size, making it ideal for storing large video or image files. The ExFat format is also compatible with both Windows and Mac computers, making it a versatile choice for transferring files between different platforms.

Microsoft Patents

Microsoft owns the patents on several elements of the ExFAT technical design. This means that any company that wants to use this technology must license it from Microsoft. While this may seem like a burden, it is actually a good thing for companies. Microsoft has a strong track record of protecting its patents and ensuring that its technology is used in a responsible way. This means that companies can be confident that they will not face legal challenges from Microsoft if they use ExFAT in their products.

 

Random Words

LaunchBar is a powerful productivity tool that helps you work faster and smarter. It provides instant access to your files, folders, applications, and more. With LaunchBar, you can launch apps with just a few keystrokes, search for information on the web or your computer quickly and easily, open documents and emails with just a couple of clicks, and more.

This week's LaunchBar action is a list of random words. This is useful when you need to test a listing functionality.

Launch Bar Random Words

Installing the Action

  • Download the Randoms Word Action for LaunchBar
  • UnZip the file
  • Double Click on the file to properly install it in LaunchBar

Tips on Using this Action

  • Use the LaunchBar shortcut and type in "Random" and use the down arrow to select Ransom Words
  • Hit Enter to generate the Random Words
  • Use "Shift Return" to insert the text in the current application
  • Use "Command C" to copy to the clipboard.
  • Use "Tab Title" to Convert the word to Title Case.

 

Canon XA40 Time Code

The Canon XA40 is a great video camera for professional use. It has excellent features, including time code. Time code is very important in professional video production because it allows you to synchronize different pieces of footage together. The Canon XA40 makes this process easy and efficient, which is why it's such a popular choice among professionals.

Time Code Settings

Resetting the Time Code

When you start a new project, it's always a good idea to reset the time code. This way, you'll know exactly how much footage you actually shot. This is especially important if you're working on a tight deadline. By resetting the time code, you can avoid any confusion and ensure that your project stays on track.

There are two modes to consider:

Preset - This resets the time code back to 00:00:00:00. In most cases, this is what you should select one.

Regen - This checked the SD card for the last media and start from that point. This is useful if you switch SD cards for different projects.

 

Release Engineer Queue Boss

Back in 2011, I wrote up the need for an Engineer Queue Boss. This is a short follow-up to that post. (Things have changed in the 11 years since I posted it.)

Release Engineer Queue Boss

An Engineer Queue Boss is someone that handles any issues that Quality Assurance or Customer Support finds. The purpose of this position is to take the load off other engineers so they can focus on their tasks and not be distracted by current issues.

The Engineer Queue Boss needs to have a strong understanding of how the product works, as well as the ability to communicate with both customers and engineers. They need to be able to prioritize tasks and work with other teams in order to get things done quickly and efficiently.

The Engineer Queue Boss will work with the rest of the team to triage and prioritize production release issues, then work to resolve them as quickly as possible. They must have excellent communication skills, be able to effectively manage their time, and have a strong understanding of how the software works.

This position is essential for keeping engineers focused on their tasks and ensuring that customer support and quality assurance are able to do their jobs without being overwhelmed by current issues.

 

Cash App Phone Scam

Cash App is a great way to send and receive money, but there are some scams that you need to watch out for.

One scam is when someone asks you to pay for something with Cash App and sends you a fake invoice. Be careful of any requests like this, and always make sure that the person or company you're paying is legitimate.

Another scam involves someone posing as a Cash App representative. They may ask for your personal information or try to get money from you by saying there's been an issue with your account. Don't give them any information and report the incident to Cash App immediately if this happens.

Phone Call

Listen in to this Cash App call that I got last week - Oh, I don't even have a Cash App account...

 

Keeping you and your loved ones safe from online scams

Safe Online Scams

Online scams are becoming increasingly common, with catfishing alone costing Americans $201 million in recent years. While it may not be possible to achieve total security, educating yourself on the telltale signs of a scam is more important than ever. Modern scammers target their victims on every communications platform from email to mobile phones.

How to spot a scam

The first step to protecting you and your loved ones from scams is being able to recognize their many forms. Scams usually play on our emotions by promising rewards that are too good to be true or making threats. Instilling a sense of urgency is a key part of many scams. These criminals will aim to convince you to part with your money or personal information before you have time to detect the scam. This is often done by masquerading as an official government organization such as the IRS and threatening legal action should you refuse to comply.

The vast majority of communications from scammers will be unsolicited. As such, communications requesting money, and notifying you of unexpected charges or promising rewards should be seen as highly suspicious. However, not all scams are initiated by the scammer. Online dating is rife with catfishing, a scam where the criminal will assume a fake name and persona, convincing victims to send them money under the pretense of romance. As online dating increasingly becomes the norm, users of these platforms must be aware of the potential risks. Tech support scams have been one of the most nefarious and successful criminal enterprises over the last few decades with call centers making millions of dollars each year from mostly elderly victims. These scams usually originate from popup ads or viruses claiming that your operating system has detected an issue that must be resolved. These popups usually point to a phone number claiming to be official tech support. In reality, the phone will be picked up by a scammer in a fraudulent call center whose task will be to convince the victim to hand over money in exchange for removing the non-existent virus.

Protecting you and your loved ones

Children and the elderly are most susceptible to scammers and as such are usually their targets. Unlike children, however, it is difficult if not unreasonable to keep an eye on your elderly loved ones. Instead, the best way to protect them is to teach them to protect themselves the way you do, with a few simple rules. Scammers usually look for personal information and bank details. Ensure that they know not to share this information online and to spot strange or unorthodox payment methods such as gift cards. Many scams mimic official government or company websites and emails to lull victims into a false sense of security. Make a habit of double-checking URLs and email addresses before clicking on the contents. If something looks too good to be true then almost invariably it will be a scam. Checking for these signs and avoiding shady websites and downloads will go a long way towards ensuring your safety online.

The world s increasing digitization over the last few years has led to online scams becoming more prevalent than ever. It s difficult to protect yourself on the internet but for those of us who are educated on scams, our greatest worry may be for family members and loved ones. In this case, learning the rules ourselves and passing them on is critical to keeping them safe.

 

RansomWare Attack

Ransomware attacks are on the rise and pose a serious threat to both individuals and businesses. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts data on a victim's computer, then demands payment in order to decrypt the data. Victims can be forced to pay ransom in order to regain access to their files, or face permanent loss of access if they do not pay.

Ransomware can have a devastating impact on businesses, including loss of revenue and damage to reputation. In some cases, ransomware attacks have caused companies to go out of business. Ransomware also poses a risk to individual users, who may lose important personal files if they are infected with ransomware.

Check out the map put together by comparitech.com where Ransomware have been successful.

Website Description

Each dot represents the location of a ransomware attack, with the color of the dot indicating the sector affected (healthcare, education, government, and business).

This map updates daily and pinpoints the locations of each ransomware attack in the world, from 2018 to the present day. Where available, it includes the ransom amount, whether or not the ransom was paid, the entity, sector, and industry that was targeted, and the strain of ransomware used. Our researchers search through country reports, industry news, and cybersecurity databases to find the latest ransomware attacks on worldwide businesses, healthcare organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Ransom Ware Attack
https://www.comparitech.com/blog/information-security/global-ransomware-attacks/

 

AppleScript Script Menu

Adding a script menu to the menu bar is an incredibly useful feature that I recently discovered. This allows you to easily run AppleScript whenever you would like, without having to search for it in your Applications folder. This can be really helpful if you need to run a script regularly, or if you just want easy access to your scripts.

Apple Script Menu

Five Things I Learned

Each application can have a specific set of AppleScript files. This helps declutter the menu and have only the essential scripts shown. Every application can have its own script folder - even if the Applicationdoesn't have built-in support for AppleScript.

In the example above, I have two AppleScripts where I generate an anchor tag for HTML or Markdown. The script output is saved to the clipboard - ready to be pasted in any application.

Do you code in PHP, Python, or BASH? No problem, you can always have AppleScript run your code! Here's a sample line:

do shell script "Python3 ~/scripts/something.py"

That one line of code will execute a Python Script. It can be modified to run any Shell command. Now you can run your code anyplace.

There isn't a way to assign shortcut keys to any AppleScript command.

This is the AppleScript that I wrote to generate the HTML tag of the active Chrome Browser:

tell application "Google Chrome"
	set broswerurl to get URL of active tab of first window
	set browsertitle to get title of active tab of first window
	set the clipboard to "<a href="" & broswerurl & "" >" & browsertitle & "</a >"
end tell

 

Random Word

This week's featured LaunchBar action is the basic Random Word. There are times when you are at a loss of what word to put in a field. This action makes it easy to have a random word generated whenever you need it.

RandomWordLaunchBar.jpg

Installing the Action

  • Download the Random Word Action for LaunchBar
  • UnZip the file
  • Double Click on the file to properly install it in LaunchBar

Tips on Using this Action

  • Use the LaunchBar shortcut and type in "Random"
  • Hit Enter to generate the Random Word
  • Use "Shift Return" to insert the text in the current application
  • Use "Command C" to copy to the clipboard.
  • Use "Tab Title" to Convert the word to Title Case.

 

Canon XA40 4k Video

When it comes to video, capturing the best quality footage is always a top priority. And while shooting in 4k may seem like overkill for some situations, it can be well worth it in the end.

On cameras like the Canon XA40, shooting an hour of 4k video takes up about 70GB of space on your SD card. This means that if you plan on filming for an hour, you should have at least a 128GB card in the camera slot. The amount of disk space required can vary depending on how many audio channels are being used. For example, if you're using two microphones instead of one, then your disk space requirements will go up by 50%.

If you have a 64GB card and are only using one microphone with 4k resolution and 30fps (frames per second), then you'll max out at around 55 minutes of footage before needing to switch cards or start deleting files.

Reference Graphic

4kExtremeSD.jpg

 

Dev Tools Screen-shot

People use different browsers for various reasons. Some people like the privacy feature of Firefox, while others like the way things are bookmarked in Chrome. Still, others prefer Safari because it is a MacOS default browser. Finally, some people use Edge because it is the newest browser and Microsoft is pushing it as their flagship product.

Occasionally I'll get a screenshot of the Developer Tools in a ticket and I can't figure out what browser they are using. Is it Chrome? Firefox?

Should I ask? Maybe I should know based on the screenshot?

Here's a visual reference of Chrome, FireFox, Edge and Safari. This should help figure out which Developer Tool is being used.

ChromeDevTools.jpg
Chrome (MacOS)

SafariWebInspector.jpg
Apple Safari

MicrosoftEdgeDevTools.jpg
Microsoft Edge

FireFoxDeveloperTools.jpg
FireFox

 

Stealing Identity

I get calls all the time from companies like "Senior Care." Trying to sell me on some low-cost final expense that has "become available recently in my state." I'm not sure how many people have fallen for this, but it's a scam.

The caller usually starts by saying that they are from a company called Senior Care and they offer low-cost final expenses. They'll ask if you're interested in learning more, and then they'll try to get your personal information, like your Social Security number or date of birth. They may even promise freebies or discounts if you sign up right away.

Don't be fooled ' this is a scam! Legitimate companies will never call you out of the blue and try to sell you something. If someone does call you with an offer like this, just hang up. Its not worth reporting to the FTC as they spoof their call-back number.

Are You Trying to Steal My ID?

In this quick call, I flat out asked the caller... are you stealing my identity. Hey if it was a legitimate call from "Senior Care" they would defend themselves...

 

Video Project Distribution

I am putting together some videos for a project that I recently did. The project requires two types of distribution; DVD and USB Thumb drive. For the DVD, I will need to create a menu and put all of the videos into one file. Then, I will need to create an ISO file so that it can be burned onto a disc. For the USB thumb drive, each video needs to be its own individual file with its own name.

Video Distribution2022

DVD

First, let's talk about DVDs. Creating a menu with Toast 10 Peo is really easy and it gives your video presentation a professional look. You can also include additional files on the disc such as PDFs or images if you want. The downside is that not everyone has a DVD player anymore, so you may be limiting your audience somewhat by using this format.

USB Thumb Drive

Now let's talk about USB thumb drives. This method is more versatile because almost everyone has one of these and they are very easy to use - just plug them in and go! However, there isn't really any way to create menus or add additional files like there is with DVDs (although this can be done using software like Autoplay Media Studio). Another downside of this format is that larger video files can take up quite bit of space on your thumb drive which may not be ideal if you're trying to transport them somewhere."

When choosing a thumb drive, you have to decide how much storage you need. A 4GB drive will hold plenty of music or photos, but if you want to store a movie or large file, you'll need something bigger.

A 16GB thumb drive can hold up to 4 hours of high-definition video, so it's perfect for storing your favorite movies and TV shows. Plus, the extra storage space means that you can take your entire digital library with you wherever you go.

Amazon sells 16GB ten-packs for $22.94 and the 9Gb sells for $21.20.

No More DVD Production?

DVDs could soon be a thing of the past. With more and more people getting their entertainment online or through USB thumb drives, DVD distribution might not be viable for much longer.

This might be the last project where I'll create DVDs as part of the distribution. I think more projects are going to be distributed online or via USB thumb drive.

The thumb drives should last about 10-years. Assuming that people don't watch the movie from the thumb drive a couple of thousand times.

 

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