Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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2/26/2013


SummersTime for the week of 01/28/2013

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 10:28 pm

This program, Kate plays the second episode of the Adventures by Morse series, “The Girl on Shipwreck Island,” I run two episodes of Captain Midnight, she goes back to the Old West with Marshall Matt Dillon and the smell of Gunsmoke, and I revisit my friend Lon Clark as the Comic Weekly Man!

SummersTime is the Radio Once More show hosted by father-and-daughter team Kate and Charlie Summers. Our goal is to pick some awesome Old-Time Radio shows that we want to hear or share with each other, and then play them for you, too! Be sure to listen to this week’s broadcast - schedule posted both at the SummersTime website and at Radio Once More!

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc. - just add the the RSS link over on the sidebar or hit the button) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  SummersTime Jan. 28, 2013 [119:32m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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US Internet providers start spy program

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 1:15 am

From RT: US Internet providers start spy program to stop file-sharing

From the article: “Starting this week, Internet Service Providers will start throttling connection speeds for customers alleged to be pirating copyright-protected materials. Months after a controversial ’six-strike’ program was slated to be rolled out by the biggest ISPs in the United States, the Copyright Alert System (CAS) confirmed on Monday that the initiative has gone live.”

This means I am being spied-upon by the company I pay to access the Internet. If I had any option whatsoever, I’d take it…but then the companies have made certain there is no real competition in broadband in the United States, which is why we are becoming a third-world nation when it comes to Internet access. Awesome.

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2/20/2013


BitTorrent Common Questions and Answers

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 12:45 pm

Recently BitTorrent, Inc. (the company behind the BitTorrent client, not the “owner” of the protocol, which is open) set up a website to explain or justify why BitTorrent (the protocol this time) is a “good thing.” Unfortunately, like any public-relations-based campaign, it’s full of feel-good but doesn’t have much in the way of education. Since I’m a firm believer that if you know about something it stops being scary, here’s a Q/A about BitTorrent that might explain a bit more than the fluff BT, Inc. is shoveling around.

What is BitTorrent?

BitTorrent is a “P2P” (Peer-to-Peer) protocol that distributes files among peer downloaders. Files are broken down internally into tiny pieces, and as you download some pieces, you are simultaneously uploading pieces you already have to other users. By sharing pieces, everyone who is downloading receives the file faster than they could if there were only a single access point for everyone.

Isn’t it illegal?

Nope. People can do illegal things with it, just like people can use a hammer to drive a nail or bash a head. The protocol itself is perfectly legal and legitimate…as long as you don’t download a torrent with copyrighted files without the holder’s permission, you’re fine. (Truth is, most illegal file transfers don’t use BitTorrent anyway. A while back some Italian hacker used a software flaw to use my server to serve illegal files via IRC DCC transfers…if it weren’t for my server farm tech support crew helping me remove the installed DCC server and files, it could easily have bled me of all my bandwidth and gotten me in serious trouble with the law.)

Does it do nasty things to my system?

Nope. For some reason, a lot of people have the impression this tiny application takes over a computer, forcing it to do whatever the application wants. Nothing could be farther from the truth; indeed, most clients are actually just Python scripts, which can be read by anyone (although it looks a little like gobbelty-gook unless you know how to program in Python) and so they are easily audited. I’m not sure how this rumor got started, but it is quite prevalent among those who don’t understand BitTorrent.
(more…)

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2/17/2013


SummersTime for the week of 01/21/2013

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 2:41 pm

Kate plays the first episode of the Adventures by Morse series, “The Girl on Shipwreck Island,” I share the premiere episode of Behind the Mike, she goes back to noir with an episode of Boston Blackie, and I close it out with an episode of Crime Classics that reminds me of my favorite date!

SummersTime is the Radio Once More show hosted by father-and-daughter team Kate and Charlie Summers. Our goal is to pick some awesome Old-Time Radio shows that we want to hear or share with each other, and then play them for you, too! Be sure to listen to this week’s broadcast - schedule posted both at the SummersTime website and at Radio Once More!

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc. - just add the the RSS link over on the sidebar or hit the button) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  SummersTime Jan. 21, 2013 [119:30m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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2/13/2013


You need to watch this episode of Moyers and Company…

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 2:08 am

…especially if you have Internet access (and if you don’t, how are you reading this?).

Look, I whine a lot in this space about how Internet access in the United States is pitifully slow compared to other parts of the developed world, and folks tend to ho-hum. But Susan Crawford, former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology and innovation and author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age shows how the U.S. government has allowed a few powerful media conglomerates to put profit ahead of the public interest — rigging the rules, raising prices, and stifling competition. As a result, Crawford says, all of us are at the mercy of the biggest business monopoly since Standard Oil in the first Gilded Age a hundred years ago.

An example from the show: “It’s fair to say that the U.S. at the best is in the middle of the pack when it comes to both the speed and cost of high speed internet access connections. So in Hong Kong right now you can get a 500 megabit symmetric connection that’s unimaginably fast from our standpoint for about 25 bucks a month. In Seoul, for $30 you get three choices of different providers of fiber in your apartment. And they come in and install in a day because competition’s so fierce. In New York City there’s only one choice, and it’s 200 bucks a month for a similar service. And you can’t get that kind of fiber connection outside of New York City in many parts of the country. Verizon’s only serving about 10 percent of Americans. So let’s talk about the wireless side for a moment, you know, the separate marketplace that people use for mobility. In Europe you can get unlimited texting and voice calls and data for about $30 a month, similar service from Verizon costs $90 a month. That’s a huge difference.”

Seriously…watch this episode.

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2/11/2013


It’s Now Illegal to Unlock Your Cellphone

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 10:57 am

It’s Now Illegal to Unlock Your Cellphone

From the article: “…in short, it is illegal to unlock a phone from a carrier unless you have that carrier’s permission to do so. If you’re wondering what this has to do with copyright, it turns out not much.”

This is a truly idiotic decision by the Librarian of Congress, one that basically means if you purchase something you are then not permitted to use it as you please, but only as the seller pleases. And so there’s no misunderstanding, I have every intention of unlocking every cell phone I purchase, regardless of the ruling. Let the carriers sue.

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2/8/2013


TPB AFK (The Pirate Bay - Away from Keyboard) Film Available

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 5:46 pm

Disclaimer: Haven’t seen it yet; haven’t even started downloading it (am transferring future SummersTime episodes to the blog right now), but the film detailing the trials of the operators of The Pirate Bay is now available for downloading from…ok, this should be really obvious…The Pirate Bay.

Please note the copyright holder of the film encourages you to download and watch…this is completely legal all over the world.

Still, though, since I don’t trust my ISP or the Entertainment Industry, I’m going to download it through a VPN (Virtual Private Network) - that way, even with the invasive tracking, they can’t “strike me” for downloading a legal file they might not want me to see. (The simplistic methodology of MarkMonitor seems to be, “BitTorrent…Bad!” even though there are many legitimate uses for the protocol.)

From the NFO file accompanying the film:

My name is Simon and I am the director/producer of the film TPB AFK:
The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard. After 5 years of hard work, it's a
great pleasure to finally upload a torrent about this great website
onto the site itself. In a way, I guess TPB AFK has finally come home.
This is not just a film about the founders of TPB, but also a film
about all of you who use the site. Please convert this film into all
possible formats and share it as much as you can!

Note that there are english subtitles both embedded and included within the torrent files. And to avoid linking directly to TPB (some U.S. ISPs, and even some entire countries block access directly to The Pirate Bay), here are the magnet links to supply to your BitTorrent client:

1080p - TPB.AFK.2013.1080p.h264-SimonKlose 6.84 GiB (7349488128 Bytes)
720p - TPB.AFK.2013.720p.h264-SimonKlose 3.5 GiB (3753784421 Bytes)
480p - TPB.AFK.2013.480p.h264-SimonKlose 974.11 MiB (1021429419 Bytes)

Feel free to review the film in the comments. And after you’ve downloaded, please continue to seed this legally-downloaded film.

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2/7/2013


Why Facebook may want to track your location

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 10:53 am

From CNN: Why Facebook may want to track your location

From the article: “Facebook may be working on an app that will let your friends, or even complete strangers, know where you are at all times.”

What idiot would install and use this application?

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2/6/2013


SummersTime for the week of 01/14/2013

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 8:24 pm

Kate starts us off laughing at The Adventures of Archie Andrews, I get serious with the smell of Gunsmoke, she visits the seedier side of Los Angeles with Dragnet, and I play an episode of The Adventures of Sam Spade!

SummersTime is the Radio Once More show hosted by father-and-daughter team Kate and Charlie Summers. Our goal is to pick some awesome Old-Time Radio shows that we want to hear or share with each other, and then play them for you, too! Be sure to listen to this week’s broadcast - schedule posted both at the SummersTime website and at Radio Once More!

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc. - just add the the RSS link over on the sidebar or hit the button) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  SummersTime Jan. 14, 2013 [120:21m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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2/2/2013


Fixing “Low on Space” Errors on Samsung Dart & Other Android Phones

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 7:54 pm

Anyone with a low-end Android device like the Samsung Dart has, or eventually will, run into the dreaded, “Low on Space” error. The notification you receive directs you to the Manage Apps app, where the generally-accepted solution is to either delete some of your applications or to clear the cache on every application you have. The former will fix the error, but cripple the phone since you can’t use the applications you remove. Clearing the cache is a temporary solution at best, since eventually the cache will fill up again and this warning will return.

In researching this issue, I was not-so-surprised to find many snide answers that suggest you buy a new phone, since clearly you bought a low-end phone in the first place and so shouldn’t expect to get anything done with it anyway. Those kids can be as smug in their superiority as they wish, but obviously that doesn’t fix the problem. Some Dart owners can’t afford to spend hundreds on a phone, others can’t see it’s particularly worthwhile, and the rest of us actually like the underpowered-yet-capable Dart and aren’t particularly interested in replacing it.

The “buy a new phone” answer is a lot like suggesting that if you can’t read a CD you should replace your entire computer system…pretty unacceptable, if you ask me. So let’s see if we can research the problem and come up with an actual, helpful solution to the problem instead of just being a patronizing jerk, shall we?
(more…)

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2/1/2013


Why I’m using a VPN…and why YOU should, too

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 5:53 pm

As yet another added monthly expense that, like most folks in the world right now I can’t really afford in this economy, I have purchased and am now using a VPN - Virtual Private Network. It’s a fancy name for an end-to-end encrypted connection to another machine somewhere else on the network. As I connect to my server right now, the logs in my server show me connecting from an IP in London, England…a trip I assure you I am only making virtually, not actually.

Why in the world would I want to connect to my own server from England when I have a perfectly good connection through Verizon aDSL? It’s actually because I have a connection through Verizon that I made the decision to connect through a VPN. Because Verizon is monitoring my connection and my datastream. And if you have your Internet connection through any of the “big five,” your provider is monitoring your connection, too. It’s in the name of combating “piracy,” but it is in reality all about the money - yours, and how to separate it from you.
(more…)

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