Review Geek’s Wise Response to the Wyze and eufy Security Failings with their Cameras

The article’s closing is spot on:

And frankly, every company is “one bad day” away from the same situation. It all depends on how they handle disclosure. For now, in all transparency, I can only tell you that I own Wyze cameras, and they are still plugged in. I know the risks, and I’m willing to take them.

But that’s not the same thing as recommending them to anyone else. No recommendation should start with, “this is a good option, but first, you should know some things.” And that would be a requirement. The only safe bet you can take is to not place security cameras in your home at all.

Emphasis mine, Source: Why Review Geek Can’t Recommend Wyze or eufy Cameras Anymore – Review Geek

Go read the whole thing if you’re interest in a great summary of the details. Another great article from Josh Hendrickson, Editor in Chief of Review Geek.

Re-configuring Email for Modern Authentication and MFA

I slowly lost some of my email functionality over the past year and just didn’t have time to fix the problems until now.

The first problem was no longer being able to use Thunderbird for updating my offline Mbox format email archives for my job. I handle all current email, work and personal, via web clients. But for long term storage and future readability nothing beats Mbox, my archive goes back to 1997. My client of choice for my Mbox archives is Thunderbird.

Over time as the security for Office 365 tightened I stopped being able to connect and move current mail to the archives. I’d searched a bit for solutions but all I found either didn’t work or was too insecure for me. Today I looked again and found these great instructions. Configure Thunderbird for Modern Authentication and MFA

The other problem was with my first custom IoT device, a monitor for the basement dehumidifier. My cable ISP provided an IP secured SMTP server since the beginning but over the last year it slowly has been changed. This meant the daily status, and water collection tray full, emails were no longer working.

I’ve settled on the App Password solution for my custom Python code as described here: G-Mail and less secure sign-in technology – Raspberry Pi Forums. I would like a more secure solution but so far I haven’t found one that’s free.

A Spot On Review Geek Article

I can’t even quibble with any of the details in the article. To be environmentally friendly, I use rechargeable AA’s & AAA’s in most of my devices.

It’s getting harder to find battery-powered keyboards. And I mean keyboards that run on AA or AAA batteries, not the rechargeable monstrosities that constantly beg for a USB cable. Wireless keyboards that use disposable batteries last longer than their rechargeable counterparts, and frankly, they’re a lot better for your wallet and your sanity.

Go read the whole article: Why Wireless Keyboards Should Use AAA Batteries – Review Geek

Bad Design Practices from the Aviation Industry Ruin It for the Rest of Us

The aviation industry skimped on designing their altimeters by not including bandpass filtering to prevent interference from outside of their authorized operating band. Now it’s short sighted reckless drive for profit has caused so much economic disruption for the Telco’s that the FCC may have to double the regulatory burden on ALL electronic receiver manufacturers who use any radio band for any purpose including simple toys.

The aviation industry’s slowness in fixing altimeters may lead to the FCC cracking down on bad wireless receivers. In April, the FCC voted unanimously to launch an inquiry into poorly designed wireless devices that receive transmissions from outside their allotted frequencies.

The inquiry could result in new receiver regulations similar to the rules that already require wireless devices to transmit only in their licensed frequencies. “To avoid harmful interference, we typically have rules about how and when transmitters can operate,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said at the April meeting. “But wireless communications systems involve transmitters and receivers… so we need to rethink our approach to spectrum policy and move beyond just transmitters and consider receivers, too.”

Source: FAA: Airlines must retrofit faulty altimeters “as soon as possible” | Ars Technica

Great Commentary from Hackaday

The $2500.00 (MSRP) Kick Ass PC I had built by HP 4-1/2 years ago exceeds all of Microsoft’s performance requirements for Windows 11. However, because the 3.4GHz, quad core, 8 processor, CPU that I can never load more than 50% with intense CAD and multimedia work, is not a new enough Intel i7, I won’t be able to run Windows 11. 😦

I’ll probably migrate to a Linux Distro in 2024 especially since most of what I run can already run in *nix and I already use VM’s to run older Win32 CAD packages.

Unfortunately for the majority of people on the planet this won’t work for them. Instead many will trash the old systems leading to this potential outcome:

A NEW OS SHOULDN’T CAUSE AN E-WASTE CRISIS

Source: The Great Windows 11 Computer Extinction Experiment | Hackaday

I understand that Microsoft and it’s PC manufacturing partners need to sell new hardware. However they really should think more carefully what they are doing to the planet with this rather arbitrary forced obsolescence based on processor age, not performance. (My i7-6700 3.4GHz is way more powerful than many of the supported CPU’s)

Of course given the longer term industry trends this may backfire and force many more Windows users to switch to Chrome books and boxes, which frankly are a better choice for ordinary users. It seems really weird that Microsoft doesn’t seem to recognize that their migration of everything to the cloud has removed the need for a Windows PC for the vast majority of people on the planet.

SolarWinds hackers Clearly Indicate They Think the Most Gullible US Citizens are Trump Supporters

On Tuesday, Nobelium blasted 3,000 different addresses with emails that purported to deliver a special alert from USAID concerning new documents Former President Trump had published about election Fraud.

Only fools who do not understand what USAID is and believe the silly election fraud confidence trick would click the link.

Source: SolarWinds hackers are back with a new mass campaign, Microsoft says | Ars Technica

FlashPix (.fpx) File Conversion

Back at the turn of the century there was file format in Kodak and other digital cameras that offered lossless compression. This format was essential back when cameras were one megapixel or less and any JPEG compression severely limited post processing capabilities.

At that time nearly all photo editing software supported this open standard file format but as camera resolutions increased FlashPix was dropped by manufacturers and the software vendors followed a little later. By the start of the last decade only a few programs supported the format and usually only in the 32 bit versions with plugins that needed to be installed and configured (hard to do for ordinary folks).

I thought I had converted everything I’d ever need back when PaintShop Pro still supported FPX but I was wrong. A decade ago I found a handful of photos I’d taken to document experiments for my job. Searching around I found My ViewPad a free image viewer that still works on modern Windows to view FlashPix files and convert them to many other file formats.

This morning I discovered 90 photos that had never been converted! Since there was such a large number of photos to convert I decided to try out some of the programs that were supposedly capable of doing batch conversion of FPX photos 10 years ago. Unfortunately none of those programs can open FPX files in 2021 (XnView/Convert & IfranView) :-(. So I’m going to have to convert these 90 photos one by one using the still great My ViewPad.

A final tip, when converting your FPX files save them in a lossless format to keep the quality as high as possible. The extra size on these low megapixel photos is insignificant by 21st century data storage standards. Probably the best choices are lossless PNG or TIFF because they are supported by every photo viewing/editing package I’ve tried.