Sunday

Dollar Tree LED Bulbs - Not Crappy!

LED bulbs are a good alternative to the dreaded "curly bulb" - they give a more pleasing quality of light, come on right away, and are at least as miserly with electricity (using 8 to 10 watts when replacing a 60 watt incandescent traditional bulb).

Unfortunately, they are typically more expensive - except at the Dollar Tree! Dollar Tree is a chain of stores in most US states where by a happy coincidence everything is a dollar. 

You are likely thinking an LED bulb for a dollar would be of very poor quality, but apparently not, according to the video below. I don't know if all the stores carry LED bulbs, but it would certainly be worth your while to stop by and check out a nearby location if you are in the market for those bulbs. 


Thursday

InSpectre Spills The Beans On Security Flaws

If you want a quick and easy way to determine if your Windows computer is susceptible to the recently infamous Meltdown or Spectre security vulnerabilities, then look no further than Gibson Research's InSpectre (see what they did there?).

Recent patches from Microsoft and others are designed to help protect against the flaws, but this offers a quick way to verify that all is well, for you own peace of mind.

The small utility is free to download and use, and will indicate your systems status as far as Meltdown or Spectre, and whether your current system is likely to suffer in performance even though it may be safely patched (mitigation patches can slow some systems down).

Mr Gibson has brought us similar utilities before, often as a quick way to detect extant problems (and often offering fixes if needed).



Sunday

The End Of The World Via Text Message

It's sobering and rather depressing to realize that if the bombs do start raining down upon us, if we get any warning at all it will be from our smartphones.

Residents of Hawaii found this out during a very unpleasant 30 minutes or so when island residents all received an early Saturday morning alert on their phones:
"BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."
What would you think?

While it was indeed an official alert (i.e. not a prank or a hack) it was thankfully not correct, and explanations and apologies were sent via Twitter after around 10 minutes and then via the cell phones again after about another 30 mins. 

While I expect some will make light of it, the way we do after a near miss - but for several minutes, real fear must have spread though the population of that lovely place. 

And the bell tolled via a text message alert.



Saturday

Snow Shoveling - SafetyTips

It's that time of year again in the heartland of the USA, where is snows. Sometimes it snows a little, sometimes it snows a lot; but it typically will snow from time to time.

If you have to clear your driveway of snow, and don't own a snow blower/thrower, here are a few safety tips, especially geared towards older folks.

1 - dress in layers, wear warm gloves, and remember to hydrate
2 - assemble your tools; snow shovel, snow melting material, etc
3 - find a 14-year-old and pay them to do it
4 - drink warm cocoa