GPS location + instant face recognition = Welcome to the Matrix sheeple!

Apple’s new iPhone 8 will recognize your face in 3D in millionths of a second. This “feature” allows you to avoid the cumbersome fingerprint sensor. As of now, it is believed that unlike Samsung devices, the new iPhone will not include the fingerprint sensor.

If there was someone watching you, they would know exactly where you are and could confirm it really is you using the phone. Your logging into your bank account, checking Facebook and so on would be carefully monitored by law enforcement, government agencies or bad actors. At one point you would think people would connect the dots. Personally, I feel like I’m being forced to move back to a flip phone as these technological developments encroach on our privacy.

Advertisements

Phishing victim hacks back

Protonmail, a secure email provider admitted in a tweet to hacking an entity that was impersonating its service in phishing emails. In the United States, this is illegal but Protonmail is located in Switzerland. The company promptly deleted the tweet.

I actually use this service and highly recommend it. Encrypted, secure email located outside the United States is highly preferable to companies like Google and Yahoo that sift through your data, commoditize it and use it to target ads at you. I’m not cool with that or the implications that governments may be spying on me.

‘Netflix for theaters’ MoviePass disrupting movie theater industry

Yet another industry-shaking paradigm shift is underway: a theater subscription service that lets users see as many theater movies as they wish for only $9.95. How does this work? The user pays MoviePass $9.95 a month and for each movie they attend, the company reimburses the theater. Unless there is some genius way to make the accounting of this work, MoviePass is doomed to fail. Each movie costs an average of $8.65. If a user sees more than one movie, MoviePass is losing money. Is this just an future IPO scam where investors pump cash in and the founder walks away rich? Do they plan on raising subscription costs? What do you think?

China Shutting Down Bitcoin Exchanges

Chinese authorities have ordered Bitcoin exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai to submit their plans to close operations by September 20. The county is citing financial risks associated with criminal activity, including drug trafficking, money laundering, smuggling and unauthorized fundraising activity.

Will different countries follow suit? Can bitcoin grow without a huge country like China? Will people lose confidence? The value of the bitcoin has swung wildly in the last month after the bitcoin split from $2,500/bitcoin to $5,000. Very risky investment IMO.

Biometric data rollout and the implications of being chipped

Comerica Park baseball field in Detroit, MI is featuring a new way for sports fans to get through the lines quicker: fingerprint scanning. You can order a hot dog and a beer without carrying your wallet! Just register your biometric data and you are now in the system. They are promising the ability to use your fingerprint in other venues…

The company contracted out for the biometric data scanning is called Clear. Their biggest contract is with the Transportation Security Administration. This technology has been installed at airports, including Detroit Metro Airport. The company also specializes in eye scanning equipment.

What are the implications of mass use of biometric data? Sure the convenience is attractive, but can the technology be misused? Once you register your fingerprint and eye scan, you are in the system. The NSA and other government organizations will be able to run searches for individuals through this database. The more the system is in use, the more they can keep track of you and monitor what you are buying, who you are visiting and what events you attend. This data can be sold to advertising firms. They know you go to Jazz concerts and you love hockey. They also know that you like to buy expensive mixed drinks and go a chiropractor. Once all these pieces of information are indexed, they have a profile on you. Are you likely to commit a crime, get divorced, buy a new home, become delinquent with credit cards or need car repairs? They can tweak their ads, affect how much you pay for insurance and raise/lower your interest rates. Your value as a consumer or a citizen, not a human being will become a score. There will be no where to run or hide. Are you more likely to cheat on your taxes? The IRS will know. If you are trying to get custody of your children, the court system will access your data to find out if you can pay more and whether or not you are worthy enough to take care of your children. Imagine what it might be like to be on parole. They will be watching every location you visit, everything you buy etc.

Now imagine the implications of having a chip implanted in your hand. Threesquare Market, a technology company that makes devices for break rooms and small markets is in the process of implanting microchips in their employee’s hands. The employees will be able to enter secured areas, pay for food and access computers with the chips. Once this system is studied and the bugs worked out, how long before large companies like GE, IBM and Apple require this of their employees? How long before prisoners, government employees and school children be required to have them? Will newborn babies be implanted for their security? Once the ball is rolling, will it even be possible to live life without a chip implanted? Will the chip allow for universal access or we have multiple chips?

The chips use RFID technology. Your every movement can be tracked. Imagine if your employer had access to this kind of information. The implications of bio-metric data and implanted chips are incredible. Without a push-back from the public, a future where privacy is a myth is inevitable.

 

Install a new Digital Speedometer in a Harley Davidson Sportster

The Harley Davidson Sportster appeals to me because it’s a classic bike that looks great and is very powerful. You never look like a douche when you are sitting on a Harley!

3136

I bought a used 2009 model a few years back. It looks very much like the picture above. They don’t really change over the years other than maybe the seat or the shape of the tank. That’s also part of the appeal.

The only thing that bothers me about it is the lack of information on the gauge. There’s no gear indicator other than neutral and no RPMs. All you get is the odometer and the MPH. I’m not one to accessorize something this cool and I love the stock look of the bike. In fact, I took parts off of it! Replaced the upgraded shifting pedal to the stock one and took the engine guard off the front. There’s a seat rest on the back that I want to take off. But an upgrade to the gauge would be a worthy and needed change!

I bought the combo speedometer/tachometer from my local Harley Davidson dealer. My main concern was how to install and how not to screw up the linking of the odometer information. You have to link the new gauge to the bike and sync the data from the old one. I’m going to lay out how I did this successfully with pictures.

Reference data:

Part: Combination Digital Speedometer/Analog Tachometer-70900274

Combination Digital Speedometer/Analog Tachometer-70900274 Installation Instructions

Please use the instructions that came with the gauge and use my guide as a reference. I am not responsible for any damages you do to your equipment. I am just providing a reference. If you see any errors in my information, please contact me using the contact page! Good luck and safe driving!

Open the access panel on the left side of the bike to gain access to the data link port and the fuse. Take the fuse cover off (see: the green fuse).

20170625_125311

Next, remove the rubber plug from the data sync cable on the Harley. You are going to plug the jumper that came with your new gauge into the bike’s data cable and on the other end you will plug into the new gauge. Take note of the key on the connector that goes into the gauge. It faces downward.

20170625_125450

Jumper data cable is installed. Ready for sync.

20170625_125509

Turn your key to the ‘Ignition’ position. The data will sync very quickly and display “OK” when it’s done. In my case, the first time it said, “FAIL” which freaked me out. I disconnected the cable from the bike’s data connection and reconnected. It synced that time. Took a couple seconds. *relief*. Replace the rubber plug on the data link port on the bike and turn your key back to the ‘off’ position.

20170625_125603

Now we are going to install the newly synced gauge. According to the instructions, the first thing you should do is remove the main fuse (the green fuse from the first step.) Remove the two 1/4″ Allen head bolts from the top side of the gauge. Carefully flip the gauge assembly over and remove the (2) 3/32 allen screws from the back plate.

Take the back plate off. Put all of the hardware together in safe place so you don’t lose it. Carefully remove the seal.

 

Disconnect the connector and carefully move the trip odometer button assembly to the side. Carefully pull the gauge out from the top side and remove the seal. Clean the seals if they are dirty with soap and water. The old gauge is free and now you can reverse the assembly process with your new gauge.

Center the gauge before you tighten it down. Once it’s installed, you can plug your fuse back in and put the cover back on it. Put the black metal cover back on because you are almost ready to go… Turn the ignition back on and check out your odometer reading.  If you are successful you can go back to the instructions to see how to customize your new gauge. If not, see the troubleshooting section in the instructions. I hope this guide was helpful!

 

 

 

Deep Cleaning Vinyl Records

There are many ways to clean vinyl records. No one way is the best but I feel like mine is the most thorough.

First I start by gluing the record. GLUING you ask? Won’t that ruin the record? If you use the wrong glue, yes. But if you use Titebond II, which you can find in any hardware store, you will see good results. The Titlebond II (don’t use Titebond I!) formula works by covering the grooves and hardening to a flexible vinyl negative. When you peel it off, it takes the junk off the surface and pulls out the junk deep inside the grooves. You will be very surprised at how older, seemingly scratchy records looks afterward.

Start with three things:
1. Titebond II glue
2. And old plastic card
3. Preferably a turntable but use a soft disposable towel as a second choice.

Later you will need a steamer and a wet vac with a modified wet vac tool (or a soft clean cloth).

File_003

While the turntable is running at 33.5RPM, apply the glue in a spiral by just moving from the label toward the outer edge. Be careful not to get glue on that label and don’t overrun your glue past the record’s edge. *If the glue seems a little thin, stop the record and add some more glue across the spiraled glue (see the third picture).

Hold the plastic card at a low angle (30 degrees or less) and smooth out the grooves. I usually press hard to make sure the glue is getting down in the grooves. Move the platter around with your thumb and go over your work to make sure you have uniform smoothness on the outer and inner edges because you don’t want strays of glue gobs.

Once the glue hardens, you can flip it over and glue the other side. Then when the record is done, you can peel the glue off to reveal your clean record! Some tips on drying: Place the record(s) near a fan to ensure faster drying. Do not set out in the sun! Note that the glue does give off a smell so do this in a room where you can close the door.

When both sides are finished, on the very edge of the record, agitate the glue with your fingernail and start peeling the glue back. Take your time because you don’t want any areas to tear off. They are very difficult to get off if that happens but what I have found easiest is to use masking take to pull up any stranded glue. An important note: if you had put on too thin of glue, you will have a mess on your hands as the glue has little elasticity. Be generous and refer back to the “*” above. The third picture shows a side where there was too little glue. I had to peel from the label side and ended up with a mess.

Now that we have a very clean copy of our record with years of dust and gunk removed, we will steam clean it to remove the static that formed when the vinyl/vinyl glue were separated. You will notice that your record now attracts a lot of dust. The steam cleaner will discharge that static and make your record optimally clean and ready to play/record. **Use distilled water in your steamer. Pre-heat for at least 15 minutes. This is important.

While the record is moving, run the steamer from the outer edge to the label and then back again. Move slowly but do not stop because you can damage the record. IMG_0823

Now you will want to vacuum that water if possible or use a soft, clean cloth. I use a small wet vac. I took one of the wet vac tools and cut a slit on the bottom with a dremel. Then I hot-glued a piece of cloth (ripped off of an old RCA Discwasher brush). Then cut a slit in the cloth with an x-taco knife. Put a piece of tape on the end to cover the hole and presto! A very effective way to vacuum water off of the record, leaving no debris behind (see first picture). Much cheaper than a $500+ VPI record cleaning machine!

If you are using a cloth, wipe in the direction of the grooves, not against. If using an improvised wet vac tool, run perpendicular to the grooves and move the platter very slowly with your hand to ensure it pulls all of the water/debris out.

Congratulations! You now have a VERY clean record, perfect for archiving. I really need to upload a before/after clip so you can see how incredibly quiet the record is after this cleaning. In addition, if you hacked your wet vac tool, you can steam and vacuum new records to clean them up (new records have mold-release chemicals on them from the manufacturing) and get rid of the static.