Showing posts with label Tech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tech. Show all posts

How to Do Ternary or Trinary, Base 3 Number System Conversions — Includes Examples

Latest update: April 18, 2021
I first published this article at another website on 09/19/10. However to keep the information current, relocating to websitewithnoname was best. This copyrighted article has served people well for years.

If you understand the everyday decimal (base 10) number system, then you already understand the ternary, base 3 counting and numbering system. You just don’t know you know yet. The complete lesson immediately follows the short semantics note about "ternary" versus "trinary".

Base 3 Conversion - Base 3 to Base 10 and Back - 0 1 2

How to Learn the Ternary Base 3 Numbering System

Complete Lesson and Examples

Semantics Note

Ternary is the primary descriptor used to identify base 3 (using the digits 0 1 2) in mathematics as relates to numbering systems. Trinary is the primary descriptor used to identify base three as relates to logic (using the digits -1 0 +1); but the term has also been used in place of ternary. This page does not address the logic definition of trinary. This page is about and explains the base 3 number system; usually called ternary, but sometimes referred to as trinary.

A Quick Review of Base 10 Structure...

Base 10 Decimal Orders of Magnitude

1 · 10 · 100 · 1,000 · 10,000 · 100,000


100,000 · 10,000 · 1,000 · 100 · 10 · 1

We use the base 10 numbering/counting system in our day-to-day living. Base 10 has ten numbers (0-9) and orders of magnitude that are times ten.
  • The lowest order number represents itself times one.
  • The next order number represents itself times 10.
  • The next order number represents itself times 10 x 10, or itself times 100.
  • The next order of magnitude would be 10 x 10 x 10, or 1000.
And so on. A base 10 example would be the number 3528. This number means that there are:
  • Eight 1’s,
  • two 10’s,
  • five 100’s,
  • and three 1000's.
Which represents 8 + 20 + 500 + 3000 for a total of 3528.

The Ternary or Base 3 Numbering System...

...uses the same structure, the only difference being the orders of magnitude. Base 3 or ternary has three numbers: 0, 1, and 2.

The orders of magnitude are times three.
  • The lowest order number represents itself times one.
  • The next order number represents itself times 3.
  • The next order number represents itself times 3 x 3, or itself times 9.
  • The next order of magnitude would be 3 x 3 x 3, or itself times 27.
  • The next order of magnitude would be 3 x 3 x 3 x 3, or itself times 81.
And so on.

Orders of Magnitude in Base 3

  • 1 · 3 · 9 · 27 · 81 · 243 · 729 · 2,187 · 6,561


  • 6,561 · 2,187 · 729 · 243 · 81 · 27 · · 3 · 1

A basic, first example of a ternary number would be the base 3 number 11111. This would mean there are:
  • one 1,
  • one 3,
  • one 9,
  • one 27,
  • and one 81.
Which represents 1 + 3 + 9 + 27 + 81 for a total of 121 in Base 10 decimal.

Another base 3 example would be the number 1120. This number means that there are:
  • No 1’s,
  • two 3’s,
  • one 9,
  • and one 27.
Which represents 0 + 6 + 9 + 27 for a total of 42 in base 10 decimal.

Another base 3 example would be the number 2101. This number means there are:
  • One 1,
  • No 3's,
  • One 9,
  • And two 27’s.
Which represents 1 + 0 + 9 + 54 for a total of 64 in base 10 decimal.

More Ternary (Base 3) to Base 10 Conversion Examples

9 · 3 · 1
9 · 3 · 1
27 · 9 · 3 · 1

Orders of Magnitude in Base 3

  • 1 · 3 · 9 · 27 · 81 · 243 · 729 · 2,187 · 6,561


  • 6,561 · 2,187 · 729 · 243 · 81 · 27 · · 3 · 1
(convenience relist)

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How to Setup, Activate, Security, and Using Android Mobile Phone for Beginners - And Tips

Latest update: October 1, 2020
This is a primer relating to the basic attributes of all Android phones. General beginner tips follow the segment concerning security issues. Be advised that smartphones are a mess; the problem may very well be the Android smartphone and not you. There is a reason there are hundreds of inquiry responses on the search engines as to "how to answer a call", etc. and so much more. This page is just for the real basics; for specific problems, continue you search. A personal note, things are really getting too complicated these days.

A Warning for New Mobile Phone Android Cellphone / Smartphone Users and Tech Tips

Mobile Android Cell Phone / Smartphone SECURITY PROBLEM

All personal information originating from your desktop, laptop, etc. to the cloud could very well end up on your Android smartphone if you are not careful. This page will help you keep that from happening. If it has already happened, this page will help you undue the damage. General information has also been included, mostly for new Android users.

When activating your Android smartphone, never give the Android smartphone your "demanded" Google primary gmail account address and password. If you do, that critter will immediately access all your account data from all your other Google apps, including everything you've ever written on Goggle's cloud drive. If you do give the Android smartphone your primary Google info, you will have a major security nightmare on your hands. It happened to me and took days to figure out and cleanup the mess.

Mobile Android Cell Phone / Smartphone SECURITY SOLUTION

Always create a new, second Gmail account on your desktop, tablet, or whatever. You might even be able to do it directly from your phone. Use that second, new Gmail account to activate your phone. That way, there's no other info for your phone to "steal"; excepting for whatever info you may add to the other Google apps on that account afterwards.

It should be mentioned that simply deleting your data does not remove it from your phone. It can still be recovered with the right software. The only way to truly get rid of it is to overwrite it. Taking a bunch of random pictures should do it, especially if then deleted and done more than once.

Other Android Mobile Phone Beginner Tech Tips

  • Touching the text box where you want to enter text brings up the keyboard. There's a symbol there where one can enlarge it. The little, separate "x" is the backspace key.
  • Holding the phone sideways, i.e., rotating phone to landscape position will give you bigger keyboard keys. This only works with some applications.
  • The thing is a data hog. If your data usage is metered, do what you can to reduce that. There may be a Data-Saver icon you can activate. As long as it doesn't interfere with your other applications, there's no reason not to use it. Excepting for when others need to know my location (Uber, Lyft, etc.), I keep the thing on. For that matter, I keep the Location Icon off except when needed. Likewise if  synchronization isn't needed, I keep that off as well.
  • Swiping down from the top-of-screen should bring up the settings menu. Tapping the upper-right-down-arrow expands it, swiping left gives additional options. Beware the flashlight icon and battery usage, I've kept turning that critter on accidentally. As with the other icons, tapping it again turns it back off.
  • There's also a Settings icon on the main screen, tapping that gives one even more options, especially for the apps.
  • If you are lucky, there may be three buttons below the screen. Center gives the front, main menu. The left and right dots give you back-to-previous and forward-to-next.
  • Smartphones often limit the viewing of the entire webpage. Whatever article you're reading is entirely displayed, but not necessarily everything else on the page. This is usually not a problem; but it is something one should know.
  • Battery longevity is terrible. Two hours usage before a recharge is needed just doesn't make it. In the interests of full disclosure, I'm using a $10 burner phone; so hopefully your phone's battery performance will be better. Picture resolutions at a distance are not that good either when it comes to license plates. However, close-up shots seem to work fine.
Side note: the phrase, "cell phone" was used in this article for newbies who searched for "cell phone" when they really meant "smartphone". Interesting how "smartphone" is one word and the dictionaries say "cell phone" is two words; meanwhile, it is being spelled both ways all over the place. "Mobile phone" conveniently covers both categories.

New Phone? Old Phone? First Phone? Upgrade Phone?
Good Security Info at This Federal Website

Upgrading Your Phone? 4 Things You Should Do First

Has info beyond that of just upgrading.

CNET has a good article concerning security: 5 Google Assistant Features You Should Disable Today

PC Magazine has an article concerning infected apps: Android Users Need to Manually Remove These 17 Infected Apps.

CNET has a good article concerning hidden features. I like the one where I can keep the phone unlocked when at home. The article is: 8 of Android's best hidden features and where you can find them.

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How Search Engine SEO Algorithms Work and Decides Rankings

Latest update: February 2, 2021. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

For fellow webmasters (now that's an ancient term) and writers, that is indeed an interesting title. Unfortunately, it is also a true title. In fact, maybe the title of this article should be, The Search Engine Algorithm and the Future of Online Writing - It's Not Pretty.

Obviously search engines use several parameters for determining the search ranking of a website or article when displaying results. I shall not belabor those, plenty of other websites already do that. This page will only cover the main, overriding factor that search engines use when the algorithm makes its "decisions".

Writers and web designers are not going to like this and as far as I know, there is not a thing we can do about it, nor a way we can circumvent it.

And do read the February 2021 update regarding monetization.

Description of a Search Engine's Main Parameter Used by Its Algorithm

There are two websites. Both websites are identical in all parameters such as keywords, quality, quantity, HTML design, navigation design, format design, font size, average bounce rate, average duration of visits, incoming links, keeping content updated, compatibility with mobile devices, and every and all other factors that search engines use (both known and unknown). However, the two sites have one very significant and devastating difference.

Site "A" is owned by a real world, brick and mortar, physical entity with name recognition that is associated with and dedicated to a specific field or topic of endeavor and/or interest. Such sites are automatically bestowed much more credibility than sites not meeting this criteria. The credibility factor is paramount to search engines. It is the main factor enabling an article or website to be ranked on the front page of the listed search results. There's that old Q&A: "Where is the best place to hide a body? The second page of Google." Credibility makes or breaks a website, no matter how good all the other rating factors may be.

Site "B" is just an unknown website competing with the other billion unknown websites. Due to the site's anonymity, credibility is basically non-existent; not positive or negative, just non-existent. In other words, even though your Site-B, relevant article is much better than the corresponding Site-A article; the Site-B article will have the lesser ranking. There is more about website domain names and article quality ranking in the February 2020 update.

There are still plenty of exceptions to the above, but the number of exceptions will continue to dwindle over time as more and more site "A" websites come into existence and/or expand their presence.

There Are Some Silver Linings

Successful niche hobby "Site B" websites can eventually be bought and absorbed by the "Site A" websites. Along with the exorbitant purchase price, the Site "B" owner might even be offered a full-time job to maintain the site.

There are millions of successful small business websites. Needless to say, a lot more is required than just the website.

Non-business websites specializing in specific topics can have some degree of success. However when one does the math, the compensation usually is significantly below the minimum wage.

General topic websites are usually given a lesser search ranking than the others. As for this general topic site you are now reading, it is forever doomed to relative obscurity; as are most of the other general topic websites. I'm fine with that. This site still gets plenty of search engine traffic to accomplish its stated goal mentioned on the homepage. A general topic site can gain credibility over time, but it usually takes years.

Some Final Thoughts

Do only get involved with website design and article writing if you enjoy it. If your main motivation is making lots of money, you have about the same odds as when buying a lottery ticket. And if one wants to get any visitor traffic, they will have to learn about SEO and all the other factors and parameters previously mentioned.

May 2019 Update

Writing any sort of medical or medical-related article is generally a lost cause, even when the article clearly states it is from the patient's point of view. Search engines invariably put the .gov sites on the front page when it comes to anything medical. These are then followed by medical research centers and other actual brick and mortar medical facilities. Articles written by patients and other individuals are then always buried in the secondary search results where searchers seldom visit. Basically, search engines are adamant in the classifying  of medical articles by non-medical entities as having zero or very low credibility. Forgo your time and labor on writing anything medical. Search engines are intractable on this and it is not going to change.

June 2019 Update

Some search engines are beginning the process of pretty much dealing a death blow to many how-to and other explanatory text articles. Videos are now being placed above the text version of the same topic in the search results for many subjects. So if one is considering writing a how-to or explanatory article, it would be wise to see what videos you will be competing against. Depending on the topic, doing a well-written article on particular subjects may be a lost cause. Which do the searchers generally prefer, a text article or a relevant video? At minimum, the competing and above-ranking video will severely reduce the amount of visitor traffic and the resulting earnings your written article should be receiving.

In other words: what text did to cursive and what calculators/converters did to math, videos are now starting to do to text articles.

August 2019 Update

Beware the topic-over-saturation syndrome. This is happening with more and more topics. You can literally write the best article in Internet Land for a given topic; but if the search engines are already buried in articles for that topic, yours will never see the light of day. It's not fair and it's not right; but it's the way it is.

January 2020 Update

My visitor traffic basically crashed and burned these last couple of months. However, the search algorithms really can't be blamed for this. Not many people are interested in this site's general topics during the holiday season. Visitor traffic usually rebounds in January as people get back to the regular business of living. However, the future of online writing still remains uncertain as more and more topics become over saturated.

February 2020 Update

Website domain names continue to take precedence over article quality. In other words:
  1. There are two websites.
  2. One website has an inferior article of poor quality, but has an on-point keyword in its domain name.
  3. Another website has a much better, high quality, superior article; but the website doesn't have an on-point keyword in its domain name.
  4. The inferior article will usually outrank and be given a better position in the search results than the much better article.
  5. This is due to search engines giving more weight to website domain names than to article quality. Maybe this will change as search engine ranking algorithms become more sophisticated.

April 2020 Update

The first week of April: I have an article whose traffic directly reflects the general population's concerns about the COVID-19 virus pandemic. The more concerned the general public, the less traffic the article receives. Needless to say, that article's traffic has crashed and burned. Oddly, even thought the media news is the worst yet, the article's traffic has started to bounce back. Apparently the public's panic mode has started to subside, though I still saw signs of hoarding the last time I was at the store.

November 2020 Update

COVID-19 continues to affect article traffic. Depending on the topic, the effect can be either positive or negative.

Meanwhile, a separate note. Beware moving your articles from one site to another. Doing so will result in all the stolen copies of your article(s) now outranking your original.

February 2021 Update

Regarding monitizing your website, ad-networks have been reneging on payments to website owners and publishers for years. Unfortunately, this situation has gone from neing the occassional incident to now being a routine practice. As an eample, one famous ad-network recently reneged on a $250 payment they owed me. It's pretty grim. About the only option left these days is to find individual retailers who have affiliate programs.

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Future Internet Threats Apocalypse Survivalism Prediction and Guide

Latest update: April 23, 2020

A Probable Prediction of a Future Societal, Internet-Triggered, Disruption Event

What with the internet being intertwined with just about everything, e.g., military infrastructure, electrical power infrastructure, water supply infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, houses, cars, appliances, and other networks we don't even know about; all of it interconnected and just waiting for a cascade collapse, sooner or later an internet-originated apocalypse is going to come along. Technology always fails, that's why there are repairmen. And in this case, there is also the neverending hacking/malware/viruses onslaught. It really is just a matter of time.

The event will be destructive enough to disrupt society for months, including shortages of food and other necessities. It is not a case of if; it is only a case of when. It will probably happen sometime within the next 10 to 20 years. Then again, the societal infrastructure is already pretty much dependent on the internet in more ways than we can count. Wouldn't hurt to have the same survival attitude as was prevalent during the cold war scare of the Cuban missile crisis of 1962; though one can probably skip the bomb shelter aspect, most of us don't have the resources to do that anyway.

Surviving a Societal Internet Crash

As opposed to making this just another article with a list of survival kit necessities, here is a list of three government or organization resources that will tell you everything you need to know. Needless to say, the three sites duplicate each other somewhat.

URLs go to the specific, relevant pages. None address the internet vulnerability issue directly, but the lists of needed supplies would be the same. Besides, what with all the other potential disasters out their, both man-made and nature; having a survival kit is not a bad idea.

April 2020 Update

People have been visiting this page because of the virus pandemic situation. The hoarding and empty shelves we've seen would indeed also occur during supply disruptions caused by an internet infrastructure crash. The pandemic has given us an interesting preview of just how the general population would react during a true societal shutdown. Fortunately, the supply chain remained functioning in this situation.

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How to Make Your Own Bookmarks Manager Web Page

Latest update: July 10, 2020

Make the Browser's Clumsy, Old Bookmarks List into an Online Bookmarks Manager Document Page or Website.

A quick lesson on how to create your own bookmark manager app. Setting up a bookmarks web page or online document is easy. You will be so glad you did.

No Technical Skills Required
And Much More Fun

How to Make Your Own Bookmarks Manager App

If you can...
  1. Type text.
  2. Highlight text.
  3. Click a link icon.
  4. Copy/Paste an URL from the browser website address bar.
Then you can create your own personal template, bookmark webpage or online document.

Why Make Your Own, Homemade Bookmark Manager App?

Quite simply, because it is incredibly convenient. Laying out all your links exactly the way you want them is so much more efficient than any browser bookmark list or pre-made app can ever be or do for you.

Plus, the bookmark manager web page or online document will always be there for you across all devices. Convenience factors include:
  • Always available no matter which or whose computer or mobile device you are using.
  • The ability to organize your links in rows as well as columns.
  • Never losing all your bookmarks, due to accidental deletion or browser corruption.
  • Never losing all your bookmarks, due to desktop/laptop/smartphone problems.
  • The convenience of grouped-by-type links.
  • The convenience of grouped-by-subdomain links.
  • The convenience of grouped-by-frequency links.
  • The ability to set the background and your link text to whatever color, size, and font, that is easy and best for your eyes.
  • The ability of your bookmark lists to change as your needs and preferences evolve.

How to Organize Your Bookmarks. And Things to Include in Your Lists.

You will probably want to put your most frequently visited websites near the top. Only you can decide what those might be.

As for groups, some examples would be:
  • A row of the search engines you use.
  • A row of the news sites you regularly visit.
  • A row of your frequently visited social media sites.
  • A row of your blog websites.
  • A row of your email websites.
  • A row of your less frequently visited social media websites.
  • A row of utility websites, e.g., weather, calendar, etc.
  • A row of whatever doesn't fit somewhere else.
  • Subdomain rows of a website.
As for the last one, Facebook might be a good example. If you regularly go to certain accounts all the time, it would make sense to set up a convenient row of links to those accounts.

How to Make Your Bookmarks Manager Online Document Page

Here is a Demo Bookmark Template (opens in new tab).  Feel free to copy the template for use as a starting point on your own document. The links are set to open in new tabs, which is a necessary feature. If that attribute fails to transfer when you copy, you will need to reset them to that option.

If you are not already using an online document app that lets you publish to the web, then I recommend G-Drive for your first cloud experience. They are owned by Google, so they will be around for awhile; it is free. It is as easy to use as any other word processor. Once you are familiar with it, you will probably use it for other projects as well.

Side note. Sometimes, copying from one app or format to another results in an unusable mess. If that happens, try copying into your document using the web page version below. In addition to the template, the next section also has additional, worthwhile information.

How to Make Your Own Website Bookmark Manager Web Page - Website Building the Easy Way

Eliminating Constraints

Going the website/web page building route will give you considerably more design capability.

Here is a webpage version of the Demo Bookmark Template (new tab). Only highlight and copy the portion between the lines, the objective being to omit as much unnecessary HTML and unwanted  format and other attributes as possible.

If you are not already using a website design app or software, then Blogger/Blogspot is free and easy to use; no degree in rocket surgery required. It is also run by Google and so will be around for awhile.

Since you are creating this template site for your own personal use, you will probably have only the one post. You will frequently re-edit it as desired.

Once you've created the blog and are ready to do the post, it's pretty straightforward. After copying over the template into your new post, just type in and arrange your additional destination titles as desired. You don't have to do all of them at once. Start with your most frequently visited websites. No problem leaving the post open in edit mode as you are visiting the other sites.Then, as you are visiting your sites, take a moment to copy/paste the URL into your titles.

Always set the link to open in a new tab. The planned routine, once you have everything set up, is for the bookmark page tab to always be open and available at the far left for desktop and laptop. For smartphone, you don't want your bookmarks page (located in its own folder) disappearing every time you select one of the links.

In layout mode, do enable (if it isn't already) the navbar you will see at top-right. This way, you have one-click access to re-edit your page whenever you wish to add another URL.

A Blogger/Blogspot editor note. When attempting to space from an existing link to add text in preparation for the next link in the row, the editor extends the hyperlink attribute into the space. To circumvent, don't do the space; hit enter instead. Then enter your space and text on the new line. Then go back to the end of the previous line and hit delete to bring your new line up to the existing line. It will then be as it should be.

Last, but not least, organize everything so all your bookmarks will fit on a single screen. Your objective is convenience, having to scroll all the time would defeat that purpose.

Once published, set the page as your new browser home.

Privacy Options

You can restrict public access to your bookmarks page to whatever degree you wish. You will find the privacy options under Settings on the left-side menu when in design mode.

No matter what privacy settings you use, do keep in mind the internet is the internet. So it would be wise to not include bookmark links to such things as your bank, credit card, or utility accounts. For that matter, such links should not be on your browser bookmark list either. Those links can be accessible to any malware that might happen along.

Other Blogger/Blogspot Options

For those who are not already familiar with Blogger/Blogspot, the platform has all sorts of other capabilities. Some of those capabilities include:
  • Displaying ads and earning part of the revenue
  • Adding 3rd party HTML/JavaScript
  • Images
  • Videos
  • News feeds
  • Lots more
And if you know basic HTML, you can create templates and bookmarks pages like this webpage example or this webpage example. Personally, I don't bother with the table format; the format the templates use is more to my liking

Some Final Thoughts...

Once the bookmarks manager page was set up the way I wanted it, my overall efficiency had a marked increase. Somehow, it caused me to become a real tab management pro. Projects involving repeated, multiple website access were not only easy and quick to do; they were fun again.

And besides, any bookmark manager webpage or website you create and customize exactly the way you want can't help but be:
  • 10 times better than anything Mozilla Firefox could come up with.
  • 10 times better than anything Google Chrome could come up with.
  • 10 times better than anything Microsoft Explorer could come up with.
  • 10 times better than Safari or any other prefabricated, standardized, generic website could come up with.
  • 10 times better than anything a third-party vendor could come up with, simply because only you really know what you want.

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How to Do Screenshots and Create Windows 10 Shortcuts on Desktop PC

Latest update: August 31, 2020
Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, time and tech change and this page's updates continue.

Making Desktop Screenshots and Shortcuts in Windows 10

How to do/take/make a screenshot aka print screen with desktop Windows PC. And how to create shortcuts in Windows 10. By doing the one-time shortcut creations, it makes the screenshot procedure just a 10-second task going forward.

Where do screenshots go on PC? Basically, they go into memory and all one has to do is simply retrieve it. The procedure is quick, easy, and convenient.

How to create WIN10 shortcuts and how to quickly and easily use the PrtScn key and MS Paint to make and save desktop Windows PC screenshots. The secret is to make some shortcut icons. Then it really is just a matter of PrtScn, Paint, Ctrl-V, and save or print. Here's how.

How to Create Desktop Windows 10 Shortcuts

First, one has to find the Paint Program.
  1. Click the 4-square, lower-left, Windows 10 start icon. Or tap the same-looking keyboard key.
  2. Drag down the scroll bar on the left-hand menu to "Paint 3D".
  3. Right-click "Paint 3D", then select "Pin to Start". Drag it on your graphic menu to upper-left or wherever else is convenient on your graphic menu.
  4. Then drag it again from your graphic menu to your desktop main screen, this will create a duplicate shortcut there as well.
  5. Right-click "Paint 3D" from the left-hand menu again and then select "More", then select "Pin to taskbar".
You now have three easy-access shortcuts to the Paint 3D Program. Frankly, I found the old Paint Program more convenient; if you have the older version laying around somewhere, you might prefer it.

How to Do a Print Screen aka Screenshot

  1. Press the "PrtScn" key to capture whatever is on your screen, the key is probably located near upper-right on keyboard.
  2. Open the Paint Program using any one of your new shortcut icons.
  3. Simultaneously press the Ctrl-V keys. The image will display in the Paint Program.
  4. The Paint Program menu options enable saving in various formats and locations, etc. And you can print. I usually save it right to the desktop screen. From there, it is easy to post wherever online.
  5. As a side note, the "Crop" and "Rotate" functions listed in the Paint Program menu options are highly convenient. So is the "Resize" function, but beware resolution degradation.

Reference page for:

  • How to make desktop Windows 10 shortcuts
  • How to capture and save screen shots with desktop Windows

Collection of Other Keyboard Shortcuts and Tips

  • Function Key "F3" gives you ability to do a text search on the page you are on. Doing: Ctrl+f does the same.
  • That moon sliver at the top of your desktop keyboard locks and puts the desktop into hibernation. Tapping any key brings it back to life and you have to re-enter the password.
  • "Esc" key at upper-left can untangle one from many situations.
  • When viewing an article, the space bar does the same as the PgDn key.
  • As I think of other useful keys, I will add them. Consider this page an ongoing project whose purpose has extended beyond its original intent of just providing PrtScn instructions. Hopefully, we will end up with a nice key-function library here.
And here is an article on Seven Windows 10 Annoyances (and how to fix them) by CNET.

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What Happens When Doing an Online Internet Search - Tech and Privacy

Latest update: October 06, 2020

Do not do an online search for your debit or credit card account numbers. Actually, the following description of what happens applies to any and all search terms you may happen to enter in most search engines.

Epic Fail!

MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express ( AMEX ), etc.

This website has discovered people are doing that. I'm guessing people do so in an attempt to see if their credit or debit card numbers have been stolen and are being posted online anywhere. Unfortunately by searching online for your card number, you have just made your credit and/or debit card account number available to any website you then happen to land on; the website owner now has your card number.

Here's What Happens When You Do a Search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or Most Other Search Engines

  1. You do a search for your credit or debit card account number (or anything else for that matter).
  2. A list of search results comes up.
  3. You click on one or more of the results.
  4. Now here is where the problems start... The vast majority of website owners automatically track what search terms bring people to their websites; they do this for perfectly benign and legitimate search-engine-optimization-related reasons. Your card number was the search term bringing you to the website and so is nicely displayed to the website owner along with all the other more usual search terms being recorded by the site. Now if you landed on an honest website, then your account number is simply ignored. But if you landed on a dishonest website who is looking for these kind of numbers...
Dishonest websites use hacker/SEO techniques to attract you to click on their websites. If you do so, grief follows.

Be wise, do not look for your credit or debit card account numbers online. And as a side note and needless to say, the same applies to your social security number and all other sensitive data. And the website you landed on is not the only entity that now has your search term(s).Search engines have it as well.

Online credit card account number searches are a bad idea...
Online credit card account number searches are a bad idea...

It should be mentioned that Google and probably most search engines track, store, and analyze virtually every search phrase that is entered into their sites. Many times the search engines will turn around and make that information available to others; this includes displaying it online to the general public. This information can also be sold/given to any and all government agencies. Private companies can also purchase this data. And, as most people know, your search history is also stored on your computer and other electronic devices.

Please share this page so as to help others. The more people who are knowledgeable, the better off we all are. We really do live in a fishbowl society these days.

Hopefully, this page will become #1 on all search engines for this purpose.

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RFID Primer - Radio Frequency Identification

Latest update: July 2, 2020
RFID Technology and Society

What Is, About, and How RFIDs Work

RFID is the acronym for Radio Frequency Identification Device. In other words, it is a small microchip that "broadcasts" whatever information is put in it. These devices have been around for years.

Las Vegas casinos put them in their higher denomination chips. So when you walk around the casino, show up at a blackjack table etc.; casino personnel know about those chips in your pocket.

Retail stores randomly hide small, button-sized RFIDs or their equivalent in their merchandise throughout the store. So if you pick up an item and “forget” to pay for it, when you try walking through the scanners at the front door; you are dead. A word to the wise.

As far as I’m concerned, so far so good as to the above uses for RFIDs. Nailing shoplifters is always a good thing. And as for Las Vegas, I haven't been there in decades.

Unfortunately, it’s not going to end there.Welcome to your future (actually, it's already here).

RFID microchips have arrived on credit cards, debit cards, passports and driver's licenses. In many cases, all one has to do is just wave their card at the point-of-sale (POS) machine to complete a transaction, or maybe even just stand in front of the thing.

Unfortunately, there is also a very deleterious offshoot to this technology. Namely, anyone with a scanner can just stand close to you and instantly acquire your card account number and possibly all your personal information. ID theft is entering a whole new realm.

And if you happen to have a specific store credit card when you visit that store, the employees will instantly know everything you ever bought there, the last time you visited, your home address and telephone number, etc.

All of this is not a good thing…

How to Block RFIDs and RFID Scanners

However, there are ways to combat this vulnerability. There are already metal cases and such that you can buy online to prevent this kind of ID theft, simply place the cards in the metal envelope to prevent information access. The store thing doesn’t bother me that much, but a person standing close to me in the checkout line is an entirely different matter, or someone "accidentally” bumping into you on the street, etc.

Personally, the first one of these cards I'm forced to use, I’ll try wrapping it in aluminum foil and see if that works.

Hopefully this post will prevent an ID theft or two.

March 2020 Update: Past, Present, and Future

As everybody knows, RFID chipping in pets has been going on for years. Mandatory RFID chipping of humans has now become a major privacy concern; so much so, that many states have actually passed laws against it.

Personally, I see the future as clear as a bell. Within 40 years or less, it will be standard practice to implant RFID chips in newborns; just as it has been standard practice for decades to fingerprint. And you will need that RFID to function in society, e.g., going to school, getting a job, medical care, driving a car, all monetary transactions, you name it.

And it will all be considered no bigger a deal than getting a passport, drivers license, credit card is today. For that matter, all forms of paper and plastic identification will be a thing of the past.

July 2020 Update: The Future Is Now

Thanks to the pandemic, contactless payment system technology innovation has accelerated. It's only a matter of time before one can simply tap the item they wish to purchase with their cellphone, pick up the item, and walk out the door. When a person does so, the store will know whether the item was paid for or not.

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