Posts Tagged YouTube

Baofeng UV-B6 frequency issues above 499Mhz

The Baofeng UV-B6 (and B5 too, I’m assuming) are factory programmed to operate UHF up to 480Mhz. You can easily unlock this to 520Mhz through either the Baofeng software or CHIRP.

However, the radio exhibits some really strange display issues when you tune above 499Mhz. Take a look at the two videos below for a demonstration.

It’s also worth noting that the UV-B6 antenna that mine came with was only indicated for use up to 480Mhz. Yours may be the same.

2014-01-05-11.57.48

If you have anything to share about this, please do so in the comments section below. Thank you!

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When did Facebook become a social obligation?

So at least once I week I get hit with the following:

“Did you see what so-and-so put on Facebook?”
“No.”
“Go look.”
“I don’t want to look right now.”
“Just go look.”

Don’t get me wrong, I think Facebook has a certain social value. A certain value. I’m not trying to downplay it, but unfortunately it’s turning into, or been turned into… well, something else. I hear a lot of people say “I use Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends I don’t see very often.” or “I’ve met friends that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, using Facebook.” Good on you!

Unfortunately the real value of Facebook has been drowned in a sea of spam and junk. I had to have someone show me how to hide and block it, otherwise it’s almost impossible to sift through it.

Facebook is turning the corner (some would argue it passed it a few miles ago) of being more harmful than beneficial, but I suppose that can happen with anything that more than half-a-million people get involved in.

Friends you don’t know in real life, people you will never meet, people you may never want to meet, and you and your “friends” are sharing your life with them, around the clock. The “social obligation” of having Facebook friends reminds me of High School cliques.

There’s also the over-sharing: the Facebook status that just screams “I’m a loser!” The pointless random stupid Facebook “repost” crap. Whoever thought some of this up had a fantastic idea to bring Facebook page views and advertising revenue.Lastly, there’s the gossip. Nothing spreads faster on a social network than gossip. Gossip, rumor, stuff that’s made up and has little, if any, truth factor. You want to spread gossip, Facebook is the way. There’s also people who have lost their jobs, ended up in jail, or otherwise punished for something or other they’ve put on Facebook. Recently, a California judge ordered legal action against a juror because of their Facebook posts. Good. You shouldn’t have been discussing the case publicly, and you knew better.

Let’s also not forget the privacy issues surrounding Facebook. After all, Facebook started by stealing people’s personal information and sharing it. That’s what got them off the ground. Why should they stop a good thing? Not to mention the malicious apps that install viruses on your computer, in an effort to get just-that-much-more of your information.

I feel bad for the people that simply “live” on it, and forget that there was a time when it wasn’t around, and there will be a time where it won’t be. Social networks come and go all the time. Look at MySpace for a really good example. I think people have too easily forgotten this… what happened to the good old exchange of email addresses? Rather, it’s “I’m on Facebook.” If you’re using depending on Facebook as a way to share blurbs and photos with others, you might just want to keep your options open.

Businesses have been doing it too: I’ll see billboards and TV ads encouraging me to “Find us on Facebook.” Just the other day I got an email telling me that a business was having a drawing or a contest for something-or-other, and all I needed to do to enter was “like” them on Facebook. Really? So how are you honestly going to choose a “random” “winner” from all your Facebook groupies? I think businesses that do this do a discredit to themselves in an effort to get (or expand) a fan base. I’ll “like” a company on Facebook if I really want to get updates from them, not because you’re throwing me a teaser.

To Mark Elliot Zuckerberg and the rest of the Facebook devs: Well played.

What are your thoughts on Facebook, currently the largest, most controversial, and most profitable social media networking website ever?

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Kensington MicroSaver DS Review

A few days ago I ordered the Kensington MicroSaver DS keyed lock from Amazon.com

I had a lot in mind when I weighed buying a new lock — the thickness of the cable was one issue, the lock itself was the bigger one, and the choice of keys vs combo. The one thing I did know was I wanted a Kensington lock.

I took a look at quite a few locks. For combo locks I looked at the ComboSaver Portable, the ComboSaver and ComboSaver Ultra. The advantage of the ComboSaver series is that you can set (and change) your own combination. So if you have a combo that you tell someone (or they find out) you can easily change it. The once complaint I did see a lot of is that the ComboSaver Portable had a lot of reviews saying that the cable was very thin. I just gave up a lock with a thin cable, and didn’t really care to replace it with another once. My other problem is, I sometimes forget combinations.

So on to considering keyed locks. The thing I look at with keyed locks is 1- don’t lose the key (or let it get stolen). That defeats the lock entirely. (It’s worth nothing that Kensington does offer free key replacement for registered locks) 2- I carefully look at the strength of the key/lock pair (especially after seeing this video about the insecurities of round keys). Locks with simple keys can often be easily defeated.

So I took a look through the keyed series of locks and saw only one that didn’t use a round lock. The Kensington MicroSaver DS. This lock uses a disc-style lock mechanism and has a “Safe Premium” rating: The highest security rating from Kensington.

And I got a mail-in rebate too :)

So I get this lock in the mail today, and of the first things I notice was the particular style of key cut on the key. Disc-style locks use a key with angles cut into the key (see the link above) which is very secure and very difficult to copy (and EXTREMELY difficult to pick successfully). Also, the steel cable is laminated and very thick, the lock itself pivots and rotates 360 degrees, making the connection to the laptop very easy.

When locking and unlocking the lock, I did notice it took a little bit of fiddling to get the key all the way in the lock. It’s very easy to turn the key while it’s still partway in, which will fail to unlock the lock. Just wiggling the key a little bit back and forth will get it in, and this quickly because habit. Chalk it up to the disc-type design.

I’m very happy with the lock, and it’s low-profile design will make a good match with even the thinnest laptop designs.

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