Friday, December 24, 2010

Goodbye POTS : POTS = Plain Old Telephone Service (or Landline); I'm so annoyed at the dishonesty of AT&T. They keep hitting me with junk email, junk postal mail, and junk phone calls, despite assuring me after each complaint that I'm opted out and it won't happen again. Then everyone of their web sites hit you with SPYWARE, and they totally dishonestly deny that they're doing that. SO I had to do something to vote my displeasure. So I've now connected OOMA to my U-Verse Internet, and in another 2 weeks, if OOMA works as well as its seems to after hooking it up, I'll port my AT&T phone number over to OOMA, and GOODBYE POTS.

OOMA was a pleasure to hook up. Take it out of the box, plug an Ethernet cable into a free Ethernet port on the U-Verse Wireless Router/Modem, plug a phone into the OOMA,; go online and register the OOMA, and then power up the OOMA, and wait for it to check for firmware updates, and Bingo, you're good to go. Only gotcha is OOMA's Getting Started Guide omits the go online and register requirement. I bought it online from Costco, at a sale price, with free shipping, and a $50 credit on my OOMA account for Foreign phone calls (about 2 cents a minute). In the unlikely event I decide I don't like the Ooma, Costco is excellent about taking returns.

FOLLOWUP: I'm now informed that my AT&T number will be ported (transferred) to Ooma on January 7, 2011.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Your smart phone is spying on you: Both Browsers and Apps, and unlike Computer Browsers, at present there's no way to stop the total breach of your privacy. Story here:

Monday, December 13, 2010

84% of Web sites track you with spyware:
USA Today has good article on the subject
Read it here:
Read my Dec. 4, 2010 Blog post for how to stop it
on your computer.

Friday, December 10, 2010

BLOCK Txt messages on your AT&T cell phone: ATT has a secret web site that allows you to block email addresses from sending you txt messages: . You’ll need to register there, even if you already have an AT&T login for your regular account. One can block all SMS messages and/or multimedia messages sent to you as email. This is how spammers can get to you — they send junk txt messages to or Its probably best to block both of them.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

DO NOT TRACK : USA Today had a story on how most websites put spyware on your computer, and even commonly used techniques (some previously mentioned here - see my Oct. 25, 2010 post) do not fully stop it. The way to fully stop it, AND IDENTIFY WHO IS USING WHAT SPYWARE, is to install Ghostery for the Firefox Browser, and only use Firefox as your Internet Browser, unless another Browser allows Do Not Track add-ons. Tracker Block says their program should be used too, with Firefox.

AT&T, I discovered, despite claiming not to use Spyware, uses Webtrends. Go to the WebTrends website and see how they advertise their Spyware to companies.

Even USA Today, which ran the story, uses Spyware, one discovers after installing Ghostery.

I have been running Norton Anti Virus Quick Scan a few times a day to remove Spyware, but after installing the above mentioned Firefox Add-Ins, instead of finding and deleting its usual 4 to 12 instances of Spyware, Norton found Zero ! And an added benefit, my Uverse 12mbps Internet connection tests 10% faster than before I installed Ghostery, since any speed test is no longer competing with Spyware. speed tests result of 11.4 to 11.9 mbps download speed depending on location of test were obtained, and distance had no correlation to speed.

I've tested Firefox with its privacy add-ins on Windows 7 - 64 bit, Windows XP, and Windows Vista 32 bit and Mac OS X 10.5.6 - 32 bit; so I expect it'd work most any other OS.

Followup - Default settings for Ghostery do next to nothing. It must be manually turned on after Install. : FireFox Tools> add-on's> Extensions> Ghostery> Options button> Blocking tab> "Select" All & "ON"> Options Tab Enable Auto Update> Performance Tab - Enable all Scans but NOT Lite mode.>Save.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers: To do something with leftover Turkey meat: Today I'll make chili, using a modified Consumers Reports recipe. CR came up with a chili recipe to have to compare against canned chili many years ago. I omit corn, and use more beans amongst changes.

12 oz Ground turkey
4 strips bacon
1/2 Garlic Bulb
2 Medium Onions
1/2 Green Pepper
1 TBS Garlic Wine Vinegar
1 tsp salt
5 Tbs Chili Powder
2 16 oz cans Pea beans
1 Tbs Dark Brown Sugar
16 oz Hunts tomato Sauce
3 Tbs Olive Oil

In large skillet for over an hour heat coarsely chopped onions, garlic and pepper on low heat in Olive Oil, stirring frequently. Separately brown bacon, real or turkey bacon. Add ground turkey,
cooked bacon, to onion mix and cook for 10 minutes. Add drained beans, tomato sauce, spices and heat covered on low heat for 30 minutes. Add extra water, chili, salt or brown sugar to taste.

Good with Fritos, or fresh home-made bread.