Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Learning About Computers

During my last radio show (Jan 6, 2014 on WTKM 104.9 FM) a caller expressed his dismay about the demise of a good TV show with very helpful information and practical tips.

When I checked on the morning of Jan 7th I found a very interesting email from a listener with lots of information on the subject of computer info on TV. With that email author's kind permission (Thank you Jeremy R.) here is the full text plus an additional note he sent later. I have done only very minor editing but have added links to the web sites and shows mentioned and to persons as available.

I heard your radio show today.

I am enjoying the conversations you and Dave have been having when you are waiting for callers.

I decided to email you with some info about the TechTV show one of the callers talked about.
I missed TechTV when it went away, but now there are much better shows available online. I wanted to point your attention to some that are relevant. All of these are free and available on demand through their websites, or through set-top boxes like Roku, etc...

'The Screen Savers' (1998-2005)    (This is the one the caller talked about)
    • A program on the old TechTV channel that no longer exists.
    • The hosts Patrick Norton and Leo Laporte
  • Revision3.com
    • Patrick Norton from 'The Screen Savers' is now on
    • Revision3 makes a variety of shows for varying degrees of computer skill.
    • Some examples of their 20+ shows are:
      • Tekzilla - News and brief How-To's much like TechTV stuff.  (host Patrick Norton)
      • HD Nation - Focusing mainly on Home Entertainment computers and gadgets.  (host Patrick Norton) 
      • - brief technology news updates.
      • The Ben Heck Show - in depth, hands on project building.
    • Revision3 also makes a few shows purely for entertainment.
    • Leo Laporte from 'The Screen Savers' created his own network called TWiT.   ("This Week in Tech")
    • Leo Laporte hosts most of the shows.
    • Read about the transition from TechTV to TWiT here:
    • TWiT has 20+ audio and video broadcasts actively being produced.
    • Various show topics include: Android Tablets, iPads, How-To, Home Theater, Free Software, Ham Radio, Security
  •  (not related to the viewer's question)
    • Based in Canada
    • A relaxed show about current tech, including some hands on activities, and answering viewer questions.
    • Airs LIVE every Tuesday night at 6:00pm Central Time.
    • Viewers can ask questions by Phone, eMail, or Instant Message Chat
    • Viewer questions range from quite technical to very basic.
    • The host helps people with Windows and linux questions.
    • is currently my personal favorite.
    • Some episodes include:
Microsoft Phone Scam
I want to point your attention to the episode #327 - Fake Support Call Scams where they have video footage of what the phone scammers have people do on their computers.  The show notes page for that episode has a link to the last 30 minutes the guy spent on the phone with the scammers.  Now if someone says to me, "They called me up and asked me to do 'x-y-z'" I have a better idea of what they went through.

The scammers were clever, but not clever enough to notice that the machine they were hacking was a freshly installed Virtual Machine specifically set up for this purpose.
This was the first email and here is the additional note he sent with his permission to publish his information here:
One note about the shows being available on the Roku and similar devices...

Revision3 and TWiT have their own channel/app for various devices, while I believe has to be added as an ordinary RSS feed.

When TechTV went off the air, I missed not having that stuff to watch.  Now, there is more "Tech TV" than I have time to watch.  I am still getting caught up on episodes of Category5 that I have missed.

The video of the scam phone call includes little popup notes on the screen that briefly explain what the scammer is really doing, while he is saying something else.

Well, that was this. I publish this information without any warranty to be fit for any purpose.

But again I want to thank Jeremy R. very much for theeffort he put into assembling his email.

As usual I welcome comments and suggestions right here in the blog. Thank you in advance.

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