2019 January e-Bytes

Valley of Boom - TV Series
Can Firefox survive in a Google world?
Digital photography begins its next chapter with radical changes
The Why Axis: More Americans Get News From Social Media Than Print
The 100 Best Android Apps for Your New Phone
The Best Home Security Cameras
13 Great Gift Ideas for Kids Who Want to Code
Curious about cord-cutting? Read this before you cancel cable
Get a Password Manager

Valley of Boom - TV Series

National Geographic cranks up the internet wayback machine with its forthcoming series Valley of the Boom, to explore the dot-com era and the culture of speculation, innovation and disruption during Silicon Valley’s unprecedented tech boom of the 1990s and subsequent bust.

The six-part limited series, starring two-time Emmy award-winning actor Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn and Lamorne Morris, tells the story of the epic browser wars. While most of the show is scripted, showrunner/director Matthew Carnahan weaves in select documentary elements that help tell the true inside story of the internet’s formative years.

Series starts January 13, 2019 on National Geographic.

Can Firefox survive in a Google world?

With Microsoft's decision to switch to Chromium for its Edge browser, Mozilla's Firefox remains the only major browser developer that still maintains its own alternative engine. In a world dominated by Google, can Firefox remain competitive?

Microsoft Edge: What went wrong, what's next - Microsoft's grand browser experiment flopped in the marketplace, so the company is turning to an unlikely successor: the open-source Chromium project. Can it succeed where EdgeHTML failed?

Digital photography begins its next chapter with radical changes

Computational photography remakes phone photos, while Canon and Nikon embrace the camera design of the future.

The Why Axis: More Americans Get News From Social Media Than Print

Social media platforms are now outpacing print media as a news source, according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center earlier this year.

The 100 Best Android Apps for Your New Phone

So you have a new Android device. Congratulations! The question is, which apps should you put on it? The problem is, the Google Play Store's 2.6 million app count is staggering. We've been curating our list of best apps for almost a decade. You can't go wrong with these picks in 14 top categories.

26 iOS Apps Worth Paying For

16 Android Apps Actually Worth Paying For - Free apps are cool, but a few bucks can get you so much more. If you are looking to buy in the Google Play store, here are the best paid Android apps to put on your phone.

The Best Home Security Cameras

If you want to keep an eye on what's happening at home when you're not there, but you don't want to invest in a full-fledged home security system, a Wi-Fi-connected camera is worth a look.

13 Great Gift Ideas for Kids Who Want to Code

I suspect that there are far more parents who want their kids to code then there are children that want to learn to code. That said, there is a precious cohort of our kids that enjoy programming. I still remember showing my grandfather my first handwritten BASIC programs. "Looks like math," he said. "No, I hate math. This is programming!" I responded, not realizing we were both right. My skills never progressed much further than BASIC, in part because I didn't have access to cool tools and toys like these.

Curious about cord-cutting? Read this before you cancel cable

Save a bunch of money! Kick that ancient box to the curb! Ditch all those channels you never watch! Never deal with a cable guy again! Not so fast.

Get a Password Manager

A password like "123456" or "monkey" is easy to remember, but it's also easy to crack. With the help of a password manager, you can have a unique and strong password for every secure website. We've evaluated two dozen apps to help you choose.

Links - News, Tips, & Downloads

Got a New Router for the Holidays? Here's How to Set Up and Optimize It

Your New PC Needs Antivirus

How to replace your dumb deadbolt with a smart lock 

'Donald' Makes It on 2018's Worst Passwords List - Whether you support President Trump or not, using his first name as your password isn't a good idea. For the first time, "donald" cracked SplashData's annual top 100 list of worst passwords.

The Best Wireless Routers - With the gaggle of connected home products, smart TVs, smartphones, and other mobile devices ruling our lives, it's more important than ever to outfit your home or business with a wireless router that can handle the increased demand for Wi-Fi connectivity.

Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration guide - With Windows 7 approaching the end of support deadline, it’s time to get cracking on upgrading your organization to Windows 10. Use this planner to help ensure a successful migration.

What to Consider Before Giving Smart Home Gadgets as Gifts

Top Tips for Safe Online Shopping

10 old cables you should keep around (and 6 to toss)

PCMag Picks the Best VPNs - A VPN, or virtual private network, is one of the smartest ways to protect your privacy online and maintain your data security. We've tested scores of them, and these are the best VPN services for Windows.

10 Tips to Speed Up Windows 10

Easy Fixes for Common TV Problems - If your television suffers from a distorted picture, weird colors, or the dreaded "soap opera effect," these simple fixes can help improve your picture.

Do You Still Need Antivirus Software With Windows 10? - Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center gets new features with the Fall Creators Update, but the best third-party antivirus tools are still better.

The Top Sites for Buying and Selling Items Locally - Need a way to buy or sell something that can't be shipped through conventional means? These sites can help you get the job done.

Ask a Question


Send any Tips & Downloads, Ask a Question, For Sale, or articles to:  TheMiningPCC@gmail.com


Q. From a PCC Member -  I recently bought an AC1300 router on an Amazon “daily deal”.  Now I’m having a little remorse, thinking I should have gone faster (our neighborhood is being upgraded to fiber).  Any words of advice?  (other than, “faster is better”)
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. Couple of things about Internet speed. If cost is no problem, go for the fastest Internet speed. I always look to save money and only buy what I need.  I have fiber and could get 1 Gb, but went with 40 Mb for $30 a month for two years. The 40 Mb is enough speed for 3-4 1080p Video streams, which is all I need. Most people can not tell the difference in speed on a web page when they load in a second or less. 

You want a WiFi router that supports your max speed from your ISP and also the devices you connect like dual band. The other thing with a router is how strong the signal is in your house in the places you need it.

Below are examples of CenturyLink Prices, Plans, and Packages



Download Speed

Price for Life 20


Up to 20 Mbps

Price for Life 80


Up to 40–80 Mbps

Price for Life 100


Up to 100–140 Mbps

Price for Life 1 Gig


Up to 1 Gig

The member responds - Thanks for the feedback and information. The router I bought is 2x my old (N600), dual band, and supports MU-MIMO.  I can already tell I have better (excellent) coverage in my house.  I will evaluate my incoming speed to see where my bottleneck will exist, but can already tell I have a better signal (able to run my smart TV without the Roku box). This is all with my current service (I have Baldwin Lightstream in Hudson) – may not even need to consider fiber for a while.

Tom Kreuzer responds - If you have android device you can load and use the app WiFi Analyzer by Webprovider (the free version) to check signal strength and possible conflicts with other networks at both the 2.4 and 5 Ghz. You should also check what speed you get up and down using any number of sites like: http://pcmag.speedtestcustom.com/ 

Q. From a PCC Member Dann Holter - Here is info on 3M Employee Cloud Storage…it appears that significant changes just went into effect. I have included the summary memo and copy of the actual policy for your information. Neither is marked as Restricted or Confidential. Hopefully you will be incorporate this relevant, but not-so-timely, information into your discussion.
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. Thanks for the info. I have include the files in the PCC Website Past Meeting Files for the December 2018 meeting on Cloud Storage.
Q. From a PCC Member - I use to have cable TV and now have DirectTV Now and miss having the ability pause or go back on live TV. 
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. In addition to DirectTV Now I have an older Channel Master DVR that I use for Over the Air "OTA" recording. It can only record OTA and not any other stream. It has a free TV Guide, easy settings to record (once, new, all), records live TV like you talked about, 2 tuners, and very fast. The latest model support installing more apps. You need to add an external hard drive or SSD. Best to use drives they support, if the drive is too slow the playback has issues.

The member responds - I may have to look into getting one of those. I wonder if I could rig one up to play to TVs in different rooms?

Tom Kreuzer responds - The Channel Master is not made for that. I have cables and remote repeaters that let me view and control mine on all my TVs, but my setup is not for you. Since I got my DVR new devices like Tablo look like they would do what you need:

Not sure if how fast or user friendly, but I would look into this if I was setting up today.