Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from August 5, 2019 Options

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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.

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Options August 5, 2019: The tech-tips episode

Listen to this show: MP3 - 128K |  Pop‑up player!

This week: The tips show!

This week: tips. Mark reveals his picks for the best tech tools to use, and the toxic tools to definitely avoid.


Last week's show with Juliette Kayyem, former assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, on domestic terror threats - and Facebook's complicity.

The El Paso Shooting and the Virality of Evil (New Yorker, Aug 4)

7 iPhone Settings You Need To Turn Off Now (note, this is a YouTube video and Google will surveil you if you click this link)

NoMoreGoogle.com has a long list of Google alternatives.

DeleteFacebook.com has easy instructions to delete your Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp accounts.

How a trivial cell phone hack is ruining lives (Engadget, June 28)

• Outtro tonight inspired by GE's smart-bulb tutorial shows how complicated smart technology can be (CNN.com, June 20) - and Samantha's show from June 25, 2019.

Above, from a card by Roger McNamee, author of "Zucked" - interviewed on the May 6, 2019 Techtonic.

• Organizations: Surveillance Technology Oversight Project , Tech Inquiry, BlockSidewalk, David Strom's pointer to the Election Security Operations Center, EPIC - Electronic Privacy Information Center, and Rethink Link.

- - -

Check out techtonic.fm for recent Techtonic interviews and Little Slice of Tech Pie segments.

PODCAST: Subscribe to the Techtonic podcast

Artist Track Album Label Images Approx. start time
  The tips show: Mark Hurst gives his picks for the best & worst tech available today.
Tomas Dvorak  Game Boy Tune   Options Machinarium Soundtrack  No label 
  Mark's tech tips      
Fine Young Cannibals & GE  She Drives Me Crazy (Percusapella) GE remix   Options No album  No label 
0:52:17 (MP3 | Pop‑up)

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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm ultradamno:

Hello Mark! Techsumer Guidance Counselors!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm annie:

yar i is!
  6:03pm John from Florham park:

Hello fellow technoids
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Mark! Techtortionists!
  6:04pm melinda:

Hi folks
Avatar 6:04pm Bas NL:

Mark! TechTipTonicans!
  6:04pm Dave Miss:

BK present
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm queems:

howdy all
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm Phillippe Bastille:

Hi 'tonics and Mark
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm Ike:

Good evening!
Avatar 6:07pm Fredericks:

Hard to shake the YouTube, Mark.
Avatar 6:08pm coelacanth∅:

greetings Mark, techtonsillectomies
Avatar 6:08pm Fredericks:

Just saw your third note.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm annie:

ijust bought a blue tooth speaker,SONY brand..someone told me it could listen to me.... i skeptical.
Avatar 6:09pm Fredericks:

Avatar 6:10pm geezerette:

sigh... {:c(
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm ultradamno:

Horrible tragedies in Toledo and, I'm guessing, Alamo...if you're listening to the president.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm annie:

personally,i think they are all connected, manchurian candidate-type actions.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm Ken From Hyde Park:

First I've heard of 8chan was last night.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm queems:

i'm not going to lie- whatsapp saved my ass last night
  6:14pm pp:

Facebook is worldwide, yet we only seem to have the problem in the USA. unless im missing somethin
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm annie:

in one of the groups i run i was hollered at by a commenter when i suggested that social media be shut down when these events kick in.. and yeah, it's the first i heard of8chan, too
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm ultradamno:

@pp: You might be www.vox.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm queems:

yeah i have no idea what 8chan is
  6:16pm Sean from Iowa:

@pp The rohingya genocide shows that Facebook is not only a problem in the us.
  6:16pm John from Florham park:

@Queems I don’t use what’s app or instagram I waste enough time with Facebook:)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm annie:

i've used yahoo mail for forever
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm ultradamno:

@queems It's 4Chan doubled
  6:16pm brb:

Mark, thank you for doing this episode. I have been waiting for this for a long time!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm queems:

@ultradamno i wonder when 16chan is coming out
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm queems:

@john i didn't use whatsapp until yesterday, but i've wasted years of my life on instagram
  6:19pm melinda:

I’m glad I was too lazy to adopt chrome
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm annie:

i've been following the website Verge for a couple of weeks now... what an valuable place! firefox!!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm queems:

@melinda same
  6:20pm pp:

thanks for that insight
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:20pm annie:

safari eliminated the rss feed, they lost me when that happened
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:21pm queems:

i use firefox when safari doesn't work
  6:21pm melinda:

I use Firefox at home. Too bad they have google connections.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm ultradamno:

I know I still have a hotmail account to fit in with the crowd.
  6:23pm John from Florham park:

@Queems a lot of people waste their time on instagram:)
Avatar 6:23pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

'On the Media' on how the White Power movement is not @ all about isolated individuals - demonstrably not - & the role of Tech in this :
Avatar 6:23pm Paul D:

Hello everyone, this is a great show. Happy I use safari.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm MyAcademy:

Use Beaker and enjoy the dIsTrIbUtEd InTeRnEt!
  6:23pm P-90:

Well, Google sucks
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:23pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Opera is another browser out there.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm queems:

goddamnit, how do you move like a decade of your life and accounts to a new email address
  6:25pm P-90:

@queems: yeah, right?
  6:25pm John from Florham park:

@Queens that is the million dollar question about going to a new email it will be a PITA
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm Carmichael:

You just delete it and start over, Queems.
Avatar 6:26pm Paul D:

I haven't been on Facebook in years which I'm happy about.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:27pm queems:

@carmichael theoretically yes- but i'm not even sure how many accounts i have linked to my gmail, or what they even are. so changing them all over would be very challenging
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm queems:

that's not to say that it isn't necessary
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm annie:

even duckduck go has crappy search results..
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm annie:

they really have to improve that
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:28pm ultradamno:

The real evil of Facebook www.theonion.com...
  6:29pm P-90:

I went Duck Duck and never went back
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm queems:

@annie i do agree, sometimes duckduckgo doesn't show me what i'm looking for
Avatar 6:30pm Bas NL:

I found DuckDuckGo to be rather general; for in-depth searches it's hard to avoid Google search.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm ultradamno:

More seriously, Facebook was the platform for this gem www.cincinnati.com...
  6:30pm P-90:

... yes, Duck Duck’s results can be lamish.
They seem to be very gradually improving over the last few years.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm Sean d:

They are tracking me! Ahhhhh!
  6:31pm Hanna:

Anyone use Ecosia? It’s a search engine that funds planting trees?
  6:32pm melinda:

Do fast mail and protonmail work well on apple devices? I’ve been forwarding all my mail from my primary email to gmail only because it works better on the iPod or phone than my Time Warner account.
Avatar 6:32pm northguineahills:

I use Ecosia all the time, it works rather well for me....
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:32pm annie:

imiss being able to use quotation marks for asearch.. the results were wonderful..
  6:32pm Hanna:

Oh great- it’s being addressed.
  6:32pm Rory:

Forget gmail! Think of all the people with Bluetooth and amazon echo in their houses.
  6:33pm melinda:

I use Ecosia. I’ve looked into the projects they partner with and it all seems legit and inspiring.
Avatar 6:33pm Fredericks:

Startpage is good, but not the same as Google. You sometimes need to modify your search terms a couple times to get the same results as Google.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm Ken From Hyde Park:

If one opens a private-mode or an incognito browser window and uses Google without logging in, does it still track you?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm queems:

i feel like a filthy hypocrite now that facebook owns instagram. i deleted facebook like 6 years ago, but instagram is going to be very difficult
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm queems:

also what is the general consensus on tumblr?
  6:35pm JakeGould:

@Ken: Incognito mode is only for desktop purposes. Meaning so your wife can’t see your porn searches. It has nothing to do with Google and others tracking you. If you want Incognito with extra protection, go to the EFF and download and install HTTPS Everywhere and Privacy Badger.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm Ike:

Startpage *used* to show me basically the same results as I'd get from Google. A couple of years ago, the results seemed like they were often diverging, though I liked Startpage anyway. Today, oddly enough, the Startpage results seem to be back to *very* similar to Google for me. Youse guys?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm annie:

... i follow The Admin Zone now... great source of info on new tech.
  6:37pm Patty D:

Ive deleted all social media from my phone except Twitter and Reddit. The results are that I dont even used facebook anymore and Ive deleted instagram. I plan on deleting twitter from my phone soon and then altogether. Reddit is a little different because it’s anonymous but it definitely can lead to mindless scrolling.
  6:37pm WTF:

What about LinkedIn?
  6:37pm P-90:

I tried the FB app briefly and deleted it. Yes, using it only in the browser makes its use a more deliberate thing; but I also found the FB and Twitter apps both seemed to drain my phone battery at an alarming rate...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm annie:

i only use my laptop...no smartphone for me
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm MyAcademy:

Put Linux Tails on a USB drive and use that badboy on library computers. :chefkiss
Avatar 6:38pm northguineahills:

I have always stopped walking and pulled my walking self over to a place where I won't impede pedestrian traffic.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:40pm queems:

apple holds your data hostage with their shitty design. i just lost 6 months of data because i refuse to use icloud and i forgot to back shit up
  6:40pm John from Florham park:

I am one of those people who if some people call me while I am driving I pull over
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm Art:

I haven't heard whole show, but LINUX (Mint in my case) over Microsoft and Apple.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm annie:

i use tracfone flip
Avatar 6:41pm Paul D:

I heard apple is going to kill iTunes soon
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm MyAcademy:

You can get an Android phone and remove all Google services from it. Look into Lineage/microG. More affordable and open than iDevices if you need a smartphone.
  6:42pm P-90:

Ugh... just when I’ve been seriously considering giving an Android phone a try again, Techtonic spoils it for me...
  6:42pm JakeGould:

The problem with those old flip phones, they technically work but their encryption and such is easily crackable. So someone who wants to listen to your calls now can do so a lot easier on older phones.

That is the sad reality: You need to find a newer model flip phone with actual firmware updates.
  6:43pm Dave in Vermont on the phone:

Apparently it’s a good idea to turn off Siri
Avatar 6:44pm coelacanth∅:

i have an lg, total piece of shit phone. android. i have no "apps" installed except what was in it when i got it, and i've disabled those (gobble, pgs, whatever)
does it still surveil me?
  6:44pm DRATSUM:

https://www.thelightphone.com the light phone. Think this is pretty cool. Eink screen.
  6:44pm DRATSUM:

Is that possible? Each account has its own encryption key
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm annie:

i use the whackadoo method...
Avatar 6:45pm coelacanth∅:

why do you need to "manage" your passwords?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm queems:

are you saying that using "password1" for everything is a bad move
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm ultradamno:

I use an ipad mostly to run the WFMU app while on a desktop PC doing this. I never really considered turning Siri on, the appeal of taking to a robot voice has always escaped me.
Avatar 6:46pm Bas NL:

We've had a national login system DigID for governmental usage. It got hacked; they had the secret key on an open server.. :|
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm annie:

the sony bluetooth??
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm queems:

"alexa, find the nearest e-waste dump"
  6:47pm JakeGould:

“Siri, go jump in a lake.”
“Alexa, Siri thinks you’re conceited.”
Avatar 6:47pm Fredericks:

So the speakers are smart, but the purchasers are not.
  6:48pm melinda:

I’m with you and SM Ken, it doesn’t make sense to keep all your passwords at a management site which is just a humongous goldmine for hackers. Also requires too many steps.
  6:48pm DRATSUM:

Every website I have a password for has a different 22 character no word password made up of a random string of characters, numbers, and symbols. Need to access it on several devices. That’s why I need a password manager.
  6:50pm DRATSUM:

Also, if you use an Authenticator app or two step authentication / you need a place to keep the encryption keys for account recovery.
  6:50pm sid:

Dratsum, I think you are right. The encryption key should be derived from your master password, meaning there should not be a single point of failure for all users. I like Dashlane as a manager.
  6:51pm melinda:

@queems haha
  6:51pm JJ NY-SC:

If I didn't have google home, I wouldn't be listening to this right now. When I had the fmu app on my phone (yes, phone) it would play for a few minutes and then buffer until I finally uninstalled the darned thing.
  6:51pm Robert Tables:

@Melinda: I use the protonmail app on apple devices. It doesn't collapse emails into conversations/threads like gmail (although desktop protonmail does do this). And the way it handles drafts is a little wonky, you have to be careful to save your draft each time you go do something else, or you might lose it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm annie:

if i turn the bluetooth speaker off each night..... what then?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm ultradamno:

Plus, after Black Mirror, I'm pretty sure all smart devices will somehow get possessed by Miley Cyrus' consciousness. Terrifying.
  6:51pm brb:

What about Sonos without Alexa?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm Ken From Hyde Park:

You can get cars and all sorts of products with Alexa built in. Blahr!
  6:51pm DRATSUM:

I just don’t see how hacking 1Password is possible. Every account has its own 24bi encryption key that 1 password doesn’t have. If you lose it, your account isn’t recoverable. It’s more likely that you would get a key stroke tracker on your computer that record your pass.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm queems:

yeah, what about regular bluetooth headphones?
Avatar 6:52pm northguineahills:

People have favorite songs?
Avatar 6:52pm geezerette:

Mark, you're NOT coming on too strong.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm queems:

also i'm so horribly guilty with using amazon
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm annie:

iused to use Daedalus Books,... even they have gone to crap..
  6:52pm schwartzy:

Alternative to GOOGLE MAPS??
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm tim from champaign:

Be patient and use the public library!
  6:52pm P-90:

Support those local booksellers!
Avatar 6:52pm coelacanth∅:

i have 2 local book stores. my 3rd and only other choice is thriftbooks.
i don't use scamazon
  6:53pm techy:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm annie:

public library requires proof of ID... never again!
  6:53pm NIKHOLIS:

Addall.com for BOOKS
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm ultradamno:

But now Prime has it's own music festival...somehow.
Avatar 6:53pm coelacanth∅:

many independent book (and record) sellers will just order it from scamazon if you order something.
  6:54pm NIKHOLIS:

Abebooks as well, so many independent booksellers who use digital sellers not related to Amazon
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm MyAcademy:

@schwartzy: OsmAnd
  6:54pm Sean from Iowa:

Hey Mark what about AWS? It seems to me that Amazon is attempting to monopolize the internet at the infrastructure level. Know of anyone who is investigating this?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm MyAcademy:

Abe was purchased by Amazon in 2008.
Avatar 6:55pm northguineahills:

I only buy books from brick and mortar stores in person....
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm melinda:

@Robert Tables thanks
Avatar 6:55pm Folsom:

i use hoopla and RBdigital that hooks to my library account to get free books/cds/magazines
  6:55pm DRATSUM:

Yeah Nik. Abe books.
Avatar 6:55pm geezerette:

Thanks, Mark!
  6:56pm P-90:

@Mark: have you spoken about VPNs?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Art:

Powells.com for many books
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Ike:

@schwartzy, for phones, I believe Mark has mentioned Apple Maps in the past. I used to recommend Maps.me which is nice because it works *offline* but then I learned that Mail.Ru Group bought it. Eek. If you're not (IMHO justifiably) suspicious of the Kremlin, maybe try it anyway.
Avatar 6:56pm coelacanth∅:

abe books obviously should be boycotted.
Avatar 6:56pm Bas NL:

Thanks Mark!
  6:56pm Dave Miss:

Thanks mark!
  6:57pm phillippe bastille:

been running errands while I listen. stopped for gas and there was an ad for Amazon running on the screen on the gas pump. yes, on the gas pump
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm queems:

thanks, mark! nightmares later
  6:57pm schwartzy:

thanks for gps tips listeners! THANKS MARK SUPER TIPS!!!
  6:57pm JakeGould:

This is really useful for my firmware version 2.8 lightbulb.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm ultradamno:

He waits with you. Considerate!
Avatar 6:58pm coelacanth∅:

that's as fucking stupid as buying a clothes washer that has a computer in it.
  6:58pm Rory:

My god, what’s happening to us!!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm queems:

this is the goofiest shit i have ever heard
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Art:

Convenience-based techno-zombification
Avatar 6:59pm Bas NL:

I got turned off after two seconds...
Avatar 6:59pm geezerette:

invasion of the brain snatchers.
  6:59pm JakeGould:

This is how I make love to a woman… If she was a lightbulb.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm ultradamno:

Is this signalling the Russians or someone in morse code?
  7:00pm techy:

it's so easy, 2 seconds, 8 seconds, only takes 60 seconds in total
Avatar 7:00pm geezerette:

Bas! hahaha!!!
Avatar 7:00pm coelacanth∅:

Thanks Mark
Avatar 7:02pm mr_mike:

Hold on.."surveillance state" or "state of surveillance"
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:04pm Mark Hurst:

Thanks, everyone!
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