Qube Smart Bulb

I’m not sure what to make of this article, which discusses a wifi-enabled LED light bulb called the “Qube Smart Bulb”.  Perhaps this is the “next big thing” for all you “computerphiles” out there.

It looks like it will work with just about any operating system.

Jim Hamm

Apple P2P Mobile Payment

Here is an interesting article speculating (rumor) that Apple might be considering getting into the P2P (Peer to Peer) mobile payment service. Of course, Apple has the program “Apple Pay” presently, which links payment to your credit card. This P2P payment system would presumably link payments to your debit card which debits your bank account directly.

I’m not a fan of anyone, or business, having direct access to our bank account via a debit. I like the idea of a middlemen — like a bank — where my exposure is limited to $50 for fraudulent use. I would need a lot more understanding about this mobile payment service from Apple, if it should come to fruition, before using it.

Nonetheless, technology changes and progresses, and it will be interesting to see if this concept does, in fact, materialize.

Jim Hamm


If you get a message that claims to be from Apple about your iTunes Account – DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK!  This is a scam. Here’s an image of the message that I just received. This message has been sent to abuse@apple.com in hopes that they can find this guy and send him to jail.


To help us identify what is a scam or phishing email, Apple has provided the following website:


John Carter


Occasionally I will watch a YouTube video. Probably you do, too. I hadn’t thought much about how it was financially supported. It is owned by Google, and apparently has been losing big money every year. Presumably Google is trying a way to make money on YouTube by introducing YouTubeRed — a monthly paid-subscription service for videos.

There are varied blogs on this concept. Here’s one opinion. And here’s another blog from a few months ago, blaming the app Adblock (which blocks ads on websites) for causing a significant reduction in income generated from clicking advertising links. Such as on YouTube.

I have used Adblock in the past (I don’t now) — especially when the ads became so obtrusive they made it difficult to read or enjoy a website. But the second blog makes a valid point by mentioning all the blogs and newsletters we get to read on the internet, usually free, aren’t free at all. The writers need to be paid. So, how do they get paid? By advertising.

The reduction in ad revenues has seriously affected the publishing business — look at the impact on magazines and newspapers. We’ve been doing our reading on the internet, usually for free! Will the reduction in ad revenue start affecting the amount and quality of what we’re now able to read on the internet? Interesting question.

Should we all stop using ad blockers of any kind on websites so our internet reading remains free? Or?

Jim Hamm

IPv4 Addresses Have Run Out

Okay, this article may be a bit more technical than you would normally read, but I found it interesting. You may too, and it’s worth a read — at least I thought so. This article explains how every internet-connected device and website is assigned a unique number — that’s how they find each other. Briefly stated: all the unique numbers available under IPv4 (which is what we’ve been using for years) have been used in North America. What to do and what does this mean for you? That’s what the article is all about. Go to IPv6.

The article reminds me that I probably need to update the router we have in our house. It is an Apple Extreme Router, and I believe it is about 8 years old. Still working fine, but it does need to be upgraded, for a variety of reasons — not just because of eventually going to IPv6.

Jim Hamm

What About that Email You Just Got?

An email you received contains an underlined URL for you to click to see something online. But should you click to open something you’re not sure about?
Hold your horses! Put your cursor somewhere in that URL, but don’t click. Quickly a little box comes up right there attached to the pointing finger of your cursor. It gives you the whole URL so you can decide if it is something you want to click and open, or not.

Elaine Hardt

Computer Chips Made of Wood

Elaine Hardt found this short piece posted in the November issue just out from Popular Mechanics giving a few details about an biodegradable, environmentally friendly microchip. Why? How? When? It is on page 86 of the magazine.

Computer Chips Made of Wood

                                                                                                                   David Lawrence

Your TV, phone, and Xbox are hard to get rid of, and not just for sentimental reasons. The electronic devices we use every day are powered by microchips, and those microchips contain precious or harmful elements like silicon, gold, gallium, and arsenic. You don’t want these things sitting in landfills, where the chemicals can leak into the ground. But right now that’s exactly what many do. This issue prompted an idea from University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Jack Ma and his team: Why not make the chips out of wood? The crucial circuits are still made of silicon or gallium arsenide, but in a quantity up to five thousand times smaller than that of typical chips. Those circuits, about a hundred nanometers thick, are placed on a base of cellulose nanofibril—wood that has been broken down to the nanoscale, then reassembled into what is essentially a thin, durable paper. The result is a biodegradable, environmentally friendly microchip. Consumers won’t be able to buy the chips directly, but Ma says that three major computer chip manufacturers could soon be making them. —Jake Cappucino

Will Your Next Mac be Biodegradable?

New York Times article recently appeared that once again claims that recycling is a waste (pun intended) of time and money. Is this something like the argument over global warming?

What does make sense to John Carter is to increase the cost of collecting garbage and let some of that money go into research for developing better biodegradable products.

This has nothing to do with a Mac, unless you consider that sometime in the future it won’t matter if you dump your old Mac in the trash – because it will simply disappear as another biodegradable item. Just don’t let it get wet while you’re using it.

If you can get your hands on a copy of the November issue of Discover magazine, take a peek at the article on “Meet the Lean, Green, Flying Machine,” or how to make an almost fully biodegradable drone. Yep, we’re getting there.