Alan Wallace's Blog

Thoughts… Rants… Rave's – mostly on Tech

IE9 vs Bing Ad Server

Over the 4th – like many of you – I was rebuilding my computer.  Well hopefully not like many of you – but while I was doing so – among the bizzare issues I dealt with is that I was saved from Malware by IE9 served up in fact by Bings AdServer.  Seems odd that if you have the threat data to block it – that you would post the malware link in the first place….

David Perry was kind enough to write my story 😉


Filed under: Malware, Online Threats, , , , , ,

CES and My New Must Have Gadgets

Over the 4th — like many of you — I was rebuilding my computer. Well hopefully not like many of you — but while I was doing so — among the bizarre issues I dealt with is that I was saved from Malware by IE9 served up in fact by Bings Ad Server. Seems odd that if you have the threat data to block it — that you would post the malware link in the first place….

So while at CES surrounded by a sea of 3D TV’s and frankly I don’t get it — 3D TV bores me. But there is a TV technology that I find truly revolutionary and while it’s been around for a couple of years what I have since learned is what I have been missing.

Slingbox ( allows you to connect your TV and other media sources for streaming online and to other applications for iOS platforms as well as the Android.

I’m a bit of a TV junkie, news mostly, but I have 3 DirecTV units — living room, bedroom and home office and also run a whole home network for DirecTV. I also connected one of my old school AppleTV units. My internet is provided via DSL and is supposed to be the 20Mbps package. My cellphone is a DroidX on the Verizon Network and normally see’s Verizon’s 3G network. My IPad accesses online by WiFi only. I tested on PC’s and Mac both wired and wireless as well as my IPad and Droid. Connections included Home, Starbucks and GoGo InFlight and I have been actively using for 2 weeks.

First, I’m a former broadcaster and I also have worked in the streaming industry as well (Live365) so I know how hard it is to stream audio and video and that the biggest issues all streamers have is bandwidth. So in part SlingBox is either an amazing experience or not depending on the connection experience but those are the same issues you would experience with Hulu, Netflix or other video streaming solutions. Given that, I have been nothing less than blown away with how completely cool SlingBox is!

With SlingBox you purchase the software and hardware this is a one-time fee. This allows you all of your content with no additional fee. So if it’s on your cable or satellite box it’s there, if it’s in your iTunes collection it’s there, if it’s the camera you connect to see what the kids are doing with the sitter — well, it’s there too.

The only places I have had trouble getting optimized performance has been while on a plane using GoGo Inflight for bandwidth reasons or in trying to view on my IPad in HD via a hotspot connection using my DroidX — but standard worked fine. But at home or Starbucks my Laptop or IPad look great and the Droid App is very solid — sure the screen is smaller but the experience is delivered well.

It’s rare when I can’t find a way to improve a product but this is one of those issues. The only thing slowing SlingBox down is the connection speed and this is up to your ISP. Certainly upload speed is important as well as download but SlingBox was easy to setup, is easy to use and it performs amazingly well.

Filed under: Must Have Tech Gadgets

I received a call today that seems to be a new trend in telemarketing. Generally it’s a call that comes from a number with a useless caller ID and says something like — we are in your area installing free security systems — other scenarios include — calling about your credit card, or carpet cleaning — press 1 for more information.

In this case the call came from 920–560–2425 and in this case the phone disconnected and they called back later. When I asked where they got my number — they told me from various data sources — so I asked for a supervisor who tried to convince me that since I selected Option 1 that I had opted in for their call and therefore they followed the Do Not Call Registry — Despite their breaking it with the first call.

Can the FTC do something please?

I liked the idea of the “Do Not Call Registry” — I just wish it meant something.

I saw this article today on PC World and wanted to comment. As someone who actually made a living for part of my career because of the DMCA — I wish the Library of Congress had gone further.

While I’m pleased that the iphone can now be ‘legally’ jail broken so that it can run other third party software apps — I don’t own one and see this more for future security hacks and iphone vulnerabilities. I’m sure next years BlackHat will be even more interesting as a result but what I really wanted to see with this latest ruling is more common sense added to the DMCA.

I have purchased over time a fairly large DVD collection. Surprisingly DVD’s and game software somehow does not live as long in the hands of an elementary school kid as it does in the hands of their parent who is at least slightly older. I have also purchased movies via ITUNES and like to watch those movies that I have purchased and downloaded on my IPAD, IPOD and AppleTV. Frankly though, I absolutely think I should be able to use handbrake on my DVD’s to put them on these devices storing them in a manner that keeps them safe and protected.

I’m sure the Library of Congress did not have as many lobbyists from APPLE as those from the MPAA but seriously — I don’t want to steal content and I don’t want to share content where I don’t have the right but I do want to use and play content I own and I should be allowed to make a digital copy at least for backup.

I wish the law would catch up to real life needs.

Originally published at on July 7, 2011.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

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