Thursday, December 23, 2010

How to stream media to your Android Phone from a Network Attached Storage Device (NAS).

How to run movies off a NAS on AndroidEver since I got my HTC Desire at the End of September 2010, I've wanted to be able to stream shows and songs from my NAS to my Phone.

Let's face it syning though USB sucks and when I'm at home I can have access to my entire media collection on my NAS.

One of the best things about Android is it's Linux Roots and Google's commitment to keeping Android an Open Source Platform.

This allowed some very cleaver app developers to create the apps that are going to allow us to do this very simple thing.

*Note: iPhones and at the time of this post Windows Phone 7 devices can't do this without some major setup or some sort of media server such as VLC or Windows Home server etc.

What you need.

Any NAS, I am using a Linksys Dual Bay NAS200 (which only has 10/100 Ethernet access), you will need a Android Phone the better the specs the better the performance. My Android Phone is a HTC Desire with the 1Ghz Snapdragon Processor and am running Android 2.2 (Froyo).

The app I am using for accessing the NAS is called File Expert, which is free. For playing the videos I am using RockPlayer which will also allow you to play DivX and Xvid videos. RockPlayer will stream the video from the NAS to your Android Phone.

The nice thing about this is on the Apple iOS devices you have to have your mac on and itunes open to with and have some sort of third party software installed on your Mac and iOS device to access your content wirelessly. On Android you just need the two apps.

Here is how you set it up; first I will assume you have a NAS already setup on your network; and your have configured it so everyone will have access or "guest" access

In File Expert on your Android handset, press on the network tab, then depending on your phone it may be a little bit different but on my HTC Desire I need to press the menu button then I want to press "New" then select Add New SMB Server; then Fill out the Server IP Address and check Anonymous. Press Ok.

Then that's it, you can then browse your NAS if everything has been configured properly, and when you want to watch a video be sure to use RockPlayer especially if your using DivX or Xvid Files.

Full Video Tutorial Coming Soon!


Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

Monday, December 20, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Review

Windows Phone 7 Review

Windows Phone 7I've never had a problem working with technology. I've worked with windows, OS X, iphones, ipods, Android 1.6, 2.1, 2.2 and blackberry devices. I've seen and used windows mobile 6.5. I have never had any issue syncing, navigating or doing anything with any of these devices. Now welcome Windows Phone 7; Microsoft's "iPhone and Android" killer which it definitely is not. When Windows Phone 7 was released I went to have a look at it; they had a demo of it at the local Futureshop. At the time I thought the phone was mostly "Flash" it was a little confusing moving around Microsoft's operating system. Other then that I thought it might be ok. The overall impression I got is if you didn't like the way or style the iPhone or Android looked; Windows Phone 7 Might be a good solution. Boy was I wrong.

So Why do I dislike the Windows Phone 7 OS so much? There are a few things.

1) The Data Syncing is very lack lustre it is about the same as the Blackberry, just a little bit worse (in my opinion).

2) Adding a contact took 6 steps. That is ridiculous. The I was adding the contact I was never qued to add the phone number or email address to an existing contact. On my Android and iPhone it only took 2-3 steps!

3) The Messaging application only selected addresses that were imported from the gmail account so we could only send emails. If we wanted to SMS we had to input the full number.

4) If you want apps you have to have a LIVE Account! So I had to sign up for one. I was not impressed.

5) When we downloaded an one of the very few free apps, I have no idea where the heck it went!

6) The search only seems to work in sections. For example if I am in the Microsoft Apps Store it only searches the store, if I am in the email it only searches the email.

7) I was beginning to find the navigation confusing. there is a huge amount of scrolling in Windows Phone 7 and it varies from up and down to side to side. You never know which way your going to have to scroll.

This phone was picked out by someone with very limited computer skills against my suggestions for an iPhone 3GS or Android phone. The person that bought it was told by the sales person that they would find it easier then an iPhone, and when they couldn't get it working; they called me and I found it frustrating to get setup. Perhaps if I had an Xbox with a XBox Live account and a regular Microsoft Live account I would love it.

So this is my recommendation for those of you looking to buy a Windows 7 Phone. If your tied into Microsoft's services hey then go for it if you don't have Microsoft's Services then stick with A BlackBerry, iPhone or Android. If you are wondering Yes I did find Windows Mobile 6.5 easier to use and setup no matter how awkward it was.

Video to be posted soon!

Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Going from a Democracy to an Empire

We live in interesting times... at least I think we do. Have you watched Star Wars episodes one to three recently? No, well maybe you should and then have a look at your local news paper and check out what the heck is going on in the world. See any similarities? No, well you should and here is why. Ever since September 11, 2001 (a tragic day in the history of the world); the United States and the western or "modernized" countries have to some respects become police states constantly in a state of emergency at least compared to pre 9/11. I highly recommend reading a post from Robert Elias, professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco era 2001, for a great article about Today's terrorism and what was/is America's foreign policy. Now if I'm going to compare today with what happened in Star Wars let's go back to 2001. The Bush administration was in power, and life was going along just fine there were many international disagreements, perhaps more so then before. The United States and the Western Countries are in a relatively Utopian State much like the Republic in Star Wars. So now this is going to get a little complicated here but I will try to explain it. Some bad stuff happens in Star Wars like the deaths of Jedi, and the realization of "rogue countries and companies (The Trade Federation)" that become a threat to the republic.

Now the extremist are the "Trade Federation", we lived with them bought things from them used them and now they want to kill us. Now in Star Wars the republic and Trade Federation have their little war (Iraq and Afghanistan) where the armies fight on the battle ground. However here is where the Terrorist are very cleaver. If Terrorist hate the way we live our lives, having technology, consumerism, etc, then they are as good if not more cleaver then Emperor Palpatine. We have democracy for now1 but I don't know if we will for much longer; we now live about two steps from being in a police state. Issues where common sense should prevail are trumped by over zealous calls for patriotism and security. We the people have allowed this to happen, making our countries almost no different then the corrupt "Dictatorships" our "governments" say are evil (except we have more technology). I do recognize that we still do have elections their for we are still technically a democracy but when only a small percentage of people come out to vote I seriously question that. Like in star wars where the government took away all the power from the people in the name of security, because of a war, then the Terrorists have already won.

The best examples of this I can give you is the conduct of the police at the G20 meeting in Toronto2, the reaction by The US Government and companies to Wikileaks. Here is a great example of optics. The Harper Government is all about Anti-Corruption but when they appoint a public sector whistleblower commissioner who is to busy berating their staff amongst other things then to do her job (See the Toronto Star Post). Like in Star Wars, where The Republic goes from being a republic to an Empire; I fear we maybe on the same path giving up our freedoms for temporary security. It has happened before heard of the great republic of Rome?

There is hope, there are many more political parties propping up like the Pirate Party and the Alberta Party. I hope that we can return to our governments governing with common sense, good will and reason instead of fear, and ideology. We have to make these changes before it's to late.

That's just my opinion. I hope I'm wrong.

1 - In Canada since in 2008 and 2009 Prime Minister Steven Harper Prorogued Parliament to avoid no-confidence votes. It basically set a precedent for how the Governor General (queen's representative) handles these kind of issues in the future.

Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Open ID and API's. What Are They And How They Work?

In today's wonderful computing world you have a number of really popular companies (such as twitter, Google and Facebook to name a few) and they have a huge user base. To allow these users access to your web services you can use something called an API (Application Programming interface). An API allows a programmer to integrate a product or service into their particular product or service (such as a wordpress blog). A popular example would be having a GMail account and creating or accessing Your Wordpress account. This is made possible by their APIs which is why you see buttons like "Connect with Facebook" or "login with your GMail Account".

Now a good API that most people should have integrated into their website is Open ID. OpenID is a safe, faster, and easier way to log in to web sites. This way a user can use an account they already have (so long as that account uses open id) to login and join your site or web community without the user having to fill out another sign up form. This can be very useful when setting up a website with a CMS like Wordpress. The web developer that sets up such a site can then allow you to use an open ID login to access the site.


Who currently uses the Open ID Standard?


Look for the “Sign in with a Google Account” button or use your Google Profile URL


Look for the “Sign in with Yahoo” button.

Yahoo! Japan

Look for the “Yahoo! JAPAN IDでログイン” button.


Enter “”


Click the “Sign in with Hyves” button.


Enter your blog URL: “”


Look for the “Sign in with Yahoo” button or use your photostream URL


Click the “Sign in with Orange” button or enter “”


mixi is a web service that allows users to communicate with their friends and acquaintances.


Look for the “Login with MySpaceID” button or enter “


Enter your URL, for example: “”


Look for a “Sign in with AOL” button or enter “ allows you to create your own social hub on an OpenID domain you own and control.


ClaimID is an easy way to manage your online identity with OpenID. is an OpenID provider with support for groups and the Korean language.


myOpenID is the first standalone provider for both individuals and businesses, with secure multi-factor authentication.


VeriSign’s Personal Identity Provider is an OpenID provider with support for multi-factor authentication.

Your Internet ID

Your Internet ID lets you build a social identity to use on the web.


Please note who is notice who is missing from the list most noticeably Apple and Microsoft.


What are some benefits of using OpenID?

Most websites ask for an extended, repetitive amount of information in order to use their application. OpenID allows you to sign in to websites with a single click. Basic profile information (such as your name, birth date etc) can be used to pre-populate registration forms, so you spend more time engaging and less time filling out annoying registration pages.

Allowing the user to use Open ID will help reduce frustration and keep the user to a minimum number of multiple usernames and passwords which they may find difficult to remember. Since password recovery process is tedious the user will be more inclined to use the site that makes it easiest for them to use. However using the same password at each of your favorite websites poses a security risk. With OpenID, you can use a single, existing account (from providers like Google, Yahoo, AOL or your own blog) to sign in to thousands of websites without ever needing to create another username and password. This makes OpenID is the safer and easier method to joining new sites.

OpenID is a decentralized standard, meaning it is not controlled by any one website or service provider. You control how much personal information you choose to share with websites that accept OpenID. Multiple OpenIDs can be used for different websites or purposes. If your email (Google, Yahoo, AOL), photo stream (Flickr) or blog (Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal) serves as your primary online presence, OpenID allows you to have a portable identity across the web.

Many web users deploy the same password across multiple websites. And since traditional passwords are not centrally administered, if a security compromise occurs at any website you use, a hacker could gain access to your password across multiple sites. OpenID is more secure because passwords are never shared with any websites, and if a compromise does occur, you can simply change the password for your OpenID, thus immediately preventing a hacker from gaining access to your accounts at any websites you visit.

Open ID Trusted SitesSince the focus of most OpenID providers (such as Google, Yahoo and AOL) is in identity management, they can be more thorough about protecting your online identity. Most website operators are less likely to be as dedicated to protecting your identity as the OpenID providers, whose focus is on securely hosting user identities.

Plugins such as the Wordpress Open ID plugin allows users to login to their local WordPress account using an OpenID. This also allows the enabling of commenters to leave authenticated comments using OpenID. The plugin also includes an OpenID provider, enabling users to login to OpenID-enabled sites using their own personal WordPress account. XRDS-Simple is required for the OpenID Provider and some features of the OpenID Consumer.

Developer documention for the Wordpress Open ID API, which includes all of the public methods and hooks for integrating with and extending the plugin, can be found here.


If you have any questions or comments please tweet them to me @trevortye on Twitter or email me

Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Google Website Optimizer Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability

Security Bulletin December 07, 2010

There is a potential security issue with Website Optimizer. The vulnerability in the Website Optimizer Control Script, allows the execution of malicious code on your site using a Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attack. This attack can only take place if a website or browser has already been compromised by a separate attack. The immediate probability of this attack is low but it is essential take action to protect your site.

Google has a fixed for the bug, and all new experiments are not susceptible. However, any experiments that are currently running need to be updated. If you have any Website Optimizer scripts from paused or stopped experiments created before December 3, 2010, you will need to remove or update that code as well.

There are two ways to update your code. You can either stop current experiments, remove the old scripts, and create a new experiment, or you can update the code on your site directly. Creating a new experiment as it is the simpler method.

Creating a New Experiment

Stop any currently running Website Optimizer experiments
Remove all the Website Optimizer scripts from your site
Create a new experiment as normal. New experiments are not vulnerable.

To Update the Website Optimizer Control Script Directly Locate the Control Script on your site.

It should look something like this:

A/B Test Control Script
<!-- Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->
function utmx_section(){}function utmx(){}
(function(){var k='XXXXXXXXXX',d=document,l=d.location,c=d.cookie;function f(n){
if(c){var i=c.indexOf(n+'=');if(i>-1){var j=c.indexOf(';',i);return c.substring(i+n.
length+1,j<0?c.length:j)}}}var x=f('__utmx'),xx=f('__utmxx'),h=l.hash;
d.write('<sc'+'ript src="'+
+new Date().valueOf()+(h?'&utmxhash='+escape(h.substr(1)):'')+
'" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></sc'+'ript>')})();
<!-- End of Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->

Multivariate Test Control Script
<!-- Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->
function utmx_section(){}function utmx(){}
(function(){var k='XXXXXXXXXX',d=document,l=d.location,c=d.cookie;function f(n){
if(c){var i=c.indexOf(n+'=');if(i>-1){var j=c.indexOf(';',i);return c.substring(i+n.
length+1,j<0?c.length:j)}}}var x=f('__utmx'),xx=f('__utmxx'),h=l.hash;
d.write('<sc'+'ript src="'+
+new Date().valueOf()+(h?'&utmxhash='+escape(h.substr(1)):'')+
'" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></sc'+'ript>')})();
<!-- End of Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->

Locate the following in the Control Script: return c.substring(...
Modify the following line as shown:
BEFORE: return c.substring(i+n.length+1,j<0?c.length:j)
FIXED: return escape(c.substring(i+n.length+1,j<0?c.length:j))
Make sure to include the final closing parenthesis “)”

Fixed A/B Control Script
<!-- Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->
function utmx_section(){}function utmx(){} (function(){var k='XXXXXXXXXX',d=document,l=d.location,c=d.cookie;function f(n){ if(c){var i=c.indexOf(n+'=');if(i>-1){var j=c.indexOf(';',i);
return escape(c.substring(i+n.length+1,j<0?c.length:j))}}}
var x=f('__utmx'),xx=f('__utmxx'),h=l.hash; d.write('<sc'+'ript src="'+
+new Date().valueOf()+(h?'&utmxhash='+escape(h.substr(1)):'')+
'" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></sc'+'ript>')})();
<!-- End of Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->

Fixed Multivariate Control Script
<!-- Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->
function utmx_section(){}function utmx(){}
(function(){var k='XXXXXXXXXX',d=document,l=d.location,c=d.cookie;function f(n){
if(c){var i=c.indexOf(n+'=');if(i>-1){var j=c.indexOf(';',i);
return escape(c.substring(i+n.length+1,j<0?c.length:j))}}}
var x=f('__utmx'),xx=f('__utmxx'),h=l.hash; d.write('<sc'+'ript src="'+
+new Date().valueOf()+(h?'&utmxhash='+escape(h.substr(1)):'')+
'" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></sc'+'ript>')})();
<!-- End of Google Website Optimizer Control Script -->

Note that the k=XXXXXXXXX line in the above Control Script examples is a placeholder.

Your experiment will continue as normal after you’ve made this update. There’s no need to pause or restart the experiment.


Trevor Tye

Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

Monday, November 29, 2010

Working in the 21st Century

Working in the 21st Century.

WorkingLife is full of wonders, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it's not for the timid; and the same will be said for people working in the 21st century. Unless you are planning on having some sort of Military, Policing, or health care profession, you should expect to change jobs at least three or four times in your career. I know a guy that was just laid off after 26 years a company. He had just finished with a huge event (which ended up being a big success), and when the event was done he was told that the company was changing and he was not to be apart of the changes. Which had me thinking of how long I've been at jobs for (Being in website development my situation is a little different then his but overall it amounts to the same). The longest I've been at a company has been 5 years and that was a part-time position I took after school. I have never been at a company for longer then 3 years at a time (I have had freelance clients for more then 10 years); and I know this to be true for most people I've talked to where the average range is three to seven years. The time of staying at a job for over ten or more years are gone (there are some rare exceptions); for several reasons, they can range from the need for restructuring to the need for "new ideas" (By that I mean bring in someone younger and cheaper). There is also the thinking by personnel there are greener pastures going somewhere else; or they are feeling under utilized or appreciated. Lots of companies these days are disregarding their most valuable resources the people they hire to do the work. With increasing pressure to improve "the bottom line" and performance, they are neglecting the companies long term viability. Don't get me wrong sometimes these changes need to be made but I find that in most situations; the reasons it is done is purely a financial one. With these points in mind it makes keeping and finding new "opportunities" more important and essential.

There are at least three social networks you should be a member of if your not.

1. - LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is not as popular as twitter or facebook but services a completely different purpose which is extremely useful. Think of it as facebook pro. It is a way of connecting with co-workers, contractors, people you have worked with; without allowing them to see those embarrassing "Facebook Pictures" from the weekend.

2. - Twitter

Twitter is extremely powerful. It's openness is what allows you connect with people in your community and those with similar interest. This can lead to huge networking or employment opportunities. Many companies are tieing their twitter accoutns to linkedIn and are actively promoting open positions. This is also a great tool for finding out what people really think and if they will fit into your companies culture and if the company is a good fit for you.

3. - Facebook

More of a closed personalized social networking application this is still a tool that should not be ignored. You never know when a close friend or family member know of an opportunity but are unaware of your current employment status. You never know who knows of an opportunity and you should not limit yourself in any way.

Keeping and managing a good online reputation is difficult. The best advice I can give is the following. Having an online reputation is very important in today's world especially for web developers and it is easy to put your foot in your mouth. That being said I find this is the best way I've found managing my online reputation.

1) Let people know where you stand, if your open, transparent, honest and true to your beliefs you don't have anything to worry about. You are who you are, some will criticize you; some will agree with you.

2) Put yourself out there but be mindful and respectful of others, everyone is entitled to an opinion.

3) Know the line between your opinion and the companies. Most companies don't let or like employees going on twitter, facebook or linked in because they are worried about their image and for good reason. If your representing a company on social networks be clear when your representing the company and when your representing yourself. I find it's best to have your own personal social networking account and the companies social networking account. Keep them separate; it creates a clear division between you and the company.

If the average person will be going through at least four different "career" jobs before retiring, having a good network, is going to be extremely helpful. What does that say for how the future of employment will be in the future?

Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Windows Phone 7 and SD Cards What You NEED to Know

Windows Phone 7 and SD Cards

For those of you interested in upgrading any kind of SD card you get with your Windows Phone 7, you better do it when you purchase the phone. Documentation obtained from 3rd party manufactures such as Samsung which indicates that Windows Phone 7 uses the SD card for memory, and makes the card unusable by other devices such as your computer even if you attempt to format it.

Hey if you don't believe me check the original documentation.

Product :Total:Phones & Fax Machines:US Mobile Phones:AT&T 12-11-2010

How to guides

AT&T : Does Windows Phone support microSD card for Memory Expansion?

Windows Phone 7 and microSD Cards

Users are strongly encouraged to review this section carefully before inserting the right type of microSD card into Focus, a Windows Phone 7 device.

Windows Phone 7 does not support freely swapping microSD Cards in and out.

Many commercially available retail microSD cards are not approved for use in Windows Phone 7. Use of unapproved cards may cause performance degradation or device instability including unexpected reset and loss of user data. A microSD card class is not an indication of meeting Windows Phone 7 requirements. Approved cards can be obtained from the manufacturer or Mobile Operator.

Once inserted and properly formatted, the memory card becomes an inseparable part of the phone.

A microSD card inserted into a Windows Phone 7 device and integrated into the device's file system is intended to be a permanent modification to the device. Once a microSD card has been integrated into a Windows Phone 7 device's file system, it will no longer be readable or writable on any other devices such as computers, cameras, printers, and so on. This includes an inability to format the microSD card for use in these devices. Improper use (including inserting or removing) of microSD cards on Windows Phone 7 devices may result in one or more of the following:

  • System error while powering on the device that prevents the Windows Phone 7 operating system from loading. Note that emergency dialing will function properly.
  • Inaccurate reporting of available storage.
  • Loss of access to or removal of installed applications.
  • Loss of access to or removal of user data/media stored on the microSD card.
  • Loss of access to or removal of user data or media stored internally within the Windows Phone 7 device.
  • Overall file system performance degradation.
  • Device lockup or reset.

Inserting or Removing the Memory Card

To insert or remove a microSD card, you have to reset your phone by using a procedure called a hard reset.

Warning!: A hard reset resets your phone to its factory default settings and wipes all data (pictures, video, contacts, music, and so on) from your phone. Make sure your data is saved to your PC. For more information, refer to “Sync with PC”.

Inserting a microSD Card into a Windows Phone 7

Simply inserting a microSD card into a Windows Phone 7 device and restarting the device will result in the card being ignored by the phone. To insert a microSD card into your phone, follow these instructions carefully.

  1. If the microSD card contains any data, make sure you back up the contents before inserting it into your Windows Phone 7. The microSD card will be reformatted to be part of the Windows Phone 7 file system and all data will be lost.
  2. Press and hold the Power key to power off the phone, if necessary, and open the battery cover.
  3. Insert the microSD card into the SD slot located on device. For more information, refer to “Installing the Memory Card”.
  4. Power up the device by pressing the Camera key , Volume down key , and Power key .

    Note: If the download mode screen displays, go back to step 1 and try again.

When the device vibrates, release the Power key, but continue pressing the Camera and Volume down keys. Once the device displays the Are you sure you want to format? screen, release the Camera and Volume down keys.

  • Press the Window key to Format the device.

    Note: Formatting erases all erases all user data stored on the device and on the microSD card.

  • Press the Window key again to confirm that you want to format the device.

    Warning!: Do not remove the battery while formatting your phone. Wait until the device switches on and displays the Home screen.

    1. After formatting is complete, the Start-up Wizard screen is displayed.

    2. After start-up is complete, from the Home screen, tap > Settings > system > about to verify that available memory has been updated.


    Permanently Remove a microSD Card from a Windows Phone 7

    To permanently remove a microSD card from a Windows Phone 7 device, follow these instructions:

    1. Press and hold the Power key to power off the phone, if necessary, and open the battery cover.
    2. Remove the microSD card from the SD slot located on device.
    3. Note: Once removed, this microSD card is not readable or writable on other devices such as computers, cameras, printers, and so on.

    4. Power up the device by pressing the Camera key, Volume down key, and Power key. When the device vibrates, release the Power key, but continue pressing the Camera and Volume down keys. Once the device displays the Are you sure you want to format? screen, release the Camera and Volume down keys (see Step 4 above).
    5. Press the Window key to Format the device.
    6. Note: Formatting erases all user data stored on the device.

    7. Press the Window key again to confirm that you want to format the device.
    8. After formatting is complete, the Start-up Wizard screen is displayed.
    9. After start-up is complete, from the Home screen, tap > Settings > system > about to verify that available memory has been updated.

    For more information on the SGH-i917 Focus, please click the banner below.

    Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Canada - The Big Brother Country.

    Privacy in Canada, you may as well forget it.  This month the government has tabled three new bills C-50, C-51 and C-52 which have huge implications on your privacy rights in Canada.  This is being brought to you by the guys who don't like the gun registry; instead they will tell you that you can have your gun so long as we can snoop on every part of your digital life.  What the hell am I talking about?  Here is what's going on.

    These bills are so called "Law and Order Bills or Spy on Canadians Bills" more or less.  Here is the jist of the bills. The bills contain a 3 way approach when it comes to information disclosure, surveillance technology/methods and police powers.

    Part 1 mandates the disclosure of Internet provider customer information without court over site.  So no warrant required, if you look intimidating and have a fake badge you could potentially get a hold of personal information such as customer name, address, phone number, email address, Internet protocol address, and a series of device identification numbers (MAC Addresses). 

    While some of that information may seem harmless, it gives authorities the ability to link it with other data.  This is bad.  It could give authorities the power to create a detailed profile about an identifiable person.  The decision to require disclosure without any oversight (like a court order where you have to have a reasonable amount of cause or suspicion to get one) should raise a huge florescent RED Flag.

    Part 2 requires that ISP (Internet Service Providers like shaw, telus, rogers, bell) provide real time surveillance (spying).  I hope you don't like doing online banking, because they will get the keys to anything you do.  This is called a Man In The Middle Attack.  The worst part of this is RCMP Background checks are required if they take part in any kind of Data capture.  Which is good but IF THEY HAVE ACCESS TO THE EQUIPMENT THEY CAN DO IT ANYWAY!!! Until after the fact.  Love the idea of someone being able to get a hold of my personal information and passwords at my ISP building because the staff have access to the hardware that is required to be their by law.  How about then ALL ISPs have to do background checks on all staff that are hired!!!  This part here will also kill a lot of smaller ISP because the law requires a lot more commercialized hardware then what is typically required for being a ISP.

    Part 3 gives the police new powers such as the ability to get something called "transmission data warrants" that would grant real-time access to all the information generated during the creation, transmission or reception of a communication including the type, direction, time, duration, origin, destination or termination of the communication.

    Police could then obtain a "preservation order" to require ISPs to preserve subscriber information, including specific communication information, for 90 days.  Then having obtained and preserved the data, production orders can be used to require the disclosure of specified communications or transmission data. 

    This puts ISP's in a weird situation.  While they should actively work with law enforcement in collecting and disclosing the subscriber information, (only after due process with reasonable suspicion or cause) they could also be prohibited from disclosing the disclosures. Courts could restrict them from informing subscribers that they have been subject to surveillance and/or information disclosures.

    A few would argue that it is important to ensure that law enforcement has the necessary tools to address online crime issues.  Yet these changes would come at a huge financial and privacy cost. The excuse for this is that police can only gather limited evidence and that the current legal framework has impeded important police work.

    I would argue not all this is necessary.  I feel people should be required to get a warrant for the Data Transmissions first.  As for ISP's keeping track of "My Information" I don't think I'll be doing any kind of online banking in the future if this is what's going to happen.  It is going to be to easy for a person to get my information from the ISP's.  Not to mention all the security requirements I would want to prevent "unauthorized" use of the computer hardware that can do the Man In the Middle attacks. I know if I were a tech savvy crook, after this law were passed I would try get a job at an ISP.  You could access hundreds of thousands of people's personal information with no trouble.  Work a night shift, get a persons facebook username and password, online baking information.  If I were a crook, this is everything I would be hoping for and more.  The best part about this from the crooks point of view is I could write a program or virus compromise the ISP's systems and have all the traffic route though 50 billion servers. It's the perfect crime.

    <sarcasm>I'm so glad our politicians are here to protect us. They have indeed thought this through</sarcasm>

    So here are changes that should be made to the following 3 laws.  Part 1 needs to change where you need to get a court order to track data.  Data gathering should be limited to that account and should only be stored for the person who the court order is for.  NOT TRACKED FOR EVERYBODY AND KEPT FOR MONTHS!!!  Part 2 needs to be changed so Police have to provide a special server for doing the Man in the middle attack.  Police have their own IT personnel who are required to have background checks done, etc.  They should be providing a server to the ISP's but only when a warrant has been issued to track an account.  I feel better about police only having access to the server then the ISP staff who have what kind of background????  Part 3 is a no brainier.  Yes we need these warrants we have been saying that for years but the way this is setup is all screwed up and backwards.  WARRANT FIRST!!!! then you can do the rest of the stuff not the other way around.  Remember innocent before guilty?



    Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    My letter about metered internet

    Dear Mr. Rathgeber and Mr. Clement,

    I am writing this to express my extreme displeasure about the current ruling by the CRTC to allow basically metered internet in Canada.  First off the CRTC is a regulator for television and radio, it has vested interest in seeing those formats continue and therefore is not in a position to make a ruling like this.  Also the costs for bandwidth from companies such as Telus, Rogers, Shaw and Bell is almost next to nothing, and are already gorging the consumer when it comes to "Internet Costs". 

    In many forward thinking countries Internet Access has been made a human rights (In case your out of touch you can read about it on Wikipedia).  Essentially if you want to kill all 21st century innovation you will allow this ruling to stand. If you need an expaination of why allowing this ruling to stand it will kill all Innovation in Canada here it is.  First off you will never see any kind of "Facebook" be created in Canada, the cost to host such a website on a home or small business server will be to expensive if it ever caught on and took off.  Small Print shops would no longer be able to afford to host FTP servers for clients to send them files.  A proper 10' x 5' popup display that you see at tradeshows usually are around 1 - 2 gigabytes in size.  So say you do 6 a week on top of other print files that are say on average of 300 - 500mb you will quickly use up your quota and get a huge bill from one of the four large ISPs. 

    Now that you can get services like Netflix, online gaming with games such as WOW, Starcraft II, etc, you are talking about homes that use huge amounts of bandwidth.  Not to mention people that use offsite backup companies such as carbonite. Here is what the current Bell Bandwidth Cap the Telus Caps and Shaw Caps are.  I implore you to over turn this ruling because it is the wrong ruling for Canada.  It is easy to see how someone can over their bandwidth cap, and what's waiting for us consumers who are unaware we are approaching or have surpassed our bandwidth limit?   A Huge Bill which has been billed per gigabyte as compared to being moved to the next tier of service.

    I urge you, stand up for Canadians, Innovation in the long run is more important then short term monetary gain.

    Trevor Tye

    Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

    Friday, November 05, 2010

    Credit card security and why it's a joke

    Can you breath and walk? Guess what you can get a credit card. That right even with the "Economic Collapse" you can still get a credit card pretty easily. Also guess what you can use a credit card for (besides buying stuff)... That right ID. With no identifiable features it is accepted as a form of personal identification. As Air Canada learned that's not such a good idea.

    It's time we started demanding better. Credit cards should be if not more secure then our Driver's license in my opinion. They should have all of if not more security features. One of the major things that are missing from credit cards is Photo ID on the card with your signature. I'm not stopping their, there should be the holographic and UV security features as well to help stop fraud otherwise anyone with an inkjet printer and a laminator could make driver's license. Most credit cards are issued by your local bank; where they can securely take your picture so it's not that big of an issue for the banks to implement this.

    Considering the cost of fraud I am really surprised this is not already implemented. It is a pain in the butt for the customer to start however I think they will appreciate the security. Especially considering the "Chip" method in most debit and credit cards is mostly a joke. The Chip Encryption was hacked in 2008. So like a debit card if someone is watching you they get your pin, then takes your wallet, can then have a free shopping spree since photo ID is not required to use your credit card. FYI if you haven't signed the back of your credit card; you are voiding your terms of service with your credit card company.

    In a time where you can find out anything about anyone from social networks such as Facebook, blippy, and foursquare; if we don't demand better security we won't get it. It is a small inconvience for a big piece of mind. These security features should go along way to help prevent fraud and they should also be used on debit cards. I don't know about you but if we had a secure ID process for credit cards especially for verifing who is using them, I would feel better about using them.

    For more blog posts and podcasts please visit

    Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

    Wednesday, October 06, 2010

    Windows Phone 7 Series And What to Expect

    Microsoft needs a home run with Windows 7 Mobile, and from what I've seen, I'm not impressed. When the original iPhone was released it didn't do multi-tasking and was quite limited in what it was allowed to do. You can read Paul Thurrott's review of the iPhone here

    Now Paul is giving the Windows 7 Mobile phone glowing reviews.  On several Windows Weekly Podcasts Paul has mentioned time and time again how great this windows 7 mobile is.  I know Paul is a Microsoft "Fan Boy" and I will reserve judgment until I see a device for myself.  To be fair I am not expecting much out of Microsoft, with the amount of "Success" (Yes I use that term loosely) they have had with the Zune, I don't see Microsoft having much success in the mobile phone space.  I do feel however if you critized a phone from a different manufacture for not having something when it was launched then you turn around and say it's great that this phone is great even without this feature your being a bit hypocritical (or just being a fanboy).  As far as I'm concerned Microsoft is 2 - 3 years behind on the mobile platform.

    Here is the short of what I am expecting from The Windows 7 Phone.

    It will loosely integrate with xBox live.  It won't do anything great and I don't expect it to play any major games, you will probably be able to modify characters for RPGs, send messages, pictures, music to your xBox but that's about the extent of it.  There may be a future for games in games where you can play games on your phone and it will integrate with an xBox game you play.  Since most of those games are first person shooters that is unlikely.  It will also loosely integrate with windows live essentials and Messenger, that will cover the consumer part of the business (which is where they should be targeting).  Now where are they targeting the 1% corporate consumer where they will get it because they are Microsoft.  It will have tight integration with exchange and office.  Expect complete iMap syncing, calendar syncing (the usual).   The major difference with Windows Phone 7 and everyone else. Office.  There is no really good integration with Microsoft Office on the iPhone, Android or BlackBerry.  This is probably the only reason why someone will buy a Windows Phone 7.

    From what I've seen Microsoft needs a home run and it looks like they hit a single.  I'm not expecting much, I'm expecting to see some kind of mash up and copying of Android, and iOS.  Needless to say it is going to be wired. The best example of the Microsoft's Windows 7 Release would have been the ill-fated Kin which Microsoft kill very shortly after launch; probably creating some sort of record for the shortest product life span.

    If Microsoft wants a successful product they are going to need all these features.

    Video Playback - .mp4, .mkv, and .wmv
    Audio Playback - .mp3, .aac, and .wma
    A Really Great photo editor and management system
    A really slick mobile browser (Were going to see how ie 9 does on mobile)
    IT MUST have office or a light version of it.
    It must have an cheap or free way for developers to make apps for the platform (If you charge they will not come)

    Even with all that it's going to be hard to convince handset manufactures to go with Windows mobile when you can get Android (for Free).  Android also has a 2 year head start on Windows Mobile.

    I have a feeling that like the Zune in the portable music industry, Microsoft with end up with a low percentage of the market share, and they will probably be just fine with that.

    Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    I want a laptop what do I need?

    I want a laptop what do I need?

    Laptop RecommendationsI get asked this question a lot. As I tell everyone it depends on what you want to do. Do you want something for word processing and checking email or a desktop replacement? Do you want to do some photo editing, or something for gaming. Those are some of the things I need to know to get an idea of what to recommend to you. There are a few things that you need to know about a laptop before we get to the details

    Hard Drive Size Doesn't Matter - Hard Drives are typically replaceable. There are only a few laptops such as the Apple Macbooks and Macbook Pros are great examples where you have to literally take apart the computer to replace the hard drive. In most Windows and Linux based laptops it is two screws to remove the cover to replace the hard drive.

    RAM - Ram can be upgraded; however you do need to check what the maximum ram is that your system can take. Some manufactures cheap out and what you get in the laptop is what you get forever. To check what your laptop's maximum ram check the manufacture's website or check kingston memory configuration.

    How fast and the amount of battery life the Laptop is depends on all the components of the computer. For instance a 7200 RPM hard drive will be faster then a 5400 RPM hard drive but use more power. However the a 5400 RPM hard drive will more likely give better battery life. Something to keep in mind.


    What to Expect For The Budget.

    Basic Computing Needs

    If the basic computers for web surfing and word processing I would say budget for $300 - $600. This will be a basic low end word processing and web surfing computer. It won't be great for much more then that. These computers have been designed not to do very much, and you will probably get very frustrated with it after about a year. The processors are the low end slow processors, and are typically processors Like the Intel P6000 to the Intel Atom N270 and everything in between those processors in the table below. These computers are typically very low power and have a longer battery life depending on what your power settings are set to.

    Moderate Performance / Desktop Replacement

    For the regular desktop replacement or for something that can do a little bit more then word processing and web surfing; I would recommend a $600 - $1500 budget. These laptops would be good for everyday desktop use, be able to do some gaming (you will get better performance if you have a dedicated graphics card). The main difference from shared and dedicated graphics cards is the memory on the computer isn't shared therefore you should always have better performance from a dedicated graphics card. Processors I would recommend for this price point would be The AMD P820, N830, P920, N930 and the Intel i3 330, i3 350, i5 430, i5 450. The GPU's I would look for to come with these processors would be the Nvidia 310m, Nvidia 330m, Nvidia GTS 250m, ATI 5470, ATI 5650 and ATI 5730.

    High End Gaming/Performance

    For the High End Gaming/Performance Laptop I would budget between $1500 - $2500. The ONLY AMD processor I would recommend would be AMD Phenom II N930. It is a quad core processor and the only one I've seen in stores in a laptop that can even come close to the performance of the i7. On the Intel side I would recommend the Intel Core i7 720QM and Intel Core i7 740QM. These are both Quad core i7's unlike the i7 620M which is only a dual core processor. (Sorry to break it to you Apple People). For the Graphics processor I would select ATI Mobility HD 5730, Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M, Nvidia GeForce GTS 360M, GeForce GTX 280M, Mobility Radeon HD 5850, and the Mobility Radeon HD 5870. Obviously the battery life on this laptop will not be very long; but lets face it your not buying this kind of laptop for the battery life.


    When I buy and select the hardware I try go for best performance for your dollar. These are some good deals I've found online; if you look for similar hardware from your local store they should be around the same price.

    Asus EEE PC 1001P - Approx $359.99

    Acer Aspire 5553-2847 - Approx $569.99

    Acer 5741 - Approx $699.95

    ASUS K52JR-X2 - Approx $870.00

    Sony VAIO VPCEB27FX/L - Approx $1000.00

    Sony VAIO VPCF126FM/B - Approx $1349.99

    ASUS G73JH-A1 - Approx $1698.88

    ASUS G73JH-B1 - Approx $1849.95

    Here is a list of common mobile CPU's and GPU's listed from slowest to fastest. I composed this list from the commonly used processors and graphic processors that are for sale in most notebooks. For the ratings I've referenced to compose the list.

    Processors (CPU's) Score (Higher is Better) Graphics (GPU's) Score (Higher is Better)
    Intel Atom N270 305 Intel Media Accelerator 500 24
    Intel Atom N280 309 ATI Mobility HD 4200 103
    Intel Atom N450 322 Nvidia Ion LE 104
    AMD V120 667 Nvidia Ion 108
    AMD Athlon X2 L310 673 ATI Mobility HD 4250 184
    AMD Athlon Neo L325 794 ATI Mobility HD 4330 232
    Intel SU7300 977 Nvidia GeForce 310M 285
    AMD Turion RM-75 1091 ATI Mobility HD 5145 308
    AMD Athlon II M300 1183 ATI Mobility HD 5470 312
    Intel Core i3 330UM 1205 Nvidia GeForce 320M 317
    AMD Athlon II P320 1292 Intel HD 319
    Intel Core2 Duo T6570 1344 Intel Media Accelerator HD 329
    Intel T4300 1420 Nvidia GeForce GT 330M 480
    Intel P6000 1451 ATI Mobility HD 5650 611
    Intel T4400 1515 Nvidia GeForce GT 335M 625
    Intel Core2 Duo T6600 1566 Nvidia GeForce GTS 250M 658
    Intel T4500 1581 ATI Mobility HD 5730 675
    AMD Phenom II P820 1655 Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M 701
    AMD Phenom II N620 1824 Nvidia GeForce GT 240 779
    Intel Core i3 370M 1858 Nvidia GeForce GTS 360M 859
    AMD Phenom II N830 1954 GeForce GTX 280M 912
    Intel Core i3 330M 1975 Mobility Radeon HD 5850 927
    Intel Core i3 350M 2071 ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 1245
    Intel Core i5 430M 2360

    For more detailed information about the Intel Processors such as how much power it uses and other features visit

    For more detailed information about the AMD Processors such as how much power it uses and other features visit AMD Processor Page

    Intel Core i5 450M 2504
    Intel Core i5 520M 2344
    Intel Core i5 540M 2440
    AMD Phenom II N930 2477
    Intel Core i7 620M 2753
    Intel Core i7 720QM 3250
    Intel Core i7 740QM 3618


    Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Software EULA's; Private Resale and the law

    An important court ruling in the United States has much wider implications for users then they know; if you think buying that old copy of software such as an older version of Adobe Photoshop from an auction or because a company is going out of business think again.  The US court as passed a ruling which could change everything.  The case is Vernor v. Autodesk is what set the president.  Autodesk was trying to keep Vernor from reselling software he got from a an architects office sale.  So for those of you selling software you purchased on Kijiji, EBay and Craigslist read this carefully!  In the Software EULA's such as in Autodesk and Electronic Arts's you can not transfer the software license, even if you physically own the disk and have a ligament serial number.

    This ruling will probably have the following effect in the future:

    1. specifies that the user is granted a license or life time subscription
    2. significantly restricts the user’s ability to transfer the software or digital media
    3. imposes notable use restrictions

    With this ruling I think you will start seeing a lot more EULA's and more notably digital media EULA's more emphasizing the purchaser as the licensee.  In essence this will end any ownership of digital media and software unless your the one holding the copyright to said item.  What does this mean for reselling computers?  Do you have to format that old windows 2000 machine or iMac and install linux if you want to sell it? (Ok that's not such a bad thing - I am referring to the installing LINUX folks!)  So what we have to do now is lobby our governments to allow for the transfer of these digital licensed.  For example if you father has a huge iTunes library and dies, you would not be allowed to take those songs any of them you wanted you would have to re-buy them; where if they were a physical disk they would be yours to do with as you wished.  What if someone bought a private company do you have to re-buy all the software because the software is technically licensed under the former owner?

    I would like to think our governments can be trusted to handle these kind of issues, but based on their track records with copyright laws such as the DMCA in the US and Bill C-32 here in Canada and the ACTA Treaty I don't have much faith.  Write your elected representative, and let's make sure that our consumer writes are being protected because right now there not.

    Read Arstechnica article

    Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Google Voice Comes To Canada

    Google Voice vs Skype vs

    Yesterday in Canada for those of us who didn't have a Grande Central account got at small taste of Google Voice.  I love it.  Unlimited calling to anyone in Canada, and the US for free.  Now this is just the tip of the iceberg, the full featured Google Voice allows you to consolidate all your numbers into one number.  In the US you register for a number and you can forward any phone number you have to your Google voice number.  We don't have this in Canada yet but I am eagerly awaiting. 

    I will be one of the first Canadians to get a Google Voice number when it becomes available, giving a much need competitive boost to the VOIP phone service here in Canada which is a RIP OFF in my opinion.  For instance if you order say Shaw phone service which is just VOIP phone service you pay 30.95 as a standalone service and you get everything Google voice is giving you for free minus the phone number right now but I believe that to be a regulatory problem (you know government it takes them forever to do anything).  Not only that Shaw is charging you 4 cents a minute for long distance when other VOIP services such as the one with Skype is about half the price, so yes we are being hosed because we can be. 

    I made a call to the US last night and 3 calls to Calgary and it didn't cost me a penny and the voice quality was fantastic!  When I get a Google voice number I'll be getting a VOIP Phone adapter so my wife can use it as a phone with my Google Voice account.  I can't wait this is really exciting, this will change the whole game of telecommunications here in Canada if Google can hurry up and get here.  It will bring much need competition to the Canadian market that we have been missing since well ever!

    There is no Android or iPhone app for Google Voice that I am aware of but if someone wants to send me one they can via twitter @trevortye or email me

    VOIP Phone Adapter

    Dlink USB Phone Adapter

    Skype Phone Adapter

    Skype Out Rate

    Shaw Phone Details{3D11A5AF-C6EB-4FBF-B79D-3C30DF651A9C}&NRORIGINALURL=%2fen-ca%2fProductsServices%2fDigitalPhone%2fComparePlans%2f&NRCACHEHINT=Guest

    To read the review of the US version of Google voice

    Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

    How to fix CURL call imporitng an RSS feed on a site blocking CURL calls

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