Amazon wants your house and car keys

Yup…Amazon the giant company that you order all the products you love is now searching a way to have access to your house and/or car.


A survey of 1,001 US homeowners conducted by August last year claimed that upwards of 11 million homeowners had packages stolen during the year. They also found that 69% of homeowners believed that letting someone inside their house to leave packages was better than leaving them outside.

This is causing Amazon to search for new ways to have delivery workers be able to access your home and even your car. To do this, they are looking to new tech inventions like the smart lock for the door. If you feel you don’t want them to have access to inside your house then you can opt for them to leave the package (if it fits) inside your car. They hope to do this by possibly utilizing a smart license plate, like the one built already by Phrame.



Image credit: Phrame


The idea currently is to allow them access to your smart plate with a generated token (like a VPN token) from their smartphone app. Once the plate is unlocked they can grab the keys from a pocket and they can then unlock the car and leave the package inside.

It’s a good idea but what stops them from using the keys to drive away in that car?

One solution to this being special keys being made that only allow a car to be unlocked. If the car is a push to start, the special keys would not be able to start the car only unlock.

Would you be open to letting somebody deliver packages directly inside your home or car? 

High Sierra

macOS High Sierra Update

High Sierra

Released September 2017

The latest operating system released by Apple is High Sierra. Even though it’s technically a new OS, it’s more of just an upgrade on top of Sierra. Sierra was a very clean system that ran quite smooth so it will be interesting what this new software will bring to the table (the good or the bad).

New Features

A new file system

New video compression standard — (HEVC)

Next-gen graphics processor — (Metal 2)

Updated applications — (Safari, Photos, Mail)


Apple File System:

“Your data is under new management”

Apple has decided to change the way their computers store your files. Utilizing flash technology to create a more advanced file system. Available to every Mac with all-flash internal storage.


  • Future proof  using a new 64-bit architecture to be able to utilize the flash technology now while being ready for the next innovation
  • Responsive – Able to speed through tasks at record time
  • Security – Ability to use the built-in encryption, crash-safe protections, and simpler data backups.



“The new industry standard HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding)”

“Up to 40% better compression than the current standard”

Metal 2


This new software allows apps to take full advantage of a systems GPU. Adding new capabilities not thought of for Mac-like, virtual reality, machine learning, and even external GPU support.


Is your Mac Compatible?

The following models can run the latest OS version.

MacBook Pro: 2010 and later

MacBook Air: 2010 and later

MacBook: late 2009 and later

iMac: late 2009 and later

Mac Pro: 2010 and later

Mac Mini: 2010 and later





Apple’s New iPhone X – Built by Samsung

Apple vs Samsung

In the smartphone and tech industry there are no greater rivals than Apple and Samsung. Apple’s new smartphone the iPhone X, (available starting November 3rd), is the latest in the two companies trying to one up each other.


Samsung is actually making quite a profit on each iPhone X sold. This is because Samsung is in contract with Apple to supply the components required to build each phone.

Samsung built components:

  • OLED display -(iPhone X)
  • Batteries -(iPhone X, iPhone 8, 8s)
  • Chipsets and Processors-(iPhone X, iPhone 8, 8s)

Samsung has a contract to supply around 160 million OLED displays to Apple. Originally the contract was for 100 million and was estimated to be worth $2.59 billion.


Who’s winning in this smart phone competition?

Since the Steve Jobs era at Apple, it seems like Samsung is taking the lead. This is greatly due to using new and innovative technology in phones as well as their other market sectors, like kitchen appliances. Apple has stuck with using tested and true technology. Meaning you’re not going to get the newest or fastest hardware, but you will get a device that works like you expect it to.

I can feel confident in my decision to switch over to Samsung for my smart phone needs a few years ago. When I look at the new iPhones being pushed out each year I can’t help but say what’s new or different from the last one?


Linux Rolling Releases

Linux Rolling Releases

I have come to appreciate Linux rolling releases. Particularly Arch based or related distributions. The one issue I have run into on occasion has been stability after an update/upgrade. I haven’t experienced any show stoppers lately as my current favorite Manjaro XFCE has been very solid, but why take chances. My initial approach years ago would have been to dual boot Windows 10 with Manjaro. I never really thought I was gaining anything, other than to have the ability to run Windows-only software. If you don’t, then what’s the point. I’m not going to keep Windows around just for a security blanket

Yes, I’ve done the Win/Linux dual boot in the past more for convenience than practicality. Sure I could have gone the Virtual Box route, but that seems to have more drawbacks depending on your hardware than a dual boot.  Why divide up resources on a machine that’s already limited? Why go backwards? If I have to rebuild a laptop, so what? It’s good practice and a fresh start is sometimes a good thing.

Simple Solution

A simple solution for my backup laptop setup has been to load Ubuntu Mate on a laptop first (16.04.3 LTS (Xenial) Recommended for stability and mission-critical systems. Supported until April 2019), then install Manjaro and let Calameres partition the drive and add Manjaro alongside the now reduced in occupied drive space Ubuntu OS. (MANJARO 17.0.4  “X”)

I find this sequence works better for booting into either of the Systems. The reverse install order tends to leave me with a slower boot selection. To me, this type of dual-boot “potential” daily driver could be much preferred and I have found that it works well. That is the goal. I don’t have Windows available on this laptop, and I don’t feel that I need it. If I find that I really truly need a Windows machine, I’ll just run it on a separate laptop. In fact I sometimes do, but regrettably so. I might have to actually do a new install, but that’s not such a big deal, it’s just the update times I’m not a big fan of. The basic install is usually pretty quick – not as quick as installing a lightweight Linux distro, but not too horrible.

I do like some things about Windows 10, but the point is that I don’t want to be a “Windows User” if I don’t need to be because I like working with Linux a lot more. I know I have more control over my system, but with Windows, I’m never quite sure who’s actually controlling who. Anything “*nix”ish including OSX I enjoy working with. I’ll give MS credit for developing Powershell into a decent tool, but I already have decent shells to work on both Linux and OSX.

I could use this older Lenovo dual-boot laptop for my daily driver, but I prefer to rely on my very inexpensive, lightweight IdeaPad.Using Manjaro on that laptop — half the ram, and a third the memory – perfect!  I can experiment with the backup. You might question why I don’t use Ubuntu-Mate LTS on the daily driver. The answer is – there isn’t enough space for a dual boot — but I actually sometimes do run Ubuntu-Mate only but at the moment I’m happy with what I’m using now “Manjaro 17.0.4”. If I have a problem I know I have a usable backup. There is some comfort in that. If I feel the need to do some Distro hopping – I can use either laptop to try a new build. I have Manjaro on both, so I’m set there.

The fun is in learning and trying new Linux software and operating systems. A rolling release keeps me interested in what has been improved or changed. The LTS is simply just dependable – not overly inspiring, but dependable. You have the best of both.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is as always — does your system work for you, and are you getting the most out of what you have? You may be getting all this done with Windows 10. In some ways, Windows 10 also acts like a rolling release with some of the large updates that have enhanced and added some new functions. When it comes down to having something I can depend on and know works, I prefer Linux, but I do see Windows getting better and Linux-like in some respects. Whatever you prefer – one operating system, or multiple operating systems, if it works for you – great. If you really like a system, you’ll most likely get more use out of it.

Luckily there are a variety of systems to choose from. Try them all if you can.


Windump (back to basics)

Sometimes I like to go back to the basics, for network troubleshooting a good packet analyzer is what I need. I use Wireshark and Tshark if I can, but sometimes I get everything I need out of TCPDUMP. Sometimes I find myself staring at a Windows machine and not at a Linux command line. No problem, Windows has a couple of useful shells to work with, and it can run something very very close to TCPDUMP.

So, if you are also looking for a simple alternative to Message Analyzer, Wireshark, or Tshark than WinDump – (a port of LibPcap ) may be just what you’re looking for. If you are familiar with TCPDUMP on Linux or UNIX, than you will find WinDump works very much the same.

Download windump here

verify your download:

SHA1: d59bc54721951dec855cbb4bbc000f9a71ea4d95

MD5: 7b50683722d9efd3dccbb9e65ec0f2df

You can use Sigcheck to verify the file:

Also available is the entire suite of System Internal Tools which also contains SigCheck

Another available but currently unsupported command line utility that computes MD5 or SHA1 cryptographic hashes for files that works with Windows 10:

Microsoft File Checksum Integrity Verifier tool



I find it easier to place both WinDump and fciv in the same folder.

You may choose to move WinDump after you scan your download with an antivirus and/or Malware detection tool and verify the file integrity









Using “-both” to see both the SHA1 and MD5  output together



You can find the manual for WinDump (actually its also the TcpDump manual) at:


windump.exe version 3.9.5, based on tcpdump version 3.9.5

WinPcap version 4.1.3 (packet.dll version, based on libpcap version 1.0 branch 1_0_rel0b (20091008)

Usage: windump.exe [-aAdDeflLnNOpqRStuUvxX] [ -B size ] [-c count] [ -C file_size ]

                [ -E algo:secret ] [ -F file ] [ -i interface ] [ -M secret ]

                [ -r file ] [ -s snaplen ] [ -T type ] [ -w file ]

                [ -W filecount ] [ -y datalinktype ] [ -Z user ]

                [ expression ]



If you’re interested in whats new with Tcpdump and LibPcap check out the latest releases:


If all you want to do is collect packet data (with low overhead) so that you can examine the capture later in Tshark or Wireshark, and you have Wireshark tools installed, than Dumpcap is another useful option. I believe on Linux, TcpDump may drop fewer packets than Dumpcap (and Tcpdump can parse data in near real time for viewing), so I would lean more toward using WinPcap on Windows machines if available. You may find that Tshark and Dumpcap work better for your system, but I tend to use either Tcpdump/WinDump or Wireshark. I will use Tshark on occasion, but rarely would I limit my use to Dumpcap only.


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