Know How... 109 (Transcript)

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On this episode of Know How the hacks are among us, you give me an SSD challenge, he’s bringing out some Android tips and Linux tips number 3.

Father Robert Ballecer: Welcome to Know How, it’s the Twit show where we build, bend, break and upgrade. I’m Father Robert Ballecer.

Bryan Burnett: And I’m Bryan Burnett.

Fr. Robert: And for the next 30, 45, 50 maybe 60 minutes we are going to be taking you through some of the projects that we’ve been working on for the last few weeks so you can take it, fill your knowledge hole, go home and geek out. Because if there is one thing you should know about Know How is that we’re all about the knowledge hole.

Bryan: And filling it to the brim. But today we have an interesting story, the hacks are among us.

Fr. Robert: We do. The hacks are definitely among us. So this is something that we have Been following for the last couple of weeks. There is new news about it which is why we are bringing it up now. People who have been studying security have known for a while that it is actually pretty easy to intercept cell calls and cell data. It is trivial but the gear is actually on the market you can go and buy yourself a set. I believe the proof of concept was first shown off about four years ago at a DefCon or a Black Hat. Quite simply it means that you have someone who sells a piece of gear that pretends like it is a cell phone tower.

Bryan: And isn’t the gear getting cheaper?

Fr. Robert: The gear is getting cheaper and cheaper. We will talk a little about that but first I want to talk about what one company has done to combat it. We have known that this is possible for the longest time but there hasn’t really been a good way to figure out if it is actually happening to you. Because to you, everything is working with the calls go through the data works, you can check your websites. And supposedly if you are using 3G or 4G on your phone it is encrypted so you shouldn’t have to worry.

Bryan: But you seem like there should be quotes there.

Fr. Robert: There is a company by the name of DSMK. It is a German company and they created kind of like a black phone, a little higher end version that is a custom android operating system. Everything is supposed to be super high end. It is $3000 a set. A little on the pricey side. But it has end to end encryption. From the phone all the way to the other side it is supposed to be encrypted so nothing should be able to break into the tunnel.

Bryan: And it uses just regular cell network and everything?

Fr. Robert: Yes. But it runs a tunnel through them. So it would be like running a VPN all the time, which we would actually suggest you do.

Bryan: Maybe we should start doing that with phones.

Fr. Robert: Maybe we should. But that is not the news. The news is that they developed a new software firewall for their phone. But it is not a firewall that you were and I might be using. When we think of firewall we think of something on our router.

Bryan: Or on my computer or something.

Fr. Robert: On your PC it keeps malicious traffic from getting in or may be getting out. What theirs does, is it looks at the broadband. So in your phone, the baseband, is a separate computer that controls how the phone communicates with the cell towers.

Bryan: It is like a whole another OS.

Fr. Robert: Exactly. The operating system has no control over that baseband. It is not supposed to because the baseband actually belongs to the cell carriers and your phone belongs to you. It is that weird dichotomy.

Bryan: Very strange.

Fr. Robert: Very strange. But what they have done is they’ve created a piece of software that will actually look at any alterations that are being made to the baseband in real time. They started rolling it out and they asked some of their customers to use it. What they found out was that this GSM intercept problem is actually much bigger than they thought. They found dozens of cell towers around the country, fake cell towers.

Bryan: I think they gave it a name like stingrays or something?

Fr. Robert: Yeah. You are going to see this map that shows customers of the company that have reported that their phone is connecting to an interceptor. Just because you are connecting to an interceptor doesn’t necessarily mean they are targeting you. It just means that they could target you. But this is how it works. Your phone is actually stupid. What it does is it connects to the strongest signal a can which is a good thing. At any time it may be tracking three, four, five or six towers and it will connect to the strongest one. But it knows that it can hand off to another one if that signal degrades to a certain point. If you are moving or in a car or if you go around the corner and suddenly you’ve lost line of sight to one of them. But, people have figured out how to take advantage of that. What you do is that you get your own cell tower, very cheap, and you make it powerful. You make it really powerful so that your phone connects to that. Then it relays your traffic back to a real tower. So you don’t notice anything different. It looks totally okay, but now there is a man in the middle attack. There is a tower that you cannot trust.

Bryan: That is just like when you explained the tap on a network.

Fr. Robert: It’s a tap. It just happens to be a wireless. Now here’s the thing. The encryption that we love about our phones, the call is encrypted between the phone and the tower.

Bryan: So once it gets to its destination….

Fr. Robert: Once it gets to the tower it is no longer encrypted so if they own the tower that means they can get all the data. There are also a couple of other ways you can do this. We played with fists at a DefCon once. If you jam the frequencies that phones brought on on 3G and 4G, it will default to 2G. That is also part of the set that the baseband does. The problem is that 2G is not encrypted. So if they knock you off of 3G and 4G your phone will default to 2G which I can use a standard software to find radio to listen in on. It would be just like listening to a CB conversation.

Bryan: Wouldn’t you notice if your phone got knocked down to 2G?

Fr. Robert: You would. But most of the time people don’t care. Because I happens so often right? If you are using a carrier that doesn’t have great service you might wander between 3G, 4G but as long as you got your call you don’t care. So you don’t notice.

Bryan: Wow. That is kind of scary.

Fr. Robert: Is kind of scary. Now this German company, the software will tell you if the encryption has been turned off. It will tell you if you are connecting to and known rogue cell tower and it will also tell you if you are connecting to a cell tower that doesn’t have an identifier that says I’m AT&T or I’m Verizon or Sprint or T-Mobile. All of those towers should have.

Bryan: So that is what pops up on the screen?

Fr. Robert: That is what pops up on the screen. Here is the problem. That is crazy expensive. The other problem is they could make alterations to your baseband. We also did a proof of concept at DefCon for doing that. So if you do connect to her rogue cell tower they could change the firmware which again you have no control over. You can’t touch your operating system. So that may be even after you started running a VPN tunnel it could still report back.

Bryan: So when are we going to start using cans and string again?

Fr. Robert: Especially since the equipment has gotten so cheap. When they did the proof of concept the gear cost something like $7000. So what if it was cost prohibitive? You could buy a set up that would do it for under $1000.

Bryan: I saw the one you showed me and it was about a grand.

Fr. Robert: It was about $1000. And it wasn’t as sophisticated, it can’t do all the super decryption step so you would still need at the 3 to $4000 rig to do that. But the fact that people can buy these and there are outfits itself fully configured GSM captures. At Defcon people have a picture, there is a tower right above the Rio, people have video and photos of it at the start of the conference for some reason someone in kind of a technician outfit was climbing the tower and was up there for like two hours installing something.

Bryan: Yeah. Definitely. Those kind of situations are scary to because of the person looks like they know what they are doing….

 Fr. Robert: I think what we are trying to say is don’t use your cell phone. Just don't use it.

Bryan: Anything that is digital that you use, just turn it off.

Fr. Robert: Somebody broke into my cloud storage account and took all my new photos and they are deleting them. No, no, not really. Let’s get to something serious. We actually got a really good question from a member of our chat room from the Google plus group. Shawn B from Texas said, “You gave the Toshiba Tecra W50 a don’t buy in episode 136 of Before You Buy because it uses a hard disk drive instead of a solid state drive. In the comment you suggested that Toshiba sacrificed 55% of the laptop’s performance for a 3% decrease in price. That doesn’t sound right. Even without an SSD the W 50 has a super fast CPU, GPO and lots of memory. Can not having an SSD really cripple a modern laptop by 50%?” Shawn we want to thank you and he says, by the way, he’s from the great state of Texas. The calculus that I used was actually pretty simple. The base price of the Toshiba Tecra W50 is $2250. The difference in price between the 500 GB hard drive that they have in there and this 240 GB SSD from Kingston was about $60. Which would have been a 3% increase in price over the base price of the laptop. And I said that is like a 50% performance difference. And he called me on it. This is good logic. He is saying that even though it has a slow hard drive is still has a super fast processor, is still has a ton of memory, it still has a crazy fast GPU. So he doesn’t see how that could possibly account for a 50% loss and performance.

Bryan: So you just had to find out to you.

Fr. Robert: I did have to find out. So here is how we tested it.

Bryan: How did we test it?

Fr. Robert: For our upgrade I chose the Kingston KC300 upgrade kit. It is not the fastest SSD in the market or in Kingston’s arsenal of SSD’s, but it has a high price performance ratio and is my personal favorite in terms of reliability and performance over time. In upgrading the hard drive in a computer to an SSD, many kits like the Kingston KC 300 includes gear that allows you to clone the drive using the previous installation, copying to the SSD, complete with your data, programming and settings. While it is a tempting solution, I don’t recommend it. A fresh lean operating system is the way to go. Why spoil a new crazy fast piece of hardware with an installation that may be crapified? The first step is to make restored media for your operating system if you don’t already have it. Many laptops, especially Windows 7 laptops do not come with restored media but instead have an application that allows you to create them as needed. In our case the Toshiba Tecra W50 requires four DVD disks with a full set. Luckily the W 50 has an internal optical drive to burn those DVDs, but if you have a laptop without an optical drive you will need an external drive to complete the restore set or as is the case with many Windows 8 laptops, a USB drive large enough to contain the entire restore image. With a restored media on hand, shut everything down and pull your old drive replacing it with your SSD of choice. Here is where the upgrade kit comes in handy, even if you are not going to clone your old drive. The Kingston KC 300 includes a USB 3.0 enclosure, originally intended to allow you to clone your SSD before installation. This enclosure doubles as a permanent case for your old hard disk drive, allowing you to retrieve your files after the upgrade. After the reinstallation of the OS and our benchmarking tool, PC MarkVantage, it is time to see what kind of performance boost we can get from our Tecra. The stock Toshiba Tecra W50 with its 500 GB, 5400 RPO hard drive, scored 9967 on PC MarkVantage. With the Kingston 300 upgrade, but everything else exactly the same including the operating system, the W50 scored 24262. The price of a Toshiba Tecra W50? $2250. Price of a Kingston KC300 SSD kit: $110. Boosting the performance of your laptop a whopping 243 percent in an hour? Priceless.

 Fr. Robert: So Sean was absolutely right. It wasn't a 3% price difference for a 55% increase. It was 3% price difference for a 59% performance increase.

Bryan: A little bit of a difference.

Fr. Robert: 249% the performance of the original setup. Which is one of the weird things. This is why I gave this a don’t buy. It is a decent laptop. It is crazy in fact with the SSD it is the fastest of the three that I tested from Toshiba, Dell and HP.

Bryan: So really, you are doing a disservice to the hardware when you don’t have an SSD.

Fr. Robert: A huge disservice. SSD’s are not that expensive. The only thing I can figure is this is a Toshiba hard drive so maybe they have a bunch of hard drives they need to get rid of. All I know to do is shove it into a performance laptop.

Bryan: I like the little enclosure you have for it too. That way you can still use it and give your lap top a performance boost.

Fr. Robert: That is why I buy the kits even though I don’t use them to clone. I've said this to you several times and I’ve said this to the audience several times, if you are going to install an SSD don’t clone. If you can help it at all don’t clone. Do a fresh installation and you are going to find out that so many of the problems you thought you had were just the crappification of your OS.

Bryan: Which tends to happen over time. I like that feeling of a fresh install every year or so.

Fr. Robert: And it also kind of helps you remember what setting did I need? Do I need that? Every time I do a fresh installation I always find a better way to do it. I kind of like that. And when I come back from DefCon, I always feel like I have to reinstall.

Bryan: You told me you completely wiped everything.

Fr. Robert: Phone, two laptops. This was a bad Defcon and Black Hat period between the bad USB and the phone hack, I’m just not feeling it.

Bryan: Fortunately I don’t have anything that I really need to hide. But it is scary that those things are so easily circumvented.

Fr. Robert: Well now that we've talked about SSD’s and we know now that you need to get an SSD, because remember friends don’t let friends use hard disk drives. I want to talk about something else that you are going to need in your lifestyle. Not just fast computers. But snacks. Bryan you know about snacks right? I get tempted with snacks of the wrong kind. If you go to our snack room here at twit you are going to find that we have a lot of chocolate, we have a lighter sugar, we have a lot of chips. I kind of lived on those for a while. But that is not good.

Bryan: It’s like chips? Or go to the grocery store. I guess I’ll do chips.

Fr. Robert: But that is exactly why I am so happy that we got Nature Box as a sponsor on the twit TV network. Because Nature Box gave us healthy alternative to snacking. It is not like a tofu cake or some rice, these are really good. I have kind of got addicted to the Santa Fe corn sticks.

Bryan: Would you just lay off some of those? Because some people would like to try them.

Fr. Robert: They can’t have them. Now we have been eating Nature Box for a while and what we like about them is that there is nothing artificial. There are no GMO’s, there is no corn syrup, they taste good and its good for you. we understand that some people may be reluctant because you have probably been bitten by snack boxes before the promise to give you healthy benefits and they ended up just being more of the same. That is not the case with Nature Box. We’ve had them for months and these have become de facto standard for how we snack. Here is what we want to do. We want to give you a Nature Box of your own so check this out. It’s not 10% off, it’s not 50% off, we got to get it to you absolutely free. Nature Box Has hundreds of delicious snacks and right now they will give you a sampler box featuring five at their most popular snacks for nothing. Free. Just for trying Nature Box. I promise that once you try them you are going to love them. They've got those zero artificial ingredients, zero trans fats, zero high fructose corn syrup but so much flavor. You want something sweet, you want something spicy, you want something savory you are going to find it in their selection. You even find snacks that are low in sugar and gluten-free.

Bryan: Which is something that I am concerned with. Not the gluten-free but as a type I diabetic I like to drill down into the snacks that don’t have a lot of sugar in them. But I can still munch on them. While I’m sitting at the computer.

Fr. Robert: Well munch all you want because when you get to that afternoon spot when you just want to eat something, you can dig into a In nature Box knowing that it isn’t going to drive you into a diabetic coma. That is probably not the best endorsement we’ve ever made of a product, but it is important.

Bryan: I don’t want to go into a diabetic coma.

Fr. Robert: So folks, if you haven’t tried Nature Box you are missing out. Make sure to go to, check them out and see if maybe this is going to be your next snack. Start your free trial today and get a free sampler box at Stay full, stay strong, start snacking smarter. Go to and we thank Nature Box for their support of Know How.

Fr. Robert: as well folks, we've promised a new edited together so that we can deliver. Here is Aaron Newcombe with Linux Tips part 3.

Aaron Newcombe: I am Aaron Newcombe back for a another segment on Linux. Last time we looked at the different types of operating systems, we looked at how to prepare your desktop or laptop for a Linux installation. And the different types of installation methods, be it USB drives, CD Rom, or just run it in Virtual Box, which also works really well. Today we are actually going to get on with the Linux installation. This will be a really fun episode. But before we get started, I want to show you a little bit about what it was like back in the day and maybe this is what you are thinking your experience will be like. These nice little blue screens were around back in the 90s, this is from Red Hat 5.1, which was around back in the late 90’s And this is how you would do the install. You would go through these DOS menus, DOS like menus and there was no good way. Disk druid was a good way to prepare your partitions. If you remember disk druid you are a brother of mine for sure. It was difficult, to say the least. There was some cool things about it and it works really well, and I never really had a problem. But maybe you are thinking that is what the installation is going to be like. But not so. The installation for Linux has come a long way. It is a lot more like a Windows or Mac iOS installation. Let’s go ahead and take a look. We will pick right back up where we left off. We actually shrunk down our partition to make room for our Linux installation. So when your case this may have taken a little while and again, word of caution, if you are going to try these steps at home make sure you know what you are doing. You could overwrite your system information and have a bad day, or have several bad days. But if you are following along this should have gone through very smoothly and now you are done and you have this unallocated space that you are going to use for the installation. Now if you are running this off of the Linux installation disk, installation is very easy. All you have to do is double-click on this little icon over here. We are actually going to go ahead and shut down in our terminal window. Here is the install icon, double click on that. You will see that the install screen will pop up here momentarily and we are going to get on her way. Now I am going to explain all these steps because some of these can be kind of confusing if you are not familiar with how a computer works or you are not too sure, or you haven’t done this before. We are going to step through all these options. Some of them are easy. Like the first option, choose your language. There is no question about that. To use the language that you speak and hit continue. Then we will get to the second step. It is going to ask you are you ready to do this? Do you have enough space available? Yes we do. Are you plugged into a power source? Obviously that is crucial. And are you connected to the Internet because one thing that the install is going to do is that it is going to look for upgraded software to install on your system as it is installing the operating system. That way you are ready to go right out of the box. We are not going to worry about the fact that we are not plugged in because that is the way I roll. So we will go ahead and hit continue. Now here is the critical piece. Right here is the installation type. This is asking you where do you want to install Linux Mint? And the default option is to erase the disk and install Linux. That means if you have Windows or Mac installed on your desktop or laptop, it is going to get rid of that. And we don’t want to do that. We actually want to install this alongside of our existing installation which is called dual booting. So we are going to choose something else and we are going to hit continue. This is going to bring up some options. This is where we will need a little bit of explanation as to what is going on. Now as you can see, we have the free space that we made earlier for this installation. Basically we have a disk, right here this /dev/sda1 represents our hard drive that we are installing this on. And you see there is one intrigue underneath is called ntfs. That would be where your Windows installation would be, we are imagining that this is a Windows installation and we don’t want to use that but we want to install this alongside our Windows installation. So we are going to use this free space that we created earlier. So we are going to click on that free space and we are going to hit the + sign and we are going to add a place for our Windows operating system to live. So this is asking us do you want to use all the space? So in this case actually you don’t. We are going to actually subtract some space here. We've got 10 gig on which to install and we will back off a little on that. Take it down to something a little less than 10 gig. We will make it 10 gig exactly. Let’s just go ahead and call it 10,000 MB. Then we will leave everything else that default and we will what we want this to look with our operating system. If you are familiar with Windows you are familiar with the fact that you have a C drive and may be a D drive, or you have an E drive or whatever. Basically in the Linux world the mal point is the same as the C drive or the E drive. It is basically saying when I make this available where do you want it to live, or what do you want it to look like? In this case we want this to be the very root of our installation. So we want that to be /. Just plain ole /. We are going to say okay to that. it is going to make some configuration changes, not permanently, but it is just thinking about okay do we have everything we need. So you will see that it will update here in just a minute okay so that left us with a little bit of additional free space. Now here is why we did that. We actually also needed some swap space. I won’t go into all the definitions of what that means but essentially what it is is a little extra space on the disk so that if your system runs out of memory it can spill over and use some of that hard drive space, just like it was memory. The reason why that is important is because if you don’t have that your system crashes and we don’t want that. So let’s select that additional free space and hit the + again and we will configure this. You can leave all the defaults there because we are going to use the rest of the space. But we want to configure this it as swap area. Then hit okay. Typically you want at least as much swap space as you have memory in your system. I would recommend two times as much swap space as you have memory. Those are the guidelines. Okay so now we are ready to install. We will hit install now. As it is installing I will explain a few more changes that will happen. So one thing that is going to happen during the installation you will notice this says device or boot loader installation. What is that? The boot loader is actually when the computer starts up, it looks for a boot loader to tell it how to run the operating system. How do you want to start this thing up? Boot loaders are built into Windows, they are built into Mac OS and there is one built into Linux. the nice thing about the one that is built into Linux is that it will boot other operating systems as well. So if you are using the Linux boot loader it will know to boot Windows or Mac OS if you already have that installed on your device. You have to be a little careful here, you might want to do some reading up on how to do a boot before you get into this process just to make sure you don’t run into any glitches. I highly recommend doing a little bit of research in that area. But in general, this should work. All right now there is a few more configuration options that we have to set through. Things like TimeZone, you can see these configuration options just take a few seconds. It is going to detect to our keyboard layout, it should auto detect the keyboard layout that you have. But if you are going to use a different type of keyboard you can change that. You shouldn’t have to change it. And then we get to throw in our personal information. It asked for your name and it will automatically suggest a computer name we will just go ahead and leave that for now because I don’t really care what you call it, but if you want to change that to something else you absolutely can. And pick a username. I am going to change that because my fingers are programmed to type in A Newcombe. So I’m going to put that there. and then you can also put a password in, and I would highly recommend doing that. For purposes of this demonstration I am not going to put a password in and I’m going to say login automatically. Very insecure, but it will save us some steps later on. Actually, we may not be able to do that. So I will go ahead and put in a password. There we go. It actually is requiring me to put in a password. In this case my password is password. I never use that anywhere else still free to try to hack my systems. All right so now we are still installing. The nice thing about this is all these little configuration options are happening while the system is installing on your computer. So, it is a little bit of a timesaver because you get to do all those last-minute configuration steps while it is installing. In fact you can see here that we are almost halfway through the installation. I think what we will do is we will take a break and let this thing turned for a little while and then come back we are ready to rock ’n roll. All right, so after about 10 minutes our installation is complete. There is a nice little welcome screen with a little information about the operating system and so forth and then after it downloads some updates and as the final configuration it comes back and says you can stick with this live CD if you want but really what you want to do is restart so you can get end and start customizing your operating system. So let’s go ahead and restart and we will take a look at what it looks like when it reboots. So we are going to restart and when your computer reboots it will come up and you will see the Linux Mint icon as it loads. Now if you had another operating system, if you were dual booting, you would actually come up with a screen where you can choose to boot up into that operating system. So you could boot up into Windows or into Linux Mint and you would see that as a choice on your screen. As it is we really only have Linux Mint installed. So it is going to go ahead and boot up into Linux Mint and we will see what this looks like. There it is. So now it looks just like the installation CD but this is actually running the full version of Linux Mint. I told you it was very user-friendly and it is. Because look, it gives you all of these helpful tips. It’s like, “what do you want to do”? Do you want to learn about that new features in this version, do you want to chat with people? is you can click on these and get more information or launch those applications. If you are unfamiliar with how Linux works or just what some of these things are, we are going to go ahead and dismiss the screen. I’m going to pause right there. Because what we are going to do in the next segment, I’m going to walk you through some of the applications that are installed by default so you know what those are. But then we are going to also show you how to upgrade your software and install new applications. Things that you might want to run and you might not see already loaded on your system. If you have questions about running Linux, maybe there is something that we are not covering and you are really interested to find out or you’ve always wondered how to I do this in Linux? Things like, “ how do I know which is the best HTPC software for me? I’d really like to set something like this up in my living room”. Or maybe it is, “How do I do video editing on Linux?” Or something even simpler. Maybe it is just, “I want to run Notepad or some office applications”. If you’ve got a task that you have always wondered how does it work in Linux, let us know. Just go to our Google plus page for know-how and type in your question and we will see if we can get your question answered in one of the future segments.

Fr. Robert: Thanks to Aaron Newcombe for that. Now actually you know it takes a while but after you get into it, Mint Linux is pretty good.

Bryan: It really converted me.

Fr. Robert: I was stuck on Ubuntu, thinking it is the thing for beginners but Mint is a pretty good alternative.

Bryan: I really appreciate eight him coming up in doing that. And having worked with him on that inspired me to install virtual box on my computer and I installed Cali Linux. It is another flavor. There are so many kinds of Linux to try out.

Fr. Robert: That can be the daunting thing. Because once you start looking at the different distro’s that they all have strengths and weaknesses but you’ve got to start someplace. And that is why Aaron gave us Mint.

Bryan: I think everybody who watches this show likes to tinker with stuff. We like to know how things work and it depends on what you’re looking for. But, segway into our next segment, if you like to tinker… you use an Android phone and I do too. I’m not partial to any certain Mobile OS but I like to mess around with my phone and Android allows me the most flexibility to do that and I’ve got a couple of tips that may be you have heard about if you use an Android phone. But we will go into it a little bit. So if you have an Android phone and you kind of want to get into the guts of it and see some geeky stats and things like that, a little trick is that you can go into your settings, and go down to about your phone, now I have already done this so it is not going to do anything different but if you tap the build number seven times it will pop up with a little message. I’ve already done it so it says, No need. You are already a developer. I’m not a developer but shhhh don’t tell my phone that. So then if you do that and you back out, you’ll have this option here for developers options. Which just basically lets you go through some different options a lot of which he probably won’t mess around with anyway. But if got some nerdy stuff that you can kind of go through and see some things that are going on in the background on your phone. The one I was looking at earlier is processed stats. Geeky stats about processes. Just some nerdy stuff. You can see that Netflix is what has been sucking up a lot of my background energy and stuff like that. And Facebook.

Fr. Robert: These development operations were created because people who actually created applications for android need access to this kind of information. Like for example, there is the thing therefore allowing mock locations for GPS. So if you were creating a GPS dependent application this would allow you to say okay will the app crashes it’s in San Francisco? Will it crash fits in New York?

Bryan: You wouldn’t use that for Ingress would you Padre?

Fr. Robert: Well you could but Ingress would ban you. Because you are a bad person.

Bryan: How did he jump from one side of the city to the other?

Fr. Robert: He was in San Francisco and then 30 minutes later he was in London. It doesn't make any sense. You are not going to get an advantage on any GPS caching games, but if you are developing an app and you can figure out how your Apple actually work in different parts of the world without having to actually travel to different parts of the world.

Bryan: It is to some of the nerdy stuff that I like to look at, when I mess around with my phone. It shows CPU usage. But one of the things is that it can make your phone feel a little bit more snappy is that you can change the animation scale. So what that means instead of the normal rate, which is one times you can set it to .5 and that will make the animation when they pop open faster. So you can make your phone feel a lot snappier. You could also turn off animations completely which would just make them pop up.

Fr. Robert: That is because in android it is actually drawing the animations in real time versus iOS does a slightly different way. They’ve got an interesting method where when you flip through pages it is not the page that is being rendered in real time it is actually a picture of the page. Which actually does decrease the dependence on the GPU. It is a really good way to do it. Android took a little bit different track and everything you see has been generated in real-time. So if you turn that off that is that much processing power that doesn’t need to be used.

Bryan: It is to cool little setting. We have been talking a lot of stuff about cloud storage. And when I was looking at android we found an app about managing some of your cloud services. And there is this app that we came across called un-clouded. This is a nifty little app that allows you to sync your dropbox and Google Drive. It gives you a nice little UI of how much of your dropbox you are using and you can drill down into Explorer mode and see all the different folders that you have on your dropbox or whatever. It is just a neat little app to kind of tie your cloud services together which can get kind of irritating in trying to figure out how much space you have left. One of the features of the app that I really liked was that it would show you if you have duplicate files.

Fr. Robert: Which if you are one of those people who juggles a lot of different cloud services, the duplicates can be deadly. I've seen this happen to people before were they have different revisions and they think they are the same and will delete one and it is the wrong one. A good duplication app will actually tell you which is newer, which has been accessed more recently. So which one do you want to keep?

Bryan: The other thing I have done before is I have backed up my photos to Google plus and to my dropbox so I have like double cloud backup for my photos. But sometimes I will move all my backup to Google Drive from dropbox and then delete the ones on dropbox. But sometimes I will forget. And this will ask you why do I have two backups of the same group of cell phone photos. So that was the cloud services. The last one I wanted to show is that if you have been using an android phone for the last few years, every app that you have ever downloaded is saved to the store. And so if you have ever got a new phone and you sign into your Google account…

Fr. Robert: You realize all the crappy apps you’ve added and deleted from your phone and did not delete from the store?

Bryan: I had something called Leap Xbox live or something? It was when Android first came out. It was terrible. So if you have a new phone and you sign in with your account it is going to install all those apps you’ve ever downloaded. But what you can do is go into the store, my apps, and go through your apps and delete them. This shows every app I’ve ever downloaded for my phone. It may take awhile but you can go through. For demonstration purposes, see how I have that x there now? If I were to format my phone it would try to install all these apps, but I don’t want Twit Pro to install so I’m just going to remove it from the list and now that I have cleaned out my app drawer, I feel like I could have a new phone, sign in and let everything update and not worry about the apps that I don’t want.

Fr. Robert: And this is actually good practice because you do want to go through your list of applications every once in a while and clear it out. Which Google, if you sign in with your Google services account, will automatically try to do.

Bryan: You can stop it, but…

Fr. Robert: No one wants to have to do that. You want to say, okay sign in and now go do your thing for the next 30 minutes.

Bryan: I’ve gone to my apps and this is the list of my apps that I really like. So I feel safe that if I had a new phone I could have all the apps that I want without it just downloading everything I’ve ever had.

Fr. Robert: Well, that is a lot of information. Between SSD upgrade, your apps and Aaron explaining how to get Mint installed on your computer I think we can call in an episode.

Bryan: I hope so. How many hours was that?

Fr. Robert: It’s all good. Now We understand that is a lot of information. So if you want any of our show notes, if you want to find out where we are getting our SSD’s, if you want to find out exactly how we installed them or you want to find out some interesting things we learned about installing an SSD on a Toshiba W 50, or maybe going through Linux tips or Bryan’s application tips, you’ve got to go to our Show Notes page. Where can they find that?

Bryan: That would be And it’s not just where our show notes are. You can subscribe and download any of our prior episodes. We have a lot of information there, so there is definitely something that is going to strike your fancy.

Fr. Robert: Absolutely. For example, if you were worried about your cloud storage why not check out last week’s episode about the super backup that we showed people how they could use Amazon glacier along with a very simple script and a very cheap computer to make sure that all their cloud storage gets backed up to a place where it is untouchable. Doesn’t matter someone violates your cloud storage you will still have it.

Bryan: Look at the show notes in there. That’s a beautiful thing in there.

Fr. Robert: Also you can find us on the social. Don’t email us, we won’t respond. But if you go to our GPlus group, just drop into google plus and look for the Know How community, join us and you’ll find that not only is it a good place to ask questions but is it good place for more experienced users to give answers. It is a free sharing of information, it is a lot of fun and it is just a good place to geek out.

Bryan: Yet, and if you’ve ever tried any of the projects that we have done we would love to see you post pictures of that. My favorite one is the NAS and how the guy built like a 3D printed structure for it. It was actually way better.

Fr. Robert: Also you can find us on Twitter if you not into the GPlus vibe. You can find me @PadreSJ.

Bryan: And I’m @cranky_hippo.

Fr. Robert: Don’t forget that we taped this show live every Thursday at 11:00 AM Pacific time. If you drop in you will see the preshow, the post-show, you’ll see all the bloopers that we take out of the final cut. Normally we are pretty perfect but every once in a while we mess up.

Bryan: Josh is still filling into for Alex.

Fr. Robert: Great job, Josh. Also, you are going to find that we have a chat room at If you jump in there during the live show you’ll be in on some incredible discussions. Like Titus who wants to know why are we so boring?

Bryan: Yeah? That doesn’t hurt.

Fr. Robert: Until next time, I’m Father Robert Ballecer.

Bryan: And I’m Bryan Burnett.

Fr. Robert: And now that you know how…

Bryan: Go do it!

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