Google Keep

March 6th, 2017
by Kristof

Everyone that knows me, knows I'm a Google Keep fan. It's the best app for taking notes out there and I'm taking some time out to tell you why.

It can order your notes by colour or category. You can filter by category or search a note by entering one or more keywords, as you would expect from a Google app. Data is stored in the could and accessible on keep.google.com so even when you're without your phone, you can still access Keep. It also means you can use your full keyboard to type lengthier notes. But here are a few features your note app may not have and a nifty way to use that feature.

Text grabbing from images

Google Keep can grab text from your images and it does so with about 80% success rate. While that's not very high, it means that you don't have to type everything that's on the images. But that's not what I use it for, really. I make photographs of my receipts - dishwasher, clothes, bag, wallet, toys ... and store them in Google keep. Then, I let Google keep grab the text et voila - my receipt is instantly searchable in Google Keep. Next time I need to grab a receipt, I can pick up my phone, open Google keep and search for "Intertoys" or the brand of my dishwasher.

Talk to your shopping list

You can talk to Google Keep. Just say "OK Google" and say "Add potatoes to my shopping list". It will create a list named "Shopping" and add potatoes to it.

Reminders

You can turn Google Notes into reminders that show up in your Google Calendar. But the best feature is that you can set the reminder to a location. I have a reminde set for my favourite train stations to "check out" so I don't forget to check out. Or I set a reminder for myself when I park my car that I also have to open my parking app and "stop parking".

Posted in Hacks | Comments (0)

Improving your online security by making your password more difficult to hack but easier to remember.

February 20th, 2017
by Kristof

Passwords can be hacked - sometimes by a computer, sometimes by a human.

Here is my advice to people that want to make their online accounts more secure. We will start out with a real life example and build its complexity and, in the end, we will have a way of creating unique passwords for every possible use.

1. An easy to remember password is better than one you can't remember.
That means that "strawberry" is better than aj374h58&%$3djde.[ if you have to write it down somewhere. A password locker on your PC or app counts as writing it down - and you won't be able to log on if you don't have access to your phone or PC. Let's say my daughter's name is Louise. That's easy to remember. Let's go by Louise. It's easy to remember. The make of the first car you every drove, or you favourite dish would probably be a better pick, but let's go with super obvious now.

Password: Louise
Time to hack: instantly
Difficulty to guess: very easy

2. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters
It makes it slightly harder for a computer to hack your password. Louise already has rule #2 applied. Ready to go.

Password: Louise
Time to hack: instantly
Difficulty to guess: very easy

3. Use a number somewhere - any number.
It makes it slightly harder for a computer to hack your password. I could use L0uise or L0u1s3 or I could simply use Louise2008, which is her year of birth. A longer password is always harder to hack, so let's go with Louise2008.

Password: Louise2008
Time to hack: 8 months
Difficulty to guess: medium

4. Throw in one or more symbols for good measure

It makes it generally much, much harder for a computer to hack your password and also for a person to just guess your password. It's still medium though, because anyone leaning over your shoulder may be able to guess the password by your typing. When picking a symbol, try to take one that is available on keyboards all over the world.

Password: Louise>2008
Time to hack: 800 years
Difficulty to guess: difficult

5. Make it unique and still easy to remember
If someone steals the user data from a website, they may be able to just read your password if that website has it stored in a database. Even if the password is encrypted, it can be reverse engineered. To avoid this, we would need to have a unique password for every website, every company we work at and maybe for every device we have. It's however simple to do.

Pick a number under 6 and stick with it - this is the number of letters you will be lending from every website, device or company you need to have a password for. The more letters you use, the longer your password will become and the less your password is likely to be hacked or guessed, but it also increases the time needed to type your password and the number of mistakes you could make. You can choose to have either the first or last 6 letters, or maybe even decide to skip the first 4 and then have the remaining 6 ... Let's say we choose the first 5 letters of whatever we are creating a password for.

Let's make a password for the company you work at - say IBM, your Google account, your account at DeviantArt.com and your password to unlock your Huawei P9.

IBM
I could use IBM in its entirety or take the full name (International Business Machines). I'll go with the second option.

Password: InterLouise>2008
Time to hack: 3 trillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

Google

Password: GooglLouise>2008
Time to hack: 3 trillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

DeviantArt.com

Password: DeviaLouise>2008
Time to hack: 3 trillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

Huawei P9

Password: HuaweLouise>2008
Time to hack: 3 trillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

6. Periodically changing passwords
This one is easy. When a company or website requires you to change your password every so often, add the year and month to your password. For IBM, in February 2017, it would look like this.

Password: InterLouise>2008.1702
Time to hack: 9 sextillion years
Difficulty to guess: very difficult

7. It works.

I have been using a slightly more complex version of this algorithm since 1990 and I can guess my password for most any device or website within 3 tries, even if I haven't been there for years - but even if a hacker got hold of my password for a certain device or website, it would be near impossible to deduce what my password is going to be for another website or device. The fewer characters you use from whatever you are pasting in front of your password, the harder it will be to guess but the more likely you're passwords will have "duplicates". A very simple example: if you only use the first letter of the website. Microsoft.com and MyLittlePony.com will yield the same password. Now throw out that notebook and that smartphone app and start actually remembering your passwords.

Posted in Selfish | Comments (0)

Quick concatenation of rows in T-SQL using FOR XML PATH

February 9th, 2017
by Kristof

If you want to quickly concatenate a resultset, here's a quick and easy way to do it.

SELECT 
	ProductType AS [data()]
FROM
	dbo.Product
FOR XML PATH ('')

SELECT 
	ProductType AS [text()]
FROM
	dbo.Product
FOR XML PATH ('')

The example with data() will yield a space-delimited list of values. The example with text will yield a continuous list of values. Here's how to supply a delimiter.

SELECT 
	',' + ProductType AS [data()]
FROM
	dbo.Product
FOR XML PATH ('')

You can also use DISTINCT to have recurring values appear only once.

SELECT 
	DISTINCT 
	',' + ProductType AS [data()]
FROM
	dbo.Product
FOR XML PATH ('')

You can also concatenate multiple fields. The example below also shows how to remove the leading delimiter.

SELECT
	STUFF(
		(SELECT 
			DISTINCT 
			';' + ProductType + ': ' + ProductTypeCategory AS [data()]
		FROM
			dbo.Product
		FOR XML PATH ('')), 1, 1, '')

Enjoy!

Posted in Sql | Comments (0)

Selecting and setting the melody on the e-Prance doorbell

November 28th, 2015
by Kristof

This may also work on other doorbells utilising the same chipset, including EasyAcc, MagicFly, Forrinx, ... If you doorbell has 52 melodies, one or two receivers and a led, this will probably work for you.

  • If the doorbell is more than a ten second run away from your chime, you may want to call in a second person to help. Have that person stand at the doorbell.
  • Select the melody you want by pressing the bottom button on the chime (with the music note on it). Don't press the doorbell while you're selecting.
  • Once you've found a suitable melody, press the top button (volume) until the led flashes and a sound is played. You know have about ten seconds to get to the doorbell.
  • Rush to the doorbell and press the doorbell once. The melody will start to play. You now have about ten seconds to get back to the chime.
  • Run back to the chime and press the volume button again until the led flashes and the sound plays.

You have now set the melody. Congratulations.

Posted in Selfish | Comments (0)

Fritz!Box manual firmware upgrade

August 24th, 2014
by Kristof

Today, I wanted to use my old 7390 Fritzbox as a repeater, because wireless reception on the second floor of my house was worthless. I tried to updte the firmware, but I couldn't get to the "update from file" tab. Finally, after much tinkering, I found that you need to adjust the view.

In old firmwares, you can get to the expert view by clicking "expert mode" at the top of the "overview" page. In more recent firmwares, you can get there by clicking the "View: Standard" link at the bottom of the overview page.

Posted in Selfish | Comments (0)

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