Royce Eddington

Nothing to see here. Move along people.

The “journey of your life in numbers and dates” at is a kick

There’s an interesting website called that gives you a quick overview of the significance of your birthday.

Most sites give you the plain old “you gonna die” shtick, but this site talks about what countries share your birthday, what number of person you are on the planet, how many people are older and younger than you right now, the next big milestones in your life numerically, and lets you drill down into each subsection for a little more data. The site’s finale is a brutally hardcore version of the “you gonna die” shtick with graphs and overlapping line charts.

Some quick stats on yours truly…

  • I’m the 5,269,918,218th person alive on the planet. Suck it 5,269,918,219!
  • China has 67,102 people that share my birthday
  • India has 41,328 people that share my birthday.
  • Just China and India take up 50% of the countries that share my particular birthday – my birthdate is moderately rare in the US!
  • The exact day of my predicted expiration is… well, that can’t be right, so I’m not going to post it. Obvious computer glitch.

Check it out. It’s a quick distraction with a hint of “memento mori, foo” here and there.

Sunrise in South Texas (as taken by my gorgeous wife)

from Instagram:

Somehow this made it to print. Only in the Texas Valley.

from Instagram:

Today is a pretty bad day for small businesses with old credit card readers

Today, October 1 2015, is going to be a bad day for small businesses with the old swipe-only credit card readers. 

Effective today, all merchants in the U.S. will be held liable for ANY fraudulent transactions that take place in their business if they are still using the “old” swipe-only credit card readers. 

The shift, called the EMV initiative, mandates all simple-swipe readers need to have been retired or disabled by today, and new card readers that allow for the insertion of chip-embedded cards must be in place instead. No exceptions. 

While big companies like WalMart and Target have had these card readers in place for over a year now, any small business or mom & pop shop that missed the memo from their credit card processors are in for a devastating surprise the next time they contest a false charge or are hit with a massive chargeback from their credit card processing company.

If you see any small businesses with the old swipe-only readers, or if you know anyone running a small business with a swipe-only card reader, tell them to talk to their credit card processing company ASAP to get an upgrade to a chip-reading card reader. They are much more expensive than the plain swipe-only versions, but the liability risk is now FAR too high to ignore.

You can also send them the discussion about the EMV initiative, the terminal types now required, the liability shift concern, and how big a pain this has been to adopt.

Check your Google music page for half off any album $15 or less

I just signed in to check my Google music account page and saw a surprise banner ad saying “for a limited time only, get 50% off the current store price of any music album priced $15 or less… only users who receive this offer in their Google Play account are eligible.”

Sure enough, clicking on any album that’s marked $15 or less showed up half off!

My bank account is about to cry a little bit.

Where to find your BitLocker key for Windows 10 or Surface pro

Hopefully you will never ever need to know this, but in case you ever have to re-format or “refresh” your Windows 10 and/or Surface Pro device, you’re going to need to know where to find the BitLocker key for your device.

To find your BitLocker key, just go to…

Log in with the SAME Microsoft ID you used for your Windows 10 or Surface Pro device. In a few moments, a list of all your BitLocker recovery keys will show up. Choose the BitLocker key that corresponds with the hardware you are repairing and you’re set.

Unfortunately, if you are ever asked for your BitLocker key, it means you’re in the process of restoring the former Windows 10 or Surface Pro device from zero, so you won’t be able to copy and paste the BitLocker key directly – you will have to type in the 48 character code manually across devices.

FEMA’s PrepareAthon – helping local communities prepare for disasters

FEMA is kicking off a new grassroots-style campaign for preparedness with a new program called “PrepareAthon”.

According to a press release, “America’s PrepareAthon! is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to prepare for specific hazards through drills, group discussions, and exercises.”

The website FEMA set up for PrepareAthon is pretty straightforward. The first section called TAKE ACTION goes over several pre-made promo kits FEMA has prepared for community organization and discussion.

The sections are…

  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Hurricane
  • Tornado
  • Wildfire
  • Winter Storm

Clicking on each section will take you to a detailed view, where you can download an overview of topics for the “attendees” discussion, and also a “playbook” for the “presenters”. (FEMA has also provided the materials for all sections in Spanish and Chinese as well.)

The second section of the website, titled BE COUNTED, lets you search cities for presentations already set up or planned, and the last section, titled SPREAD THE WORD, lets you download logos, promo materials, surveys and checklists for the presentation.

This is one of those things that sounds like it would be a homerun for a local police department, church, chamber of commerce, school organization or civic-minded group to set up and pitch to the community one weekend. Everything is available pre-packaged online ready to go. Just pick a topic, download, review, print and go.

The PrepareAthon campaign is also set up on Twitter @PrepareAthon and has an email address for questions at if volunteers have any questions.

If you’re using AVG anti-virus, you need to uninstall it ASAP

AVG antivirus was a decent antivirus application for Windows. Decent as in “there’s nothing else free that doesn’t stink quite so bad”.

The application did an OK job of keeping viruses out, but it’s main strength was the 100% free price tag.

Earlier this month, though, AVG announced that if you continue to use their application on your PC, they NOW have the rights to “sell your search and browser history data to advertisers” if you’re using their application.

In very plain English, if you are currently running AVG antivirus on your PC…

  • AVG antivirus is collecting ALL METADATA in your web browsers (cookies, history, etc)

AVG said it doesn’t matter what browser you use on your PC. If you’re still using their product, you automatically agree AVG can take your personal information and sell it to whatever advertisers they can find to do whatever they want with.

AVG said, quite bluntly, they’re doing this to make money.

Such a nice buncha people. So super nice. I wanna take a nice baseball bat to these nice people’s heads they’re so nice.

The other BIG problem is even after you uninstall their antivirus application, AVG has not provided a way to delete the data they already collected on you, and they’re not providing any way for you to look up what they took from your PC.

There’s a big story on both Wired and SMH about this mess.

If you have AVG antivirus on your PC, it’s time to uninstall it and find a replacement. I currently recommend ESET for “premium” antivirus and the built-in-to-windows Microsoft Defender for “free” antivirus.

You know you’re in a shady neighborhood when…

from Instagram:

Thought of the day: Fear the cowardice of the content

Fear the cowardice of the content.

You’ve all heard that quote from Edmund Burke that “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, right?

I’ve got an amendment for that.

The content will actively DO terrible things without conscience and allow evil to flourish as much as needed to stay where they are.

Active vs passive.

Fear the cowardice of the content.

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