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Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

The post on this blog have been “publicized” on Twitter and LinkedIn since many years. Since about three weeks or so, WordPress keeps saying that there is an issue with the connection to LinkedIn. What should be a simple matter of a few clicks and typing a password is turning into something unpleasant. The moment I ask LinkedIn to authorise WordPress, I usually get this message: “Failed to load your request token while connecting to LinkedIn“. LinkedIn seems to accept the request, but WordPress is unable to retrieve the required key and tells me to try again… and again… and again.

I have lived through that scenario on multiple days, so yesterday I hoped to outsmart both applications: I deleted the existing authorisation in LinkedIn, disconnected WordPress from LinkedIn, and then tried to connect WordPress to LinkedIn as if it were the first time I did so. Guess what?

Error message: “The LinkedIn connection could not be made because no account was selected.

A new error message appeared: “The LinkedIn connection could not be made because no account was selected.” I guess I’ll have to live a few days/weeks without postings on LinkedIn.

Note: I’m doing all my WordPress stuff in a browser on the Mac…

The big picture is a bit disappointing, of course. Here we have to giants on the Web, whose services are explicitly built to be connectable – and then that connection fails. It fails not once, but several times over a period of weeks. It seems as if no one at either company is checking the log files of those applications (it’s hard to imagine that I’m the only one encountering this issue). Perhaps these companies are too big to notice (or worse: care about) such failures?

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Since a few months I have been using Cloudflare’s “1.1.1.1:Faster Internet” app on my iPad. I like the idea of having more privacy while surfing the Web, even though it’s hard for me to verify what the app is doing exactly. At least I never had the impression that the iPad got slower because of the app – but your mileage may vary, of course.

Icon of the 1.1.1.1 app

Anyway, what I wanted to mention is that the upgrade to iPadOS 13.1 posed a problem for the network connection on the iPad. Some applications, Safari included, had no problem accessing the internet, but my main banking app continued to report “You have no internet connection – please try again later’. Puzzling and frustrating, since a second banking app (for a different bank, of course) had no problems whatsoever. I’ll leave it to the specialists/hackers to figure out what that means about the safety of that second app ;-)

In the end I removed the 1.1.1.1 app completely, and reinstalled it from the App Store. This did the trick: the application installed its VPN Configuration and hey presto, all my applications found the way to the web without any trouble. So even if you have configured your iPad to update all apps automatically, I recommend having a look at the 1.1.1.1 app directly after upgrading to iOS, sorry: iPadOS 13. If it has trouble establishing a VPN connection, just remove it from the device and reinstall it – that should do the trick.

Now I’ll take some time this weekend to read up on Cloudflare’s extension of the 1.1.1.1 app, called Warp. I was already intrigued by earlier articles about the WireGuard protocol, and Warp seems to give us a possibility to try it out without costs. I might well do so; if I do, I’ll report on it later.

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I’m a bit older than Brent, and I had to buy my own first computer – a Sinclair ZX-81, in my case. But the feeling was exactly as he describes here:

Then the personal computer came along, and they had the freedom to solve problems on their own — when they wanted to, the way they wanted to.

This was a revolution.

Yes, it was about freedom, about full control over a tiny yet powerful machine, although at the start it was mainly about learning how much was possible with a computer and how you had to control it.

Image by Evan-Amos (CC BY-SA 3.00)

These days, even smartwatches have more oomph than the ZX-81, but they lack something that made the early “home computers” so attractive: they are increasingly closed-off by their makers. Is that good or bad? Personally, I love to tinker and explore and stumble and try again – that’s why I like all those Linux OS’s ;-)

Brent has a point when he says that “it feels more and more like we’re just renting Macs too, and they’re really Apple’s machines, not ours“. If I truly want to “play” with a computer, both in hardware and software, then Macs and portable PC’s don’t come into the picture. (Old) PC hardware or a Raspberry Pi will do, thank you.

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I know it’s already April, but I did not want to publish the low solar energy production numbers of March on April 1st. Many readers might have thought I was joking, and that is not the case. Here’s why: March only produced 133.760 Wh of electricity, and that is just a fraction above last years March numbers and 25% below what I expected. Let’s just hope that this is not setting a trend for the future.

Another update is worth mentioning, at least for users and fans of the Samsung Galaxy S7: I was able to install the March 1, 2019 Security patch and the assorted updates on March 26th. This is what your S7 should tell you about its software, at least here in Belgium:

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A few days ago, on Jan. 17 to be precise, my Samsung Galaxy S7 received a software update. Considering the limited info available in the ‘What’s new” section of the update, I’m assuming that the update is limited to the January 1st security patch level…

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Samsung is fast this time: the December Security Update is available to Galaxy S7 devices in Belgium. Let’s call it an early Christmas gift ;-)

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On Monday, my S7 indicated that a new software update from Samsung was available for download and installation. This time I didn’t wait. The installation went smoothly, and there you have it: the November 2018 security patch is now on my phone. Too bad even Samsung (in Belgium) is not capable to give us a few details about what the update entails – you’ll have to visit the SamMobile website for that. According to them, the 227 MB download contained only security updates.

The G930FXXU3ERJE software update for the Samsung Galaxy S7

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