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Newspaper columns by Dave Moore, weekly columnist for the Norman Transcript since 2005.

Time to change your passwords, again

Are you in the habit of regularly changing the passwords for your online accounts? You should be; changing passwords regularly is a required part of every wise Internet user's safety routine. The reason for changing online account passwords is simple: the Internet bad...

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Caller ID may be lying to you

Have you ever received a phone call from a telemarketer who became rude and abusive when you refused to listen to their sales pitch? Who hasn't? Have you ever tried to report them to their superiors by calling the number that appeared on your Caller ID, only to...

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Avoiding the real fake news stories

10 things should know about Kim Kardashian! Insane card offers 0% APR! 26 hot moms you can't unsee! The best bacon in America! In the class I teach about Internet safety called "Fight the Internet bad guys and win," I recently felt the need to add a section about fake...

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Bad guys steal NSA hacker tools, attack the world

Like a chapter from some cheesy spy novel, the story behind the global "WannaCry" ransomware attacks that began in Europe May 12 is so incredulous that many people will refuse to believe it. Yet, an obstinate refusal to acknowledge the dangers of the Internet is why...

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Beware of fake Flash Player, Firefox updates

Not long ago, I was surfing the website of a popular local publication, reading stories and other items that interested me, when a new page suddenly appeared with an official-looking notice that said, "Attention! It is recommended that you download Flash Player to...

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davenewpic1 I was born an Army brat in 1954, with my family living in Kansas, Texas, Arkansas and New Mexico before landing in Norman, Oklahoma.  As a kid, I had many interests, including reading, writing, amateur sleuthing, microbiology, archeology, electronics and music.  If I wasn’t looking at pond water through a microscope or developing my musical abilities, I was probably tearing apart an old radio to convert it into a burglar alarm with fifty speakers.

As a lifelong electronics hobbyist, my career with computers began in about 1984, when I borrowed $1,200 to buy a complete Commodore 64 system.  One of my first computer modifications was to disassemble and drill a hole through the case of the C-64, adding an on/off switch for the expansion port.  I then added a homebrew computer clock synchronization port to my Emu Systems Drumulator drum machine (an early digital drum computer) by tapping into the clock circuit, so that I could synchronize the Drumulator, the Commodore 64 and the first Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) keyboard sold in Norman, the mighty (and, extinct) Prophet 600 synthesizer by Sequential Circuits.  These were the early days of popular electronic music.

It’s OK if you don’t know what all of those things mean – the important thing to know is that geeky electronics and computer activities such as these have brought me over the years to my current situation.

One of my more recent geeky accomplishments was inventing and hosting the Defcon WiFi Shootout Contest, which was a contest to see who could achieve the longest WiFi wireless networking connection.  I ran the contest for three years at the annual Defcon computer security conference in Las Vegas (www.defcon.org), and the contest and its World Record holders are listed on page 112 of the 2006 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.  During the second year of the contest, I began writing a computer/Internet-related column for The Norman Transcript, in Norman, Oklahoma.  I also do all sorts of computer service and consulting for a wide variety of clients in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, and greatly enjoy my work.  It is satisfying to know that my work and writings have helped countless people to have a safer and more enjoyable computing experience.  Feel free to contact me anytime that you like.