Category Archives: Interesting Items

Things SWCP staff members found interesting, or fun.

The Expanse Gets Real

Almost exactly a year ago, we first mentioned that The Expanse was coming to Syfy. The first season is half-over now, and we’re delighted to say that the long wait was very much worth it. The series has been rightfully hailed as “the best new science fiction series in years” – in terms of story quality, special effects, and the marvelous, intricately-detailed universe it explores. The Expanse totally rocks. We’re not alone in thinking so, for the series has already been renewed for another season. Depicting life, death, and politics two hundred years from now, the series is set at the critical tipping point where the human race has colonized our Moon, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt but is still stuck within our Solar System. The Expanse realistically depicts the claustrophobia of living and working in crowded tin cans far out in the void, and all the gritty problems and diverse dangers that entails. Part noir detective story and part political thriller, it’s an utterly-engaging dive into darkness, both within and without. Now with five volumes published, but still not complete, the epic book series is being written by “James S.A. Corey“, the pen name for the writing team of Ty Franks and Daniel Abraham. We were first interested because Daniel, as mentioned before, used to be Southwest Cyberport’s crack Technical Support Director. We are of course, immensely proud that “we knew him when” but as card-carrying sci-fi loving geeks, … Continue reading

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Should You Update to Windows 10?

If you’re a typical Windows user, by now you’ve likely found a pop-up window from Microsoft on your desktop at least once inviting you to “reserve” your free copy of Windows 10 – even if your current system is pirated. It’s an unprecedented annoyance step for the software giant to take – what, are they going to run out of copies soon? Or is every previous OS so flawed that they must be replaced ASAP? Neither, apparently. Microsoft says that while Windows 7 mainstream support ended on January 13, technical support won’t end until 2020, and Windows 8 won’t end until 2023 – just 2 years before that for 10. Which means if you’re happy with the version you’re using now, you shouldn’t need to change at all for quite a while. In fact, if you have an older computer, you might not be able to upgrade – here’s how you can check. Granted, Windows 10 offers a slew of new features (though most can be added to older systems without installing a new system) and has garnered many enthusiastic reviews. It’s got the tablet-style touchscreen features from 8 and has brought back the much-missed Start Menu from 7 and before. It has a phone assistant, Cortana; Edge, a new built-in web browser to replace the constantly-targeted and patched Internet Explorer; an Apps Store; users can log in with face or iris recognition; it works with smartphones; help is more … Continue reading

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Private Email – Part 2

In our last post we showed you how to install the Mailvelope browser extension and generate PGP public and private keys, and how to import someone’s public key. Now we’d like to actually use this structure to send encrypted email. At this point if you use Gmail or Yahoo mail you’re actually ready to encrypt. Roundcube requires some additional configuration to work with mailvelope. Go to Options in your Mailvelope page, and select list of email providers, then Add New Site. The site name can be “Roundcube SWCP” and the domain pattern should be *.roundcube.swcp.com. Now when you compose a new message you’ll see a button in the compose window that looks like a pencil and paper.   If you press this a new window will pop open like the one below. Type a message and press encrypt. You’ll get a dialog box that allows you to select the key you want to use to encrypt the message. This should be the key of the person you’re sending the message to. Add that key, then press OK. Now you’ll see the encrypted message which will look something like this: Press Transfer and that message will be copied to your compose window and you can now send the message to your friend. That’s it! Inline Encryption You may want to make the process easier to use by allowing inline encryption. This will allow you to do the encryption in the compose … Continue reading

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