MacOS Update Printer Hangup

Has upgrading your Apple Mac to MacOS Sierra 10.12.2 resulted in your printer hanging up? It seems that the upgrade includes a printer driver and or firmware update that causes an attempt to print failing with an error message:
stopped – filter failed
To fix this you need to get into System Preferences | Printers and Scanners.
The panel listing your printers has + and – buttons at its foot that let you add and remove printer drivers. Remove the existing one that is now misbehaving or simply reset the printer system to do so – a right click option. Then use the + to see the drivers available to you. Hopefully you will see one for your printer but it may have a different or longer name than it had before to make clear that it is a new version. Try it out – it worked for me. Other computers connected to the same wi-fi network and hence the same printer but that did not yet get the MacOS update may also have a problem that can be fixed the same way. I am assuming that the update on the first computer actually downloaded new firmware to the printer unbidden so the same fix up driver protocol works on the other mac computers!

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Biometric Security Initiatives in Australia

The new Australian Federal Government security initiatives give rise to some disquiet as to whether or not they are both technologically premature and also too heavily weighted against citizen’s civil right to liberty guaranteed by the judiciary.

The use of currently primitive 2D photographic biometric database has far too high a risk of false positive matching that could unjustifiably land subjects in detention for two weeks with no notification to their families or legal representatives. Notification is forbidden even retrospectively under current national security legislation! We have thrown the baby out with the bath water!

Even more advanced biometric technology in the newer mobile phones and tablets frequently makes mistakes locking the user out – even without the influence of eventual degradation owing to appearance ageing or injury in accidents. A nose broken in a car crash can prevent you phone recognising you when you want to call for help!

Detention without judicial review ought not be allowed for longer than a weekend and even then without multiple independent methods of recognition and the involvement of human judgement and the application of criteria of reasonable cause.

Posted in Civil Rights & Government Power, iPad, iPhone, privacy, Technology, Terrorism, Terrorists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Energy Crisis in Australia

Energy Crisis in AustraliaThe news networks are reporting a looming petroleum gas price rise of 60 % in the coming financial year. Electricity prices may double in consequence too. The Treasurer is warning the industry to not sell overseas at World Market Priced unless they reserve enough for domestic needs or he will block that trade. Is that even possible given that the Australian Constitution apparently prohibits nationalization or confiscation without fair compensation? Maybe the industry has legal advice to that effect that emboldens them to foreshadow big price rises? 

The USA, the great bastion of unfettered capitalism, have a strategic reserve for oil & gasoline that gives them a year’s worth of supply while Australia would be lucky to hold two weeks worth of petrol! Successive Governments exhibiting negligence on a monumental scale!
For a start they need to start incrementally, year by year, to build petrol and gas reserves in this great land so we too hold a year’s worth – within say five years. In particular, gas-powered electricity generation plants ought have dedicated gas storage facilities in reasonable proximity to their plants. The long distance electricity transmission lines are not only inherently inefficient with the losses ending up, as does all waste energy, as planet warming heat but they plan to build even more rather than locating small scale generation in proximity to consumption sites – perhaps even on moveable floating platforms that could be flexibly located. Any energy- resources export duty to mitigate the drain of reasonably priced domestic supplies needs to be balanced by some investment in developing our energy supply and deployment infrastructure too. Naturally a mix of electricity storage technologies should be incentivized too but all such steps really need to be incremental because shock therapies always have unintended consequences and technologies continue to evolve.

Posted in Carbon Footprint, City Planning, Clean Energy & Carbon Tax, Technology, Water & Power Provision | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Protect Pedestrian Zones from Hijacked Trucks

Recent attacks on people in pedestrian zones using hijacked trucks around the world give rise to concern.

I have seen overseas, I believe it was in Prague, hydraulically actuated bollards protecting public squares that can be remotely raised – and lowered when access was appropriate. They could also be configured to lower for a minute when touched on top I recall.

The South Australian Government should prioritise doing so here in high profile public areas in Adelaide like Rundle Mall, Victoria Square, North Terrace and the new broad War Memorial footpath leading up to the War Memorial on North Terrace as well as at the forecourt for the new Oval and prominent Churches.

These facilities would ideally be remotely monitored and jointly controlled by both the Police and Traffic Monitoring Centres. Coordination with any Emergency Services responses would be a key aspect of the mechanised bollards.

Once implemented at the most prominent areas, phased implementation around public building forecourts and roads, like The Parade at Norwood, that are at regularly closed to traffic for pedestrians to participate in big public events, would be similarly hardened.

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Bluetooth Hijacks Frustrate Login on Mac

Apple should implement a soft keyboard option at the password login screen so you could use the mouse to click out your password! I have been locked out of my mac mini as the Apple bluetooth keyboard and trackpad are ignored now because I was playing with new bluetooth devices in the same room. I bought a new Digitech AA2104 bluetooth transmitter/receiver to get audio out from the television audio out to my new bluetooth headset and that worked fine. Problem is it seems to have hijacked my apple bluetooth peripherals’ pairings and without getting past the login, I cannot cleanup my bluetooth pairings! A wired USB mouse was easy to find and the Mac Mini responds to that but a wired apple keyboard is harder to get my hands on. I had a still shrink wrapped extra apple bluetooth keyboard but that has not helped even though the neon indicated pairing attempts… any ideas?

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Apple ID & iCloud Authentication Mess

The Apple User Interfaces for connecting newly updated Apple Devices are confounding.
Say you have two macs and an iPhone or two… after upgrading the OS it needs another device already acknowledged as yours to approve things – it locks the screen form with a spinning icon waiting for the aforementioned approval. However that screen has no entry field to enter the authenticating code sent to the existing device – it is locked.

You are not told on which device the authentication protocol has been initiated.

Quite possibly it is busy downloading the same update there that got you into this quandary? Furthermore you need to enter your rather long password suffixed with the new code – and inadequate time is allowed to do this. Even if you turn off all other devices but one to limit the ambiguity of where to look, it then wants passwords to the turned off devices! Why? Particularly if you do not wish to use iCloud Drive, but just use the basic synchronised Contacts, Calendar, Notes and iMessage infrastructure. Furthermore, the authenticating codes to be entered sometimes come up in quick succession with no clue as to which device they are to be entered! Bear in mind that updates often are happening on multiple devices so this confusion is real. 

All to easily, you find yourself in a catch twenty two situation whereby more than one device is waiting on another so resolution is a challenge! 

Clearly, you need to get one connected to the cloud before upgrading and connecting the next, but there is nothing enforcing or facilitating that. Sometimes waiting helps, but this dilemma needs to be fixed by a rethought overarching strategy at Apple – after all do they not want families to buy multiple Apple devices?

Posted in iCloud, Internet, iPad, iPhone, iPhone, Mac Computers, privacy, Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment

Australian Census 2016 & Secret Ballot at Risk

Secret Ballot Under Threat in Australia?
The Price of Liberty may well be Eternal Vigilance – but surely there is no prospect of so dire an outcome here for we are not in Turkey or Syria? Well, think again.
The 2016 Census was this time organised as a principally online event notwithstanding that nothing online is anonymous anymore and yet the 1905 Census Act authorised the collection of anonymous statistical information only! Even if you requested a paper form, it arrived with your exact address pre-printed on it and a unique login code to enable unambiguous correlation with that address. Furthermore, it was publicly admitted that they would retain the associated individuals’ names for years and use those to cross-correlate to yet wider databases for an even more comprehensive data-set into the future! So why would the Government conspire to circumvent the clear intention of the legislation to limit the census to anonymous statistical information only – which is all that is needed for worthwhile useful purposes such as planning for schools, roads and similar infrastructure. Could it be that they are intending to achieve an Australia Card equivalent in the virtual world of linked databases – notwithstanding that being rejected by the electorate in 1987? Could it be that they would like to conduct future elections online just as they tried to do this census online? Just how secret or anonymous would our vote be then when you consider just how secret are our census submissions now?

You may wish to read the actual legislation yourself (esp. Section 9 & 10):
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/casa1905241/img_2125

Posted in International Affairs, Internet, privacy, Public Policy, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment