Memphis Web Programming

Thedosmann's Blog

Printer issue - WSD port

At some point in life in the past several weeks something happened to my printer and it started having issues printing. The printer is an HP Deskjet 2600 series. The issue was print jobs would get jammed in the queue and I was unable to delete them. The process was:

wsd printer port I would print something

Conveyed Concept

Conveyed concept

concept12 years ago (2007) I wrote this article and placed it on Wikipedia. 10 years later they decide they don't like it and deleted it. 10 years! It went through a peer review and countless other revisions and checks. So, I'm cleaning it up and publishing on my site 2 years after they deleted.


ZombieLoad - A new but not so new threat

The latest threat to computers is the Zombieload vulnerability.

So many of the known threats to computer devices are because of how the software or hardware was created. The exploits and vulnerabilities we discover are flaws in how the system or code was constructed. Is it possible that we just didn’t have the tools we needed to test for security flaws?

zombieload exploit

What is Server-less

Cloud = server on the Web

I recently completed a project where I successfully moved a company from a server environment to one that is "serverless".

NYT- Technology

Memphis Business Journal

Friday, December 13, 2019 - 15:05
Corey Davis
Florida Sate University just released the contract details for former University of Memphis head coach, Mike Norvell. Norvell signed a six-year, $26.5 million deal through 2025. The Seminoles introduced Norvell as the program's new coach the day after Norvell and his Tigers won the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and solidified a trip to the Cotton Bowl Classic. The Tigers will play Penn State on Dec. 28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Ryan Silverfield will lead the Tigers in that game.…

Friday, December 13, 2019 - 14:36
Jason Bolton
The collective totals for a combined Methodist Le Bonheur and Saint Francis health system are impressive: more than 2,000 licensed beds at eight hospitals and more than 15,000 employees.

Friday, December 13, 2019 - 13:46
Nathan Rubbelke
St. Louis Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III offers the inside story about why the team decided to tinker with "something that's perfect" and whether there are more changes in store for the brand.

Friday, December 13, 2019 - 13:27
Jacob Steimer
Friday morning's announcement of Hyosung's Memphis entrance was two years in the making.

Friday, December 13, 2019 - 09:42
Greg Akers
A Korean company is buying Memphis' troubled Mitsubishi Electric facility. Hyosung Heavy Industries (HICO) will enter the U.S. for the first time with an estimated $86.9 million investment, buying and updating the current Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc. plant. The deal was made public with a Friday, Dec. 13, announcement that brought Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee to Memphis. MBJ first reported the news Thursday evening. The move into Memphis will see the employment of 410 people over seven years,…


Saturday, December 14, 2019 - 08:30
David Nield

If you use the Apple Podcasts app to listen to your podcasts, and your home is kitted out with Amazon Echo speakers, it's now a lot easier to use the two in tandem.

How easy? Just ask Alexa to play one of the podcasts you're subscribed to, and the audio starts playing. The only setup you need to do first is syncing your Apple ID inside the Alexa app for Android or iOS.

Set Apple Podcasts as the default podcast player (via Link/Manage New Services under Music & Podcasts in Settings in the Alexa app) and you don't even need to say "Apple Podcasts" in your voice command.

Playback progress is synced across your Apple devices and your Echos using your Apple ID. For now, the feature is only available in the US, though we would hope it rolls out to more regions in the not-too-distant future.

Apple playing nicely

The new feature gives you access to the 800,000 or so podcasts in Apple's directory, but wouldn't be possible without some behind-the-scenes tweaks done by Apple and Amazon working together.

It's another sign of Apple opening up a few more entry points to its walled garden – we recently saw third-party smart TVs getting access to AirPlay 2, and now podcasts are available through Amazon's speakers.

Previously, only the Apple HomePod had this sort of direct access to the Apple Podcasts service. Apple obviously realizes that not every home has a HomePod or indeed an Apple TV for audio and video content.

As for the Amazon Echo range, it continues to expand and improve, with Alexa vying with Google Assistant to be the dominant digital assistant in the smart home space.

Via 9to5Mac

Saturday, December 14, 2019 - 08:00
Cat Ellis

Christmas shopping for kids can be a real challenge – you don't want to present them with a thoughtful gift that will be enjoyed for a couple of days and then spend the rest of the year gathering dust. That's where tech toys come in – particularly ones that can grow with their owners and keep presenting them with more fun challenges as they learn.

There's no shortage of tech toys that promise to inspire a passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), but we've rounded up the ones that are more than just a novelty, and will keep kids entertained for months or even years (plus a couple that are just fun).

We've picked out a range of top tech toys for all ages so you'll be able to find something that'll appeal to the youngsters on your Christmas list (and perhaps some of the adults, too).

Sphero SPRK+

Sphero is perhaps best known for its R2-D2 and BB8 droids, but it's now moved away from licensed toys into its own original designs, like the SPRK+. This rolling robot resembles a hamster ball, and is fully watertight so it can be used on the floor or in the bath.

It's seriously versatile too, and can be programmed using the accompanying mobile app to achieve all kinds of tasks, including navigating a maze, 'dancing' with multicolored lights, and even mimicking the movements of planets in the solar system.

SPRK+ can grow with your kids too, with a variety of different coding methods for different ages and abilities. Start by drawing simple paths, move onto building code from blocks and eventually work up to writing code by hand. It's not cheap, but SPRK+ is a great tech toy that'll last years.

Mekamon V2

Built more for fun than education, Mekamon is an augmented reality fighting robot controlled using a smartphone app (think Pokémon, but with mechanical spiders). Move your bot around the floor using simple touch controls, and fire various weapons to defeat enemies. 

You can fight against virtual enemies, which appear on your phone's screen, but it's even more fun to do battle with another Mekamon. The bots are wonderfully characterful, performing victory dances, stamping their feet in anger, and even collapsing on their backs when defeated. It's possible to create your own custom animations in the app too, and share them with others.

The only downside is that, although you can remove and replace its armor plates and guns into different configurations, kids don't get the fun of building it themselves, as they do with some of the toys in this list.

Lego Air Race Jet

Lego Technic is always a brilliant gift, and the Lego Air Race Jet is a fantastic way to get started. It won't actually take off, but it features lots of fun motorized parts: an adjustable jet nozzle, opening cockpit, hatch access to a spinning fan, retractable undercarriage and moving wing flaps.

With just over 1,000 pieces, it should keep kids of all ages occupied for many happy hours, and that's before they have fun combining it with their other Lego and Lego Technic sets. Lego says the Air Race Jet is suitable for kids aged 10-16, but older kids and adults will be equally pleased to find it under the tree.

The instructions also include details of how to build a smaller private jet using the same collection of parts, but it doesn't offer as many interesting motorized functions as the main model.

LittleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit

Need a gift for a creative kid who enjoys thinking outside the box? This is the droid you're looking for. The LittleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit includes a basic chassis, plus a wealth of components (known as 'bits') that can be connected and rearranged in various ways to perform different functions. It might look intimidating at first, but the whole process is explained in clear step-by-step instructions and 3D diagrams in the accompanying app.

The app also provides various 'missions', which are tasks that can be completed by configuring the droid in a particular way. One task involves recording a message to be played back later, while another requires you to build a droid that can perform a handshake.

Kids can create their own programs using blocks of pre-written code, helping kids understand the principles of programming, and introducing concepts gradually with practical applications to make the knowledge stick.

Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar

The Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar is a great toy for getting kids used to basic coding concepts, which will give them a head-start when they start computing lessons at school.

Each section of the caterpillar represents a chunk of code, which performs a particular function (making noise, changing direction or moving forwards). Kids can build their own mini 'programs' by arranging the sections so that the caterpillar performs the tasks in a particular order.

Once they've got the hang of the idea, you can expand their options with add-on packs containing extra sections, including extra sounds and 180-degree turns. Just clear some floor space and let them experiment.

Saturday, December 14, 2019 - 07:50
Samuel Roberts

When is episode 7 of The Mandalorian on Disney Plus? While the Star Wars TV series normally releases on Fridays, next week it's on Wednesday. This is the second time the series has been released on a different day - the first episode launched on a Tuesday with the Disney Plus streaming service. 

The reason The Mandalorian episode 7 is released on a Wednesday this week is likely to do with the release timing of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which launches on December 20 in the US and a day earlier in some other territories. 

Wondering how to watch The Mandalorian? We can help you with that. Below, you'll find the entire release schedule of season one on Disney Plus, and confirmation that The Mandalorian season 2 is in the works. 

Let's find out when you'll next see Baby Yoda again...

When is the next episode of The Mandalorian on Disney Plus?

The next episode of The Mandalorian, episode 7, releases on Disney Plus on December 18, which is this coming Wednesday. That's when you can stream it in the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, which are all the territories where you can currently get Disney Plus. Episodes arrive at around midnight PT, although that exact time can change. 

If you're based in the US and can't wait for more Baby Yoda, then, you'll be staying up late. 

The Mandalorian season one release schedule

Episodes of the Star Wars TV series normally release on a Friday, but not this week. The Mandalorian episode 8 then releases on the last Friday of December, nine days after episode 7.

There are eight episodes in total for season one. Here's the official confirmed release schedule from Disney:

  • Episode one: Out now
  • Episode two: Out now
  • Episode three: Out now
  • Episode four: Out now
  • Episode five: Out now
  • Episode six: Out now
  • Episode seven: December 18
  • Episode eight: December 27
When is The Mandalorian season one finale?

As explained above, the season one finale of The Mandalorian arrives on Disney Plus on December 27. Between this show, Jedi: Fallen Order and The Rise of Skywalker, you can pretty much fill this holiday season with as much Star Wars as you like.

The Mandalorian season 2 is filming now

The Mandalorian season 2 is already underway, and it's been filming since at least mid-November. It'll likely release late next year or in early 2021, if they're filming it this early. 

Saturday, December 14, 2019 - 06:45
Mike Moore

Along with being the e-commerce backbone for thousands of companies around the world, Salesforce is also one of the world's largest investors in AI research, pouring billions into breakthroughs that aim to benefit customers.

The company’s recent Dreamforce 2019 event, which attracted around 170,000 visitors to descend upon San Francisco, saw Salesforce show off upgrades and new features for many of its most popular offerings, but under the surface, the company is hard at work on something potentially much more exciting.

Whether that’s helping wildlife conservation, improving customer service through super-smart bots, or just stopping the human race from wiping itself out, Salesforce AI looks set to become a huge presence in the supper-smart conencted world of tomorrow.


Salesforce found that three years ago, only 1 in 3 businesses were using AI, a number which now up to nearly half.

“The message is, if you're not using AI, it's time to get started,” Marco Casalaina, VP Products of Salesforce Einstein, said in his keynote at the show. Einstein is Salesforce’s up-and-coming AI platform, aiming to help businesses of all sizes get the most out of AI to hopefully grow and prosper.

At the heart of Einstein is a long-standing Salesforce goal of helping companies, whether they be a fast-growing start-up or multi-national business behemoth, communicate better with their customers using AI.

But AI itself is in a complicated place, Richard Schorer, Salesforce’s chief scientist, told TechRadar Pro when we spoke at Dreamforce 2019.

Schorer sees AI as being in a “dual state” currently, with the first part being what he calls the ‘electricity state’.

“Just like when electricity was invented, the fundamental breakthroughs (of AI) are there now,” he says, “now it is just a matter of, OK, how do we get all the lines connected to everything?” 

“Not every company that uses electricity needs to reinvent electricity, you just use it as is,” he adds, noting that every industry can benefit from AI, as long as they have the necessary layers of innovation in place, with large data sets and compute power needed to utilise AI properly.

Salesforce made a major push with Einstein AI at Dreamforce 2019

Salesforce is "uniquely positioned" to help customers, Schorer says, as its platform means users have the backing of the data already in its cloud, providing the compute power is also in place.

The other side of AI is what Schorer calls the “Sci-Fi state”, where the possibilities are stretched a bit further. This is the future of intelligent technology, as Schorer notes that we still don’t have what he labels AGI, or artificial general intelligence, which would provide the backbone for fully self-driving cars, or in-depth health technology.

This is the future Salesforce is gunning for, however, and the company is working hard at making advances towards this position.

“The future of AI is conversational,” Schorer notes, highlighting the work Slalesforce is doing with naturalistic conversations. Being able to translate natural language into SQL queries will enable huge steps forward in AI in areas such as customer service, allowing bots to staff support phone or online help systems, meaning companies will not be hamstrung by only being open for a few hours every day.

However Schorer doesn’t see AI as fully replacing human workers in many capacities, claiming that making life better is the main goal here.

“I think in general, most tasks in the next couple of decades...and most repetitive jobs are going to be automated to larger and larger things,” he predicts.

“AI will never replace people fully - there are very few cases I think you can think of where AI will replace an entire job category or automated entire industry - in most cases they will sort of layer on top.”

The company is also clear on using AI as a force for good, with Schorer noting that, “If you want AI to do good, (you need to) work on positive applications for it!” 

Although no-one can predict the future, he says that many concerns around AI can hopefully be mitigated by further research and planning, meaning the technology can be used to benefit humanity as a whole.

“We need to be a little more humble with what we're able to do now, in time for the future,” he notes.

It’s clear to see that Schorer and his team have a supreme passion for AI, and what it can do for the entire Salesforce ecosystem.

“I really enjoy building a platform that empowers all the different clouds and on our end, and our customers also to build these AI systems," Schorer says.

“We have multiple tasks and multiple goals we want to achieve...we're working on incubating and having a better platform that can support all the other use cases in the company.”

But as Schorer, and Salesforce as a whole, looks to the future of the company, he is positive about the possibilities AI can bring to the world.

“In some ways, I love AI because it covers a whole spectrum - a sort of philosophy, like what makes us intelligence as a human species, how we define ourselves as is largely through our intelligence compared to other animals and so on,” he says.

“I think that if we as a community focus on making the technology work for people, it'll be a huge net positive for humanity...even though there might be short term complexities and difficulties, I’m very optimistic for the future.”

Saturday, December 14, 2019 - 05:43
Tabitha Baker

Dyson introduced a new entry in their range of cordless vacuum cleaners this year, and this fantastic Dyson V11 Absolute deal is a steal right now. You can pick up the latest in Dyson's technology for just £499 at John Lewis today, a £100 saving over the previously marked price tag. That's a fantastic price that brings the Dyson V11 Absolute down to the same price as the entry-level Animal model. 

The crucial difference between these two models lies in the Torque Drive cleaner head employed in the Absolute cordless vacuum. You're still getting the LCD screen and all the information it provides, as well as an incredibly powerful cordless vacuum cleaner deal. We should know, we recently named it number one in our round-up of the best vacuum cleaners of 2019

The Dyson V11 Absolute offers three cleaning modes designed to maximise your battery efficiency depending on what type of cleaning you're up to. Auto mode is by far the easiest, taking advantage of a range of sensors throughout the cleaner head to automatically adjust suction power based on the surface you're cleaning. Next up is Eco mode, a less intelligent mode that gives you a strong clean without draining your battery. For the most stubborn of surfaces, however, you'll be able to fire up Boost mode - an incredibly powerful short burst of high-performance suction. 

This Dyson V11 deal is spread far and wide across retailers right now, but we're sticking with John Lewis because of their included two-year guarantee. When you're going all out on a new state of the art vacuum cleaner deal, you'll want to make sure you're covered after all. 

Today's best Dyson V11 cordless vacuum cleaner deals

If you want to see what else is on offer, we've rounded up all the best Dyson deals so you can shop the full range this week. Or, if you feel like putting your feet up and letting the machines do the work, these cheap robot vacuum deals are perfect. 

Share it now!