Fein-Lines: New Product Review—What's in Your Wallet?

With the trade show season looming, highlighted by AWE, CES, and APEX/EXPO, we are starting to see announcements regarding new and updated devices. Usually, I wait to see them in person and report on those that I feel have the most potential. But this show season is a renewal of sorts for many companies, and as we do not know who will be at the various shows this year, I want to briefly preview some of the more interesting new products and processes. If they appear at one of the shows and there is more to report, I’ll do so.

Consider this preview the first of many. In addition, I will be covering some of the new high-tech scams that you should be aware of.

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I want to begin with a very simple device that will provide an advantage for almost everyone—an RFID blocking wallet. Yes, I am starting off with coverage of a wallet! If you have a radio frequency ID (RFID) debit or credit card, your personal information and the security of your ID and credit accounts are at risk. Your information from a passive RFID can be gathered in mere seconds without any physical contact with your card–unlike a card requiring physical contact, like an EMV chip. As the number of scams and ID theft increases exponentially, it is recommended that anyone using a RFID card carry it in an RFID blocking wallet or case. The wallet I chose is by Allett, a California company. It is amazingly light weight, comfortable to carry, and includes some other advanced features such as non-slip card pockets. There are others available, of course.

Phone Scam Season
Especially during the annual Medicare enrollment cycle, please be aware of some of the more popular scams.

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During the next month or so, frequent 2021 Medicare scams you may encounter include:

  • Fake offers for free medical exams or supplies. You get a bogus call offering free medical exams or checkups; free because they tell you that Medicare will cover them. The problem becomes apparent when you are then asked for your SSN or Medicare number, and possibly even your bank account number.
  • You get a call stating that they are gathering personal information so that they can send you your “new” Medicare card. Some even ask for a credit card number so they can charge you for your new Medicare card.
  • You get the call that saying that due to a change in your coverage you are owed a refund; they ask for your bank account ID so they can deposit your funds. Be aware that no one from Medicare will ever ask for financial information like credit card or bank account numbers over the phone.

The number of cybercrime incidents reported to the FBI this year is up 62%. I am sure that there are many that were not reported. The rate of cybercrimes is expected to increase as criminals take advantage of the hectic activity of the holiday season to use scams and ransomware to steal from American businesses.

Spotlight on AWE and CES
Perhaps the software of most interest presently (and that will come with about 75% of the world’s new computers starting early in 2022) is the first fully new version of Windows in years, Windows 11. The free upgrade to Windows 11 started on October 5 and will be phased and measured with a focus on quality. Windows Update will inform users when their device is eligible.  

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This update includes a significant design makeover with a new refreshed look and feel. The overall look and feel will be totally up you. The focus will be center screened by default with the start button in the center instead of the far left. I believe this will be optional, but it does seem like a good idea. Right clicking on the start button will include more actional options.

Some of the more exciting features include the apparent collaboration between Microsoft, Amazon, and Google with the ability to download what seems to be optimized for Windows 11 Android apps from the Amazon Playstore right on your desktop. It looks like all the things you can easily do on a small screen smartphone will be also easily accessible on your full computer screen. Windows 11 seems to almost cross the line between a phone and a fully powerful desktop or notebook. Other features include a modernized and updated version of MS Teams, the full use of Wi-Fi 6 (300% higher bandwidth than Windows 10), increased touch, and pen compatibility. If you are into computer gaming, this operating system will provide significant upgrades in graphics using Auto HDR (High Dynamic Range) by adding a wider range of colors, brightness levels, and richness. It is reported that the Xbox Series X/S technology is part of the gaming capabilities of Windows 11. Direct storage will quickly load the graphics card of your PC without having to go through the CPU, thus adding amazing speed and response to games and, I expect, to all graphics-related activities.

I am sure that virtually all new computers and computer components being shown at CES this year will include Windows 11. As I become more familiar with it in the coming months, I will have more to discuss, including a guide on what to do before and right after upgrading your present PC to Windows 11.

In the upcoming columns and articles, we will discuss other new devices on the horizon, including the annual release of new smartphones, the amazing growth of augmented reality, new smart home and computer technology, electronic manufacturing, and so much more. Stay tuned.

Dan Feinberg is an I-Connect007 technical editor and founder of Fein-Line Associates.

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2021

Fein-Lines: New Product Review—What's in Your Wallet?

10-13-2021

With the trade show season looming and with AWE right around the corner followed by CES and then IPC APEX/EXPO just a few months out, we are starting to see announcements regarding new and updated devices.

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Fein-Lines: PCEA Presentation—Latest PCB Fab Processes

09-16-2021

As someone who started his career as a PCB fab process engineer in the early '60s I find it interesting that many of the processes for PCB interconnects are still in use today. Yes, we had eyelets then, but, hey, we did start using plated through-holes too.

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2018

Fein-Lines: Who is Your Customer?

03-13-2018

Who is your customer? The answer depends on your goal and whether you’re talking about the short term or the long term. Are you in sales or marketing and therefore looking to sell or assist in selling your company’s products? If so, then you might say that your customer is XYZ Circuits or ABC Assembly or even Ace Distribution. But are they really your key customer?

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2017

Fein-Lines: So Much Virtual Reality, So Little Time

12-11-2017

It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us and that means that it is almost CES time again. CES marks so many new announcements as well as the unveiling of advances for technology that is truly gaining ground, such as autonomous vehicles, drones and augmented/mixed/virtual reality or, in some cases just the opposite, flash-in-the-pan trends such as 3D TV are also evident by their sudde

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Fein-Lines: Virus, Phishing, Ransomware…Oh My!

05-25-2017

Malware, the collective name for viruses, Trojan horses and other malicious software that can infect your computer, has been in the news lately, probably more than at any time I can remember. Over the years, malware has evolved; it can affect smartphones and tablets as well as all computers.

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2016

CES: Day One

01-05-2016

CES Unveiled is the official media event for CES. It is the first official happening of what promises to be a very busy and fascinating week. At this event, members of the press get to preview a number of innovative startups as well as some new products from a few established global brands.

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2014

Fein-Lines: Computer Security Tips

11-17-2014

Many scams are perpetrated on unknowing computer users. They come in all flavors and no one--no matter what type of computer you use--is immune. This month, Columnist Dan Feinberg focuses on the "I am from Windows and I'm calling to fix your computer" scam.

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2012

Fein-Lines: Dealing with Problamatic Links in E-Mail

09-11-2012

For the last several months Dan Feinberg has had a number of students, friends, and clients ask for help with e-mail links that do not take them to the desired website. This webcast describes what he thinks may be the issue, and also provides a fix that has worked for him 100% of the time.

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2010

Fein-Lines: 32-Bit Versus 64-Bit--What's the Difference?

06-09-2010

One question Dan Feinberg often gets during his seminars is: "What is the difference between a 32-bit and a 64-bit operating system and why should I use either?" In this issue of Fein-Lines, he explains the difference and what choice you should make--and why--along with things to consider when making your choice.

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2008

Fein-Lines: Copper Dissolution Interview, Part I

06-18-2008

Dan Feinberg begins a series of interviews, with Michael Carano, Global Business Development Manager of Cleveland, Ohio-based OMG Electronic Chemicals, tackling the topic of copper dissolution with lead-free solder--an issue that is certainly not new to the industry.

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Fein-Lines: Friends and Business Do Mix

05-08-2008

Senta Wong, of WKK Trading Company Ltd., is a man considered to be one of the fathers of the PWB and electronics assembly industry in Hong Kong and China. Dan, who's known Senta since the mid 1970s, discusses how Senta successfully mixes business and friendships--a fact evidenced by his most recent gathering of close friends and associates at APEX in Las Vegas.

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Fein-Lines: Me Too

04-24-2008

In Dan Feinberg's latest audio column, he joins others in our industry in giving his opinions on the recent IPC Printed Circuits Expo, APEX and the Designers Summit 2008 and Nepcon China. Dan also fesses up about Los Angeles and vents about the growing number of regional shows--are there just too many?

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2007

New Column: Dan Feinberg

10-24-2007

Listen to Dan Feinberg's newest audio column.

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Fein-lines: An Interview with IPC President Denny McGuirk

10-10-2007

I-Connect007 Columnist Dan Feinberg and Steve Gold speak with IPC President Denny McGuirk. Their conversation addresses changes in the focus of IPC's Government Relations committee, as well as the effect of globalization on IPC's mission.

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