Category Archives: Technology

A Web Security PSA Because I Love You

Okay, I’ve never used Cloudflare before and I don’t own any stocks in it that I know so I’m passing this info along simply because I’m a dude* who hates having my cookies tracked and Facebook selling me out to the Russians and all the other creepy Dark Web stuff (or is it Deep Web stuff?) that I always feel threatened by and I assume you’re of the same mind, may god bless your poor soul if you are.

If you’re not familiar with Cloudflare, here is what pops up when asking Bing, what is Cloudflare:

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Maybe Elon has a point…

While I’m a big admirer of Elon Musk and all he’s been able to accomplish, I’ve always been a bit skeptical about his alarmist rhetoric regarding Artificial Intelligence’s threat to humanity, seeing it more as a means for him to groom future volunteers for a one-way ticket to a Mars colony.

Not a bad strategy, mind you.

But with each cool but creepy new video from Boston Dynamics that hits the web and goes viral, I grow more and more less skeptical of Elon’s warnings…

Yeah…

Creepy, right?

But still… it’s way cool, too.

Oh, and while we’re on the topic of the end of humanity, here’s a cut regarding how technology is altering our perception of reality from a recent terrifying article from Buzzfeed:

“Alarmism can be good — you should be alarmist about this stuff,” [Aviv] Ovadya said one January afternoon before calmly outlining a deeply unsettling projection about the next two decades of fake news, artificial intelligence–assisted misinformation campaigns, and propaganda. “We are so screwed it’s beyond what most of us can imagine,” he said. “We were utterly screwed a year and a half ago and we’re even more screwed now. And depending how far you look into the future it just gets worse.”

That future, according to Ovadya, will arrive with a slew of slick, easy-to-use, and eventually seamless technological tools for manipulating perception and falsifying reality, for which terms have already been coined — “reality apathy,” “automated laser phishing,” and “human puppets.”

Yeah…

We’re screwed.

But still… it’s kinda cool, too.

Right?

 
 

An Ode to Elon

[Best when sung to the tune of “Froggy Went A Courting”]

The Man on Mars ain’t lookin’ at the stars
He’s thinkin’ ’bout wars
And how to power cars

There’s money to be made
In the inter-planet trade
Can’t wait to start the raid

The Man on Mars ain’t thinkin’ ’bout Earth
Cuz that tired old rock
Has lost all its worth

The Man on Mars ain’t there for humankind
He’s only there to mine
All the min’rals he can find

There’s money to be made
In the inter-planet trade
Can’t wait to start the raid

The Man on Mars is movin’ quick, you see
Cuz after pumm’ling Mars
It’s off to Mercury

 

 

#ofthejournals

 
 

“The Way” of Technology

Well, my bold Westworld binge-watching bonanza proclamation turned out to be nothing more than a bunch of ballyhooed BS…

I only got through the fourth episode before running out of time.

Consequently, I can’t provide anything much in the way of a review. But I can provide a bit of feedback that might mean something about its watchability

Which is… I kept falling asleep while watching it.

Now, full disclosure, I’ve taken some of my best naps during what turned out to be some of my favorite shows so my inability to stay awake while watching Westworld in and of itself doesn’t mean that much.

As for what I was able to stay awake for… I really like what it is trying to do in concept; however, its execution…

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So, it looks like “The Industry” is finally beginning to figure out this Snapchat thing…

snapchat

I began a quest a while back to understand how Indie Authors such as myself can leverage the seemingly incomprehensible (at least to an old dud like me) yet immensely popular messaging app called Snapchat.

To be honest, I gave up any hope of me ever using the app as part of my publishing platform right after giving it a very brief whirl of a befuddling go during the time I wrote the first post it.

However, I haven’t given up on trying to understand how it and other apps like it can help others promote their work, especially the younger Indie Authors who best fit the apps’ demographic. So, I’ve kept my eye open for anything relatively relative about it…

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So, about this Snapchat thing… Yeah, it really is a thing it seems

A while back I wrote a brief post asking if anyone was using Snapchat as part of their marketing platform. I got a few responses… I checked the app out… I didn’t get it at all… And then I forgot about it.

Well, it appears the app is making it harder and harder for us to forget it according to this NYT article.

  • Snapchat is worth $30 B-b-b-billion dollars
  • It’s larger than Twitter
  • Facebook and others are desperately trying to emulate its appeal

So, about this Snapchat thingy…

Anyone have anything new to share about it re: social marketing platform?

Technological Stones… or Lack Thereof

So about this US Government versus ‪‎Apple‬ debacle re: unlocking the San Bernardino ‪‎terrorists‬’ ‪‎iPhone‬…

It’s been confounding me as to the solution for a while now.

It falls into the broad national/global discussion that’s been going on since 9/11 as to what is the proper balance when it comes to ‎Privacy‬ versus ‪‎Security‬?

Is there even such a thing?

Or is it more like sailing a ship, where we know exactly where we want to navigate to, yet we continually have to make course corrections to get there…

Big question.

But as far as this phone debacle, I, like the not so fly Super Spy General Hayden, do not believe the government should be allowed a “key to the back door” into all encrypted phones/technology.

However, while listening to the ‎FBI‬ Director testify before ‎Congress‬ re: the debacle, he made a pretty eye-opening, yet pretty basic statement when considering our ‪Constitution‬ and our normal policing practices for entering a citizen’s personal places and spaces…
It’s called a ‪‎warrant‬.

The police can get a warrant to access a suspect’s home, car, storage locker, library account, etc….

Why cannot the police get a warrant to access a locked phone?