Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince is Dead - Long Live the Prince

I was shocked when the BBC reported today that "Prince, singer and superstar, dies at 57 at Paisley Park".  The American singer and recording artist (currently and always) known as Prince has died at his estate in Minnesota at only 57 years old.

It appears so far that the police were called to his Paisley Park estate for a medical emergency and are investigating.  It was only last week that soon after a performance Prince was taken to the hospital from apparently a bad flu, so his recent health may be in question.

It always shocks and saddens me as the icons and heroes of our age are so soon stepping out of the present and becoming memories, as the stars are falling.  Is this what Mark meant when he said, “And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.”?

Prince logo

Prince just released his 38th studio album HITnRUN, also referred to as HITnRUN Phase One, in September.  HITnRUN Phase Two releases next week on the 29th of April.  It is available for pre-order now at Amazon.

Which of his 100 million sold records do you own?

Billboard story
TMZ's story
The Prince Wiki page

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Breaking Bad... Habits

Breaking Bad Destructive Habits
Don’t let anyone fool you by telling you that you can break a habit in 30 days or 66 days.  It takes at least a year.  Even then other factors can extend that.

The Reason We Fail
I believe that the biggest reason we fail to break destructive habits is because we believe that it will be easy and over fairly soon.  After all,  everyone is telling us that it takes about 30 days, even the College of London says it takes 66 days.  They are wrong, listening to them and believing them will most likely result in the failure to break the bad habit.

Why It Takes So Long
The reason that it will take you a year to break most bad habits is because we are seasonal people.  We exist in time and space and it is these two factors that the 1-2 month habit breakers don't factor in.  As Earthlings we have logically broken our time down into yearly segments.  The habit breaking loop is in our years not in our days or months.  That is why we need at least a year to break free.

Seasonal Triggers
You see, what we do at different times on the year and in different seasons triggers automatic subconscious responses in our mind that we are largely unaware of, or at best we do not understand their power over us.  This is our failure point.

You’ve been sober for months now, then find yourself on the lake with your friends and your automatic subconscious reactions take over and you grab a beer.  You didn’t do it out of desire (or a craving), it was a reaction.  The problem now is what is coming next, and that’s your desire kicks in unexpectedly.  Something that you were not on guard against, after all you’ve ‘kicked’ this habit months ago - didn’t you.  You will likely lose this battle because you were not expecting it.  Your guard is down.  You were not aware that you were still in ‘kicking the habit’ mode.  This is the moment of our failure point.  This is largely why we fail.  The unexpected.  All brought on by ignorance of the timetable and the differing locations we inhabit. 

Time and Space
As I mentioned earlier, we exist in time and space.  We have been convinced that time is the only factor in overcoming bad habits — thus the failure.  It is the space we that occupy that may have a greater weight in this matter as it is often the single greatest tipping factor to our point of failure.  As the above example shows.

Location, Location, Location
The old real estate adage is so true here.  Our location in the space we occupy has profound effect on our habits, often through our subconscious.  When we visit a place that we do not often frequent, like the vacations we take, all are prime points of failure for us in breaking our bad habits.  This is why it can take over a year.  We have to guard ourselves whenever we experience a location change.  Some of us do not vacation every year, even then it's not usually in the same place.  It's that familiar place that brings back that familiar, but not now wanted, action.

This One Point Can Change Everything
Armed with the knowledge that you’re not done with breaking that bad habit yet can keep you from dropping your guard.  Stay in the battle - or lose the battle.  AA has a phrase, “One day at a time”, it comes from knowing that the battle has to be fought everyday, and that it's never over — there's alway today.  Keep pressing on!

I hope this helps someone

Friday, February 26, 2016

Season Change

It’s what’s Really Happening — But there’s No Money in the Truth

They use to call it Global Warming — until it kept getting colder and they sounded ridiculous.  It would have been better called Global Cooling, as that was what was happening.  Now they’ve changed it to Climate Change to not sound so stupid — to the uneducated.  Remember that in the 70's they were making this same cry but it was that we were going into a Global Ice Age if we didn't do something.  But since education seems to trump all, they have enlisted educated ‘intellectuals’ to join in the fight, and a fight it is.  They are vehement about this and if you disagree with them you will find just how vehemently violent they can become.  That is the indicator that there’s something wrong here - when you have to vehemently content for your views as absolute they are most likely in error.  It’s just like the most religious group I’ve encountered do — the Atheists.

What they fail to see is the truth — why?  It is not a fight for the truth, it is a fight for control.  You see, Climate Change is all about controlling the people of the planet, not about helping the planet.  Any good Geologist can tell you that there is nothing you are going to do that is going to harm the Earth, the Earth is fully capable of taking care of itself.  And that is what we are seeing happen today.  The Earth is changing back to the way it was hundreds of years ago.  It’s just that they don’t want it to.

Mankind is to insignificant to make a change that is going to trouble the Earth.  Even if we nuked ourselves into a ’nuclear winter’ the Earth would fix it.  Remember, these same scientists tell us that astroids did much worse and we lost the dinosaurs from it.  It looks pretty good now.  Likewise, there is nothing we are going to be able to do to help the Earth.  We are that minute and insignificant in comparison to the Earth, but we don't want to admit it.

They don’t what you realizing that, they want you in fear and toting their banner with them.  As such they have ‘educated’ you into their brainwashing with what they call news and documentaries where so called scientists tell you what they want you to believe.  While they ignore all the science that is against their viewpoint — that’s not true science, it's not even scientific.

Time Keeps on Slipping Slipping Slipping, into the Future...

What they want you to forget is that time is slipping.  Seasons are changing.  This gives the illusion that temperatures are changing, which is what they want you to believe.  This is something even my 90 year old aunt had figured out.  She said that, "It is changing back to the way it was when I grew up".  You see, they forget — that’s not science, that's amnesia.  We don’t remember because we’re not old enough but the record keepers know, and they’re not telling you the truth on what the records show.  Oh you think they are because they tell you they are, but they are giving you falsified or adjusted data — which makes it a lie.  All you have to do is investigate it yourself, and don’t do it from their standpoint to where you’re just looking for their data to back up what you want to believe.  Spend your time researching the other side.  Look for what you’re not being told.  If you don't do that or are afraid to look at it from the other side, then you've already admitted that you're wrong — you're just afraid to see it.

The Politics of Dancing

Particularly in America I don’t expect people to remember long enough to understand this.  As every four years they go through the same nonsense of Presidential campaigns and politicians debating and making noise and lies, and people act like it’s the most important thing that their candidate be heard, and then they are out, then they grab the next one, and they are out, and so on.  They never seem to learn or remember that none of this matters, and that it is the same thing every time.  You are not going to effect what the powers that be want done politically.  Can’t you remember that?  They have you wrapped around their finger.  They are pulling our strings.  They know you need a cause, so they give you several, and you grab one and off you run.  This is what Climate Change is doing — giving you a cause.  To distract you.
What is their real goal?

It's the Taxing of the World, as we Know It

Globalism.  The taxing of the world
If I told you that George Orwell warned that, “there would come a time where they would put forth a decree to tax the whole world”, you would probably listen.  But since is comes from the Bible it loses its appeal.  After all, how ridiculous is that.  How are you going to tax the whole world?  Since we all have different political and religious views, the only way to get everyone on board is by making it a global issue — a Climate thing.  Climate Gate.  Therefore all citizens of the Earth must comply.

That is the big picture.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Porn Police, Spam Scams, Ignorance, and Your Alias

Awhile back a neighbor left a message on my phone.  She said that Microsoft had contacted her about the porn server that she was running on her computer and that she is now having to pay over $400 to have it removed.  Well I just laughed and thought, someone is going to straighten her out on this I thought, as it was so wrong that I didn’t even know where to begin to explain how impossible this was (I’ll explain that in a moment).  That is, I didn’t know were to begin to try to explain to someone like this who could not understand enough logic to fall for a scam like that.

It’s My Fault I Suppose
Her main concern for calling me in the first place is because I work with the local Internet ISP and service our local relay.  So she is thinking that it is one of our neighbors that is running this porn server.  The confusion just kept coming.  You see, they convinced her that this “porn server” it was not only on her computer but her router, her phone, and apparently someone close by was doing it.  And she bought what they told her.  She probably thought, and told everyone, that it was likely me running this porn server.  I mentioned earlier that it was impossible that this was going on here because I monitor and graph the local relay data, so I knew no one around here was running a server to any degree.

As Time Goes By
It turned out, as I found, that not only did her family and friends not set her straight on this but that they even thought it was legit.  They told me that this “Microsoft” had shown here the site she was hosting and after she paid them handsomely they showed her that it had been taken down.  Wow!  Again, I don’t even know where to begin to explain to these people that they are falling for a scam.

What’s Wrong Here
First, Microsoft is not the Porn Police.  They do not care if you are hosting pornography.  It happens.
Second, pornography is not illegal unless it’s child porn, then Microsoft does not email you about it — the FBI comes knocking on your door for that!  (As they should)
It needs also to be noted, if you haven’t realized yet, that this “Microsoft” is not the real Microsoft.   These are criminals scamming people.

The True Crime
By the time I did talk with her about this and told her that it is a scam and they are going to keep coming back to you in a few months because they got her to install a back-door for them to play with her computer (and because they have a sucker on the line).  She told me that they already have come back and that she, at that point, has paid them over $1500… for nothing but a scam.  I’m in the wrong business I thought.  This is child’s play to give someone the impression that they are running a porn server (or whatever) and give them an IP address for them to view it at to “prove it”.  Then just take down what you have put up in the first place — after they pay you.  This is the crime, not some porn server.

How Does This Work
Fear and intimidation my friends.  With a dash of embarrassment thrown in for good measure.  These leaches fish for people that will bite at their bait.  They bait you with something that you fear, or something that you are passionate about.  A nice housewife doesn’t want to be running a porn server does she?  Why she would pay good money to get that taken care of.  In ignorance and fear we act in haste.  She could have replaced all of the supposedly infected devices with new ones for less money then she paid these scam artists to supposedly remove the “problem”.  They come to you in sheep’s clothing, they appear as legitimate corporations, institutions, or businesses.  This one posed as Microsoft.  You gotta trust Microsoft right?  But they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

While I’m still not sure she believes me that she has been scammed.  It has made me aware of the vast ignorance of things Internet and how technology works.  Meanwhile those of us who understand that this “thing” that happened to her is not possible (in her case) and not probable in most cases.  Even if you were doing what they said, what is that to them?  After all, maybe you ARE running a porn server.  There are people doing that sort of thing on the Internet — so I’ve heard.

What To Do
First, do nothing.  Second, quit opening spam emails.  Third, get off the Internet.
If you’re not smart enough to know if you’re doing something or not, of if it’s even possible, then you should not even be on a computer or the Internet.

Okay, if you’re going to stay online then at least do these things.

     1) Create a pen name.  Spam and scams are the main reason I advise everyone to never use your real name on the Internet.  Only your online banking and very important stuff like that should know who you really are. 
     2) Get another email address to use with that pen name and use that for everything aside from your critical transactions like banking.  This way when you get seemingly important emails from your bank but they are not using your banking email or your real name, then you know it’s a scam.  It makes it simple.

Got It?
One of the first things you should do in these cases is to contact your local ISP (Internet service provider) and ask them if they know anything about it, or if it is even possible that it is going on.
Any questions?

How We View TV Today

YouTube TV
CassetteWhile TV was once characterized by the medium from which it was delivered to us, a box with a tube, today that has all passed away just as the cassette and 8-track tape has for delivering us music.  The content is not what has changed, in the larger sense, it is the medium that has changed.  Today we get our music on CD’s or more often straight off the Internet from iTunes, Amazon, or some other digital service.  We don’t even have to purchase it today - we can stream it via Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, or one of the thousands of Internet Radio Stations.  Aside for the changes in genre’s our music is still… well… music — audio content.  

Content vs. Medium
In the last 10 years Television has taken a similar change from one traditionally referring to a picture tube in a box, to the content of visual information — the visual content.  Now one might still refer these two to an audio medium and a visual medium, but that is not so.  The medium is describing the means by which the content is delivered.  By definition the medium is the intervening substance through which the content comes to you.  So the visual medium is the way in which you get the content — the content does not change, the way we get it changes.

By Definition
Telegraph KeyTV is Television, by definition — Tele-Vision, Televised Vision, transmitted visual information, transmitted, transferred, delivered, via wire or wireless — delivered content to the receiver.  The term tele was first used before radio existed — telegraph.  It was transmitted via wires then wireless via radio waves.  It was a code (content) that was delivered to the receiver.  The propagation medium and the devices used in delivering and receiving that content have changed but the information or content are what has always been what we care about — not the means of delivery.  The message not the messenger is what is important.  The end game.

My Uses
YouTube TV
I know for me, I haven’t watched a traditional TV for years, I still watch TV shows but I watch them online via the Internet.  YouTube is my major source for programming content, and I'd bet it's yours too.  Hulu, CBS, NBC, YouTube, I get it all online now.  The Internet is the new medium for TV.  It is way visual information is televised to us.  It is The New TV.

My Predictions
I foresee that the major TV networks will soon follow suit with HBO and Showtime who have followed Hulu and Netflix into the Interwebs and will have an App on your smart TV’s so that you can watch them through the Internet without cable, satellite, or terrestrial TV.  CBS has already made a major more in that direction, you can watch their programming online just like Hulu provides.  Ustream and YouTube, the pioneer of personal video content, is now more focused on video streaming and has given everyone the ability to broadcast on The New TV.
YouTube TV  Ustream TV

After all, you can reach them via YouTube.TV or Ustream.TV
You could say that they are now the first name in TV
Your Thoughts?...

Another Byte out of the Apple Issue

Adding to my last entry about Apple, Apple Takes a Stand for Our Privacy Rights...

This request of the FBI relates the same as the issue with gun control, where, when you take away the guns from people to stop the killings, all you end up with is the innocent law abiding people without guns to protect themselves and others.  The criminals will never give up their guns, therefore the criminals will be the only ones with the guns and the crime will not only continue it will escalate because they have no fear of encountering resistance from the public that they are terrorizing.

If the FBI, or anyone like them in any other situation like this, thinks that they are going to get information from the phones of terrorists by having this back-door they are mistaken.  As are those who think this idea is going to work.  They will only have a back-door into the phones of the law abiding.  The terrorists and criminals will have and use a technology that will make them evasive.  They will not use a phone or an OS on said phone that is crackable.  It’s just the rest of us who will have to be terrorized by Big Brother in our pockets.  It is always quoted at this point that, If you have nothing to hide then what does it matter.  What matters is the principal.  Realize, that’s what the Germans said when Hitler was instituting all his overloading laws.  It’s all fine until they start coming for you… and they always end up coming for you in the end.  Then there is no one left to stand up for you.  Bye.

To stand up against this (as Apple is doing) is not siding with the terrorists, it is siding with freedom — freedom against the tyranny.  The principle for which America was founded.  Remember what Ben Franklin said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  So which side are you on?  For to sacrifice your freedom (liberty) as the FBI is asking Apple to do, is to side with the terrorists that threaten us.  

Are you one of those who would lay down liberty for safety, or think that Apple should do so?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Apple Takes a Stand for Our Privacy Rights

In his Feb 16th 2016 letter, A Message to Our Customers, Tim Cook CEO of Apple takes a stand against the FBI and warns us all about the threat to our personal security.

I applaud Tim Cook and Apple for standing up against the tyranny of the FBI, who’s trying to go back to the days of J. Edgar Hoover.  No, farther than that - the Nazi's.  These are Hitler tactics that bring upon us an Orwellian world.

It's not that I'm not expecting that it's going to soon come to that — it is.  But to have a conglomerate as big and as important as Apple stand up and say no more, is refreshing.  Again, I'm not one of those patriot types, not that there's anything wrong with that, (what gets wrong in that area is the nuts that get involved in it and tip the scales).  I don't listen to or support those guys.  I do however support Apple in its products, its philosophy, and its decision to protect peoples rights.

The problem with this issue has now become the spin that it is taking.  Many are making Apple say something that they did not say.  It’s what the FBI wants them TO DO, not what they have done to help the FBI that is the issue.

So many comments by uninformed, speculating people doesn’t help clear the issue either.  I am a programmer, coder, hacker (not cracker), whatever, so I understand what is at stake here and the ridiculousness of the justification.  That our security depends upon our insecurity — that’s insane.  If this ever gets to where the government has this control and has a back-door to our phones, then the very people they demanded they have it for — the ‘terrorists’, will be using something else to get their deeds done.

Having a back-door into iOS is inviting crackers (as most wrongly call them - hackers) to do unimaginable damage that Apple will have to try constantly to patch, like Windows has to.  Perhaps the only safe way around this is for Apple to go the Open Source route, like Linux, and make their iOS completely Open Source so that all it’s ins and outs are known.  While this may sound worse, what it does, and has done for Linux, is make the Operating System (OS) more secure against attacks because programmers know any possible back-doors and can fix them.  The opposite of this is best seen in Windows where only Microsoft knows its code.  So when a cracker exploits a hole in Windows code they have to patch it.  If they had the world of programmers looking at the code, like Linux does, then us good hackers could find the problems first and fix them.

I am reminded of the 2012 case against TrueCrypt where the FBI was unable to get past TrueCrypt's encryption.  “The court then ruled that Doe's Fifth Amendment right to remain silent legally prevented the Government from making him or her do so.”  TrueCrypt was shut down on the guise that it was, “not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues” and users were instructed to move to Microsoft's BitLocker.  One has to wonder if Microsoft's BitLocker is favored and not targeted by the FBI because they already have a back-door in BitLocker?

The forgotten issue.  There’s nothing saying that there is actually any useful information on this iPhone the FBI demands to get into.  By this time there’s no information on that phone that the leads have not been burned by the terrorists.  The FBI, and other agencies, would be better served by employing some crackers rather than looking for Apple and corporate business to do their work for them.  I don’t hear the CIA asking for this kind of technology…

Back to the issue at hand.  It’s not like you can’t jailbreak an iPhone today and bypass any of this ’spyware’.  So the tech is already out there, and used, that can thwart what the FBI is trying to mandate.  Again, it’s only going to be the ‘safe’ citizens that are getting spied on.  The old adage goes that, If you’ve got nothing to hide then what does it matter?  While that may be true — as long as you can trust who’s doing the spying.  Can you?  After all, that’s how George Orwell’s word got into being.  It’s all for your protection Winston.  (I'm wondering who the real terrorists are here...)

As My Cook said, "understand what is at stake".