Month: November 2015

Facebook, Apple and Big Brother Peep in your Bedroom at Night

“Facebook, Apple and Big Brother Peep in your Bedroom at Night”

Does that title sound creepy?  Good.  It should.

And now, it’s real.  I mean literally real.  Not a movie, but real. The kind of real like when you have a severe gas pain that renders you immobile.  That kind of real.

The ever-spying, ever-invasive Facebook with their nasty little tentacles that flow through and fondle your personal information and drop it in a cesspool reservoir of information that should have never left your barstool conversation has teamed up with Apple, the fascist dictator of computer hardware and its licensed software to make sure that any chances you thought you had of running away or retracting the errors of your past were forever removed.  Oh, I’ll get to your government right after this, don’t worry.

First, here is the play book so you can’t say you were weren’t warned:

What is Happening Now

This is both a screenshot and a clickable image in case the F-ers at F-book decide to conceal this at some point…  give it a quick read.


  • the lie sold to you is that this ‘feature’ is for picking up ‘TV and Music‘.  I know if you are still on Facebook or Apple you probably don’t understand the deeper workings of technology (they prey on folks like you FYI) so I’ll keep this very simple: if Facebook and Apple can use the mic on your phone to pick up audio, process it on their computers, compare it to existing data on computers around the world, and send back results, it can do the very same with your voice, the voice of anyone you are with, the sound of you spanking your rude child, the deeply religious discussion you are having, and any other ‘tv or music’ that might be around your microphone.
  • they further hide this intensely peeping tom technology by means of nice, familiar branding and – OH! A smiley face!


  • you ‘might’ be prompted to provide us access to your microphone.  There is a small chance that we ‘might’ need access to your microphone to do a ‘few things’ in the background….




So you are thinking to yourself ‘No problem.  I just won’t turn on this ‘feature’.

Bad news.

You’re on an iphone (correction: ‘an iphone is on you’).

And you’re in the country that has this ‘feature’ – the USA for now but likely coming to a country near you.

Which brings us to our next section…

What Will Be Happening

The Light Version (accidentally agreeing to it)

You may remember this story from a while back when Facebook essentially changed their terms and policies to steal your information forever.  It seems that was too long ago for most people to care about or remember but anyway, you’ve already agreed to that.

But let’s say that you don’t want your microphone on because the stuff I’m sharing here has finally creeped you out enough to care.  Well, it might not matter.  Do you read all the terms and policies you agree to with Facebook? Is it possible that they might do a ‘quick update’ and have you ‘agree again’ when you install the update?  Is it possible they might turn on the mic as part of those changes?

You decide.

The Hard Version (being forced into it)

Well, your fascist phone maker Apple (who, by the way, has the only charging cable in the market that doesn’t work with the rest of the world) didn’t explain to you exactly the implications of having a dictator in your pocket.  Definitely you will not be getting any voluntary explanations from your government because this is the golden goose they have been waiting for, so that leaves the most annoying task in the hands of a very unlikely candidate to do any learning about it – YOURS.

But I’m not trying to insult you.  I’m guilty too.  I’m just saying that you better not rely on ‘authorities’ to keep you privy on this stuff.

This little piece of news slipped through the media quite quietly, no surprise.  Do yourself a favour and read it and let it sink in real good.

Likely you didn’t read it or you got bored after a paragraph so let me summarize the take-away points:

  • you don’t own your software on your fruity phone
  • because the software agreement makes you a *licensee* of the it, that means that should the government want access to your phone, they need to force the owner of the software, the licensor, to open the gates.  In this case, it’s Apple, not you. Side note: don’t be naive and think that Android is safe, but I don’t have time to focus on them here.
  • even if *you* don’t give *your own phone that you paid at least 30% too much for* permission to open the mic (and soon camera) for the world, your friendly government officials can force Apple to swing wide those gates for you.
  • the mere act of having an Apple product in your pocket makes you a spy, on behalf of the government, on yourself, but worse, to those around you who are now victims of your harmful lifestyle choice
  • you are a danger to the privacy and freedom of the entire world and need to really think about your actions and the damage you are causing instead of just tuning this stuff out

Now click this link to see a video tutorial showing the only way left to deal with this and remain happy and full of joy while using Facebook or an iphone.

The Solution

There is thankfully a solution.  Ultimately, the ubuntu phone (currently sold in select markets) is available now.  It’s running on a safe operating system and it is truly revolutionary.   I will not hide that there are some areas that are still a bit buggy but if you need to simply make calls, and do basic smart phone activities and wish to remain confident that your privacy has not been breached, I would strongly recommend starting down this path.  I have been back and forth between the ubuntu phone (best choice) and another ‘lesser of evils’ option for android on my Nexus 4 device.

Also, the developments of the ubuntu phone and the operating system are amazing.  Soon, the phone itself will converge with the rest of the platforms ubuntu currently operates on and you will experience the most amazing, user friendly, safe, and exciting platform ever seen in the market.


I appeal to you to sincerely start to care about this stuff and start to make slow and daily changes to protect the privacy and freedom of not just you and your family, but also all those around you.   You do not want to look back one day and say to your kids that you were part of the problem that has now robbed them of their last ounce of freedom.

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Where Have All the Heroes Gone?

A friend forwarded me this most interesting article on the clearly increasing participation in street protests in the UK and around the world.  Old ‘Anonymous’ is rising up and increasing it would appear.

It reminded me of ‘occupy Vancouver’ way back in 2011.

And it reminded me of other things from my youth that I joined in to protest.

Most of the folks behind these movements are quite fired up about their causes.  Many of them are worthwhile.  I would like to participate in 93.6% of the battles that I see.  I have even started collecting some of the conspiracies that I find and tend to agree with or am interested in.

But, something happened when I passed the age of thirty five and I looked at my life.  I have two daughters, a wife, a guinea pig, a wood burning fireplace and 91% of my hair is grey and I go to bed at 9:30pm.  All of these things are exciting and good, but they also represent the crux of the matter: time is flying and I can’t stop it.

And if time is flying and I can’t stop it, then I also must learn to laser focus my life to achieve the most important things first.

And that, my friends, necessitates deciding what are the most important things to me.

And once those line items are written on the invoice, I must then select the ones that are most likely something I can do something about directly, and which ones will have the most impact for the amount of time, money and energy invested.

I must find my one or maybe two things that I can personally stand behind and do.

So when I see these protests, I think to myself “Is there a better way?”  But I also note that I am not present there and I’m saying that as an observer.  Perhaps being there is better than not being there.

I heard the term ‘slacktivism’ the other day. Nice.  How many times have I been guilty of slacktivism?  I don’t want to look up the actual definition because I assume it means ‘sitting on the sidelines yelling about a cause but not doing anything’.  No more of that for me.

For the next year, I’m going to hone in on the one or two things that I can personally involve myself in that will make a lasting and positive difference in our country.

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Lucky Cat Gits No Respect!


And check this out!  I told you! I told you!  Now Lucky Cat gets reduced. 





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When does Libre Office Calc decide to overflow text into adjacent cells, or cut them at the boundary?

You are trying to do a spreadsheet and keep it tighter but the vertical  column boundary cuts the text off.  And you want to stop it.  It’s easy.  Check it out..

1. Annoying red arrow cut-offs!


2. Highlight cell or row and then right click on it, and ‘format cells’


3. Click that check box ‘wrap text automatically’ 03-libre-calc-tut

4. Yay! Bob is my uncle again!


This tutorial brought to you by a thankful user of Libre Office, the default office suite on the best ever operating system, ubuntu.

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