Category: Life Skills

What does your Email say about you?

I love this post and I come back to it time and time again.  However, it is now both out of date and also needs further commenting.  First, though, go take a look and enjoy the original here:

COOL CARTOON THAT EXPLAINS HOW YOUR EMAIL REPRESENTS YOU

Here are my updates, and I’d love any extras or edits you could provide to make it better:

@hotmail

  • still sends out warnings about the latest email scams
  • is likely from China and thinks this is a way to be more north american, much like changing their name from Wong Wing-Luen to Wayne Wong or Hsien Yang Lee to Stanford Lee – except they missed the memo that fluffybunny2259111@hotmail.com might not land them the dream job…

@gmail

  • thinks that gmail is somehow more secure than hotmail
  • is in denial that google is an american spy agency with sociopathic tendencies
  • thinks that it’s totally ok for google to spy on their inbox and GPS location in exchange for such a great free email and creepy-accurate search engine
  • says ‘I don’t have anything to hide’ when someone explains the violation of their privacy
  • runs google stuff on their iphone just to be sure no one accuses them of being slave to just one task master
  • is surprised, even horrified about what google has seen of their private life, yet continues to use it
  • periodically watches CNN news
  • Godaddy is ‘alright with them’

@icloud

  • got an ipad for christmas from their kids or grandkids and since it ain’t broke why try to fix it?
  • forwards videos of pets doing funny things and historic ones of when things were better
  • think they are really becoming ‘techies’ and use the word ‘techie’ regularly

@outlook

  • think that real business people use Microsoft
  • teach business courses at the local college
  • run small book keeping businesses
  • pay lots of money for anti-virus software and buy a new computer (with Windows) when Windows slows it down
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Friends, Family and the Flesh

  • My dear spouse, why do I find it hard to receive biblical perspectives and teachings from you?
  • Why do my family and friends always discourage me from my heart’s desires?
  • Why are my family and friends not as excited about my prospective mate?

Do some of these questions hit home?  For Bible believers, they are tied together quite intimately.

Last night I was starting to sleep when my wife woke me up and asked me, specifically why it is that when I present my spiritual opinion or my biblical perspective on a theological topic to her that she immediately opposes or doubts it, instead of trusting and believing it.

My response that spewed from the depths of my near REM sleep was:

  • the Spirit of God is living in you, so He is safe-guarding you against deception
  • all men are liars and God only is true
  • I am your husband and you’ve seen a track record of imperfection, hypocrisy and failure

As I reviewed my knee-jerk response in the morning, I was actually pretty surprised at the truth therein.  But the cherry on top was that when I opened my Bible for my daily Bible-in-a-year cycle for the new testament, lo and behold I found myself one day ahead of schedule and landed upon Mark 6.  As I read the section I couldn’t help but get excited about how God has been speaking so directly to me lately.  Last week it was a friend from the other side of the country He spoke through and today it was His Word but in the most clear way I have seen yet.  Here is the excerpt with my underlines added:

And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing [him] were astonished, saying, From whence hath this [man] these things? and what wisdom [is] this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed [them]. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. [Mar 6:1-6 KJV] 1

Friends!  Family!  Flesh!

The un-spiritual trinity (lol?)

But seriously.  The only place in the new testament that I can find where Jesus could do no mighty work was in his home town where his flesh was raised.  Now check this verse out:

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more. [2Co 5:16 KJV]

I’m guessing I don’t have to expound too much on anything here.  The answer to my wife is simple: she is my friend, my family and she knows my flesh, too.  I cannot think of anyone in the entire world who could possibly have a harder time trusting my spiritual insight, direction, theology, etc, than my wife.  She has to fight all three.  And so, my new response and suggestion to her would be this:

  • get even closer to God and subdue the flesh and submit the soul entirely to God
  • although you have experienced my fleshly humanity, try to view me as an eternal spirit and a resident of God’s kingdom passing through this troubling life
  • do not *know* me after the flesh.  Know me after the spirit
  • increase time in prayer together – somehow – anyhow

The last one is for some reason the toughest.

Friends and family, although they mean well and care, often times are unable to view their family and friends as spiritual beings but merely as earthly souls.  Hey – they did it to Jesus so don’t expect better from your friends and family.

That’s why the church is so important.  It’s the spiritual family – the one that travels into eternity with us.

Hope this little chunk of insight from God is useful to someone out there, not just Wayne Out There.

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The Race to Convergence: Or is it a Marathon?

This article started out kind of exciting.  It explained how Ubuntu was about to show, on a large commercial scale the unveiling of convergence of multiple devices.  For those who don’t know what convergence is, it’s the ability for multiple devices to converge into one user experience – without the need for multiple processors and hard drives.  For a company that sells desktops, laptops and tablets, it is a scary, scary business proposition.  For a company that sells high quality screens or high powered mobile phones, it could be a dream come true.  Essentially, the ‘computer that you carry in your pocket’ can be instantly connected to whatever screen you feel like.  It’s truly the most disruptive reality to hit the computer hardware market, in my opinion, in recent history.  One thing is for sure – the entire world is begging for it whether they even know it or not. Combining that with the increase of people sticking their digital lives on ‘clouds’ (other peoples’ computers) this disruption is also poised to be a seriously dangerous one for those who don’t make wise choices.

This article, although it was smart to feature Ubuntu as a forerunner, it foolishly tried to give credit to Microsoft for ‘truly being the first’ to do convergence. First, did they?   I had no idea.  Nor do I care.  Nor does anyone else I roll with.  If the name has ‘Microsoft’ in it, we flee for the hills.  Why? Because it’s compromised out of the box.  It is dangerous.

So, while reading this article, it became even more apparent to me that the ‘battle for the operating system’ will eventually be won by Ubuntu in numbers (it is already won in principle) and it will happen not by speed (even though development is moving fast like lightning) but by security and, although the word might sound cheesy and not a popular choice in a tech article – love.  You see, Ubuntu cares about you, because it’s built by people who care about things other than shareholders’ dividends.

Let’s run this basic scenario.  You buy the latest, most fashionable phone by Microsoft or Apple.  They boast this cool new feature that allows you to plug it into a big 60″ screen and now it’s your computer (Ubuntu had this for years, btw, but I digress). It’s convergence!  You show Grandma and Grandma thinks you are the bees knees.  You take a selfie with Grandma and there is a picture of her Bible behind her favourite chair.  As you get in your car your photo is magically whisked away to the cloud service you love so much provided, by force, by your over-priced phone manufacturer.  Meanwhile, back at your local government, they decide (without vote, of course) that they don’t like what these Bible readers believe and decide to persecute them and kill them.  They ask Apple and Microsoft for access to review stuff on their servers (your cloud) and they say no.  They say yes.  They say no.  They pull out the guns.  They say yes.  They say yes, too. Oh! And look! There is Grandma with her Bible.  Busted with Bible. Bye bye, Grandma.

And so my point is this: it doesn’t matter who gets to convergence first.  It matters who gets there securely and with freedom as a top agenda.

And if you didn’t know, you could, right now, have Ubuntu in your pocket.  You can either buy one out of the box, or have someone help you put it on supported hardware.

What are you waiting for?  Your Grandma to get busted?

Go healthy.  Go Ubuntu.

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The Most Relevant Documentary of Our Age

I’ve seen a lot of documentaries, a lot of conspiracies, a lot of interesting things.

Nothing comes close to the importance and relevance of this one.

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How to View Multiple Page Fax with Ubuntu

I got a fax recently as a .tif image file and when I went to open it on the world’s best operating system ubuntu, and it wouldn’t view anything except page 1! I thought there was a bug with the operating system but it turned out that they actually had, built right into ubuntu a viewer designed specifically to handle this.  As usual, ubuntu is always steps ahead.

So, if you get a digital fax (who uses paper faxes?) this is what you do:

Find the .tif file

fax-tif-example

“Open with” document viewer (which is Evince, if you are wondering)

evince-open-with-2

Enjoy your multiple page fax

evince-fax-working-2

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Eye Spy with Alphabet Google’s Little Eye Something that is Creepy

Some people think google and their new secret daddy ‘Alphabet‘ are ok.  Perhaps this article will convince you otherwise?

In the past, google would very slowly ‘creep’ you from behind.  They’d take a little ‘peek’ over your shoulder at your personal information and then kind of ‘accidentally’ share that information with advertisers.  No biggy.  People get their ‘free’ services and feel like it’s ok to have a bit of ‘peeking’ since all this ‘great’ stuff is free.

How about if they peek down your shirt, though?

Or, wait! Would it be ok if they watched you while you were changing in your bedroom?

Good news!  Now they can with their new hyper-overdrive-creep-cam!

Why ‘peek’ when they can go for the full meal deal and simply watch you live?

Well… they are trying to deny that but hey.  They lied about the green LED light so maybe they’d lie about that too?

Enjoy your google nest cam, ladies!  Enjoy the extra security of ‘home security’.

The following solutions are available to you if you are a victim:

  1. remove the camera and throw it away
  2. litigate Alphabet into the dark ages
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Question the Magic (QTM): Hello Barbie

Thanks to my usual homeboys for forwarding this one.  It’s simply…. MAGIC!

HELLO BARBIE which costs a mere… oh…. HUNDRED BUCKS, will also, for that small fee, spy on your children (and you as a bonus) and report its findings to an unidentified source for not-fully-disclosed purposes.

The Magic

Your kid speaks to Barbie and Barbie comes back with one of EIGHT THOUSAND possible lines.  That size vocabulary seems like ‘magic’.  To kids, even more so.

The Smoke.  The Mirrors. (new section)

Your kid’s voice (and yours if you spend any time with your kid which you will likely no longer have to do once they get this bad-boy) is ‘magically’ whisked away through your wifi connection, to a server that is not yours, where it is torn apart, analysed and then matched to a good response.  The good response is sent back to Barbie who ‘magically’ speaks it to your kid.

The Risks

Your kids voice is leaving your house and going into the hands of a bunch of people you don’t know.  Entire conversations could be recorded and analysed by unknown groups of people with unknown motives.  You put your own child at risk, you put at risk the children who hang out with your child, and you put at risk anyone within earshot of Hello Barbie’s ‘magic’.

The Solution

By your child a gift without a battery or internet connection this year, or, better yet, don’t buy them anything at all and take the money you were going to spend on them and go for a nice meal out, look in their eyes, and tell them how much you love them.

Hello Barbie won’t cry about it.

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Phone with Etiquette or No Phone At All?

Yesterday a friend of mine sent a list of phone etiquette to make sure that we are being as respectful and professional as possible in the way we represent our company and ourselves as individuals.  I am thankful for the list and I made a mental note of all the suggestions and implemented the changes that I could.

However, before presenting the list, I thought it was interesting timing that it was sent to me on the very same day that I published this articlePerhaps, since the telephone itself seems to be a dying form of communication, more efforts should be spent on putting the last nails in its coffin rather than focusing energies on doing it better.  This was a point presented to me.

A conversation started about my article was about voice mail, for example.  Here is a copy and paste from our email dialogue:


me: There is one person who calls me all the time. I mean all the time. Then, what’s more funny is they always leave a voice mail and the message is always the same “call me back when you have some time.”

“Call me back when you have some time??” I just spent 2 minutes checking my voice mail to find that??

friend: This is exactly the use case for having someone else answer your calls. That person obviously:

  • Wants to talk to someone,
  • Does not value your time,
  • Doesn’t get the basic etiquette of leaving detailed messages,
  • Frustrates you.

While we consider whether the phone is an interruptive technology that breaks focus and sucks our productive time, or whether it’s legitimate, relevant and useful we will continue to debate.  In the meantime, here is the phone etiquette list that he sent me, with his comments [and my comments in these nice square brackets], that I think is good to adhere while we await the cultural and social shift to complete:


 

Phone off the table. 
It’s usually a no-no. Shows lack of respect as you’re not giving the person 100% of your attention.
Ringtone.
Get a normal ringtone. Something professional sounding like a regular phone ringing or something not large and different. Your current ringtone is jarring when it goes off and it doesn’t sound professional.  It should not be jarring. it should not be obnoxious.  [I thought my hip-hop bass loop was dope…?]
Voicemails.
Keep them short.
[I would add to not leave one at all if it doesn’t contain specific information that will justify the 1.5 minutes they will have to spend to retrieve said message]
Meetings.
Don’t answer your phone in a meeting with a client or vendor unless you absolutely have to. By keeping your phone out of sight it makes it a lot easier to keep to this rule.
[I would add that by turning it off completely would assure focus.  Perhaps if someone around you was gravely ill or giving birth you might be justified but clearly explain this to the person you are with in advance]
Announce your name / company name when answering. 
[this works well and is recommended unless you, like me, have multiple businesses running through the same phone number….  another good case for VOIP technology over the phone]
Speakerphone.
Let people know if they are on speaker phone.
[unless you are recording them for future incriminating evidence for court]
[lol?]
The above list is good for business, but I would say that this list should also be applied to any social gathering.  It’s quite sad to watch a couple checking their emails with wine and and candlelight in an expensive restaurant.  It speaks to our sad state of disconnectedness and we should be ashamed…

 

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Has the Traditional ‘Telephone Call’ Seen Its Day?

Which do you prefer? The sound of an incoming text message, or a telephone call?  Which sound makes you lose your focus more?  Which sound evokes more stress?  Which sound compels you to take action?

It seems as though the people around my age and younger would say ‘anything is better than the phone call’.   And you will notice that they don’t call people much, either.  They practice what they preach in that way.

And for people my age or slightly older (I hover around 40 now) the phone call is an ‘interruptive technology’.  You are just about to get started on that business plan., or you are right in the middle or writing that blog post, or you have just found a few quiet minutes to read your Bible and then ‘ring-a-ling-ding-my-dingy-ling-long-wang-chung-have-fun-tonight’ happens.  Or perhaps some other ringtone.  But it doesn’t stop.  Then, if you want to know what this person wanted you have to go to your voice mail, only to find out that no one leaves a voice mail any more because who the heck doesn’t have some kind of caller ID?

It would appear the traditional ‘phone call’ for social purposes is dying indeed…

Even my mom who is 76 years old said ‘text message because it doesn’t keep ringing while I’m on the toilet!”  Good point, mommers!

I believe that phone still has one place and that is for business calls during business hours, or as one friend put it “I don’t take calls that are not scheduled.”  So here is how I see phone still having a place until everyone has some form of VOIP connection:

  • a message (ie. text, Telegram, email) is sent scheduling the call.

example:  eg. “J-dog. Able to chat at 9:30 for 10 minutes?” or

Dear Mr. Robertson, do you have an hour at any point tomorrow for a phone call?

  • the call is made or rejected or rescheduled

For a business, however, it makes sense to have the phone lines open for sales and customer service.  Anyone in sales or customer service would be justified to be with phone and on call.  They are paid to be interrupted.

Did I miss anything?

Do you disagree?

 

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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.

01-creep-book

  • 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!

02-creep-book

  • 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….

06-creep-book-smiley-206-creep-book-smiley-206-creep-book-smiley-206-creep-book-smiley-206-creep-book-smiley-206-creep-book-smiley-2

06-creep-book-smiley-206-creep-book-smiley-206-creep-book-smiley-206-creep-book-smiley-206-creep-book-smiley-206-creep-book-smiley-2

07-creep-book-ronald

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.

Conclusion

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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