Tag: facebook

How to Eat a Digital Elephant One Bite at a Time

I can’t believe I didn’t blog this before but let’s put my regrets aside.

So, you have come to realize that everyone who knows how technology works was right – it’s all spying on you.  And, well, you don’t like it but – you don’t know where to start.  You feel overwhelmed.  Many people have these kind of feelings

  • I’m too busy to figure this out
  • I’m afraid to try something new in case something breaks
  • I’m used to letting ‘geniuses’ fix my tech
  • I’m too old
  • Everything is changing to fast
  • I just want it to work

Ok, these are all normal feelings but let me be crystal clear that none of them are an excuse for letting a creep spy on you.  Imagine if a peeping tom had binoculars fixed on your bedroom window. It’s as bad as that or worse so do something today, ok?

Great.  Let’s get started.

THE SOCIAL STUFF

This is the most scary stuff.  I watch my foolish friends and family amass the precious photos and history of their children (who had no choice in the matter) onto the servers of some very uncool people.  What’s most frightening is that 9 out of 10 of these people don’t even know exactly how the technology works.  If you are one of those 9, just trust me and start making the better choice for your family with the following alteratives – and bring your friends and family so that you aren’t alone.

UnsafeSafer AlternativeWhere to get itQuick Notes
Facebook*Diasporahttps://diasporafoundation.org/Choose a pod. Sign up. Bring your friends and family. Never go back to facebook. Totally decentralized. Totally your data. You can even import and export all your data!
TwitterMastodonhttps://mastodon.socialFun and extremely awesome and powerful. Totally decentralized. Totally your data.
InstagramTBAlet me know!

THE PERIPHERAL STUFF

The first step is to start switching from unsafe ‘peripherals’ to safer ones.  These will immediately start helping you relax about change because your operating system will be familiar.  It’s kind of like renovating an ensuite washroom before tackling the kitchen.  It kind of eases you into this new and safer life. But before we move on to this easy and simple step, please keep in mind that your ultimate goal *must* be to remove all unsafe operating systems from your life.  This includes Apple, Microsoft and Android.

But for now, let’s start with taking one bite of the elephant.

Unsafe Safer AlternativeWhere to get itQuick Notes
Microsoft Office SuiteLibre Officehttp://www.libreoffice.org/Wipes out Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and more while leaving you with *more* power and features and a great experience.
WhatsAppTelegram Messengerhttps://telegram.org/Not only open source but feature loaded and works on literally any device as well as even on a web browser.
Kakao TalkTelegram Messengerhttps://telegram.org/See notes above
Skypehublhttps://hubl.in/Browser based. Just allow it to use your mic/camera. Use it on almost any device. Once finished with link, never use it again, or link stays active and you can use it again and again. Multiple people at the same time is also awesome. No file sharing yet but Telegram can do this while on a chat.
Skypejitsihttps://meet.jit.si/Have heard good reports that jitsi works well on self-hosting (even safer)
Google ChromeFirefox
Internet Explorer (or whatever dumb new name they give to the same garbage)Firefoxhttps://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/Most people use this anyways, but just in case you are really lost... Also, the plugins you can add to this make browsing so much more awesome.
Outlook ExpressThunderbirdhttps://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/Just awesome and then you just plug in Enigmail plugin for total email encryption.
icloudNextcloudhttps://nextcloud.com/You can either buy their box or install it on an old computer as a server... or put it on shared hosting. Pure sweetness in cloud file stuff.
Adobe PhotoshopGIMPhttps://www.gimp.org/Unbelievably robust and easy to use. Edit photos like a pro or as a pro and never turn back.
Missed any?? Let me know!

EMAIL

So now we have the stuff out of the way, we need to deal with email by itself.

Most people, sadly, use some of the most compromising and horrific spying machines around.  Some of these might look familiar:

  • hotmail
  • gmail
  • yahoo
  • live
  • outlook
  • etc

First of all, putting technology aside, your email address actually speaks volumes about who you are as a person.  For more on this, read my post here about that.  But, on top of that, it’s not secure having your email on someone’s computer.  For just a second ask yourself this concerning question: Why would a company pay to give you free email?  Answer: to market to you or worse. So in order to market to you they must have all your data.  Haven’t you ever wondered why advertisements start to look very, very similar to what you are doing in your life?  Yeah.  That’s because of that (and other things)

For email, if you are technologically savvy enough you ‘could’ run your own email server which would be the safest possible solution.  However, it’s not that easy.  Maybe your friend could set it up, but if you don’t have such a friend, what is best is to stop supporting these companies who prey on people like this and move to something cooler.  It’s really *not* that expensive to pay for email.  Here is what you do:

  1. buy a domain like ‘your name’
  2. choose something cool that goes before it like ‘me’ or ‘name’
  3. call a company that sells domains and email (preferably in a country like Canada) and force their tech support to set it up.

Then you would have an email like this:

me@yourname.ca

If it’s not available there are countless Top Level Domains (TLDs) that you can choose from and certainly one of these will be waiting for you.  And it’s fun!

Just make sure that when you buy your domain and email that you have enough memory.  Most of them have some kind of unlimited plan for memory so go with that.  Also, make sure that it has IMAP support – I would be shocked if they didn’t but this is the email service you want.  You should budget about $15/year for the domain and another $?? for email and storage.  I have been really happy with Canadian Web Hosting for service and pricing if I can make a quick plug.  For about $5.00/month to have safe email per person is pretty reasonable.  If you have another reason to have a website, you could simply get unlimited email through your website hosting plan as well.  This requires a little more skill but it’s not that hard.  A friend who runs their own website should be happy to set it up for you once you purchase.  I would do this for my friends…

Now you’ve got your email and your other ‘stuff’ more secure, the last discussion is the big one.

THE OPERATING SYSTEM

You need to start planning to get rid of your current operating system which is probably either Apple/mac or Microsoft Windows.  These companies have compromised many things at your expense of both dollars and privacy.  They do not deserve your business nor are there endless reasons to stay with them.  For 99% of people they could switch 100% to a safer option and be completely happy.  There are a very small number of people in niche markets like print and design and perhaps medicine where the entire industry has forced everyone to communicate with these corrupted systems.  In these cases you may need to keep one computer for ‘work only’ and your ‘personal life’ should be immediately moved to a safer option.

I recommend that everyone immediately switch their desktop and laptops to Ubuntu

Ubuntu is the safest, fastest, most supported and most loved free and open source operating system in the world.  Switching to Ubuntu operating system is not that difficult but it does require enough comfort and skill.  It’s easy enough to learn, but if you do have access to an ubuntu community near you, you should join that community or start one yourself.

Soon Ubuntu will be ready to go for mobile devices too.  This is another reason why it would be wise to consider Ubuntu.

UBUNTU WEBSITE

 

A NEW AND SAFER INTERNET

Another important thing that we will all need to work on quickly is to create a new and community-owned internet.  This is a bigger picture discussion but please also start preparing your mind for ‘mesh networks‘.  I will post more here as I learn and this will be my new focus for 2017 and 2018 because what good is all this safe stuff if we are using them on unsafe platforms owned by people who have agendas that we cannot control?

I hope this has helped someone break the chains.

Tags : , , , , , , ,

Facebook is Evil.

Dear Friend,

Facebook is evil.

There. Said it.

Now here is an actual article written by a real journalist who eloquently expands on the ‘why’ and even provides some practical solutions.  Although he’s writing to other journalists, there is nothing stopping any of you non-journalists from taking similar action.

I, however, would go one step further than Mr. Gillmor:  I recommend that you delete any accounts associated with you and leave Facebook forever and spare whatever little sliver of life and privacy (and probably that of your innocent children) you have left that you haven’t already handed them on a silver platter.

But I understand your addiction and how hard it must be for you to face it.

But I will not be the one to enable your addiction.  I love you too much.

Love Wayne Out There

Tags : , , , , ,

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.

Tags : , , , , , , , , ,