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This tag is associated with 11 posts

Rule 27

When Windows 10 has an update, if you are on a schedule, DON’T DO IT!” 😠

I was doing my morning routine, getting the PC ready for the next exciting installment of Guffaw in AZ, when a message appeared from Windows, offering me an update, or a post-ponement of said update.

It was early, I figured, “what the Hell…”  

TWENTY MINUTES LATER it reads ‘Working on updates 17%, Don’ the turn off your PC.  This will take a while. 

With the added joy of ‘Your PC will restart several times’ at the bottom of the screen!

GRRR

(But wait, there’s MORE!)

after about an hour…

FINALLY, it finished about an hour and a quarter after it began.  It would be nice if Windows warned you in advance of the time sink involved in a requested procedure!

Of course, I have additional commitments, so the planned blog post will have to wait…

Sigh…

FACEBOOK – Now Even Creepier!

(from Peter – Bayou Renaissance Man)

Facebook becomes the corporate face of ‘creepy’

If Facebook were actively trying to define itself as ‘creepy’, it couldn’t do much better than this.  Two reports over the past few weeks have caused me to wonder at the sanity of anyone who still uses the service.First, it seems Facebook actively marketed to advertisers its ability to ‘target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability’.  Wired reports:

Data mining is such a prosaic part of our online lives that it’s hard to sustain consumer interest in it, much less outrage. The modern condition means constantly clicking against our better judgement. We go to bed anxious about the surveillance apparatus lurking just beneath our social media feeds, then wake up to mindlessly scroll, Like, Heart, Wow, and Fave another day.

But earlier this month, The Australian uncovered something that felt like a breach in the social contract: a leaked confidential document prepared by Facebook that revealed the company had offered advertisers the opportunity to target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability, such as when they felt “worthless,” “insecure,” “stressed,” “defeated,” “anxious,” and like a “failure.”

The 23-page document had been prepared for a potential advertiser and highlighted Facebook’s ability to micro-target ads down to “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” According to The Australian’s report, Facebook had been monitoring posts, photos, interactions, and internet activity in real time to track these emotional lows. (Facebook confirmed the existence of the report, but declined to respond to questions from WIRED about which types of posts were used to discern emotion.)

There’s more at the link.

Not content with that, it seems Facebook is trying to patent ‘creepy technology which spies on people and automatically analyses their facial expressions’.  The Sun reports:

The social network applied for a patent to capture pictures of a user through their smartphone.

The creepy designs, which date back to 2015, were discovered by software company CBI Insight, which has been analysing Mark Zuckerberg’s “emotion technology”.

. . .

Researchers at CBI Insights warned that the plans could put a lot of people off using the service.

“On the one hand, they want to identify which content is most engaging and respond to audience’s reactions, on the other emotion-detection is technically difficult, not to mention a PR and ethical minefield,” it wrote in a blogpost.

Again, more at the link.

So Facebook now wants to use the camera on your smartphone to watch you while you use the device.  Why would anyone in their right mind allow a social media network this kind of intimate access to their thoughts, feelings and emotions?  Is there no value attached to privacy any more?

From my moral perspective (which is admittedly that of an older generation), this seems not only an invasion of privacy, but actively evil – trying to use your own emotions to manipulate you, and/or sell data about you to advertisers and others (for example, political parties analyzing voter emotions and behavior) who will use it to manipulate you.

News reports like this make me devoutly grateful that I have no Facebook presence at all!  If you do, in heaven’s name, why do you want to expose yourself to this???

Peter

I joined FB long before I began blogging, or even reading other’s blogs.  I liked the Internet, and it just seemed to be the social thing to do.  (I was doing the IRC and bulletin boards before THAT!)
Yeah, I’m old.  😛
But, considering Pandora’s Box has already been opened, do I want to make it even easier for the alphabet soup of government, or private corporations or citizens?  Is it even worth the effort, now that the cat’s escaped the bag?
Maybe.  I am considering leaving FB.  Most folks who care I blog know Guffaw is my nom-de-Internet, and can do research to determine my FB moniker and extrapolate real info and data from there.
As if that’s worth anything…

Time Bomb Computer (A First-World Problem Story)

I own an HP Pavilion Touchscreen, with an AMD Athlon™ II X2 235e Processor 2.70 GHz 400 GB of RAM (3.75 GB usable) 64 bit operating system, x-64 based processor.  She has a 20″ flat, touch screen, with a cordless keyboard and mouse.

I purchased her on-line, refurbished (2011?)  And she has served me very well.

Last week, I received a message one of the software protection programs I purchased after-the-fact was in need of annual renewal.

And, frankly, with all that’s going on here (roomie surgery, less income, etc.), I don’t have the funds.  (This is NOT a bleg.)

The next day my computer gave me an error message:  HARD DRIVE FAILURE IMMINENT!  PLEASE BACKUP YOUR FILES (yadda, yadda, yadda).  I went back to using the computer, as I do not regularly back it up, and have no discs with which to back it up, anyway.

Besides, what if it was just some malware file from the software company, or elsewhere?

The computer has continued to function, as usual.

Yesterday, there was a blip in my Wi-Fi service (Cox, who knew?).  I reset the router (which is inconveniently downstairs).  Upon my return, there was the same message I had received a week ago.

I again accessed my computer, and downloaded a free hard drive analysis program.

The program confirmed my hard drive’s demise was imminent indeed!

Now what?

I have no funds or credit, so buying a new (or well-used) computer is out of the question.  Of course, getting it repaired also falls under these criteria.

I CAN check my email and blog from my smartphone or my cheap, Chinese tablet, with some difficulty.

Obviously, not my first choices.

What to do, what to do?

I will continue to blog, daily, changing the quote, cartoon, beauty and YouTube posting as I can.  Who knows – maybe she won’t fail until I somehow find a way to get another PC?  🙂

(I know, I’m an optimist!)

(FTC – HP, Athlon, and Cox have given me nothing, save years of good service (Cox, less so.).  I paid for the computer, and pay for Wi-Fi.)

Pale Moon

So, I’ve been using VIVALDI as a browser for a while now.  Since March 26th.  Hasn’t been too buggy.  It does seem to be running slower, however.

Some time back, during another browser kerfuffle, a reader/commenter recommended PALE MOON, a browser similar to Firefox, but different!

So, I thought, WHAT THE HELL!  I’ve been using it about a month, now…

Initially, it seems more quick, and less buggy than Vivaldi, Firefox, IE11, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Importing stuff like bookmarks is straightforward, and it had some pretty cool color/design variations, as well.

Here we go!

Click on the moon to the Pale Moon page!

(So far, so good!  A couple of functions inside WordPress do not function correctly, but nothing needed to publish daily blog posts.  Otherwise, fairly straightforward and non-buggy.)

Of course, now that I’ve said this…(knocks-on-wood)

FTC – Pale Moon and all the other browsers give me nothing!

Vivaldi!

No, not this guy (although I love him!  Sang this in the (award-winning) high school choir!)

In my ongoing search for a stable, secure, fast, user-friendly browser (come to think of it, this applies to my ongoing search for a woman, as well!  🙂  )  I came across a new browserVIVALDI.

From the same folks who brought us the now-defunct browser Opera, it claims versatility, speed, stability and low memory use.

What more could a gun blogger want?

I’ve been using and tweaking it for a little over three weeks now, and am still impressed.

Will advise if any major ‘bumps-in-the-road’ appear.

(FTC – this is FREE, they give me nothing.  Go suck eggs, or something!)

More Browser Follies!

WELL…

After the chautauqua that was getting my ‘good’ computer back on line and working properly, I switched from IceDragon back to Firefox.  An updated version.

And all was right with the World.

Except, of course, my inability to leave comments STILL on certain BLOGGER Blogs.  Not all, just some.  Sigh.

At Murphy’s Law’s suggestion, I kept plodding at the problem.  I reinstalled Opera, and was able to comment on more blogs, and pretty pleased with myself.  I was even able to leave a comment on Lagniappe’s Lair (Murphy’s Law)!

But then, I was unable to post comments on Bell’s A Ringing (again) and now Lagniappe’s Lair (yet again)!!  AARRGGH!

So, I’m off to try Google Chrome, again later this week.

Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly, expecting different results – Benjamin Franklin

PRIVACY – We Hardly Knew Ye

Here’s an interesting, if not fully convincing, piece by Ronald Bailey at Reason on what the future of privacy might look like.

“You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it,” declared tech guru Scott McNealy back in 1999. Fifteen years later McNealy’s statement is no longer factually controversial.

We all give up gigabytes of personal information to Facebook, Foursquare, Google, AT&T—and that’s just the voluntary stuff. In the past year, former government contractor Edward Snowden has revealed that our own government has been engaging in pervasive domestic spying, keeping track of everyone we’ve called, for how long we spoke, and from where. Privacy looks increasingly like a quaint mid-20th century relic.

In his new book, The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (Current), former Futurist Deputy Editor Patrick Tucker explores a more positive take on how we can personally use the megabytes of information generated and collected by our digital paraphernalia to help us live smarter, healthier, and better lives, and maybe even regain some measure of privacy. Tucker, who is now technology editor at Atlantic Media’s Defense One, argues that all that data will enable us to predict and thus take more control over our futures. The Internet of Things is being born as the world is increasingly loaded up with gadgets that can sense where they are and can report what is happening around them to any other device connected to the network.

To illustrate just how naked we all soon will be, Tucker opens with a vignette from the near future in which your cellphone wakes you with a text message alerting you that on your way to work you will run into an old girlfriend who is going to tell you the happy news that she is engaged. The phone tells to you to act surprised at the news. This scenario unfolds as predicted, but instead of waiting for her to tell you, you blurt out your congratulations. As it happens, she not yet made her new romantic status public and is quite alarmed by your mistimed felicitations. The phone did warn you to act surprised.

Science Fiction?  Hardly.  Perhaps there is something to be said about going off-the-grid and becoming full Luddite?  😦

c/o Floyd @ threedonia

It’s all a matter of perspective…

…and not giving up.

Regular readers know I’ve been having difficulty recently both with my computer(s) and connecting to the Internet.  Thankfully, these issues appear to have been resolved.

Sort-of.

You see, since my original computer tanked, I have been able to borrow a friend’s.  It’s older and has issues of it’s own.  And it didn’t help that there were ‘problems’ transferring files from the old computer to the newer.

Things take time.  And much of that has been resolved.

Being disabled and fund-challenged, I sometimes get impatient.  Much of what I do on the Internet makes up for not having much of a life.

But I’m feeling much better now!  (John Astin as Buddy on TV’s Night Court)

My old bug-a-boo browser IE (8, 9, 10, 11) has been replaced by Comodo IceDragon, and now back to Firefox.  And except for missing many files still resident on the former machine, things ARE better!

Gotta have faith, right?

Computer Software (#$^%^&*&amp-ing) Update

In a manner of speaking…

Essentially, I’m still using WordPress to blog; Comodo IceDragon as a browser.  They work pretty well, and coupled with Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, etc.  I’m having very few problems.

EXCEPT…

I’m still unable to post comments on some other BLOGGER-based blogs.  Not all.  When I hit ‘enter’ the carefully-worded comment goes into the ether.

The blogs in question are (because they are both some of my favorites and friends in no particular order):

Stormbringer, Free North Carolina, Well Seasoned Fool, From the Caer, The Silicon Graybeard, Bells A Ringing ,Nine Pound Sledgehammer, Musings Over A Pint,  Lagniappe’s Lair, and Way Up North.

So, if you’ve missed seeing my byline, this could be why.

My apologies.

Others, like Brigid and Tam, seem to work unimpeded!? (Which is a good thing, as they are blogmothers, and all!)

Now, if only I had the solution…  I know I could revert to Firefox, IE 11 (shudder!), or Opera, but then there’s their bugs with which to contend!

buellerAnyone, Bueller, Bueller?

“Lions and Tigers and Software, Oh My!”

lionsWhen, oh when, will computers (and software) develop to the point they can behave like older electronics, e.g. TVs, stereos and such?

Obviously, the goal is to turn on the computer (or awaken it) and have it go to the correct page, and do what is asked for it to do, not unlike turning on the TV and having Edmus Scary’s Late Nite Horror Show with Plan 9 From Outer Space showing, as one intended.

If you’ve been reading me for over a month, seek professional help. you know I’ve been having issues with browsers and such.  I finally found one that seems to work, and have added security and malware programs, and things have been better, BUT…

NOW, I find I cannot post comments on BLOGGER-based blogs certain BLOGGER-based blogs!  I do the set-up, my identifiers, hit enter and poof – the posts magically disappear!

I’m having ‘issues’ with three or four blogs, but the most difficult is one of my daily readers, who comments on GiA almost daily, Rev. Paul of Way Up North.  It’s most distressing and embarrassing as he is not just a fellow blogwriter, but a friend!  Apologies to another friend, Lagniappe’s Lair (Murphy’s Law) as well, for the same issues!

If you’ve not seen a comment from me as of late, and use Blogger, THIS is why!

I’ve had problems with BLOGGER, before.  It’s why I now blog on WordPress.

Ah, BLOGGER, my old friend, I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares Maelstrom and ’round perdition’s flames…no, that’s not it…

I’m using Comodo IceDragon as a browser; Windows 7 Home Premium, WordPress as a blog publisher; security by Malwarebytes, Comodo, Kasparsky, and Windows.  Add-ons include DoNotTrackMe, Ghostery, and PrivDog.  Any suggestions?

Anyone else having ‘issues’ posting comments on specific Blogger accounts?

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…