Out of millions of blogs, I only peruse sixty or so. I’m sure I miss out on lots of incredible content, but one thing I don’t seem to miss out on is something called the “One Four Challenge”.
One photograph processed four different ways. I keep coming across the theme on a number of blogs I read.
The challenge specifies posting one version of the photo per day for four days . . . right; like I have the patience for that.
These are surfers on the North side of Maui. Now, I do like looking at the surfers, but I am more interested in the waves. People might not know, but I love waves; raucous power and dynamic beauty. What’s not to like?
. . . uh . . . unless, of course, it’s a tsunami killing thousands or a rogue wave capsizing cruise liners. But other than that, awesome.
I could go into the whole post-processing thing, but I rather talk about something else.
I mentioned it before: everyone should read the book Future Crimes, by Marc Goodman. The first part of the book deals with things that really irked me. It’s difficult summarizing things that are inter-related and deal with computers, software, politics, money, deceit, and abuse of power.
Let me take them in order right after one of my different processing efforts.
Hmm . . . a bit bland, but let me get back to the book.
The reasons computers are so easy for the bad guys to infiltrate, to corrupt, to take control of can be summarized with two ideas.
One is the Stupidity of People. Yes, I capitalized that. If I put a link here titled Kardashian wears see-through dress, and even if, knowing me, it’s not likely a link to one of the Kardashians, some readers will still click it just in case.
And that is the problem. You can make things as secure as possible, and still people click on dangerous links. I learned a new acronym . . . PICNIC . . . Problem In Chair Not In Computer. Never mind the sad fact a Kardashian in a see-through dress draws more click that just about anything else.
But, that is not the only problem because things are seldom as secure as possible . . .
Two is the greed of software companies. You see, they have sold us a business model that would not work in any other industry or with any other product. They have trained us to accept buggy, unsecured, and barely functioning software AND to absolve them of any responsibility for it. You could not do that with a car, lawnmower, or even a can opener. At the very least you would be forced to recall it and fix it, and in extreme cases you would get sued out of existence.
Not so with software; you are often sold software with vulnerabilities that are easily exploitable by bad guys who, incidentally, do a lot of research in finding those vulnerabilities. And find them they do, sometimes months or even years before the software companies themselves realize they are there and put up a patch to fix them . . . and in the process of rushing out a fix, introducing a whole new set of vulnerabilities.
I can almost see the smug, and ignorant, smiles on the faces of Apple users. Read the book. Or, perhaps, talk to celebrities who get their private lives (and privates) paraded to the world when their iPhones get hacked.
Hey, how about this variation, introducing a bit of color back into the photo?
So, we live with people easily duped and software that is full of security holes . . .
. . . and some of those holes are intentional, requested by our government. Rather than me talking about it I’ll let John Oliver explain a little of what goes on . . .
. . . and if you are too lazy to watch the whole thing, here’s some excerpts:
And if that is still too long and complicated for you, here’s a shorter version of something easily understood . . .
And, finally, a short bit on passwords . . .
That joke at the end? Not a joke. People “can’t be bothered” to keep their information secure.
Of course, government surveillance is only a part of what pisses me off . . .
. . . the other part being all the information that is gathered about us and then sold to third parties by companies that purport to “help us”. Third parties that you might not approve of as having your information.
Remember that acronym as you use all them free tools . . . Twitter, Google, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
You basically give them the right to not only gather information you willingly share, but the right to run algorithms on your activities, habits, e-mails, tweets, FB posts. Algorithms that can find out a lot more about you than you imagine or would like them to know. Read the book. Facebook even ran psychological experiments on its users, and it was all perfectly legal. How are they not out of business? (HERE and HERE and HERE)
Keep an eye on offers you get, targeted ads, and so on, and stop to think how they knew to target those ads at you. Some are obvious; you did a search on boots, and you get an e-mail about a shoe sale.
The problem comes in when you mentioned boots in an e-mail to your friend and later you get an Amazon ad for shoes. Amazing, eh? It’s like information seeps from one company to another, from one product to another, interconnecting facts about your life in ways you don’t even think about.
It gets worse . . . those free programs you use? You agreed to them having the right to gather data about you, to sell it, to analyze it, to exploit it. Once they have that data, you no longer own it. You can’t ask them for that data back (unless you are in Europe, but even then you are not assured of it).
It is estimated each user (twitter, google, facebook) is worth somewhere between $8 and $17 per year to those services.
TANSTAAFL . . . if you are not paying for a product, you are the product.
The stupid thing is that I would gladly pay any of those services $20 per year or more to keep my data private. Except I don’t have a choice other than to not use the tools we have come to rely on.
And, they are so damn convenient, aren’t they? It’s difficult giving them up because they do serve many of our needs, but also because there is no competing product.
People like free stuff and the majority of people would not consider paying for e-mail, for chats, for videos, for forums where we can chat with relatives about this or that kitten.
Honest, read the book . . . I’ve only scratched the surface, and once you dive in, you will likely get mad. Good. Change can’t happen without people getting mad.
Me? I still use all those things . . . but, guess what? I play their game my way. My LinkedIn profile is next to useless. My Facebook personal data is useless. My Twitter data also so. Google is the one that is a bit more difficult to wean from, but soon that too will get drastically cut.
Did you know that technically, according to the terms of service you agreed to, those backups of phone photos that are uploaded to G+ become the property of Google to do as they wish with them? Same as documents, spreadsheets, ideas, and anything you add to Google+. And it’s not just Google. A wonderful thing, The Cloud.
Sure, I’ll still use all those accounts, but not for anything important. And my phone. It’s going to become my phone, not a conduit for Google to gather data on me. Side note: check the permissions on the apps you use. You’d be amazed at the data they collect. They are “free” you see . . . and TANSTAAFL.
And with that, an appropriate last variation on the original photo . . .
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.