They, are everywhere and they do not blink…

Ah, digital privacy. As pointed out by a commenter on my last post on this topic that you can find here. First off I am not attacking the points made in the comment. They are correct in the statement of the laws existing today around the concept of images and who owns them. I would like to point out that there are some people in public life, that would argue in fact, the reality of who owns that image is one that needs to be evaluated.

The laws were written around the appearance of a person in public. The laws loosely, I won’t go into the details, basically, allow for the capture of images in public of people. If you are in a public place and someone takes a picture, they own that image. Again, if you ask many celebrities throughout the world, they would argue that point. I do note that this is the existing law, my posts are intended to bring up and sponsor a conversation about those laws. I have many friends who are brilliant photographers. They take amazing pictures. When the laws were created, the intent was to make it easier to capture images and share them. The reality is that the law was written in a different time. First off, no government allows embedded reporters to share all the images of a battlefield. They, the government, censor the images taken. Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites reserve the right to remove any photograph they deem not meeting their ethical or moral rules. The reality is that while the photographer may own the image, sharing that picture may not be acceptable.

These laws were written roughly 10-15 years ago. They have been updated, but in fact, they are not up-to-date. My concern, my issue, and feeling that my privacy is being violated comes from the reality I shared first in the last post and now expanded in this post. First of all, let me remind everyone that you are being watched. The television show “Person of Interest” started off with that line at the beginning of every show. “You are being watched.” It is clear to me that my freedom is being assailed. Why? Laws written in the time of 1, 2 or even three cameras taking and keeping my image, have remained the same. But now there are a billion cell phones, thousands of selfie drones, and millions upon millions of surveillance cameras taking and keeping my image. From my house around the neighborhood we live in, and back to my house, we encounter 44 cameras. Most of those track motion so, us walking by triggers them.


looking over your shoulder

Rant about being legal…

One of the things that makes me sad is the reality of computer consulting companies. I worked for a company that didn’t pay for the software they were using. They were reporting financial numbers that were at best lies, at worst outright theft. We aren’t talking 30 to 40 thousand dollars. We are talking more than a million dollars a year. For a company that was making 300,000 years in profit. You do the math.

Legal software is critical. Not having legal software makes any company suspect. Both from the management perspective but also that anything they build and deliver could have touched the illegally used software and therefore is tainted.

It costs more money to be legal. But it is the only way you can be.

It reminds me of the music industry and their quest to get people with illegal music. The rise of online music services and the quality of SiriusXM radio makes that less relevant now than it was. The other side of the copyright and legal issue is, however, who makes money. I understand the concept of risk versus exposure. Risk and exposure are what a company takes. They take the risk of hiring you, and the exposure of contracts with their customers. Therefore, the company should make money on your time spent on their behalf. That is completely fair. They shouldn’t however, make money in a manner that isn’t legal.

What I’ve seen against the music industry is where the money is being made. Where a massively selling album may generate one hundred million in overall sales, the artist gets roughly 10% of that. Frankly, it isn’t fair. The risk for the performer is great, the company releasing the record and mp3’s on iTunes makes 90%. That is the wrong ratio. Hopefully, someone is working on a model going forward that better supports the creative entity in the music profession.

Author’s Note: I argued once with a member of my family about the rights of companies and artists when it came to charging for music.  The initial argument was that the  record companies made too much money. I don’t think people understand the reality of business risk. Someone takes on the risk of the album failing. It isn’t the artist.



At my current rate I will be done sharing family pictures in 10 years.

One of my favorite things over the years has been collecting and now sharing digital images. I have way too many digital pictures stretching all the way back to the 1950’s. I also now have completed the conversion of my grandfather’s old films, so I have actual video from the 1940’s all the way to the 1970’s. Family and friends videos, pictures and memories all now available and backed up (in four different locations).

I realize that having that many pictures are somewhat problematic. That is why I started the family history project, to begin the actual sharing of the images with other people. With the new site where I am hosting my primary blog, I can share roughly 50 pictures a day. Seems like a big number of pictures until you compare that to 140,000 images overall. Based on that it would take me roughly 3500 days if I didn’t take a single new picture. Since I am still taking pictures, I will probably never catch up.

That said, there are some other issues that will prevent me from sharing a lot of the pictures. One is that when scanned some of the images were scanned upside down. Easy fix, but that takes a little time. The other issue is the maximum upload size on the site I use to host my image blog. They limit things to 8 megs. That means most of the images taken by my Canon 5 and the new 5ds aren’t able to be uploaded. That represents roughly 12,000 pictures from the past three years. Another drop in the bucket but it does cut into the 3500 days. That said we did take two days worth of images (90) on the boat yesterday (one of them shared with this post). We take a lot of pictures.

Most important lesson – take a lot of pictures, and no matter what camera you use, have at least three copies of your pictures. One of those shouldn’t be in your house!

Author’s Note: The family history project started more than 10 years ago when my father gave me some of his father’s (my grandfather’s slides). It, the project, began in earnest in 2014 when my father left me all his slides. 30,000 of them in fact.


Need to share faster

Chasing an elusive rabbit down the rabbit hole…

For the past three weeks I have been chasing an elusive, and now officially annoying network issue at my house. Annoying in that last night, while trying to watch a movie, we couldn’t get the system (HDMI input system) to switch inputs. In part because of the network issue. I am not sure, but today I am running my favorite network tool (Pocketethernet) to see what I can see. I am not sure why I am having the issue at this point but will chase it down eventually.

Part of the network issue I know is self-inflicted, but I resolved that issue two weeks ago. It just exposed another issue that was there but wasn’t as noticeable until after my mistake. Next week is a busy week, Jibo is finally shipping. Mine is in route and will arrive Monday. My new iPhone arrived Friday, and I am going through all the fun processes required to set up a new phone. I would say the upgrade process is easy, but so far it has been less than ideal. I ended up having to Chat with Apple Technical support to finish the process. Oh well!

Now, that said, and my reality check does you remember filter on, it is still easier to backup and restore an iPhone than it was back in the PPC days. There were times back in the day when I would restore my phone two, even three times a week. Overall I don’t have that issue anymore, other than the annoying network issue. My concern, of course, is that I have devices coming that will cause further network and bandwidth issues. It may be time to take everything apart and start over. Sometimes you need to get your system down to its lowest possible level. I used to write a column years ago for a Magazine that was called the Vanilla Network. Get to simple, it makes it easier to figure out issues.


network analyst…but not by choice

The easiest way to find you way is to know where you are going…

By the way, the two phrases of the day for me are “I don’t mean to offend but…” and my new all time favorite phrase “you are talking it wrong, out of context or I didn’t mean that.” Communication is a tapestry woven between two people. If one side pulls too hard, the tapestry isn’t going to hang straight. In fact, it is going to look like something that you wouldn’t hang on the wall. Now, there are times when you have to offend someone. I know as a manager there are times I’ve had to tell people that they weren’t effective, adding value or well working out. It is not a fun conversation nor is it one I look forward to; it is just one manager has to have.

In polite interactions and conversations through, we shouldn’t hear that. If someone says hey you hurt my feelings, you should honor that. That way if I ever hurt your feelings, I will honor that as well. It is all part of the concept I have shared before #digitalrude. One of the things I used to do when I was teaching a class of young technologists was told them the three rules. The three rules are quite simply that you pay attention to the world around you.

  1. The person first, device second. Your phone is a device. The human being sitting, walking or near you is a person.
  2. Everyone gets phone calls and texts. When you do, excuse yourself (is it all right if I take this? Is it all right if I check this?” But always remember rule one. Person”s” is always first. If the person is talking, don’t take out your phone.
  3. When in doubt, refer to rule one and rule two. Rinse and repeat!

I cannot tell you how that changes a classroom. It always will change the conversations you have with people. If I know you are invested, so will I be. There isn’t a person I know, that won’t respond to the following phrase with a positive please do response. “I am really sorry I have to take this call.” Picking up the phone and walking away from a conversation, however, will not get a good response.

This isn’t a the way things were, were a better conversation. This is simply a right thing to do, the right way to behave conversation. The digital divide isn’t always about people unable to understand the technology. It is sometimes about people unable to understand #digitalrude behavior!


seeking harmony in a symphony of discord

Of things my father left me and PICO projectors…

There are two things I have in my office that was given to me or inherited from my father that are not technology related. One is my father’s slide projection screen that he had in his office in Bloomington for many years. I have it hanging on the wall in my office and use it as a quick projection screen when I am evaluating the quality of small PICO system projects. ODIN was the first system I played with that I used dad’s old screen for that purpose.

The other item of my father’s that I have is a picture of my father and me many years ago. I do have other pictures hanging in my office. I also have some heavier items hanging on the wall as well. For heavier items, you want to make sure you have a stud supporting the item, so I use the Walabot to find the right place to place the nail. The Walabot system lets you see into walls and figure out what is behind that wall. I use it all the time!

The world of PICO projectors has changed radically over the past five years. Now the projectors have an integrated OS. Why would you care that your portable projector has an integrated OS? Because if you have a WIFI network, you can watch Amazon Instant Videos, Hulu, Crackle, Netflix and for that matter, any of the cable or Satellite TV providers broadcast anywhere you are. The convenience of entertainment, anywhere. Or connect your pc and share presentations with people, anywhere. The last one is the one I am most curious about. When I was little, I asked my grandmother why she liked watching musicals. I asked her the wrong way “why do you like this grandma; people don’t walk around singing.” I got a lecture on the fading American cinema scene and that I should welcome and appreciate musicals more. What I meant to say was its cool you like musicals grandma, they are a great escape. I put people doing spontaneous slide shows with a projector in the same category as musicals. Nice, fun spectacles, but other than Hollywood where would anyone do that?

Pardon me while I wander around my neighborhood sharing presentations with my neighbors. I don’t see any issue doing that do you?


technology smart aleck

More thoughts on the concept, #digitalrude

I got an interesting comment on my recent safe platform blog post. Sadly I suspect the person didn’t read my post which makes the question even tougher to answer. The reality is, as I said previously, I spent many years upgrading and recovering my phone sometimes once a week. My phone is no longer something I wish to have in the mode of constant upgrades. I want stability since it is the primary communication device I use, day in and day out. I don’t jailbreak my iPhone especially because I don’t want to have to reset my device anymore. I do still do that with computers and with one of my tablets but not my phone. I live on my phone now.

#digitalrude is a term I have thrown about before. #digitalrude is where someone hides behind the reality of social media and launches rude comments at people. Or they sit in a room and watch the screen of their phone ignoring the human beings in the room. The reality of modern communication is the rise of #digitalrude. Not, by the way, that it is only people under the age of 30 doing this. #digitalrude is something that spans even encompasses all generations. The only difference being now is that there is no accountability for the rudeness. When I was a kid, if you mouthed off to someone there was direct and personal accountability for your actions. If the person were bigger or stronger than you, the repercussions would be a punch. While I do not ever condone punching people to solve problems, it doesn’t solve them; those were the rules we grew up with years ago.

I feel sorry for people that are compelled to do that. They type on their keyboards launching rude comments to the world. Hiding behind a screen name and an Avatar. Never revealing who they are to anyone. Why is that/ Because if you know who they are you can block them, push them out of your life quickly and easily. I have had the misfortune to encounter a few people like this over the past 20 years I’ve been online. For every troll or #digitalrude person, I meet ten or twelve people that I find amazing. That helps me move past that reality.

A wise man once said be careful who you step on, as you climb the ladder of success. You never know whose hand you may need as you fall off that ladder.


adrift in a rude sea