are you secure?

Do you watch your own wifi? By watch, I mean other than Alex Ledante, if I asked you at 2 pm what was on your wireless network would you know? Could you look at a list and quickly tell what devices you expected to see? It is not my intention to scare anyone. Nor, is this a cautionary tale of what can go wrong. I would caution this, however, when the authorities find out a hack has occurred. The first thing the authorities do is trace the attacking computer location. This is done by a series of processes. Why do you care?

Well if someone that is doing things they are not supposed to do, and they have hacked your home network, then they launched an attack for your assigned IP address. They, the hacker, didn’t;’t care if you got compromised because it wasn’t them!

Let’s go back to the original question. Can you, at 2 pm on a Thursday tell me how many devices are on your network at home? Around 2 pm on Thursday there were 73 devices on my network (I know way to many devices) but I can tell you without a doubt what each device on my network is. From the various tools, I use I know what each assigned device is doing. I realize that I have more devices on my network than most people do. But if I can effectively keep track of 73 you can keep track of 6, 10 and so on. The reality of security is you are going to get attacked.

Either a site like Virily, or your PayPal or just your computer files you will get attacked. Manage your security by reducing the amount you are exposed. This doesn’t remove your security and no one is safe but you can reduce your risk.

How many devices are there on your home network right now? Do you know how to find out?


another virily issue

First, a huge Kudo for the Admin and IT teams of Virily for getting the issue of the Create button missing, fixed for many users.

Now that the crisis has moved on, its time to consider a couple of other issues.

1. Pictures stripped from old posts.

2. That issue brings back the issue of editing posts and comments.

First off, Alex, Howard, and others have told me about the issue of missing pictures a couple of times. I haven’t spent a lot of time wondering about this issue, but I did spend some time look at my old posts. Now, in the past (the beginnings of Virily), you used to get 2 Virils per picture submitted up to a maximum of 20. That changed to a maximum of 2 around two years ago. I used to submit 20, cut that to 10 pictures per post. Then I cut that to 6 because I added captions for each picture in my wander project. But no matter what I only get credit for two pictures. That is fine, and I don’t write on Virily to make money, I write as a platform to share information about places, things, and memories.

I started about two weeks ago reviewing some of my older posts. Many of them have the pictures stripped out. Now I understand why from a site management perspective. Each picture is between 2 and 3 megs in size. I have over 1500 wander projects. That would be between 10,000 and 15000 pictures in total, if not more. That would be 460 or so megs of storage, and that costs the site money. Links don’t impact, and text doesn’t impact the size of the stored post, but those pictures do.

That said, I have searched the FAQs (nothing noted), and I will be sending this post and the comments to the admin team on Saturday. To see if the assumption I’ve made is correct in that there is a cost to storing old posts, and the pictures were removed to reduce that cost.

All that said, why did I bring up the second point? Well if images are stripped off, then the posts are being edited after they are shared. Based on that I believe it wouldn’t be that hard to let at least us edit comments.

1. Authors should be able to edit their comments.

2. Authors should have the right to remove offensive comments on their posts.

I am not asking or advocating the editing of posts. I do understand that is a legal kettle of fish, and no one wants that hassle. But comments should be something that can be banned, edited, and modified.

The reality of Virily is that most of the authors are not native English speakers. Base don that, comments like a good job, thanks for sharing as long as they aren’t copied or pasted are perfectly acceptable. We all understand that to read posts and to comment, and sometimes people don’t have the perfect response.  Then if you can’t comment on my posts I won’t on your rule is interesting.

It is ok to make short comments. It is not ok to demand others comment in a specific way. It is also against the rules of the site to copy and paste the same comment in multiple places.


The digital divide…

The digital divide is something that recently has come to represent the reality of the world we live in. It, the digital divide is about those with free access to the internet. It is sadly also about those who do not have free access to the internet. Not that free represents no cost. Instead, it represents unfettered or uncontrolled access to the internet.  We will break this into two distinct conversations. There is the reality of oppression and the reality of technology. The end game is the information, although if we consider the internet the source of the information we will be dogs chasing our tails. So as we embark on a conversation focusing on the Digital Divide let’s move past the disinformation. The internet is simply a publication platform. It is by definition, an existence little more than a place to put information. The internet to borrow the phrase is a cesspool. It is a great ocean of information, but it is only 4 inches deep. You, as the user are standing on a platform 50 feet in the air. You need to make sure, and you know how deep the internet is where you intend to jump in. The internet today has more conspiracy theories than well verified and real information.

That is the first digital divide — the reality of disinformation. You see, not everyone has the time or resources to check information on the internet. A good friend of mine always talks about the concept of the internet lie detector. He calls it the lie detector connected to your keyboard. He also points out, as my grandfather always used to say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. There are fake people and people that focus more on being dis-ingenuine that also create a digital device. I don’t waste time on people that don’t follow the honest philosophy of treat others as you expect to be treated.

The second tier of the digital that is the reality of free access to the internet without controls. If the first issue is being able to trust but verify information, having limits to what you can see on the internet is part of the digital divide. That isn’t a technology control, by the way, that is social or government control of the internet, access and the information that is acceptable. (the reality is this tends overwhelmingly to be government control).

The vast majority of the digital divide occurs in these first two. The last part of the digital divide is the technology piece. The last piece is the actual technology. Today there are many people outside of cities that do not have good or decent access to the internet. I don’t mean limited access; in this case, it is no or extremely limited available access.

1. Satellite works for many non-connected homes. However, the satellite has limitations.

2. LTE allows users to connect wirelessly. But, that does require the answer to the question is there enough density as far as people to justify having a tower.

3. Cable modems, DSL, ISDN, ADSL and Fiber all allow users to connect but are limited by the reality of cabling. There are vast stretches of the world where you don’t have access to the internet. 5g is not the answer to this problem.

It is  really important to remember that the digital divide is more than what TV commercials and print ads would have you believe (digital divide impacts rural people). It is the combination of all three. Anyone of the three limits you. Any two in combination limits you. Sadly there are places on this planet where all three are applied, and that is the most limiting.


the 4th industrial revolution

One of the things I often do is peak over the horizon at technology. I have talked a few times about the reality of 5g. Many pundits are calling it the 4th industrial revolution, and for the most part, it may be. It however also creates a much greater potential of the reality of what is called the digital divide.

What is the digital divide? It is the delta between people that have access, in fact, and people that don’t have access today. In any case, it is due to location (in the US, rural customers often lag far behind urban customers for internet speeds). It is also an issue of the reality of implementation.

What does the reality of implementation mean? It is the reality of how a nation or country deployed both land and cellular technology. South Korea and the US were leaders in the implementation of fiber optic cables. In the new world of 5g, those fiber optic cables become the make or break.

Have them in your country today, then 5g is fairly straight forward.

Don’t have them in your country, and 5g is a little harder.

The digital divide is an issue that is going to impact people but not as much as many of the futurists are saying.

LTE or long term evolution, sometimes called 4g, in particular,  4g LTE Advanced has a lot more bandwidth overall than people realize.

The issue of the digital divide is more going to be what are you doing with the device and what do you need to know.

4g LTE may be good enough for 90% of what people need from bandwidth.

But envy is a horrible thing!

The reality of what the digital divide may become is that countries that have Fiber Backbones in their networks are going to move to 5g reasonable quickly (by 2024). Other countries will move slower as they have two projects, Fiber, and 5g, to implement.

But, removing envy, 4g LTE is enough for most needs.


shameless review Meeting Owl!

Meeting Owl – the technology of meeting systems for rooms is expanding. I recently had a chance to add a Meeting Owl to my office. The Meeting Owl is a 360-degree camera that sitting on a table can show everyone at the table when personal speaks the Owl shifts to the directional microphone and additionally shifts to the directional camera to show the face of the speaker. This was something new ten years ago, but now several systems can do this.

The Owl is small, roughly 12 inches tall, and at its base around 5 inches in diameter. So it will fit on virtually any desk or table. I have it on my office desk, but I have also used it in my extra downstairs room for conversations and meetings. Using a portable projector, I am easily able to create a moving meeting experience anywhere I am.

Meeting Owl I tested it with:

Zoom, Teams, WebEx, BlueJeans, GOTOMEETING

Meting Owl also includes integration software with your phone or tablet. That allows you to see the meeting analytics (such as how long the meeting was, how many people participated, and so on). Meeting Owl is an extremely interesting tool.

  • The speaker is of high quality.
  • The Microsoft is both mom-and bi-directional. Lets you capture multiple people talking or focus on one person when only one person is speaking.
  • The camera is great, HD quality, and can show 360 degrees or an entire room.
  • Software is easy to use.
  • The device is easy to set up and plugs into any open USB port.
  • It also acts as your computer speaker!

Overall my rating for the Meting Owl is 9 out of 10.


Virily Updates


  1. I have not heard anything back from the admin team regarding the create issue. My apologies for that.
  2. I wanted to reassure everyone that has reached out to me about the comments of other authors. I sent along with the feedback to the admin team, but I did not include the names of people (other than me as I sent the data to the admins). Please feel free to continue to reach out. I won’t share your name with either the person in question or the admin team. I will reach out to the person in question and attempt to get them to understand that they have possibly been commenting a bit harshly. So far, of the eight people that I’ve been contacted about, five are being much nicer in their comments. Three remain steadfast in the lack of their office. Not much we can do about that.
  3. I haven’t heard back from the admin team on the concept of new accounts for older users. I am working through a theory right now as to the original problem. But it should be noted that authors that have new accounts can publish posts. If you still cannot create, you can create a new account. Note, there is no guarantee that you merge your old account into your new account.

The admin team released a bunch of new blogs on Sunday. I was able to hit my goal of 30 new blogs read for the day. I am not sure how much longer I can keep that up. During the traditional work week, I have a lot less time. We shall see, but I did manage to read 30 new blogs a day for the past four days! Thank you to everyone that submitted materials! I enjoyed reading all and commented on 30 plus new blogs today!

This is my last Virily update for a few days. I am going to go back to focusing on technology blogs for the next few days. I get burned out on these updates, so I will walk away for a few days to recharge!

Update 2”

  1. If you didn’t, the last time I sent this out – time to change your Virily password!
  2. I apologize for my post yesterday, I have four quiz questions, but I didn’t do something right, and the questions were stripped off.

Hopefully, everyone is having a great weekend!


Virily Update

There are a few things that I want to clear up.

When someone reaches out to me, either with issues or problems, I go to the person they are having issues with. I do not send complaints and other authors to the admin team. My personal belief is to reach out to the author in question and let them know others are frustrated or concerned. That was a rule I developed long before I was on Niume. It is a personal rule, not a site rule, and by no means would I expect anyone to do what I do. However, based on the reality we are facing, I am no longer handling things that way. Effective today I am going to gather feedback for authors, contact the author but also send them to the admin team; I did so this morning for the three authors that I have been contacted about by many other authors.

The next step for me now is (and I have as of this morning) sending the issues raised to the Admin team.

The next thing beyond that is I am going to publish the names of authors that other authors felt were being a bit much. (I won’t publish the names of the people reaching out to me, only the offending author). (that includes me by the way if I offend someone that hasn’t offended me first).

If you can’t handle a disagreement in public, don’t send nasty comments to people in the PM system. I also sent those to the admin team.

The reality of Virily today is the admin team doesn’t respond to issues or concerns as often as they did. Not that they were great in the past. But that at least when we had the support chat they would respond in 24 or 48 hours. Now, they do and don’t respond very often.

I did send the new account question to the admin team as well, I have heard back on that issue either. My question was simple – since it is not listed as a no-no in the FAQ, it has to be ok. But will users who’ve put 2-3 years into their profile and ranking on Virily have their existing account merged with their new account? It seems only fair to me that their now useless older account gets moved into their new, and create enabled new account!

Fairness is really important to me as a person.

I was able on my quest today to reach 30 posts read. I see that there are still a few I haven’t read on the new post list, so I feel like I have a shot at hitting four days of 30 or more posts read.

No one is required to read, comment or to interact. If you can and want to, please do! Do what you can do!!