Tag: cell phone

Are we cooking ourselves? Here is some food for thought.

Are we cooking ourselves? Here is some food for thought.

 

As a technology minded person, I often wondered about those who design cordless devices.  In particular, I am addressing phones.  I assume some government agency somewhere spent millions of your tax dollars to come up with what someone thinks are safe levels of radiation.

Maybe these people know more than the rest of us, or maybe they don’t.

Case in point.

The standard cordless phone in 2017 most probably transmits to the base either at 900 MHz or 2.4 GHz.  While your phone may advertise the higher frequency of 5.4 GHz that is most probably from the base to the phone.

Split frequency designs like this are prudent as it takes more power to transmit higher frequencies.

Now, these cell phones that we all carry around transmit either in the 850 MHz range or 1.8 ~1.9 GHz range.

MHz (Mega Hertz) stands for millions of cycles per second,  GHz is (Giga Hertz) or billions of cycles per second.  So every second depending upon the frequency, the RF (radio frequency) cycles millions or billions of time.  IE 2.4 GHz is 2 billion, four hundred million, cycles per second.

Frequency should not be confused or conflated with power.

Power for our conversation today is watts.  How much power or how many watts of RF (radio frequency) are we talking about?

Cell phones transmit up to 1.7 watts of power.

Cordless phones transmit as much and possibly more than a cell phone.  The interesting aspect of this is there is this DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) technology that has been around for a little while now.  They sell it as a plus but European studies have shown this might be more hazardous to your health than its predecessor.

The base of this technology is transmitting full power all the time whether your phone is in use or not. If the base is next to your bed or on your desk you are constantly bombarded with 5.4 GHz or at the least 2.4 GHz of radiated power in the form of RF.

Move it away from your body.

Why am I writing about this?

Ever since the first cell phones came out I wondered what they were doing and why.  These phones are always talking to the cell towers announcing their availability and telling them where they are while checking in.  The phone was and is smart enough to adjust its power level depending upon what is needed to communicate with the tower effectively.  The reasons are many but the main idea is to “talk” with one cell tower at a time.

My phone, even today will often time be warm in my pocket, or just sitting on the desk.

While we really have no idea what a smartphone is doing all the time, you can bet if it is warm, it is transmitting something.

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I built this little device with a few diodes.  I will not belabor the technical aspects of this device other than to say it does not have any batteries.  These devices are passive in that the only way that they are energized would be by outside energy fields or EM (electromagnetic) forces.

I got the idea from the crystal radio of my youth.  Yes, I built one and housed it inside a pen casing.  With a single diode and a coil and very little know how I had a radio that would pick up local radio stations and never needed a battery.

Since my original device that I designed and built years ago, I found this version on the internet for a few dollars.

Setting this thing on top of my phone it soon became obvious that the cell phone is transmitting constantly.

  • Is it looking for data?
  • Is the phone talking to the tower?
  • Is the phone talking to my Wi-Fi network?

The answer is yes.  We really have no idea if the phone is doing anything else in the (tin foil hat category).

Now with 1.7 watts of RF at 2GHz, give or take, right next to your ear hole, one has to wonder if that is healthy.

Out of curiosity, I moved my device around the phone to discover that the most of the radiation or highest amounts come out of the phone right by the earpiece.  Why?

Knowing RF and the possible link to brain tumors, lymphoma and other nasty things why would the engineers put the transmitting antenna where it would be closest to your head?

This is the iPhone 6S.

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My curiosity got the best of me so I checked my cordless phones.

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The light powered strictly by RF from the phone is very bright, right on the ear hole and down by the mouthpiece, the light, or power output is nonexistent.

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Imagine that your phone has enough RF power to illuminate an LED to full intensity and that energy is being pumped into your head right through your ear hole and of course next to your skull.

Tell me; why in the hell would you not put the antenna at the base of the phone where it would be furthest away from the body/brain?  The energy required to light the led dissipates with distance.  Logic would dictate that the less energy radiated close to your brain would be a good thing.

The pictures speak for themselves but now you know what you are looking at.

What can we do?

First off, we should ask the government for our money back that they paid for these studies.  One would think that if they can come up with SAR (specific absorption rate) and what is safe that just maybe they might have said, “you know, you phone makers should place the transmitter/antenna away from their brains.”

It is kind of like that commercial where the bank is being robbed and the guard says, “Oh I am not a guard, just a monitor… you are being robbed.”  What good is the FCC if they cannot think outside the box? The government, which they are part of, is to protect its citizens from faulty designs, much like the Corvair of the 60’s.  Where is Ralph Nader these days?

It is amazing to me that they did scientific studies to figure out how much tissue would cook or be damaged by rf.  Then they came up with the acronym SAR and finally did nothing more about it.  “Look for a phone with a low SAR rating.”  Are there labels, using this phone can cause brain cancer?”

What is so germane about 2.4 GHz and why am I sounding a little stressed about this?

That box in your kitchen that burns popcorn so nicely happens to work in that same frequency range.

Since there are millions of microwave ovens out there the FCC put broadband Wi-Fi, cordless phones, and many other unlicensed transmitters that the public uses in that same frequency range as the microwave oven.   Part of your license on each piece of equipment reads something to the effect that this device must accept and deal with  RFI or radiofrequency interference.

How does the microwave oven work and what does that have to do with my phone?

Microwave energy excites the molecules in stuff causing them to move faster.  Much like rubbing your hands together you get friction which causes heat.  That is how a microwave heats your lean cuisine dinner or left-overs from Sunday Brunch.  Yes it uses more power but I ask you, would you stick your head in your microwave to see how long it takes to fry your brains?  Consider the cell phone or cordless phone like a microwave crock pot, it might take longer but eventually, something is bound to be heated up.

Just for you people who think that I am a tin foil hat kind of person think of this one. 

How many of our urchins you call grade schoolers now have the very latest iPhone sticking out of the back pocket.  A trip to any mall will answer this question.  Even if it is a hand me down generation 5, it puts out all sorts of power right next to that thinner more malleable skull and younger more tender, still forming brain tissue.

Then there is this whole blood brain barrier thing that doctors talk about.  Does it really seem like a wise idea to put that kind of power that close to those newly formed brain cells?  They are future tax payers you know. Wink wink…

Possibly one of them will say, “someone should really put the transmitter in the base of this thing away from my brain.” Will it take a child to figure this out?  Maybe a riot on the Berkly campus to get the attention of corporate america who might tend to overlook such things.

I know, I am gettin my tin foil out… 

With telecommunications being a multi-trillion dollar industry it is no wonder that this is overlooked.  Much like the back scatter x-ray porn scanners at the airport which virtually strip search you, there is a greater good.  Bombarding our bodies with ionizing radiation is not harmful as long as the government says that it is ok. (sarcasm)

Calling attention to it might cost Nokia or Apple or Panasonic a few dollars.  What is the big deal about a few brain tumors, “can you hear me now?”

Since industry will probably not respond, how can you protect yourself?

Blue Tooth technology also uses RF in the same 2.4 GHz range but the power is very low.  A class one transmitter uses about 1mw or Millie Watt.  There is a newer headset that wraps around your neck with the earpiece extending from them.  That would put the blue tooth transceiver around your neck away from your brain.

Try to always use a headset or speakerphone, and if they still have them, a corded phone.

Use e-mail or text and by all means try talking to people face to face.  I know that is a radical concept but, I don’t think you are in danger of getting exposed to radiation that way.

About the device…

While the original crystal radio of my day used a 1N34 germanium diode this device uses nine 1SS86 diodes one tied to the other with an LED as one of the diodes.  The legs are purposefully left long like that as they act as the antenna to capture any energy that might be present.

If you are creative you could make it look like a bug with a tail and a head that glowed.  Just a thought.

I am not claiming to be an expert on any of this.  Just a person who thinks common sense is in limited supply.  These days we too readily accept that which is, without asking why.  Ask Why!

Cheers!

Scott

 

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RATS and Right to Privacy

RATS and Right to Privacy

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While some may find them cute and cuddly, and some, absolutely disgusting; this rat that I am speaking of is neither.

The rat that I want to educate about is really an acronym for Remote Access Trojan.

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Just about everything electronic today has a built in camera.  Not to mention a microphone.

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Some smart TV’s actually have them built in to allow you to voice command the TV.

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Your car may very well have something like this built in.

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I have long held that our government could if they wanted, under some obscure interpretation of the Patriot Act, access your camera and or microphone to peek into your home.  I have also thought that this could be done with the microphone and camera on most laptops and of course desktops that have them.

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Not only is there news of the Feds hacking your cell phones and either listening in or downloading your contact list and other information through something called String Ray but there are theories that your local police may be doing this as well without a warrant!  (1)

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It is not enough that we may have our government spying on us without warrant but, we have Trojans that copy your keystrokes and send them to some server in Russia, or some other obscure third world country looking for passwords and banking information now we have RATS.

Today we know that perverted individuals out there have in fact used the cameras in laptops handed out by the school to indeed spy on kids in their bedrooms.  While this made the news, little attention was really paid to this, as conspiracy nuts are everywhere.

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(2) The Case in question

We now know that the Chinese among others have created Trojans that allow them remote access to your camera and or microphone in your laptop!  Simply click on the wrong thing and the writer of the software has access to your machine.

One couple received a picture of themselves lying in bed watching a movie on Netflix.  This came to them from someone using a made up name, via their Facebook page.

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(3) Naked Security Story

You really have to be smart when you are cruising the internet and checking e-mail as the crooks and other creeps are smarter.  I have often said that these folks are probably kids sitting around in their mother’s basement in their underwear, writing Trojans, seeing who can outdo the other via groups like Anonymous.

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I would like to see devices like phones have an actual on off switch or removable customer replaceable battery.  If you want to make certain that the thing is off, remove the power.  Apple has made this task about impossible for the everyday user and that is problematic.  Placing the device in airplane mode might be your closest bet to protecting your privacy but I would bet that there is a work around for that.

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I would also like to see on off switches on cameras and microphones that absolutely can be switched off until required.

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The simple truth is we have no idea what these phones are doing in the background and with viruses and Trojans, we have no idea when some remote access Trojan will activate or be activated by some creep in some basement somewhere.

Someone write an app that tells you what the phone is dong or has done.  

When you sit back and think that I am a crazy conspiracy nut, I would remind you of the porn scanners that are still in use at some airports today. 

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Yes, if you invert the negative with any cheap software you get a positive…

Who in their right mind would think that it is ok to use ionizing radiation to undress the public by the tens of thousands for the purpose of what, looking for weapons?  We are so politically correct that we can’t profile but we can strip search the public, grope grandma and feel up children!  Political Correctness is a way to control the masses and not something that we should be doing as a people.  We have free speech, and other than yelling fire in a theater or threatening to kill someone, I would not surrender the first amendment for anything!

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Did you read about the whistle blower who worked for the TSA and admitted that it was a big joke to watch people stripped of their clothing and then make remarks and jokes about what they saw? (4) (5)

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If I could have any job in the world, currently it would be to be in some position of authority at the TSA! I would love to clean that bunch of people up and while I am at it, assist them with security as currently they are loath to do much right, of course it is the government so …. What do you expect?!  They need folks who think outside the box and currently they have a bunch of automatons.

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The news media commonly carried stories about the TSA scanner as equivalent to being at altitude for a couple of hours.  The lying bastards however did not tell the truth.  While pilots do suffer more cases of skin cancers than non-pilots as cosmic radiation is more intense at altitude, it is not the same as ionizing radiation.  

To further exacerbate the privacy issue you are undoubtedly aware that cameras are everywhere.  You must assume that wherever you are, or whatever you are doing, there may be a camera watching you. Every red light contains cameras that I maintain can and do look at people in cars collecting bio metric data, looking for who is doing what when.  These are not the low end cameras that you can buy on-line, these are high end cameras that have good quality optics.

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How about some of these cameras:

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There is a wifi enabled camera in there. Have you seen these in your hotel room perhaps?

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These are just a scant few.  These things are tiny and easily concealed. Assume that you have no privacy.  If you scratch it in public, chances are someone saw you.

DAKS - IDIS DirectIP surveillance images

Orwell was ahead of his time, and you my friends need to be aware of this, and act accordingly.

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(1) http://thehackernews.com/2015/04/police-spying-cell-phones.html

(2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbins_v._Lower_Merion_School_District

(3) https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2015/08/14/webcam-spy-sends-couple-photos-of-previous-nights-netflix-snuggle-session/

(4) http://mountainrepublic.net/2012/12/24/ex-tsa-screener-officers-laughing-at-your-naked-image/

(5) https://takingsenseaway.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/letter-from-a-passenger-what-really-happens-in-the-tsa-private-room/

-Best

© All Rights Reserved 2015

Open letter to #OU

Open letter to #OU

ou-logo

Open letter to OU

  • Does Racism exists? 
  • Is it more rampant today than it was in 1968?
  • Should the folks at the OU fraternity be brought up on charges for their chant?
  • Should their fraternity have been demolished?
  • How do we battle Racism?

One would have to have been in a coma for the last 50 years, or brain dead, to believe that racism is not alive and well in this country; as well as around the world.

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The racist song or chant repeated by the members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity that has sparked such a furor, “and debate” across the country is the following:

Song to the tune of: “If You Are Happy and You Know It”

There will never be a N***** in SAE

There will never be a N***** in SAE

You can hang them from a tree, but he can never sign with me

There will never be a N***** in SAE

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McCarthyism lives on.

Not too many years ago I would venture a guess that this song or others like it had been chanted or sung by many others before them.  What makes this time different? Why do I say that?

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This is a very old tune, a very very old tune that I would guess has been sung by many many people in this fraternity, and possibly others.  If this were a recent creation it most likely would have been done in rap music style which of course the oxymoron would have been priceless!

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Today we have people looking for their 15 minutes of fame.  Today each and every person that carries a cell phone can be a photo journalist or video journalist with a waiting a ready audience to give them their reward, “views!”

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When a fight breaks out and some person is getting pummeled by more than one person, do we step in and stop it?  No, we record it and post it, to see how many hits we can get with it!

Worse than that, in this 24 hour news cycle we have the cable media finding these “nuggets” and broadcasting them to further promote the “human condition.” While building their ratings!

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Yes, Racism exists and it should be no secret that we find anyone that is different from us a candidate for some sort of bias.  If there was an all-white or all-black school, those in the school would find someone that acted differently from them, and mock them or bully them, because that is what we do.  Our human nature is to build ourselves up, at the expense of others.

The extreme racism that exist within the Black Panthers; Americans and others only are aware of it because it makes for ratings to put someone spewing hate like that in the national spot light!

The New Black Panther party meets with the PAC in Soweto.

Racism is really hate.  It is easy to hate, much easier to hate than to like or heaven forbid Love; as we are instructed to do by our creator.  Since we are taking God out of everything, and everywhere, it is no surprise that the human condition it deteriorating.

Had there been no easy way for that person who took that video in the fraternity to take the video and then gain the national spot light, we never would have heard of this.  It would have come and gone, as it probably has for years, and nothing ever would have been said.

Here is the rub, even though what they did and said was abhorrent; I would argue that they have a right to say and do it. 

Just like the advocate for the Black Panthers can stand on a street corner and proclaim to the world that “he hates white people, he hates crackers!  He wishes every Cracker was dead!  The old, the young, the men and women and even their babies!  He wishes their cracker babies were dead!” Spittle and foam spew out of this person’s mouth as he screams to the eager cameras recording his every utterance, like he was some sort of messenger from some place important!

He too has a right to say what he says.  We can flip the channel or turn off the damned idiot box, but he has that right!

If we dissolve Sigma Alpha Epsilon for what they did and or said or we kick them all off campus, we are not teaching anyone anything other than you really don’t have freedom of speech, if you are white!

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What if I wanted to rent that building to put a place of worship and study for Christians, or Jews, or pick a religion?  What if that too was considered hate speech because now we can obviously pick and choose what is ok to say, and what is not.

You could argue that what those members said was horrible but, what if others find Christianity distasteful?

I for one think that the University missed the mark.  That should have, and could have been used as a teaching moment, instead they invoked the Zero Tolerance policy which means zero thinking!  They took the path to cover their ass, instead of using it as a way to teach future generations around the globe how to deal with racism; at its roots!

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They picked the ostrich approach which people have picked for generations.  How is that working for you?  You would think that we are capable of learning.  One would think that college folk would be smarter than the rest of us poor peons, and be able to think outside the box!

Had I been asked, I would have immediately reversed that decision and put their letters back on that building.  I would then use this as a way to teach, and I would apply the opposite of hate while I did it.  The color of skin is an easy way to delineate between us, and make some an easy target for hate.  Some make it easy to make stereotypical snap decisions about a group of people, by the actions of a few.

I read in the news recently that in the middle of a basketball game, the home team stopped the game in the middle of play, walked off the court and came to the aid of one of their cheerleaders!  You see, some people were bullying this cheerleader and they “the team” were having none of it!  This Cheerleader has Down syndrome and she is one of their own!  Someone is teaching something good there.  Someone is doing right by these kids!

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Those people in that fraternity are “one of their own,” and even though their condition cannot be cured or controlled by medicines, their condition could be changed and needs addressing.  If my hunch is correct, that chant is as old as the school; and most probably represents a bigotry of a time gone by but, like many traditions has hung on because no one had the integrity to challenge it.

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Those people are part of a culture and that culture needs help, just like the folks in Ferguson need to wise up and read the tea leaves.

The guy was guilty of charging a cop, while trying to take his gun!  You don’t do that and expect a good outcome!  Even the overly biased DOJ had to admit that Darren Wilson was correct in his actions! 

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The hate in Ferguson needs to be dismantled, and if external agitators are found to be there, they need to be encouraged to leave. Racism is a cancer that grows in the heart and hate is it accomplice.  Unlike cancer however; you cannot simply cut it out.  Education and a lot less of the people who foment racism for a living will be needed to heal these wounds.  Add to this some time, and lack of the public spotlight on those craving attention will go a long way towards healing this nation after these last few years of torment.

As for any gathering anywhere, know that you could be recorded. There is in fact no safe haven for your privacy in this world today.  Orwell had it right, it just took a little longer.

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Technology has made privacy just about a thing of the past.

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Each and every street corner has some sort of camera.  While I don’t want to sound like an alarmist or conspiracy nut, your own phone, tablet or computer could be capturing your activities and sending them to some huge data facility used to store terabytes of terabytes of data!

Full disclosure: I am a writer of Sci-Fi so… Orwell is my kind or person.

While being mindful of the fact that your privacy has limits, doing the right thing is doing it with the knowledge that nobody is seeing you do it. 

-Best to you and those that you care about!

Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved

Www.guard-protect.com

Www.Timedok.com

Open Letter to Apple or Darkware , the new frontier…

Open Letter to Apple or Darkware , the new frontier…

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Problem: There needs to be an easy way to sync your existing iPhone and or iPad with a new computer, and here is why?

I met Steve Jobs years ago when I was working at an agency that used Next Step computers.  Steve was an out of the box thinker “creating things in his garage” before the first apple anything ever was created.

Apple enjoys being one of the “big dogs” today not because of the mac, although it didn’t hurt but, the iPhone and of course tablets which they have excelled at.

Recently when the hardware crashed on my PC, even though I had a backup of the data, the iTunes files system to me was lost as it was tied to that computer. The OS with Microsoft dies with the computer so you get to buy everything over again.

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One of the success stories of Microsoft was and is, to keep their software “intuitive and consistent.”  Apple does this as well, once you know the basics, you can fumble your way through the rest.  When however; you have an issue like this, what are the workarounds?

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I need to move my data over to a new computer, migrate my iTunes stuff to the new computer, install the newest version of iTunes and sync the phone, iPad etc. right?

Folks, it should be this easy.  It should not take more than just a couple of steps in keeping with “apple simplicity.” To recover from something like this.

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I do not want or need a laundry list of things including standing on one foot while reciting the star spangled banner backwards, pressing a combination of half a dozen keys in separate sequences and purchasing some “Darkware” program that has no guarantee of working because, it too was invented in some basement by some pimple faced kid.

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There is in fact no way that I can see to do this without wiping out the phone, iPad (s) and starting from scratch which would not aid me in importing my contacts into Outlook at all! I also have no idea how much data that is on the phone / iPads that I would lose!

Outlook by the way has an equally convoluted way of doing this but, at least they have a way!

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Outlook, why don’t you write a program to do this all “programmatically” for your faithful users?

I de-authorized the dead computer but when I tried to authorize the new one, no such luck, still too many computers authorized!  3, three computers authorized and there are still too many!  Out of a possible 5, 3 is too many!  So, I de-authorized everything!  Now what!? Now you have to wait something like 90 days to re-authorize things…..?

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Doing the normal search thing, reading the blogs, researching all of the work around(s), I became frustrated to the point of thinking, “maybe it is time for a switch!”

Maybe, just maybe I really don’t need a smart phone at all.  How about a flip phone that just makes calls and receives calls!?  Have we come to that?  Have we come full circle?

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Not only do I need a device that works as I expect it to but, I need it to play well with other operating systems.   I should not be forced to follow the threads of other frustrated users until I discover some clandestine piece of software that could cause your device to no longer work! I need something that “Apple” has invented, created or has included with iTunes as an easy way for people like me to recover from!

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If I have to search the web and buy some third party software to fix Apple’s short shortsightedness for convoluted way of keeping people from sharing their songs with their teenage girlfriends, we have gone too far!

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I would much rather find another product that has already done that.  Things break and there needs to be some part of the program that allows for this.

This is Apple’s problem and they need to create a solution.  A solution that does not include forcing people like me to drive to the mall and to wait in line at the Genius bar to find out how much of a genius they are or are not.   Also to find out that I should simply  “google the problem, someone may have written something!”  Really, is that the best you got!?

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One of the first issues I had with the iPhone is I needed a way to organize my apps with the computer.  Do you think for a minute there is a way to contact Apple to get their attention?  I posted the idea for “free” to them in a public forum and I will be damned in about nine months’ time, it was there.  What would you care to guess that some employee who read my post offered the idea us as his?

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Well Apple, here is another free Idea, just fix the damned thing so I can get on with my life!

Thanks!

-Best to you and those that you care about.

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved

Www.guard-protect.com

Www.timedok.com

#Texting while #driving @DentonTweets

#Texting while #driving @DentonTweets

Texting while driving

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The smartphone has offered us many different things both good and bad.  The inclusion of a GPS has been a rather cool edition to the arsenal of tools that this Swiss army-knife of a device does for us.

Each and every day new apps are developed by someone trying to make it rich with their programming prowess.

Along with the GPS and many cool games and business applications there are some that are shortsighted in the total thought process.

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We need to think through the process or, the makers of laws will do it for us in typical government knee jerk fashion, and we then lose control of the process.   Let’s look at Facebook for example.

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Facebook is a success story of immense proportions for many reasons and mobile technology has pushed it over the edge of being what it is today. The problem with this app and others that require your attention are that while driving these apps are distraction to the task at hand, driving.

Texting is another example of a good idea run a muck!  Texting is a great way to communicate without a long drawn out conversation.  “I am running late.  I am going to the store is there anything that you need? Would you grab some milk on the way home?

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Texting and other applications take your eyes off of the road and that is a recipe for disaster.  How many times have you sat at a red light after it turned green waiting for people to look up from their smart phone to see that the light has changed?

How many times have you seen cars or even big trucks weaving all over the road as they think that they can text and drive because they are somehow better or more evolved than the rest of us.

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I have actually seen many cops sit at red lights and weave in the road because of their distractions.  These folks have the  phone, two way, radar, a laptop and, not only are they supposed to be able to drive but, they have to listen to the two way and watch for people breaking the law all while driving!  And they unlike the rest of us “know” that they are better and more equipped to handle distractions while driving… Yeah ah huh….

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The City of Denton has just implemented a ban on texting while driving that comes with a $200 fine each time that you do it.  We already have a state-wide law against distracted driving, so why a law so granular?

471566_455333961181044_461025221_o I would love to know how much of Daddy’s money ends up in the city coffers because they probably target students.  I know they in fact have a zero tolerance on speed limits so this falls into the same arena. The police should be a cost center, not a profit center.  When they turn into a profit center they loose their objectivity and come up with things like “zero tolerance.”  I stay the hell out of Denton for this reason, and I live real close to there. Business’s should ban together and stand up against things like this.  Zero tolerance means zero thinking!

The answer to this is really simple.  Disable the device’s ability to do anything but answer the phone while it is in motion.  This is not rocket science, many car GPS’s already limit what can be done with them while in motion, why not a smart phone?

It’s not fair!  Cries the passenger.  I am not driving so what difference does it make that I too will not be able to text, Facebook and so forth?  Actually, it is fair.  Do you realize how rude it is to sit in a car with people and you are on your phone texting or face booking or using some other app, rather than being part of the conversation or team “if you will” that drives from point a to b? As a passenger I often drive my half of the car, help navigate or point out something that the driver may not have seen, like a speed limit or stop sign hidden behind a bush or tree..

Removing the risk of distraction from other drivers; is it really such a sacrifice to make?  Some will agree and others that are more selfish will not.  The bottom line is that this action would save lives and keep the government from creating more laws and making revenue off of people making bad decisions while driving. Lets help people to help themselves.

If you plan to use your phone while driving make certain that you have voice recognition working as well as a blue tooth device so at most you have to touch a button on your headset that tells the phone you wish to do something like “call home.”

I could probably write a book on Cell phone etiquette but, let’s start with texting while driving and let’s make it easy for the rest of the people who think that they are impervious to being distracted.

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Lets help someone who thinks that they are so happy that they must post it on Facebook while driving, it can wait!

This too might be a change.org thing…

If the City of Denton would think outside the box rather than in its regular 2 dimensional style, they would contact the state law makers and propose a bill that made sense. Have Apple and Samsung and others put something into the OS that disables the phones ability to open apps when it is in motion.  Excluding of course the telephone itself and or some apps that are made to run mobile like the GPS.

 

Thoughts?

-Best to you and those that you care about!

Copyright TimeDok 2015 All rights reserved.

www.guard-protect.com

www.timedok.com

Dok at TimeDok.com

#Truckers, #Drivers, #Distraction and You.

Today I would like to visit with you about a few rules of the road.

Recently (very recently) I spent some time on the highways of Texas and Louisiana.

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The first thing that I would like to address is drivers and cell phones.  The things have invaded every facet of our lives.  We have them everywhere and we are married to them.  These things are the Swiss army knife of technology.

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There are so many ways that the phone has become an integral part of our daily lives that if we leave home without it we will turn around and go get it.  If we are too far away when it is discovered we will actually have anxiety issues about it not being with us.

 We will pull it out at a red light.  This action often times causes you to be sitting there after the light has turned green causing the guy behind you to honk.  (That guy is me by the way.)

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We pull it out on side streets and try to text, Facebook and what have you, while driving.  We will pull it out on the highway and not only try to talk but text, Facebook. 

One of my favorite all time News Anchors pulled it out and took a picture of her dash while traveling down the road at 60 MPH showing the temp of  -14 and of course driving at night on icy roads.  She really should lead by example, and this is not it.

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On this last trip I noticed a new twist to this phenomena, truck drivers are doing it.  On multiple occasions I would see a truck swerve on the highway.  Often times they would swerve to avoid going into the ditch and their truck / trailer would end up in the other lane from the over correct.  As I passed each and every truck that did this they had the phone up next to their ear.

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They did this on dry pavement and they did this during a blinding rain storm.

 The driver that really caught my eye was a Texas Trooper, who also swerved.  As he passed me, he too had a phone up to his ear. I guess that he was late for something as he passed me well in excess of the speed limit, on a rain slick street, with a phone next to his ear.  Can a citizen pull over a cop?

 I have never driven a “big rig.”  I really don’t know what would happen if they were to drop a wheel off of the paved road.  The over correcting part that put them in the other lane, however; I can guess what would happen if someone was beside them.

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Normal every day drivers do this all day every day with no thought of the danger that they are putting themselves in, not to mention the rest of us.

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This type of behavior is cause for every day drivers to pay attention not only to the road but each and every car around you as you never know when someone is going to try and do something stupid!

 Hands free devices should be mandatory for those who wish to talk and drive.  My vehicle allows me to hit a button on the wheel, tell my phone who to dial and handle everything without taking my eyes off of the road.  There are after market devices like this so, really there are no excuses.  Even a blue tooth headset will allow you to do this.

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Distracted driving is illegal.  We should not need a special law for each and every thing that you might do with your car while driving.

 

On another note, who came up with the speed limits on our roads?

 

Some road should clearly be marked faster than they are and some should not be marked as fast as they are.  There should be standards and that can be state by state but there should be consistency.   Two lanes farm to market roads have no business being 75MPH.  Multiple lane highways have no business changing from 75 to 55 when they are the same road with the same kind of traffic.  We need to work to fix things and lead by example.

 

Small towns that change their speed limits on the main road to 30 mph at the drop of a hat, with the sign being partially or fully obstructed by a tree or shrub or some other structure ought to be fined by some sort of oversight committee.

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Recently I went through Cross Plains Texas where the speed drops from 75 to 30.  Just inside the border there is a really old sheriff or some sort of cop that wears a T-Shirt that says police on it.  He has a cowboy hat and boots and jeans.  Truly he is a throwback from another era.  The tickets appear to be an 8.5 X 11 piece of paper and he goes through many, from what I am told. Maybe they are the large print variety.

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As I was quite lost while looking for a place, I went through the town many times. Each and every time he had someone pulled over.  It is not that the town should not be 30; the road going to the town should not be above 60.

 

On a recent trip through the Keys I found that the road going through them was under construction for the entire trip. Highway 1 was about a 100 miles of intermittent speeds going from a high of 55 down to 30 with little or no warning.  Behind each and every sign was a cop and of course while all of the signs said, “active construction zone” there was not a sole lifting a spade of dirt.  There should be a law against this type of thing.  By the way for the record; this was a work day, middle of the day.  The entire week that I was there I never saw anyone doing anything that one could call construction.

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 Slow down, don’t text and drive, and get a hands free device and learn to use it.

 

-Best

Cell phone / tablet

I have decided that the cell phone needs to be redesigned. Apple and others need to make the phone in such a way that the battery can be replaced by the end user.

These things cost hundreds of dollars and the “normal” person is ill equipped to replace their battery. Secondly and most importantly, if I want to make sure the damned thing is off when I turn it off! If I can remove the battery, I know it is indeed off. Currently these phones, tablets, and other smart devices could be hijacked by who knows who and used for nefarious purposes.

Apple, Samsung and the rest need to make this happen!

While I would truly love to have an app that would tell me what my phone is doing or has done, I am not certain that the app (log) could not be circumvented by the hijacker. The only way to know for sure is to ” kill” it!

Without electrons it cannot be hacked. Maybe people will think I am being paranoid but , I am a security guy so paranoia to some extent is a good thing. Trust no one or nothing that you don’t have 100% control over.

These devices accompany us everywhere. They live in our bedrooms, bathrooms or wherever and if hijacked , video and or audio could be transmitted to who knows where!

Give me a replaceable battery Apple! I don’t need a new $400 phone and a new contract every 2 years, I need a $10 battery!

-best

Life, Wealth and Happiness

I chose the title carefully as the three can me mutually exclusive.

Stuff and Reality

Most of us grow up seeing a pattern of “wealth = happy.”  In fact some of the poorest people that I know are some of the happiest.  How is that possible?

The world today tells us that we “need” an expensive car, or the largest flat screen TV or whatever the newest gadget is.  Apple is doing their part by providing a new version of their products about every 18 months or so.

A few years ago a “car phone” was for the most exclusive and wealthiest of us.  Today, kids in grade school have a much more sophisticated version than I would have dreamed possible just a few years ago.

A simple automobile that cost a few thousand not too many years ago now cost upwards or $40K.  Of course you can spend $24K for the same basic car but it does not have the “logo” that the $40K car has.  Will the less expensive car do the same as the expensive car, probably; but it will not have the social status of the $40k car?  I cannot envision spending $150K on a car but there are many on the roads.

If you are a churched person you no-doubt know that “God will provide.”  Does that mean that if you pray really hard and give money to the church that you will get the $40K  or $150K car?  No.  It means that you will have the necessities of life.  The trick of course is realizing what the “necessities are.”

This is where the poorest among us have the rest of us beat.  They are happy with what they have.  One of my favorite song writers penned the phrase, “it’s not about having what you want, it’s about wanting what you got.”  If you think about that, it is so true.

“Failure to plan is planning to fail!”

Am I telling you to settle for less than what you have or want?  No, I am telling you to set your expectations accordingly, set your goals a little higher than your expectations, and take the actions necessary to achieve those goals.

Much like project management, your goals need to be fully planned.  What do you want, what does the end goal look like, and what does it take to achieve it?  What milestones must you achieve to get to where you want to go or be?   Goals should be on some sort of timed deadline.  If you set dates to accomplish certain milestones you are more apt to succeed at the end goal. Start with prayer for wisdom.  Praying to win the lottery is probably not going to get you anywhere.  If it does; please keep me in mind.. J  Realistic goals are part of the prayer process.  Few grow up with the goal of being a garbage man.  If you did, “bless your heart.” Many end up there because they failed to plan.

Do I look down on those folks, not on your life!  It takes all kinds of folks to make the world go round.  If more folks planned better, I think that finding a ditch digger or garbage man might cost more money.   I make a point to know my garbage collection folks.  If I can, I go out and tell them good morning etc.  The same is true of the mail person and even the janitor at the office.  They are all people and disserve the respect that you yourself would want.  If you think that you are better than them you are in dangerous territory.

Wealth or the lack thereof.

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I would seriously recommend taking the Dave Ramsey course for you who are just starting out.  After listening to his radio show for several months, I am convinced that he should be a required course in high school.  Credit card companies would lobby against that but, that would be just too bad.  Our progeny need to understand the fundamentals of his wisdom, and the sooner the better.

The good news is that if you are a parent you can go through the course with your kids.  It does not need to be mandated from the Ivory towers of DC.   Many churches around the country offer this course.  Why?  A tenant of the course is to be generous, think there could be a connection?  Too Cynical? Only they and God know their motives.

His mantra goes against current trends in advertising and indeed the way that we spend money!   His philosophy and wisdom really came from making mistakes and learning from them.  These are mistakes he made many years ago.  So, why make the mistake if you can learn from those that have already done it?  Like history, if you don’t know it, you will repeat it.

The jobs that you take should reflect some part of the path that you are on in order to achieve your goals.  Jobs can be milestones.  Let’s say I want to be a geologist.  I would start out learning everything I could about the subject from books to social groups that are like minded.  I might take an internship at a company that studies core samples.  Even if I have to wash beakers or crush rocks, I would be part of the process and undoubtedly something I learned would stick that I could apply later.

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The society we are in today has kids out of college with no practical experience looking for the big paycheck and the corner office.  Bless their heart!

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Many out there just take anything to get some sort of income.  Folks, this is ludicrous.  Letting fate decide your future is a formula for a life filled with dead end jobs being someone’s slave.  If you can’t afford to leave the bedroom that you grew up in, you are on the wrong path!  If you are forced to return to the bedroom that you grew up in because you are not making enough money to live on your own and be investing money in your future, you are certainly on the wrong path, or making bad decisions.

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Briefly, fast food jobs are for kids in school.  Those jobs will allow them to earn some spending money, gasoline and insurance money and if they are strict with themselves, some savings for college.  They teach the fundamentals of the working world and truthfully make one appreciate a real job when they get one.  I am a firm believer that everyone should have a fast food job as a child.

 

Retail jobs in general are the same type of job.  Most retail jobs are not a career choice that should be anywhere in your decision making process.  If those jobs are part time they are for kids living at home.  Unless your end goal is to manage some high end retail establishment, you have no business working there unless of course, you are a teenager.

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There is definitely a difference between adult jobs and “youth” jobs.  “Youth jobs are training wheels for life.”

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One job does not fit all.

I see way too many older folks taking retail jobs in places where there should be kids.  I think this is a direct reflection of the times that we live in.  The sad fact is that these older folks in these jobs allow their attitude towards that job to come through while dealing with the customer.  It is not hard to tell that they are not happy and feel that the job is beneath them.  Guess what; it most definitely is!  Staying in that job is mistake of monumental proportions.  Stay in it long enough to retrain and re-invent yourself if necessary, and then leave it for the teenagers that it was originally designed for.

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Some older folks are taking these jobs to get out of the house.  If you need the money, at least shoot for management.  Leave the kid jobs for kids.  Of course if you had planned correctly you would not need the money and could be spending your time out of the house, volunteering somewhere.

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The last few years, entitlement spending is at an all time high.  We are paying people to stay home and live on the government tit.  That money that the government gives away comes from those of us who are working, not living on the ignorance of a government run amuck.   If the politicians that think that what they are doing is correct they need to revisit it.

 

Anyone taking money from the government that should be working should be “reinventing” themselves.  Currently if you are attending school you are not eligible for unemployment.  What kind of foolishness is this?  If you don’t find suitable employment in X months you should be required to take some classes and I would argue that those classes should be subsidized by the government.  If you get an “A” 100% re-imbursement and so forth.  It is almost as if we don’t want you to ever work again, we want you to live on some small amount of money taken from those that are working.  Folks this is crazy!

 

If you know a politician or someone that you can talk some sense into by all means lets push this initiative.  People need a hand up, not a handout!

 

Business is not ignorant of this fact.  To get skilled workers to work for peanuts on a part time basis vs. dealing with kids who often have not developed a good work ethic is a bargain.  If they get college graduates to slave away at minimum wage jobs, that too is a bargain for them!  Keeping them at part time so they don’t have to screw with benefits, another win!

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We see the argument to raise the minimum wage so people can make a living at these part time jobs that school kids should be doing.  The pay is not the issue, the issue is that adults should not be doing these jobs!

 

Slavery is not Dead!

 

The problem is that these kids need those jobs as that is the next part of their training to become good workers.  A part time retail or fast food job is not for anyone that is serious about making a living.  Managing these occupations is another story however; it is slavery at best as you are most undoubtedly salaried and will work 50 or 60 hours a week and “it will be expected.”

 

Raising the retirement age was another mistake on so many levels.  Companies are shoving you out the door when you are 50 and looking for the college kids fresh out of school to bring in and abuse.

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This guy still votes too.  That is another blog for another time.

Very few companies see the value in bringing in older Americans as they would have to pay them a decent wage.  On top of that, these folks have experience and to some degree that experience might be askance of the job requirements and or environment of that company.  The phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” certainly may play through their mind.  Mature workers are excellent employees most always as they are skilled professionals and are not the party animals that they once may have been.  Their children are most probably out of the house, so little will pull them away from their task.

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Mature workers indeed need a vocation as we were designed to work.  Those of us who linger in the couch or in front of the TV or video games all day are most probably going to expire way before our time.  “A body in motion stays in motion!”  Keeping a regular schedule, going to bed at a decent hour, getting up at a decent hour, greeting the morning sun for fifteen minutes in the morning will keep you healthy.  There is of course more to it but these fundamentals are all too often overlooked!

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If you take a look at the richest people in the world (which is out there on the internet) you will notice Bill Gates is number 1.  The Wallmart and Sam’s ilk are close to that and there are so many others.  What I would like to call to your attention is that none of these made it there because they are “nice people.”  They are shrewd business people.  One has to wonder if they are “happy!”

 

Some of you may try to extol the virtues of Mr. Gates as he gives money to different charities, “what a nice guy!”  When Bill was buying the first operating system from a guy for $4k and licensing it to IBM for millions, I was involved with computers.  When Mr. Jobs was a criminal, phone phreaking, making his first large sum of money, I knew about it and how he did it.  When Bill got the windows idea from Xerox who happily showed him their ideas and products and told him about it being open source he happily took it and ran with it.

 

I have kept up with Bill, not because I am angry with him, he is a shrewd business man. One has to wonder if they “the richest folks in the world” are “happy” and how much money is enough?  How do people get so rich?  I wish I could say it was by treating people right and practicing good “ethical” business practices…

 

Retail stores hire folks are minimum wage and then give them just enough hours so they don’t have to pay for benefits.  Some reward their slaves with a few more hours for extra effort while only giving a few to the people who are not really motivated to be there.  Folks, it is hard to be motivated for $8 and hour, especially when it takes more than that to get a hamburger.  If you are working for someone, even as a slave, do your best as you are gaining experience not just in folding clothing but in dealing with people, managers and situations out of your control.  This also should teach you the value of an education and setting goals!

 

What is your goal?  Money is not a goal, but a tool.  Like a hammer or saw, it is nothing more or less than a tool. Money is a common tool that everyone can use to pay for or gain enough of to obtain food, shelter and the other basics for life.  In some cases it can buy you an island or maybe a small country.. It is still a tool and a means to an end.

 

Your goal should be to be happy, that I would wish for you.  Deciding on what is (happy) is another story.  Some find happiness in stuff, and others find it in family and friends.  Some of the happiest people that I know find happiness in serving others and or taking care of the other creatures that live amongst us.

 

I think that happiness is nothing more than a state of mind and those that have little to worry about seem the happiest.  I guess if you’re rich enough to hire people to worry about things for you, so you can focus on being “happy” that might be one example of being one of the world’s richest folks might work for you.

 

Personal growth, understanding the person in the mirror, makes me happy.  Each and every time I learn something about me, I am a little happier. There are few things that are in “your control.”  Getting a good education, understanding that knowledge is power is a great foundation for being happy.  Using that knowledge in a way that is consistent with “enlightened people” to me is a mark of wisdom.  Serving others, in some way that is consistent with who you are is another way to become happy.  I find that helping others takes my mind off of “self.” Looking at the bigger picture, one can appreciate the complexities of life and sort out the small stuff that should be in the noise, and not artificially elevated to demand your full attention.

 

This is a lot to chew on.  Questions and thoughts are always welcome.

 

-Best to you and those that you care about!