What’s a #blockchain?

@AARP magazine nails #blockchain #blockchaintechnology pic.twitter.com/vS1d755Czu — Mark Cathcart (@cathcam) October 28, 2018 I posted the above to twitter, but its not really a joke. #blockchain has become the emperor’s new clothes and to some degree, @AARP is right.  The original article may be a little more aimed at humour than technical depth, but it’s not wrong. A few of my friends have already been cold called and offering blockchain backed securities and similar. We know that’s mostly just marketing BS, but they don’t know. So this is, whatever you think, a good way to get them thinking about it. … Continue reading What’s a #blockchain?

Your infrequent reminder, Facebook is evil

They figured out how do you tweak people’s vanities and their passions and their susceptibilities and their desires in order to keep them on the site. Source: The Central Question Behind Facebook: ‘What Does Mark Zuckerberg Believe In?’ : NPR If you have not heard it, the above NPR Fresh Air interview by Dave Davies with Evan Osnos, a New Yorker Staff writer is well worth the listen. Since that interview, we’ve had two more announcements of significance from Facebook. October 11th, the evil empire announced that they’d disabled some 66 accounts or what Facebook described as: dozens of accounts … Continue reading Your infrequent reminder, Facebook is evil

Delete your Google+ profile

Google+ is what happens when you try to take on an incumbent, don’t communicate your vision, and then leave the rotting carcass to fester and be eaten by the maggots. In this case the maggots were a security vulnerability that exposed the private data of up to 500,000 users It turns out Google knew about the vulnerability back in March 2018, but decided not to disclose it as, as far they know, it hadn’t been exploited. If your data was upto date and complete, there was enough there to perform a rudimentary phishing attack. In my case, my phone number, … Continue reading Delete your Google+ profile

Why You Shouldn’t Use Facebook to Log In to Other Sites – The New York Times

This is a good explanation of why it is way past time to stop using your Facebook ID to login to other sites. Personally while I still occasionally wish I could login to facebook to check on relatives, otherwise I don’t miss it at all. No matter what facebook do, there will continue to be security and privacy breaches like this. Facebook wanted to become “the web” and along with that aspiration, they also became a focal point for all the hackers, scammers, and those wishing to game the system. #deletefacebook   Source: Why You Shouldn’t Use Facebook to Log … Continue reading Why You Shouldn’t Use Facebook to Log In to Other Sites – The New York Times

Data Interchange and Interoperability in Healthcare

I recently had to go for x-rays on my hip. The imaging company called saying they’d received the “order” from my chiropractor for a knee arthrogram without contrast. Apparently, this was both wrong and confusing. It’s wrong, because the “order” said hip, but they couldn’t read it; also it’s confusing because, well something to do with x-ray and contrast. After a short discussion, it turned out the imaging company received the order by fax. Yes, real actual paper fax. The US medical profession still seems to run on faxes. My prior cardiology hospital sent my medical records to my new cardiology … Continue reading Data Interchange and Interoperability in Healthcare

Why we can’t have nice things

Subtitle: How we get nice things and then they make them too expensive. Recently contractors for Comcast/Xfinity have been all over Louisville drilling holes along the utility easement to lay conduit for fiber optic cabling for Internet and cable. The city has a brief here on the project which is supposed to be complete by the end of October 2018. Bad news if you are a customer in the service area, the city release says: Comcast customers will experience an outage from 30 minutes to 6 hours with the typical outage being 2 ½ hours. Any outages for this kind … Continue reading Why we can’t have nice things

Legislating hacking/data exposure responses

I don’t know enough about the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) but at least on basic reading it seems inadequate in meaningful individual action requirements and legislation that benefits the actual user/person whose information has been exposed. I’ve been signed up for haveibeenpwned an excellent website by Troy Hunt. You enter your email, and it tells you what breaches your personal information has been found in. I was going to say “if any”. But of course your data will be there, especially after breaches like the River City Media (RCM) “spammer gate” where 1.4 billion peoples’ email accounts, … Continue reading Legislating hacking/data exposure responses

Google and Voice

You’d think given the proliferation of voice activated home technology like Alexa, Siri, Google Voice Assistant, Cortana etc. we’d be on the home stretch for voice activation in cars, where distraction is a real life threatening problem. I don’t travel much now, I don’t drive more than 6k miles per year, which is a good thing based on today’s experience with Google. I’ll admit, I didn’t do any scientific research, I’ve no idea what other brands do, but I got stuck in traffic today heading into Boulder. I asked Google Assistant to read a web article from Vox. My Google … Continue reading Google and Voice

Europe vs Facebook

The questions that Zuckerberg never answered, including this: How will you be remembered: As one the three big internet giants along with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates who have enriched our world, or as the genius who created a digital monster that is destroying our democracy and society? https://gizmodo.com/mark-zuckerberg-played-parliament-for-fools-and-theyre-1826227452 Continue reading Europe vs Facebook

The Popularity Of ‘Westworld’ Points To Our Anxiety About AI

“If things play out with AI the way that they have done with Facebook, we’re in a lot of trouble.” Jonathan Nolan Source: The Popularity Of ‘Westworld’ Points To Our Anxiety About AI, The Show’s Creators Say | Here & Now Continue reading The Popularity Of ‘Westworld’ Points To Our Anxiety About AI