Friday, 30 March 2018

Is Someone Listening?

With Facebook in the spotlight because it had allowed Cambridge Analytica to use their data base to target individuals during the election. You might have read about it but not their finest hour, we must. Remember the old saying, nothing is for nothing. Facebook make its money out of advertising and they have been targeting us with what they consider relevant advert for years. We do not pay for Facebook, actually we do, we have given consent to FB to use our personal information and they seek that information on through their targeted advertising. 
Cambridge Analytica developed an app (application) to target individuals. Not that clever and really Analytica is not a word. Analytics is, but I suppose no one saw the typo when they licensed their name and so they are stuck with it.
Amazon Echo - Google Home - Apple Home Pod
This rambling brings me onto our home smart systems. Amazon Echo, Apple Home Pod and Google Home. We have as yet not bought one of these devises yet, that just means we are thinking about it. 
My questions is; Are these companies all storing what we talk about in our home, is it eavesdropping on our conversations? For Alexa to hear you when you say 'Alexa play my Neil Diamond album, Hot August Night' she has to have been listening all the time. 
Stands to reason when you think about it. Makes me wonder what they are doing with all that data about us? 
I know they probably ignore me rambling on about fat people or the utter morons who run our council or for that matter the country, heard it all before but when I discuss something private with she who must be obeyed, hopefully it is just that, a private conversation. I have turned 'Hey Siri' off on my iPhone and iPad and not enabled it on my computer, just irritated me when they never understand what I am saying. Also I tend to use the expression ' hey seriously' and Siri would wake up. I suppose it must be my accent. 
I did ask Amazon what they do with our data. They assured me all my data is stored in a secure server and only I can access it. Also you can go into your settings and delete large chucks of data if you are worried about it. They also assured me they do not use this data at all.  Apple and Google do not have that feature yet. They claim not to store your data but will also point out that their devise learns from you and can anticipate what you need. Now how would it do that if it was not storing my data and analysing everything I say?
Funny that, I recently bought a 8" Amazon Fire tablet for testing a clients application and all my web pages after that showed me different Amazon Fire tablet, why? I had already bought one and do not want to know that they are now cheaper or a new model is out, go away. Do not use my data! What rubbish, of course they do, so if you own a Alexa, Hey Siri or Google thing, watch what you say. Rule of thumb, if you can not say it in front of the children, do not say it at all, well maybe softly in the bedroom.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Happiness, do you have it

Just watch an other episode of Vikings and I must say I do find somethings quite amazing. The commutes between Denmark and England on a small boat with one sail and no real navigation equipment, does stretch the imagination slightly. That cripple son of Ragnar Lothbrok, is pure evil and I must admit too wanting him slayed.

Now Lagertha on the other hand deserves a long and fruitful reign, while Rollo is the cleverest of the whole bunch. Marries a rich daughter of the Franks (French) and lives the dream. Bjorn Ironside is a quiet guy who is following his dreams, forget the wife and mistress he has left behind, he is fixated on travel. I must admit Vikings must be taken in small doses, violent and depressing on the whole but a little addictive.

Talking of Denmark, they only came 3rd in the happiness table. Some scored lower but we will not dwell on that.
Happy Ladies in Finland

Top Twenty

1. Finland (7.632) 2. Norway (7.594) 3. Denmark (7.555) 4. Iceland (7.495) Switzerland (7.487) 6. Netherlands (7.441) 7. Canada (7.328) 8. New Zealand (7.324) 9. Sweden (7.314) 10. Australia (7.272) 11. Israel (7.190) 12. Austria (7.139) 13. Costa Rica (7.072) 14. Ireland (6.977) 15. Germany (6.965) 16. Belgium (6.927) 17. Luxembourg (6.910) 18. United States (6.886) 19. United Kingdom (6.814) 20. United Arab Emirates (6.774)

Some worth looking at and maybe improving?

105. South Africa (4.724) 106. Iran (4.707) 107. Ivory Coast (4.671) 108. Ghana (4.657) 109. Senegal (4.631) 110. Laos (4.623) 111. Tunisia (4.592) 112. Albania (4.586) 113. Sierra Leone (4.571) 114. Congo (Brazzaville) (4.559) 115. Bangladesh (4.500) 116. Sri Lanka (4.471) 117. Iraq (4.456) all118. Mali (4.447) 119. Namibia (4.441) 120. Cambodia (4.433)

Table supplied by the UN Happiness Department 

Monday, 26 March 2018

Nanny Threasa May

All schools in England now have to have a 2.8m high fence around them, security gates and a intruder alarm system in place. That will not stop a determined person getting in, or a desperate child getting out. We put these systems in place to feel safe, the world is full of danger and no matter the precautions we implement, they will never be enough. What we are doing is putting ourselves in prisons. 

The world is full of nasty people and we hold ourselves ransom to those pathetic few who are determined to do harm. At the same time we protect perpetrator of violence. The police frown on anyway tackling a intruder and be aware, when you do, do not use any violence or aggression. Why you ask? Well he will probably complain to the police and they will charge you. 
I am at Caffe Nero, enjoying a very good Americano in a double expresso cup, only way to drink an Americano. One of my favourite coffee shops, cosmopolitan is the word that comes to mind. Also has the attraction of being half way down Poole high street and again you can people watch, see the odd fight and wonder how she walks in those high shoes. I have noticed you can see the difference between the local and those from the EU, those from say Italy, have a better dress sense and look open and friendly. The locals, normally have tracksuit bottoms on and hoodies and you do not want to be talking to them. 
We live in a nanny state and the best nanny of all is Theresa May and the government for re-election, or should that be for the people. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Youth, those wasted

We had a really nice coffee at Nero caffe today and on our way home came across a small group of young boys, walking towards us as we drove home. One of those little boys, he was maybe 14, in the middle of the road and as we passed he showed us a finger. Bravado, stupidity, all rolled up into one. They would probably go into Poole town centre and look for trouble. 

There is sadness in that, this young man's life is on a bad course and ultimately he will pay for his actions.
I am reminded of that song by Elvis Presley, it is called In the Ghetto. This is a few lines which tells it own story.

"Then one night in desperation
A young man breaks away
He buys a gun, steals a car
Tries to run, but he don't get far
And his mama cries
As a crowd gathers 'round an angry young man
Face down on the street with a gun in his hand
And as her young man dies
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin'
Another little baby child is born"

They difference between that young man in the song and the boy walking passed our car is the former is driven to crime by hunger, the latter, by bad parenting and a nanny society that almost rewards bad behaviour. Here the mama does not cry, she will swear, blame everyone except herself and only cry if she does not get compensation.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Journey fraught with Danger

This has been a most unusual time, 1st March is officially spring and we are housebound with 5" of snow. Well things could be worse but alas I did stock up with wine, cheese and olives, did forget about the dog and Susan but then in emergencies it is everyone for themselves.

We are into the third day of being marooned at home and I am getting cabin fever, so the trusty Zafira will be going where not even the number 5 bus will go. Jenson is beginnings​ to chase his tail, yep it is time to venture out. I am writing these words hoping they will not be our last. If we never come back, I hope, whoever finds this, will pass it onto my children. 

We will be making for the beach and hopefully Jenson will get a run and we can breath in fresh air and then onto a coffee shop for that much missed americano and cake. The journey will be fraught with danger at every turn, but they say it is not about the destination but the journey, I will keep that in mind while going gentle through the snow and ice. I will have my iPhone and will record the journey and hopefully bring you good news of a world out there, free of snow and ice.