Tag Archives: privacy

encrypted email

1 Dec

london 8.33am 4.1C sunny friday 2017

i often hear of this, making your email secure by encrypting it, but never did get round to doing it. this morning i read this in my wordpress reader… about a company called protonmail being disappeared in the google search engine and only reinstated when they publicly tweeted google and when reinstated in google they were number 1 and 3 respectively . i guess by this publicity they will let more people know about them. i certainly did not know about them before. and they provide a free email service too… though a limited one… i was about to join in, but i just wondered does encrypt mean i might find myself shut out from my own emails, or from others… or others might find themselves unable to read my emails because of the encryption? i wonder if others might also have the same concerns, and maybe our concerns are not valid… it does not work that way. encrypted emails are a two way sword. they hide your email contents but they also enable terrorists to use it to hide their content….

you might say , well you cannot have it both ways, privacy means privacy for all, crooks as well, or terrorists… so i guess it means we shall just have to let them bomb us to bits… that is freedom, right? who was it who said something like i dont like what he says, but i will fight for his right to say it… well it looks like that person will have to die for defending that other persons right … or more probably he will get off alive, but it is us who will die for being in the way of a bomb or terrorist whose free speech he is defending… things are not very black or white, isn’t it? are terrorists allowed free speech so that they can plot to kill us without us being able to find out and stop them? is that the price of free speech and privacy? is providing encrypted emails to terrorists like providing them with guns…? giving them the tools to enable them to do their atrocities?

i ask all this, but really i am not really bothered. if it happens it happens. 

gadgets and monitoring

15 Jan

london 8.48am 3.8C sunny friday 2016 this is the first day in january that we got the sun shining for most of the day.

i have never understood why people want their thermostat to be controlled remotely. this is what nest thermostats do, and it got a bug that made it switch off, plunging the house into a cold house. haha. this is an application of the internet of things, where household gadgets can be connected to the internet and u can get info and command them remotely. just because u can does not mean u should. 

just buy an old fashioned thermostat.

as far as i am concerned they have not discovered a killer app for the internet of things. is there anything that would make it so obviously a good thing that i am forced to get one of these gadgets? so far not, but whoever finds it will make a fortune. how about a tracking device on any object, so that ,if it gets stolen, the device will send its location via the internet to the owner. that would be useful. that seems to me the one useful thing to come out of all this internet of things.

there is a survey asking people how willing are they to exchange personal data for freebies. most people seem to be against these intrusive monitoring gadgets. and it seems the answer to the question of privacy in exchange for freebies, is ‘it depands’.

here are the so called best of these gadgets. none of which is essential. but u might disagree. 

added. 16.1.15 8.53am 1.7C 

Internet of Things is basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the internet – smartphones, headphones, coffee makers, air-conditioner, television, washing machines, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of.

The IoT has enormous potential to collect continuous data about our environment,” said Ted Friedman, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

By 2020, addressing compromises in IoT security will have increased security costs to 20 percent of annual security budgets, from less than one percent in 2015.

sounds like we will be under continous surveillence, by our gadgets, whether we like it or not. but they will all require an internet connection, via wifi, or something. it might come a time when a gadget wont work unless it is connected to the internet.

added. 17.1.15 this article mentions that it is a bug draining the nest thermostat of its battery power . personally i dont like that it needs a battery to work, we have too many gadgets that rely on batteries, batteries are not cheap, and it is not easy to find out if the battery is running down and needs replacing.

i have a tv remote that relies on batteries. and there was a time when we have to replace them quite often, for some reason it drains the battery. i have noticed that the buttons get stuck and remain pressed down. that might explain why the battery gets drained.

once i noticed the battery got hot…so hot it is painful to touch. it was not well seated and not in proper contact with the heads.that happened once only, but it was enough to alert me to a fire hazard.  i was really concerned about that, as i can imagine it might happen when we are asleep and catches fire.  so i take out the battery when we go to sleep. that does two things, it stops the battery being accidentally drained… and it stops it overheating. i think batteries cause fires more often than is suspected. most of us are not aware of it. i think it is best not to leave any gadget charging overnight. mobile phones,  and smoker’s vapers are often mentioned as being prone to catch fire. if u have a lodger, it might be a problem getting them to not charge their gadgets unattended. that is the hidden danger of having lodgers. 

privacy

29 Jul

london

i just saw a video about how if u use free wifi when you are out and about, your movements are tracked and the information is used by whoever sets up the wifi to find out about what u like and to push adverts that you like your way. it says it is a bad thing to do. but is it?

maybe i am mistaken but to me it is a good tradeoff. i get free wifi, and you get info about my movements or rather about my gadgets movements, which is not the same thing because i could lend my gadget to someone else and their movements will be tracked.

also, if they can send me stuff that i like, i would welcome it. for eg, if they find out i like freebies, maybe they will send me vouchers to redeem free drinks or food, which they will know i like. haha.

better than they sending me spam , which i define as anything that is not of interest to me.  it is a win -win situation, dont you think? they get my business and i get to find out things that i like.

whether i follow up on the adverts sent to me is entirely within my control, and that is something they can never take away… so what is the harm in letting them know about my likes and dislikes. right?

All those who say our privacy is breached, seem to go on the assumption that we are so weak willed we will fall for everything they send our way and buy it. like we are robots or something.

maybe there are some people like that, but i should think most of us can say no.

or if u are one of those who cannot, you better shape up and start learning to say no, or u shall be end up being ‘eaten’ in this city jungle.