Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

computers

Think before you install……that app may not be so innocent

Thought for the day…”What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens.”

“If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”

It is amazing that so many people install apps on their mobile phones without any regard for just how much information those apps may collect. I recently wanted to install an app to control the flashlight on my mobile phone, but refused to install it when I discovered that it wanted access to my camera, email contacts and microphone. Absolutely no need for a glorified light switch to need access to my emails or the microphone on my telephone. And a second flashlight program proved just as bad.

Now there is the news on the internet about Amazon, and their plans to open physical stores in the USA. Apparently, they are going to monitor shoppers mobile phones, and will block their internet access if they attempt to check prices at other stores or online. So not only will Amazon be able to see what you are interested in, they will also be able to stop you comparing prices, and presumably, will also be able to see other sites on the internet that you are interested in. No doubt many people will quickly install a new Amazon app, without thinking about the loss of privacy. 50 years ago, people would have demonstrated against the idea of carrying something that gave authorities the power to see where they were within a few metres, and also what they were reading/eating/shopping/listening to. Even installing a flashlight app may now mean that somebody is listening to your conversations. Privacy is important, yet many people are now readily giving it up.

A photo from Spitsbergen of the Artic poppy flower, braving the cold weather…

and another photo….early morning in Riverton, in the far south of New Zealand.  At one time, this port received freight boats from Australia before the estuary silted up.  Now the railway and the larger boats have long since gone, leaving just the small fishing boats and a few tourists who pass through Riverton whilst driving the Southern Scenic Route.

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RESPECT,CONSIDERATION & FAIRNESS

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Where are the ‘experts’????

Thought for the day…”Don’t live the same year 90 times and call it a life”

“When life gives you a rainy day, play in the puddles”.

Computers have been around for a long time now, since the last century indeed.  Some of us grew up with them, starting with the famous Sinclair ZX Spectrum and the says of loading programs with tapes.   But despite computers having been around for decades, they still do not work as they should.  Why is it that there are still so many problems with things that by now should be simple, like logging into wifi??    Why do computers seem to have endless problems and need endless updates?   And where are the ‘experts’??   Surely by now they could have sorted out all the teething problems and have produced computers that do work without needing constant attention.     I would love to sit next to Bill Gates on a long flight and pass him my laptop and ask him to make it work properly.    It seems that the so-called ‘experts’ are not so expert.  How often have you heard the advice to restart the computer (ie. pull the plug out)??    And why have these ‘experts’ not managed to sort out the problems after all these years.  I just want a computer that works as it should and does not need constant attention.   Is that too much to ask???

Off to Norway for the photo today…and to the harbour port of Kristiansund, seen here on a beautiful summer’s day.

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and another photo from the archives…..fishermen returning home in Croatia….

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Contrasts – One world but different sides

Thought for the day….”To live an extraordinary life, you must resist an ordinary approach”

“Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance, you must keep moving”  (Einstein).

Two photos to show contrast today….the first photo is from New Caledonia and the second photo from Dhaka, Bangladesh.   One big advantage of the Fuji X camera system is that the photos straight out of the camera (jpeg) are so good.     I have stopped taking RAW photos now, as the jpeg pictures are great.   Much faster to just shoot in jpeg now, and it also means  much less time spent on the computer processing photos (which is great !!).   Purists will argue that a RAW photo has more detail, but it takes a lot of determination to sit at the computer for many hours converting RAW files.    The fun for me is in taking the photos, not in spending hours at the computer trying to get them right.  I still end up with far too many photos but that is digital photography.    Back in the days of 35mm film, when you only had 36 pictures on a roll (38 if you were lucky), then you really had to think before you pressed the shutter.   Not now, with the memory card easily holding 3000 photos and a camera which will take 6 photos a second.

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compare the beauty of the photo above with the chaos in the photo below ……same planet but……

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Addiction

Thought for the day….” Shadows cannot see themselves in the mirror of the sun”

“There are many ways of going forward but only one way of standing still”.

Addiction is the ‘persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior or substance’.   I recently observed a group of foreign tourists come into a popular local cafe.   The father sat at a table and immediately whipped out his mobile phone, and asked his wife to find out the password for the internet.   Then once they had got the password (and some coffee), they spent the entire time heads down engrossed in their mobile phones.   No awareness of where there were or what was going on, apart from their mobile phones, which were the centre of their attention.    No conversation between them or their children, just the mobile phones.     There is even a medical term now for this, internet addiction disorder, also known as problematic internet use (PIU).  One of the factors not helping this is the fact that we are rarely out of contact now, with internet access almost everywhere.     Even when we go on holiday and sit on a beach or climb a mountain, we often still have internet coverage.  We are never really out of touch.  Traditionally, holidays were times when you DID leave the everyday behind.   Holidays were times when you were AWAY and where you were uncontactable.    But for many people now, just a few minutes out of contact can cause panic symptons.     And it is sad to see people sitting in cafes and restaurants concentrating on their mobile phones, not on those who are with them.    Technological advance or a backward step  ???

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And another photo from the archives…the Stockholm marathon….

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Making the same mistake again (and again)

Thought for the day…” We cannot control the wind  but we can direct the sail”.

” If you want a happy ending, that depends of course, on where you stop the story”  (Orson Welles)

I should have learned my lesson before.   Having suffered the fiasco of Windows Vista, I ‘upgraded’ to Windows 8, only to be caught again by all the bugs and problems of that system.   So you would think that an intelligent person would learn.  Once bitten, twice shy, as the saying goes.   But no, along comes an offer from Microsoft to ‘upgrade’ free to Windows 10, and I again fall into the same trap.  Not only are there serious privacy concerns about the new operating system, but Microsoft seems to want to take control of YOUR computer and decide for you how things will run and which programs will run.   Perhaps worst of all is that there is a clause in the user agreement which allows Microsoft to monitor in real time your activity and also which keys you are using (a keylogger).   Even if you want to you YOUR choice of music player, the Microsoft own music player (called Groove) tries to take over instead.    And Microsoft even made deleting its Groove player difficult, needing a user to go to a command line prompt just to delete a program.   The more that you read about the loss of privacy with Windows 10, then the worse it becomes.  Somehow I just cannot accept that they would be watching every key that I press on MY computer, every webpage that I look at, and every program/game/application that I use, all in real time.

So Windows 10 had to go, and gone it has.    I regretted installing W10, hopefully this time I will learn my lesson.   Experiments with the LINUX operating system have been far happier.  It is a much simpler system, it works as it should, and its privacy policy is far better.    Windows 10 be gone !

Lakefront in the South Island, New Zealand town of Pembroke Wanaka for the photo today…..

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and another photo from the archives…the Challenge Wanaka triathlon competition, held each year in Pembroke Wanaka, New Zealand.

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And it does not work for them either…….Windows 10

Thought for the day….” Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit”.

Its not that I’m so smart, just that I stay with problems longer”  (Albert Einstein).

Well I am wondering if there is any hope for the rest of us, if the experts cannot get it to work…..At a recent presentation of the features of the new Windows 10 operating system, the chairman of Microsoft, Satya Nadella could not get the Cortana (the ‘personal assistant’ contained in the new system) to work.    After asking the ‘personal assistant’ Cortana to identify most at risk activities in business, the ‘intelligent’ system replied with details of where he could buy milk.   Further attempts to get the system to work as promised also failed, which led to the Microsoft chairman uttering words such as ‘oh, come on”, and ‘no, this is not going to work’.   He was finally helped by some behind the scenes experts, but it was hardly a good endorsement for the new system.   And especially if you are the chairman of the company that makes the product and are supposed to be promoting it at a large event.   So if the chairman of Microsoft cannot get it to work properly, then what can the rest of us expect????   Bring back Windows XP !!!!

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and another photo from the archives….southern Oman….

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They are taking over….already

Thought for the day…”I will go anywhere as long as it is forward”  (David Livingstone).

”  A negative mind will never give you a postive life”.

More worrying news, this time from China.  The official Chinese news sources are reporting that in Dongguan, a factory there is replacing its workforce of 1800 workers with a new factory which is based on robots.  The new factory will employ just 200 workers, so around 1600 workers will lose their jobs to robots (that is about 90% of the factory’s workforce).   And when you consider things like self check-outs in supermarkets (=lost cashier jobs), automatic check-in at airports (= lost agent jobs) and automatic check in at hotels (=lost reception jobs) then the future looks bleak.    If you look at the videos of car production, then you can see how redundant that a human being can become.  So if the trend continues, then what are all the displaced people going to do for work?   A good question.  Technological unemployment is coming faster than we realize.

Off to Seoul, Korea for the photo today, and a busy street market.

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and another photo from the archives….the ultimate Swiss army knife…

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Disappearing down the corridor

Thought for the day…..” Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

” A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station”

No doubt there are many of us who will sympathise with the man from Colorado, USA who is being prosecuted for shooting his computer, which had gone wrong.   Probably anybody who has experienced Windows Vista or Windows 8 will especially sympathize with him.    Lucas Hinch, aged 37,  became so frustrated with his non-functioning computer that he took it outside and shot it 8 times.   A Colorado judge will decide his fate, although the computer is now definitely not working.    Revenge is sweet !!

Down the corridor for the photo today, something a little different with the camera…..and another triumph for the Fuji X-E1

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and another photo from the archives…..lakeside on Lake Malawi, Malawi…..

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Paraguayian pair – two from Paraguay

Thought for the day…”Falling down is how we grow, staying down is how we die”.

“Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success”.

Did you know that “to google’ officially became a verb in 2006, when it was recognized by the Oxford English dictionary.     And did you know that as well as more than 35 non-English languages that can be used for searches on Google, that it also has a klingon interface, just in case of a request from outer space?   And did you know that you cannot create a folder called ‘con’ on a Windows computer (try it!!).    And did you know that when Google assembled their first server, that the box that they used to hold the drives was made from Lego?  And apparently, Bill Gates of Microsoft fame, whilst in school wrote a class scheduling program for the adminstrators.   By design, this program was coded so that he ended up in classes with mostly female students!!!!

Two photos from the capital of Paraguay, Asuncion for the photos today.   Surprisingly, both were taken in the city centre, and both show that the city has lost its former glory.  About 6.8 million people live in Paraguay, with about one third of them living in Asuncion.  Around 35% of the population are said to be poor, easily visible in the streets of the capital where you can see shacks and temporary shelters in the middle of the once grand avenues.  Sadly for tourists, there is little of interest left to see, unless you have in interest in decay.   Paraguay is one of the two landlocked countries in South America (the other is Bolivia).  Both photos were taken with the Fuji X-E1 camera.

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and another photo from the archives… a happy woman in Gambia.

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Face in the Forest – Not the Quality Spa Resort, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise question”.

“Three Rules of Work –  Out of clutter find simplicity, from discord find harmony, in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”  Albert Einstein.

I made the mistake of purchasing a laptop which came with Windows 8 installed.  I am now regretting that decision.  Windows 7 was fine, and worked as it should, but Windows 8 has been an exercise in frustration.   There are already lots of comments on the internet about the problems with Windows 8, and from what I read, the update to Windows 8.1 has not improved matters.

Do you think that Microsoft would win back a lot of support if they admitted the problems and offered all Windows 8 users who were not happy an option to change (=upgrade) to Windows 7.   I for one would be very happy to go back to the (superior) Windows 7.    And I would also think more of Microsoft for being honest and for trying to fix the W8 problems by offering a free option to change back to W7.

But like an ostrich with its head in the sand, Microsoft tries ANOTHER temporary patch (W 8.1),  which will no doubt be followed by 8.2, 8.3…….. and between all those patches, will continue to shut down MY computer for ‘updates’.

Customers can forgive a lot, IF they can see that a company is trying, but the impression that MS is giving is of a company determined to continue in the wrong direction.

I am sure that lots of us how now had enough, and that MS is going to lose out in the long run.   I really would like to sit down with Bill Gates and ask him to show me how W8 should work.   No doubt he would be equally FRUSTRATED with W8.    But perhaps he has already ‘upgraded’ to Windows 7.

And for the photo today, a school girl in Laos.   Lovely neutral expression on her face, and despite the shaded conditions in the trees, the light was quite good for the photo.  Sometimes when the subject stares into the camera, it can work, as in this photo.

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