Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Earl Grey & Cappuccino ; Data leakage, Stonehenge & Follow me here, there and everywhere


On my way back from another half day of meetings and earl grey's, with a cappucino ( a very well percolated one, at that)  inserted into the mid morning at some point, I noticed that the au current topic of 'hacked on line photos' has carried on for another few days. No I'm not going to link to any of the stories as there are loads of them, and it's not a good vibe for the individuals involved and on a personal level, I wouldn't wish that sort of thing on anyone, even if at the time they were done for whatever reason. Everyone's done a thing or two they've regretted at some point, and getting a bit vicious about it behind the veil of social networking as I've seen on twitter et al, ultimately helps no one. So with all the aforementioned being said and done, why am I then refering to it? It's the more logical aspect, which is related to data and it's storage.

In short, I was taken back to a conversation I had many years ago ( I think it was in 2006 or 2007), about virtual data and cloud computing, over the regular 'it's lunchtime, but we'll eat our lunch in 10 minutes flat and spend the rest of it gassing, smoking and supping beers as none of us are using social media yet, cause it hasn't really taken off' weekend lunch thing I'd do with a friend of two. The whole notion of cloud computing was new-ish enough to be a topic worthy of digging into, and I can distinctly remember myself saying 'hang on...what about if someone hacks into the whole thing...who'll be responsible for any damages caused?". There was a bit of a silence, during which no one 'small-belched' or lit up another ciggie ( those were the days..I haven't smoked in over 6 years and that's that), and the worried looks all around ( including mine, which I obviously couldn't see) said it all.

Im not much of a fan of online storage as an absolute or 'ultimate' solution, even though ironically everything we do using all kinds of what I call 'connected tech',  is stored online and the sheer volume of it is vast. We're talking close to getting into zettabyte territory en masse, with petabytes already being consumed by the likes of the search engines and their users (that would be ALL of us) on a DAILY basis. But the aforementioned is more generalised useage that is all building up a ton of data, which just cannot be helped. Even on idle, for want of a better phrase, all of our tech devices such as laptops, smartphones, desktops and so on are just blipping away, sending and recieving data. No one to my knowledge, does anything remotely interactive using their devices offline anymore, as we take our connectivity as a natural state of affairs, per se. The best example right now, is the fact that I'm writing this straight to my blog, WITHOUT using ye olde method of typing it out on to ( and into) a word processing software front end which would back then, be offline ( that now isn't the case either, but that's for another time), and then cut and pasting the finished rhetorical slab onto here. See, even I'm not going to knock the convenience and sheer ease of use of doing as much as possible, whilst connected.

But I AM going to wibble slightly ( ok, a bit more than that), about the fact that on a day to day basis, not many of us actually consider what we're doing everytime we send some mail or pics etc, as to what is happening to that data. I've  talked/ written about all this before at length (check this article here out, for more of a flavour, if so desired)  so my wibble ends here. In short, if you don't want it out there somewhere, then don't put it on the machine without some sort of  heavy duty encryptive measure. That's not fear, but common sense. Even so, it could be counter-argued that shoving everything into a 'box within a box' rhetorically speaking in data terms, is just adding to the bloat of using data to streamline communication, but that's not what I'm referring to. It's more about just regular housekeeping at the very least and then using anti virus software on your devices, and also checking in with whatever data you've got up on your cloud backup systems, depending on whichever vendor you've favoured for your tech experiences (there's the two main ones, so you know which one, or indeed both, you've chosen). Ignorance isn't bliss when it comes to computing, and it never has been. People may moan and gripe about things now, but believe me, many years ago we had other stuff to deal with like things just not working properly on a regular basis and sudden freeze ups and 'screens of death' just forcing you to hit the power button. That still occours, but privacy is a more serious scenario in my opinion, and it's up to the individual to decide how much or how little it matters to them.

Still, using something where you can figure out what's going on and how little to how much you're going to get involved at all kinds of levels, even if you're not entirely sure of the details, is still mostly a comfort zone scenario for most people. But what about when NO ONE really knows why something is there, or what purpose it serves other than to be a timeless artifact that raises more questions than it answers :-

Mystery (Partially) Solved: Stonehenge Was a Complete Circle

I've never been to Stonehenge. And on top of that, from what I've gleaned from friends in the past that have been, combined with whatever I've read about it, there is supposedly something very magical about the the area in and around it. But how or why it got there, is a complete mystery to me and millions of other people. Unless some sort of archaelogical code book or other information is found or similar, It would take some serious computational algorithmic power to figure out the raison d'etre behind the original concept behind it.

And on to another 'completing the circle' note , it's back to one of the greatest original concepts post millenium. No, not the mp3 player or even the mp3 codec, which has been a pleasure and of course a massive pain in the (bleep bleep) for a lot of people, including me on occasion during my more musical endeavours ( have a 'see hear' over here ,  for further details & turn those speakers up and/or get some headphones, on as required). It's back to the most popular  social networking site in the world, and in many ways, deservingly so. Of course, it's facebook. :-

Facebook’s new click bait rule will totally blow you away (update)

I've mentioned the world's most popular networking site a few times recently, whilst trying not to 'hate' on them, which seems to be a growing trend, so I'm going to be brief. Also, I'm getting bored of wibbling on about it myself, so why did I put this up? Because to me, it seems like facebook may well be entering into the realms of google, in terms of its tracking tech, and may well be looking at building a search engine into the front end at some point. Why else, other than ad click optimisation, which to my mind they're entitled to do cause it's still a 'free play' experience, to use an old arcade term, would they be further developing the track and trace technology to follow movements away from the app? Think about it. Think about how effective google is at helping you find what you want, without having to type in reams of streams of consciousness type text anymore.

Speaking of which, I'm off to read stuff on six or seven other tabs I've got opened up to the further right of this page, which in themselves could do with being closer to the other twelve or so that are to the end-left. My emails are on a tab which is..somewhere amongst this lot.

I should learn to keep a tidier browser. Maybe I should write that..no, type it up ( or down) 50 times with my eyes closed, on this keyboard, as some kind of reminder ( sounds more like punishment). Nope, scrap that. In any event, thank god for the existance of auto corrective spell checking software, both with or without continual online assistance. Now THAT really is a godsend.

Right, time to grab a choux bun, and get the kettle on.




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