January 31, 2012

Winding Your Way Through Google's Latest Privacy Maze - UPDATE

***sorry wrong wrong link earlier - fixed now. Ha! ***

If you don't want to completely drop Google from your world, Naked Security will give you the step by step of what to look for.

How to navigate Google's privacy options

It's so tiring having to go back and redo privacy options all the time. Of course we all know the reason these places keep changing things is in hopes you'll eventually just say "the hell with it, I'm tired of messing with these things" and then they get their way and get to track you all over.

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January 29, 2012


In the comments to the previous post there is some discussion of tracking by google. Thoughts of which tend to make me feel extremely paranoid.

Then I remembered this post from Ars Technica the other day.

Google already knows you're a 24-year old woman who loves wombats

And I checked to see what google thinks of me...

Your categories and demographics

No interest or demographic categories are associated with your ads preferences so far. You can add or edit interests and demographics at any time.

Yes, I must have opted out of ad tracking a while back and forgotten. I don't think it's the "ad block plus" I use on my browser... but maybe it is.

Right now google is not owning up to tracking me around the web. Not sure if that makes me feel better or not. Hmmm...

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January 28, 2012

End of the Week

So I've been doing quite a lot of backend system cleanup on my Mac.  When one does an upgrade there are bound to be things that don't work quite right. 

I've had the Console open for the last few days and I've been chasing down error messages in the log files and fixing as much stuff as I can.  So far I haven't broken anything... I guess that's good.

In the meantime, out in the real world there have been some interesting developments.


Like over in Germany where Babette hit "Reply All" and brought the German Parliament email system to a halt. Nice little Denial of Service.


Facebook is planning an IPO.  Can't wait to see what happens once they have to start disclosing information about themselves instead of us.


Supposedly there is going to be a Twitter boycott.  I'm trying to figure out how they'll do it without using twitter to communicate about the boycott...


Face it - there is no such thing as "privacy" out there anymore.  Privacy on the net is an illusion.  I've seen people who wouldn't touch Facebook ever, turn around an use Google for all their stuff.  Someone tell me what the difference is because I must be missing something.


So there you go. Have a great weekend!  You are now up to date on almost nothing.

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January 20, 2012

IPhone Battery Life : now with a tiny update

When Apple updated their stuff (all at the same time... what could POSSIBLY go wrong?).  There was a sudden battery life issue for many iphone users. 

It seemed to be random. Some people had issues others didn't.  Why? What could have caused it? 

I think I found the answer. (although only the few peeps who read my blog will ever know - you'll be cutting edge - ha!).

I did not do all the upgrades at once.  The first thing I did was upgrade my iphone 4 to iOS 5.  That's it.  No other changes.  No iCloud, no Lion on my Mac... just  iOS 5.  And my battery life went into a tailspin. 

I did all the little tricks that have been posted and I mostly got a better battery life, but it wasn't great.  I mean smartphones already have sucky battery life it doesn't help if one upgrades and it's suddenly worse. 

I waited around for a few months.  I let masses of Apple fans upgrade immediately and fail on all aspects.  They moaned and complained and lost stuff.  I waited longer still.  I had Mobile Me and I had until June. 

In another post I talked about the next upgrade. Lion went smoothly but iCloud was a huge annoyance.  I finally got the account straight. Thank heaven!  But my iphone battery life went straight down the toilet... again. 

This time I knew it had to be something to do with iCloud or there was a slim possibility it had to do with my gmail account being on my iphone. 

First of all I deleted my gmail account and added it back.  It's all imap and no mail actually sits on my phone thus it was simple.  No change though.  One down. On to the next.

Then I went into the iCloud settings.  I turned off everything except Mail... the others are (contacts, calendars, reminders, bookmarks, notes, photostream, documents and find my iphone).  Rebooted.  Battery life - phenominal!

Next I started turning things back on one at a time.  I never have Notes or documents to sync, so those remain off. If I want to sync a note I use Evernote. Since I wouldn't even be able to see a document on my iphone, there's no point in bringing those in.

First I turned on contacts, then calendars.  No problems. Then I turned on Reminders. Still no problems. Then Find my iphone.  Still okay.

Then Bookmark sync... OMG battery life started draining at a rate of about 10% (on further though I should make this 10-20%) per hour!!!  Holy crap!!!  Bookmarks? I vaguely remember getting a periodic message on my Mac telling me that Bookmarks were not syncing properly... I should have paid more attention. I always ignored it because I don't  use Safari. There is no reason for me to sync bookmarks  I just wanted to test it. I was absolutely blown away.  Bookmark sync must run continuously in the background.  If I had the battery charged to 100% it was dead by morning.  Completely dead. No life at all.

So Bookmark sync is off.  I even have photostream back on and the battery life continues in the phenomenal range.  How weird is that.  I have not heard a thing from anyone else anywhere with similar findings. 

If you know someone with an iphone and they are having battery issues... they might want to check for bookmark sync on either Mobile Me or iCloud. 

Geeze.  I'm still stunned.


Tiny update: I do have a couple of apps like Omnifocus and a couple of calendar apps that tend to make my battery drain too fast for my liking.  If I turn those off in the background I'm much happier.  Thought I should throw that out there.

I should also be clear - I had the notes feature off on Mobile Me  (documents was not available and was not on by default) so neither of these could have been draining battery life.

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A Couple of Random Thoughts

There are a couple of headlines on the Mac Rumors site I just couldn't pass up.

Apple Retail Stores Coming to India?

Will they have American help desk people serving them? 


'Absinthe A5' Brings First Untethered Jailbreak for iPhone 4S and iPad 2

What will your device remember afterward?


Have a great weekend!

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January 19, 2012


Looks like yesterday's animated GIF from The Oatmeal has garnered him far more attention than he ever thought possible.  Really cool indeed!  Go read the post protest fun.

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January 18, 2012

SOPA and PIPA - Let's Try and Stop Them Before They Stop Us: Now Updated

Go here read this.

Thank you.

UPDATE: This just in: a NSFW explanation of SOPA and PIPA by the Oatmeal.  I think this covers it.

I drew a Goat...

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January 17, 2012

The Internet... Clinging to Life by a Thread

Before the SOPA and PIPA bills shut down the internet for good... hurry up and check this out.

Monumental Paper Architecture

or these

Incredible Photographs of Jellyfish

Cool stuff.  I found these on Flipboard for iPad which is really quite amazing.  They find some of the most awesome photos.  Of course this brings home to me exactly how uninspired my own forays into photography have been.  Oh well. 

So, go read them now before you can't any more.  Soon apps like flipboard, not to mention social networking of every kind, may be shut down with a single complaint.  What a sucky way for such a tremendous thing like the internet to slowly lurch to a halt. *sigh*

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January 16, 2012


Over the weekend I upgraded my Mac from the Snow Leopard OS to Lion.  Then upgraded Mobile Me to iCloud. 

The only reason I did this is because Mobile Me is going away in June.  I didn't want to make the move until the initial uproar had died down, but didn't want to wait until the stragglers were doing a last minute switch.  I figured the middle of January would be a good time.

Luckily Don McAllister of Screencasts Online made a couple of tutorials to make things smoother for the rest of us.  I made 3 backups of my system, downloaded the Lion app from the App store. Made a copy of that and saved it to a separate drive, then installed. 

It all went so well I've been rather dazed.  Not only that, but my machine is behaving much better under Lion.  I think all the applications, with the "Lion ready" updates, didn't work so well in Snow Leopard anymore.

Of course the downside was the upgrade to iCloud.  It sucked.  Apple tells you to sign in with your Appleid.  This is okay if you are new to Apple and have no Mobile Me stuff.

If you have Mobile Me already DO NOT DO IT!  DO NOT!!!  Sign in using your Mobile Me account - trust me you will be very glad you did!

That was my big mistake.  My appleid and my mobile-meid were two different things.  I had to sit through about 3 hours of chat with an Apple Mobile-Me person to get it straight.  They knew what they were doing, but OMG it all takes forever on chat!  I got the 2 id's combined and it's all working finally! 

I have yet to see if Lion will continue to play nice... iCloud too for that matter.  I had no documents on Mobile Me so I think that works greatly in my favor. Many people had issues with disappearing documents. 

So I've now gone through the painful process. It's nearly as bad as when a computer dies and you have to get a new one.  It's why I wait as long as I think I can before doing anything. 

Let's hope that's it for a while. Whew!

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January 11, 2012

Patch It Up

Yesterday was patch Tuesday for Windows machines.  If this is your OS, get the patches done please.

Also, you may remember my post from December about the Zero Day exploits for Adobe.  If you must use Adobe Reader and/or Acrobat, they now have the patches available

That is all.

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