privacy technology

Worth reading this week – fake WB, men’s mental health, abortion, WWDC, privacy

Quote I’ve been pondering this week:

“You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing things with logic. True power is restraint. If words control you that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass.” – (fake?) Warren Buffett

(I couldn’t actually attribute this to WB. I suspect it’s not from him, but, can’t say for sure. Regardless, I love the quote, so here it is.)

mh-mentalhealthMen’s Health is running a series on men’s mental health. Such an under-discussed topic, even in this era of self awareness and self care. Men don’t shouldn’t need permission to think and feel how they want, but, here goes anyways:


“It’s okay to not have your shit together. It’s okay to feel depressed. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be anxious. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to not have everything figured out, to feel a wave of uncertainty come crashing over you and not know which way is up, or when your next gulp of air will come. These are perfectly normal feelings that every man experiences. And it’s okay to talk about it.” (link)

I’ve been pretty vocal with a few close friends about my challenges over the years – I am lucky to have had friends I can go to when things get tough. Thanks friends – you know who you are. And for any of my friends who need someone to talk to, I’m here. Reach out. To me. Or someone else. But do it. Talk. It’s an important first step.

fetusI really don’t want to get into the abortion debate and I am not going to take a stance in this post, but this article really struck a chord with me in terms of articulating government policy priorities pertaining to abortion: “So, Sam Oosterhoff, you want to make abortion ‘unthinkable’? Here’s where to start” Sam Oosterhoff is clearly playing to his base (conservative Christians), but there are clearly much more pressing issues that he could be focusing on. Thanks Julie MacLellan of Burnaby Now for this great article.

Apple made the news this week (what else is new). Lots of cool new toys released at their annual WWDC. New Mac Pros, lots of OS upgrades (all new Mac Pro, iOS 13, iPad OS, watch OS 6, and a Pro Display XDR with optional stand.) The new tech does look really cool and I’m excited by the new iPad OS and watch OS improvements. watchAs much as I want to be a digital minimalist, it’s my Apple Watch that most keeps me tethered to my digital life and I just can’t bring myself to want to part with my silent wrist partner – my watch really has made me appreciate the benefits of cyborg-type tech. However, Apple is losing the plot a bit when they sell a monitor stand for $1,000! This clearly reminds us that Apple has always been and always will be a premium play, but it is still insane to see this kind of cost for… a. monitor. stand.

And what would my weekly update be without a mention of privacy: “A Brief History of How Your Privacy Was Stolen – Google and Facebook took our data — and made a ton of money from it. We must fight back”. Thanks to the NY Times for their ongoing privacy coverage in The Privacy Project. Awareness is key.

But more important is what we do once we are aware? There is no shortage of advice and best practices online for protecting our privacy. The only real way to stay private is to stay off the grid – but that isn’t realistic for most. So, in the absence of that, here are some tips (and this is by no means exhaustive – watch for future blog posts. I’ll put together something more exhaustive in the near future):

  • Mozilla’s Firefox browser has some awesome privacy features built in. Here is some advice straight from the dragon’s mouth: When it comes to privacy, default settings matter!
  • And, an interesting article from Fast Company offers some suggestions with this scary first person account of what info the ad industry has on us (hint: pretty much anything our phone does is theirs for the taking): I left the ad industry because our use of data tracking terrified me (make sure you read to the bottom to the suggestions under the section titled “HOW TO UNWIND THIS SURVEILLANCE ECONOMY”.

So put your involuntary spy device (phone) down for a bit, get outside in this beautiful weather and have a great weekend!




Mac Apps for Mac Addicts

From time to time, I stumble across posts that contain a ton of links to useful Mac apps. But, even with bookmark tracking and/or sending the link to my email I still manage to lose track of those links.

Today, I stumbled across a really great list of Mac apps. And, rather than link to it on delicious or something like that, I’m going to do something that goes against my academic training (think plagiarism) but that agrees with my industry (the web) and copy the really great list to my blog, where I know that I’ll never misplace it.
But, before posting the list, I must, at the very least, give credit where credit is due: Thanks a ton to Grace Smith, who spent what appears to be a ton of time to carefully compile this list of links. I’m hoping that linking to her will be sufficient to offer credit where it is due. I’m also going to send her an email to let her know that I’ve borrowed her list and am repurposing it.
Anyways… Without further ado, here’s the list:





Tip & Tricks



Mac Office Set-Ups



iWeb 2.0 features

Think Secret is reporting that iWeb 2.0 is due for some major enhancements in its v2.0 release, which is expected to be released in early 2007.

As a Mac user, I’ve recently experimented with the premiere release of iWeb. Results can be seen here: Overall, iWeb is quite easy to use and extremely intuitive. But, it definitely does have some shortcomings. For static content, iWeb is fantastic. It easily creates a static site, complete with picture galleries, podcasts and video files. That’s all fine and good, but products have been doing this sort of web development for quite some time now.

Some of the items that I found limiting include (but aren’t limited to):

  • No code editor window – or at least if there is, I have yet to find it.
  • Inability to customize the navigation bar – To add an external page to my site, I had to build a dummy page in iWeb, then manually update the dummy page using an external text editor (due to the lack of code editing in iWeb 1.0).
  • Inability to create robust photo galleries – the best iWeb could do, as far as I could tell, was make a single page photo gallery that would contain all of the pictures that you’d want to post. I had to create a “photos” landing page, then create a bunch of subpages that contain photos by search criteria. And, these pages are all static which means the pics can’t be sorted by date, theme, etc. Disappointing, since there are plenty of tools out there that provide great photo publishing options.
  • Site updates – iWeb provides some slick publishing functionality when you publish to a .Mac account. Incremental site updates alone are almost worth the price to pay to get a .Mac account. Re-rendering the entire site each time you make changes is quite time consuming, especially if there are plenty of pictures and videos in the site in question. iWeb re-renders the complete site if you publish to an external folder (the only other option if you don’t publish to .Mac). This is more of an annoyance than a barrier to use though… but, it is a bit Microsoft’ish in terms of trying to convince you to use Apple’s proprietary hosting platform.

There are some other minor annoyances with the product, but these are the main ones that I noticed.

Think Secret is suggesting that Apple is working on some dynamic content capabilities for iWeb 2.0. Things like:

  • Smart Albums – ability to control the display of photo galleries, along with some dynamic presentation options.
  • Flickr integration – ability to pull in content from Flickr (and maybe others)
  • Google AdSense integration – yet another winner
  • Themes – this alone would make the product a worthy upgrade

This functionality would be great, as dynamic content generation is definitely lacking from iWeb 1.0. Hopefully Think Secret is right about the features that Apple is working on for the next release. Only time will tell though…