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!



infosec privacy technology

Worth reading this week – privacy, playtime and emotions

Quote I’ve been pondering this week:

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu

I’m a huge security and privacy proponent. Stumbled across this great visual example of ways we all expect privacy in our everyday lives – and it highlights why our digital privacy should be no different:

And it helps that it’s an Apple ad. I’m a huge Apple fanboy. I’m a big Google user too though, so I’m really a fan of both. Especially when I see optimism in Google making strides towards better privacy protections as well. #GoPrivacy

My kids love our Springfree trampoline. Next time they say they are bored, I’m gonna go through these lists (one idea I hadn’t thought of: Make a laser course on the mat out of yarn and try not to touch it) :

Suck it up buttercup: Forget Your Feelings (summary: There’s no meaning attached to feelings)

And, a bit more privacy related goodness: Here are all of the ways that Google tracks you (I am doubtful this is ALL of the ways, but it sure looks like a good start). And here’s a great primer on removing your info from the web – mainly focused on mailing lists a la “do not call lists”.

And, I’m a bit bummed because I don’t think I’ll be able to attend my local Wordcamp Hamilton this weekend. I bought my ticket, but life sometimes gets in the way. (In this case, it’s my son’s birthday – and family comes first!)

Have a great weekend!