I took some time over the long holiday weekend to finish a book I had started a few weeks ago and promptly start another related one.
Permanent Record by Edward Snowden is an eye-opening tale centering around a late 20-something NSA contractor who exposes the US Government’s mass surveillance system created after 9/11. Love him or hate him he brought to light the vast data collection of US citizens by their government.
No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald starts up with his interview of Snowden while he hides in Hong Kong before his trove of documents is released to the public by various medial outlets. Meanwhile, Laura Poitras films a series of interviews for her documentary Citizen Four. It goes into incredible detail about the surveillance systems in use around the world, by many countries, and details just how far they have gone to invade your privacy.
If you have any interest in this kind of stuff it’s well worth your time to seek out these books or at least watch the full documentary (available on YouTube with Ads (that will track you, haha)). It will chill you to the core and make you think about what you do online going forward.
As I wrote earlier this year everyone needs to be using a Password Manager application. My favorite continues to be Bitwarden. The free version is more than enough for most people but the $10 paid version adds some advanced features and helps support the development. Getting started with a Password manager is NOT difficult and is NOT a good excuse for NOT using one. Bitwarden for Beginners is a great place to start.
NordPass just released their annual Top 200 Common Password list. It shows what people are actually using to secure their private data as well as how long it takes to crack and gain access. If your password is on the list you should assume your accounts have been compromised because you probably use the SAME password in multiple places. The benefit of a Password Manager is that you can use a different, unique, password for every account and only need to remember ONE (secure) master password/phrase. The tool generates and documents the login details for you.
Another security tool you should consider using, especially if you use your devices in public, is a personal VPN account. This tool encrypts your traffic and protects you from anyone wanting to access your data. Sounds a little overkill but it’s not uncommon for someone to sit on a public network and watch for unsecured traffic to exploit. In fact, as far back as 2013 AT&T and Starbucks encouraged it! My personal favorite is Private Internet Access (PIA) which works on all devices including your phone and tablet. An annual subscription is $39.99.
I think that just about wraps things up for this week. It’s hard to believe 2021 is 90% over & we’re getting ready to settle down into the winter months. At least I have a stack of books to go through while hunkering down inside for the next 3 months. See you next week!
I always love digging this out every November. Enjoy!
Short post this week as I’m getting back into the swing of things after being off work for a few days.
Hulu is now showing the rags to riches Documentary called “The Donut King.”
The story of Ted Ngoy, also known fondly as “The Donut King,” is one of fairy tales- fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption. It is the rags to riches story of a refugee escaping the Khmer Rouge, arriving in America via Camp Pendleton in 1975 to escape the brutal genocide in his home country of Cambodia, to build an unlikely multi-million dollar empire baking America’s favorite pastry, the donut. From gas station janitor to donut shop owner and the surprising success that came with it, Ted found that a great joy in life was the ability to help others…and help, he did. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees, who were coming to California by the thousands, and helped them get on their feet by teaching them the ways of the donut business. By 1979, he was rich, living the American Dream. But, in life, great rise can come with great falls. With his great success, he was seduced by the casinos in Las Vegas and lost it all. By 1992, in his sixties, he was homeless, sleeping on a friend’s floor in a mobile home in Long Beach, CA, and the very community he helped in the seventies turned their backs on the hand who once fed them. Alas, a spirit like Ted Ngoy’s doesn’t die easily and he left behind a legacy of independent donut shops spanning from California to Texas to Canada, shaping everything we know about the beloved pastry. It’s the American Dream, with a twist.https://bentonvillefilm.org/artists/the-donut-king/
If you have Hulu and 90-minutes to kill, this is a very interesting documentary. Have you seen it? Leave your thought in the comments section below.
It’s about that time again where we set our clocks back to observe Daylight Saving Time (DST). The official date is Sunday, Nov. 7th at 2:00 am so you have a week to go! It doesn’t seem that long ago when Indiana didn’t participate in DST. In fact, we had our own “Timezone” called Indiana in the settings on computers. The last time I checked it was still there in Windows 10, even though it’s not used anymore.
I’ve been trying to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and get some steps in by walking around the neighborhood. This is a perfect time to catch up on the numerous Podcasts I have downloaded to my phone. One of my all-time favorites is from 99% Invisible. This podcast explores all kinds of interesting topics such as the Sears catalog that had mail-order houses available, and why Margarine was PINK at one time.
99% Invisible is a sound-rich, narrative podcast hosted by Roman Mars about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.From 99percentinvisible.org
After the impressive iPad Pro upgrade, I decided to upgrade my several-generation-old Apple watch to the new Series 7 model. The larger display is what really sold me. I use my Apple Watch daily and I’m looking forward to checking the new model out. If there’s anything worth reporting I’ll do a mini-review in a few weeks.
And finally, I stumbled upon some motivational videos on Youtube last week and the following one featuring Joe Rogan was very interesting. Enjoy!
No real agenda for this post but I had a few notes of things to discuss on the Blog. Let’s start with Dopesick on Hulu!
Dopesick follows the Sackler Family, who founded Purdue Pharma and are thought to be responsible for the creation of the ongoing Opioid Crisis in the US. In fact, they just settled a huge lawsuit where they won immunity from future lawsuits and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties. The Hulu series stars Michael Keaton and after 3 episodes I’m hooked.
Speaking of hooked, I’ve seen the brand “Real good” a lot lately. They specialize in High Protein, Gluten, and Grain-free frozen products. I’ve tried their gluten-free (and LOW carb) chicken parmesan in the past and enjoyed it. Purchased at Costco, their Bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breasts are a BIG hit in this household. These are raw and frozen, so they take about 40-minutes to prepare. The chicken is nice and tender, and the bacon on the outside and cheese on the inside make an awesome combo, especially when paired with a vegetable side (or salad). Probably one of the best frozen chicken entrees I’ve ever had.
You can’t watch an iPad Pro video on YouTube without seeing an ad for the Paperlike screen protector. I’ve used a Paperlike in the past, but at $40 (for two pieces), it’s a little pricey for what it is ( I don’t remember ever paying that much). I saw a few people talking about an alternative called Tech Armor, so I thought I’d check it out, especially since it was only $10 for two pieces. They have a lot of different protectors available for various devices, but this is the one that works with the current 11” iPad Pro. So far, I’m really impressed with the glare and fingerprint reduction the protector provides, and installation was about as easy as it can be. The following video is what made me give the Tach Armor a try.
I think that’s about it for this week. I’ve got some info on a bagel and a biscuit place opening up, both on 96th St. One near I-69 and the other near Keystone Parkway. I’ll be sure to cover that in an upcoming post. See you next week!