Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Facebook

I keep deactivating my Farcebook account and then come back to it, after about 10 minutes I realise it's full of clickbait stuff and it's getting harder and harder to block it, it's at the point now that Social Fixer which is an amazing piece of software is blocking so much rubbish loading the page is slow and useful stuff is being blocked.

Then we go back to the use of your data, I have blocked groups on Facebook, but if someone tags me in a post from that same group, all my data is available to the people that created the group and it does get passed on to companies.


Back to one of my old sayings, if something stops becoming fun then stop doing it. Facebook has stopped being fun, I'll keep it running until the 1st of April and then put my delete request through.


I'm not giving up social media, if you still want to stay in touch then I'll be at the following places



Twitter (https://twitter.com/groundcontrolhq).


MeWe A new social media platform without the data worries. (https://mewe.com/i/travels_of_tux).


Hubzilla A decentralised social media platform, very quiet at the moment but has promise.

https://hubzilla.me.uk/profile/majortom

Pluspora Another decentralised network, a bit like Twitter

https://pluspora.com/people/c0de0ec0256f0137cf99005056264835

And finally I'm on Telegram This is a bit like WhatsApp without the crap

https://t.me/MajorTomGB

I'll also be on Blogger
https://mtgbhome.blogspot.com/

I'll miss people on Farcebook but hopefully see you on some of the other networks.




Sunday, 24 March 2019

Meandering in March

March seems to have come and gone with very little chance to get the camera out, this is the first time this month I've managed to get out and snap a few pictures during my lunch break. Either the weather has been rubbish or something has happened that's stopped me going out.

Lot's of tweeting and chirping going down the little reserve but they all seem to want to hide, I even saw something small sneaking into the bushes, couldn't make out what it was.


Mute Swan


Male Blackbird




Robin



Female Mallard

I've also decided to try and do things the easy way, normally pictures are taken in RAW and then converted to JPG with an application called Darktable. This time I just set the camera to JPG and let it do all the hard work, the last picture was taken at ISO 4000 and the first two at ISO 5000, can't complain at the quality.

Not much of March left, I'll try and do some more.

All pictures from the album are here.





https://photos.app.goo.gl/XaZxoAQtts6jTLW87

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Social Media Overload

There's so many social media platforms out there, Farcebook, Instagram, Twitter, Diaspora, Mastodon, Hubzilla, Google+ MeWe and many others, being connected to them all is a nightmare. Especially when it comes to posting stuff as you have to duplicate the publishing of articles to each and everyone if you want to contact people.

Then there's the security issue, I had the Facebook and Messenger apps installed on previous phones for some time, downloading the data that Facebook has on me shows some scary stuff. List of every phone call I made on all the phones I had Messenger installed on, including the times and phone numbers and a lot of these calls were to people that weren't on Facebook.

I'd also uploaded a picture from a folder to Facebook but all the pictures from that folder were present in my Facebook data, not just the one picture I uploaded.

I didn't install Facebook on my new phone, I used Instagram on my phone and Facebook on my desktop. Yet they still managed to work out I was the same person even with different logins. I also used WhatsApp, another Facebook company, I'd limited access to the phone other than microphone  and went to change my status during a weeks holiday. WhatsApp refused to change status unless I allowed it access to everything including, location, contacts, camera, files on the phone and so it had to go.

Onto Instagram now, I logged into Instagram with a different login than Facebook, but noticed things that I searched on my desktop which doesn't have Instagram were appearing as adverts in my Instagram feed which doesn't have the Facebook app installed. And adverts were appearing more often in the Instagram feed than actual posts, a lot of ads for things that I had no interest in and in some cases were actually very offensive, reporting these ads made no difference.

And then came the last straw with these apps, as of late I've been feeling a bit under the weather, speaking to a friend in work who's had some health problems relating to the absorption of vitamin B12. Taking my wife into work one morning, I mentioned this to her and she mentioned about it causing issues with depression, later that day during a look at Facebook on her phone she found adverts relating to the same issues, more proof that  Facebook is listening all the time.

I've deactivated my Instagram and Facebook accounts at the moment, it's almost and addiction looking at them every few minutes and I'm going to try and not use them again. Instagram will almost definitely be going, Facebook may remain on my computer but using a separate browser, there's too many friends and family on Facebook and it seems that it's the only way to keep in touch with them all.

As for alternatives, I've tried Mastodon, it's a sort of decentralised Twitter, you can even run up your own server and post stuff locally which can be seen on other servers or pods. I have to say it could be OK but it's very quiet and unless some people such as RSPB, WWT, BBC and so on start using it, then it will be for a niche market.

I've started up a Hubzilla instance and have yet to find any use for it, it seems incapable of connecting to anything outside of itself unless forced but I'll keep trying it.

There's Disapora, another sort of cross between Facebook and Twitter but not a lot happening on it. 

Finally there's MeWe, this is promising, it's a sort of Facebook without the data worries or ads, it is limited and because it's ad free you don't get unlimited space and certain things such as messaging will cost you.

Telegram has replaced WhatsApp as a secure messaging service, I used to use Google Hangouts but that seems to be showing it's age and will probably soon go.

And finally, we are approaching the end of my favourite social network, Google +. I really like this platform, ads are not intrusive, there's not too much fake news but April will see it being shut down, I do hope they replace it with something.

Pixelfed.social is an Instagram replacement, no mobile app but you can create a shortcut on your phone to use it but again, there's not a lot going on with it.

The problem is really that we love free stuff, but the big boys such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all use our data to pass onto advertisers who target us with ads, on Facebook no matter how much you tighten things up you can't avoid your data being shared, I blocked some groups but if you're tagged into a post in that group they get access to some of your information. If we want a truly ad free, data risk free social media platform we will have to end up paying some sort of subscription charge.

So for now, I'll be using the following:

Telegram for instant messaging, there's even a desktop client for this which works very well.

I'm on Twitter if you have an account, I'm also on MeWe at the moment, Hubzilla on my own server at the moment, not open for registration just yet. And of course there's the old bloggy stuff such as this one, family ramblings and travels are here, humorous stuff is here and finally, things to with music are here and also on Last.FM.

Please feel free to follow me on the above if you want to read about the rants and ramblings who is approaching Victor Meldrew status with a great speed. 

Dumping some of the Social Media stuff means that I seem to have more time to do constructive stuff as opposed to liking posts and deleting adverts.

Keep the faith and live long and prosper.


Monday, 25 February 2019

Worktime Wandering February 2019

Not had much time this year to do my little walk round the nature reserve near where I work, this is from February so I'm a bit late posting the stuff.

There's quite a bit of wildlife round here and considering it's right on the edge on an industrial area it's great to see how much nature has taken control of.




A Mallard on a bridge, his name was Arthur






Great Tit



Blue Tit



Great Tit




Blue Tit

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

The End Of The Chevy

Heading off for a nice relaxing week in Sidmouth in early February, I had to get some tyres to start with and then we loaded up and went on our way, that's when we noticed an "interesting" noise from the car. The noise went away when the clutch was depressed or the car was put into neutral which ruled out the tyres but started to quieten down a bit.

The journey down was pretty uneventful but joining the A roads after leaving the motorway made us realise that it had gotten worse.

A trip to a local trusted garage pointed the issue to be a bearing in the gearbox, there was a sharp intake of breath before the diagnosis was given. A second hand gearbox after a quick search came in at £360 and it seemed sensible to replace the clutch at the same time which looked around about £80, then there was trying to nurse the car home and labour charges and taking this into account we were looking at the best part of about £1,000 on a car that at best is worth about £600.

So we visited a local dealer down here that came highly recommended and did a bit of looking. The result was the purchase of a 64 plate Nissan Note which comes with all sorts of goodies including cruise control, time will tell how good it is.

Hopefully picking the car up in the next few days and importing it from Devon to South Wales

So the Chevy has finally gone to the levy as the gearbox was dry.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Evolution

Thanks to social media, I've found out that humanity is still evolving, not necessarily in a good way though, I refer to a new species of human called Home Gulibbleus. This information comes from some people on Twitter who have suggested that these routines won't make you live longer, it will just feel like you have.

Here are some examples of the routines these people follow:

5.55 - 6.45 I wake up and immediately re-hydrate. Your body is the most absorbent after you sleep, I have a glass of Rebel Kitchen Raw coconut water.

Another one states, 7.45 am. I wake up having had, on average seven hours and forty one minutes sleep. I have analysed my sleep over the last four years and this is the perfect amount for me.

Now, I like a spreadsheet as much as anyone else does, but this is taking the piddle, it continues.

8.00 Take a shower using natural product as the chemicals found in shampoo and shower gels can be toxic. Weigh myself and use a litmus strip to measure my urine pH levels.

Now this takes a stranger turn and we realise that we are dealing with someone very special indeed.

8.20 I turn on my HumanCharger, a device that looks like an iPod with an earpiece that shines light into my ear to give me energy.


5.00am to 6.00 am I wake up then journal, I reflect on a dream or decide what three things I want to accomplish that day . Then I go outdoors

I often go to Hyde Park, take off my shoes,  stare at the sun and do yoga for 20 minutes, being barefoot grounds me and I receive electrons from the earth.

Generally if I go barefoot in a park I either stand on a dog turd or slug or get bitten on my toe by an ant.

They go on. I sun-stare because the UV rays aren't harmful to my retina for the first hour after sunrise and it resets my circadian rhythm and helps me fall asleep later in the day.

There's more screenshots from the articles below



And can you imagine working with this idiot


What scares the crap out of me is that these people are allowed to breed, I feel that the human race won't around for much longer. 


Just to carry out some tests on the validity of these processes, I spent most of the day with a couple of bicycle lamps pointing inwards mounted on my head in a framework made of Mecanno.

I went out in a field barefoot,  I found that doing stretching exercises while barefoot in a thunderstorm gives you a shitload of electrons and a melted wristwatch. There I was standing in a field with lights shining from the side of my head and sparks flying from my watch looking like a bald overweight and singed Conner McCleod getting a quickening. The Mecanno and bicycle lamps welded themselves to my glasses, the bulbs in the bicylcle lamps exploded, I now have one less earlobe than when I started, it took me about an hour and a half with a hacksaw to get the melted mess off my head and I now having interesting scar tissue from where the pieces of metal melted into my skull.

A few days later I went back to the park and spent half an hour staring at the sun trying to reset my circadian rhythm. I then found that I couldn't see a bloody thing expect huge spots in front of my eyes, I couldn't find my shoes and socks and I think I stood on a dead squirrel on the way back home.

After a while my eyesight started coming back and I thought I'd go out and find some activated charcoal. I couldn't find any, but there was a bag of anthracite for sale in the local garage, i chewed on one of these and I now have to visit the dentist to get a new set of dentures.


Many thanks to Eileen O'Duffy and  @sbl1976  on the Twitter thing for bringing this to my attention, be very afraid, these people are around you.