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Web News / Yahoo reportedly scanned all user emails for US intelligence
« on: October 04, 2016, 10:59:31 PM »
Yahoo built surveillance tools last year after the National Security Agency or the FBI issued a secret directive to scan all customers' incoming emails, according to a Reuters report.

I don't know why exactly but for me this news was a little bit of "ho hum, so what else is new?"  It is not that I am not concerned about such issues as they relate to privacy---because I am concerned, probably more so than most people.  But perhaps in the aftermath of the Prism-related disclosures of years ago and the other disclosures related to the 'Snowden files', I guess that I have pretty much accepted that if monitoring were not already going on, then it would be soon.

When I made my cautious first steps onto the internet in late 1999 my view of the internet was that "if you put something out there then there was no way to get it back.  Whatever one says or puts out into cyberspace may be seen and/or used in ways unintended by the original source."  Thus my attitude was "user beware!"  Of course that earlier time (the late 1990s) preceded widespread internet commerce, social media, and other such ongoing modern developments.  Now of course it make be asked "what would the world be like without the internet and all of its associated potentialities?"

There was a cartoon in my local paper a few days ago that had a graphic of something like, "if you want privacy and to keep your secrets, then throw your computer into the trash!"  (This is what the graphic actually portrayed.)  But it is no longer that simple.  Even if one is not on the internet at all nearly every institution that one interacts with in life is on the internet, and the data that that institution may have about you can be hacked, disclosed and abused, whether you like it or not.  So indeed we now live in sort of a "brave new world" (Aldous Huxley) whether we like it or not!

I might prefer a simpler time and life with fewer complications and such, but alas. . . .

"To boldly go where no [human] has gone before!":  so here we are and we are off and running!!  Hold on tight!!!

In two somewhat related news items recently Google announced that storage space for Google Photos will be unlimited and that it can be accessed from a number of different platforms, such as Android, iOS, and the Web---which basically means from smart phones and computers.  For those who are seeking such unlimited photo storage space perhaps this service should be investigated.

Even if I were inclined to use such a service---which I am not---it would be wise to have a backup plan if the service were to be discontinued in the future.  I would definitely be leery of placing all of my prized photo possessions in one place without a backup.  One never knows what can happen on the internet.  Plus there are possible privacy issues that I would definitely consider.

In a related announcement Google has also increased their user privacy controls.  From " ":

Google has also added a new privacy site at that answers questions about privacy and security, such as “How does Google keep my information safe?” and “Does Google sell my personal information?” (Google says it doesn't).

For those who may not be aware Google has been plagued by privacy concerns for years.  In Europe they have made a big issue out of it with various governmental agencies becoming involved.  In the USA the tendency amongst most users seems to be just to live with whatever privacy concerns there may be.  Other countries seems to vary somewhere between these two approaches to Google's privacy issues.

As we all know or should know Google is in business to make money.  They make money by gathering information about people or at least the activities of various computers, phones, and whatever else that use their services.  All this information is essentially tied to advertising.  But as we can surmise from the recently publicized activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the USA once information is gathered by any source it could be used in many ways not originally intended.  So for some people privacy is a big concern and Google has been under heavy pressure for years to clean up their act.  (Of course Google is not alone in the data-gathering endeavor but it has been under greater scrutiny because of its dominance in internet search activities.)

At any rate those who may be interested in these two areas may want to investigate these recent offerings from Google


LandzDown Lounge / BB - The King of the Blues passes at 89
« on: May 16, 2015, 12:42:57 AM »
To those of you who haven't heard, one of the great musicians and certainly the most well known blues artist ever to grace the stage and the sound waves passed away yesterday.  BB King "passed peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 pm PT on May 14 2015."

BB was born Riley B. King on Sept. 16, 1925 to Albert and Nora Ella King, both sharecroppers in Berclair, a Mississippi hamlet outside the equally small town of Itta Bena.  From these beginnings BB rose to become a world famous and influential musician and the greatest ambassador of the Blues.

While he eventually experienced fame and a bit of wealth BB remained perhaps one of the most humble and endearing people that one could ever know.

Beloved by many he was truly the King of the Blues.

Do a search on "BB King news" and you will find tributes and stories galore everywhere and from all over.

Below is a tribute of my own.

BB passed away last night.

Whenever it was it was sure "Past Day"; maybe it was the "Blues at Midnight" or possibly even the "Three O'Clock Blues".

I "Woke Up This Morning" to "Troubles, Troubles, Troubles":  truly the "Blues at Sunrise".  But you know "Crying Won't Help You".

"How Blue Can You Get"?:  "Every Day I Have the Blues" now that "The Thrill is Gone".

BB has met his "Sweet Little Angel", let go of his "Chains And Things", and has "Peace of Mind".

"Ain't Nobody Home" now, "Lucille" is a widow.

"Don't Look Now But I've Got the Blues" "When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer" and I'm "Slowly Losing My Mind".  That's "Why I Sing The Blues".

"Please Accept My Love"


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