Note to Google+ – Our privacy is more than a toggle


With the recent release of Google+ tech geeks are all in a frenzy trying out the site, documenting its every change, and comparing it to the reigning champion of social networking, Facebook. One of the main topics of discussion has focused on Google’s take on privacy, something its predecessor has continuously been attacked for, and in most if not all cases, the attacks were warranted. Facebook, and founder Mark Zuckerberg, have thus earned a reputation for poor communication of changes that affect privacy, and overall manipulation of user settings to mirror Zuckerberg’s philosophy on social sharing of information. The number of times and the consistency of such changes have left a bad taste in many Facebook user’s mouths, and have paved the perfect road for a challenger. In steps the juggernaut, Google, an icon and master of the Internet, but so far a failure at making their products social. In fact Google has had its own issues with privacy. In 2010 Google released the unsuccessful (yet still around for some reason) Google Buzz, which automatically set up followers based on email and chat behavior, and then shared those followers with the whole world.  Prior to that Google tried to change how we collaborate with the release of Google Wave, also a decent size failure, but something that may later get characterized as too much too soon, and not due to a lack of trying. With its latest foray into the world of social networking, Google+ has taken great strides to convince the millions of new users that they care about privacy. They have done this by providing almost all features within Google+ the ability to restrict viewing and access (minus your profile photo that seems to just exist forever until you swap it out with a new one), and have made doing so very easy with simple to use toggles. Continue reading “Note to Google+ – Our privacy is more than a toggle”

Why Wikileaks and social media have changed espionage

There has been a lot of talk over the past few weeks around Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, but amid the calls for treason and even for his death, there is one discussion that is not taking place. The key element to this story, and the one that seems to be getting overlooked by the media and the talking heads, began back in June when Wired initially reported on a U.S. Intelligence Analyst arrested in a Wikileaks video probe. According to the blog, PFC Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland was arrested for his involvement in posting classified videos to Wikileaks, and foreshadowed things to come when boasting to a former computer hacker that, “Hillary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public.” Then came the massive release of documents at the end of November, and the promised release of more documents by Julian Assange, even as he is hunted across the globe for sexually related charges. There are enough people to write about the leaked cables, various diplomats, and the sex scandal. I am not here to write about that, and frankly have no interest in looking at any documents, considering they are still classified, and I don’t have a need-to-know. What I am interested in, and find to be the underlying story within this story, is the role of social media and the psychological factors related to PFC Manning’s alleged release of millions of classified documents. According to Wired, former hacker Adrian Lamo expressed this about Manning, “He was in a war zone and basically trying to vacuum up as much classified information as he could, and just throwing it up into the air.”

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Being Human

Screenshot of Google Image Search Results for Human Beings

Strewn from shore to shore, to lands uncharted in the sky, human beings have withstood thousands of years, in which we have seen plagues, momentous natural disasters, and entire empires fall. We have glimpsed into the mind of God through science and mathematics, and have single handedly affected natures deepest cores. We have produced music and art so powerful to the mind we cannot help but to shed a tear. Our emotions and thoughts are like two passion filled dancers moving majestically through time, trading secrets but always maintaining the dance. Like a cub who wanders too far from its den we slowly drift away from the rest of nature. Upon theory after theory we try in vain to discover our origins, our reason for living, and our destination when we die. We have grown so accustomed to the idea that we are people and not animals that we base entire religions on our existence. The fate of the world and the universe lies in our perceived hands. We are human beings.

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Johnny Be Bad – Celebrating William Zabka


With the arrival of “The Karate Kid” to theaters there has been much debate over whether or not the new movie can ever live up to the cultural icon from 1984 bearing the same name. Can Jaden Smith live up to the standard that Ralph Macchio set during the Cold War? Will Jackie Chan ever embody the wise old man played by Pat Morita that taught us “wax on…wax off” and the term “Daniel-san?” These questions will be debated throughout the ages, or at least until the new Karate Kid movie gets replaced by the next Twilight movie, but what of Johnny?

When the dust settles and the movie tickets are in, the missing component to the greatness of the original Karate Kid is not whether or not Daniel Larusso uses the crane kick, but the brilliant antagonist played by William Zabka. Better known as “Johnny,” William Zabka epitomizes the quintessential 80’s prick boyfriend character. No other actor in history – I was too lazy to back this up so if some fancy pants responds to this blog with some other actor, they have way too much time on their hands and should find a hobby not involving video games – personifies the classic 80’s movie black and white extreme emotional character. Before movies started to give the “bad guy” feelings and a troubled background so we can relate to or feel sorry for them (see hippy mentality takes Hollywood – some blog I will never get around to writing), the 80’s brought us honest to goodness a-holes we could rejoice as they met their demise. Within the first fifteen minutes of the movie you knew who the good guy was and who the bad guy was, and when you saw William Zabka, you knew which one he would be playing.

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Reflections on Being Single

Man thinking with bird

It has been a significant amount of time since I have contributed to this blog so I apologize to the four people who viewed it since then. I’m not sure if it is because I am sitting here listening to “Just Won’t Burn” from Susan Tedeschi, or that I am sitting in front of my personal computer at all after getting an HTC Incredible, but I have decided to climb out of the gutter of mental hibernation and put down my thoughts on the last few months.

As a good catholic boy I feel like writing, “it has been x number of days since my last confession.” That is what personal blogging is correct? It is essentially you and the world in a small wooden booth, sharing your inner thoughts, and hoping for some type of recognition or condemnation. I’m not talking about the Kobe had a good game blog, or the iPhone G4 was leaked in a Chinese brothel. There is enough opinions out there on trendy topics, and I may add some myself if I can keep on this horse for more than a day. I’m talking about that honest to goodness inner reflective blog. The kind that makes you feel like you actually know the person who is writing it. Stephen King writes forewords like that. That’s why I have always liked him as a writer. Not so much because of the stories, although they do entertain, but because when he writes to his readers you can tell it’s not contrived. If they are he’s even more of a writer than I thought. And what are the essays of Francis Bacon or the thoughts of Boethius but inner ramblings put down on paper passed down for everyone to consume? Writing, like anything in the arts, is cathartic. I imagine it has its equals, like building a good deck and putting on the last coat of stain, or winning that big game after so many long days of the season and training camp. There is something calming about the sound of the keys or even the pencil that tends to wash away the prior responsibilities of the day. However, I didn’t set out to write a blog on the benefits of writing so I should probably get back to my title before the two readers of this blog bail due to false advertising.

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Confessions of an Over Thinker

The Thinker

You think too much. Don’t over think it. You analyze everything.

I can say that I have heard these words and variations of them my entire life. But what does it mean to really be an over thinker and why are people over thinkers?

From as early as I can remember I have been thinking too much about everything. Whether it be a business meeting, a standardized test, or a chance encounter with the opposite sex, my mind has analyzed and reanalyzed every small observation and detail that I was able to ascertain. Not only during such instances, but long after into the night, and the next day. The analysis part isn’t so bad compared to the outcome scenarios and judgement related to over thinking. It is not good enough to analyze every scenario inside and out. You must then judge each of the scenarios and critique every minute detail. Simply explained this generally falls into the category of “You cant judge me as bad as I can judge myself” or “You are your own worst enemy.”

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Breaking into Circles – Ballad of the Annoying Guy at Bars

Exhibit A

We have all seen them. If you are a woman you have all experienced them and/or have been groped by them. If you are a man you have made fun of them or are one of them.

I have been observing a decent amount of bar and club behavior over the last few months while traveling around the country, and no matter where I go, there are multiple examples of the “annoying” guy trying to break into a “dance circle” of women.

He may start off standing near the bar, or randomly moving around the dance floor, lurking about like some pathetic vulture hoping for a good night’s meal. Once he has eyed his prize, or in this case any walking breathing woman who isn’t the obvious grenade of the group, he begins his inward pursuit.

Slowly he lumbers backwards, shaking his hips awkwardly as he attempts to penetrate the near indestructible “girls night out” circle. Never really breaking the plane, he slowly inches in closer and closer in hopes of a potential buttocks rub. Meanwhile other more confident lions continue to circle as if unknown to their prey, each with their own unique douchey moves, as they attempt to lock eyes or throw their verbal spears praying one will stick.

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Rediscovering Quotes


I found this old document when organizing my files on my computer so I thought I would share it (this could definitely backfire but oh well). Some of these have stories and some I probably thought were just kind of neat or sounded fancy.

For those wondering, these are ones I wanted to write down, unlike certain people I know who write down things I say that will eventually come back to bite me. Those quotes are for happy hour not Facebook.

Also there are probably quotes similar out there (there has to be), but scouts honor I don’t care nor have I looked any up. I just like the way they sounded at the time while waiting tables at the Tiki Bar a long time ago.

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The Mystery of the Arts

There is something incredibly cool about the arts. For those that know me you are aware that I am analytical sometimes to the point of annoying (and for those of you that just said “sometimes” again in your head we’re no longer friends).

I want to preface this by saying I in no way think I am hot to trot related to the arts. I don’t think I can relate to Beethoven or Dali, nor do I think most people on the planet since the beginning of time can. What I am asserting is in everyone there is the ability to make art. Whether you hum in the shower, tap your feet while sitting, or doodle on a napkin, you are creating.

For some those creations go on to affect others, but in the beginning, at its most core, those creations affect those making them. Raise that foot tapping to a more complex beat, or start to shadow that doodle a little, and suddenly something is happening. I am going to try my best to explain this phenomenon, but I have to say it will be difficult. Its like explaining love. You tend to dance around the outside of it, but never really get to the heart of it, although every poet has tried.

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Life Quote

I just finished working out and caught myself thinking I should go upstairs and just throw myself down on my couch and watch some TV. At that moment a phrase popped into my head. I realize this sounds stupid and cliche, but literally the phrase just kind of jumped out at me.

I said to myself, or if you want to go deeper, my consciousness said to myself, “Be an active participant of life.”

I kind of smiled and thought, “Hey that’s a pretty good line. I wonder if I stole that from somewhere.”

The phrase actually got to me, since most folks just blow through life existing and not participating. So I decided to look it up on Google (sorry Bing users), and came back with six results. Six results from Google is like (insert witty phrase that means rare, think New Yorkers waving).

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