Poetslife

5/20/2018

Brave Browser No More Ads or Tracking

Brave is a new browser that does not track you and blocks ads.
I downloaded it several weeks ago and have bee conducting usability and quality control testing on it.
Thankfully, Brave is everything they say they are.
Google FINALLY has competition.
I follow Jason Calacanis, the serial venture capitalist, on This Week in Startups. His subject this week was Brendan Eich, the creator of Brave. Brendan previously invented JavaScript and co-founded Mozilla Firefox, so he has an impressive internet tech pedigree.
Watch and listen to Jason interview Brendan here. You will learn a lot. It's an incredible interview.
Here was Jason's summary: "Episode 819 of This Week in Startups features a fascinating interview with JavaScript creator, Mozilla co-founder, and now Brave Software Founder & CEO, Brendan EichBrendan founded and leads Brave Software, which offers a browser with built-in ad and tracker blocking. Jason digs into the details of Brave's Basic Attention Token, the ethics of online advertising, the browser wars, the shady nature of many ICOs, and more." 

The Brave Community
About Brave
Brave Blog
Features
Publishers

I will update this post as I discover new uses for Brave.

Parents Protect Your Children's Social Media and Internet Use

When we were raising our two boys Robin and I were very careful to monitor their social media and internet use. Our rule was always that as we were paying the bill we always had access to their digital activity.
I wish we had guidance then but we pretty much winged it.
But you can protect your children as they use social media tools. How? The best way to to learn what they are doing in their digital world.
And how can you do that? By becoming a Sheepdog Parent. Join the Sheepdog Parent group on Facebook. It was created and is maintained daily by the great Morgan Wright. 
And to see just how great is Morgan when it comes to protecting children from social media, read his article in The Hill: Big Tech Vacuums up your kids data risking their privacy, mental health.
Here is how Morgan describes the purpose on his website.
"What is a sheepdog parent? A sheepdog lives to protect the flock and confront the wolf. As a sheepdog parent, you must also confront the wolf. This wolf may come in the form of cyber bullying, sexting, social media, gaming, depression, suicide or addictive technology. So what is a sheepdog parent? A sheepdog parent:
  • Realizes everyday there is no safety in denial.
  • Lives to protect the sheep and confront the wolf.
  • Never negotiates the safety of the flock. Ever.
  • Makes the conscious, moral decision to be the example.
  • Dedicates themselves each day to equipping and preparing for confrontation with the wolf.
Being a sheepdog parent is a choice. So is being a sheep. Wolves do not concern themselves with the opinions of sheep. It doesn’t matter what you think or believe. It matters what you do about what you think or believe. What is your choice—sheep or sheepdog?"
Everyday Morgan posts parental guidance like: "Shocking news…children can’t recognize subliminal ads on social networks. The devious marketers at many social media companies are using Jedi mind tricks to get your children to ‘prefer’ certain products. Like when a popular YouTuber mixes up a flavored drink. A brand the YouTuber is paid to endorse. Hmmmm…reminds me of The Truman Show (youngsters…https://duckduckgo.com/ that). Should there be clear disclaimers on subliminal social media ads?"
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Your Podcast Resources:
Here’s how you can help Sheepdog Parent:
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help.
  • Subscribe on iTunes 
Here’s what I’m talking about today: NEWS: Trips to the ER? It’s more than doubled for children – but not what you expect. TECH: Echo Dot for Kids – Read The Fine Print APPS: Yubo is a no go. TIPS: Let’s talk.
Who is Morgan Wright besides the creator of the Sheepdog Parent group?

Opinion Writer at The Hill




  • Cyberterrorism Analyst at Fox Business

  • Cyberterrorism Analyst at Fox News
  • 4/26/2018

    American Civil Defense Way Back Machine 1968

    With deep thanks to The American Civil Defense Association blog.

    By Eugene P. Wigner
    A renowned physicist and civil defense analyst probes behind the mask of apathy in the United States. (Originally printed in the first Journal of Civil Defense, May-June 1968, Vol. 1 No. 1)
    I have often tried to explain the need for a vigorous civil defense effort, why and how such an effort would go far in preserving peace and how it could save many millions of lives if war should come nevertheless. 
    1. “Why Civil Defense?” would be an apt title for this subject because we want the civil defense effort to be strong and vigorous. But my subject is also the opposite: 
    2. “Why No Civil Defense?”
    3. What are the roadblocks? 
    4. Why isn’t the civil defense effort as strong and effective as we would like it to be? 
    5. Why is there not a popular demand for it? There are, it seems to me, three principal reasons for this.
    The first reason is the power of the anti-civil defense establishment. What provides this strength? What are the motives of the establishment?
    There are, of course, those who would like to see our country become a second or third-rate power, the nakedness and vulnerability of its people forcing its government to accede to the demands of those governments whose people are better protected or who care less for human life. Persons who have these desires are, however, small in number, and they contribute but very little to the undeniably very great strength of the anti-civil defense establishment. Can this establishment muster valid arguments against civil defense? I think it can, and this is the reason for citing this cause for our lagging civil defense efforts as the first of my “principal reasons”.
    If we install shelters, store food and other supplies, we make preparations against an attack on our country. Such preparations naturally set us apart from those against whose attack we protect ourselves and render it more difficult to develop a true friendship between the governments of communist countries and ourselves. 
    This is the theory of Festinger, often derided by social scientists, but I do think there is something to it even if not in the extreme form propounded by Festinger. It is, of course, true that the hate propaganda of the other side also interferes with the development of the true friendship, and it is sad – very sad – that this is never criticized by the anti-civil defense establishment.
    The second reason why the civil defense effort is not more vigorous and why there is not more public demand for it is that it is unpleasant to think about disasters, particularly disasters as severe as nuclear war. Let us note that insurance policies offering compensation in case of fire are called fire insurance policies, but that the policies protecting our families in case of our death are called life insurance policies. 
    No similarly euphemistic name has been invented for civil defense, and it would not help much if one were invented. Building shelters would remind us in any case of a great and terrible calamity that could befall us, and we all are reluctant to think about such calamities. 
    Why dig a hole in the ground where one may have to live for weeks if one can, instead, walk in the sunshine? We have a tradition for work, and many of us enjoy it, but we do not have a tradition of thinking about disasters which may strike us. However, whereas our reluctance to face the temporary nature of our sojourn in this world does not, as a rule, shorten our lives, our reluctance to protect ourselves may bring war nearer.
    The third reason that we do not take civil defense very seriously is that we are all too conceited. Sure, other people have been stricken by disasters, other nations have been wiped out or subjugated. But this cannot happen to us, we say. It is not even decent to think about it. I once went to see the now deceased Albert Thomas, who prevented a good deal of civil defense legislation from being enacted in the House of Representatives. He listened to me for a few minutes and then said: “Take it easy, young man, take it easy. 
    This country is so strong it does not need any civil defense.” Most of us would express this self-defeating doctrine less clearly and less bluntly than did Mr. Thomas.
     But what he said is present in the minds of all of us. On a peaceful day like today, when we are absorbed by so many more pleasant thoughts, is it not unreasonable to think about some country attacking us with nuclear weapons?
    In a very real sense, I believe, it will be a test of the democratic ideal whether our people can resist burying their heads in sand or not, whether or not they, can muster the foresight and maturity to carry out the unpleasant and unpopular task of protecting themselves, their country, and their freedom against dangers which seem far away. Nothing but illusory comfort can be gained by closing our eyes to these dangers.

    Eugene P. Wigner – 1963, Nobel Prize in Physics won for contribution to theory of the atomic nucleus and elementary particles specifically the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles.

    American Civil Defense Way Back Machine 1978

    With deep thanks to The American Civil Defense Association blog.

    Government, the military and industry have sunk billions into special protective measures for leadership, staff and critical systems in case of nuclear war. But for John Doe, the taxpayer who foots the bill - and his family? . . . Read on.


    By Frank Williams (Journal of Civil Defense, Jan-Feb 1978)
    Silent steel doors - like a scene from science fiction - lead into an outsize buried complex. They shut behind you. Deeper silence. The sleek subdivided space spread before you is encased in a heavy jacket of reinforced concrete. Utilities, clocks, furnishings are shock-mounted. Systems are redundant. Special valves protect ventilation shafts and pipes. Supplied with its own food, its own water, its own power, its own accommodations, its own fuel - completely independent of outside help - it can be a sealed-off "home" to a select group for two to four weeks. This in a brutal, close-in nuclear attack environment.
    Is this protective shelter that government has built for people?
    No. It is shelter that government has built for government. One of many.
    Well, you might ask, where are the shelters government has built for people?
    And the answer is simply that government does not build shelter like this for people. Not in the United States. Government builds them for government. For emergency operations. Some are highly sophisticated. Some are less so. Over 4,000 such shelters exist for officialdom, for the military.
    But not for the people. Why? What's to happen to the people?
    Authorities in Washington have for years - with dignity, conviction and persuasion - pointed out compelling reasons for a "low-key" civil defense: It would be useless, because protection is not possible. It would be provocative, because the security afforded would cause the Soviets to take offense. "Overkill" proves that everyone would be killed many times over. It would cost billions to protect the public. We must maintain our people in a "hostage" status and exposed to annihilation to show good faith. Destruction is more effective than protection. It is pessimistic to think of nuclear attack. The whole thing is "unthinkable." Therefore unamerican. And unimportant. It might interfere with weekends.
    You might also ask - If protection is such a low priority for people then why is it such a high priority for government?
    And this would be a good question. Perhaps an embarrassing one.
    President Carter might well ponder it. He might ask why in a nuclear crisis carefully, laid plans exist to spirit him and his advisors quickly out of Washington and airborne where they will be out of reach of incoming nuclear weapons, why key military and government crews will fan out to buried bunkers that circle Washington? And why most of his neighbors - the children, the women, the people of Washington, D. C. - will be left to fry, sizzle and pop under the attack?
    Is this the "American way"? A part of Potomac dogma?
    Perhaps the most dramatic of the government's shelters - one which illustrates best the attention given to protecting "the vital few" - is the military North American Air Defense Command in Colorado. Buried under millions of tons of granite, tunneled over 1,000 feet into Cheyenne Mountain,' it consists of windowless multi-story stainless steel buildings mounted on mammoth coil springs. It boasts many other special features.
    It is superb protection - built obviously by those, who believe that such protection is necessary and effective and well worth the cost.
    But outside Cheyenne Mountain churches, schools, homes and commercial buildings - eggshell structures-- stretch across Colorado, across the Unites States. Those in target areas would crumble under the direct effects of nuclear explosions. Those in locations remote from explosions would for the most part offer pitifully inadequate protection against fallout. No more than "nuclear traps." This deplorable pattern of neglect is why serious scenarios have for years predicted 100,000,000 initial deaths for the United States in an all-out nuclear attack.
    What is the rationale that permits government to take taxpayer money to protect itself and to ignore the taxpayer? What moral code allows leadership to condone this protection for itself and exposure to death for those whom it serves?
    Industry also gives us examples of survival preparedness. AT&T, for instance, has during the past twelve years constructed vast underground communications lines with buried, reinforced two-story control centers to serve them. These lines crisscross America, carefully avoiding cities and military installations (except for spur lines), and are built to withstand the shock of nearby nuclear detonations. Well over $1 billion has so far been spent on these lines -a good deal more on this one project alone (for cables) than the United States Government has spent during this same period to provide a civil defense agency for its 217,000,000 human charges.
    Do Americans really want protection?
    A recent American Security Council nationwide poll report shows that 91 % of the people queried (of a total of 135,841) wanted ABM protection against nuclear attack. 1% said "No." The rest were undecided. An accompanying poll report showed that 89% of the respondents thought an agreement between Russia and the United States not to protect their peoples (which reportedly took place in 1972) was objectionable. Such responses are not really new. They show that a great majority of Americans think that government has provided for their protection. In the light of proud American heritage this is a logical assumption.
    The Russian, too, assumes such protection and has it. The Chinaman assumes it and has it. The Swiss. The Swede. The Finn. The American is fooled, deceived. He is a deliberate "hostage."
    In this way, in a land where leaders preach human rights without letup, the citizen himself is deprived of his most basic and most precious human right - the right to survive. While our leadership worries and frets about the rights of people in other nations around the world, and at home rights for Blacks, Indians, women, the poor, the handicapped, the aged, the young, the sick, gays, old soldiers, prisoners and whatever, has it forgotten the right of the working citizen to have his tax money applied to making his life safer?
    Apparently.
    A goodly number of Washington studies are now in progress to respond to the recent surge of interest in civil defense. One of them, the White House civil defense review by Greg Schneider’s "Reorganization Project," is scheduled to wind up by the end of February. It is in all probability the pivotal study. As an "in-house" effort its conclusions may well be influenced by Administration policy, which appears not to favor any meaningful upgrading of civil defense. It should be recalled that other White House civil defense studies such as the Gaither and the Lincoln reports (both of which strongly recommended a greatly improved civil defense posture) were in effect ignored. Pentagon studies which showed the tremendous life-saving potential of a proper civil defense have also been ignored. Today's Secretary of Defense, Harold Brown, feels that American opinion would not support an upgraded civil defense program and discounts the Russian effort. His answer to the pleas for planning protection for the people (similar to that which he enjoys as the Pentagon chief) is to say that we must not be led to "replicate" Russian civil defense.
    So, can we count on current studies being taken seriously in Washington?
    Congress has indicated that if by March no Administration action has been taken to correct the tragic civil defense imbalance then Congress will act on its own.
    In reviewing the Schneider’s report when it goes to him on February 28th, President Carter would do well to keep a few salient points in mind, among them:
    (1) That protection for government, the military and industry is taken very seriously and that a tremendous investment has been made in it.
    (2) That protection for himself and his advisors is taken even more seriously and that his move to an airborne command post is ready to be implemented on a moment's notice at any time.
    (3) That the American taxpayer pays handsomely to buy this protection.
    (4) That the American taxpayer has no such protection, is himself - with his family - left exposed, at the mercy of an attack.
    (5) That the myths and excuses for maintaining his exposure are effete platitudes, credits only to aggressor propagandists.
    (6) That Pentagon studies (as well as others) show that good civil defense measures would bring survival expectancy up from less than 50% to around 95% - near that of the Soviet Union.
    (7) That human rights - in addition to faith, food and freedom - include the No. 1 right of the people to be considered for survival in nuclear warfare.
    (8) That a tough home defense would make aggression against the United States unwise, unrewarding, a long-shot gamble, and much less likely. With such a development we would truly be opting for the highest possible peace odds.
    President Carter has said to the country: "I'll never lie to you." He is certainly very serious about living up to his promise. He rules out the lie. But neglect to face an issue squarely, neglect to cover a question fully and failure to speak out frankly and accurately can be tantamount to the lie. Silence can be a lie. Mark Twain called the "silent lie" the worst kind. That it is. And it is a highly developed art in our national capital.
    We hope Mr. Carter remembers his Georgia roots. On civil defense we need a lot of common sense, a lot of candor, a lot of courage. Mr. Carter needs to give the taxpayer back some of what the taxpayer has given him: protection. It's that simple.
    Let there be truth.

    3/22/2018

    Civil Defense in 1958 and 2018: Mt. Airy Test Case


    "Lessons from an Emergency" was just published in my local newspaper, Mt. Airy Messenger, under The Way We Were column on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, page 15.
    However, this editorial is an excerpt from March 28, 1958 in the Mt. Airy, Maryland, Community Reporter local newspaper.
    It states that it is "a glance at Mt. Airy's past brought to you by the Mt. Airy Historical Society."
    Reading it 60 years later, it indicates a high-level awareness of the necessity for civil defense.
    The practical wisdom in it is superb.
    We need to become as aware.
    The March 28, 1958 editorial follows:

    "The recent paralyzing snow storm, which disrupted electric and telephone service, prevented deliveries of fuel oil and hampered efforts of dairy farmers in getting rid of their milk, presented a number of valuable lessons designed to set forth the importance of being prepared for this kind of emergency.
    It also pointed up the utter dependence of our present social and economic system upon electric service, for not until something occurs to interrupt the flow of this all-important medium into our homes, farms, stores, offices, and manufacturing plants do we recognize the extent to which we have become the slaves of electrical energy.
    Without it [electricity]:
    • Many of our oil-heater or stoker-fed furnaces are out of service
    • We have to revert to candles or kerosene lamps for illumination
    • Automatic washing machines, dryers and irons hold up all laundry operations
    • Households who cook on electric ranges are unable to prepare food
    • The threat of spoilage in inoperative refrigerators and home freezers mounts
    • Radios and television sets are silent while electric sweepers, dish washers, food disposers, percolators, toasters, and water heaters totally stymie housekeeping efforts. 
    • Father's electric shaver refuses to work and persons accustomed to sleeping under electric blankets shiver the night through. 
    • On the farm, water systems fail, dairymen cannot operate the milkers while milk spoils in milk-cooler storage tanks. 
    • Supermarkets and other stores were unable to operate their cash registers, freezer cases warm up, threatening frozen food supplies, while elevators and escalators in department stores are at a standstill. 
    • Many factories face complete shutdown and unemployment mounts. 
    Yes, this is indeed an electric age.
    But there might conceivably be even worse situations than that caused by a show storm. An atomic bomb could wreak havoc on communities over a wide area. Death and destruction would then be added to the inconvenience and misery caused by the mere interruption of electric service. Surely everyone ought to give sober thought to the possibility of such a catastrophe and resolve to take all measures possible to soften the blow in case it should come. This means more serious attention to Civil Defense organization and planning.
    The recent emergency brought many ingenious methods of overcoming sever hardship. Some homes had fireplaces with supplied of wood handy.
    With these they kept rooms  warm and even cooked meals in some instances. Others had camp stoves fed by bottled gas. Little, gravity-fed oil room headers saved the day for others.
    On farms a number of farmers operated their milking machines by backing a truck up tot he dairy and attaching their vacuum hose to the mother where they had removed a spark plug. others put sleds into use to get their milk to the main highways, when they could not get their trucks out.
    People with heating systems not dependent upon electricity opened their homes to less fortunate neighbors. It is encouraging to observe how people react to emergencies after all.
    But the lesson we should have learned is that a little preparation in advance might alleviate hardship and inconvenience in such situations.
    Man is a resourceful animal, an can usually find means of caring for his needs when the comforts and conveniences of modern life fail."

    The Lessons of a 60-Year Old Emergency as it Applies to 2018

    The Mt. Airy, MD "Lessons from an Emergency" editorial was written 60 years ago.
    What has changed?
    Not much. Except that we are ten times more vulnerable to disruptions in a continuous flow of electric power than Americans were in the 1950's.
    Moreover, the threat of atom bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles has increased. Sadly, these bombs and missiles can come from many more bad actors, from more directions, faster, be more destructive and in minutes...not hours.
    Also, the threat of electromagnetic pulse disruptions, from foreign attack, hackers, or solar flares, has increased.
    And, the threat of natural disasters impacting Americans is greater because there are twice as many Americans as in 1958.
    Are the citizens of Mt. Airy aware of these facts?
    Do they care?
    Do any Americans in the tens of thousands of towns just like Mt. Airy all over the United States care about civil defense preparations today?
    In just one area, the electric power grid, how vulnerable is our electric grid? Read this and weep.
    Here is my blog post attempt to incite a call to action to harden the American power grid before it is hit.
    Please explore the wisdom, knowledge, strategies, and practical steps developed by the The American Civil Defense Association over 60 plus years of learning about civil defense issues. It is worth reading the articles and course material found there.
    I have been on the TACDA board of directors for 8 years and can vouch for their civil defense knowledge and experience.
    We publish the Journal of Civil Defense. The latest issue has my article "When State Hackers Take Aim at the Power Grid." There are many other worthwhile articles in this issue and the Journal of Civil Defense and in its archives.
    Contact: TACDA, 12162 South Business Park Drive, #208, Draper, UT 84020, www.tacda.org, info@tacda.org, 800 425 5397.
    Sharon Packer, Secretary/Treasurer of TACDA, has posted an excellent discussion of radiation issues on the TACDA Blog. Sharon owns a company that builds bomb shelters and is an expert in this areas. For a quick analysis of electromagnetic pulse (EMP), see here.
    There are other American civil defense voices, such as Michael Mabee, in the desert raising the alarm here. And here. And here. If this were a just world, he would be on the National Security Council organizing American civil defense efforts.
    What are we doing as a nation to create, test, and implement a national strategy to address these ongoing dangers?
    What are you doing as an individual?
    What is your family doing?
    These threats were there in 1958. They are still here, in even greater degree, in 2018.
    Americans are the best in the world at instant civil defense, as proven on 9/11 in New York City. The 9/11 Great Boat Lift, when the U.S. Coast guard, barges, and private boat owners got 500,000 Americans off Manhattan island after the sneak jihadi attack, was much bigger than Dunkirk and much faster.
    The 9/11 Great Boat Lift, done in 9 hours, is a remarkable story of Americans spontaneously saving the lives of other Americans in an emergency.
    It is civil defense at its best, but it is a one-time miracle. Civil defense cannot be based on miracles, but rational planning.
    Or you can go back over 2,500 years to Aesop's Fables, especially the Ant and the Grasshopper, for why we need to prepare.
    Enjoy making your civil defense preparations now while you have the time and resources. Here is one option if you are young:
    If you are 18 to 24 years old and want to serve in support of disaster-related projects, apply for FEMA Corps by April 1 to start in July 2018. Apply here.