Category Archives: personal view

Moving – An Ignorant View

No disclaimer this time, just wanted to let you all know that I have moved this website, and for those of you that had signed up, I hope you will join me.

This website did not pan out like I had envisioned, I guess I tried to do too much all at once and have pretty much neglected it. For some reason I thought that I could maintain multiple websites, and I just couldn’t.

I am focusing my efforts on my website called http://www.startsat50.com

It is a website that I am working on daily, it is dedicated to people that want to start something. Not necessarily starting over, but just wanting to start something. I have had many changes take place over the past year or so and I am in fact starting over, and I am in fact about to turn 50 years old in a few months, hence the name.

But it is a website that I want to grow and be a place where people can come to learn and to share, a place where we can discover new and cool things together, a place where opportunities can be presented and shared. I have a lot of ideas but am very open to suggestions.

An Ignorant View is something that I still want to do and I have already moved all my posts over there and plan on continuing to add to them, mostly to help me to learn more and to grow my voice.

Anyway, come check it out and let me know what you think

Respect to all

Mark

IPhone – An Ignorant View

Disclaimer: In no way do I think that I am completely ignorant, but I do feel that I need to have a point of view about issues and this is what this blog is about.

I am kinda speechless right now. I logged into Google News to get the top story of the day so that I could spend the next hour reading about it, fully expecting it to be ISIS, or Ebola or something newsworthy…..and at the top of the list of World Top News Story is……IPhone.

Huh? Really?

I do not have an opinion on IPhone, never had one, don’t want one. My kids loved theirs, I just honestly don’t care that much about owning an IPhone. I don’t hate people that have IPhones, I just do not have an opinion one way or another on them and do not plan to waste an hour of my day trying to learn

If that makes me ignorant about this subject…I’m OK with it

For those of you that care, here are a couple links to the top stories on Google News

http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/iphone/iphone-6-release-date-photos-features-specs-video-uk-price-3414914/

http://time.com/3311862/10-things-iphone-6-apple/

Maybe I need a knew way of finding a subject to write about on here, any suggestions?

Peace

Mark

Joan Rivers – An Ignorant View

Disclaimer: In no way do I think that I am completely ignorant, but I do feel that I need to have a point of view about issues and this is what this blog is about.

Today’s top news story is the passing of Joan Rivers. Out of respect to her and all of her fans, my better half included, I am going to just link to a blog that I think said it better than most.

Please click here to read that post.

My viewpoint is that regardless of how people felt about her, she was always herself, like it or not.

Adding a video of Joan with the Beastie Boys singing one of my wife’s favorite songs

 

Respectfully

Mark

Ebola II – An Ignorant View

 Disclaimer: In no way do I think that I am completely ignorant, but I do feel that I need to have a point of view about issues and this is what this blog is about.

ebola

 

 Ebola is back on the top of the list of news stories today, mostly it seems because of the news of another infected American doctor, Rick Sacra. According to his family, he is in good spirits and was able to isolate himself as soon as he felt a fever coming on and got himself to an Ebola clinic.

 

 

Debbie says she is surrounded by friends and family who are “praying fervently” for Rick’s recovery.

“Rick would want me to urge you to remember that there are many people in Liberia who are suffering in this epidemic and others who are not receiving standard healthcare because clinics and hospitals have been forced to close,” Sacra said in the statement. “West Africa is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis and the world needs to respond compassionately and generously.”

 From <http://boston.cbslocal.com/2014/09/03/rick-sacras-brother-prayers-needed-for-ebola-recovery/>

This humanitarian crisis is in danger of becoming of epic proportions, if it has not already done so. Everything I just read cries out for help that would have been there six months ago if this had happened anywhere besides West Africa.

Unlike the SARS crisis of 2003, which struck countries in Asia and elsewhere that had strong governments and ample money to spring to action, the Ebola outbreak has waylaid nations that often lack basic health care, much less the ability to mount big campaigns to stamp out epidemics.

To aid the fight, wealthy individuals offered the W.H.O. “literally hundreds of millions because their businesses were affected,” said Dr. Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank and a former director at the W.H.O. “But as SARS burned out, those guys disappeared, and we forgot very quickly.”

From <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/world/africa/cuts-at-who-hurt-response-to-ebola-crisis.html?_r=0>

 Just read a blog raising some very serious issues, the one standing out the most to me is that this strain of Ebola is basically identical to the one that  broke out in the initial 1976 outbreak. But once that outbreak “went away”, so did everyone’s attention to Ebola. Just think if research had continued on a vaccine for Ebola, this would not be an issue today. But we all know that there is not enough funding and that cuts to the WHO (World Health Organization) have basically kept some of these diseases alive

The W.H.O. hoped to balance its budget cuts by strengthening the ability of countries to respond to public health threats on their own. It put out new regulations for nations to follow to help contain outbreaks. But by 2012, the deadline it set, only 20 percent of nations had enacted them all. In Africa, fewer than a third of countries had programs to detect and stop infectious diseases at their borders. The W.H.O.’s strategy was often more theory than reality.

“There never were the resources to put those things in place in many parts of the world,” said Dr. Scott F. Dowell, a specialist formerly with the C.D.C.

 From <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/world/africa/cuts-at-who-hurt-response-to-ebola-crisis.html?_r=0>

Nancy Writebol spoke to the media for the first time since returning to the United States for treatment of Ebola.

Shortly before SIM released details of Sacra’s condition, Nancy Writebol, a missionary with SIM, spoke to reporters for the first time, describing her own “dark days” with Ebola. Writebol was brought back to the United States for treatment in August and has since recovered.

Writebol said she is often asked what she believes saved her — whether it was returning to the U.S. for treatment, an experimental medication, her deep faith, or the supportive care she received from doctors in Liberia.

“My answer to that question is all of the above,” she said.

“God uses means. God uses doctors, and I can tell you again, amazing doctors. God uses experimental drugs. We don’t know whether the ZMapp helped. We don’t know. We don’t know if it was the supportive care. The supportive care was very, very necessary,” she said.

“All of those things played a part in saving our lives.”

 From <http://www.webmd.com/news/20140903/ebola-third-american-sacra?page=2>

Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, put out a cry for help.

In an impassioned call to action, he urged American doctors, nurses, and health care professionals to join Africa in its fight. “This isn’t just the countries’ problem,” he said. “It’s a global problem.” With vivid detail, Frieden painted a gruesome picture of overcrowded isolation centers in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, where health care workers are struggling to keep up with “basic care.” He mentioned deficiencies not only in the number of doctors, nurses, and health managers available, but the protective gear needed to keep them safe. Without an immediate change in the current landscape, he said, the worst is yet to come. “The level of outbreak is beyond anything we’ve seen—or even imagined,” Frieden said.

At one particular 35-bed facility, Frieden described the chilling sight of more than three-dozen Ebola patients without beds, left with no other place to fight their infections but the floor. The health care workers, too, face “distressing” conditions. “Roasting hot” personal protective gear including robes, masks, boots, and goggles, make simply drawing an IV a near impossible task. “It is very difficult to move…sweats pours into goggles, [the health workers] see the enormous need but the great risk, too,” he said.

But even more alarming than the disturbing images, was the lack of outside support. “The most upsetting thing I saw was what I didn’t see,” he said. “No data from countries where it’s spreading, no rapid response teams, no trucks, a lack of efficient management,” he said. “I could not possibly overstate the need for an urgent response.”

From <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/02/cdc-window-is-closing-on-containing-ebola.html>

 I hope and pray that the International community wakes up very soon and pours some help into West Africa. Ignorance of Ebola will not make it go away. From what I have learned, it can be controlled but they need help. Supplies, volunteers and money are all needed. Here is a link to a blog by a very inspired individual that is trying to help. There are other ways to help. Even if you can’t send money or volunteer, spread the word of this terrible situation until people ARE talking about it.

I saw a comment to one of the articles that really puts things in perspective to me

Ebola tends to spread rapidly in areas where poverty is widespread and large swaths of the population don’t have access to modern health care. In other words the U.S. is ripe for an Ebola pandemic to take hold

From <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/02/cdc-window-is-closing-on-containing-ebola.html>

Take care

Mark

Jennifer Lawrence – An Ignorant View

Disclaimer: In no way do I think that I am completely ignorant, but I do feel that I need to have a point of view about issues and this is what this blog is about.

When I opened up Google News to find the top story to post about today, and saw Jennifer Lawrence listed on the top of the list, I was a little surprised. I was fully expecting Ukraine or New Russia or Ebola or something more along those lines, but once I realized what the stories were referring to, it made more sense.

What we are really talking about here is internet security, specifically the “Cloud” and security of items stored in it. Apparently over the weekend, nude pictures of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and several other celebrities were posted on a site called 4chan, and then later also on Reddit. I have heard of Reddit, but never heard of 4chan, so I looked it up (No, I did not try to go on the site) to see what it was about

For all its cultural relevance, it’s possible you’ve never heard of 4chan. It’s not much to look at. Just a few pixels blinking on a page like something out of “Duck Hunt.”

The outdated design, however, belies its influence. Called one of the “darkest corners of the Web” by a New York Times writer and the “ninth circle of Hell,” 4chan twins the irreverent with the abhorrent, birthing wildly popular memes such as Lolcats while simultaneously hosting some of the most prurient content on the Internet.

From <http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/09/02/the-shadowy-world-of-4chan-the-shock-post-site-that-hosted-the-private-jennifer-lawrence-photos/>

The photos first appeared on 4chan, which is the Mos Eisley Cantina of the internet. Founded a decade ago as a forum for swapping anime pictures, it has become a popular place for posting controversial images of all kinds — including a lot of pornography.

4chan has had a large influence on the culture of the internet. It is generally credited as the birthplace of the LOLcat phenomenon and as well as rickrolling. The online quasi-movement Anonymous also emerged from 4chan message boards.

Anyone can post images on 4chan, and the site allows people to post anonymously. So we don’t know who posted the photos, and finding the culprit could prove challenging. One man who posted a message claiming responsibility and seeking bitcoin donations is now vehemently denying he was the source.

Some security experts have pointed to a security hole in Apple’s iCloud as one way hackers could have accessed the private images. Information about the vulnerability was posted online on August 30, a day before the photos first appeared online. Ordinarily, if someone tries to guess a user’s password over and over again, an online service will notice and limit the number of guesses someone can make. But Apple’s “Find My iPhone” service allowed a user to guess an unlimited number of times, which an attacker may have exploited to guess the victims’ passwords.

From <http://www.vox.com/2014/9/2/6095277/Jennifer-lawrence-kate-upton-hacking-scandal-explained>

Apple has reportedly fixed the issue with the Find My Iphone app that allows people to repeatedly try passwords to login until they get it right, without being locked out of the site. As I understand it, this was a known issue that was not addressed until a crisis involving a celebrity came up. Something wrong with that in my opinion. People have been getting exploited for years, either as a revenge thing or just hateful people with no lives and nothing better to do, posting personal information or compromising photos of them for the world to see. Why wasn’t that a top news story?

Anyway, Apple released a statement:

“After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet,” Nat Kerris, an Apple spokeswoman, said in a statement. “None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.”

From <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/03/technology/trove-of-nude-photos-sparks-debate-over-online-behavior.html?_r=0>

I heard about this story this morning on the radio, and the DJ just basically said “Stop putting nekked pictures on the internet and this won’t happen”. The scary part is that I am not so sure that most of what ends up “in the cloud”, was meant to be there. So many devices are now hooked up to the internet and have default settings that automatically will upload any information for free, no questions asked. People can take a picture in Michigan that can be seen in Japan within minutes, or seconds. Many services are out there that allow you to share your photos instantly to any computer that has that App within minutes of that picture being taken, most of us don’t think about the security of that picture or of the sick, twisted individuals that have nothing better to do than to hack into other people’s personal information.

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, it took this happening to a celebrity in order for it to become news. From what I have been reading on several blogs, this happens all the time to us regular folks. Either for revenge purposes or just because of sick, twisted minds. But it took naked pictures of Jennifer Lawrence to actually get people to look at it, the issue, not the photos.

Some of the responses from security companies have been just as ignorant as the radio disc jockey I heard this morning:

In a conversation on Twitter this morning with Tal Klein, the vice president of strategy for the cloud security firm Adallom, Klein said there were two things to take away from this latest breach: “1. Don’t take pictures of your junk; it will end up on the Internet somehow at some point. 2. Not all security is equal

From <http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/09/what-jennifer-lawrence-can-teach-you-about-cloud-security/>

I did find one article that actually seemed to give good practicealadvice on securing your information on the internet

What can I do to prevent hackers from stealing my personal information?
There are several steps people — celebrity and otherwise — can take to lock down their online accounts.
• Enable two-factor authentication. As already mentioned, 2-factor authentication requires you to have your cell phone in addition to your password in order to access your online accounts. It’s a bit of a hassle but it’s one of the best ways to boost your online security.
• Don’t answer “security questions” honestly. Security questions are often the weakest point in an online service’s security, since someone could to figure out the name of your pet and the street where you grew up. Instead, treat the answers to these questions as a second password. Make up long, random answers, write them down on a piece of paper, and store that in a safe place.
• Avoid re-using sensitive passwords. It’s unrealistic to expect people to have a separate password for every online account. But you should at least avoid the same password for your most sensitive accounts (online banking and email for example) and less sensitive ones such as online gaming or discussion boards. A good strategy for keeping track of multiple passwords is to write them down and keep the paper in your wallet or purse. Password-management software is another good option.
• Enable the screen-locking feature on your phone. The tips so far have focused on thwarting online attackers, but you might also need to worry about someone snooping through your information after stealing your smartphone. All major mobile operating systems now offer a screen-locking feature that requires users to enter a short passphrase to unlock the phone. This feature may not keep determined hackers out, but it will certainly thwart casual thieves and may give you time to change your passwords before someone gains access to your online accounts.

From <http://www.vox.com/2014/9/2/6095277/Jennifer-lawrence-kate-upton-hacking-scandal-explained&gt;

What are the chances that people will actually take this advice? Probably slim to none. People do not want to take the time to do additional work, they want others to take care of that. Why should they be responsible for their own data stored on public servers in some air condition controlled environment in another state or another country?

This will happen again in my opinion, and we will all act surprised again….just my ignorant viewpoint

See Ya

Mark

 

 

Ukraine II – An Ignorant View

Disclaimer: In no way do I think that I am completely ignorant, but I do feel that I need to have a point of view about issues and this is what this blog is about.

Where to start? On August 23rd when Ukraine was the top story it was mostly about the large convoy of Russian trucks that went into and back out of Ukraine on a humanitarian mission. After that most of the news went toward Gaza Strip. Today Ukraine is back in the top spot and I just spent my self-required one hour reading about the issue.

Pro-Russian Separatists are battling Ukrainian Government troops in the Southeast portion of Ukraine in what seems to me to be a pathway from Russia to Crimea, the region annexed by Russia back in March.

image

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Luhansk and Donetsk are the largest of the cities that are currently under control of the militia that are now calling themselves Novorossiya, translated as New Russia.

Violence broke out in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions in April, as separatist leaders declared independence from the government in Kiev. Since mid-April, the conflict between the pro-Russia rebels and the Ukrainian military has cost more than 2,500 lives, according to the United Nations.

From <http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/30/world/europe/ukraine-crisis/>

Fingers are being pointed back and forth as NATO is claiming that Russian troops are now inside of Ukraine and are engaging along with the Separatists against the Ukrainian Government forces, while the Russians are denying this saying that there is no proof, that the pictures being provided by the West are from video games.

Volunteers from throughout Europe are now joining with the Separatists

RT’s Paula Slier found out that volunteers are coming to the Donetsk frontline not just from France, but also from Spain, Poland, Israel and the United Kingdom.

Aleksey Mozgovoy, the commander of ‘Prizrak’ (Ghost) brigade from the Lugansk Region said in an interview to the MK.ru news outlet that in his 1,000-strong battalion there are fighters from Bulgaria, Slovakia and Germany.

From <http://jhaines6.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/rt-united-continent-european-volunteers-fighting-kiev-troops-in-eastern-ukraine/>

They are joining the side of the Novorossiya because they are trying to protect the civilians that the Government forces are putting in peril, that the Government forces are not really sure why they are fighting, who they are fighting and what they are fighting for. They are just following orders from Kiev (capital) and from NATO leaders.

The United States has vowed to stay out of the fighting, but is looking to issue more sanctions against Russia if they do not also back off

On Thursday, Obama threatened his Russian counterpart with new sanctions over Ukraine.

“Russia is responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine,” Obama said. “The new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see.”

Moscow’s actions “will only bring more cost and consequences to Russia,” Obama told reporters.

From <http://jhaines6.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/presstv-obama-warns-putin-not-to-mess-around-with-baltic-states/>

Doesn’t seem like Putin is much concerned with the sanctions, and even though he attempted to do a humanitarian gesture this week

In one conciliatory gesture, Mr. Putin suggested in his statement that the militia groups open a humanitarian corridor to allow surrounded Ukrainian soldiers to escape and to avoid further loss of life. Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the rebel leader who said on Thursday that more than 3,000 Russians, including active soldiers on leave, had fought among the separatists, quickly agreed to Mr. Putin’s proposal. But he said the Ukrainians would have to abandon their weapons.
Ukraine rejected the proposal and said no such corridors had been established. “Combat is going on there with an aim to kill,” said Col. Andriy Lysenko, the spokesman for the Ukrainian national security council.

From <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/30/world/europe/ukraine-conflict.html?_r=0&gt;

Soon afterwards he sent out a warning to all, that the West needs to remember that Russia is one of the top nuclear weapon Superpowers in the world. Seems like a stand off between the tough guys on the playground, both daring each other to do something else.

One blog I read had an example of a propaganda leaflet being left with citizens in cities where the militia has occupied, along with some very insightful opinions and concerns over what is going on there and what we are not hearing. Please read

http://migukin.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/this-propaganda-leaflet-from-occupied-novoazovsk-is-all-kinds-of-wrong/

Comparisons to Hitler have come up in many articles that I read as far as what is happening in Ukraine, not sure I agree with that comparison but it is concerning none the less. My viewpoint is this, both sides say that they are willing to negotiate but neither side is willing to give an inch. What I am not hearing is the viewpoint of the civilians in these towns. One video I did see had a young woman on a bicycle, smiling at the camera with a look of sincere relief saying that she was so happy that the militia had arrived in their town, as she did not trust the Government troops at all. Of course I had to take the word of the translation.

I believe that Russia is involved in the rebels cause, just like I believe that NATO and US is involved in the Government’s cause. What I don’t understand is what is gained by controlling this land that up until March of this year, when the pro-Russian president was ousted, I never even knew existed to be honest. Can someone explain this to me?

Until next time, praying as always for peace….

Mark

 

 

 
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Ebola – An Ignorant View

Disclaimer: In no way do I think that I am completely ignorant, but I do feel that I need to have a point of view about issues and this is what this blog is about.

Again, I remind myself definition of ignorance is lack of knowledge or information.

Before today, when it became the #1 story on Google News, I knew little about the Ebola virus and the outbreak affecting West Africa. I still only know a very little about it, but what I have read is very disturbing.

The outbreak apparently was first reported to deaf ears in March, almost 6 months ago. But it really did not get much notice as far as I can tell here in the United States until a report that an infected person actually flew into Atlanta, and even then it was hidden behind reports on Gaza Strip, Ukraine and any political bull crap that was going on.

This is scary, scary stuff, and that is an understatement. Some statistics:

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa could infect more than 20,000 people, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday in a bleak assessment of the deadly disease.

The United Nations health agency issued a strategic plan to combat the oubreak in four West African nations where it said the actual number of cases could already be two to four times higher than the reported 3,069. The death toll stands at 1,552.

 From <http://diamondcelebrities.com/2014/08/28/ebola-outbreak-could-strike-20000-people-who/>

If half the people that contract Ebola die from it, and WHO is saying that 20,000 people are going to possibly be infected, it seems to me that more people will die from this than both Ukraine and Gaza combined, yet it took 6 months for it to be the top story? I read many accounts from people in Africa who are scared for their lives. Accounts of medical personnel packing up and leaving rather than having to help treat the sick. But there are also accounts of volunteers willing to help for NO pay because they want to save their country’s people.

Top story today seemed to be a Doctor in Nigeria dieing from Ebola, with Nigeria joining Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as infected countries. Many reports are saying that the help is finally starting to arrive from the International community, even though there are still stories of medical aid being delayed.

Our “freight forwarder” collected the pallets on August 18 for consolidated air freight service, which normally means airport-to-airport delivery within three to five days using space available on commercial (passenger) airlines or dedicated cargo flights to the destination. By consolidating cargo from various shippers, freight forwarders reduce the cost of air shipment significantly from express services, which is important when shipping multiple pallets.

And here is the rub. In spite of repeated statements from the World Health Organization (WHO) advising against travel bans to and from affected countries, commercial airlines have suspended service. Clearly this constrains the ability for the international humanitarian community to send aid workers. But due to the role passenger flights play in providing air cargo capacity, these travel restrictions are effectively quarantining critical medical supplies outside Ebola-affected regions.

From <http://supplychainmit.com/2014/08/28/commerical-air-cancellations-quarantine-ebola-supplies/>

Unfortunately the conditions of the medical centers that are fighting this outbreak are dismal at best, but some of the stories of the heroes that have stayed and are doing everything that they can are amazing. One such story is below with a link to the entire story with some more mind numbing statistics

Anja Wolz is in the latter group of people. A nurse with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), Wolz is working at Kailahun, Sierra Leone. She has written a first-person account of the grueling and relentless work the national and international health-care workers fighting the outbreak face day after day after day.
She says the worst thing about the work is dealing with the children — orphaned, confused, sick and a heartbreak to caregivers whose instincts are to offer consoling hugs. The PPE — personal protective equipment, a.k.a. layers of head-to-toe coverings — the health workers must wear make hugging and even talking to the children difficult.

From <http://globalnews.ca/news/1531783/a-nurses-view-fighting-ebola-one-day-at-a-time-in-sierra-leone/&gt;

My ignorant view is this. First I cannot believe that this has not been the top news story before today. Second I hope and I pray that the international community turns its attention away from the pointless wars elsewhere and devotes as much time and money into combating this true war before it is too late. I guarantee that if an Ebola outbreak had occurred anywhere besides in Africa, that this would have been the top story back in March.

Vaccines are being tested now in US and in Canada, what the hell have they been waiting for? I guess the appropriate funding was not available or else everyone was too busy watching War TV. My hopes and prayers go out to all in West Africa along with the heroes that are en route now to help combat this, just hope it is not too little, too late