Tag Archives: technological

I am not a number, I am a free man! – I am not a consumer, I am a free man!

imageThere are those happy occasions when a reader’s comment here is so insightful, that the comment deserves to be highlighted as a stand alone post. Comments from Mark Schneider, Michael Fisher, John Bent, and several other readers, have been highlighted previously, using this criteria.

Following a recent opinion piece – Open Source BleachBit 0.9.3 – Deletes HTML5 Cookies – which detailed the rise of a new threat to personal privacy, regular reader RedNightHawk offered this comment for consideration and discussion.

I think you’ll find it worthwhile to evaluate the issues raised in RedNightHawk’s perceptive comment.

“I usually check the Options/Settings/Preferences of my browser after an upgrade to make sure I haven’t lost any settings, and to see what’s new. I remember when I saw an option to allow HTML5 to use local storage (and a sub-option to delete any files on close), I refused to allow any local storage.

I did that for the same reason I used to have my flash storage set to zero – I didn’t know what all the storage would be used for, and if it’s optional then it’s clearly not needed for the technology to work.

I eventually wound up enabling local flash storage (some sites wouldn’t work without it enabled), once I got the NirSoft program that deleted LSO’s, and I used a program that sat in the tray and let me turn the flash bit on and off so I wouldn’t get cookies when I was just surfing; only when I actually wanted to see some particular flash content.

My current most-used browser allows me to click on specific flash objects if I want to allow them. What a pain this all is (how inconvenient!), and here’s the kicker – just a few days ago, thanks to a link in your Tech Thoughts, I was reading about a tracking company trade group CEO telling Senators he thought the industry was doing a good job of policing itself and legislation wasn’t needed to control tracking, or protect privacy.

When mechanical gadgets first started being made it was for convenience – to benefit us by freeing up time for other things. Now, in the information age, the CON part of convenience seems to be prevalent. Corporations know we’ll make poor decisions and put convenience above things like privacy, nutrition, financial well-being, etc.

Too often a gadget or technological breakthrough is a mere piece of cheese, luring the consumer into a trap – the worst kind of trap: one which they never realize they’re in. Are we mice now, destined to live our lives running around the mazes they create for us?

I’m reminded more and more of the opening of the TV series The Prisoner where Patrick McGoohan yells out, “I am not a number, I am a free man!” More and more there’s times when I feel like grabbing a CEO’s lapels and yelling, “I am not a consumer, I am a free man!” Think the message would get through?”

–   RedNightHawk

Dan Tapscott has an interesting series about privacy in the digital age on The Star’s website that you and your readers might be interested in:


Filed under Opinion

Cruise Ships Leading the Way in Technology Revolution

Guest writer Ben Johnson (no, not Ben Johnson – Shakespeare’s contemporary), but UK based regular contributor Ben Johnson, takes a look at how Cruise lines have managed to not only meet the technology needs of their guests, but have taken the lead in technology adoption.

imageQuite often large companies don’t always embrace technological advances, happy with the status-quo these innovations are simply ignored or put on hold until several business case studies later. One industry bucking this trend is the cruise industry, due to the ultra-competitive nature of the industry cruise liners are constantly trying to “out do” one another.

While the destinations visited will continue to be the biggest draw, many cruise goers simply don’t want to leave behind their technology filled life’s behind, after all technology really does make life easier as the examples below demonstrate:

  • No longer do you have to worry about missing the latest 3D movie release, cruise ship operators including Royal Caribbean Cruises have updated their onboard cinemas to include the latest 3D experience.
  • The most technology filled gyms in the world can be found be found onboard cruise ships. Carnival Cruises makes working out a joy with its floor to ceiling windows facing the sea creating an atmosphere of tranquility.
  • Apple lovers and technology buffs in general will love Celebrity Cruises who now offer computer classes as well as the chance to buy the latest products from the onboard Apple store.
  • Royal Caribbean recently installed solar panels to its Allure of the Seas cruise ship, which will help create a whopping 111,108kWh annually for the ships shopping area.
  • Once again Royal Caribbean is leading the way in technology innovation this time in the shape of facial recognition. When you check in to the Oasis of the Seas, a crew member shoots a photo, which is sent to the ship and linked with passenger’s room key. That picture is not only used for security purposes but when the onboard photographer takes your photo this is then automatically assigned to you.
  • Onboard the Royal Caribbean you will never have to wait in a queue to get your food, shape recognition cameras are used to analyze foot traffic and this information is sent in real-time to the 300 interactive boards dotted around the ship.
  • The world’s largest cruise ship is Royal Caribbean International’s, Allure of the Seas, a gigantic 1,187ft capable of carrying over 6,000 passengers. The size of the ship can be daunting for many especially for those with children, to put parents mind at ease Royal Caribbean have recently developed an application which can track kids as well as plan onboard activities.

The cruise industry is innovating at a phenomenal rate, what innovation would you like to see next within the tourism industry?


Guest writer Ben Johnson is a freelance travel writer and cruise enthusiast. While specializing in luxury cruises and maritime law, Ben’s knowledge covers a wider spectrum of consumer tourism.

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Filed under Business Applications, Guest Writers, Integrated Solutions, Point of View, Software

Why It’s Important For Adults To Become Educated In The IT Field

Guest writer Lisa Darning takes a look at the need for the older workforce to stay current, in an ever changing technology landscape.

imageEvery day we are more and more submerged in the technological world. It is ever growing and changing, and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. The more that technology becomes an everyday staple of life, the more important it is for us to be knowledgeable in the field.

Communication is done through email, text, social networks and IM. Some offices are based entirely on the Internet, and this makes for a new breed of employees and employers.

The older you are, the more foreign this new wave of knowledge may seem, and getting in the job market may seem frightening and overwhelming. The good news is, there is no reason to feel alarmed; you, just as the younger generation, are more than capable of handling technology and using it to your advantage.

There are hundreds of online, and brick and mortar schools, that offer programs in IT education. The availability of information and training programs make jumping on board this technological train increasingly easy.

The importance of being educated in technology is growing right alongside the industry. As an older individual having some knowledge puts you in the same running for jobs as those who grew up with a technological force field.

Earning an education in IT may be for your own general knowledge; may be to climb the corporate ladder, or even to get started at a new career. Whatever your reasons, there are tons of advantages to taking steps toward a continued IT education.

Advantages of Having Knowledge in the IT Field

The biggest advantage, in my eyes, is having the same skills as younger individuals. To be competitive when entering into a new job market, or climbing the ladder at your current employer, having IT experience makes it so much easier.

When it is time for promotion or hiring, there are plenty of people who are passed over because of out-dated skills, This can be avoided with a little extra focus on the technological aspects of your job.

Taking a little extra time to teach yourself  new programs for work, new ways to market your company and yourself, taking a general computer course, or even learning the ways of social interaction through the Internet, can give you a leg up on the competition.

Equipping yourself with knowledge is so important. Not only for the growing world of technology, but for our growing world in general. The saying “knowledge is power” holds so much truth, and this is another advantage to furthering your education, in any field.

The mind is an amazing thing and can take you many places in life, exercising this great human tool is not only rewarding but can produce many successes. A curiosity can turn into a career with the right education. Employers today, technology aside, are looking for credentials. There aren’t many companies who will hire someone without an education, making it so much more important for adults to take steps in furthering their educations.

The more the technological world grows and changes, the more the need for technology minded individuals. There are no boundaries to learning and furthering you education, and it can earn you many different successes, whether they be business or personal. People have the option of getting a degree at an online university.

The world of technology is showing no signs of slowing and we are responsible for keeping up – look at it as a challenge, and keep it interesting.

Lisa Darning is a twenty something Internet consultant, and freelance writer. She has two degrees – marketing and creative writing. She loves traveling the world, watching sports, golfing and supporting the arts. In her free time, she designs jewelry.

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Filed under Education, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Older Adult Computer Users, Point of View