Tim Oppenheim
Standard Geek

Updates

I start things always with the best intentions, I really do. I wanted to put my online life here on this site and away from Facebook and Twitter. i have done a very respectable job of de_Facebooking myself and my Twitter use is down to a trickle, but I have not made up for it here.

I wonder why?

Facebook, while making it fantastically easy to find me is a ticking time bomb for most people. With their constant privacy lapses and the way they want your opinion on everything is creepy. I am guessing they are assembling a fantastic profile of me and will shortly anticipate my every action. From the car I will buy to my choices for dinner. If they can’t do that already. I fear that Google, which has had this capability for years will now start to monitize in ways that can only be evil. < TinFoil hat off>

But now I find I just don’t seem to have the energy or creative mojo to do anything interesting. If you gentle reader come across this post, please let me know.
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House Cleaning

The only thing constant in life is change.

I have been in a 6 weeks long process of re-aligning my after-work projects and activities. I have had a number of projects started that I thought I would have time to build out and I have come to realize that it’s just not going to happen. In geekspeak I was burning clock cycles without output.

In doing so I had to give up some things I really loved, like Co-Working. It’s just a great idea and the guys are awesome, but I just couldn’t justify the cost / benefit. Likewise I have jettisoned a number of web projects that I was exploring, but made no progress on.

In other news, I have been doing quite a bit of volunteer work. I recently helped revamp the
Holy Angels Convent website for the Olivetan Benedictine Sisters. This has been a purely volunteer project for years, so I really have to acknowledge all the geeks that came before me. Well done, Gentlemen, Well Done!
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Sea Monkeys


This is a test of my new Kodak Zi8 HD camera that I got for my birthday. I am hoping to do more with video in the years to come. I think that we are visual learners and video is very doable on the web.



This was done in the kitchen, I spent no time on it and uploaded to YouTube with no issues and YouTube provides the embedding. We will see how it goes.
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Privacy

We don’t think about what we publish on the web being out to get us, but some recent changes by Facebook have a lot of caveats with them.

We all use Google and we know that they collect a lot of data about us. But my sense is that they stick to what that have stated and are not evil with the data. Additionally they are working hard to make your data portable and transparent. I don’t get that sense at all from Facebook. It seems that each update reduces the privacy that was there before the update, and then making lower privacy settings the default. They do play lip service to privacy by having links to privacy pages, but the actual settings are opaque and not intuitive or easy to use.

The question is why? Pure greed. I think Google was very deliberate in monetizing their service and chose the method that most fell in line with their viewpoint. Again, I don’t get that sense about Facebook. I think that Facebook would readily sell just about every scrap of data on you to the highest bidder. I am sure that there is a skunkwork project that is finding intuitive data about you, just like Google has build intuitive data about the web.

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Community Work

This week I started doing so volunteer IT work for our local Hispanic Center. This should be interesting, mainly because I know no Spanish and really my English is not that great either.

Like most non-profits they have technology, but not a real way to pull it all together. This place has a website, phones, a shared computer room and a mix of wired and wireless networks. They had some help a couple of years ago that did most of the work setting it up, but little maintenance. My first goal will be to straightened out phone, printer and network problems. Then tackle the website and help them with some social media outreach.

I am beginning to learn about non-profits. They need office automation more than commercial places, mainly because they are overworked, underpaid, and many times under a lot different pressures than business. I hope to expand on my Head Start experience to see what resources are most effective at this level.

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