Tag Archives: blogs

Coming Soon!

Next Monday, July 20, 2015, I’ll begin to share interviews with some fantastic authors I’ve met recently.

 

Soon after, I’ll share reviews of some of their work, excerpts and more of my own works in progress.

 

Speaking of my work, I’ve discarded the old Rise of the DarkWalker stuff because it was becoming boring, even to me. I’m hoping you like the new version even more. Maybe you’ll even like it enough to comment.

My Newest Work In Progress

“Hey, why are you starting another story when you haven’t finished any of the others?”

Well, imaginary speaker for my fans – both of them – technically, with this, I am finishing one of the others. Or, continuing it, anyway. This is the continuation of The Chronicles of Carter Blake. I have a prologue and three chapters complete. Maybe posting them here will be the kick in the pants I need to finish.

“It didn’t work for the other stories, jackass!”

Stifle yourself, brain. You keep me up too much.

With Google Glass, everyone can be Little Brother

Reblogged from: Access Now.

It’s not just a style thing: you may have good reason to avoid the geek at the bar or in the park wearing Google’s latest invention, the wearable interface known as Glass. One feature of the interface is the life-logging feature ‘Life Bits,’ intended to help the Glass user log the ephemera of everyday life. Despite its innocuous intent, the design has unintended consequences: Life Bits logs everyone who comes into direct contact with the Glass wearer, transforming them into a mobile recording device.

Google is positioning Glass as a revolution in the way we live, work, and interact with people, online and offline–essentially by projecting your smartphone into your eyeball.

It’s a cool concept, but at what cost? Life-logging devices like the Nike FuelBand FitBit [correction: FitBit is made by a company by the same name] have increasing numbers of fans, but Glass is among the first to capture personally identifiable information in rich media about others. This brings up a number of privacy concerns: How does consent work in these situations? Who owns the data that is collected on these devices? How and where is that data stored, and who will have access to it?

In our daily lives, we’re already under fairly pervasive surveillance: CCTVs in public places are increasingly inescapable, and online your actions are tracked by everyone from governments to marketers. But with tools like Glass, everyday citizens are poised to become Little Brothers without even realizing it.

Perfect digital memory – A good idea?

Committing each and every detail of your life to eternal digital memory is not a new, or even uniquely ‘Googley’ idea. As collecting and storing data becomes infinitely cheap and easy, many are keen to adopt such technologies that remember everything — automatically.

Microsoft has been working on something similar to Glass for several years now, known as MyLifeBits. Born out of a 2001 initiative that explored the possibility of storing all personal information that could be found in PCs, MyLifeBits evolved to try and store everything that could be captured using real-time data collection and advanced “SenseCams”: phone calls, conversations, keystrokes and mouse clicks, pictures and meetings.

And although MyLifeBits grew out of research, the “Memoto” is a pure consumer tool: a camera worn around the neck that takes a picture every 30 seconds. The Swedish startup is based on the premise that the important moments in life aren’t “only the stuff you thought you would want to remember.” The device is small and unobtrusive, and doesn’t come with a delete function, increasing the chances the camera will remain undetected, while committing the user to recording absolutely everything.

Glass: Taking surveillance to another level?

Devices like the Memoto or tools like MyLifeBits might not bother you from a privacy perspective–after all, we’re pretty much always under some type of surveillance every day. Whether at the bank, on the street, in buildings, in the metro, security cameras are littered across our urban areas. We don’t actively consent to those cameras, so what’s the difference?

Unlike cameras operated in public, laws regulating the surveillance of one individual over another are patchy, confused and most likely not well known to average citizens. And unlike Google’s usual privacy dilemmas, this isn’t about what actions the company takes, but about how its users behave.

Contrary to Google’s other products, using Glass means you become the collector of data – scanning and recording information in the real world and uploading it into the Google servers. When Glass becomes part of inevitable partnerships with other services (Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already noted his interest) and the eventual introduction of tools like facial recognition technology, and we’re talking about turning citizens into Little Googles, collecting and storing information wherever they go.

Even before they are widely available to the public, the backlash against Glass has begun. A cafe owner in Seattle has pre-emptively banned them from his establishment, worrying that privacy-loving clients might be driven away. And while coffee isn’t the end of the world, there are plenty of more serious scenarios where indiscriminate logging could create discomfort: what about on playgrounds, schools, parks or other places where small children can be found?

What do we do about life-logging?

Despite the real concerns, it’s inevitable that life-logging technologies will only become more prevalent–and in the very near future. In fact, the Chinese search engine Baidu has already confirmed plans to launch its version of Glass, called Baidu Eye.

So what can citizens do? Ignore the people with the funny looking glasses? That’s not likely to be a real solution, as these technologies will only get smaller and more discreet – after partnering with a trendy glass maker like Warby Parker, isn’t it only a matter of time before a contact company like Bausch + Lomb?

Because of these very real privacy concerns, it will be essential for Google to indicate exactly how life-logging information is collected and where and how it will be stored. It’s no secret that governments around the world are keen to get their hands on the troves of data that consumer tech companies collect–transparency reports from companies like Twitter, Google, and Microsoft show increasing volumes of government requests for user data. It’s not hard to imagine how much more valuable unedited footage would be than metadata to certain interested parties. Or worse: a combination of the two.

There are also pending questions about ownership of the collected data. Does the data belong to the recorder, the person recorded, or the service provider? If I’m passively surveilled in my favourite restaurant, will I have the option to search through Google’s database and delete what has been recorded by the Glass wearer?

These questions must be worked out in some way as these lifelogging technologies become more widespread as these increasingly discrete devices make informed consent harder than ever. Life-logging technologies illustrate the critical importance of having strong privacy standards in place that provide citizens with greater control over their data, as well as ensuring that companies that collect and process our information do so transparently, responsibly and in accordance with data protection laws in the various jurisdictions it operates.

In Europe, a standard setting body on the protection of privacy and data protection, there is such a proposal — to find out more and to get involved, go to privacycampaign.eu.

-by Raegan MacDonald

Know Me Better III

It’s that time again.

From I Am A Reader, Not A Writer:

Each week I will pick 5 questions to answers.

I invite you to share your answers to these questions as well. You can share them as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post.

This post goes up sometime during the weekend. I “TRY” to get it up by Saturday morning but life happens all to often so there are no guarantees!

Let’s get to this week’s questions, eh?

What story does your family always tell about you?

What kind of music do you like?

Would you rather have money or fame?

Do you celebrate Easter? If so what is one of your traditions?

Best April Fools Day Joke you have done or someone has done to you?

What story does your family always tell about you?

So many. Usually about how “bad” I was. One is how I’d disappear on my mom in the clothing store and scare the “daylights” out of her. Hey, those weren’t racks of clothes on hangers! They were doorways into other worlds filled with all sorts of strange beings, or they were doorways to the lands of my favorite cartoons.

What kind of music do you like?

I have an eclectic taste in music. I like stuff from Beethoven to Eminem, From Abba to ZZ Top. This is part of the playlist I listen to on Spotify as I write. There are over 700 tracks on the whole thing. 😀 Feel free to follow it. You can also see it to your right. —->

Would you rather have money or fame?

Fame. When you’re famous, you can easily get money. Not so much the other way around.

Do you celebrate Easter? If so what is one of your traditions?

I do not celebrate Easter.

Best April Fools Day Joke you have done or someone has done to you?

Best April Fool’s prank was on my friend Mikey’s sister and mom. With the aid of a drama club make up artist, we staged a scene in his house so it seemed like he’d killed me in a fit of rage, and needed his family to help him to hide my body. Farts are funny. Causing someone to fart in terror is even funnier.

Now it’s your turn!
Share an answer to one or more of these questions as a comment or post your answers on your blog and link up here! If you are posting on your blog you can grab the linky to include with your post if you would like to do so.

Book Fever

Vonnie’s Reading Corner

Deco My Heart

Writing Christian Novels

Closkot

Smoking Hot Books

A Nanny’s Literary Musings

By Candlelight

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Know Me Better II

So, here we go again. Another 5 questions from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. This week’s questions are:


What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
What is most memorable about your high school years?
Have you ever gotten up early for a “black Friday sale”?
Were you named after anyone?
Would you bungee jump, skydive or something similar?

Let’s get to them, eh?

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?

The kindest thing anyone has ever done for me? Wow. There have been a few, so, I’ll go with the most recent. Earlier in the month, I traveled to Tampa, Florida. A friend’s friend (an I think love interest) allowed me to crash at his place while I was there to hang out with my friends. If he reads this, Thanks again, Anthony.

What is most memorable about your high school years?

There were a few, but I’ll go with my most favorite memory: Graduation. I absolutely hated high school. You know, I think school is the only place where it is a bad thing to be intelligent.

Have you ever gotten up early for a “black Friday sale”?

Heh. No. I don’t like shopping. I’m certainly not gonna get up early to take part in a holiday dedicated to it.

Were you named after anyone?

Technically, I was named after everyone born before me. Think on that for a few seconds. Okay, non-smartass answer: My mom named me for two of her best friends.

Would you bungee jump, skydive or something similar?

You’re asking a guy with acrophobia if he’d skydive, or bungee jump. Are you out of your fecking mind?! Wait, what do you mean, I promised? Oh. Right. Yeah, I promised someone important to me that I would skydive with her.

*******

I invite you to share your answers to these questions as well. You can share them as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post. If you are posting on your blog you can grab the linky to include with your post if you would like to do so.

Ya Between The Lines
CMash Reads
Book Fever
Bookshelf
Spiced Latte Reads
My Head Is Full of Books
For the Love of Film & Novels
Diantha
Smoking Hot Books
Princess Paperback
Vonnie’s Reading Corner
Happy Little Worker
Everything Ella
Christian Novels
Paranormal Sisters
Shelfspace Needed
Hilda
Romance With A Book
Closkot
Gjam

Update: Looks like a lot of my fellow authors are also afraid of heights. I wonder if they’re connected…

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Know Me Better 1

I found this a on blog called, I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. I follow it via e-mail. Each week, five questions are posted for bloggers to answer. This week’s questions are:

What was the last thing that made you cry?
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
What is your favorite form of exercise?
What is your current desktop picture?
You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?

What was the last thing that made you cry?

A couple of scenes in Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. They were familiar to me. Look for my review later in the week. I’m gonna re-read it.

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Almost all of them. I’m inherently lazy. But the one that is currently tops for me is filling out job applications.

What is your favorite form of exercise?

Sex. What? It counts. You burn calories. Okay, fine: Jumping rope. Yes, jumping rope. Feck off.

What is your current desktop picture?

It is a collage of characters from 80’s cartoons.

You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?

Even though I just got back Thursday night, I’d go to Tampa, Florida. This time, I’m not sure I’d return though…

I invite you to share your answers to these questions as well. You can share them as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post.

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Check these out, too while you’re at it.

danielleheartsbooks

writingchristiannovels.blogspot.com

whateveryoucanstillbetray.blogspot.com

smoking-hot-books

bookfever11

wall-to-wall-books

www.happylittleworker.com

http://www.diantha-jones.com

shelfspaceneeded

yabetweenthelines

The Women Who Shaped Me

I’m only gonna name the ones I met in person, and not all the women I’ve had contact with. I’d be here forever otherwise. This was inspired by Sweet Mother’s post.

My Mom: Of course I’d start with her. She’s a big influence on my life. From the first six years, it was just she, and me. Mom taught me to love and cherish women. Also, never to hit them, no matter what. This is important for later on.

Becky: She was my baby sitter for a while. She was also my first sexual partner. Before you cry bullshit, let me finish: It wasn’t like any Penthouse forum letter, nor a porno: I was 9 and she was 18. Yeah.

Christine: Wow. Where do I start with this one. She was the single biggest female influence in my life. From her, I learned how much pain I could take, what kind of ass kicking, too. I also learned that women were terrible, terrifying creatures that cracked your skull for serving the eggs prepared incorrectly, or back-handed you in the jewels for looking at another woman, or break your arm for giving her gay sister a back rub when her girlfriend left her. Oh, and let’s not forget the joys of being smacked in the mouth with a glass Pepsi bottle for telling her there’s no way for you to be cheating with her sister because her sister wasn’t into men. Let me tell you: A 5′ redhead is a scary sight when she is pissed. It doesn’t matter if you are a foot taller and 120 lbs heavier.

Victoria: This wonderful woman was the second biggest influence on my life. She helped me begin the process of healing after I got the courage to leave Christine. She taught me that all women were not like Christine. Some were like me: Scarred. I learned it was okay to begin loving women again, not all were out to inflict “punishment” on me if I stepped “out of line.” She also encouraged me to volunteer in women’s shelters.

Elise: This poor woman taught me that I can’t save everyone. Sometimes, there really is nothing that you can do. I wish I could have done more for her nonetheless. Rest in Peace, dear one.

Fabiola: This amazing lady has taught me that my words can be inspiring. That sometimes, what I’m going through isn’t as bad as I think. She’s reminded me that all isn’t lost no matter how low I get. If she can get through her day with a smile, there is no reason I can’t.

Which brings us to

Jen: A truly inspiring young woman. She gives me hope for the future. The short time I got to spend in her presence was like being in warm sunshine after weeks of cold, dreary wet days. With what she goes through on a near daily basis, and is still able to smile & laugh, humbles me. All I can really off to try to explain how she is, is “Outstanding.”

Yesterday’s Post

This is something I wrote on the 27th. It was how I felt then. With the exception of feeling like I’m not going to continue (which *has* dropped to 70-30 against), I don’t feel the same as I did then. I still hate what I did, but I’m not actively beating myself up over it. She forgave me (mind-boggling, I know, but that’s how she rolls).
As for not continuing, I’ve stopped because my drive to write is gone. With the exception of these two posts, and a writing excercise, I’ve not written in about 3 weeks. I have no desire to, and I can’t “see” anything. I visualize something, and write what I “see”. No visuals, no writing. And you know what? I’m okay with that.
So, relax: I’m not beating myself up, and I’m not punishing myself. The urge is gone. Let’s move on?

One more thing: I find it disturbing that everything I’ve heard about that event has largely been about my writing. That’s disappointing.

The End?

Right now, I’d say the odds are 75-25 that this will be my last blog post. Blogging has been a lot of fun, especially meeting the fine folks that I have through here, but sometimes, you have to wake up and realize it’s time to put away your toys.
Writing has been fun, and a decent outlet for me. Yet, on occasion, reality will haul off and slap you a good one. My face is still stinging this morning. Let me tell you, it shakes you to the core to realize that you are no better than someone from your past. In this case, it was my ex, Christine. She used to kick my ass fairly regularly. Does this mean I hit someone with my hands? God no! If I did something like that, I wouldn’t be writing this now.
No, I did something much worse: I used my words to hurt. It really fucks with my confidence and faith in myself to know I had it in me to do this. What makes it so much more disgusting? I promised this person I would never do it to them because they are getting it from another. What kind of person would do that? The worst kind. Some would say it’s okay because I was upset. I call bullshit on that. That makes it even worse. I feel absolutely like shit that I did this, yet part of me hopes I’m never forgiven by this person. I don’t think I will ever forgive myself.
Am I asking for sympathy? Hell no. forgiveness? No. Not that either. Then why am I writing this, you ask? Simple. As a warning that I’m not a good person despite what may be thought. Good people don’t violate someone’s trust. Good people don’t hurt others with their words.

What was said, you wonder? Without going into specifics, I said to this person they were acting like their abuser in not letting me choose for myself what I was going to do. Real nice, huh?

Inspiring Blogger Award

This is interesting: I was just nominated for my first blogging award. The nom came from the lovely Sooz over at her blog, dreamshadow59.wordpress.com. According to her, I have to name 7 interesting things about myself. I have a small problem with that: I don’t think I’m that interesting. Others do. So, I’m gonna cheat a bit (probably won’t win, but eh). I’m gonna tell some things about me that aren’t general knowledge.

1) I’m an atheist. I really can’t stand religion, nor do I understand the need people have to hope that there is something out there.

2) I’m a giver. If I like you, I’m going to give you all that I can, be it time, caring, a shoulder to cry on, ect.

3) I’m a pimp. No, not the illegal kind. I mean, if I like someone’s stuff, I will talk it up everywhere. Twitter, Facebook, Linkdin, WordPress, ect. I want everyone to see this epic stuff.

4) I’m a midget. Seriously. To leave my third floor apartment, I base jump down each stair. It’s exhausting I tell you. What? You know I’m bullshitten? Oh, alright. I’m 6′. (shrugs) I thought it was funny.

5) I’m a word thief. I kid you not. There is a fellow blogger (I’ll mention her later) who doesn’t like to use the F-bomb on her blog. She came up with “Feck” to take its fecken place. I liked it. Boom Mine. One of my friend’s doesn’t like to have “-ing” at the end of her words. Instead, the end with “-en”. I’m sure you’ve seen that I swiped that fecken thing too. 😀

6) I like fecken with people. Are you a homophobe? Come, gimme them sweet cheeks, boyo. Are you deeply religious? Luke, I am your god. Are you strongly atheistic? You will be much happier when you accept Jesus in your heart. But, I only do that if I like you in general.

7) I seek to help others, but I don’t know how to accept it for myself.

And now for the part where I’m supposed to nominate 7 other bloggers that I think deserve it.

Sweet Mother She’s a blast, and is willing to share some of her inner struggles. Also, the originator of the almighty “Feck.”

Sooz She’s epic. I love reading her blog. Some of her stories are pretty hot. 😉

R.S.Guthrie A friend of mine with several published books. He’s a good man who is willing to give me a hand with my novel. His books are really good. Go check them out on his blog.

Kevin Rau is another friend of mine who has published several books. He, too is willing to help me out with my novel. I really like Kevin’s H.E.R.O novels. Go get them on his blog. The first in his series is free.

Vy is as big a fan of Sweet Mother’s “Feck” as I am. She has a great blog, too.

Fab is one of my best friends. She is going through a lot, and is pretty tough. She’s new to the blogosphere, so, why not go check her out?

Miss Snarky Pants. She is funny as feck. She’s fond of snark, so she’s a woman after my own heart.

There. All done. Good luck to all I have nominated.