Sure lets make things more difficult for the poor and fixed income people

So according to a CBC article I read today, to deal with the issue of congestion, a parking fee is going to be introduced to two lower mainland parts to discourage the congestion. A $2 per hour parking fee at Lynn Headwaters and Belcarra Park. The goal is to ease the congestion and limit the number of visitors during the pandemic. Metro Vancouver justifies this by pointing out that parking is a finite resource and the parks fill up early in the morning from Mike Redpath. Metro Vancouver hopes the fees will reduce the lenghth of stays at the parks to increase turnover or to motivate visitors to explore alternative methods such as public transit, and carpooling.

This is flawed and it only hurts poor and fixed income people. First let’s look at the issue about the pandemic. Encouraging people to take public transit or worse carpool is a good way to expose people to the virus. Individual private transportation is by far the safest method of travel during a pandemic. That includes cars, motorcycles and bicycles. While Translink has gone to great lengths to protect passengers on buses, it is still a risk factor exacerbated by variants. I have no hard data on transmission on buses and I don’t care to spend time looking for any. Numbers would be low and it isn’t the point of my response to this stupid plan.

The second flaw is using money to discourage park use. This is absolutely unfair to any one with limited financial means. A lot of people are struggling during the pandemic and adding one more cost to life is just going to put the parks out of reach. Those with money will pay the fees and most likely not alter or change the duration of the stay. If we get more turn around time with those spending less time in the park over the parking fee, it will only benefit those that can afford it leaving fixed income seniors, disabled people and impoverished people excluded. Another consideration is disabled people who have to spend more time getting in and out of vehicles, and potentially are much slower at movement being penalized with fees because they may take longer due to the disability just to enjoy a park.

I don’t like this. Any kind of system to discourage usage is flawed. It is a first come first serve system but it was at least fear for all when it comes to opportunity and means. I know $6 bucks for 3 hours does not seem like a lot. But when all you have in your bank account is $20 bucks for the next few days, that essentially makes it impossible.

Leave the parks alone or impose a 3 hour parking limit. Don’t hurt people with limited financial means. Parks are one of the few activities low income people can enjoy.

Vaccination Roll out in Canada

I think the vaccination of the general public based on age is a mistake. I believe we can do better with a more effective targeted roll out. The key people that need to be vaccinated first should be care home employees and care home residence first. Followed by first responders and medical staff. After this we need targeted vaccinations based on positions which would be prison guards and those that directly interact with the prison (not prisoners). If you protect those that can introduce it into the prison then you shouldn’t have a outbreak in a the prison. Next should be jobs that the public interact with people. Dentists and hair stylists. Tattoo artists, masseuse and those with direct close contact with customers. Then cashiers and so on. Once all the public job positions are vaccinated you are protecting all the age groups from public exposure then you can go with a general vaccination of the public base don age groups. The reason I believe this is better is because you get more bang for your buck by taking out general public transmission. If you go with age groups only, then the sources of infection, people in this employment positions will continue to infect people of all ages.

Bad 24 months

It seems like it has been years since I have had a chance to make a post about anything and it actually has been. The last couple of years have been a struggle with a few moves. I have not felt settled for a while which has limited my ability to do a lot of the things I like doing. Photography, posting articles and so on. I will be attempting to change this. So stay tuned for future post updates.

The importance of off site backups

1468377492_866fa1c772_zAsk yourself this question and answer yourself truthfully. If my computer was to get stolen tonight, what have I just lost that I can’t get back. Can you remember everything on your computer that is important? Some tax returns here, the kids school word documents there. A weeks worth of work on a report intended for the bosses desk in the morning. Some important photos not uploaded to Facebook yet or chat history with a love one. You might even be thinking I got nothing really important on that computer. But then a month later you remember something that was.



2291127824_087a497bea_zBut really home robberies are so rare, its not really something to worry about. And myself personally computer theft if not that high on my list. So what about a natural or human caused disaster. Perhaps a fire or a flood does the computer in. For many of us this is a far greater concern and a more likely possibility depending where you live. So its something that gets a passing thought every year at insurance renewal time.




15462325023_85083999b2_zRansomware… Have you every herd of it? Yes, in passing? But you are not really sure what it is. Ransomware is the new kid on the block, and have been poking its ugly head around for the last couple years. And because early versions of this have been so successful financially for criminals a lot of hackers and other criminals have copied the methods and type of attack causing a big increase in Ransomware attacks.

Ransomware is pretty ingenious when you think about it. Traditionally Viruses would do things like make itself noticed on the computer so the maker of it got famous. It was a game. Others used viruses to steal documents from computers to sell on the black market. I really do wonder what a SIN /SS number is worth these days on the black market. But most of the time these viruses at worst only crippled the computer and the data was actually safe. Ransomware is different. It is designed to hold your data hostage. Using strong encryption methods Ransomware will encrypt all your data and demand money to release it. Most of the time those that paid didn’t actually get the data back. And the files are lost for ever because no recovery method can actually recover an encrypted file unless a super computer is involved, and lots of years to break it. You might remember that last year the FBI had some problems getting data off a iPhone that was encrypted.

The only real solution and viable option of protecting data from Ransomeware, theft and natural disaster is off site backups that are automatic. External hard drives, USB drives, tape backups, zip drives and yes I just said zip drive just so the young ones can go look up what is a zip drive, all offer the same kind of protection. That is, if the person making the backups remembers to A) test the backup media and recovery options, B) remembers to plug in the backup drive, C) remembers to unplug it when completed and D) actually take it to a secure location like work or a friends house or in the case of a business a secure storage facility like Iron Mountain. The failure in this method is, well, humans. Face it we suck. We are inconsistent with what we need to do, and get easily preoccupied with other tasks. We tend to let things slide with a “I will do this tomorrow” mentality but tomorrow never actually comes. The fact is most of us fail to maintain such a routine and because nothing bad happens for a very long time we get complacent with not doing it.

Automatic offsite backups through the internet solves almost all of these problems. While not 100% perfect since technology can sometimes break, for the most part the Automatic nature of offsite backups means you are well protected and never need to lift a finger. Additionally its off-site which means its protected from all the the above. Network servers and attached backup devices are susceptible to a virus. If you can save your work on it, a Virus can ruin that work since a virus will have at least as much access to stuff as you do.

So if you have questions about off-site backups or would like help to get setup to protect all the unimportant data and those few really important things you can’t think of until its gone kind of files then give me a shout to set you up.

Image Credits
Broken Window – Jon Collier Image License
Computer on Fire – Matt Mets Image License
Virus – Yuri Samoilov Image License

A good movie!

Last summer a real awesome movie came out. Originally I had written off as being something stupid. I ignored it based on the trailer. Ironically this is one of those movies that trailer does not do it justice. A now former friend convinced me to go see it in theatre. The movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. 

To say this movie was a pleasant surprise is a understatement. The  cinematrography was excellent. The special effects mind blowing. The actors selected for the roles they played perfect and a adventurous story line made this a pleasant wonderful movie to watch. It’s one I would enjoy seeing again and again with friends. 

I only bring this up now because I just finished watching it again. I don’t recall ever posting anything about it really and its ashame I didn’t because it’s a movie that deserves being talked about. 

So that’s it for this blog post. Thought this town after watching I would post something about it. I don’t want to go into a review about the movie itself and ruin it for people that have not seen it. I highly recommend any one that has not seen it should.     

How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet

Web startups are made out of two things: people and code. The people make the code, and the code makes the people rich. Code is like a poem; it has to follow certain structural requirements, and yet out of that structure can come art. But code is art that does something. It is the assembly of something brand new from nothing but an idea.

Source: How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet

Why Has Yahoo Killed Flickr? 5 Alternatives For Photo Sharing – Forbes

In an exclusive article, Gizmodo penned a powerful exposé about how Yahoo has bludgeoned Flickr. The title conveys the brutal reality of how the internet giant slowly ruined one of its best web properties. Eric Jackson frequently writes about Yahoo! and offers ideas on how it can turn the ship away […]

Source: Why Has Yahoo Killed Flickr? 5 Alternatives For Photo Sharing – Forbes

A Deep Dive into Data Privacy: It’s Not Just Big Companies, Folks

This is a good article on the issues of data privacy and the issues companies face protecting it. The good is that most companies really do want to protect personal data. The bad is most don’t have any ideas how to do it effectively

Article: A Deep Dive into Data Privacy: It’s Not Just Big Companies, Folks

The Great Canadian Copyright Giveaway: Why Copyright Term Extension for Sound Recordings Could Cost Consumers Millions – Michael Geist

Randy Bachman, the well-known Canadian musician, found himself embroiled in a public fight with Prime Minister Stephen Harper last year when Harper used his song “Takin’ Care of Business” as a theme song for a major speech. Bachman said he probably would not have granted permission to use the song, since “I don’t think he’s taking care of business for the right people or the right reasons.” Bachman was singing a different tune yesterday as the government released its budget and apparently took care of the right people – record companies. Despite no study, no public demands, and the potential cost to the public of millions of dollars, the government announced that it will extend the term of copyright for sound recordings and performances from 50 to 70 years. For that giveaway, Bachman was quoted as saying “thanks for the term extension PM Harper, you really are taking care of business.”While the government lined up industry supporters to praise the term extension, the decision is unexpected and unnecessary (it also announced that it will accede to the Marrakesh copyright treaty for the blind, but that should not require significant domestic reforms). The music industry did not raise term extension as a key concern during either the 2012 copyright reform bill or the 2014 Canadian Heritage committee study on the industry. Experience elsewhere suggests that the extension is a windfall for record companies, with little benefit to artists or the public. In fact, many countries that have implemented the extension have been forced to do so through trade or political agreements, while signalling their opposition along the way.Canada will extend term without any public discussion or consultation, yet other studies have found that retroactive extension does not lead to increased creation and that the optimal term length should enable performers and record labels to recoup their investment, not extend into near-unlimited terms to the detriment of the public. For Canadian consumers, the extension could cost millions of dollars as works that were scheduled to come into the public domain will now remain locked down for decades.

Source: The Great Canadian Copyright Giveaway: Why Copyright Term Extension for Sound Recordings Could Cost Consumers Millions – Michael Geist

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