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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Facebook App Owns Your Phone - Privacy Compromised on Smartphones

I use Facebook on my smartphone, which is a Verizon Droid Razr Maxx.  I use it when I am traveling and simply when I am bored beyond words.  How one gets on Facebook using their smartphone will be the difference between giving Facebook total control over your phone and ultimately your life or just browsing Facebook for the fun of it.

I go to my smartphones "desktop" and I open the browser which came installed with the phone or I use Google Chrome, which I personally downloaded.  I type in the url, (www.facebook.com) and it brings me to the signon screen and I enter my email address and password and I am in.  I am now free to browse Facebook till my battery dies, with no repercussions.

Here is where your privacy and phone security is compromised:

Most people have the Facebook application or App pre-installed on their phone when they first purchase it.  It is on your phones desktop in the form of the big Facebook "F".  Once you click on it, you are immediately logged in to Facebook and your smartphone, its data, location, network connectivity, SD card and all phone call logs are now accessible by Facebook or a hacker who might hack into Facebooks' servers. 



The photo to the left is a screen shot of my Droid Razr Maxx smartphone showing the App Info for the Facebook App, which came pre-loaded onto my phone from Verizon.  It shows the version number, total storage space, data and SD card.














 This screen shot shows the permissions for the Facebook App on my smartphone, which is universal in nature.  It clearly states, that "this app (Facebook) can access the following on your phone":

Your personal information and it can modify or change your phone contacts, email contacts, it can read your call log, read your contacts and write to your call log, that is, it will insert calls or numbers which you never called!  It can access your precise GPS location and approximate network location.  It has full access to your phones network and here is the kicker:  Your accounts:  it can add, remover or create any account on your phone and set passwords!  It can modify, change or delete the contents of your SD card.








Finally, Facebook and the folks behind it can:  record audio, take pictures and videos using your smartphone, read the phone status of your phone calls and the identity of all callers and prevent your phone from going to "sleep".  Now some people might say, "hey, they can't do that". 

Well, Facebook stated previously, "if you don't like our privacy setup, don't use it".  Simply put, if you are going to use Facebook from your smartphone, never, ever use the pre-installed app that came with your phone and never download and use the Facebook app for any smartphone.  Use the browser on your smartphone instead.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Excellent Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown New York City

I've been meaning to post something about this Chinese restaurant for awhile but I needed to have photos, which I took in and around the restaurant, on my desktop and/or laptop computer.  Because I took some of these photos with my smartphone, I was too lazy to download the photos, so there's the reason for the delay.

Years ago and on this blog, I visited a restaurant called Kam Chueh.  This was my regular New York City chinese restaurant or quite simply, when I went to Chinatown at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge on the Manhattan side, this is where I would go.  I qualified this location because there are quite a few Chinatowns in New York City.  There is a Chinatown in Flushing Queens, there is a Chinatown in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and there is the traditional one in New York City at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge.  Unfortunately, because of the 9/11 attacks and because the economy in Chinatown suffered, Kam Chueh is no more.  Here is my walking tour of Chinatown in Flushing Queens on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

I tried quite a few chinese restaurants all over the city and finally, I have been hooked on Feng Cheng Yuan Restaurant at 100 Bowery, New York, NY 10013.  There number is (212) 226-8778.  I do not believe they have a website...yet. They are a very good and reasonably priced chinese restaurant in New York.

Here are a few photos of the meal that we consumed while there and the signature dish there are the barbeque ribs.  They cover the ribs in this very delicious sauce and it makes you forget you are eating ribs.

Barbeque Spare Ribs with Sauce


Here is the shrimp fried rice dish, which was equally very good and well made:

Chinese food photo
Shrimp Fried Rice













The pepper steak was delicious as well and was a very healthy dish:

As you can see, there is a balance of steak, peppers, onions, tomatoes and rich sauce and all cooked in the healthy setting of a wok.












Here are photos of us grazing, er, eating and of the interior of the restaurant.

Chinese Restaurant Food Picture
Chinese Food Spread


 Here are photos of the interior of Feng Cheng Yuan Restaurant




In conclusion, the ribs were $6.00 per order, the fried chicken wings were $5.50 for 5, the shrimp fried rice was about $9.00 and the pepper steak was about the same ($9.00).  It closes pretty early on the weekends (12:00am) and if you want the ribs or hanging meat dishes, you should get there before 9pm.  There service is decent and the dining room is spacious.  You can do no wrong by visiting this New York City chinese restaurant.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Explaining Riptides at Robert Moses State Park and Water Rescue Video

While at Robert Moses State Park in Suffolk County, I was standing in some very cold water, in crashing waves about waist high while explaining what a rip tide is.  While the waves were making it hard for me and my camera guy Jordan Edwards to stand up, we both heard a whistle and I looked off about 150 away to see a lifeguard running to the water and swimming to a young boy who appeared to be in distress.

Lifeguards sit in elevated chairs above the water, on hot days and are tasked with making sure no one is in distress in the water or is in danger of drowning.  The amount of money that they lifeguards make is next to nothing in relation to the job that they do.  They should be paid like the best first responder and if a lifeguard is not a first responder, we need to re-define who or what it is.

Here is the water rescue video, taken yesterday at Robert Moses State Park:



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) - Never Coming to NY?

There are two large venues in New York City, Madison Square Garden and the soon to be Brooklyn Nets arena, which would be perfect to hold mixed martial arts or MMA fights in. Additionally, on Long Island, there is Nassau Colliseum which would serve the community there, which is interested in MMA in New York.

We were in Rhode Island this weekend and Rhode Island MMA or mixed martial arts is very popular there. There are different martial arts styles and techniques practiced there including, RI BJJ or Rhode Island brazilian jiu jitsu, RI Gracie brazilian jiu jitsu or Rhode Island Gracie BJJ.


Rhode Island BJJ Grappling Photo


One of the schools we visited was Coventry Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in Coventry Rhode Island which features RI BJJ or Rhode Island brazilian jiu jitsu, where they teach grappling and other floor techniques related to brazilian jiu jitsu in Rhode Island.


Rhode Island Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training Picture




RI BJJ or Rhode Island Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Video


New Yorkers who are interested in mixed martial arts, should not have to travel this far or need to travel out of state to see MMA fights but the New York state assembly has thwarted every attempt to make mixed martial arts fighting legal in New York.

Rhode Island Mixed Martial Arts Photo



Mixed martial arts is no more violent than boxing, which is legal and sanctioned in New York state and MMA would bring much needed revenue to both the local and state tax coffers, if these sporting matches are legalized. Until that time, for mixed martial arts enthusiasts, they can travel to or Rhode Island to watch and experience RI BJJ at Coventry Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy or RI mixed martial arts.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Facebook and Your Private Information

Facebook.com used to be cool. It was a great way to re-connect to long lost friends and family and to post photos and videos that only your friends and family can appreciate. As I said, it used to be cool. If I want to delete my yahoo, google or aol account, for example, each of them will say something to the effect of "Are you sure you want to delete your account" or "This action cannot be un-done once you click ok".

Facebook on the other hand does not actually delete your account. They only de-activate it. If you decide to re-open your Facebook account, it will re-activate it for you, as if your information is still stored on their servers. I have no problem with that, if my stored information is not shared with anyone but Facebook does share your information with third parties, with or without your approval.

I went to the New York Post's website and was reading a story. I was signed on, in a separate browser to Facebook. At the end of every story, in the comments section on the New York Post's website, my Facebook profile photo and a link to it automatically appeared. There was no opt-in or approval button for me to click, to give the New York Post authority to link my Facebook profile as a sign-in to their service!

I am aware that News Corp (the owner of both Myspace and the New York Post) and Facebook recently began sharing user information but I didn't realize that this information would be automatically intrusive. Facebook, in my opinion is close to becoming the one-hit wonder that Myspace has become simply because those who joined it (Facebook) did so because they traded away revealing their identity and personal information in return for the expectation that said personal information will be safeguarded and protected. Facebook has failed miserably in safeguarding it's users personal information and profiles.

If you must read the New York Post, DO NOT read it while signed in to Facebook because if your Facebook signon is automatically parsed into the New York Post's browser, it is more than likely being stored on their servers.

Methinks this is a job for the FCC or FTC to sort out.






Saturday, June 5, 2010

New York Police Department Helicopter Searches East River at Pier 17 South Street Seaport

I was at the South Street Seaports' Pier 17 last night and while there, I saw some lights off in the distance in the East River, between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. I noticed they were from a NYPD helicopter, which was hovering and pointing it's search lights at the water. It then came closer and closer to wear I was and dropped very low to the water in an apparent search mode. I didn't bother to ask them what was up but I did shoot this video.







Sunday, April 18, 2010

Denver Colorado - Coors Field, Pepsi Center and Invesco Field

Dallas Plummer traveled to Denver Colorado the weekend of April 16th through April 19th and stayed at the Embassy Suites Aurora in Denver and had a pretty nice time. I did some internet stuff for a high voltage power supply company and a Marin County real estate firm.

The flight was too long especially since I was sitting next to a frolicking 3 year old who waited until I was in a deep sleep, to kick me or hit me on my elbow to wake me up. Embassy Suites did have a courtesy van, which picked me up at Denver International Airport and I was checked in to my room in less than 15 minutes from the time the flight landed.

Here is a photo of the Denver Colorado hotel I stayed in, which was Embassy Suites:





Here are photos of the room in the Embassy Suites Denver hotel I was at:


















I went to a fish fry on Saturday and I worked the grill and then afterward sat down and ate some steak, shrimp and crab stuffed mushrooms, so the day turned out quite nice. Here is a photo of my plate at the Denver fish fry:











On Sunday or the day of this writing, I went to downtown Denver or LoDo as the locals call it and I took photos of Coors Field, where the Colorado Rockies play, then to the Pepsi Center, where the Denver Nuggets live. I took a photo of Invesco Field, home of the Denver Broncos, off in the distance because I was not traveling that far to snap a photo. I did like the fact that each stadium is within walking distance of one another and the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains is pretty cool. Here are photos of Coors Field, the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field -- in that order:

















So there you have it. Denver Colorado is a pretty cool city to travel to and most of the major Denver tourist spots are within walking distance of one another. I recommend staying at the Embassy Suites Aurora because of its convenience and the complementary services that they provide for their guests. They are located at 4444 North Havana Street, Denver, Colorado, United States 80239. Tell them I sent you