Dave The Web Guy

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Encryption As Just the Beginning

11/24/2022

I manage my Buffscan content with a bold concept in mind:  To restore the cognizance of police and other public safety activity in communities where such agencies have encrypted their radio systems.  And, specifically, through the development of some human based "parallel" radio and digital media network operated by enthusiasts and journalists at the chaotic level.

But let me be clear here: Encrypted radio systems are not necessarily the sole motivation behind the development of such networks.

Encrypted radio systems are really just a milestone marker for the degradation wrought by more complex technological advances.  Even where agencies do not encrypt their traffic outright, more and more communication occurs "in the dark" by way of mobile data consoles or one-to-one communication over private cellular or near-cellular phone networks. 

Pushing successful public access policies with respect to radio traffic would certainly resolve the most convenient vantage point for a curious public -- people could sit back and continue to "just listen" -- but such policies would be, in the bigger picture, limited.  People can do better.  Cognizance can have a much, much, wider range.

Public access policies where they may be enacted might actually have the affect of slowing down the evolution of my proposals in totality of "the vision".

I haven't given a workable label for this parallel "human based network", but I'm always mulling it.  I tend to consider a name for it much like a novelist might for the title of a book they are working on, best given once the story of it all has taken a more concrete form.  In essence, at this point I am content to let the story write its own title.

It is interesting to note that here in Buffalo where I find myself geographically, most of anything the typical scanning hobbyist or a member of the working media, isn't actually encrypted.  While most of it is all digital, it is all "in the clear", requiring only more expensive police scanners than what might have been required prior to the 2000s.

That being said, we can anticipate that Buffalo public safety will hop on the encryption band wagon as the risk of doing so is always there at every upgrade juncture. 

As an example, my birth county of Luzerne Pennsylvania switched on police encryption during just such a casual upgrade only a few weeks ago.  In doing so, local officials proactively honored a public access-friendly policy of keeping fire and medical transmissions in the clear, so, that community will at least continue be aware of things that "rise to the level of fire trucks".

But that is not the trend or the rule of compelling temptation, when it comes to agencies that find themselves on the fence.  And in any event, it's again, not the full gist of what can be had by an outright replacement for police scanning.

The cause and reason for a human network only begins with the reality of public safety radio encryption, but is much deeper.  It is not tolerable that there be a cluster of police lights or police action, unexplained except through the conduits of official police press releases, or profit-driven media, unofficially "deputized" with private backroom access over regular people, of which media workers are just.



  By Dave for for BuffScan.

buffscan openpublicsafety projects

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Leaving Twitter, Leaving the Web

11/12/2022

Everyone is leaving Twitter for Mastodon or “Truth”, or other parts unknown. But there is no exodus back to the “pure web”. HTML. Blogs. - those sorts of things. This even after the actual pitch for setting up a Mastodon server is literally the pitch for hosting a website.

Mastodon server instructions capture.

At first I felt like, once again, people searching for digital freedom of expression were overlooking something they already had, which is the ability to host any persona and point that they like, right here on the raw web.

A website is an instance, just like a Mastodon account. It runs on a server which is individually managed, even if only at the content level, just like a Mastodon server.

In other words, the original web is decentralized. You don’t stop word of a cheap, free, and safe cure for cancer by knocking down one website, assuming that the information is absorbed and re-published, re-stated, and regurgitated by a thriving chatty WWW.

That all being said, by the time I come to write these words, I realize that there are of course many important differences between the manner of running a website and that of using a intermediate publishing instrument such as Mastodon (or even the original Twitter).

And more importantly, that at the end of the day, Mastodon may well be that place where the ease of web publishing offered up by monetizing control-freak social media companies is afforded, but without said influence of the almighty dollar and a debilitating demand for “growth”. The decentralized architecture is still there, along with the ever-precious friction-free form that allows people to shoot off a missive, thought, or the cure for cancer, all without the “work” of web publishing.

Okay I get it.

But I have to impress that the World Wide Web is still a thing and is still here, and is not that hard to capitalize on for freedom of speech, expression, and perhaps more crucially, individual presentation.



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

socialmedia twitter www

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My (Dream of A) Near Death Experience

11/02/2022

"Near Death Experiences" refers to a loose contingent of perspectives that are had while someone is either (medically defined as) clinically dead or in some cases have a brush with most certain death. Some people also include experiences while in a coma, or while under the influence of certain drugs such as DMT.

I first became of aware of these by reading one of Raymond Moody's books way back in the 70s, and was drawn to the mystical yet somewhat logical premise that our consciousness likely "has no end". Something I remain self-convinced of on the obvious demonstration that we are cognizant of the present.

Being cognizant of the present means, to me, that we never enter a devoid state of non-consciousness. Self-awareness itself is evidence of access to our information or experience of ourselves, for all eternity somehow. In this way, the specific construct of the afterlife is unimportant to me.  Whether it has a theological basis or a chaotically natural one, the point is that there is an afterlife.

For all my belief that there's "something to them", I take people who experience and then convey their stories of NDEs with a grain of salt. I put more legitimacy in the stories of people who told their tales prior to the money-minting of doing so (meaning, basically any story pre-70s). And I definitely scrutinize the stories of people in the age of social media and in particular YouTube. There, some of the people strike me as overly-eager "storytellers". I immediately click back from such videos that open up with someone declaring "I've had five near death experiences!", or who seem to affirm a particular theological perspective with it, or who allude to having picked up "mystical psychic" powers afterwards.

To my mother's tale, I myself died twice within 24 hours of my premature birth.  I have nothing notable to report, but, then, how much of one could the brain of an hours-old infant delineate and build in the first place.  Perhaps I did then, but nothing lasting in any intellectual sense.



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

personal video

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Lettuce Embrace Webcam Fun

10/20/2022

The Brits love their satire.  But this is what happens when satire leaps to life.  

Liz Truss was very recently elected (on September 6) the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and, I guess there was enough opposition contrition to predict that she wouldn't last long in office.  In fact, a head of lettuce was figured to last longer.

To make the point, one of the newspapers set up a "Lettuce Cam" streamed via YouTube to compare the relative decay of a fresh head of lettuce against Truss's tenure in office. 

I don't suppose anyone really believed that the lettuce would outlast the prime minister, but alas, it did.

And now, the "Lettuce Cam" be rockin'.



  By Dave for Personal Blog.

webcammadness

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