Post August 15th

So, August 15th has come and gone and guess what? As it is the rule, the weather turned. It has been like that since I am a kid in the South of France.

Just last week we had 35c and no rain which is not the case today in Carcassonne.

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For sure it will change again and hopefully we shall have a very pleasanr and warm indian summer.

The question is? What does one do when it is such a day? Well we have decided to do a bit of exploring and will be off to Foix in a short while (when I have finished my coffee).

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It is located in the departement of Ariège approximately 80 kilometers south west of Carcassonne at the foothill of the Pyrénées mountains.

I expect the weather will be slightly worse there but I am looking forward to the day. Now I have to search for a suitable restaurant for lunch time.

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Le Mans 24h 2019

I have started updating my Le Mans blog. Ten days to go till the race. Quite a special occasion this year asmy Chris and I are celebrating the 50th anniversary of our first Le Mans 24h.

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June has arrived

I often consider June as the best month of the year. Going back in time, it was the end of the school year and the beginning of the 3 months summer holidays. The end of school usually coincided with my birthday which gave us more to celebrate.

Later, we discovered the Le Mans 24h race. In fact it was 50 years ago this June that my friend Chris and I went to this famous race. We have been many times since and I think non stop for the 10 to 12 years.

But most of all, there is simply a good feeling in the air. June is the start of the summer. People change. Winter is now a distant memory. Cheers everyone.

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Gaming

So I bought a game console and to be precise a Sony PlayStation 4. I have bought a few in the past, but none were for me. I have children and grandchildren after all.

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This one is an early (one month on the day) birthday present, but in my mid-sixties am I past it.

As it happens, I still could understand the setting up instructions and I had it running in no time at all. I am now also a member of the Sony community and I have downloaded my first games.

I did even win a race on Gran Turismo. It is a start but I need major training time before I enter a race against my family. They meet regularly on line and compete.

Now you know why I bought it and as Sony says, it is not only a gaming machine but an entertainment box.

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Saturday June 1st:

I have reached level 17 and therefore unlocked the Circuit de

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Back from Berlin

(Blog entry to follow shortly)

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WhatsApp no more

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In my continuing effort to eliminate all Facebook products and apps, it is now WhatsApp’s turn to be deleted from my phone. The latest scandal about the spyware possibilities which I read about today accelerated my decision. I shall delete (if that is possible) all the chats and data I have and turn everything off in an hour or so.

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I am going to start using Telegram instead which is apparently far more secure. In fact I am downloading the App as this very moment.

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In the meantime I have changed my mind and will go for Signal instead of Telegram. It is open source and even more secure.

SIGNAL (article courtesy of Popular Mechanics)

 “While you’re happily chatting away on your phone or in your web browser, are you ever wondering what happens to all those 1s and 0s you’re sending into the digital ether?

Whether it’s a nosy national security apparatus or the guy sitting behind you at the coffee shop, there are people out there who want to peek at your messages—and some apps make this kind of snooping easier than others.

Enter Signal, the most secure messaging app you can get for your phone. Here’s what it is, why you’d want to use it, and how to get started.

What is Signal?

Signal is a messaging app, just like WhatsApp or iMessage or Facebook Messenger, but one that’s geared towards privacy and security rather than cute emoji stickers. In fact, so good are its security measures that even Edward Snowden recommends it—and he should know which apps are the best for stopping unwanted snooping.

Signal is free to use and available for Android, iOS, and Chrome (a browser extension that links with your phone), and alongside the extra security protocols, it includes all of the basic messaging tools you’re going to need, including read receipts, emoji support, group chats, and voice and video calls.

As on WhatsApp, Signal uses your mobile number to identify you to your contacts, so there are no new usernames or passwords to remember, and you can dive straight in. On Android, you can also use Signal to send normal SMS and MMS messages to contacts who don’t have the app installed, but these messages won’t have the same security protections.

Why use Signal?

First and foremost, because it protects your chats. Anything you send or receive is encrypted, which makes it very hard for anyone who intercepts the data to work out what’s being said unless they are the specified recipient. What’s more, Signal doesn’t store any user data, so governments and other agencies can’t request it, and it can’t leak out.

On top of that, all the code is open source, which means anyone can look at how the app is written—that doesn’t mean hackers can break Signal’s encryption (which is virtually uncrackable), but it does mean security experts and users can check that Signal is maintaining the high privacy standards that it says it is.

Just about every security researcher that’s taken a look at Signal has given it a big thumbs up from a data privacy and security standpoint, and its underlying technologies are now used in a lot of other apps too. The FBI and CIA might not like it, but right now Signal is about as good as it gets for “going dark” on your phone.

How do you use Signal?

Signal isn’t difficult to use and the setup is the same as with many other messaging programs—all of that clever security technology is hidden away behind the scenes. When you’ve installed the app on your phone, you’ll be asked to enter and confirm your phone number. On Android, you’ll also be asked if you want to set the app as the default for normal text messages (Apple, of course, doesn’t let you change the default SMS app on iOS).

Tap the pen icon to start a conversation or select an existing thread to continue it. Icons to send messages, as well as make calls, attach files, share photos and embed voice clips all appear inside the conversation window, though there are some small differences between the Android and iOS apps.

You can set messages to automatically disappear on a contact-by-contact basis. On Android, open up the menu inside a conversation (the three vertical dots), tap Disappearing messages and set a time limit; on iOS, tap the banner at the top of the conversation to do the same thing. Bear in mind that conversations can still be captured via screenshot, though even this is blocked in the Android version of Signal.

Install the Chrome app in your Google-powered browser and the setup process presents you with a QR code that you need to scan using your phone, which should also have the Signal app installed. This links conversations and contacts between your phone and your browser, and keeps them in sync.”

 

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Back in town

Made it back to Carcassone last evening and it is good to be home.

The trip to Berlin was a success and I think all 35 participants had a great time. I am however somewhat exhausted.

I have thousands of photos which I need to edit and sort out before I upload them. It will be done in the coming days.

In the post waiting for me was my new voting pass which I shall need to the European elections in a couple of weeks and I have just received an sos informing me that my new passport is ready and available to be collected at the Mairie. I shall do that this morning.

For now and since the sun is out, I am looking forward to relax by the pool.

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