Safe enough?


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As part of my efforts to eliminate both Google and Facebook from my software arsenal due to their proven records of being unsafe, collecting and selling mis-appropriated data, distributing false information (the list goes on and on), I am seriously considering abandoning WhatsApp which is a subsidiary of Facebook. There are many reports available of security breaches.

Before stopping using the service, I shall investigate if there are safe instant messaging services. Important to me are services with servers in Europe and no connection to Facebook or Google.

Boycotting these companies is the best way to have an impact.

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Fibre broadband

Further to my previous post on the subject, I just had the visit from a sales representative  who did not have much difficulty selling me the idea to switch to fibre optic. I am not really fully available in February so they will come and install everything on March 2nd. Something to look forward to. I’ll probably will have to upgrade my wifi extenders which are old generation. That will be the only cost associated with this switch. It sounds too good to be true for a change.

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Happy New Year

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to all my Chinese and lunar calendar adept friends

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Screenshot 2019-02-04 at 21.13.38.pngI was overdue by a few months for the obligatory “Service Technique” (MOT-GB, TUV-D) for my old car. I finally took the plunge today and the “old girl” passed all the checks with flying colours.

Since it is categorised as a “voiture de collection / vintage car”, the certificate is valid for 5 years as opposed to standard cars which have to go through the test every 2 years.

The tests are pretty thorough I must admit. Both the testers were very impressed and full of compliments about my 40 years old green monster.

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Facebook and Google

I have mentioned a few times that Facebook cannot be trusted and that is the main reason why I suspended my account a few months ago. I am not impressed with Google either and switched to Qwant for my search engine.

An article in TechCrunch (see extract below) confirms everything. So now you have confirmation, Facebook and Google syphon all your data from your phone, tablet, computer and of course they sell most of it.

Article extract:

“The app, known simply as “Research,” allowed Facebook unparalleled access to all of the data flowing out of a device. This included access to some of the users’ most sensitive network data. Facebook paid users — including teenagers — $20 per month to install the app. But it wasn’t clear exactly what kind of data was being vacuumed up, or for what reason.

It turns out that the app was a repackaged app that was effectively banned from Apple’s App Store last year for collecting too much data on users.

Apple was angry that Facebook was misusing its special-issue enterprise certificates to push an app it already banned, and revoked it — rendering the app unable to open. But Facebook was using that same certificate to sign its other employee-only apps, effectively knocking them offline until Apple re-issued the certificate.

Then, it turned out Google  was doing almost the same thing with its Screenwise app, and Apple’s ban-hammer fell again. 

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February holidays

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The first holiday of 2019 is booked. To beat the February blues, we are off to magical Agadir in Morocco.



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Very much looking for the relative warmth at that time of year.



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Seaside, lovely food and atmosphere.




In what looks like a very pleasant Sofitel hotel

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Less than 3 weeks to go…

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Saint Vincent

Yesterday was Saint Vincent (patron saint of wine and wine growers) days. The yearly march through town, benediction of the wine and banquet took place. Have a look here


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