Edit your apps

Edit your apps

- I've never been a Twitter user as I find that platform full of bullies and one-sided, poorly researched commentary. By comparison I am now active on Parler, which is a similar platform, but is not restricted to only those ideas that Twitter supports. It is populated by people whose ideas I enjoy reading. If you are bored with the Twits on Twitter then come on over to Parler as an alternative.

- After all these years, you should know that if you don't keep your security patches up to date on whatever platform you are using, this will open you up to potential malware attacks. Now ask yourself how many apps on your phone were installed a while back and for which there haven't been any updates for a while. If you are like me then you hardly pay attention to this as it is automatically handled by Android, in my case, when I connect to a Wi-Fi network.

- How many of your apps have been discontinued by their developers or dropped from your app store? Developers, and for the most part your app store, don't have the capability to remove the no-longer-supported app and if they could they shouldn't be allowed to anyway. Sure, the app continues to run until at some point the latest software update no longer supports it. The problem is that without a security update, that app and others like it become potential gateways into your devices. One such app is the Samsung Keyboard. It hasn't been supported for a while but many still use it as a primary input process. This highlights that it is not only the small developer that abandons apps over time. If you are curious there are many helpful pages returned in a Google search to aid you in detecting your now unsupported apps.

- There are machine learning models built for doing business. Then came Covid-19. A model is only as good as its training. Older models will not include behaviour such as lockdowns and social distancing so the outputs from such models near the end of Covid, whenever that is, and for some time afterwards will be highly inaccurate. Machine learning models are based on available information and that is historical data. The lesson here is models need to be continually updated to be both relevant and remotely accurate.

- If you are after some word salad a Gartner analyst recently observed that "by 2023, teams deploying active metadata, machine learning and data fabrics to connect, optimise and automate data management processes will reduce time to integrated data delivery by 30%". Or as I wrote, if you have a machine learning system and you keep it up to date then it will be useful. Like those out-of-date apps mentioned above, if you don't take care then results can vary greatly.

- After nearly 20 years, production of Segway, the wonder scooter for the city, will cease on July 21 this year. The technology has to some extent changed city transport. As an interesting footnote Jimi Heselden, the British businessman who bought Segway in 2010, died that same year after accidentally reversing his Segway off a cliff, making way for a passing dog walker. This is similar to those that have blindly followed their nav systems into similar or interesting situations. Technology is useful but only as good as those using it and how well it has been programmed. It will be a long time before I get into an automated vehicle outside of those shuttles that move between airline terminals.

- A few years ago, would you have ever thought you would read that Microsoft is preparing an antivirus product for Linux and Android? The latest version of their Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for Servers suite was recently released to Linux and Android as a general availability release. It will run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Ubuntu, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Debian and Oracle Linux. You also can use Puppet or Ansible to refine it for other versions.

- Facebook and YouTube continue to degenerate, deplatforming, demonetising and banning anyone who doesn't follow their ever-changing, sometimes hidden guidelines. This while at the same time allowing those of like-minded politics to express the same sentiments without censure. Facebook has also been accused of trying to bypass European privacy legislation by accessing personal data on domain holders. ICANN is trying to replace Whois and Facebook is trying to get in the middle of this and grab data. The company has been aggressive and nasty in this approach threatening anyone they think is remotely transgressing any of their trademarks. One crazy example is zharfambook.com, presumably because it contains the word book. Thankfully companies such as Namecheap and Tucows are not buckling under the pressure, yet. Google has also been working on artificial intelligence with China but refused to do so with the US Defence Department. The big social media platforms appear to be spiralling out of control.

James Hein is an IT professional of over 30 years' standing. You can contact him at jclhein@gmail.com.


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