Robert’s Ramblings

Robert Alonso’s Thoughts on Technology and More…

Archive for December, 2009

December-25-09

Google’s Secular Problem

Posted by Robert Alonso under Opinions

Google is a very successful company that is very worrisome to me. It has a corporate culture instilled from the very top of the company that is disdainful of religion and of any conservative view points. One obvious example of this behavior is their logo designs. They change the “Google” graphic logo to represent various holidays and remarkable events throughout the year. They typically do a good job with scientific or historical dates. Whenever the date is related to religion they tend to ignore it. The following image is what they chose to put on their home page on Christmas. I find it it offensive that they refuse to put anything religious or any image that is remotely associated with the spirit of Christmas. Over a billion Christians celebrate the birth of Christ on the 25th of December. One would think that Google could provide something a little less secular than a space ship and peace symbol along with some other stupid little images. (Yes, this gets me very angry.)

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Bing, chose to place some Christmas imagery on their home page, but chose to minimize the religious aspect of Christmas as well. By comparison, I must commend them on not ignoring a billion plus believers worldwide. They also included several linked areas of he images that include references to interesting facts about the decorations seen in Rockefeller Center. What I found the most heartwarming is that one of them uses the word Christmas. Bravo Microsoft! I think that I will advertise with your search engine and not Google’s.

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The only way to stop large companies like Google from ignoring the beliefs, hopes and feelings of a large majority of the world is to vote with our pocketbooks. I, for one, do not intend on supporting Google. I will also limit any future positive blog entries about them. (If you look through the older entries here, you will see quite a few positive entries on various Google products or services.) Google ads have been removed from this blog and I will be removing them from my other web sites as time permits. It is only fair that their lack of respect be met with my indifference and total lack of support for their corporate empire building.

Merry Christmas world. Much love to every one on earth.

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December-17-09

SkyGrabber – Satellite Stream Capture Software

Posted by Robert Alonso under Hardware, Opinions, Software

It was reported today that the Taliban in Afghanistan are using inexpensive software to view video from United States drone airplanes. The software is called “SkyGrabber.” It can capture picture, video and audio streams that are downloaded from satellite Internet connections. You do not even need an Internet connection to have this work for you. All you need a satellite dish. The software can then let you select what you want to capture. You can do it by by file type, IP address, by the hardware MAC address of the source, or by send or receive port. You can download the software from http://www.skygrabber.com.

You would think that the United States military would be smarter than sending live video streams from multi-million dollar aircraft without encryption. Unfortunately, they are not. You can see the unencrypted, live feeds using this inexpensive software.

Robert Alonso
Alonso Consulting

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December-9-09

Have You Heard Any Good Tiger Woods Jokes?

Posted by Robert Alonso under Advice, Service

The scandal surrounding Tiger Woods is unfortunate. His name, however, is an easy target for jokes. Some are more tasteless than others. My favorite is that he is changing his name to Cheetah Woods.  Since this is a mostly a technology blog, you are probably wondering why Tiger is relevant here. Strictly speaking, he isn’t, but getting news about him is.

I was recently asked by a friend what would be the best way to get notified of news stories surrounding Tiger Woods. Since I have been taking advantage of Google News Alerts for over a year, I knew that the easiest way to track any item of interest is to set a Google Alert on it. I have alerts on “health care reform,” my customer’s company names, my name, my wife’s name and many other topics and people of interest. Google dutifully sends me a daily e-mail with a recap of all the web, news and blog mentions of each subject. I told my friend about the alerts and you could immediately see that he grasped how useful Google Alerts could be for business.

If you want to set an alert on news about Tiger Woods go here. You can also use the page to set alerts on any other topic that might interest you.

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