In today's constantly changing high-tech world, e
Itís a Crazy World Out There
A Special Edition of THE BRABEC BULLETIN on the Web
Too long to be published as one of my email Bulletins, this special two-page edition on the Web is a "heads up" message about a number of things I've recently found to be interesting and sometimes alarming, astonishing, and in one case, ridiculous. Each topic under discussion links to informative articles that offer additional details for those with a curious or discerning mind. - Barbara
~ Published August, 26. 2013 ~
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Wireless Modem Health Dangers: The Invisible Made Visible
I KNOW WE ALL TAKE wireless connectivity for granted these days, even if we don't always understand how this communications miracle actually works. But like everything else in life, every action causes some kind of reaction, and this is one that isn't good for us. I became alarmed when a friend linked me to a December 6, 2012 video about the health dangers of wireless modems.
As explained in the video, the radio frequency radiation being transmitted from your wireless router or modem is extremely toxic and detrimental to your health. Youíll see evidence of this by the measurements shown on the RF meter being used to demonstrate this in the video. "Most of us are living and working in this type of RF radiation exposure every single day and night," says the author of this video. "The fix, or remediation is simple. Plug your modem or router into your computer using an Ethernet connection (hardwire), and disable the wireless function on your modem or router. This is very important for the health and safety of all those in your home or office. If you need to use the wireless function . . ." (get the rest of the details in this YouTube video).
The friend who linked me to the above video later connected me to this June 29, 2013 "Open Letter by UK Doctors on Health and Safety of Wi-Fi, Mobile Phones" on the "Memory Hole" website. It explains the growing concern over long-term exposure to radiofrequency/microwave radiation from wireless technologies.
A COUPLE OF MONTHS BEFORE the above information came to my attention, I had set up a wireless connection to my laptop computer, which I bought primarily to use as a "recording studio" to digitize LPs, cassette tapes, and my old business videotapes. After considering all the above information and possible risks to my health, I decided the only prudent and healthy thing to do was keep my Wi-Fi connection unplugged unless I actually needed to access the Internet or use the laptop for office work in another area of my home.
BY NOW, MANY OF US have begun to ask if weíre living in Orwell's world of 1984. Curious to see how many others were thinking the same thing I was, I Googled "living in Orwellís world of 1984" and found more than three million web pages on this topic. In checking a few articles, I learned that after the NSA revelations about their collecting the phone records of millions of consumers, sales of Orwellís Nineteen Eight-Four shot up a staggering 3,100 percent in Amazon.com customer popularity, moving from #6,208 to #194 on the website's best sellers ranking. In a June 12 article by Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson for News Limited Network, she said that sales of the Centennial edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four soared 7005 percent on Amazon in just 24 hours that week, in addition to sales of two other editions.
If you've read Orwell's book or seen the movie, you'll recall how people were being spied on through their television set and cameras that were positioned everywhere outside—just as they are now in 2013. So we shouldn't be surprised to learn that Orwell's vision of TV sets that could spy on us in the privacy of our home is now a reality. If you've been watching the popular television show, Person of Interest, you have a perfect example of how much of our public movement is now being recorded by a camera somewhere.
THIS SPYING BY CAMERA goes beyond "smart TV" sets with cameras built into them. It also includes the webcams that are now built into new computers. Called 'ratting', hackers can send out an internet virus that allows them access to a person's desktop computer or laptop without their knowledge, and then they can switch on the webcam and watch people in the privacy of their homes.
There are articles on this topic all over the Web, but here are some practical tips I gleaned from some of them. First, if you keep your laptop on all the time, keep the lid closed, and if youíre not using the webcam and arenít sure how secure your computer is from hackers, put some tape over the camera lens. Hackers can easily gain control of your computer if you ever click on an email link from someone you don't know and trust. Be especially wary of links on Facebook where some "friend" urges you to "watch this incredible video" or "listen to this song," etc. Of course women—and especially teenagers—are the prime targets for webcam spying.
This article tells the story of a university student who revealed how she was spied on by hackers while she was in the bath, and just happened to notice that the laptopís webcam suddenly turned itself on.
ON A RECENT CBS Sunday Morning show, there was a segment about the usage of cell phones. The reporter stated that 91 percent of Americans now own a cell phone, and most of them, particularly young men and women, are addicted to them. They showed film of people walking and talking on a cell phone, so oblivious of the world around them that they had an accident. One woman was filmed falling into a public water fountain; a man waiting for a train walked right off the platform. Curious about this, I Googled "accidents+pedestrians cell phone usage" and turned up 2.5 million web pages on this topic. Statistics are also mounting up for auto accidents caused by people using a cell phone.
What I found most interesting about this report was that young people are texting on cell phones because they are uncomfortable in face-to-face interactions. As one kid put it, "When youíre talking live to someone, you canít control what comes out of your mouth, so you text to be sure youíre saying what you really want to say." What this tells me is that millions of people have now made their own little worlds that revolve around their cell phone and other electronic gadgets to the point that theyíre cutting themselves off from the real world. I find that very sad.
When I did a Web search for "cell phone addiction," I turned up more than 15 million web pages offering articles about this new trend in our society, how to find out if one is actually addicted, how to cope with this kind of addiction, better manage one's cell phone usage, and so on.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT, but not every one in the world needs a cell phone that takes pictures, makes recordings, has hundreds of apps, games, and gives one access to the Internet. Since I rarely travel now, Iím home or very near to home most of the time, and because I have unlimited long distance through my Internet cable supplier with a phone in every room of the house, my only use of a cell phone has always been limited. In fact, in the past several years Iíve rarely needed to make a phone call that couldnít wait until I got back home.
However, I definitely want and NEED the security of knowing I can make a call if the car breaks down or if I fall in my back yard where there is no one around to hear me if I canít get up; in other words, INSURANCE against great inconvenience or personal disaster. I keep my cell phone in a little handmade denim bag on a cord that I can hang around my neck when I take a walk or work in my yard. Otherwise the phone is always in my purse.
I recently cancelled my Virgin Mobile service because Iíve been aggravated to death by their email prompts to constantly top up when I wasnít using any minutes to speak of, and worse, was limited to calls in my region only. So I was delighted to learn that I could purchase a TracFone at Walmart for $19.95 and then buy Airtime Cards as needed, could make calls anywhere in the U.S., and wouldnít be annoyed by emails from a phone service company or have to sign any kind of contract. The minute packs start at $20 for 100 minutes and expire after 90 days if theyíre not used, so this "insurance" will give me enormous peace of mind for a mere $80/year.
Iíll never use many of my minutes, and I wonít take incoming calls on this phone unless I ask someone to call me back because of something happening "at the moment," so this kind of phone is just perfect for my needs. Itís also the perfect option for my young landscaper friend who happens to hate technology. The last thing he wants to do is answer the phone when heís got his hands in dirt or doing stone work, but he likes to be able to have his clients leave him a voice mail message he can return at dayís end.
I HAVE BEEN EXPRESSING my concerns about Obamacare from the very beginning, and especially after Nancy Pelosi said we had to "pass the bill to see what's in it." Now that we are finally beginning to see all the terrible financial costs and "consumer surprises" in the President's "Affordable Care Act," weíre also seeing what this is doing to the job problem and America's economy as a whole.
Under Obamaís grand health care plan, Americans were promised that they could keep their doctors and their insurance plan and actually get medical coverage for less. But that has turned out to be an outright lie. Certainly the last thing most Americans who supported the new law ever imagined was that it might cause them to not only lose the health care coverage they had, but could possibly cost them the full-time job that had made their great insurance coverage possible in the first place. Already millions of Americans are shopping for a new insurance plan that is going to cost them a lot more and may provide less coverage as well. And many new Medicare beneficiaries are discovering that doctors in their area are no longer taking Medicare patients. Yes, millions of people who didnít have insurance before will have it now, but at what cost? And what about the 30 million Americans that will NOT have coverage under Obamacare? (This article explains who those millions are.)
When he was running for President, Mr. Obama told Americans that he would "fundamentally change America," but very few people then actually understood what he meant by that. One doesnít have to look hard now to see the fundamental changes in the way our country now operates and the truth about how financially disastrous Obamacare is going to be for America in both the short and long run. As one columnist put it, "Even Reuters canít hide the truth any longer." (Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals.)
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