Archive for the Category ◊ Picasa ◊

Free at LastIt was not easy, in fact it took a lot of work to copy all of the information that I wanted from my blogs, Picasa photo account, and other places, and put them on my own website and domain.

After all that work, I finally hit the delete my account button, and I would love to say my information is gone. But I have a sneaking suspicion that Google will keep my information for a while. That is how they do business.

If you are reading this, you are reading my blog on the new site of Paul’s Computer Repair, controlled by us, not Google.

If you are not a believer and think this is all Google scare, just think about how much information, private information is in the hands of one company.

Here are the accounts I had information on:

Blogger (3 blogs, and the wife has 2), Google checkout (now wallet), YouTube, Google Adwords, Picasa Web Albums, Gmail, Google Analytics (website statistics), talk (Google chat), docs, igoogle home page, and every time I did a search on Google.

That is a lot of info, and that is not all of it. There are many other “products” that they collect information from. One of the latest is Google + which I have stayed away from, that is the FaceBook challenger, and of course, collecting lots of information ab0ut every user and their friends.

There have been a lot of articles and stories about the lack of fair privacy policies that users can understand. There have also been many incidents showing the power and amount of information that Google is amassing.

Here is a recent example article about the combining of data from CNN

So of course Google decides to help us out, and combine all of our accounts into one. Making the privacy so much easier for us. This combining of all of your Google related accounts will happen on March 1st, whether or not you like it.

Anyone with any brain knows when a company touts how it is going to help you, the first thing is, what is the company getting out of it?

Well, Google is a huge advertising company, they are not a search engine company, which is what everyone thinks of. They sell advertising and data on people’s habits. They have too much of it, and are becoming very scary.

Another thing that is scary, adding to their list of info they keep is the Android operating system they own. Every phone that has it is run by this company, who has every bit of information that goes through your phone. And if that is not enough, Google has been found to have recently bypassed security in Apple’s Safari and IE9 browsers.

I am done with Google. I really like their search engine and I have used it for years, but they have gone too far.

There is an alternative, using This site uses results from Google, but the info that goes to Google is from them, and your privacy is never breached. Pretty cool idea, check it out at

Social Networks, Computers, Cell Phones & Iran
Monday, June 22nd, 2009 | Author:

If You Flickr my Facebook I will Twitter your Picasa!

If you have listened to any news lately, you have probably heard the terms “Twitter” “Facebook“”Flickr” and maybe the term “social networking site” They have all been used in other news stories, but lately these terms are being bantered around constantly in regards to the uprising in Iran.

Wait a minute Paul, are you going all political on me? Yup, I am going to go there, but hold on, I think you will really find this as interesting as I do. Today I am going to talk about the computer, the Internet, cell phones and how they are all changing the way we live and what is going on in Iran.

The Good ol‘ days of Communications

We all know these things change the way we communicate. I can email and send photos and videos to my brothers in California and Florida. We can even web cam and see each other while we chat. Unfortunately we also know the clown in the car in front of you can talk on his/her cell phone while driving stupidly.

That is a bit different than when I grew up in the 1960′s and we memorized people’s phone numbers, and I still remember my first phone number growing up, ORchard 34732. Sending a letter or package in the mail only took a couple weeks! What was an area code? (you are grinning, because many of you remember those days!

Unrest in Iran

So let’s change gears and look at Iran and what is happening there. The people of Iran are in a country where the Government/Religious leaders rule by iron fist, they control all media, they even criminalize a young couple holding hands or kissing in public. If you disagree with any of the powers over there, well, you can pretty much kiss you and your family goodbye.

The people of the country were upset because of an election that seems to be obviously fixed in favor of the existing government. They are mad and causing a stir over there. They are protesting.

What is the first thing the government does? Send the international media out of the country and only allow state run media to exist. Also, blocking social networking and other internet sites, and trying to stop the dissemination of information from the public.

To us in the US, our basic foundation is that we can protest peacefully and disagree with our country. We can have groups or organizations that want to change the way things are done. That is freedom and democracy. Whether or not you agree with the policies or ideas of President of the US, you still have to appreciate the beauty that our country can elect someone who they think can change things for the better.

The People Find a Way…

Back to Iran. The reason we are seeing news and getting a little idea of the things happening in Iran, the people are risking their very lives to show that they want more freedom and fair elections. We are seeing photos, videos, text of people who are in Iran trying to make a change and We are now starting to see beatings and attacks by government troops & personnel. It is a desperate plea from people who will be jailed and or killed if they are caught and this all fails.

Since many sites on the internet have been shut down, different sites around the world have set up PROXIES or redirects, which means you type in an address, and it really sends you to another place. There have also been new web sites set up so people can post their photos and videos and stories.

What are these sites?

There are a group or type of website called Social Networking Sites. You have probably heard of Myspace and Facebook. Those are common ones. They are websites on the Internet where people can meet others with common interests, and interact with them and share photos, music, videos.

Flickr is a site where you can store photos and allow others to look at them, and there are a lot of these sites including Picasa by Google, and I have heard that one is being used to share photos also.

Tweet Tweet and Twitter!

Twitter is a relatively new site that is a strange phenomenon. I really don’t care for it for any of my needs or desires, but for some, they live by it. If you listen to the news they will say, contact us on Twitter… Twitter us at …

Twitter is called a micro blogging site where users can send 140 character text messages. The idea is that is about the size of a text message that a cell phone can send. So people can subscribe to your page, and look and see what you are writing/blogging about.

You can go to the twitter site and look for subjects and follow many different people who are talking about the same thing, but all at 140 characters per message.

This is like journaling everything in one’s life. I have even heard some people that blog about they are going to the bathroom, going to eat lunch.. Does anyone really care? I digress…

Since Twitter can send out messages from a cell phone, that go on to the internet, that is one way information is getting out of Iran. Another is just a simple cell phone camera or video. Take the pictures, send it to your Flickr photo website account, all right on the phone.

Protests Heard Around the World

The fact people are protesting in Iran, and also that they are using signs in English and Farsi, shows that the people are trying to speak, to the Western World and technology is allowing them to get their voice heard. The government is trying everything they can, but they cannot stop the technology.

On Fox News this weekend, there was a guy who works for the station that was hired with a title of “New Media Director”. His job is to have accounts for the station on all the sites I have talked about and he monitors those accounts for breaking news. Of course the information needs to be cross verified and checked. I find it fascinating that huge news organizations are using the “New Social Media” to aid in finding the truth and presenting it to their viewers/readers.

One other odd twist is the report of other Countries or groups that are using these same resources to put out false or exaggerated information and reports to sway the side of the people, because those people oppose the government and religious leaders that now rule.

This is a fascinating turn of technology. We hear of all the bad things, Terrorists recruiting, Bomb making recipes, pedophiles, porn, and more, but it is great to hear some of the good things this technology can do for us. This technology that some people love, and others hate, is changing the way politics, people and government all operate.

One final note

If you are interested, check out and put Iran protest in the search box. Take a look at some of the photos. What you are seeing on the news is just the tip of the iceberg. The photos above were all taken on about the 5th day after the election in Iran.