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Tom Long
Works at His Faith-Family (including his dog)-Friends-Photography-Music-Surfing-Tech-Snorkeling
Attended Morgantown High School
Lives in North Carolina
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Kudos to Microsoft-Down with Superfish

Microsoft apparently didn't like the idea of Lenovo bundling malware with their computers.  Lenovo stopped the practice when word got out of what they were doing.  But that left people who had previously bought Lenovo computers with Superfish installed.  MS then stepped in and treated Superfish like malware and has wiped it from tens of thousands of Lenovos.  Good PR and a good thing for them to do.
Microsoft this week said that search-and-destroy work by it, Lenovo and other software makers has reduced the daily number of Lenovo PCs infected with the Superfish adware to below 1,000.
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Are You Listening?

Great tip on being human.  How do you feel when you are talking to someone who is looking at their device and not at you?
And that time should be anytime someone is talking to me in real life. I can't say that I have always done this but after a conversation with my mom this morning I am going to, positively, make sure I do it from now on. As we were talking and sharing this morning, she told me about her recent ...
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I saw a story on TV about an older woman who works several hours a day delivering food to homeless shelters and shut-ins.  She was unloading bags from the back of a pickup.  She smiled at the reporter and said, "Some people help me unload these things."  He laughed and started pitching bags.  Maybe a sweet smile (the part I have never learned) and, "Some people look at me when I'm talking to them."?
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Cleaning Lenovo's Mess

ars technica has a very thorough post on how to remove Superfish and its attendant security risks from your Lenovo computer.  I mentioned yesterday that up until December, Lenovo was installing software that created false security certificates so that ad companies could intercept your secure connections (like to your bank).  Lenovo admitted later in the day that this was a "mistake" or as I would paraphrase it, "Oops.  We got caught.".

They originally said that they were temporarily stopping pre-installing Superfish until they could get the software to stop generating pop up ads, which was the clue that initially gave away that this pernicious software was snuck onto your computer.  They planned to return to installing it when they could do it when there would be no obvious clue to their misdeeds.

However, this week security experts announced that the fake certificate's key had been cracked and published so that anyone with the key could perform a man-in-the-middle attack on infected computers.

Lenovo claimed there was no foul because if you read your terms of service you would have known that they were rerouting your internet service through their ad software.  But yesterday they finally claimed they realized they had been wrong and promised to never do it again.

Unfortunately, I only read their mea culpa in text so I couldn't tell if they had their fingers crossed or gave a "wink wink" as they wrote it.  Given the corporate ethos that would execute such a nefarious program in the first place, I suspect their vow means that they plan to never get caught again.  Hopefully, I'm wrong because I love Lenovo's hardware.  They make good stuff.

But even Lenovo's new page about how to remove the software doesn't go through how to remove the phony security certificates.  I posted a link yesterday that showed how to remove it from the Windows store, but today ars technica explains that Firefox and Thunderbird users have additional locations that require the certificate to be used.

The good news is that you can make your Lenovo computer secure again.  The bad news is that you have to risk making a potentially crippling (to your computer's functionality) mistake in editing your registry.

I am gratified that Lenovo has owned up to their error and promised not to ever be naughty again.  But in the last 48 hours I've gone from being a real Lenovo fanboy to being highly distrustful.
Uninstalling the software doesn't undo the damage it does to your system.
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Samsung Explains Eavesdropping TV Controversy

Not quite sure what their privacy policy means, but Samsung claims that it doesn't mean what it says.
Over the weekend, quite a few people panicked at the phrasing of Samsung's smart TV privacy policy. Its warning that third parties would get your sensiti
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Big Canon

Canon sensors have traditionally brought up the rear in their respective size classes when tested by DxOMark.  So, frankly, I'm seldom excited by Canon's offerings.  But come June, there is one area where the Canon sensor will be far ahead of the competition.  At 50.6 mega-pixels, the new 5DS and 5DS R make other full-frame resolutions look puny.  They're way out of my price range, but I'm anxious to see whether these new sensors, which Canon claims were developed without Sony's aid, can finally bring Canon back to the fore in image quality as well as resolution.  Since the cameras won't be released until June 2015, I'll just have to wait to see.  If you've got this kind of money, I'm guessing adding another hard drive to your computer to store those big files won't break the bank either.
Yes, the rumors were true. Canon just launched two new full frame digital SLRs with the highest resolution yet: the 50.6-megapixel Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R. Both DSLRs feature 35mm-sized CMOS sensors and Dual DIGIC 6 image processors. The Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R are designed to be smaller, ...
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Tech and Art

For those of us who use a camera to create art (even in a broad sense of the term 'art'), there is a need to have technological tools and expertise.

As a boy on a basketball team, I practiced lay ups, jump shots, foul shots, ball handling, passing, and other fundamentals ad nauseam.  I imagine that even the great players did this.  However, by the time Kobe Bryant started playing for the NBA all of those fundamentals had become so second nature that he mixed and matched and violated those fundamentals into something approaching art in motion.

How important is technology to art?  As an engineer, I am definitely obsessed with specifications.  So when Tony Northrup, in his recent YouTube video, broke down the various 2014 full frame, APS-C, and micro 4/3 cameras based on DXOmarks quantification of optimal image quality I was dazzled.  I also wasn't surprised to see that at their base ISO sensor size dominated.  I was further not surprised to see that Nikon won the full frame sensor class with the D810 and the APS-C sensor class with the D3300.

But there are photographers shooting with Canon sensors who do work at a level I don't ever expect to achieve.  Canon sensor technology is outdated and generally brings up the rear in every class of sensor when it comes to image quality.

If our goal in photography was only to accurately store the data of the image in a realistic way, it could be argued that we should all be shooting Nikons.

But many portrait artists shoot Canon.  There is an indescribable feel to the appearance of Canon images that is exactly what they are going for.  The same could be said for Fujifilm sensor images.  McLuhan's "the medium is the message" comes into play with our sensor selection just as much as it would when Winslow Homer decided whether a painting would be oil or water color.

After pouring over Northrups reviews and thinking about them for days a lightning bolt struck.  My favorite pictures aren't even the photograph that comes out of my camera.  My favorites are ones that I have post-processed to look like water colors in Photoshop.  Just as an oil painting isn't better because it is higher resolution than water color so a Nikon image isn't better because it more realistically stores color data.

The artist is reflected in his or her choice of camera, lens, lighting options, etc.  But there is infinitely more to our work than even those technical decisions.  I especially enjoyed reading this article by Oded Wagenstein on why less tech can be more.  Oh, and he shoots with a Canon.

My favorite statement?  "I strongly believe that the camera is just a tool to meet new people and to create new experiences. "
Meet brilliant photographer, author, lecturer and National Geographic contributor; Oded Wagenstein. Peek in his camera bag, see why he doesn't consider himself a travel photographer and why you should leave most of you gear at home to shoot better portraits...
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Do you guys get excited when you see that the Apple store is down for changes?  I have to confess that I get a little giddy.  C'mon 1pm Easter time.

http://store.apple.com/us
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I have not enjoyed this winter so I am glad to see some signs of spring. I have been sitting way too much and look forward to being outside again.
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Consumer Reports: Subaru Wins Multiple Categories

I have long been a fan of Subaru having owned both an Impreza and an Outback.  If they ever made a mini-van, I would be all over it (unless VW came out with their microbus in the same year).
Best car you can buy, period? Tesla Model S, says Consumer Reports. Or maybe can't buy, given than it starts at about $70k, or $105k if you want all-wheel drive. Also in CR annual auto issue: Buick bumps BMW, Subaru wins most categories.
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Lenovo Installs Security Flaw on Their Computers to Sell Ads

If you own a PC instead of a Mac there is a good chance it is one of Lenovo's many fine products.  They are the best selling of the PC manufacturers.  But did you know that they pre-installed software so that their adware could see what you thought were secure communications - like with your bank?  It is scary that this is happening and that it is legal.  Sometimes I feel like a self-appointed privacy watch dog who is constantly barking, but, really?  C'mon people, we need to demand better treatment than this.

Does anyone know if Dell or HP or any other computer manufacturer pre-installs this kind of "man in the middle" software?  These are the kind of stories that make me want to give my Mac a hug.
A vulnerability has been discovered in a piece of software that ships pre-loaded onto Lenovo computers that could grant hackers access to a user's secure browser data, allowing third parties to...
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Don't forget that just removing Super fish isn't enough. There is a second certificate installer thing that has to be removed as well. 
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Buy a Samsung Smart TV - and get extra commercials!?

First, the controversy about Samsung TV's listening to your private conversations and relaying them to a third party and now Samsung has been caught adding advertisements to your own media.  Want to show Grandma's junior's antics at the pool on a video?  Be prepared to show her a Pepsi ad as well.

I plan on buying a new TV before the end of the year, so I'm watching what is going on in the sphere with interest.
Thought you could watch that video on your local hard drive without ads? Think again: A number of owners of Samsung’s smart TVs are reporting this week that their TV sets started to interrupt their movie viewing with Pepsi ads, which seem to be dynamically inserted into third-party content. “Every movie I play 20-30 minutes…
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ACA Website Continues to FAIL

If you know someone who uses the ACA website, please make them aware that they need to take steps to keep the website from sharing personal information with external tracking sites.  You would think that with the President's sensitivity to cyber-security issues, these folks would want to do it right.  What gives?
The Associated Press reports that healthcare.gov–the flagship site of the Affordable Care Act, where millions of Americans have signed up to receive health care–is quietly sending personal health information to a number of third party websites. The information being sent includes one's zip code, income level, smoking status, pregnancy status and more.
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The Not So Very Merry Christmas

This Christmas wasn't really a barrel of fun.  But that doesn't mean that it was a bad Christmas.  In fact, I gained a new perspective on the meaning of the day.  

I share thoughts on that in my blog linked to below.
In church yesterday, a young man shared that his uncle had murdered his beloved grandparents on Christmas day a few years ago.  Many have lost friends and loved ones to suicide at Christmas.  Our p...
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In his circles
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Work
Occupation
Christian Environmental Researcher and Author
Employment
  • His Faith-Family (including his dog)-Friends-Photography-Music-Surfing-Tech-Snorkeling
    present
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
North Carolina
Previously
Morgantown, West Virginia - Hickam AFB, Hawaii - Upland, California - Pittsburgh, PA - Ipswich, Massachusetts - Goodfellow AFB, TX - Lawrence Park, PA
Story
Tagline
tree huggin', guitar pickin', gizmo cravin', book writin', wave ridin' pilgrim (trlong.com)
Introduction

In Jesus, I am an adopted child of God.  I am an environmentalist and writer.  Born and raised in West Virginia.  A brief stint in Hawaii as a toddler followed by numerous return visits may have infected my spirit with a deep desire to be wet and warm while listening to great music and enjoying the scent of fragrant tropical flowers.

What some people don't like about me?  My attempts at humor, my subpar singing and general music(noise)-making, and my inability to keep my opinion to myself.

Favorite quotes:
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
– Mark Twain

"I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead"
– Jimmy Buffett

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." - Jesus (John 10:10)

Education
  • Morgantown High School
  • West Virginia University
  • Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
  • Arthur Murray Dance Studio - Raleigh
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Tom4Surfing
Tom Long's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
HAWAIIAN: THE LEGEND OF EDDIE AIKAU | The Mountain and Wave
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The ambiance is the point here. The coffee was average. The service was pleasant if not friendly. I guess I should have asked to have my scone warmed. It was served cold. The upstairs has exposed old brick walls with a bit of art. Loved the lighting. Great quiet place to enjoy a cuppa and conversation.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Nice selection of boards to buy or rent. Plenty of gear. Tony was very friendly. We're new to Oak Island, but hope to do a lot of business here.
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
After a semester in Ireland, my daughter came home and told us that Tir Na Nog Sunday brunch was very typical of the fare she had enjoyed in Ireland. Every family member who has gone has enjoyed both the food and the atmosphere.
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
6 reviews
Map
Map
Map
Their link takes you to a spam site.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
This may be my favorite pub in the Raleigh area (and there are some good ones). Actually, this is probably my favorite pub anywhere. Love how they've broken the place up into intimate dining areas with Irish themes. The later it gets the younger the crowd. I like to go early, but choose your timing based on whether you want a quiet dinner or an exciting night on the town.
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago