Carl T. Holscher fights for the customers.

Tag: hack


ISIS does not concern me. I am more concerned about my privacy being given away from poor security. This security extends from our own government and the Office of Personnel Management to retailers like Target and Home Depot.

Just last week, I had my debit card compromised and used to order a pizza from Dominos in New York. Last year, OPM was hacked. and this leaked not only my personal information. But the personal information of people who I listed as family and friends who could verify the information I listed in my investigation forms.

I was reminded of this when I updated the information when I changed jobs. Everything you’d need to steal my identity or my wife’s identity is out there. Everywhere I’ve lived and worked for the past 7 years is out there.

Names, addresses and phone numbers of my past employers, friends who can verify the information and my family, including step parents is out there. All thanks to poor security practices by our own government.

This doesn’t make me mad so much as it saddens me. We can do better. We should do better. There’s no excuse to not protect a database of every government employee and those listed on their forms.

But it wasn’t. And now it’s out there in the world. For who knows who to have access to.

So excuse me when I don’t get riled up when politicians scream about how we all need our guns because ISIS is coming to get us.

It’s not the terrorists I fear. It’s our own incompetence. It’s our own neglect. That is what scares me more than a small, terrorist group half a world away.

Who has my data?

There has been a lot of debate among nerds about the privacy and security implications of Google and Apple. How much is privacy worth? Is Google going too far? Is Apple protecting us? Does it even matter anymore?

For me, this is not a debate I care to take part in. My information is already out in the world. Target, Carefirst BlueCross Blueshield, Chick Fil-A, Adobe and most recently, the Federal Government have been breached.

Since the incident was identified, OPM has partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security‚Äôs U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine the impact to Federal personnel.  And OPM immediately implemented additional security measures to protect the sensitive information it manages.

I have worked as a contractor for two separate US Government agencies. I haven’t heard if my information was one of the 4,000,000 people leaked in the hack on the Office of Personnel Management. But it would not surprise me if it was.

It feels like every week there is some other places letting my information out into the world. It’s no surprise after looking at this list of data breaches in 2015. These reports cover 103,340,565 records. That’s about 1 in 3 US Citizens that could have had their information leaked into the world.

I’m not interested in having a theoretical debate over my privacy and what Google or Apple are or are not going to do with my photos when my credit card, social security number and every other bit of identifying, personal information about me have or may have already been exposed. I’d be much more curious to see if active security scans are being done and if security people are on staff at places I trust my with you

Using a binder clip tripod to shoot time-lapse video

Instagram’s new Hyperlapse app is a lot of fun. It will allow you to shoot time-lapse videos. It will also smooth out the video with stabilization built into the app itself. I tried it out while walking and riding the Metro. Walking was too jarring for it to capture smooth video. But the Metro ride worked just fine. I’ve posted them to my Instagram account.

After seeing the hyperlapse video of Harry Mark’s morning commute I thought about other places to shoot some video today. While I don’t think I’m good enough to reshoot House of Cards, I did venture out to the Capitol Building and the Reflecting Pool there.

Before I went, I needed a tripod of sorts. Something to hold the phone upright and steady at the very least. Ideally, I wanted to angle the phone. I’ve been looking for a reason to buy an iPhone tripod of some kind. But I needed something now.

I looked through my desk and found two binder clips. They worked perfectly. I have no photos of the setup in action since I was using the phone to film. Here it is recreated at my desk.

iPhone held at an angle
Note the angle. This worked nicely for capturing the tall Capitol Building.
(Yes, it’s a portrait video. Deal with it.)

iPhone held sideways

It works nicely in landscape mode. I appreciated it more than the ducks did.

iPhone held upright
And of course, it will stand upright like a tiny soldier at attention.

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