I find it simply amazing that our forefathers had the forethought to create the bill of rights (amongst other rights/documents). I also find it astonishing that many Americans not only do not know their rights but look at those who know/use them to be "difficult", or worse "Anti-American". I find this truly sad. These people are a perfect example of how the Media/Government has dumbed down and lied to us to make us bend to their will.
If you are a true American who loves your country it is your duty to know your rights and use them! If you don't then why did so many people die to protect them?
Here is a short primer on the bill of rights that every American should (but most don't) know.
1st Amendment - Freedom of speech/religion/assembly.
This one is pretty simple. You have the right to believe in any form of religion you wish (or none). You have the right to speak your mind. this means in general that you can say what you want where you want (in public). You have the right to assemble. This means that you the government can not disallow people to gather and protest.
Why is this important.
Without this right you have no right to say what you want, believe what you want, and gather to discuss like opinions. Imagine a life in which you could not critize those in power. Imagine a world in which there is one religion that is sponsored by the state.
Without this right I would not be able to write this blog.
2nd Amendment - Right to bear arms
This one is the amendment that's been in the news of late. It simply states that you have the right own and bear arm (weapons). Many americans really have no idea what this means. Owning a gun is not a privilege, it is your right. this amendments gives you the right to own (any amount) of firearms/weapons. This amendment also gives you the right to carry your weapon on you.
Many Americans who utilize this right are frowned upon my those in power and even their fellow Americans. In many cases where there is an encounter between a US citizen carrying a weapon and a federal agent, the encounter was requested by a fellow (uninformed) US citizen.
Why is this important
It has been show time and time again throughout history that when the populous of a country are not able to arm themselves, they have no way to protect themselves against tyranny. Imagine if you will a government that oppresses it's people, if you do not have the ability to arm yourself (and create a militia) then you have no ability to resist.
3rd Amendment - (actual Text) - No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law
This one may be a bit harder to understand but is extremely important. This amendment states that any federal official (or agency) can not take over your home/property for their own purposes unless allowed by law (example eminent domain).
Why is this important
In it's simplest form this amendment protects you from the government forcibly using your house/property as their own. See, Long ago (which many don't remember since we have this right) soldiers of the British army would march into town and assume all of the houses for the time they were in town. They could come into your home (and kick you out), use it for their own purposes, and hopefully leave it standing.
This is also to say that a government agency can not use your house to "spy" on your neighbor. They can not set up equipment on your property without your permission even if they conduct an investigation that does not include you.
4th Amendment - The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches.
This is probably one of the most unknown and therefore unused right in America.
This amendment states that no government agency/representative can enter/search your person, house, papers, or effects (which includes your automobile, computers, cell phone, etc). But what does this mean in practice? This amendment protects you from Police etc. from randomly searching you with out "reasonable suspicion"
Reasonable suspicion is a term that every single American must understand. Simply, reasonable suspicion dictates that for a government agency/employee to have the ability to search (among other things) you/effects they must have a suspicion based on "specific and articulable facts" that you have, are, or are about to commit a crime.
Why is this important
Without this amendment there would be nothing to stop the police from entering every single house at their will to search for anything they want to. The police could simply pull you over without cause and search your person and your vehicle for anything and everything.
This is one of those amendments (Like the 2nd and 5th) that many americans will vilify you for using. Why is this? Simply we are taught from a young age that if you don't have anything to hide then you don't have anything to worry about. This is a very dangerous way to think. I do not advocate breaking any just law, however, I would much rather 100 criminals go free than send one innocent person to jail. The police or any government agency/employee do not have the right to enter your home to "check for X" unless they are able to clearly articulate why you are breaking the law.
5th Amendment - The right against self incrimination.
This is probably the most misunderstood amendment. This simply states that you do not have to incriminate yourself. But what does that really mean? Why would we have an amendment that helps criminals?!?
The truth is, this amendment was written not for the guilty but for the innocent. This amendment give you the right to remain silent! You are not required to tell any federal official anything. There are exceptions to this law, for example in some states you must identify yourself if requested to do so by the police. However, this is a rare exception.
Why is this important.
The best way to explain this would be for you to watch this video. but for those who do not have 50 minutes of free time here is the condensed version.
In 2012 40,000 new laws were put on the books. Think about that for a second, 40,000 new laws are now in effect. Do you know them? I don't.
Police (and other government agencies) are not only taught how to trick you into admitting to a crime (even if one hasn't been committed) but they are allowed by law to lie to you! Yes you heard it 100% correct. A police officer can look you straight in the eye and deceive you. You, however, are not allowed to lie to the police. Therefore, you have only way to protect yourself. SHUT UP and use your 5th amendment right! Unfortunately you will find that many of your fellow americans will assume (due to their ignorance) that you are guilty since you wish to not talk. This is very sad but ultimately you are the true American who understand your rights.
Yup... I guess my government may now classify me as a "threat"
In part the NSA/other spy agencies have determined that people who do any of the following may be a terrorist.
Encryption - I encrypt almost everything... From my laptop, email communications, to the operating system that my web services run on.
Not on social media - Yup, if your not on facebook, you might be a terrorist. I use no social networks so I guess I'm doubly dangerous
TOR users - TOR which is a program that helps hide your identity while using the web. This is a red flag for the government... because... you know if you don't have anything to hide....
Anyone who questions authority - If you happened to question why our government is spying on us then you must be a terrorist.
Shit, just saying the word "terrorist" makes you a person of interest now a days.
What's worse than this?
The really sad part is that it's the American people that allow this to happen. We are lied to by our representatives in Congress/Senate. What do we do about it? In the vast majority of cases we relect these criminals. When one or two of our elected officials does ask questions they are lambasted.
We have the people who run our spy agencies coming out and directly lying to Congress. What happens? nothing... this has been shown time and time again. There is laws on the books that say if I lie to a government official (Police etc.) then I could be cuffed and tossed in a cage, why are these liars exempt?
Then there is Edward Snowden who is a true American hero. This is a guy who gave up his high paying career, family, friends, and way of life to warn you and I about how pervasive our governments spying on us is. What thanks do we give him? Our elected officials are calling for his head on a pike. Think about that.... the people we elect to help protect us from this type of illegal spying, instead of doing their job, debate about how we should get this "traitor". No one seems to think that what he did was for the American people.
So what can you do?
Educate yourself. An uneducated populous is much easier to control than one that asks questions.
This document is a work in progress until you see this line of text removed.
June 28th (day 0)
We took off from Denver around 10PM. The flight was a short 5.5 hours which felt even shorter since we upgraded to 1st class. We were very happy to see that all of our luggage arrived with us in Anchorage. Our original plan was to take a taxi to a hostel the first night but since we got to Anchorage a few hours late due to some delays we decided just to take a nap in the airport.
June 29th (day 1)
We grabbed a taxi to a department store from the airport and same waited outside with our luggage while I went inside and grabbed the final supplies that we needed. While I was in the store I was able to talk to a angler who was able to give me some useful hints about fishing up in Alaska.
After shopping Sam texted our ride "Hillary" who promptly picked us up, took us all over town to A. go to the farmers market B. Grab some breakfast and C. Stop by Sam's friends house for some supplies we shipped up there to meet us. Hillary is a very kind and fun person. She drove us from Anchorage all the way to Whittier and then wanted to actually come kayaking (paddle boarding for her) with us. It took quite a bit longer to ready our gear and she wasn't able to come with us.
Finally, after we got all our gear sorted out our kayak rental company Sound Paddler took us, our kayaks, and gear down to the beach. I really enjoyed working with these folks as they were miles ahead in regards to professionally when compared to other places we had rented in Alaska.
After dropping us off at the beach it took Sam and I about a hour to get all the boats loaded and on our way! We paddled only a few miles this day because we got a late start and lost a few things when we packed up. After, just a few hours of paddling we found a decent beach to camp at and settled down for the night.
June 29th Camping Location "Shotgun Cove" - 60.800533 N 148.590145 W
June 30th (Day 2)
Woke up to rain on our first full day our kayaking. I can't say it wasn't expected as last year we got rain every day we were kayaking. We paddled for a few hours after getting a late start and found a nice little beach out of the wind that we thought about camping at. While checking out the beach Sam noticed a forest sign. Come to find out we were at Decision Point where there were some raised platforms for our tent! we were very excited by this and the fact that there was a outhouse at the location! So we looked around a bit and finally decided on which of the 4 platforms we wanted to set up the tent at. After doing the tent setup we walked back to the beach and noticed that what was an empty beach when we showed up was now starting to fill up with people! Over the next few hours more and more peopel came until there was about 15 of us at the site, all four paltforms taken.
Some of the people we met that night we felt were kind of dicks but the next morning when we woke up we found that one of the other people there had given us marshmallows and chocolate and put in the bear box on top of some trash we stored in there overnight. We were very happy to be able to have a smore or two in the morning.
June 30th Camping Location "Decision Point" - 60.800823N 148.453637 W
July 1 (Day 3)
First Rain Day - Today we decided to stay at Decision point due to the rain. It was quite hard to think of leaving such a nice, flat, semi-dry spot since we didn't know what laid ahead. We basically just chilled around the tent this day and really didn't do too much.
July 2 (Day 4)
The rain calmed down enough this day where we could leave the comfort of the platforms. We got out at a good time and then proceeded to cross Blackstone Bay. This was our first "major" crossing of the trip and was super easy. After making the crossing we went to Surprise Cove where we unfortunately did not notice that there were more platforms so we ended up camping on a small island. This wasn't a bad choice by any means as we had a nice spot for our tent but we made the mistake of not putting the kayaks high enough to save them from high tide. Therefore, around 8PM at night I had the unenjoyable task of wadding across a stretch of water to move our kayaks to a higher location.
Me Walking back after securing the kayaks
The Kayaks at High High tide - I moved them from about 6-8 feet where the water line is!
July 2 Camping Location "Surprise Cove" - 60.756053 N 148.38935 W
July 3 (Day 5)
We woke up at low tide so it was very easy to get to the kayaks and get them loaded. We then headed off to do the Cochrane crossing which would be the largest crossing of the trip. The weather was alright to start with but then started getting worse during our crossing. the fog started coming in but we were able to make the crossing before loosing site of the land! The really rough part was after the crossing when we were rounded Cochrane Point. The water was just crazy with waves coming in from every direction. It was tiring but I actually enjoyed it.
After we made our crossing we decided to take a break, get out of the rain, and get some food. We found a nice little cove that had just enough "dry" space to be able to relax for a bit and get recharged.
Sam enjoying a bit to eat
We made camp on the inside of Culross Passage on what turned out to be another low lying area. We had to pull our kayaks all the way up to the tent and then we were only about 2-3 feet about the high tide mark. Needless to say, it was a stressful night until high tide hit, then we knew we were ok.
Camp Location "Culross Passage" - 60.739115 N 148.249335 W
July 4-6 (Day 6-8)
Getting out of camp was hard due to the rain never letting up! Both Sam and I did not want to stay another night in this swamp so we decided that we had to get out and try to make it to Goose bay where I remember seeing a cabin on a forest map before we left for the trip. So we manned up and paddled a few miles in the pouring rain until we got to Goose bay. We were VERY happy to see as we rounded a corner in the back of the bay, a cabin! Not just any cabin but one that was CLOSED due to snow load damage a few years ago. Lucky for us someone left the front window open so we were able to get inside and get out of the rain.
The Cabin at Goose bay
Well, It was a hard but amazing two weeks in Alaska... We paddled over 120 miles and were able to see every single thing we set out for. I have almost 13,000 pictures to process (7,000 are time lapse pictures). So it will be a few weeks before the pictures are in the gallery.
So Sam and I started to get some packing done for our kayaking trip this year. Boy, it's not until you start to pack do you see A. how much stuff your bringing and B. how much stuff you still need...
It's going to be a hell of a trip though!
So Last weekend Sam and I went on a easy 2 day backpacking trip in the hills above Colorado Springs. The main purpose of the trip was to test our all of our gear to ensure it's ready for our Alaska trip.
What did we find out?
- The tent needs to be replaced as the pole sleeves are starting to tear (Tent is only 1 year old) Thanks goodness for REI's return policy
- Gatorade... We found that taking Gatorade powder was a great way to "tastify" the water a bit and it also provides Electrolytes.
Other than that we had a great time. It looks like I purchased enough batteries for the Alaska trip... now just got to figure out how to pack 60 pounds of MREs, plus another 60-80 pounds of gear...
So, I work with SIP phones all the time and I got a Snom 300 phone to test the other day.
When I powered it up and logged in to the Web UI the first thing I noticed was that there seemed to be tracking code in the website of the phone!
You can see what I mean with the below picture
I have reached out to Snom to find out what was going on and the first reply I got from them was very discouraging.
@madhatt159 Your phone just tries to get the newest Firmware version from our provisioning server. There is no tracking.
5/2/13 6:20 AM
So, They state up front that there is no tracking however you can see from my screenshot that there clearly is google analytics code on the site.
In fact here is a screenshot of the actual code
The UA number used is 1331074
And if you google around a bit you'll find the following website which shows this same UA code used by Snom.com
here's a screenshot.
I am still waiting on replies from Snom regarding this and will post and update once I have one.
UPDATE #1 - 5/3/2013
My last tweet was replied to by Snom.
@madhatt159 please explain! and send an e-mail to
5/3/13 8:55 AM
UPDATE #2 - 5/3/2013
After speaking with the good folks on the Asterisk IRC I foudn out that I can disable this tracking by disablein "Advertising" in Prefs.
After disabling the Snom Ad banner, no more tracking code is found. Therefore I believe what is going on is that the website that the banner lives on is the one actually using analytics code and NOT the phone itself.
So I'm sitting here at work listening to the into the wild album and it dawns on me... in few months My buddy and I will be solo kaykaing for 15 days in the wild of Alaska. it's gonna be a hard day to focus
was looking through my pictures and came across this one.
I really miss you guys...
So, I shoot a fair amount of images that I upload to my website.
I thought I would share how I do this more for me so that I can refer back to this so that I'll remember!
Basically Copermine will read the IPTC data from the image file that you upload to it. It will use this information to populate data for that image in the gallery. Looking below you will see how IPTC corralates to the Coppermine data.
|Aperture IPTC Value
So What I do is the following.
- Import all my photos - I do this a certain way. A. I import all the photos into a main project folder. Then under that folder I have a bunch of smart folders that will separate all my photos and videos based on certain values, Camera Model, Picture or Video, Rated High or not. I also usually have a few static albums under the project that I put videos that I made from stitching together images, panos, and other data that really isn't sortable. Then Finally I have a folder called "Website Ready" which is a smart album of all images in the project that are flagged.
- Then I work through all my images, correcting color and other values until I like how all my photos look.
- Then I go through all the pictures flagging which images I want to show up on the website. When I do this the flagged images automatically show up in the Website Ready ablum just like magic!
- Once I have finsihed this I will be left with all the pictures I want to publish to the gallery.
- Then I go through the entire Website Ready Album and enter Titles, Captions, and Keywords for all of the images as shown below (which you can adjust the display of IPTC/EXIF info by pressing COMMAND + J)
- As you can see in this image (maybe) I have entered the IPTC Headline, Caption, and Keywords
- Once I have finished with all this I simply export the images using a custom preset that sets the image size to a certain value.
- Then I upload them to the galelry and use the batch add files feature to add all of the files to an album.
- Because of all my previous work after the files have been uploaded and process they all show with the proper titles, captions, keywords.
And that's it, DONE!
Chck out the "short" version of the video we took in Jamaica
I had some time this morning so I decided to upload all the pictures we've taken so far on our trip.
View them HERE
Melissa and I are enjoying the warm weather and fun times here in Jamaica.
Here's a picture of Mel at the Bob Marley Museum.
Tomorrow we leave!
Just a few more hours before I'll be in the nice 80 degree weather with my toes in the sand!
For the fun of it I thought I would show my current camera gear.
Nikon D5100 with 18-55, 55-300, and 18-300 lenses (GPS too)
Nikon AW100 underwater camera with GPS
Nikon P500 for my buddy to use
GO Pro Hero 3 HD
about 25 batteries for both the aw100 and Go pro and 10 for the D5100
And about 200Gb of storage in a water proof case