Australian Retail Organisations using Facial Recognition

A recent report by the Australian Consumer Organisation Choice has identified that a number of Retail companies have begun using Facial Recognition software in their stores with both minimal consent notices, and unclear purpose. A link to the article is here:

https://www.choice.com.au/ Facial Recognition Article

This article has generated a lot of discussion, but two broad themes of responses have dominated over the last few days:

  1. Heightened alarm that facial recognition is being used by commercial organisations, and that so little is known about their short and long term planned use and as importantly, storage of data harvested.
  2. On the other hand, some have responded in a relatively “benign” way, with comments such as, “Well, if I haven’t been shop-lifting, what have I got to worry about?”.

I consider myself very firmly in the first camp!

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PS/4 and USB Cables – Learning from One’s Mistakes

A quote from George Bernard Shaw goes something like this:

Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.

Bernard Shaw’s attitude is one I’ve tried to adopt, but on occasions it’s difficult to follow through on, as this little story will make clear. My daughter is a bit of a gamer, and using her own money, earned from her part-time job, purchased a PS/4 console second hand, which has been providing great enjoyment.

Over the Christmas break, as we have a Family Apple One Subscription, she and her sister have been exploring some of the Apple Arcade games on our Apple TV in the lounge room, and had paired up her PS/4 controllers to that Apple TV. I was pretty impressed with how well it worked. For a non-Apple Game Controller to work so seamlessly with all of the Apple hosted multi-player games was really cool.

Our problems began when my daughter went back to try and use her PS/4 controllers on her PS/4. As the re-pairing process normally occurs by plugging the controller into the PS/4 with the same USB cable they are charged with, the re-pairing should be reasonably straightforward – but do you think she could get it to work? I headed into her room assuming it would be a trivial problem to resolve … little did I know that I’d still be there an hour later.

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How a Mac OS Crash Caused SOME of my software to stop working – And why

On my main office Mac – a 64 GB 2020 i7 iMac – with lots of external drives, I had an unexpected, catastrophic failure a week ago. The sort that after the machine restarts, you get Mac OS saying: “Your machine was restarted because of a problem …” and you get asked to send a report to Apple, etc, etc … From memory, I think that the issue revolved around “kernel panic”. However, as the machine appeared to have come back up fine – it seemed – I didn’t pay that much attention to the issue, and got back to work. But then I noticed that some things weren’t working as expected. And some of my Drives weren’t mapped correctly. What was going on?

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An Excellent Monitor, AND a great KVM Switch into the Bargain

Now that so many of us are working from home, new challenges arise in our study or home office. Many will be forced to use two computers – our own, and a computer provided by our employer, because it has a prescribed or controlled operating environment, or connectivity or tools installed. Unless you’ve got a really big desk, or actually like typing on laptop keyboards – does anyone? – it’s going to get very crowded if you need to have separate external keyboards and mice for both machines, so I’ve commonly used KVM (Keyboard / Video Mouse) switches in the past – of varying levels of sophistication.

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Having trouble getting Google Drive going on mac OS?

I use a number of cloud storage providers. One of them is Google Drive, and given my personal productivity platform of choice is mac OS, I’ve been following the various incarnations of Google Drive on that platform. Across several Macs and many versions of OS X and now Mac OS, I’ve used a variety of versions of Drive, and – from memory – I think they’ve been called:

  • Google Drive – originally
  • Google Backup and Sync, and now
  • Google Drive for Desktop

The move back to this latest version of Google Drive for Desktop promises to deliver some really impressive additional features and Google has been advising users to transition to this new version. I began to do that recently, thinking it should be simple. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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