Dear Windows, Good-Bye, Without Love

goodbye microsoft love linux with heart

Hi, my name is Cassi and I am a Windows survivor! In the beginning Windows seemed so perfect. It made my life easier and gave me an easy to use interface so that I could be more productive without having to be a programmer.  And it even still gave me my DOS command window. It allowed me to organize and tweak my OS environment to suit my needs and my skill level. So as we progressed, we settled into a normal regular routine.

Oh, sure we had our ups and downs I mean, all relationships do. I don’t think ours was any worse or more than anyone else’s. I still remember when Mac, the new guy in town showed up. Oh, he was a slick one, turning heads and promising everything Windows had, only newer and cooler and stronger! And I admit that Mac got one of his new friends to try to show me how cool he was; but, while his looks were impressive, I was comfortable with my own Windows, besides, if it ain’t broke why fix it, right.

To make matters worse, how was I to know that my beloved Windows would go through a mid-life crisis with the turning of the century and never come out of it!

First he, decided that he needed a new look and then he needed a new title and couldn’t settle on one…are you 2000 or Me? Do you even know who you are or what you want anymore? Why are you changing? What was wrong with the way we were? I was happy! Oh, sure I changed the desktop and background from time to time, but, I didn’t get all mid-life crisis on you just cause the 1900’s became the 2000’s! Oh, no you had to go and throw it all away! All the hard work and the building up and the years of ups and downs. So I let you have your wild ride for a few years until you stopped supporting my (XP)memories of the way things used to be!

Then you got all security conscious and protective with your Vista! So we did nothing but fight. I begged and pleaded and finally you said you saw the light and gave me 7! I could see the effort (at least I thought it was sincere at the time) and compromised that while it was not my beloved XP, it at least was not Vista. So we created a fragile balance of co-existence until you decided that we need a WHOLE NEW EVERYTHING!

So what do you do…..BOOM here’s 8, slamming through the fragile peace like Johnny through the bathroom door! I cannot find anything! I cannot change much of anything! All my favorite parts are gone and nothing is the way I like it! What happened to the WE in this relationship…..when did it become all about YOU!!! Oh, that’s right way back when you bullied all the hardware makers to ONLY load your OS on their mass produced products and I didn’t balk cause I was happy back then and I trusted you to like me happy! Instead I now have a tyrant telling me that I am happy cause you say so! NO! NO! NO! I am NOT happy!

So I pack my bags and hand you divorce papers and what do you do… promise me to make it all right and to do it for FREE! For my loyalty you give me 10! You tell me that you have super improved it for my ease of use and syncing and that EVERYTHING you do, you do for ME and my joy! But, what you have done is built me a golden cage! You track my every move! You watch my every moment! You force updates and installs against my will! With you No doesn’t mean no, it doesn’t even mean wait, stop, think about it, promise me more….it means yes to you. No matter how much I screamed NO! DON’T! STOP! You are killing us! You kept right on……

but, I had heard rumors of a hero in the night….

I dug in my memories for those whispers in the dark. Those breathy comments by the rebels of the web! Linux was the name….but, it seemed so strange and foreign, it looked so alien and complex. What was a girl to do?

I decided it couldn’t hurt to look, right? I mean I was in a broken relationship with NO hope, the worst place I could be, so what did I have to lose? Besides, I had always had that part of me that walked on the darkside; just cause I had been a longtime Windows OS girl didn’t mean that I was a total Microsoft mistress. No, in fact, I had always loved those Open Source guys! They knew how to give a girl what she wanted and more and usually always for FREE!

So I took a walk down Linux lane looking for my new beau and what did I find??? I found more options than I could count and more looks and styles than a 5th Ave Fashion Week! WOW! What had I been missing? How do you pick? How do you choose? I was dizzy from all the options; but, I was determined cause once a girl looses hope in her guy…..she has no option but to find a new hero! So I read and read and read some more….

I read and watched more reviews and compares and contrasts than there are sports teams in the US! And slowly and surely I weeded out the ones too techy for me and the ones too Mac’y for me. I listed all my must haves and then the extras that would melt my heart… my short list came down to finally 2 ……. Mint and Zorin……and I will give each their due coming up……. see who wins my heart and who gets my system for keeps or at least for right now!

UPS Trumps NSA

What can BROWN do for you? 

We have all heard the slogan from the UPS ads trying to encourage us to use the shipping company for ALL our logistical needs. UPS seems to be the shipper of choice with most companies that have online services and thus have to deliver products nation wide or farther. As many others, I have had UPS knock on my door more times than I can count.

Ignored warnings:
A few years ago there was some bad press with statements and even videos about drivers with UPS (and FedX also) throwing packages over fences and other not so professional deliveries. It seemed that both companies cleaned up their act. That being said I can personally attest to the fact that customers are not their first priority, nor do they have 100% completion of their shipping promises. Couple Christmases ago we ordered a gift that we paid to be guaranteed delivered by Christmas Eve. The tracking site said that Christmas Eve morning the package was on the truck and ‘out for delivery’….. yet the delivery NEVER came on Christmas Eve, it did however come the day after. No apologies, no excuses, nothing on how it got put on the truck yet never delivered.

Present day……

I recently ordered some shipments from companies online, I was not given a choice about shipping company, so the orders were shipped UPS. At this point I had NO issues with that arrangement. However, my hours can be some what irregular, so I decided that I would take old advice from UPS from the holiday to have a “MyUPS” profile and then could schedule drop offs or electronically sign for deliveries and give permission for package drop off if I’m not home.

Sounds like a great idea, right???? I thought so too. So, when I saw that packages were on their way and scheduled to arrive when I wasn’t sure I would be home, I clicked to sign up for a profile. I provided my name and address and email and expected an email for verification. I got a ‘Welcome to MyUPS’ email but nothing about verifying my account, back to the site tab to see what it would say, it showed step 2, verification…cool, I’m almost set……WTF!!!!!

Complete and total shock!! Absolute disbelief!! How? Where? Are you kidding me?!?!?!

MyUPS verification is 3 ‘security’ questions, doesn’t sound that bad, does it, lots of sites let you chose security questions for verification if you lose your password, and on those sites you pick the questions and then TYPE in your answer. That is not how UPS works……

UPS has either compiled or paid for access to some database somewhere that claims to have information apparently on EVERY person in the USA! Comprehensive information, information that is vast and goes back decades into a person’s life. Information that you have NOT given to them or given them permission to maintain on you!

There is absolutely NO sense of morality or presence of anything resembling ethics in the Board Room of UPS. Without any regard to a persons right to privacy or welfare, UPS randomly and without any conscious of damage they might do to their customers violates individuals’ right to privacy by asking questions that names names of third persons that may or may not be related to you that you according to their data has or had some ‘relationship’ with you in the past.

Did their Legal Department even look at this policy/procedure before it was implemented? If their access and irresponsible use of basically what appears to be complete and comprehensive histories of every ‘American’, maybe even every person on the planet, or at least in EVERY country that UPS does business, isn’t illegal, it should be and at least is totally cruel and callous.

Let me give generic examples, ones that UPS’ Legal team should have presented from the start;

Question 1: In what state did you and XXXX XXXXX last reside together
you are then provided with multiple choice answers
Question 2: In what city did you and XXXX XXXXX (same name as question 1) last reside together
again you are provided with multiple choice answers
Question 3: In what month was ZZZZZ ZZZZZ born
yes, more multiple choice answers

Now those of you who have never had any bad experiences or relationships and are lucky enough to have had a fairy tale rainbow life might think so what is the big deal………

What if you were in the most perfect relationship and XXXXX was that person and some awful tragedy ended their life and you were devastated. You spent years in therapy and moved to a new place and have finally accepted the loss and moved forward……. Until you won’t be home to receive a delivery from UPS!
SLAM, UPS wants you to relieve that loss just to get your package!

What if you were in an abusive relationship and XXXXX was that abuser and now 10+ years later when you finally don’t wake up from nightmares, don’t jump every time the phone rings or someone knocks at the door and you feel like a normal regular person…….But you need to schedule a delivery!
NOPE, UPS has just thrown that nightmare right back in your face!

What if your uncle/aunt, who is ZZZZZ, was the person that raised you after your parents death and was the most dear person in your life and they died last year and you are still grieving and you need UPS to leave a box on the porch…..
ONLY IF, you tell UPS when their birthday is!

What if you were molested by a family member, someone you never had any legal or credit interactions with EVER and that is ZZZZZ? Where is UPS’ compassion that you spent years in therapy and moved 3000 miles away and started over again just to have them ask you when that jerk’s birthday is?
SORRY, NOT! UPS doesn’t care about that they have to verify for delivery!

ALL this just to know that package will be delivered between 2 and 5 instead of on Monday.
ALL this just to ask UPS to leave the package at the door.
ALL this to just electronically sign for a package.

And on top of the mental duress that UPS willingly and knowingly puts it customers under, their information in their data base is not 100% accurate, so if you actually ‘man-up’ to their abuse, your answer about where you lived last might not be their ‘right’ answer and then what? Does UPS expect you to strip your life history bare just to receive a box???
Yet, UPS lets anyone who answers the door at an address take a package and or sign whatever name for package, WITHOUT verification!!!

Suffice it to say, I will NEVER willingly do business with UPS ever again. I might also change which online businesses I conduct other business with if they cannot offer me other options rather than UPS. Don’t worry UPS, I will tell those companies that I drop that they were dropped cause they conduct business with YOU!

As of now, UPS is declared persona non grada in my business!

This isn’t Nazi Germany, yet

Obama White House Lawn Press Conference
“You can’t have 100% security and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience. We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.” -President Obama on NSA surveillance controversy

This concept that the world can and should be 100% secure is ludicrous. Life is not suppose to be without risk or pain or hurt. As the saying goes you cannot have a rainbow without some rain. It is amazing that Americans have become so complacent and straight up lazy that the normal expectation is that the government is responsible for your safety always and that giving up your freedoms and rights that our fore-fathers gave their lives for means so very little now. Benjamin Franklin along with all the other founding fathers are rolling over in their graves and shedding tears of anguish and disappointment. The founding fathers knew that to keep a country free the primary and necessary ingredient was active, informed, involved and motivated citizens. It is this understanding that is the basis for the most famous words “of the people, by the people, for the people.” While most Americans seem to be all about for the people when the person is themselves they seem to have lost the other two parts of the foundation. With knowledge and wisdom our founding fathers in the writing of the Constitution insured that we were to always have the means to keep the government in line.

Apparently our lovely education system is failing in its goal of educating our citizens to take their place in this country as active and informed members of society that keeps our government limited and in check. Of course that is because the public education system in this country is by design and method trying to create socialist subjects of a corrupt, ever expanding government. But that is fodder for a whole other post. Back on track the Constitution was written in a way to limit the federal government. Yes, I am telling you that it a fact, the federal government is supposed to limited. That is to ensure that we never become subjects again but always remain citizens. The preamble of the Constitution states our duties and responsibilities as citizens. Yes, we as citizens have duties and responsibilities and very few of us live up to those responsibilities. As a means for us, the citizens, to fulfill our duties we were given the method and means by which to keep the government in check. They are known as the Bill Of Rights. And there is NEVER a good reason to limit those rights. Once you allow those rights to be limited, especially for the sake of security, you have given up both your rights and your security. The difference is that if you give those rights to the government and not keep them for yourselves then you have just made the whole country weaker and you have helped in the corruption of the government and started the rotting process. When this country fails, you need to stand up tall and proud and say, “Yes, this is my work, this is what I have helped to create.” When your family members are imprisoned for something stupid, do not get upset, remember you wanted your government to keep you 100% safe. When you cannot go to your local library or bookstore and pick up any book of your choice you should feel happy in the realization that you are being protected by your government. When you see nothing bad about the government in the news, cheer for joy cause you wanted to be taken care of like a serf instead of stepping up and acting like a free man.

There are some of you that are reading this and saying, that would never happen here. You sound like the Germans of the 1920’s and 30’s. It can and will happen as long as you ignore your duty and responsibilities to yourself, your family and your country. The only thing that evil needs to flourish is for good men to do nothing. That is exactly what happened in Germany with Hitler. He was charismatic and had all the answers and promised to restore the glory of Germany and to create a job for everyone. He promised to create a perfect, safe society where everyone would go to school, have a job, have a home, be fed. And he started by growing the government to create jobs and then in the schools he taught only what he wanted the children to know and created a subject population that was completely loyal to him. Then he instigated gun registration “for the safety of the society” and created a nation where anyone could be jailed or removed for the most insignificant of offenses. He encouraged neighbors to not be involved but to spy and rat on their neighbors. He created division between the sub-cultures that made up German society. He kept people so focused on little details that even outsiders missed the grand plan until it was too late.
The smart members of society see these same things happening in the name of security and are speaking out and of course the government is going to call them crazy and paranoid, they do not want the masses to see the truth. They want the masses to be so focused on the next new gadget that you just HAVE TO HAVE or else you are no one, so that they can further watch you and control you and label you and know when they will need to contain you. Welcome to 1984 and you have NO ONE to blame, you asked and begged the government to take away your rights and to enslave you, so do not cry out in despair when you are taken away in shackles or when your children are the ones that have turned you in. For you were too busy with your petty money and things collecting to be bothered with being involved in your community and being responsible for your rights and the rights of your family. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AND YOUR FAULT! YOU CANNOT SAY YOU DID NOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN! YOU DID! Doing nothing is more damaging than doing the wrong thing this time.