Support SaysBrad
  • (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    Anker

    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

  • Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen

    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Artic Silver

    If you’re having problems with your Adonit Jot capacitive touch stylus or Hex3 Jaja, you can improve its performance and reliability with careful application of thermal paste! For more on this, check out my capacitive touch stylus how-to fix-it guide. Months later (Sep 2013), my styli are still performing great!

  • Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot with Pixelpoint, works with a lot of new drawing apps on iPad.

  • Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen

    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

  • Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Studio Neat

    Awesome capacitive touch stylus created by Studio Neat. Great guys, great product. I use mine every day! Bradtastic Approved.

  • Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot Pro is an awesome capacitive touch stylus for iPad & other tablets.

  • Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    FiftyThree

    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

  • Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Sportsman Supply Inc.

    Playing Cards for your password creation or poker game!

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Entries in nsa (5)

Monday
Sep222014

Government can’t crack your iPhone? Don’t be so sure.

I was thrilled when I heard the recent Apple and Google announcements about privacy and government proof encryption…

At first.

So the government can no longer go to Apple and ask for some workaround to get into your seized iPhone or iPad. If you learned anything from Edward Snowden, you know that our government will stop at nothing to learn everything it can about you.

Why would they care, you might ask; why would they bother? Because they can, and no one is stopping them. When libertarian groups, Tea Party members and environmentalists are classified as radicals, how many degrees away are you from someone the government really doesn’t trust? When was the last time you knowingly broke the law, and how can you be sure that you’re completely law-abiding with so many on the books?

So now Apple has a new selling point. We won’t give the government access to your information, because we can’t. Unless it’s on the cloud.

But what about Touch ID?

TouchID is a fantastic feature that makes using the iPhone so much easier. Unlock the device by pressing and holding your finger on the home button. Make purchases in the App Store or iTunes without typing in your password each time. Doesn’t seem like much; maybe it saves ten minutes per year if you use your phone a lot, but really, it’s about user experience. It takes a little stress out of the device.

But if you’re arrested, the police take your fingerprints, don’t they? Now why couldn’t they use that to get into your phone after they have that warrant?

TouchID is a capacitive imaging device, not a normal optical scanner, so it’s a bit trickier faking it, but it’s hardly impossible.

Bottom line: don’t put anything incriminating on your phone or in the cloud, and don’t permit yourself a false sense of security, that you’re safe because Apple won’t share your secrets. They’ll take what they want, when they want it. And you should be concerned.

Thursday
Jul112013

Caught in the wake

Hey everyone! I'm hoping to have the energy to update this weekend; I'll mention it via Twitter (@bradtastic) and Says Brad Facebook if I do. Despite being my personal blog, (for reasons unbeknownst to me) I'm compelled to be more formal and diligent with these updates. My personal fb is much more casual and inelegant — and as such, updated regularly.

I've also been working on my pinning skills, curating my Pinterest board and Instagram with interesting things (My Instagram is mostly Oakland views). Also, trying to figure out what to do with my Says Brad Tumblr — I don't use it as much as posting from iOS isn't that convenient, and frankly, I'm not sure what to do with it. Mostly, it's spillover for art and links, YouTube videos that I think are neat and reposts from some amazing illustrators and photographers.

Details

I've been very concerned about US politics and current events — gun control, IRS & Obamacare, Stolen Valor, GMOs, George Zimmerman trial, Edward Snowden & the NSA, spying and the Espionage Act, our Constitution and Amendments under attack, foreign relations and military spending. Liberals may disagree with my political views (economically conservative Republican/Libertarian hybrid), but their concerns should be the same as mine — are our freedoms being stripped away under the guise of security and protecting the lower and middle-class?

I try to stay informed and objective by taking in news from various sources, from MSNBC, NYTimes and Huffington Post, Washington Post to New York Post, Human Events and FOX. Somewhere inbetween lies the truth. It isn't so simple with always-online, push notification 24/7 news plus Twitter feeds and Facebook memes. I don't think that many people adequately (if at all) fact check the memes they share and retweet.

It might seem strange that I, with my blog and public posts with name attached, would be so concerned about NSA (Prism + who-knows-what-else) surveillance and monitoring. Many likely see the reports and claims as paranoia, Infowars, conspiracy theories (like with former Navy SEAL UDT Governor Jesse Ventura), but the NSA has the capability and the motivations. What we post publicly is a choice — selected content — but whatever else we view or read, for the most part, should remain private. Out of context, many things can seem incriminating and dangerous.

I'm trying to sort my opinions on all of these matters so I can share my thoughts in a (somewhat) orderly fashion. Though disagreeable, dissenting views are important — the fabric and foundation of our nation, of our first amendment — through controversy and debate, we become better and stronger.

Hostility and ignorance fosters mistrust and segregation — each side thinks the other inferior. But is there truly only one right way to live? Only one right way to think? Should we lose the freedom to choose differently?

 

Clouded and consumed by these ideas and questions, it seems far to easy to slip into depression and get crushed by the magnitude of our problems. Like Millenium math problems, there's no simple solution. Perhaps there is one unified equation of everything — unfortunately, it might take forever to figure it.

Saturday
Jul062013

Post-Independence Day Post!

Hey, everyone! Did you have a good holiday? The Fourth of July is a pretty exciting day. Not just for the fireworks — the United States of America is an amazing place, despite all of the crap that goes on.

I've been busy preparing a bunch of posts for Says Brad, controversial pieces, and spent the past few days confirming Squarespace Terms of Service with their wonderful support team to make sure that my content wasn't in violation of their ToS . It isn't, so soon I'll share thoughts on violence and video games, racism, race baiting and the parallels between the Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin.

And of course, that's not all! More about the NSA and their spy capabilities, controversial laws and ways to protect your freedoms, and as always, app and game reviews, art and, well, whatever else I feel like sharing.

For more frequent updates, cool links/videos and artwork, check out my Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook page. (Also: 360/PSN/vita gamers, I'm currently playing Borderlands 2, Soul Sacrifice, and a few others — if you want to play, message rainfault and let me know who you are and how you found me! I'm also on Guild Wars 2, but less frequently this month: Bradtastic.1623)

 

Sunday
Jun162013

NSA Needs No Warrants

Rep. Jerrold Nadler has blown the lid off of something big.

Not that I didn't already know this was happening, but now there's confirmation. Naive Americans, oh-so-trusting of big government, believed that there's nothing to worry about — we're just being paranoid. Understand this:

The NSA can listen to your calls, read your email or text messages in secret, without a warrant, and that data is being stored on servers.

 

Also, President Obama could be fucking your liberty. Do you remember that movie Enemy of the State starring Will Smith? Unfortunately, this isn't a movie.

Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell indicated during a House Intelligence hearing in 2007 that the NSA's surveillance process involves "billions" of bulk communications being intercepted, analyzed, and incorporated into a database.

They can be accessed by an analyst who's part of the NSA's "workforce of thousands of people" who are "trained" annually in minimization procedures, he said. (McConnell, who had previously worked as the director of the NSA, is now vice chairman at Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden's former employer.)

If it were "a U.S. person inside the United States, now that would stimulate the system to get a warrant," McConnell told the committee. "And that is how the process would work. Now, if you have foreign intelligence data, you publish it [inside the federal government]. Because it has foreign intelligence value."

McConnell said during a separate congressional appearance around the same time that he believed the president had the constitutional authority, no matter what the law actually says, to order domestic spying without warrants.

Read the full details at CNET. Be upset. Share it with friends and family. No matter what the law actually says?! It's not that surprising. However, it is horrendous and people should be pissed.

The technology exists, why wouldn't they use it? Why wouldn't someone abuse it?

People are fallible; is it unreasonable to assume that some analyst with an axe to grind would use his power illegally? Maybe about as unreasonable as the IRS selectively targeting Conservative groups (based, in part, on keywords in the organizations' names) for audits and denying these groups tax exempt status, bankrupting law-abiding, taxpaying citizens and costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Happy Father's Day.

Sunday
Jun162013

Changes to Says Brad


Hey everyone!

In the coming days and weeks, my posts are likely to take a more serious tone. I still have some reviews planned, but there are very troubling things happening in our nation that I cannot ignore. From SOPA to Benghazi to the IRS scandal, Internet tax and NSA surveillance, I don't want to sit idly by while our future is shaped by a hideous distortion of our beliefs and values. Freedom is threatened.

I've been researching and writing about the unwarranted invasion of Americans' privacy by the NSA.

It's a very serious matter and each day, more evidence comes to light. Recent events have given us reasons to be fearful and paranoid; gun control and gun violence, rioting, international affairs and unrest, and the IRS' systematic targeting of conservative groups. And now we learn more about the intrusive nature of a shadowy government agency — and it feels like what's been revealed is only the tip of the iceberg.

Although more serious in tone than my normal content, I believe it's important to create an ongoing dialogue about our government's practices. As a friend recently mentioned, many people probably do care (about the IRS, NSA) but don't know what to do about it.

Stay informed, share the information and your opinions on it. For many people, politicking and partisan memes begin and end with the election. I think we need to hold our elected officials accountable to the high standards they claim to adhere to.