Sunday

Happy Earth Day #48

It surprised me to learn that Earth Day is almost 50 years old - I confess I was largely unaware of the existence of Earth Day until probably 10 or 15 years ago.

I suppose Earth Day could be thought of as our society's equivalent of the parental admonition to "go pick up your room!". We tend to leave a lot of stuff laying around as we scurry back and forth as part of our day to day existence.

Logically, we should all be environmentalists - maybe not the "I'm-going-to-chain-my-naked-body-to-that-bulldozer" version, but at least the "I'll-save-that-happy-meal-bag-till-the-next-trashcan-and-not-fling-it-out-the-car-window" one.

Plant a tree, be at least a little aware of how much water and power you use - less is better in the big picture. Help clean up your neighborhood - or even just your own back yard. Recycle that old tire, or that gallon jug of dirty motor oil that's been in the corner of your garage since the last time you did an oil change yourself.

Everyone can do a little, and should. A lot of "littles" make a lot. There's an old Scottish proverb about that: "Mony a mickle maks a muckle!".

The Earth gives us everything; we can each spare it a little of our time, effort and consideration.


Sunday

What About A VPN?

VPN - it's another geeky-sounding TLA (Three Letter Acronym) that seems to throw a lot of everyday computer users into confusion. So what does it mean for you?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a method of masking or obscuring your Internet activity. Available to us mere mortals in the form of software, it can help hide both your public IP address (indicating essentially who you are and where you are) and the actual content of your Internet traffic.

The Cliffs Notes version is that, instead of your Internet connection taking you directly to a website (gray dotted line below), it travels first through an encrypted (scrambled) "tunnel" to a VPN service (red line below), where it then goes to the website.

Click to enlarge