Life

How much does Facebook know about you and how you can find out? (Kinda)

After the recent data breach scandal that exposed Facebook and how a data analytical company harvested information from upwards of 50 million Facebook users is truly hard to comprehend in today's times! (or is it?!)

To be honest and this is just my personal opinion, we are all have been compromised a long time back and this leak is nothing new. Remember Edward Snowden back in 2013 exposing the ways of the US government of tracking their citizens and I honestly believe this is true for most governments all over the world. If you have a phone and a computer, no matter how careful you are if they want to know about you, trust me they will! So though this data breach is truly overwhelming, not so much in terms of how they did it but how a pretty big company like Facebook could let that happen. I mean they constantly kept reminding us on how they take user privacy seriously, but apparently they don't! (and I know Mark Zuckerberg is "sorry")

This phase will pass and some month's down the line we will forget all this ever happened and get on with sharing information like we always do. If I can speak for myself, I had deleted the Facebook app from my phone some month's back, not because I wanted to stop them from spying on me but I just found myself randomly scrolling and looking at people's life without any aim and that got to me. its not that i don't use Facebook anymore, I do but ever since i have got it off my phone, I noticed I am not that interested anymore. Like they say out of sight, out of mind!

So if you want to know how much Facebook knows about you, here is what you can do. Open your Facebook account on a computer and click on settings on the top right and download your Facebook archive and have a look at that. The most disturbing thing I found out that, they have all the phone numbers of my contact list on my phone! (Now imagine that being exploited by someone). Like I have said earlier in this post, we all have been compromised the moment we signed up for using the internet and now its all in the open!

Here is how you download your Facebook archive..

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Also, while you are at this try and have a look at all the APPS that have access to your Facebook profile and if you think some of them don't really need access, then remove them so that going forward they will not be able to get your information, although they already have what they need!

PS: Remember Facebook owns Whatsapp! (some food for thought!)

I deleted the Facebook app from my phone - Best thing ever!

So, its been about three weeks I guess since I deleted the Facebook app from my phone as a random decision. (Well not really, it was "inspired" by my wife as she had done the same thing a few days before me!). At first it did feel odd trying to browse Facebook, when I wanted using the Safari browser on my iphone. i must say the experience isn't smooth and a bit clunky. So anyway, the only time I would actually be on Facebook would be at night on my ipad, which by the way still has the app or from my imac at home. But slowly that habit started going away and I for days would'nt check Facebook at all and even if I did, it would be for like 5-10 minutes and then get bored of the experience and close it.

I am in no way trying to bring down the experience of Facebook in general or trying to say other's should follow the same path, its just something I tried and its working out pretty well for me. I wasn't the most active person on Facebook anyway when I used it heavily, the most activity I would have is when I uploaded one of my short films, but other than that I was a random browser on Facebook.

So yea, its hard to imagine how by removing something from your phone, eventually makes you forget things. Its also really scary, how we all are dependant on our phones in our daily life. Ofcourse it has numerous benefits but the pitfalls and also greater! So yea, I am now almost Facebook free and I intend to keep it that way for sometime! (I hope)

-Alstar

Making a new short....

Its been almost close to 3 years since I made my last short and that is why I am super excited about the current one that I am shooting. I haven't shot or even attempted to do anything during this period and I need to get into the movie mode! I haven't forgotten the process of making a short but somehow this time it seems like a daunting  task maybe coz its been quite a while.

Currently I am only able to shoot on weekends because of time contraints and the fact I am generally never happy with my shots and I redo them so very often adds to be delay! So its like 30% complete and I still have quite a bit to shoot and I am hoping I get it done soon.

It's again a horror genre, somehow I cant think about making anything else so lets see how it pans out. Also for the first time I am using a full frame camera to shoot and I am only using the 50mm cannon lens for the entire movie.

I am guessing in a couple of weeks I should be done with all the shooting and then the editing and the sound design will come in which honestly is a litter easier than the actual shoot (at-least in my opinion). 

-Alstar

Moving to a full frame camera! --- Cannon 6D

Ah finally after all these years of shooting video with my awesome cannon T2i which is still a bloody good camera for the price I got in for.. I am moving to my first full frame camera the "Cannon 6D". Now I thought about this real hard because this is my camera upgrade after like 3 years so I wanted to be sure.

There were couple of factors that drove me into buying this camera out of which the main one was the price... If you ask me I would love to buy a Panasonic GH4 or Sony A7S but since I was on a tight budget and wanted to buy a full frame camera at this point I choose the Cannon 6D. The reviews on for this camera are pretty impressive and its being compared to the Cannon 5D Mark III with regards to its video capability and sharpness but having said that I know that Mark III is a more well rounded professional camera when it comes to video.

Speaking of video that is the only thing I use my DSLR for since that is the norm in today's world of independent short films isn't it.. I already have a Cannon 50mm 1.4 lens with me which I might end up using on this new Cannon 6D but other than that my old Tamron lens will not work coz its mainly for crop sensor cameras.Still not sure what I am going to do with my old T2i and the Tamron 17-50mm.. I might sell it and see how much I get and then invest that into buying a new lens..

So anyway for now I am pretty satisfied with my decesion and as I use it going forward I am sure I am going to love it!

-Alstar

A new chapter...

I should have mentioned this a while back but laziness had the better off me until now! Alright after being jobless for about over a month something finally came through and it is even better than the previous job I had....

I have accepted an offer from a company called Atkins as an Infrastructure Engineer in the IT department. All I can say at the moment is that the learning experience in this role is going to be immense and I am glad that this one clicked, I am tentatively scheduled to join the team in Dubai towards the end of this month as I am waiting for my work visa to be issued by the labour department in UAE. Also since the job is again going to be in Dubai (a city that I love!) on a personal front I am happy that things are going to seem familiar and I cannot wait to get back!

So all in all lets see what this holds in store and I hope I have a long relationship with this company and continue to do what I love doing!!

-Alstar