How to use Zello, the Walkie-Talkie App people are Downloading Ahead of Hurricane Florence

If Hurricane Florence is coming to your area, you need to download Zello in your smartphone. Details may be found in an article by Avery Hartmans in the Business Insider web site at:

Also, see the earlier articles about Zello published here in the PrivacyBlog by starting at:

Cajun Navy, Houstonians are Preparing to Respond to Louisiana during and after Tropical Storm Gordon

This article isn’t about privacy, but I will suggest it does show an example of people being prepared for an emergency. Are you prepared?

On March 30, I published an article entitled, The Zello App Can Help Save Lives During Major Storms and Has Many Others Uses Also. Click here to read the earlier article. In that article, I described why I think everyone should have the Zello walkie-talkie app installed on their cell phones. This is especially true for anyone who lives in areas where hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, forest fires, and similar disasters happen frequently.

The people of Louisiana and the Cajun Navy did step up to help Houston in 2017 during Hurricane Harvey. And now, with Tropical Storm Gordon swirling in the Gulf of Mexico, headed towards Louisiana again, Houstonians are keeping an eye on the radar in case Louisiana needs help recovering after the rainfall. Several communication channels titled with a variation of the ‘Cajun Navy’ are now listed on Zello- a cellphone app that allows users to communicate like they would via walkie talkie.

You can read more at:

The Cajun Navy Deploys Modern Technology to Assist a Louisiana Family

I have written before about the Zello app and its use by the Cajun Navy. You can see my earlier article, The Zello App Can Help Save Lives During Major Storms and Has Many Others Uses Also, at Now Todd Terrell, Admiral of the United Cajun Navy and head of the non-profit organization bearing the same name, was recently called to action when a 32-year-old woman from his hometown of Baton Rouge disappeared in Lake Pontchartrain off the coast of New Orleans.

The story did not have a happy ending but nonetheless proved the worth of the communications app Zello and of non-profit search-and-rescue organizations, such as the Cajun Navy. You might want to read my earlier article at and then read the latest update at:

Facebook Sold Our Privacy For A Quick Buck, How Can Blockchain Help?

From an article by Jim Preissler in Forbes:

“With the recent revelation that Russia may be still trying to influence U.S. elections, and Facebook announcing that there are ongoing attempts to target its users with “fake news” using fake accounts, it is clear that this ongoing social manipulation is not going away any time soon. Facebook sold not only our privacy but also our electoral future in order to enrich themselves. The impact of these indiscretions have materialized in weaker user and advertising growth. and the market has consequently punished the stock in the largest selloff in corporate history.”


“Every bit of data about you is for sale via traditional marketing databases and the hacked data sets. This includes address, email, home phone, cell phone, passwords, names and ages of your children, social security numbers, where you work, what you like to buy, possible political affiliations, religion, your income, shows and music you like, and the list goes on to give a very complete picture of the vast majority of the U.S. population. When combined, the data set on almost every individual is extensive, complete and frightening. In unfriendly hands, it is powerful and dangerous.”

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Are You Carrying any Cash with You Right Now? If So, Why?

Are you still using cash most every day? If so, you may soon find yourself in a minority.

More and more businesses are refusing cash and for good reasons. Keeping cash in a store register creates a lot of expense and wasted effort for merchants: employee training, banking fees, armored-truck pickups, and the occasional robbery. For these reasons and more, a few merchants no longer accept cash and that trend is increasing.

For individuals, the danger of a robbery also exists but probably the more common reason for not carrying cash is simple convenience. Most everyone these days carries a credit or debit card. Handing a piece of plastic to a retail clerk is easier and safer than paying with cash and then dealing with the change returned from a cash payment. For those of us who travel internationally, the use of a debit or credit card is not only convenient; it also saves a lot of money in foreign exchange fees.

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If You Can Quit Social Media, But Don’t, then You’re Part of the Problem

Jaron Lanier is a VR pioneer and longtime technology critic who currently works at Microsoft Research. He’s the author of a new book, 10 Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now and explains why those who have the opportunity to quit platforms like Facebook and Twitter should do so. He compares the problem to past crusades against “mass addictions” like smoking or drunk driving, arguing that hearing more voices from people who are outside of the addiction may be the most helpful way to turn the tide.

“You’re not doing anything to free those who are more trapped. You’re only enslaving them more by entrenching the system.”

I don’t agree with everything stated in the article by Eric Johnson but a lot of it seems to simply be common sense. You can read it for yourself at

Amazon Facial Recognition Tool Mismatched Congress Members to Criminals’ Mugshots

After reading an article by Brandy Betz in the SeekingAlpha web site, I am not as worried by facial recognition as I used to be. It seems that today’s best facial recognition software isn’t very accurate.

Amazon’s facial recognition tool Rekognition wrongly identified 28 Congress members as police suspects in a test conducted by the ACLU.

I’ll skip over the irony that members of Congress were identified as criminals… This test only looked at their faces, not their financial records.

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