Has Google Earth Destroyed the Aerial Photography Business?

Google Earth is a great resource, and yet one of the most controversial things online. Mostly due to the fact that people enjoy their privacy, and do not like aerial pictures of their properties; they find it intrusive. So too, do many governments of the world, some of which are trying to hide things, others that are trying to keep various assets safe, and some that are definitely rogue nations with something to hide.

Drug Dealers despise Google-Earth big time and do not wish to have their lavish estates photographed, and very wealthy, but very honest individuals would like to leave well enough alone, and do not wish to engage the Internet Surfing version of the paparazzi. Indeed, everyone, including the innocent and the not so innocent has at least some apprehension about Google-Earth.

Most would agree that even so, it is a good tool to have and it keeps large corporations, governments, and others honest with regards to the environmental concerns and what they are up too. Most folks believe in transparency, and nothing could be more transparent than an aerial photo. Of course, with every new type of technology that is brought to the public, it will send shock waves to the old way of doing things, and this one has definitely sent a sonic boom to those who specialize in Aerial Photography.

Not many people are aware of this, and indeed, the only reason I am is that before retirement, I was a big consumer of aerial photographs, over lays, maps, and such. We used them when strategically looking for clientele and planning our marketing plans within a city or target zone. A full size aerial map could costs $100s of dollars, and we spent 10s of thousands of dollars on them each quarter.

Real Estate Developers, land speculators, civil engineers, large corporations, and government entities were also very big consumers of aerial-maps. Aerial Photography Companies made over half their money this way, while also taking specialty photos while flying over the homes, buildings, and areas for a specific consumer.

Since 50% or more of their income was aerial map type photographs most of them have gone out of business now. Often it was a couple of people and an airplane owner, and a nice little small business. Generally, there was one in every county in the US and 2 or more in every major city.

Today it is difficult to find such specialists, and it is rather unfortunate, but indeed, this is the price of progress, so please consider this.

How to Secure your Computer Systems – 10 Tips for Small Business Owners

As a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator, a Certified Computer Forensics Specialist, Network
and Security Consultant, Software Developer, and Data Recovery Expert, my passion for technology
is undeniable. I also enjoy helping people, especially when it comes to my passion. This white paper
is centered on 10 important points to keep your computer systems secure.

1. Make sure that your password is secure.
This means any passwords in use should have some degree of complexity. A common standard for
secure passwords is to have a minimum of 8 characters, and be a mixture of letters, numbers and
symbols. For example, the user Jane Smith could use a password similar to Ja$mith1, providing a
good amount of complexity and very easy to remember. The symbol: $ can be used instead of s or S,
@ can be used instead of a or A, even 0 can be used instead of o or O.

2. As the Business Owner or as a Partner you should not hand your password to anyone, nor should you
write it down and leave it in your work environment or office.

3. Confidential information located on your network should be restricted and only allow access to the
appropriate individuals. Make sure you test the access rights or delegate this to a trusted individual.

4. Your personal computer should be password protected and automatically enable password protection
if the computer system has not been utilized for several minutes, this will prevent anyone from
snooping around on your computer while you are in the restroom or on a lunch break.

5. All Computers in your office should have Anti-virus software installed. Commercial products such as
Symantec Antivirus http://www.symantec.com or free software such as provided from Grisoft

6. All Computers in your office should also have Anti-spyware software installed.
This will help to keep your computer clean from other malicious programs on the internet that could
generate pop ups, capture confidential information, and slow down your computer system tremendously.
Commercial Anti-spyware programs such as Spyware Doctor from PC Tools can be found at
http://www.pctools.com. Free Anti Spyware programs such as Microsoft Windows Defender can be found
at http://www.microsoft.com and Adaware at http://www.lavasoft.com.

7. Keep your systems updated.
Microsoft provides an update feature that can be accessed from within Windows. It is used to update the
computer system with new improvements and security fixes. It is generally located under “All Programs”,
then click on the “start menu” to find “Windows Update”. If you are unable to locate the “Windows
Updates”, then updates can also be accessed directly from the Microsoft webpage.
http://www.microsoft.com. The same principle applies to other computer operating systems such as Apple
and Linux.

8. It is a very good idea to implement a Firewall.
There are two types of Firewalls: Hardware-based and Software-based. Your Firewall of choice depends
on the size of your organization. If you have less than 10 computer systems, I would recommend using a
Software-based Firewall on all of the computer systems. A commercial Firewall such as Zone Alarm Pro
can be found at http://www.zonelabs.com. Windows XP also has a built-in Firewall that can be utilized.
Hardware-based Firewalls vary depending on the size of your organization and the level of sophistication
desired. A good Firewall for Small Businesses is the TZ 170 from Sonic Wall http://www.sonicwall.com.
This Firewall is optimal for organization of 10 – 40 users.

9. Storing company information on USB Sticks to work on information at home, is the biggest most recent
trend. Make sure your company has a policy that specifies if such devices can be used and more
importantly to what degree.

10. Remote access tools such as Remote Desktop or PC Anywhere should be used with caution, given
open doors to your computer system and to your network.
Cyber criminals are attacking more and more Small Businesses assuming they are easy to bait.

Use these
tips to improve the security of your computers, your data and to counter cyber crime.

Future Supersonic Aircraft With No Sonic Boom – Noise Cancelling or Noise Suppression?

Well, over the last few months I have returned to the subject of silent flying aircraft. Back in 2000, I hypothesized many different strategies for creating aircraft which make no noise – even jet aircraft which could cancel out a sonic boom, and prevent any of the jet turbine noise from waking people up as they took off over the city. This future reality is coming to fruition very soon, that is to say future supersonic aircraft with no sonic boom. Indeed I’d like to discuss this with you for a moment if you have the time.

Recently, there was an interesting piece on this topic, as Gizmag online had a cool feature recently titled; “Futuristic Biplane Design Eliminates Sonic Boom,” by James Holloway, published on March 19, 2012. The article with artist’s conceptions stated;

“A first boom is caused by the rapid compression of air at the front of the plane, literally pushed together by the aircraft. A second is caused by the negative pressure left in the plane’s wake – or rather, the rapid return to normal pressure that follows soon after. Though the two booms separate phenomena, they occur so close together that they are usually perceived as a single sound. An aircraft in supersonic flight creates a continual boom as it goes.”

If you go to the MIT Media website and search for this press release: “A biplane to break the sound barrier – Cheaper, quieter and fuel-efficient biplanes could put supersonic travel on the horizon,” by Jenifer Chu published on March 15, 2012 you can read all about it.

Well, a dual swept flying winged biplane which was properly aerodynamically configured could indeed accomplish this. It’s not that the sonic boom would go away rather it’s that the sonic boom could not escape, and that sound could not travel to other people in ear shot. Would it costs too much to build an aircraft like this; perhaps not because instead of one large wing, it would have two smaller ones. In fact, it is a decent design for efficiency on the flight ramp due to its short wing span, and if scaled down, it might even make a nice little fighter aircraft. Scaled up of course, it can be used for a corporate business jet or even an airliner. Perhaps even in an air cargo aircraft configuration.

There seems to be many ways to solve this problem of trapping a sonic boom, or using noise canceling strategies. This is merely one, and although this aircraft may never be built, it does include some rather ingenious and creative thinking. Perhaps one should be built, or several as prototypes for no other reason than to see what we can learn. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.