Archive for ‘Technology’

September 22, 2015 Releases App Version 6.7 — #Genealogy #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Ancestry App version 6.7

– 6.7 (click to go to App Store)

Early today (22-September-2015) — The latest version of Ancestry’s app version 6.7 was released. Now 90.5MB  in size.

The download is specific to handling images. The quality and ease of dealing with images in your smartphone was greatly improved!

September 10, 2015

Apple Bloggist — Apple Event 9-September-2015

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Yesterday you may have noticed a fair amount of Internet bandwidth and TV airtime devoted to Apple’s event. I want to do this economy a good deed. Apple did well.

How does that help? Well Apple is part of the DOW and NASDAQ and as such it affects the US Market. I know their stock (AAPL) went down yesterday about 2.12% after/during their event. I also know that todays market started down. So how did Apple and this jester help the economy? Apple announced new products. But this jester is going to tell you why what Apple announced was good.

Apple started with 15 minutes on Apple Watch. That was mostly ho-hum. But it is integral in long term. Wearables will be a more important segment of Apple’s future profits. This because we will shift our focus (in the world economies that are older) to health. Apple’s watch is only the entrée into this future product segment. Let me connect and emphasize a few other Powerpoints that you have missed. At the event Apple talked about pregnant women using their watch to collect fetal data that they could then share with the doctor. They also had a vendor (3D4Medical) during their iPad Pro presentation (which was nearly 40 minutes in length). It was a part of Apple Pencil announcement. A lot of people … ok most people laughed at this Steve-Jobsian-anachronism. Jobs hated the idea of a stylus. But mark this jester’s words that the wearables, the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil along with apps (like 3D4Medicine) are pushing Apple products into the corporate world (a new market segment for Apple). Just take a moment and realize that Microsoft was a vendor at Apple’s event, earlier in the week we heard about Apple/Cisco and last year Apple/IBM. So we can foresee that Health is a new vertical for Apple in the business world. The Apple Pencil is important in this new segment when combined with apps and a nice tablet (such as iPad Pro).

The Apple Pencil was a part of the 40 minutes of iPad Pro. Why is this more than another Apple Newton (PDA)? The Apple Pencil is important because of the accuracy  —  down to a pixel. At the time of the announcement they had not spoken of the 3D Touch (formerly known as Force Touch) which was a part of the iPhone presentation [yet to come]. Many app types will benefit not just Health apps. CAD, design, graphics will all be MUCH better on iPad and to a lesser extent the iPhone. It will also become staple of e-signatures. This jester (and I assume others) have hated e-signatures based upon on finger-touch because the accuracy was horrid and that added worry to using e-signatures. I now think e-signatures will finally become REAL. Annotations will become a bigger part of Apple’s eco-system. I think it will put pressure (pun intended) on other offerings (MS, Sanyo). So I think Apple Pencil will stick  …  assuming the price comes down from $99.

Apple TV finally got an update. It received 30-31 minutes of love at the Apple Event. Ok, we got a new remote,, Siri-Search, an SDK, plus the other iOS features (multitasking, split-screen, picture-in-a-picture) in another OS, tvOS. So now developers must know: MacOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. What we did not get was 4K support. Apple TV is still 1080p (HD). Why? The hardware in Apple TV (for which we get to pay a much higher price than Roku or Chromecast) includes 2GB RAM, HDMI 1.4, 802.11ac WiFi with MIMO, 10/100Base-T Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0 wireless, USB-C (only for service & support), A8 chip. That  HDMI 1.4  can support 4K, so why is Apple TV not supporting 4K? There is no local storage so apps have to store data in iCloud. Apps are also limited to 200MB in size. clearly storage on Apple TV is limited — hence why the USB-C is not the “hosted type” that you find on laptops whereby you can transfer a lot of storage. I assume it for  Flash-RAM/PRAM updates, but will Apple send me aUSB-C flash-drive or will I have to bring the Apple TV into the Apple Store to get these updates? So Apple TV is a bit of a miss while providing an evolutionary link to something more special.

iPhone 6s / 6s plus was the big announcement that most people were at the Apple Event to see. They devoted nearly 40 minutes to the iPhone. This jester thinks the new iPhone will be a winner. A9 chip that will be 70% (or more when an app is GPU dependent) faster. There is also 3D Touch, Touch Id(2x faster),  12 MP camera / 5MP front facing camera, auto-focus and zoom? appear to be better or at least faster,  4K Video, True Tone, Display 3x brighter,  Live Photo, LTE and WiFi (upto 2x faster) and you can now purchase or  make install payments on your new iPhone (2 year contract). Oh, iCloud is now half the cost for the same amount of storage. I think I want it all.


You can pre-order starting Saturday (9/12). iOS9 will be released Wednesday(9/16), your new iPhone 6s/6s-plus arrives Friday (9/25) .  Apple TV will be available late October (I hate these vague dates). iPad Pro will be available in November. [update]  OS XEl Capitan“, which is version 10.11 will be available, September 30.  [update]. So that is the event timeline.

Ok, since everyone is panning or bored with Apple and its offerings, I expect I will be alone when I walk into my local Apple store to purchase my new gear. Good, because this stuff will give me and my coCEO wife, Teréza an edge in many ways over our competition.


Stanczyk 8[mouse-in-wingdings-font]

P.S. A Bloggist is a blogger, apologist.

August 26, 2015 & Gannett Collaborate To Bring >80 U.S. Newspapers Online — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

GannettAncestryDateline 24-August-2015 — Two days ago this announcement / presswire was published: here . It said that more than 80 newspapers would be digitized and brought online. Now, I am thinking this will not be in, but in their other product: (thus requiring you to subscribe to two offerings).

Already this collaboration has born fruit in that Cinncinati Enquirer has 4 million pages available online. Now this jester went to Gannett’s website and saw that they have 95 U.S. newspapers (not including USA Today) covering about 2/3 of  the U.S. states. Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, California, Texas, Wisconsin have at least one newspaper each. Each archive will ultimately include every available page from the first date of publication up to about 30 days prior (to the present? or the announcement?).

This jester is waiting for the Detroit Free Press (MI) and Times Recorder Zanesville (OH) where I expect to find some ancestors in the news. They do not have a Buffalo or Philadelphia paper nor are there any newspapers in Illinois, but they cover a large swath of areas where my ancestors settled.

Gannett Michigan / Ohio Holdings:



August 24, 2015

GenBaza Is Back ! 24-August-2015 — #Genealogy #Polish

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

GenBaza Is Back 24-August-2015Dateline 24-August-2015 — GenBaza is now fully accessible again. GenPol is still not fully recovered, but at least its functionality that it provides for authenticating GenBaza allows us full access to GenBaza again!  Good Job to the tech wizards at


August 20, 2015

Historical Newspapers … #Australia — #Genealogy #Polish #Newspapers

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk was reminded this week by Flipboard genealogy blogger Kenneth R Marks (Boost Your Genealogy Research With Newspapers) — If you have not discovered this valuable resource then by all means click the link and scan his recent articles in his curated Flipboard magazine.

This week Mr. Marks’ article reminded this jester about TROVE, an Australian Historical Newspaper (and other online documents too) website.  Now I say reminded, because loyal readers may recall my article from April 2013 (From Pacanow Poland to Birchgrove …).

I like what they have done since 2013 and it appears they have been busy at TROVE. So i encourage you to take another look for your Polish ancestor.  TIP (see picture): Use advanced search, look for online resources, search the newspapers for: Naturalization Notice, Poland and check the categories: Advertising, Family Notices to see vital record notices as well as immigration/naturalization notices. This should get your a little over 8,000  articles to search through.

Here are two images of  Polish expats who immigrated to Australia post World War II:



August 8, 2015

GenBaza is not reachable because is down ! #Polish #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

GenBaza_MainGenBaza is fine. However, there is no way to see anything other than Lodz. The reason is because has had a bad crash. GenPol is used as the login/authentication method for GenBaza so we cannot reach the other databases until GenPol is fixed (a couple of weeks at least).

Check back and I will update this post when GenBaza is back.


17-August-2015 –  A few days ago, Stanczyk noticed that had updated their 503 Page (Server Outage). This lets users know that the server is down and that recovery is in progress (both English/Polish). This was important so people do not think they are just gone.


July 3, 2015

Ancestry App Version 6.6.1 — #Genealogy #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

  Ancestry App 6.6.1 

 Version 6.6.1 of ‘s App changes the UX (User Experience) in two noticeable ways:

  1. Tapping on an individual takes you immediately to the profile (not just select and alter tree branch paths)
  2. Tapping & Holding (see top image) highlights the ancestor and allows you three options:

Edit Person, View Tree (previous function of the initial tap of prior app versions), Add Relative.

 ancestry in app store 

June 9, 2015

Meet Jennifer Bailey — Apple VP of Internet Services

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk should not have been surprised. But WWDC15 surprised me early on, when Apple made a bold diversity statement by introducing us to Jennifer Bailey.

Jennifer is Apple’s VP of Internet Services. While at Apple she has worked on the Apple Store and most recently as the global manager of a global team responsible for developing Apple Pay technology. Jennifer also has the distinction of being the first woman speaker at the WWDC Keynote this year.

Previously Ms Bailey has a background that includes: Apple, SkyTel, & Go Corporation. Ms. Bailey was previously Partner and Co-founder of Spark & Kindling, a strategic marketing services firm, where she specialized in new market opportunity evaluation, market segmentation, and business plan development. Prior to Spark & Kindling, Ms. Bailey served as Senior Vice President of On-Line Services and Operations of myCFO, a financial services firm.

Kudos to Apple for progressing its diversity and promoting women in technology. Along with Jennifer Bailey, Apple also introduced us to Susan Prescott, the VP Product Marketing.

June 8, 2015

WWDC15 — Apple’s Mid-Year Developer Conference — #Technology #Apple

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Apple’s 15th WWDC was again surprising. Pity the stories last week were true, no Apple TV announcements. No other hardware announcements either. Still there was plenty of excitement and glitz and all across laptops, smartphone and even TV the bandwidth was electric with Apple announcements.

The conference started with the Mac’s OS X operating system (El Capitan).  Good Stuff and many of the changes foreshadowed what people were expecting in the mobile ecosphere for Apple.

After OS X, the klieg lights shined upon iOS 9. There will be greater emphasis on privacy and security. The 2-factor authentication will provide greater security for your Apple-ID. The privacy part is a re-iteration of Tim Cook’s pol;icy that Apple will not monetize from your personal data. It will collect, generically your personal data and keep it local on the phone, in order to provide, “Proactive Assistance”. There will be many ways that Apple provide’s this machine learning trick to aid you. For example, if you start an email, when add a person to the list of people, the pro-active assistance will suggest other people you frequently CC in your emails. A few examples of this assistance was shown. I will hold my breath and comments for when I see it work with me. I am sure it will work, do not get me wrong this is Apple. My concerns lie in will this eat bandwidth, space or be a nuisance.

Enough on machine learning. The Built-in Apps gets some love. They will be built on Metal (the API for Graphics) and the UI should be a good bit faster and maybe some overall speed improvement as well since more work should be off-loaded of the CPU to the GPU. This will of course be of interest to all who play games. Notes gets some extra features ( is it too late; I guess I still use Notes so perhaps there  are others out there too). Maps is better as well. Public transit help, nearby features improved are a couple of the new updates. There is a new Apple App … NEWS. You should think Flipboard. It will be pretty and sleek. It did remind me of Flipboard (without magazine curation).

Here some iPhone news that I was keen on:   It will use less battery, resulting in approximately 1 more hour of life per full charge, the iOS operating software will take less physical space (more room for apps, photos, music, etc.), Pic-In-Pic ability so you can minimize a video/while watching and put it in a corner of the screen while you type an email (or are tweeting?). This leads to the fact that the iOS 9 will be more multi-tasking. In fact, for you iPad users (Mac users too) you now have a split screen capability(SplitView) to have two apps running at the same time and interactive. You can also copy/paste data between the two parts of the screen (by dragging?). Keyboards will now have  shortcut bar (which even third-party keyboards can utilize).  How about bolding or underlying your text from your keyboard?

This is a Developer Conference and there was much for this geek-boy to love. Swift2 (new and improved). The Swift language will be Open Source too! In fact you will be able to program in Swift for iOS, Mac, and LINUX by the end of the year. So many new APIs: Metal, with gaming Kits, 26 APIs on the “Dev” screen, plus Pic-In-Pic, SplitView, Slide-Over, etc. 100 Billion apps download and $30 Billion paid to developers thru the App Store!

More Apple Pay (its on Discover card now) and in the UK too.  Apple Watch and Apple Watch OS got some new features. HomeKit, HealthKit, CarPlay were all represented. You know what else I was impressed with? I believe for the first time ever, Apple had two women VP’s on stage for the WWDC! Bravo to Apple for making their emphasis on diversity more visible. But you know what? Both of these ladies have been with Apple for a decade:  Jennifer Bailey VP of Internet Services and Susan Prescott VP of Product Marketing. Kudos to both of these women and to Apple.

Apple spent a lot of its, “One More Thing” time on Apple Music to close the keynote. Streaming music, $9.99 for you or $14.99 for up to five people in your family with each getting their own streaming. The Keynote ended on Apple Music and “The Weeknd” playing a new song for the crowd.  OK Internet you can breathe again. Already this conference has had an effect on markets – not Apple stock,  Pandora (down 3.81%).

I know people are going to say WWDC was underwhelming because there was no hardware and because Apple TV was a no-show. But it seems that there was an awful lot to think about across a broad spectrum of products, so I found it interesting.

May 26, 2015

Atlas of Sources & Materials of Old Poland, Part 2 — #Genealogy #Polish #History & #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

— — — — — — Diacriticals to Use (in search box):      ą   Ć  ć   ę   Ł  ł   ń   ó   Ś  ś   Ź   ź   Ż   ż

— — — — — — just copy/paste the above text characters as necessary in your search


Stanczyk, was talking about the interactive 16th century map of Polish Crown-Lands the last blog article.

We were talking specifically about a zoomed in search of Pacanów:



Now the last article mentioned:

  1. zoom / scale tool (lower left)
  2. search box (upper left which is closeable )
  3. map features like the square box being the parish, etc.

In this article I want to talk about a few more user interface / user experience (UX) elements:

  1. toolbar
  2. panel, with tabs [far right]
  3. tab, check boxes (for more details) [far right]
  4. “Materials” menu [upper right]

Here is the image (clickable) I will be addressing:


The place name search box has been hidden so we can see more of the map under the search box.


For the toolbar we find the following icons (top to bottom):

Show/Hide Panel (to show hide the layers/legend tabs), max zoom-out, previous map, next map, zoom at selection, zoom-in, zoom-out, pan,  info on selected map object, select rectangluar region to zoom in on, tool tip,  measure (distance, area), query editor, refresh map. Now I want to emphasize a few of the toolbar tools. Just hover over a toolbar icon to see the name of each tool. Click on an icon to select the desired tool (before interacting with the map).

The Show/Hide Panel tool at the top is to show or to hide the right-most area known as the Layers/Legend Panel (that contains the two tabs, “Layers” & “Legends”. This is again a way to show more of the map. I also like the Measure tool. The measure tool allows you to draw either a line or a polygon shape. Drawing a line will give you the distance between two points. Drawing a polygon will give you total area and the length around the polygon edges. To draw a line click on measure tool (3rd from bottom) and drag your mouse to the second location and double-click (to end line drawing). So if you  select the measure tool you will see an info box in lower right corner of your screen that gives the distance/area. So if you click on Pacanów and double-click on Biechów, the distance shown should be approximately 7 km (roughly 4.2 miles) between my grandfather’s village and my grandmother’s village. You can clear the distance info in the bottom corner and redraw your line(s) as necessary. The Pan tool (shown as a hand) is necessary to drag the map up or down or right or left to pan the map. You need to click on the pan tool before trying to move the map (or you will be doing whatever the last selected tool was). The last tool I wanted to mention is the, Tool Tip tool. The tool tip is a very nice tool that provides info on a village as you hover over its square/dot).

Panel / Tabs / Checkboxes

ThePanelThe Panel is the right-most part of the map and you can toggle on or off the showing of the panel via the top tool in the toolbar.  There are five layers for this 16th century map available (from the underlying data). The panel has two tabs, “Layers” and “Legend”.

Each layer has a box with a ‘+’ in it that you click on to expand (the box then contains a ‘-‘ which you click on to close). For this article we are only interested in “Ecclesiastical Borders”. This layer allows us to show the checkboxes for the boundaries for a parish or a deaconate (aka deanery) or a diocese. The two that can be most helpful for studying your ancestors are the parish boundary and/or the deaconate boundary. In the above map, I checked both parish and deaconate boundaries. Now keep in mind that these church boundaries are the way they were back in the 16th century and not for the current times and in most cases also do not match the 18th/19th centuries either. These borders can point out the relationship between nearby parishes and also show which set of villages make up a parish. Both of these visual clues are helpful to the genealogical researcher.

The checkboxes when checked show the boundary and when unchecked do not display the boundaries.

Materials Menu

MaterialsMenuThe Materials Menu  is near the upper right corner (above the map area) and it allows you to switch between collections whose data are map based. It shows the same map but the layers change to show the new details that can be displayed through the user interface.

I particularly found the “Libraries of Wislica”, “Protestant Communites 16th-18th centuries”, and “Religions / Confessions 18th century” to be VERY interesting !

Now using the Layers tab and the Info tool can be most useful. The objects on these maps open up rows of data via the info tool to show a lot of useful material that you must see to believe. This is one of the best uses of a spatial (i.e. map) user interface that I have yet seen. It may take some time to master the user interface, but I assure it is worth it if you want to go much deeper in your understanding of your family history in Poland. If you are looking for old synagogues or to find minority religious denominations that are uncommon this site is a treasure trove of help.

May 16, 2015

Atlas of Sources & Materials of Old Poland — #Genealogy #Polish #History #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk, was combing through  (aka PTG). In their discussions they mentioned a new website with an interactive map of Poland from the 16th century. That was excellent and I will discuss it this blog article and continue in the next with examples. But I decided to see what else the website had and that is how this jester go to:

Atlas of Sources and Materials for History of Old Poland

If you see the polish language version, merely click on the British flag to see English language. This site has seven assets worth perusing and examining in depth, including the interactive map of the Polish Kingdom in the 16th century (16w).

  1. Polish Territories of the Crown in the 16th century.  Spatial Database
  2. Tax Registers from the Voivodeship of Kalisz in the 16th Century
  3. Tax Registers from the Voivodeship of Poznań in the 16th Century
  4. Religions and Confessions in the Polish Crown in the 2nd half of the 18th Century
  5. The Court Records of Wschowa, 1495-1526
  6. Register of Protestant communities in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
    in the 16th-18th centuries
  7. Parish libraries of Wiślica praeposite in the second half of the 18th century


This blog is primarily about Kielce wojewodztwo (or gubernia) and some surrounding areas too. So while I dutifully inform my readers who are interested in other Polish Genealogical matters or Geographical area that there are Tax Registers for  KALISZ or POZNAN. There are also a statistical record of ALL religions in the Polish Kingdom of the 18th century (very useful for classifying your ancestral parish’s congregation or identifying a synagogue location). Likewise, the register of PROTESTANT congregations in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth for 16th-18th centuries (16w-18w). This jester did not investigate the court records … yet. Lastly,  the parish libraries of Wislica is heavy Latin lifting, so while I did peruse and find some possible future gems, I will skip this too. So I will return to the 1st item in the list, the interactive map which is a treasure for all wojewodztwa (provinces/states/voivodes).


Here is the link (using English, clicking above link will lead to an intermediate set of choices which uses Polish map):

You should see:



Let’s type ‘Pacanów’ (no quotes, and diacriticals are needed). Since it is inconvenient to enter diacriticals, you can start typing and let the software, autocomplete for you (thus supplying the necessary diacritical). Keep in mind that this what Poland looked like in the 16th century! So that is why you see Wislica ‘District’ and the Sandomierz wojewodztwo in the pop-up box — which you should promptly close . Next we need to zoom as, all you can see is the blue-green box that represents Pacanów (not the actual text). So in the lower left of your screen is the zoom tool. Click on plus 2-3 times or drag the little slider arrow or you can do as I did and enter ‘100000’ (no quotes) into Scale field at the bottom.

You should see:



Now you notice villages with green boxes (ex. Solec, Swiniary, Biechow, etc.). These are parishes that existed in the 16th century.

— — — — — — Diacritcals to Use:

ą Ćć ę Łł ń ó Śś Źź Żż


Next time we will examine the map further.


March 7, 2015

#Genealogy Technology — Ancestry App Update

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk loves using tech with genealogy to really engage  the left brain in my research (even though the right brain loves the UX). 

So I thought this being a big genealogy weekend, I’d point out Ancestry upgraded their App — a bug fix release, recommended for v6.4 users.  You will be required to download your tree again. Not a concern — just a bit of extra time. 

February 14, 2015

St. Stanislaus Cemetery — Hamilton, MERCER COUNTY, NJ — #Genealogy #Volunteer

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon


Stanczyk was taking a road trip last weekend.

I took a page out of Jonathan Shea’s book, “Going Home”. In an Appendix, he lists the Polish Cemeteries across the USA. So in a kind of RAOGK, and as a way to contribute to PGSCT&NE, I started to take pics of tombstones and transcribe the pics for an index.

In a single visit I was able to do about 40% of the cemetery. I of course, am sending my entire contribution to PGSCT&NE. But, two tombstones had pics attached to the tombstone and I admired these two tombstones so much, I also added them to FindAGrave.

#Volunteer genealogists; Its another way to collaborate.

Below is the one from the Maławski family (click to enlarge):


Marcin, Stanislawa Malawski

January 14, 2015

Marriott & The Internet … Just Wrong — #STEM #FCC #Internet #1stAmendment

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

MariottJammerThe FCC fined Marriott $600,000 for jamming their customer’s personal hotspots or tethered access to the Internet [that these customers have already paid for] and then forcing the Marriott customer to have to pay HIGH prices for Marriott Wifi/Broadband for a 2nd access to the Internet.

The Story … [HuffPost] [Slate];

You can also find this story covered by CNN and other media (TV, NewsPaper, Radio, Internet).

Marriott then Tried to Justify its Illegal Practice ––We–Encourage–Open-Internet-Access/

The Opposing View

Microsoft and Google are against this Marriott practice and so am I. Here are my reasoned legal arguments:

  1. It is a 1st Amendment Free Speech Issue – I should not have to pay for my speech [a 2nd time]. I am a blogger, but even a person on social media who comments on politics or civil issues (local, state, federal, etc.) is exercising their free speech rights (and possibly their right to peaceably assemble too).
  2. It is a Net Neutrality Issue and the FCC is setting the rules on this (not Marriott). Marriott is blocking a service that its customers / guests have already paid for in order to substitute an expensive Marriott access. How is this not equivalent to adding “toll roads” to the air-waves that are owned by all Americans. The Internet frequencies are owned by all citizens and no citizen should be allowed to block free/low-cost/private access routes and force people onto HIGH toll access routes. This appears to me to be akin to Highway Robbery. At the very  least the Marriott company is acting as a TROLL to limit access to their bridge (by destroying all other local bridges) by forcing the paying of extortionate rates.
  3. Why should any business be allowed to block or jam personal access to the Internet? Doesn’t that set a precedent that private companies can take away 1st Amendment rights at public venues? Do we now have to pay for our access to the Bill of Rights? Only the military or police should be allowed to do this and only in specific rules of engagement for security or safety issues or government or courts as punishments to criminals using the public airwaves (i.e. the Internet) to spread hate-speech, incite violence, and other harmful intent actions etc. Things that are NOT covered by Free Speech  could/should be “jammed”.
  4. Businesses can still use their own networks and give/deny access to their computer resources or ” private clouds” and maintain security. But a personal hotspot or tethering is NOT a security issue as this is a customer / guest’s private network and does not access or connect to the Marriott network. Marriott would still be allowed to deny access to their networks or private clouds by anyone else’s networks.
  5. I also think local building codes need to be updated that using materials that block the Internet access in public venues (concert halls, conference centers, etc.) not be allowed. We already have IP (Intellectual Property) laws to protect copyright materials, like shows, concerts, etc. So jamming  important communications (security personnel, doctor’s phones/emails, etc.) could have catastrophic consequences .  Jamming is akin to stopping people by police without due cause. They have not committed a crime so you cannot take away their rights/privilege to access the Internet,  just because some bootlegger may (or may not) try to steal some IP. Casinos deny access to card counters why not have IP venues deny access to convicted IP thieves rather than jam free communication. Jamming also inhibits “fair-use” or other legal uses (checking on your home’s safety while attending a concert,  reporting on an event by a reporter or journalist, etc.).
  6. This private jamming will limit new technologies too. Are we going to have the Internet Of Things or are we going to have Trolls with extortionate paid access paths interfering with technologies, some of which may be vital to someone’s safety/health. Do we want a robust economy for new innovations or do we want companies to be able to limit innovation/disruption by using public airwaves in a monopolistic fashion? What happens when health processes include medical devices that connect via Internet are jammed?
  7. When a company or government organization forces a customer to use their cloud/network, what happens when an employee of this organization forcing the use of their network,  uses the organization’s internet access to stalk, harass, threaten,  “shed a false light” or for other illegal actions? Why would an organization willingly compel the use of their network/cloud(s) where disgruntled employees can wreak havoc upon their customers?

This is much bigger issue than Marriott is portraying and Marriott’s petition should be denied and the $600,000 fine enforced.  The FCC needs to look into Gaylord Opryland too since this is being used by Marriott as an argument to justify its own unethical practices. Marriott should be allowed to charge for providing access to the Internet if it wants — even though most hotels/motels provide FREE access to the Internet. Let the free market determine what the customers want.

This is also why Net Neutrality is a very nuanced issue and not a one-size fits all ruling (unless it is many pages long detailing all the possibilities that people can dream up right now and allow for future remediation due to new technologies).

Need to catch up on Net Neutrality, try the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s C|Net Interview:  here .


November 25, 2014

Ancestry App version 6.2 is Released — #Genealogy #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk noted a new release of the’s app.

Ancestry App version 6.2

In time for thanksgiving, Ancestry, released version 6.2. It looks like they added two features:

  1. Quickly add photos / documents from iCloud and/or Dropbox.
  2. Discover historical events that shaped your ancestor’s lives.

I get the first feature. It leaves me feeling, “meh”. It adds something for some people that have their photos in the cloud (despite all of the security concerns). For me this is a not-going-to-be-used, app “bloat-ware” feature added by some mobile programmer trying to shore up his/her resume.

The second feature is apparently Ancestry trying too add a widget to your daily notifications. I really see that feature  as less than “meh”. It is almost a negative feature in my eyes.

As far as I am concerned this version of the app, you can pass on. Nothing here. Don’t waste your bandwidth, unless you actually use iCloud or Dropbox to store your genealogy images / documents.

I like to keep my images on the phone, in case you cannot reach the Internet in some building (say a courthouse) where the Internet is blocked by wiring or other building materials. No Internet,  will not deter me, I just have my photos organized for quick location on my phone. If its up on a cloud and you have no access to the Internet for some reason  (or your cloud has crashed) then you cannot access the document when you need it and are out mobile doing some genealogy research in some remote location you cannot return again for a long time. But maybe you store pics of your ancestors (and not critical documents in the cloud) and you use that to add a pic to your tree one time. That might be ok, for people with large trees with 10,000+ people whose pics you do not want to clutter your phone with. So I am just “meh” about this upgrade.

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November 12, 2014

Philae Has LANDED On Comet 67P ! #STEM #CometLanding

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Philae_picOf_ROSETTAThe ESA’s 10 year mission of the Rosetta satellite to rendezvous with Comet 67P and to launch Philae the Comet Lander which has landed and will commence a one year full studies of this comet with pics from the lander and satellite and data of a variety of on-board instruments.

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is a very interesting comet just from its shape alone.

The first image is from Philae as it was launched from Rosetta. The bubbles are sun-flare – glare on the RAW image with the Sun and its rays on the center bottom of the raw image.

Rosetta’s Experiments

RosettasExperimentsThese 11 experiments  will run for about 64 hours before exhausting batteries. Afterwards, every other day after battery recharge, they will run for about 1 hr. [since the landing bounced, the lander is not in an optimal location/position to optimally charge so the original estimates may now differ.]

This is a tremendous engineering and science acheivement of the ESA to be the first to land upon a comet. The rendezvouse began on  6-August-2014 and for the last three months mapped the comet’s contours and emissions looking for an interesting and viable landing spot. 11:06 ET has the landed and is communicatinging – images to come.

DLR – Rosetta website

Poland is also a part of ESA now. On the Philae Lander is one instrumentation that was built in Poland. More details are here .

Quote More than 70 scientific instruments that were built in Poland, has[sic] already been sent to space. The instruments built at the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences have studied Titan’s surface, have been on board ESA’s Venus and Mars Express missions, and are now studying the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

First Image Of Landing Spot From Philae


August 28, 2014 App Turns 6.0 — #Genealogy #Technology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ancestry just released their newest version of their mobile application.

Ancestry App

Well testing was brief and then interrupted by Ancestry not being available (to the app; was ok via the laptop).


The interface was lovely, but the constant tinkering with the interface is confusing the end users (at least this end user, who is a professional IT worker) and not intuitive at all.

The speed I could not test with my small tree. But it will reload your tree data  from the website, so something in the data / model must have changed for the app.


More  to come when the App can reach the website .. reliably.



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July 3, 2014

Kielce Parishes On-line in SzukajWArchiwach — #Genealogy, #Polish, #Archive

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Previously, Stanczyk has written about what is available online for the former Gubernia (or Województwo) Kielce. In this article I am listing the parishes online with year ranges and scan image counts. Please notice that links are provided for you to go directly to those you are interested in or you can go to the list of all parishes available (since as you know an article like this becomes out of date periodically).


Poland’s Archives (Kielce) Parish Year Range Scans #
21/1700/0 Brzegach 1810-1912  5,652
21/1701/0 Chomentowie 1810-1939  5,997
21/1702/0 Ciernie 1810-1907  5,717
21/1703/0 Imielnie 1810-1912  9,680
21/1704/0 Jędrzejowie 1812-1911  18,045
21/1705/0 Korytnicy 1810-1912  –
21/1706/0 Kozłowie 1811-1913  5,795
21/1707/0 Krzcięcicach 1810-1912  9,569
21/1708/0 Łukowej 1811-1909  4,732

Parishes (Parafia):  Brzegach,  Chomentowie,  Ciernie,  Imielnie,  Jędrzejowie,  Korytnicy,  Kozłowie,  Krzcięcicach,  Łukowej

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