Dog talks, but can he make a call?

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Elise & our dear, departed Patch

A guy is driving around the back woods and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house: ‘Talking Dog For Sale.’ He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard.

The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting there.
“You talk?” he asks.
“Yep,” the Lab replies.
After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says, “So, what’s your story?”
The Lab looks up and says, “Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so… I told the CIA.
In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.”
“I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running…
But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals. Then I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I’m just retired.”

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

‘Ten dollars,” the owner replies.

‘Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?” asks the guy.

“Because he’s a Bullshitter. He’s never been out of the yard.”

My uncle sent this joke to me by e-mail, but after I stopped laughing, I realized we do this with our technology all the time. Cell phones, desktop and laptop computers, televisions, DVD & Blue-Ray players, and even Video Game consoles like PS3, X-Box & Wii, are all amazing devices even after being eclipsed by the newest gadget on the market, or annoying us with their flaws.

Just like the dog in the joke, most of those devices can be reliably scoured of personal information and resold on EBAY or Crais’sList, or they can be donated to the pleasure of others.

Cell phones and tablets on the other hand, are notoriously difficult to re-purpose. If the device is not broken, then doing a factory restore on your phone, may give you a new leash, er, lease on an aging device’s life, adding a year or more to it’s usefulness. The alternative, while economically painful, is better compared to that mean-spirited dog who has bitten a couple of the neighbors.

To back-track for a moment, the “timid” smartphone user who never attempts to test that device’s limit, will likely not have put any personal information into it. This is danger with smart-phones and tablets; NO HARD DRIVES. They use flash memory that CANNOT reliably be erased. the devices are built and programmed to extend the life of the flash memory as long as possible, and deleted files aren’t really deleted.

Even the average smart-phone user will have SIGNIFICANT personal data stored in the memory of their device. This applies even more to the business professional and small business owner who will (not might) have customer/client/patient data on their devices. This information comes in through contacts, apps like DropBox or OneDrive, e-mails and attachments opened on the device, and the like.

Wiping tools are not always effective, but there are some good tips here, if you want to give away or sell your phone.

Here are eight simple tips to erase your information from your cellphone or smartphone. – CTIA.ORG

  1. Back up the information on the device to a PC or service provider (e.g., cloud).
  2. Notify the wireless service provider (and if appropriate, your office’s IT team) that the device is no longer in use.
  3. Overwrite and delete all passwords, PINs and OTPs (one-time passwords). Don’t forget Wi-Fi passwords and personal account information on apps or websites, such as banking.
  4. Overwrite and delete security settings parameters, such as unlock pattern, facial recognition, remote access passwords or keys (and if appropriate, your office IT team will remove your work VPN login).
  5. Delete all personal information and applications (e.g., pictures, texts, social networking profiles, etc.).
  6. Delete peripheral device settings such as Bluetooth (e.g., in your car, earphones, etc.).
  7. Remove any installed Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) and delete or erase all files stored on the SD memory card (if applicable).
  8. Use data eraser apps AND reset the wireless device to default factory settings. BEFORE resetting your device, use a data eraser app. Here’s a list of app erasers (may also be called “wipe”) for Android, BlackBerry, iOS (Apple), Symbian and Windows.
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