Thursday, January 3, 2019

Quick Update...

Brian Joseph Johns
After having my Internet cut for a short period by my ISP for late bill payment, I decided to switch ISPs and got a much better price while getting a faster speed from the "Red" brand. The "blue" brand company that I left was great for service and excellent for the fact they'd let me run up a bit of a tab, but the high pricing left much to be desired.

Even paying off my prior bill while paying for my new service works out to be a lot cheaper over the short term so it was a good decision though I'd like to thank the company that I left for the many great years of service. In the long run it will relieve a bit stress in terms of financial management.

Here is a rendering test I conducted with my new hardware. This image took well under ten minutes to complete a render while on my prior hardware it took in the neighbourhood of an hour. A big performance improvement for certain though a lot more time is spent in setting up in designing the characters and scenes. This image has no applied post enhancements.

Here's another experiment. The wings look pretty bland but I was testing different lighting techniques using Body Of Light). I'm still looking for another solution for rendering just the wings. One solution I've been examining is by using particles but until Daz3D gets its own built-in particle system I may have to wait. The Butterfly Dragon's suit will likely go though some minor changes in terms of shading.

So that's looking like an improvement.

Theft Of Creative And Intellectual Property

One thing that I'd like to address is the fact that I've never taken my ideas from any other outside source. When I write my books, I am not secretly spying on someone else's effort and I certainly would never pilfer any creative ideas or intellectual property and never have. My books are original ideas and most often involve me just sitting down and writing, editing, writing, rewriting and so forth. I'd be more suspicious about organized crime taking my books from me rather than I would be about my taking any ideas from someone else.

In fact, when I suspected that illegal surveillance of my computer might be taking place, I immediately reported it to the RCMP. I believe that there are groups that might be preying upon some of the more devious means of spying or theft to steal the creative and intellectual property of others in some pretty dastardly ways. I also believe that there are many people involved in such activity, who do so purposefully and knowingly, keeping their activities well hidden from investigative authorities. Doing things like switching the billing addresses or network connections between two different units, so that the Internet activities from one appear to be coming from the other. If your internet activities happen to involve the production of creative and intellectual property, then that could be a potentially undetectable way to steal the creative efforts of others. When the victim tried to explain such a trick, they'd likely be labeled as being "nuts" or a "conspiracy" thinker. I have no problem owning up to any of my computer activity but maybe that's the problem. The kind of people who swap their activities to others are usually the kind who don't want to take responsibility for their actions.

Worse if someone is using their Internet connection for criminal activity, then someone completely innocent may end up charged with the crimes of the other unit. It seems that this sort of thing is more and more commonplace. There are even people who believe that if you reveal your name, that you lose it. In fact if you reveal anything about yourself while wearing black, you lose it to someone else who keeps it a better secret than you did. So technically according to such people you could lose your own identity when you speak your name to another person. I don't believe any such nonsense myself but the lesson is to protect your identity. Identity theft nowadays involves switching the histories of two different people more so than anything else. Not to mention that all it takes for someone to do something of this nature to you is to outnumber you and your circle. A favourite effort of the stalkers in my area is to swap their victim's identity with that of someone else just about every single day. Be careful and be warned.

I've seen much of my work show up in other creative efforts even down to the most minute of details though I harbour no grudge. I mark that up to being like a creative nod from the artists involved much the same as I often try to hide little nods in my work to the people that inspired me within my work.

For instance, a writer named Nalin DeSilva wrote a children's book called Agnes And The Butterfly Dragon which similarly to my book The Butterfly Dragon I: Heroes Of Our Own has the protagonist being a little girl who befriends a friendly and sometimes whimsical dragon. While my book specifically involves the daughter of a Chinese immigrant to Canada who lives out in her dreams the mystical children's tale told to her by her Grandmother and Mother. I've never read Nalin's book but it has been implied that I took the idea for my book from Nalin's book. I have to say that is not the case whatsoever and I'm certain that Nalin's book is probably pretty good and likely a very different kind of story.

In fact, my book had been already published for a month on blogger at my site when Nalin's book was released on Amazon. Not to mention I'd written my first Butterfly Dragon story when I was 13 years old. I am 51 years old now. So the similarity in premise is nothing more than coincidence. I've been doing things of this nature for my entire life. Writing poetry, music, short stories, short animations and coding demos. This is just the first time that anyone in the outside world payed attention. Ironically when I'm in the third act of my life.

I'm worried that with the recent tensions between Canada and China that members of the Chinese community might find themselves even more so the victims of the negative bias against them, though quite honestly such sentiment in certain circles has been very prevalent in my observations, and perhaps the good to this is that it is bringing people closer together to ensure that members of the Chinese community are not subject to such treatment. Hopefully the Canadians imprisoned in China will soon find reprieve and release. As well, I hope that the extradition case protects the defendant and that she procures her right to her freedom seeing as I believe the charges against her are completely illegal and that she was just being used as a bargaining chip in the most recent trade negotiations between China and the United States. Funny how Canada came out of that looking like the bad guy.

It is obvious that for projects like the 5G network, cooperation between multiple international corporations is the only solution in order to ensure that the risk of its use as an intelligence gathering tool is shared by all.

Brian Joseph Johns

200 Sherbourne Street #701
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5A 3Z5