The Ramblings of the Semi-Sane

Category: Family

Disable that GeoTagging!

That’s easy. Metadata


In short, metadata is more data about data. In most common document types, embedded within a file is more information, typically hidden from casual viewing. This hidden data is used by the computer programs to provide accurate processing information, i.e. what version of software was used to create the document, how the file is encoded, and often who created it.

In the case with many popular image/picture formats, the list of possible metadata is quite extensive. With the expanded options for metadata in JPEG images, we have the ability to record the photographer, camera settings (ISO, Aperture, Flash, lens type), processing software and location.

The metadata in images is often retained by default by desktop image processing software and many online photo storage websites. This information is often valuable to the photographer, as well as the website provider for demographic information. Of course, location is also one of the options available for storage in a JPEG image.

About Geotagging

The storage of location based data, in the form of Latitude and Longitude inside of images is called Geotagging; essentially tagging your photograph with the geographic location. This data is stored inside if the metadata if JPEG images and is useful for tying the photograph to a location. Want to remember exactly where you took those photographs while on vacation? This information is for you.

However, most modern digital cameras do not automatically add geolocation (Latitude and Longitude) metadata to pictures. The process for adding the geolocation data either requires specialized add on hardware, or post processing with software on the desktop after the pictures are taken.

There is a large exception to this rule: Smartphones. With the proliferation of smart phones that contain GPS locator technology inside, the cameras in these devices are already equipped with the specialized hardware to automatically add geolocation information to the pictures at the time they are taken.

Most people don’t realize that the action of automatic geotagging takes place on their smart phones, either because it is enabled by default, not exposed the user as an option, or was asked and then forgotten. As a result, individuals often share too much information about their location, right down to the exact Latitude and Longitude when snapping photos with their smartpphone and posting them online.

How do I disable this?

The easiest way to stop posting this information for all to see it to disable geotagging on your smartphone.

Disabling on your phone

There are many phones out there on the market that geo tag their pictures and as we get more information, we will update the instructions to list more models, however, lets start with two phones: the Apple iPhone and the Palm Pre

iPhone (iOS 4.x)

(Via Charles)

Apple greatly simplified the way to turn off location services on a per-application basis. To see your settings, go to Settings, General, then Location Services. From there you can set which applications can access your GPS coordinates or disable it entirely.

iPhone4 Screenshot 1

iPhone (iOS 3.x)

With the iOS 3.x there are two ways to disable Geotagging of photos. The first involves disabling of all location based services. To disable this feature, Go to Settings, General then set Location Services to off.

iPhone 3 Screenshot 1iPhone 3 Screenshot 2

Be warned: This will turn off ALL location based services for ALLapplications. Of course we may actually have need to use location based services for other applications (such as maps and driving directions, or getting robbed via Foursquare), but just not for our pictures.

There is no easy way to disable location based servces for just one application. However, we can make the iPhone prompt us at first use for each application. Once reset, the first time we enter the application we can enable or disable location based services for the application. To do so we need to go to Settings, General, Reset.

iPhone 3 Screenshot 1iPhone 3 Screenshot 3

Be careful here! We want to select Reset Location Warnings, and then Reset Warnings. This restores all of our Location based warnings for each application to the default, which in most cases is “Ask on first use”.

iPhone 3 Screenshot 4iPhone 3 Screenshot 5

From here, once we enter into the default Camera app on the iPhone, we can select Don’t Allow. This will prevent the Camera app from geotagging our photos.

iPhone 3 Screenshot 1

Palm WebOS

Palm has made it fairly easy to disable applications from accessing the GPS without your explicit permission. If you bring up the “Location Services” configuration screen, there should be three options: Auto Locate, Geotag Photos, and Background Data Collection. Ideally, all three should be turned off.

To disable geotagging photos, simply turn the “Geotag Photos” option off. If “Auto Locate” is off, the “Geotag Photos” option will not be displayed as the Pre will not geotag photos with “Auto Locate” off. Once the “Geotag Photos” is turned off, the camera appplication will no longer geo tag photos. As a side note, if “Auto Locate” is off, the Pre will prompt you anytime an application requests your location from the GPS. This allows you to know who’s asking to find out where you are.

Google Android (Verizon Droid Phones, this is you! :))

Like the iPhone, there are two ways to turn off geotagging. To completely disable GPS location finding for all applications, we will need to do the following:

Press the Menu Key and then Settings

Android Settings

Then press Location and security

Android Location Security

By default, GPS is on. Uncheck it to turn it off

Android GPS ON Andorid GPS OFF

Like disabling the GPS in the iPhone, this will break location based information for all applications, including legitimate uses.

In order to disable for just the camera application, start the Camera app to make sure that you are not saving your location. This is the menu on the left side of the camera application; it slides out from left to right.

Android GPS Camera Location

Select “Store Location” and make sure it is set to off.

Android GPS Camera Location Off

Once this is disabled, the camera app will no longer add geotags to your images.

BlackBerry Devices

There are multiple ways to disable the geo-tags on Blackberry. We details three ways here:

(Via Bug_Bear)

Select Options, Advanced Options, GPS, press Menu key, Select Disable GPS and select Yes to confirm. This will disable all GPS capabilities on the phone.

(Via Bug_Bear)

Select Options, Security, Applications Permissions, menu select Edit on the application (default is Prompt for BB Core), Expand Connections, Change Location (GPS) to “Deny”, or you can disable within the application. Most apps i.e. Google Maps, Ubertwitter, etc… will just default everything to “allow” for app perms regardless of app settings chosen during setup.

(Via an anonymous contributor… Thanks!)

Go into picture-taking mode (via HomeScreen, click icon “Camera”), press the Menu button and choose “Options”. Set the “Geotagging” setting to be “Disabled”. Finally, save the updated settings.

Other Phones

Sadly, there are numerous phones that we are unable to test. The exact directions on how to disable may vary by phone but we suggest checking under the Options menu of the Camera application and also any kind of “Location” or “GPS” menu under your phone’s control panel. If you are successful in disabling it, please let us know how you did it so we can share!

Who’s responsible?

I recently was assaulted with what I consider an odd concept.

The words spilled from one of my sisters as if it was just a simple fact that everyone should know.


The basic premise? “Those who have, should take care of those who don’t.”

Now, I have to say I both agree and disagree with that statement, and it all boils down to the parameters involved. Lines must be drawn, logic must be applied to each situation, and a reality check must be cashed.

Overall, yes, we need to provide support for the needy. Basic necessities should be covered. Basic – Housing, clothing, food, utilities, education… the basics.  End of story, period. No mention of luxuries. Cars, TV’s, cable, vacation, you name it, if it’s not required to survive, and not related to education, then it’s a LUXURY, and if you want it, you need to earn it yourself!

So, that out of the way, it really wasn’t what my sister was talking about, but I felt it had to be said, to ensure that you, the reader, knew I was not that cold-hearted!

The conversation started because 2 of my step-sisters are currently on the outs with each other because their side of the family is having a reunion in April, and one sister thinks that the two off them should be shelling out the money for this little shindig, while the other sister thinks everyone should chip in.

My sister, the one who I had the conversation with, is my half-sister, the two step-sisters and my half-sister have the same father. The reunion is not mine to be concerned with, but the basis for their disagreement is.

Some of us have worked our asses off our whole lives to get where we are. Studied hard in school, went on to college, or trade school, or just picked things up on our own. However we did it, we did it. We became successful in our lives, or at least rose above the adversity, and can live comfortably.

Some of us did not. Whether because we failed to apply ourselves, or our lives were just riddled with misfortune, we have very little, and do very little.


Are those of us who started on equal footing, with equal opportunity for betterment and advancement and who made the right choices, took the right chances, those of us who rose up, and did what needed doing, responsible for those who did not?


If you just said ‘Yes’, then you need to explain to me, Why?

Why am I responsible for working my ass off to provide for you?

Why should you get to sit on your ass and do nothing, and expect me to provide you with what you fail to provide yourself?


Did I miss something in school? Is there a clause in the contract of life that says if I should so choose, I can just sit back and have everything handed to me, with no effort on my part?

WTF? I must have been absent that day, because I wasn’t aware of this.


To those I offend with this line of thought, all I can say is, tough shit, get over it. We had the same parents, or at least a parent in common, step- or otherwise. We had the same general opportunities in life, were offered the same choices. We grew up in the same towns, went to the same schools, had the same teachers.


If I could come from our background and make a modest living, so could you. I figured out what I was good at, and did something with it.

I own my own home, or I will in 17 more house payments anyway. The cars are paid for, we eat well, and we dress nice. We go out to eat when we feel like it, without worrying about it. We buy the things we ‘want’ because we can, the things we need, we always have. My bills are paid on time, every time, no late fees, no shut-off notices.


As I said earlier, I worked my ass off to get to this point in my life, and I don’t think it’s my responsibility to pay your way too, because if I do, then something of mine has to be set aside, or delayed, and eventually I end up where you are. I didn’t put you there, you did. Just like I put me where I am.


You made your life, and it’s not fair of you to think that because I made something different of mine, that I should HAVE to share it with you.

If I CHOOSE to help out, that’s my CHOICE. A whole other matter there… but please, don’t ever tell me it’s my responsibility to support those who made bad choices, or worse, refused to make choices at all.

A year ago, my Father passed away…

[NOTE: I originally left this post in ‘private’ mode. I was afraid of offending certain members of my family. They choose to ignore the facts, but Dad told me the truth just a week before he passed away, and screw them if they choose not to accept it.]

… and as I look back over the years that preceded that death, I realize that I pissed away a lot of opportunities.

My parents got divorced before my third birthday, my Mother had just given birth to my younger brother a few months before, and my Father’s soon to be second wife had just given birth to my sister shortly after that… what a mess. I was not even 3 yet, I didn’t understand it all, if I was even aware of most of it.

My father came around to visit now and then, but he had to sneak to do it. I do remember that, specifically I recall once, he was hiding under our back porch because my grandmother, Mom’s mom, had shown up unexpectedly while he was there, and she would have been furious if she had known. So he hid under the porch with the lawnmower. I have a vivid image of him in my head, as I stood there asking why he was under the porch and him with his finger to his lips telling me to ‘Shhhh”… it brings a smile to my face even now…

As I grew older, he came around less, or so it seemed. I recall occasional trips with him, he’d show up, pack up my brother and me and off we’d go for a day or two on a weekend. These are the few times I recall seeing his father, my grandfather. I barely knew Lige, he died when I was 10, and by that time, when I was actually old enough to remember him, Dad wasn’t coming around much at all. It was during that time though, that for awhile, he didn’t live too far away and I was able to go visit him on my own, I, the child, had to take the initiative.

That was also about the time I found out he had started telling everyone that my brother was not his son. That was something that made me angry and confused, how could my brother not be my brother? My Aunt Joyce, Dad’s sister, had taken one look at my brother when he was little, and said Dad was lying, the boy was a Williamson, and that was enough for me when I heard it, Aunt J wouldn’t get it wrong.

A couple of years later, the Christmas after I turned 12, Dad showed up on Christmas day. I hadn’t seen him in over a year, even though he had been doing a siding job just a few blocks away the summer before, he hadn’t bothered to stop around to see me.. something I had grown used to. So when he turned up this time, handing out money, as if that solved the problems and made up for his lack of being around, I got mad, really mad. He had money for John and me both, even though he had been, by this time, telling everyone for several years John wasn’t his son, he still brought him gifts, and still called him son when he was around us. Making me see he knew the truth, even if he wouldn’t admit it to wife #2 or the kids from the second marriage.

But I digress, that Christmas Day, that was the BIG change in our relationship, as I took one look at the envelope, and the money inside, and thought to myself, ‘He’s trying to buy his way out of his job as my father’. I gave it back, shouted a lot of not so nice things at him and told him to get the hell out of my life, that if this was all he could offer I didn’t need, or want, him around at all. The random visits, with months and now years in between them, no phone calls, no cards in the mail, just vast emptiness. I poured it all out, and he took it, with a pained look on his face, something I can see now looking back, but didn’t understand then. Hey, I was only 12.

My step-father pulled me aside and gave me an ass chewing for treating my father that way, and told me that no matter what, that man was my father, and deserved some respect. The look on his face when I told him that just being my father was not cause for respect, that respect was earned, was priceless, I am sure he thought that was a concept over my head at my age… but he let it go, and my Father left after spending some time talking to my mother and step-father.

I wasn’t to see my father again for almost 10 years. Those are the years I regret now, years I should have spent getting to know him better, if he came around, years learning what life was about.

He showed up at my door one day. I was no longer that 12 year old boy, but a grown man, married, with kids of my own, and already been in and out of the US Navy. I don’t know what he expected to find, but when I opened that door and saw his face I almost slammed it again. What business did he have turning up on my doorstep after all these years?

Dad’s sister was in the hospital and she had asked him to find me and bring me there. It was the turning point, Aunt Jeannie asked me to try to make amends, told me I didn’t want to go the rest of my life without my father. I thought she was wrong, but promised to make the attempt. I figured he’d disappear again soon, and it wouldn’t be my fault, right?

He and I both made the effort, slowly, but steadily, we began to speak more and more. Visits now and then, mostly just talks on the phone, or, when he finally became enlightened enough to use a computer, IM chats. He was a different person, and becoming increasingly so. I still think wife #4, Corky, had a lot to do with that. She was a positive influence on him, and I’m glad.

20 years later Dad and I were still speaking, a lot. We still had our differences, but we had learned, and grown, and finally began making our apologies to one another. Trying to right those wrongs we had done. It was too late to change the past, but the future looked promising. Until he got sick, and then got worse, and then the real decline began.

We spent those last few months talking when he could, and it wasn’t until that last week that he finally gave us both the peace of mind he had held back all these years. Six days before he passed away my Father told me the story of my brother. For 40 years he had denied my brother being his son, when I offered DNA evidence, he brushed it off, but now he was opening up.

He told me that he had promised his second wife that John was not his son, and later he didn’t want to admit he had lied, so he perpetuated that lie all those years, until he almost believed it himself. The truth though, was quite the opposite… the night of his grandmothers funeral, which had had taken my mother and me to, when he took us home, he came in… he didn’t give me details, and I sure didn’t need the visual imagery, but he stayed, and 9 months later my brother was born.

Hoping Dad would bounce back again, and be with us for a long while yet, I agreed not to say anything to the rest of the family. He still wasn’t ready to admit to anyone that he had stuck to a lie for so many years simply out of stubbornness.

It’s been a year now. I miss him still, and I truly regret all the years we lost, all the time we could have spent together.


I love you Dad, I loved you then, I love you still, and I miss you.



75 Pounds and Other things I enjoy about life

It’s been 22 weeks, maybe 23, I don’t always count so well. and I am down 75 pounds. I have worked my way through 2 belts so far, one with 7 notches, one with 4 and time to buy a new one…

It’s wonderful how great I feel these days. No more backaches, no having to remember to take my blood pressure medicine each morning…

Still no hunger, and no real cravings for anything, most days… the smell of bacon does make me  bit wistful sometimes, but sweets, and such are a thing of the past.

HCG rocks as a diet plan, that’s all I can say folks. If you need info, head over to Better Health HCG and Deb will take care of you.

My new granddaughter is now 1 week old as of last night. Irelynn Rose is her name. Not sure what we’ll end up calling her, but the name is cute and so is the munchkin! So I now have 1 grandson, 1 grandaughter, AND their mother past her nursing board exams the day before Irelynn was born, so I have an RN in the family too!

Feeling sluggish this morning, nasty cold, need to work myself up for another good rant soon… in the meantime… cya!

Tuesday… better than Monday, right?

So… Facebook? Is it really a place for people to argue and air their grievances? Help me to understand this….

Would you stand in the middle of the mall and scream at your sister? Engage in a full blown name-calling contest, and just act plain ignorant?

I don’t think so… well, at least most people wouldn’t.

So what is it about Facebook, and MySpace, and all these other sites that make people act this way?

So now two of my sisters have chosen to engage in this new hobby… and act offended when others in the family tell them to knock it off. It’s bad when my daughter has to be the one to tell her aunt’s they are acting childish… and all because one sister feels slighted because the other chose to follow through on her own plans rather than doing something with sister #1’s family.

Crap… I have 12 sisters! Do you know how maddening this could be if they all acted that way?

Stacks of pictures to scan

      I’m wading my way through stacks of old, old pictures. Some of these are pre-1920’s, and thank the gods for Photoshop to touch some of this stuff up! The box they were in had gotten water damaged… found some mold growing on some even….


     I’ve got a 4 generation picture with my grandfather as the youngest person in it, he’s about 2, along with his brother, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother… the original was faded, and had some scratches and cracks in it… now it’s nice and clean looking.


     I’ll post some of the really good ones later……

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