Posts filed under ‘Technology’

Privacy is Gone

An New York Time op-ed stated

“Uber had just told all its users that if they were having an affair, it knew about it. Rides to Planned Parenthood? Regular rides to a cancer hospital? Interviews at a rival company? Uber knows about them, too.
Uber isn’t alone. Numerous companies, from social media sites like Facebook to dating sites like OKCupid, make it their business to track what we do, whom we know and what our typical behaviors and preferences are. OKCupid unashamedly announced that it experimented on its users, sometimes matching them with incompatible dates, just to see what happened.
The data collection gets more extensive at every turn. Facebook is updating its terms of service as of Jan. 1. They state in clearer terms that Facebook will be tracking your location (unless you disable it), vacuuming up data that other people provide about you and even contacts from your phone’s address book (if you sync it to your account) — important provisions many of Facebook’s 1.35 billion users may not even notice when they click “accept.”
We use these apps and websites because of their benefits. We discover new music, restaurants and movies; we meet new friends and reconnect with old ones; we trade goods and services. The paradox of this situation is that while we gain from digital connectivity, the accompanying invasion into our private lives makes our personal data ripe for abuse — revealing things we thought we had not even disclosed.
The retailer Target, for example, started sending coupons for baby gear to customers who, sales data told them, were likely to be pregnant. Researchers in Cambridge, England, found that merely knowing a Facebook user’s likes was enough to predict attributes such as gender, race, sexual orientation, political party, potential drug use and personality traits — even if the user had shared none of that information.
Facebook says that it conducts not one but “over a thousand experiments each day,” and a former Facebook data scientist recently revealed that “experiments are run on every user at some point.” A 2012 study in Nature showed that a single tweak modifying an “I voted” button on Facebook increased turnout in the 2010 congressional elections by about 340,000 votes. That is enormous power.

The question to me:Why do I give such corporations the ability to track my most personal communication. I really do not care if companies are using to sell it marketing companies, but selling the information to background check companies so my boss knows my political views or that I am in recovery without him understanding the context of the situtation.  What happens if my boss knows that I am progressive because I feel that our current system of entreperuail capitialism is being destroyed by a cabal of big corporations which just swallow up all their compeition and huge private-equity vultures that are willing swallow companies on the whim and then tear them apart to make an bunch.  In essence, he could read all of the posts without the context of the views

All of the data mining is just raw data.  It is allow the user to make assumptions based on the information contained on the data points without understanding the context in which the data they received is based on.   My concern is that rogue companies will use the data on the whim to destroy people’s reputations or make life crazy for people.  What happened if that data was hacked by a hacker and used for some other nefarious purpose.

I think it is time that the Congress step in and pass a vigorous privacy law to protect the privacy of user’s data and that companies also the have the ability to use the data they need to pitch their product, but also does not invade our deepest, most personal secrets.  Libertarians believe in the belief in the protecting the freedom of the individual from an oppressive.  Yet, they do not blink an eye about corporations having our personal data and use it for nefarious purposes.

Personally, I trust the government more than rogue corporations out there.  Too guys who are trying to chase the quick buck results in people willing trade their values for the easy buck.  Than, that turns into the people who for the rogue corporations.

I do not think that Google and Facebook are rogue corporations.  But the people who they share the data with is what I am concerned about and I do not my personal information leaked to the company to the private bidder.

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December 9, 2014 at 6:37 am Leave a comment

Personal Plan to Deal With Random Websurfing Addiction

Today was another day where I got lost on the internet.  I got lost on the internet even though I watched TV, went exercising, and took the dog off.  The reality is that when I have idle time (not time with friends), the Internet is more stimulating to my autistic mind.

It sucks that I have to be lost in the internet all day long. I could have been so much more productive but the problem is that it I really want a support group to help me to deal with my internet addiction or better yet, to really cut down my random websurfing.  Random websurfing is really my problem because I get to the news really quickly but just glancing on local new website very quickly and go.

I think part of the problem is that my life is stuck in holding place by my training program.  I think that there is a lot of things that I want to do, but I do not had to priortize my goals in my spare time.  Essentially, what I need to do each day is to write “Internet Plan” is to list all of the websites that I visit and what times that I do it at. Once the list is completed, I will have to do other things than engage in random websurfing.  What I have to do is to see how much that I want to get done on the internet during the day, how much idle time that I have, is there any TV shows of interests that I want to watch, and then put the listing of sites on to Google Drive and then cross them off when I completed. I could spend six hours on the Internet, but I know all of the sites that I am going to visit and how much time I spend on them.

December 7, 2014 at 6:28 am Leave a comment

Thoughts on Random Websurfing

For the first time in my life, I am troubled by my internet web surfing. I used to be able surf the internet for hours and hours on end.  Suddenly, it produces more anxiety than it use to.  Random web surfing used to be something that I could enjoy for hours.  I just surfed to my hearts content.

Now, it suddenly because an issue that drives that a high level of anxiety.  I think that it is because that I am expected to give up random websurfing as a part of my personal growth.  It is supposed to be when I go the web, I have a specific purpose like watch a Jon Stewart video, download an IRS tax form, look up at bus route, or check my Facebook account a couple of times a day.

My personal evolution which my AA sponsor who probably confirm states that I should admit that I should not engage in random websurfing and that involves into a bad behavior.  Instead, I should be trying new things like reading a book, going to a detox, and watching what my roommates on TV and just do not get up to surf the internet.  That means remained glued to the TV until I go to be because this an exercise in contrary action.

If I come at home at 10:00 PM and watch the KTLA news, that it is not considered to be random websurfing. I am watching the local TV news because I am unable to watch it on the regular TV news and my focus is at one thing at one time.

I think the bigger picture is that my brain is not wired for multi-tasking as much as this generation glorifies the multi-tasker. For too long, I felt like that I can do two things at one time: one thing pleasurable and one thing comfortable.  Now being more aware of how ADHD mind works, random websurfing might be considered to be unaccountable.  Unlike normal person, I have that AA sponsor every night when I make the call and he can chew me out on this issue.

The real challenge is to pick up reading as a hobby or start to watch what other people want to watch on TV.  I do not think that blogging counts as random websurfing because I am usually connecting on my feeling on a personal or a political issue that I feel strongly emotional.

In conclusion, certain tasks are not random websurfing because they have a specific purpose.  However, random websurfing is should be considered as “addict behavior” and avoided at all costs.  And yes, my AA sponsor can chew me out on this issue even I though do not need him to do so.  Since he is a sponsor, he has right to do so because one day, it will be me chewing out a sponsee for not taking actions to deal with his potential shortcomings

December 6, 2014 at 12:10 am Leave a comment

Facebook Reaches 150,000,000

As I read through Google News today, I learned that Facebook has hit 150,000,000 users. Wow! I never imagined a social networking website would get so many people to use it. I also read that Facebook added 50,000,000 users in five months.

I like Facebook a lot better than Myspace. The only thing that Myspace has better than Facebook is the Forum features which I will use time to time to discuss political and news issues.

In conclusion, the Facebook revolution is overtaking Myspace. The question is why? What about Facebook makes it better than Myspace?

January 7, 2009 at 5:34 pm Leave a comment

Do not Text While You Drive

KNBC reports that texting while driving will be illegal starting in January 1, 2009. Do you know how hard it is text while driving?

It is difficult. Look, I tried to surfing the internet in traffic a few times. Way too hard. Trying to text or surf the internet while driving will make people riled up and make them honk on the horn. It also result in a accident

At least this one law that makes sense

December 23, 2008 at 9:45 pm Leave a comment

Use Facebook More Productively

The great thing about Facebook is that all of my groups of friends are consolidated on one network.  So learning how to use Facebook effectively for me is very important

Techradar presents a way that Facebook can be used more productively especially at work.  At my work, we have a filter that blocks Facebook so I cannot use the features of Facebook in work setting.   However, Techradar describes how it can be used for team working and add-on application

The team-building aspect of Facebook is accomplished by using groups.  Since the description of the process to create the group is fairly technical, I am going to include an exceprt from the article to describe the process. 

“There are usable productivity tools built right into Facebook’s main interface. One of the best is the Groups feature. This application includes valuable collaboration features like event listing and a full discussion board. They’re ideal for scheduling work and – because they’re online – can be accessed from any computer with Internet access. You’ll also find the usual Facebook stalwarts: a public ‘wall’, posted items board, photo album and news feed.

Any Facebook member can create a group and invite users on their friends list to join. To find the Groups application in Facebook, click the ‘Home’ link to go to your Facebook homepage (rather than your Profile page) and choose ‘Groups’ from the Applications panel. If you can’t see the Groups link, click ‘More’. If you still can’t see it, click ‘Edit’ next to the Applications label and check the full list of installed applications for the Groups app.

When you’ve found the Groups link, click on it to see a page showing groups that your friends belong to – alongside a list of groups you may already belong to. To begin making a new group, just click the ‘+ Create a New Group’ button. A form prompts you to give the group a name, brief description and category. You can also add other information such as an email contact or the group’s geographical location.

At the next stage, you can customise your group’s available applications, upload a profile photo and set privacy levels. It’s all very similar to setting up a new Facebook profile.

Be careful when choosing whether to make your group open, closed or secret. A secret group is desirable for work-related activity, but it won’t show up in search results. A closed group may be the best option, enabling all Facebook users to find the group but requiring administrators to approve membership before a user can see the group’s content.

When you save the changes that you’ve made at this stage, you’ll be prompted to publish the story to your Facebook feed.

The final step is the trickiest. You’ll be prompted to select people from your friends list to join the group. Simply ticking the box next to their name adds them. You can also invite people by email. Either enter their address manually, separating each with a comma, or click the ‘Import email addresses’ link to upload details from your webmail account.

The next area where Facebook can be used is for applications.  There are two applications that the articles suggest for Fonobook and Cagoo Calendars.  Fonobook synchronises your Facebook contacts with Outlook 2003 or 2007.  Cagoo Calendars synchronises with Google Calendar, 30 Boxes and other scheduling services, enabling you to share all of your appointments from all of your calendars with 30 Boxes on Facebook.

December 21, 2008 at 12:12 am Leave a comment


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