Apple Irony on Choices

Pretty funny because I read this via Apple News and there’s no way to share it out to a web browser on my iPad…

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, told The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern that the company’s goal is to “give users a choice.” Those four words are at the core of the problem with the position Facebook has taken since Apple announced the changes last year at its developer conference.

The Next Social Network is Private Messaging

Today we already see that private messaging, ephemeral stories, and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication. There are a number of reasons for this. Many people prefer the intimacy of communicating one-on-one or with just a few friends. People are more cautious of having a permanent record of what they’ve shared. And we all expect to be able to do things like payments privately and securely.

Not saying I called it, but I called it. Look to WeChat for how we’ll be doing “social networking” here in the US within the next 5 years.

Twitter completely flopped and missed the ball by not shipping a DM app.

Why people quit Facebook

Eric Baumer, an assistant computer science professor at Lehigh University, has found in his research on Facebook “non-use” that people who cite concerns about data privacy in relation to corporations or the government as their main reason for quitting are likely to stay away from the site. Meanwhile, those who wanted privacy from people they know online are more likely to return. “Oftentimes questions about why people should delete their Facebook accounts are framed in terms of privacy,” Baumer said. “However, that single word glosses over a lot of complexity.”

— Read on

The Apps You Should Really Be Concerned About with Your Privacy

After examining maps showing the locations extracted by their apps, Ms. Lee, the nurse, and Ms. Magrin, the teacher, immediately limited what data those apps could get. Ms. Lee said she told the other operating-room nurses to do the same.“I went through all their phones and just told them: ‘You have to turn this off. You have to delete this,’” Ms. Lee said. “Nobody knew.”

Source: Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret – The New York Times

Everyone is afraid of what Google and Facebook “know” about them and how much information they’re sharing with these services because of poor media coverage.

While those two services need to be investigated and questioned, it’s the “bottom half” of the advertising industry connected to seemingly innocent apps that you install on your mobile device to give you the weather or locations of gas or local sports scores that are really the most alarming in how they treat your personal location data.

Good report here by the NY Times (we need more of this type of journalism in the tech-sphere).

The dangers of thinking “They’ll get it because they’re young”

So very true despite the stereotypes (spoken as a former college / high school / middle school teacher turned tech consultant). Parents have a big burden to bear in helping their young and old children make wise decisions about how and why to use the web. Just assuming “they’ll get it because they’re young” is very dangerous.

What is surprising about this data is that while education is a factor in online security literacy, age is less so. Users aged 65 and older were seemingly just as knowledgeable as users in the age range of 18-29; while online literacy bias in general is weighted toward younger users, the Pew survey suggests that overall there is a shared standard of what we know and what we don’t know.

Source: Why did we give our data to Facebook in the first place? – Scientific American Blog Network

Pokemon Go snatches all of your Google data

Pokemon Go

By signing up to play Pokemon Go through Google, many iOS users have unknowingly exposed all of their emails, chats, calendars, documents and more to the game’s developer and third-parties.

Source: Pokemon Go catches all your Google data (here’s how to stop it) | Cult of Mac

I’ve been thinking a good deal about this game over the last few days. I should have posted before, but I wanted to wrap my head around the whole thing (as much as I can).

I’ll have a post up tomorrow with my thoughts.

Until then… this report is insanely terrible and horrifying given our current police state / insurance state / corporatist overlords. Our privacy is our power. Don’t give it away so easily, people.


Fixed with new update on iOS.

An honest thief

Fascinating read…

“The conclusion is inescapable: we must live our lives to promote the most overall good. And that would seem to mean helping those most in want—the world’s poorest people.

Our rule demands one do everything they can to help the poorest—not just spending one’s wealth and selling one’s possessions, but breaking the law if that will help. I have friends who, to save money, break into buildings on the MIT campus to steal food and drink and naps and showers. They use the money they save to promote the public good. It seems like these criminals, not the average workaday law-abiding citizen, should be our moral exemplars.”

Source: An honest thief

Young People, Old People, and the Monkeysphere



“Today, however, the newest data increasingly support the idea that young people are actually transitioning out of using what we might term broadcast social media – like Facebook and Twitter – and switching instead to using narrowcast tools – like Messenger or Snapchat. Instead of posting generic and sanitized updates for all to see, they are sharing their transient goofy selfies and blow-by-blow descriptions of class with only their closest friends.”

Source: So long social media: the kids are opting out of the online public square

I completely agree with the author’s post that young people are rapidly moving from broadcast to narrowcast social media (at least for their most important or personal communications with friend groups etc).

However, the post concludes with a note that young people might not be as aware or open to ideas outside of their close friends group if they’re not engaging in “social media” such as Facebook or Twitter.

“The great promise of social media was that they would create a powerful and open public sphere, in which ideas could spread and networks of political action could form.”

That wasn’t the great promise of social media. Social media, like Twitter, will always have an inherent imbalance. Couple that with the widespread amount of abuse and harassment, particularly of female and transgender users on Twitter, and it’s no wonder why young people would shy away from using these platforms for more meaningful engagement.

Messaging, in small groups, overcomes this. Besides, networks of political action figured out long ago that governments of political action are closely watching broadcast social media and have already turned to encrypted channels such as Telegram.

Narrowcasting isn’t just more meaningful, it has the potential to be more actionable than the hashtag laden culture that we’ve created with public tweets.

Long ago in a conversation (well, more like me pleading with him to shed some light on why he was so enamored with Second Life), my pal Wayne Porter turned me on to the idea of Dunbar’s Number. It took me over a decade to decipher Wayne (as is normally the case), but he was right. The “Monkeysphere” is very real. And it’s going to kill Facebook. It’s already killing Twitter.

I’ve written before (back in 2011) about narrowcasting and responsible marketing… looks like we’re finally getting there.

With the evolution of blogging early in the ’00s and the advent of Technorati, Delicious, Flickr, Friendster, and eventually MySpace we 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80 something year olds were sold a bag of goods with a label of “social media.” It was a glorious time to be on the web. Everything from logos to AJAX to revenue models felt new as we wiped the crust of AOL from our eyes to see the wider world. Everything from grocery delivery to advertising would be revolutionized. We didn’t realize we were the intermediate step.

We were Ham The Chimp to this generation’s Mercury program. We’ve still got a long collective way to go to the Moon, though.

From churches to political campaigns to social media flame wars to real life gang fights… our brains describe so much of our weird actions. Why don’t we care about the people (well, probably robots now) collecting and sorting our trash when we throw glass bottles into a bin (recycling or no)? Why do we so easily eat and wrap our furniture with other tasty mammals who we now know have feelings, intelligence, and memories? Why do we so easily dismiss the conservatives or gays or whites or women or alcoholics or welfare moms? Because they aren’t in our Monkeyspheres.

Not to be devotional, but Lent is a time for me as a person of christian faith to reflect on that and what it means to my own impact on this connected, but ever fragmented, world.

Don’t bemoan the loss of Twitter or Facebook as avenues of advertising and marketing. Let’s shoot for the moon and make revenue models that appeal to the angels of our better selves rather than our lizard brains.

Visualizing Who Is Tracking You On the Web

Lightbeam for Firefox :: Add-ons for Firefox

Granted, you have to use Firefox for this plugin, but after a morning of doing my daily work routine I found this rather astonishing and revealing about the depth of the tracking being done on the web today…

Using interactive visualizations, Lightbeam enables you to see the first and third party sites you interact with on the Web. As you browse, Lightbeam reveals the full depth of the Web today, including parts that are not transparent to the average user. Using two distinct interactive graphic representations — Graph and List — Lightbeam enables you to examine individual third parties over time and space, identify where they connect to your online activity and provides ways for you to engage with this unique view of the Web.

via Lightbeam for Firefox :: Add-ons for Firefox.

And You Will Have a Window in Your Head…

Google’s announcements at its IO conference this week remind me of my favorite poem

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

In a world of anticipatory “search”, be like the fox indeed.

Don’t Get Borked by Your Netflix Viewing

What fiscal cliff? Now we’ve got Netflix frictionless social sharing thanks to Congress!

Your Netflix rental data: coming to a Facebook timeline near you soon | Media | “We are pleased that the Senate moved so quickly after the House,’ a Netflix spokesperson told Talking Points Memo on Wednesday. ‘We plan to introduce social features for our US members in 2013, after the president signs it.”

Interesting history of the 1988 law being amended to allow for sharing our Netflix viewings on Facebook, btw.

Robert Bork died this past week. Coincidence? Maybe. Full-circle and all that.

Yet another sign that we’re slouching towards [privacy] Gomorrah.

Marketing to Little Brothers and Sisters

Ever get scared that the marketing paradigm we operate within is just feeding a much bigger machine that isn’t a fan of human freedom?

I do.

Looking forward to reading Cory Doctorow’s new book:

Little Brother: “If you love freedom, if you think the human condition is dignified by privacy, by the right to be left alone, by the right to explore your weird ideas provided you don’t hurt others, then you have common cause with the kids whose web-browsers and cell phones are being used to lock them up and follow them around.

This book is meant to be part of the conversation about what an information society means: does it mean total control, or unheard-of liberty? It’s not just a noun, it’s a verb, it’s something you do.”

When I hear online (and offline) marketers talking about social media as a “channel,” my radar goes off. I suspect it will be even worse after I finish the book.

Am I creating a more freedom filled world technology wise for my daughter?

What do you think?