Teens Are Turning Away from Facebook Because Tumblr Is Real, and Parent-Free – J.K. Trotter – The Atlantic Wire

The Atlantic Wire bills itself as “what matters now,” but where have they been? This is old news to participants. However, I like to see this empirically established by Pew.

Teenagers really are over Facebook. In February the social network warned investors that “our younger users … are aware of and actively engaging with other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook.” And in April the investment bank Piper Jaffray reported that products and services like Tumblr and Twitter were further eroding Facebooks dominance among the Justin Bieber set. But why? In a deep report published on Tuesday, Pew Research explains that teenagers departing the social networks blue confines are looking for something more… real. More authentic. Which, ironically, was the initial draw of Facebook, one of the first social networks to require real names.

via Teens Are Turning Away from Facebook Because Tumblr Is Real, and Parent-Free – J.K. Trotter – The Atlantic Wire.

But yeah, scratch a Tumblog, and you’ll find an angst-ridden, geeky, anime fangirl/boy taking refuge in pseudonymity.

We know when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sleeps – Quartz

One lingering digital remnant of Dzhokhar, caught in a Facebook photo (in a white cap, at left). David Green

One lingering digital remnant of Dzhokhar, caught in a Facebook photo (in a white cap, at left). David Green

A few tech-savvy people have uncovered an extraordinary amount of information about the Tsarnaev brothers in a short amount of time. This has so many interesting implications for law enforcement, journalism, and privacy in the digital age.

We know all this not because the FBI told us or because journalists went out and spoke to people—though there is a lot that the media has revealed in the same 12-hour-period—but because it can all be pieced together with some decent Googling. If you read Russian and know how to use Yandex and V Kontake, there is more public information yet.


Where it was once only reporters and the police who dug up information about people of interest, a whole nation is at it today. And for all the myriad concerns about privacy settings, cookies, data protection, automated surveillance, and Facebook, we reveal immense amounts of information about ourselves publicly, unthinkingly, and sometimes involuntarily.

via We know when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sleeps – Quartz.


Yet we do not know the answers to the most important question we have, “Why?” As the article concludes, “We know when Dzhokhar sleeps but not what he dreams about.”

Inside the Biggest Cyberattack in History

The silver lining is the motivation it’s given security providers.

A cyberattack originally targeting a single company is now being described by experts as one of the biggest attacks in Internet history. The assault, which recently began impacting elements of the Internet’s physical infrastructure, has been dragging down Internet speeds across the world and particularly in Europe — but what makes this type of attack different from all other attacks?

via Inside the Biggest Cyberattack in History.

Facebook Knew I Was Gay Before My Family Did

This has implications for the privacy of messages shared on Facebook, and should give each of us pause.

When Matt (last name withheld for privacy) logged onto Facebook earlier this week, he was startled by the placement of a seemingly impossible ad on his News Feed: a rainbow-underwear-adorned banner for Rick Clemons (the California-based, self-appointed “Coming Out Coach”) that read, “COMING OUT? NEED HELP?”

Matt (who lives on the East Coast) did need help coming out. But as far as he knew, there was only one other person in the world who knew that but him.

Matt told BuzzFeed FWD in an email:

As many LGBT individuals know, for a time, the most closely held secret we have is our sexuality. Several nights ago, I texted a close and dear friend for advice on revealing such sensitive personal information. The next morning, I woke up to a “sponsored story” on my Facebook page that asked “Coming Out? Need help?” How did Facebook know such a specific ad would apply to my profile?

via Facebook Knew I Was Gay Before My Family Did.

The Google Glass feature no one is talking about — Creative Good

Google glasses at #NASASocial being sported by...

Google glasses at #NASASocial being sported by @niket (Photo credit: Fifth World Art)

I’m glad that someone has identified the privacy implications of the newest “cool” technology. We should not go blithely into what’s cool and hip.

The really interesting aspect is that all of the indexing, tagging, and storage could happen without the Google Glass user even requesting it. Any video taken by any Google Glass, anywhere, is likely to be stored on Google servers, where any post-processing (facial recognition, speech-to-text, etc.) could happen at the later request of Google, or any other corporate or governmental body, at any point in the future.

Remember when people were kind of creeped out by that car Google drove around to take pictures of your house? Most people got over it, because they got a nice StreetView feature in Google Maps as a result.

Google Glass is like one camera car for each of the thousands, possibly millions, of people who will wear the device – every single day, everywhere they go – on sidewalks, into restaurants, up elevators, around your office, into your home. From now on, starting today, anywhere you go within range of a Google Glass device, everything you do could be recorded and uploaded to Google’s cloud, and stored there for the rest of your life. You won’t know if you’re being recorded or not; and even if you do, you’ll have no way to stop it.

And that, my friends, is the experience that Google Glass creates. That is the experience we should be thinking about. The most important Google Glass experience is not the user experience – it’s the experience of everyone else. The experience of being a citizen, in public, is about to change.

Just think: if a million Google Glasses go out into the world and start storing audio and video of the world around them, the scope of Google search suddenly gets much, much bigger, and that search index will include you. Let me paint a picture. Ten years from now, someone, some company, or some organization, takes an interest in you, wants to know if you’ve ever said anything they consider offensive, or threatening, or just includes a mention of a certain word or phrase they find interesting. A single search query within Google’s cloud – whether initiated by a publicly available search, or a federal subpoena, or anything in between – will instantly bring up documentation of every word you’ve ever spoken within earshot of a Google Glass device.

This is the discussion we should have about Google Glass. The tech community, by all rights, should be leading this discussion. Yet most techies today are still chattering about whether they’ll look cool wearing the device.

Oh, and as for that physical design problem. If Google Glass does well enough in its initial launch to survive to subsequent versions, forget Warby Parker. The next company Google will call is Bausch & Lomb. Why wear bulky glasses when the entire device fits into a contact lens? And that, of course, would be the ultimate expression of the Google Glass idea: a digital world that is even more difficult to turn off, once it’s implanted directly into the user’s body. At that point you’ll not even know who might be recording you. There will be no opting out.

via The Google Glass feature no one is talking about — Creative Good.

In Smart MobsHoward Rheingold asked

Will self-organized, ad hoc networks of computer wearers, mediated by privacy–protecting agents, blossom into a renaissance of new wealth, knowledge, and revitalized civil society, or will the same technological-social regime provide nothing more than yet another revenue stream for Disinfotainment, Inc.?

The privacy–protecting agents are missing. There is no opt-out. Given this week’s decision by the Supreme Court to toss out the lawsuit over NSA warrantless wiretapping, the possibilities extend beyond revenue, entertainment, and information.

IBM Security Tool Can Flag ‘Disgruntled Employees’

A vintage Scot Tissue ad, first appearing in the 1930s and urging employers to stock bathrooms with Scot Tissue products to prevent turning their employees into radical communists.

Is government “Big Brother,” or is industry? What are the privacy implications of the ability to mine and analyze such data?

A new International Business Machines Corp. security tool uses Big Data to help CIOs detect internal and external security threats in new ways—and can even scan email and social media to flag apparently “disgruntled” employees who might be inclined to reveal company secrets, according to Sandy Bird, chief technology officer of IBM’s security systems division.

via IBM Security Tool Can Flag ‘Disgruntled Employees’ – The CIO Report – WSJ.

Work is Becoming More Like Prison As Some Workers Forced to Wear Electronic Bands That Track Everything They Do Including Bathroom Breaks | Alternet

This is Taylorism on digital steroids. Life imitates art.

The Irish Independent reports that grocery giant TESCO has strapped electronic armbands to their warehouse workers to measure their productivity, tracking their actions so closely that management knows when they briefly pause to drink from a water fountain or take a bathroom break. These unforgivable lapses in productivity impact workers performance score, which management then apparently uses to terrify them into working faster.

via Work is Becoming More Like Prison As Some Workers Forced to Wear Electronic Bands That Track Everything They Do Including Bathroom Breaks | Alternet.


Now you can have your own drone

What if everyone could have one?

Sure, an AR.Drone 2.0 will afford you 720p HD video recording in the skies for just 300 dollars, but how does 1080p with 11 megapixels of sensor sound in comparison? That’s exactly what Lehmann Aviation is offering on its new LFPV civil UAV.

Source: vimeo.com via Richard on Pinterest

Twitter Hacked; Company Says 250K Users May Have Been Affected | Threat Level | Wired.com

For your information.

Following a string of revelations this week from several media companies who announced they had been recently hacked, Twitter announced on Friday that it had also been the target of a sophisticated attack.The company wrote in a blog post ironically titled “Keeping our users secure” that it detected unusual patterns this week that led it to identify attempts to access user data.“We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later,” wrote Bob Lord, Twitter’s director of information security. “However, our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information — usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords — for approximately 250,000 users.”

via Twitter Hacked; Company Says 250K Users May Have Been Affected | Threat Level | Wired.com.

Social Media Death

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

This would make an interesting topic in thanatology circles.

[View the story “Facebook flaw allows users to ‘kill’ friends” on Storify]