digital-ad industry says that if it passes it could mean ‘Facebook won’t be free’
Tennessee Congresswoman Martha Blackburn says she wants to give consumers control of their internet experience.
She’s introduced a bill — the “BROWSER Act” — that would require internet users to actively opt in to say yes to any sort of ad tracking or online-data collection.
“Facebook won’t be free,” said Scott Howe, CEO of the data company Acxiom. Acxiom collects consumer data on millions of Americans — where they live and the kinds of things they shop for — that marketers and media companies use to target consumers and deliver more-relevant ads. So it’s looking out for any legislation in this realm closely.
Continue reading New Internet-Privacy Bill to address Ad Tracking or Online-Data Collection
While Facebook, Google, Yahoo and other Social Media Giants debate on whether blocking fake news on their services will be bad enough for their bottom line (because they make revenue for clicks on their sites and traffic flow) instead of focusing on the greater good for their users and society on a whole, a group of college Students have stepped up on done their job for them. Continue reading Students do what Social Giants drag ass on
What is the singularity?
I honestly was not aware of this topic so I set out to do some research to open my mind and man was my mind blown. Basically what I understand is that the singularity is a point in time when technology will surpass human intelligence and humans will start to become the minority in intelligence.
Vernor Vinge introduced the term Technological Singularity in his science fiction novel Marooned in Realtime(1986) and later developed the concept in his essay the Coming Technological Singularity (1993). His definition of Singularity is widely known as the event horizon thesis and in essence says that trans or post-human minds will imply a weirder future than we can imagine:
“Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended. […] I think it’s fair to call this event a singularity. It is a point where our models must be discarded and a new reality rules. As we move closer and closer to this point, it will loom vaster and vaster over human affairs till the notion becomes a commonplace. Yet when it finally happens it may still be a great surprise and a greater unknown.” (1)
Continue reading The singularity – Will it Happen?
Even when installing from the Google Play store, caution should be used when installing apps.
A good rule to follow is to ask yourself if the app being installed is asking for more permissions than what it needs to function. When it comes to a wallpaper app, the list of permissions should be rather short.
It was recently brought to our attention that there was a wallpaper app on the Google Play store that had an extra permission that didn’t fit. It was using the permission GET_ACCOUNTS which allows access to list accounts.
This wallpaper app was doing a bit more than just displaying pictures on the device’s background.
The app goes by the name of Sexy Girls Wallpaper Gallery with the package name com.sexywallpapers.wallpaper.sexy. With the permission GET_ACCOUNTS accepted, it then uses the getAccountsByType() function to gather account information from Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
The stolen account information is then sent to a remote server. This is all triggered when the app is opened.
It uses the value email for Google/email account info, emailf for Facebook account info, and emailt for Twitter account info when sending to the remote server.
Read the entire report at malwarebytes
The newly emergent “big data” meme has never been defined in any meaningful and definitive way. It’s the most amorphous new buzz-term that I’ve seen for a decade. It’s one of those “eye of the beholder” terms used to liven up a seminar and eventually soak investors.
Let’s start by asking what does big data mean? Lots of data? More data than you can handle? Amorphous data? Out of control data? Useful data for analysis? Useless data? Information overload?
If you read enough about big data, it is all of the above and more. The key is not the data, but the challenge of how to handle the data and what to do with the data itself.
In other words, how can we make this huge pile of data, that we have managed to accumulate, be useful in new and profitable ways? The data pools can come from anywhere via various computing mechanisms such as Facebook posts, NSA logs, mailing lists, customers, etc.
I would argue that most readers of this column are themselves repositories of big data. I just bought a 3 Terabyte drive for backup. I have a lot of data to back up! Big data!
From what I can tell, what Big Data does best is spy on individuals.
A useful tool I can imagine would be a big data analysis tool that the police could use to find you guilty of some random crime by going through your files. Or at least find something that would embarrass you. Big data!
This all harkens back to a comment made by a former CEO of American Express, who told an audience that if the company wanted to (and this applies to all credit card companies) it could use your personal buying habits and tendencies to put together a complete dossier and definitely tell if you are having an affair or not. Big data!
None of this sounds good or healthy for the society. Jumping to conclusions, making assumptions, acting on false assumptions. Hounding the public with useless advertisements.
Facebook can sometimes seem like a digital microcosm of your entire life. It’s where you share snippets of personal information with your friends (and the company’s advertising network), chat with everyone you’ve ever met, and make any major life development “Facebook official.” But the harsh dismissal of a new feature allowing Facebook users to ask friends if they are in a relationship when they haven’t told Facebook yet, shows that the service still has its own rules of etiquette — and that it’s not a perfect replica of the real world.
The feature works like this: someone notices that a friend hasn’t filled out the “relationship status” section of their profile, then messages that friend by clicking on a special “ask” button. After the initiator of the request explains why they want to know if the friend is single or not, the friend decides whether to respond, either privately or publicly. It’s basically a private messaging tool made for one type of conversation.
That question wouldn’t seem strange outside of Facebook. People ask each other about their relationships all the time — it’s hardly a taboo subject. But according to the reaction to the feature from sites like Slate, Time, and Jezebel, a feature made for asking Facebook users about their love lives is stranger than Facebook’s new drone-powered future. A betting man probably would have thought that a social network using flying robots to provide Internet access would be stranger than this “ask” button, but it looks like he would have been wrong.
What are Extensions?
Extensions or plug-ins add extra functionality to Firefox. Simply put, they are extra apps that give Firefox some extra bells and whistles to make it yours. You can get add-ons that do just about anything like check the weather, listen to music, update your social accounts.
There are three types of extensions:
Extensions add new features to Firefox or modify existing ones. There are extensions that allow you to block advertisements, download videos from websites, integrate Firefox with websites like Facebook or Twitter, and even add features from other browsers.
There are two types of appearance add-ons:
- complete themes, which changes the look of buttons & menus,
- background themes, which decorate the menu bar and tab strip with a background image.
Plug-ins let you add support for all kinds of Internet content. These usually include patented formats like Flash, QuickTime, and Silverlight that are used for video, audio, on-line games, presentations, and more. Plug-ins are created and distributed by other companies. Continue reading Customizing Firefox
The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet.
How to stop the leak?
As long as the vulnerable version of OpenSSL is in use it can be abused. Fixed OpenSSL has been released and now it has to be deployed. Operating system vendors and distribution, appliance vendors, independent software vendors have to adopt the fix and notify their users. Service providers and users have to install the fix as it becomes available for the operating systems, networked appliances and software they use.
What is being leaked?
Encryption is used to protect secrets that may harm your privacy or security if they leak. In order to coordinate recovery from this bug we have classified the compromised secrets to four categories: 1) primary key material, 2) secondary key material and 3) protected content and 4) collateral.
What is leaked primary key material and how to recover?
These are the crown jewels, the encryption keys themselves. Leaked secret keys allows the attacker to decrypt any past and future traffic to the protected services and to impersonate the service at will. Any protection given by the encryption and the signatures in the X.509 certificates can be bypassed. Recovery from this leak requires patching the vulnerability, revocation of the compromised keys and reissuing and redistributing new keys. Even doing all this will still leave any traffic intercepted by the attacker in the past still vulnerable to decryption. All this has to be done by the owners of the services. Continue reading The Heartbleed Bug