Your turn

March 16, 2019

It’s Saturday so it’s your turn.

Brutus


UTEP president

March 14, 2019

There has been some criticism of the University of Texas board of regents’ selection for the presidency of UTEP, evidently coming from members of some gay communities.

I don’t know what discretion the president of UTEP will have over sexual preference issues at the school.

I can only imagine that at the first sign of perceived discrimination she will be faced with a lawsuit.

We deserve better

Brutus

 


A simple solution?

March 10, 2019

I heard an idea that I liked the other evening.

The smart phone manufactures should change their phones so that if it is moving faster than a set speed (5 miles per hour?) the keyboard should be disabled.

How many lives would that save?

We deserve better

Brutus


Open forum

March 9, 2019

It’s Saturday so let us know what you are thinking about.

We deserve better

Brutus


1984

March 4, 2019

We got the article below from https://9to5mac.com/2019/02/22/facebook-personal-data-ios-apps/

A new investigative report from The Wall Street Journal today looks into the controversial practice of popular third-party iOS and Android apps sending very personal user data to Facebook. In some cases, this happened immediately after an app recorded new data, even if the user wasn’t logged into Facebook or wasn’t a Facebook user at all. Notably, the report highlights that Apple and Google don’t require apps to divulge all the partners that user data is shared with.

 

WSJ noted how we share some of the most intimate details of our lives with apps.

Millions of smartphone users confess their most intimate secrets to apps, including when they want to work on their belly fat or the price of the house they checked out last weekend. Other apps know users’ body weight, blood pressure, menstrual cycles or pregnancy status.

What the investigative report discovered was that Facebookpurchases this personal data from apps, and in many cases has access to it as soon as new data is recorded. Further, this happens even when users aren’t logged in to Facebook or don’t even have an account.

The social-media giant collects intensely personal information from many popular smartphone apps just seconds after users enter it, even if the user has no connection to Facebook, according to testing done by The Wall Street Journal. The apps often send the data without any prominent or specific disclosure, the testing showed.

WSJ notes that many of Facebook’s controversial user tracking strategies have been uncovered over the last couple of years, but this investigation uncovered even more concerning details, like what in-app data 11 popular apps are sharing with Facebook.

It is already known that many smartphone apps send information to Facebook about when users open them, and sometimes what they do inside. Previously unreported is how at least 11 popular apps, totaling tens of millions of downloads, have also been sharing sensitive data entered by users. The findings alarmed some privacy experts who reviewed the Journal’s testing.

The tricky part for users is that iOS and Android apps aren’t required by Apple and Google to disclose all of the partners that have access to your data. What’s more, with the apps tested, there was no clear way to prevent them from sending data to Facebook.

Some of the example’s include heart rate app, Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor, Flo a period and ovulation tracker, and Realtor.com’s app.

In the Journal’s testing, Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor, the most popular heart-rate app on Apple’s iOS, made by California-based Azumio Inc., sent a user’s heart rate to Facebook immediately after it was recorded.

Flo Health Inc.’s Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker, which claims 25 million active users, told Facebook when a user was having her period or informed the app of an intention to get pregnant, the tests showed.

Real-estate app Realtor.com, owned by Move Inc., a subsidiary of Wall Street Journal parentNews Corp , sent the social network the location and price of listings that a user viewed, noting which ones were marked as favorites, the tests showed.

Even when users aren’t logged into Facebook, the company can often match up personal data from third-party apps to users once it receives the data.

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We deserve better

Brutus


Saturday

March 2, 2019

Today the topic is open.

Let us know what you are thinking about.

We deserve better.

Brutus


On civility

March 1, 2019

This came in from a thoughtful reader:

Somewhere it is written that courtesy is the lubricant of civil discourse.  Apparently, that does not work in social media and other electronic forums.

Jason Gay, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, said, “Social media in 2016 is like stepping into a trash bag of angry bees. There’s disturbing, genuine hate, a sociopathic lack of empathy, and almost zero engagement with opposing opinions, unless it is to demonize or insult them ad hominem.” (From “Sixteen Thoughts on Colin Kaepernick,” Sept. 7, 2016, Wall Street Journal.)

The term for these angry bees is trolls.  Elpasospeak seems to have attracted a crew of regulars that have taken up residence under the metaphorical bridge and pounce on anything or anyone who ventures an opinion.   They yell in ALL CAPS, can find fault in anything, and manifest all the other characteristics described by Mr. Gay.   One wonders if they are waiting for the second coming with a box of Crucifixion Nails.

Wait.  That would require action – real action and commitment – and maybe personal risk.

In my youth, I heard the term slacktivism — “Engaging socially in activism that requires little or no effort as part of a lifestyle or self-identity. Slacktivism requires no personal investment and usually produces no appreciable results.”  With the advent of the internet and social media, slacktivism has morphed into clicktivism, re-postivism, liketivism, and blogging.  Same characteristics:  no personal commitment or risk (especially when posting anonymously), no effort, and no appreciable results.

When a person was standing on a soapbox, he or she at least had to go to the street corner or town square and face his or her audience.   It was hard to be a troll when you had a person in front of your instead of a computer screen.

Let us examine outrage.  An observer of the modern news media has commented that today’s news stories seek to evoke one of two reactions:1) you should be scared to death about this news, or 2) you should be outraged.

Lance Morrow, also of the Journal, calls outrage the signature emotion of American life; he labeled it an addiction.  In describing modern political discourse, he wrote, “The various tribes have broken off negotiations with all differing points of view. They excuse themselves from self-doubt and abandon the idea of anything so weak as compromise or, God forbid, ambivalence: No other perspective could possibly be valid. … People give themselves over to the pleasures of self-righteousness and self-importance that come with being wronged when you know you’re in the right. “

“Outrage presents itself as an assertion of conscience, but in practice it mostly bypasses conscience and judgment, and goes straight to self-righteous rage, ……But, like so much else today, it has gotten to be a racket. The coin of anger is debased. Indignation has become a meme—not an authentic political or moral reaction to facts in a serious world, but rather a reflex, a kind of irresponsible playacting, or worse, a mania. When everyone is outraged, then real grievances lose their meaning, and the endless indulgence of outrage becomes, objectively, immoral.”

It seems like we cannot be merely dissatisfied – we must be outraged.


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