Tag Archives: technology

Privacy Concerns With Google Glass

source: Nobel Ackerson

source: Nobel Ackerson

If you know me personally, you know that I’m a very public person. I am also a very private person when it comes to certain things. Having the right to privacy, whether you choose so or not, is something I want to always have regardless if I choose to or not. If I choose to be engaged in social media, it is my choice, but I have to make sure that I only invoke my right (or lack) of privacy, and not anyone else’s.

When I take photos, I NEVER tag people in the shared album. I always ask the people, even if I can share the album. While, I assume, I’m in my right to tag someone, out of respect I don’t. What I assume is safe to post, may not be for everyone.

There is a very legitimate privacy concern over glass, when it comes to being in a place where cameras and recording devices are prohibited. In these places recording devices are banned. you don’t need to make another law specifically for glass. it is assumed that any recording device will be prohibited. The goal of Glass is to push the limits of technology. It is not a new way to spy on people. if Google didn’t put a camera, people would complain that it didn’t have a recording element.I believe that Google Glass is a huge milestone in technology. I believe that is a net positive gain for convenience. Remember Google’s mission statement / company policy is “do not evil.”

I will say that people are not paying the all this money to show us the very worst part of Google Glass. They have a vested interest in making a positive impact. I bet all the Glass toting population are very nice people who want to see this technology become mainstream. If the rumored iWatch has Siri that must mean it could also be a recording device. Are we banning watches?

The violation of one person’s privacy rights (implicit or implied) is a huge concern. The underlying issue is that the technology has already been given a stigma of being something that it is not. I am not going to walk around recording everyone. Just because I have a recording device doesn’t mean I’m going to use it for nefarious purposes. Those same devices have existed for years, but somehow we trust the user. We trust the user because we have the same technology, and understand how it works.

When you talk to someone who doesn’t understand what Facebook is, we hear the same privacy invading rhetoric. “I don’t like ‘the Facebook’ because it [Facebook] steals our information.” It very well could be true, but the evidence used, is not based on fact, but on rumor that someone told them. This argument also comes from the same people who won’t give you their address or phone number out of privacy concerns, but will friend you on Facebook ten minutes later.

People are already trying to pigeonhole Glass into a category of spying and video recording mainly because that is all they know.  We don’t ban pencils because someone can stab someone with it.  The fear of the unknown, has been led to the forefront. Just like any new technology, without real analysis, the cynics are going to complain about everything. How about we focus on real privacy concerns rather than potential recording in public places. I don’t hear complaints that your ISP just hands over browser history with only a governmental request. What about the data leakage that occurs when your friends play FarmVille?  You do know, Zynga, by virtue of your friends playing the games, has access to your Facebook account?

Let’s address the problem when it comes up.  Until then, let us all marvel in the new technology.  We have much bigger problems than some people looking funny who may want to take your picture in public without your consent.

Please Use Anything Else Other Than SMS


Whether you like Facebook or not, you have got to give it to Facebook for making an amazing purchase with Beluga, a group messaging service that competed with GroupMe at SXSWi in 2010.

The key to a group messaging app is market share. SMS always wins out because it is ubiquitous to all platforms. The problem is that SMS costs money (and a lot of it), and only works on phones. iMessage was supposed to take over SMS, and got close, but it only works with iOS devices.

I’m hoping that Google Babble (or whatever they will call it) meets the cross platform, reliable, feature rich, and ease of use requirements that I want and Facebook messenger has.

Facebook messenger is everything it needs to be. 1 billion people use facebook. They can see the message on their phone or their computer. They can choose to receive the messages as SMS, or use data. You have have large groups. You can have read receipts. You can send photos, You can send links. You can send videos.

The only downfall is that you have to use Facebook, and I only say that liberally. You have to have an account. TechCrunch reports that you don’t need an account, and can sign up with SMS only. http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/04/messenger-no-facebook-account/ In reality it is simpler to make an account, with nothing in it.

Just make a simple Facebook account.

Everyone then tells me, that what is the purpose, just use SMS, GroupMe, WhatsApp, or any other messaging program. The simple answer is that other people won’t use them. I’ve learned that people will only do what is convenient for them. I’ve long extolled how great Google+ is, but I still get bullied that it is a ghost town.

Even if you don’t use facebook, just have the account. Don’t use it for anything except messenger. Facebook can’t steal or use your data for nefarious purposes if there is no data there.

I also love facebook for oAuth. It allows one click login instead of typing some crazy long password on a mobile phone.

1) Edit your profile to just your name and photo. I like putting my email and Google Voice number there so people have them quickly accessible. I keep slightly more information there. I figure it is all so public at this point that who cares if my birthday gets leaked (I actually changed it by one day to see who really knew my birthday).

2) Go to preferences and disable your wall. Remember you aren’t there to socially network, but rather to use Facebook messenger. Your wall is no longer relevant.

3) Delete your wall posts.  Obviously, you don’t want old posts of you lingering around.  They will never go away, but it will be much harder to dig up.

4) Delete the people you will probably never really speak to. (I‘ve complained about this before). I thought that having friends, even remote ones, will be beneficial later on when I need a favor, but people can’t even wish you a happy birthday when told to.

5) Delete all pictures that you don’t want public, including tagged photos. While you are at it, turn on the setting that forces you to approve it).

6) Delete all the apps that you don’t use. The ones you do use, check their extra permissions so that they don’t post on your behalf.  http://mypermissions.org is great for this.

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Why Simplicity Wins (Most of the Time)


anykeyNever in history has one facet of life changed so much day to day that people are actively engaged in it, or are completed disgusted and refuse to learn.  People who refuse to learn technology is growing (contrary to opinion), and require more assistance.  As devices get more technical, the knowledge base to educate them grows and grows.  It is overwhelming to sit someone down and explain to them how to use Windows or OS X when they have never used it before.

Growing up as an Internet denizen, I progressed through all the technological advances that came (and gone) through the years.  My friends comically laugh that I have used every single operating system (desktop and mobile).  People often ask me for advice on what to get, to which I do share it.

When giving tech advice to people, what you are saying is that you are knowledgeable enough to help them, any time they need.  The keyword is ANYTIME and THEY, not YOUR TIME, and YOUR AVAILABILITY.

What you think is better may not necessarily  be better.  The first question I reply with when asked on which smartphone to get is will you have 45 minutes to sit there and learn it.   If they are willing, and can navigate YouTube, I will generally recommend Android.  If they hesitate, I immediately gravitate to iOS.  That isn’t saying that iOS is better or worse, that is saying that iOS has a store with “knowledgeable” people, a place to actually go to, and a lot of other people that because of standard feature set are able to help. Also iOS is more simple as a whole. If they seem interested in learning their product to its full use, I generally recommend Android.  The thought process in using Android has some foibles, but usually it is pretty robust and standardized in the newest versions.

If you want a true discussion between iOS and Android on the extreme power user side, listen to the latest podcast on inThirty here. http://30.inthirty.net/YQI32C

All of this has a point.  If you are the technological person for many people, be ready to help.  This story, made up, I’m sure exists on many levels.

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inThirty – 30 Episodes Later and What We Learned

Over the course of the last thirty episodes I have learned a tremendous amount in what it means to produce a podcast.  From the difficulties of recording a skype call (Very difficult), to making time every week, to promoting the show, someone has to do it.

It started when @justinfreid (http://justinfreid.com) introduced me to @harrycmarks (http://curiousrat.com), and asked if I would be interested in talking about technology.  My initial answer was that of skepticism.  Why would anyone want to listen to me?  We had to differentiate ourselves from the thousands of other tech podcasts.  With great tech luminaries that have insider information, or have been covering tech for so long, we needed an angle.

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A Rant By A Tech Expert



I’ve spent a few weeks just listening to problems people have had / are having with technology, and I’m realizing the things that I’m taking for granted are huge obstacles for people.  Obstacles so great, that people shun from technology because it is too complicated.  Instead of learning something for an hour that will save you a good deal of time later, people decide that the status quo is “good enough for me.”

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How to Help Your Friend Choose a Phone.

Being a budget technologist, a teacher, and having my opinion matters, I do have to try and provide honest feedback.  People, students and colleagues, want me to guide them into choosing the right product.  With that said, I have to try and make unbiased reviews on a lot of different products.  When iOS5 and the 4s came out, I had at least 5 different people ask, “Is this the phone I should get?”  I do have to put my google fan boy behind me.

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