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Welcome back to the World Policy “Best of” list. Today we pull back the curtain on the Egyptian revolution and reveal its somewhat dark underbelly. Political activist Mahmoud Salem, who tweets under the name “sandmonkey,” shares how the introduction of social media into Egyptian culture sparked the Egyptian revolution where he played a seminal social media role. At the same time, these same tools now jeopardize the creation of any political infrastructure capable of governing effectively.
By Mahmoud Salem
CAIRO, Egypt—As a child of the 1980s, I grew up watching science fiction television shows and movies—all set in the “not-so-distant future.” Holographic communication, teleportation, and flying cars were central tenets of that universe. And while I marveled at the prospect of these technologies, I was most fascinated by the “magical technological device”—that could be used to complete any task, from basic communication to dissemination of news to national security.
Tag Archives | Privacy
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A whole wing of the Internet just got added to our collective conscience, like websites by Google or knowledge by Wikipedia before it.
Yet the news cruised by with analysis focused simply on what Facebook’s new keyword post search does today. Yes, any post by you or any of your friends can now be dug up with a quick search from mobile. But I don’t think people realize how big a deal it is for tomorrow. Facebook just went from data rich to Scrooge-McDuck-swimming-in-a-tower-full-of data rich.
The ramifications for advertising, developers, and Facebook itself are tough to fathom. Our most vivid doppelgänger, our digital echoes can now be tracked. They don’t just say who we were, but where we’re headed, and what we’ll want next.
First, the trillion post index gives us group memory.Each person can only search stories from their friends and surrounding network, but Mark Zuckerberg recently said those all add up to over 1 trillion posts.
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Besides your passport, what really defines your nationality these days?
Is it where you were live? Where you work? The language you speak? The currency you use?
If it is, then we may see the idea of “nationality” quickly dissolve in the decades ahead. Language, currency and residency are rapidly being disrupted and dematerialized by technology.
Where you live, where you work…
Increasingly, technological developments will allow us to live and work almost anywhere on the planet… (and even beyond).
Soon, you’ll be able to live in the Greek Islands and work in Manhattan, London, and Los Angeles.
Telepresence & Virtual Environments
Today I use telepresence robots to telecommute around the globe, attend an XPRIZE meeting in India, or if I’m overseas, pop home for breakfast or dinner with my kids.
The product I personally use comes from Suitable Technology and is called the “Beam.” I have about 15 beams across my different companies, and I’ll be integrating another 20 beams into my Abundance 360 Summit.
Facebook has apologized for the insensitivity of a feature which relied on algorithms to collect a year’s worth of events, status updates, and photographs into a single presentation after it was criticized for showing images of deceased family members.
Eric Meyer, the user who first wrote about the “Year in Review” feature’s morbid callousness, has also apologized to Facebook for not making clear the company’s efforts to console him for the algorithmic fuck-up before he published his blog post.
But his original point — that companies should account for all their users instead of building products for an idealized version of the human condition — still stands. It might even be more relevant now that it’s clear Facebook didn’t know of the problem.
Interactive apps, multiple theme-tune remixes, constant recommendations, memes or trans-Atlantic and server-collapsing debuts are but mild indicators of Game of Thrones‘ public success. What’s the real measure of a show’s popularity? It’s how many people pilfer it from the internet. In this regard, our friends in Westeros have no need for a drawbridge, an army or one single drop of wildfire — its crown as the “most pirated” program continues for the third year running. Torrentfreak estimates the show peaked at over 8 million downloads, nearly double that of the second place series: The Walking Dead.
Forget those plans by Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and other theaters to run Team America: World Police in place of The Interview. The Austin-based chain says that Paramount has now decided not to offer South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s 2004 satire that focuses on Kim Jong-il, the late father of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Alamo says that the cancellation at its Dallas theater is “due to circumstances beyond our control” and says it will offer refunds to those who have already bought tickets. Cleveland’s Capitol Theater also tweeted that Team America“has been canceled by Paramount Pictures.”
Due to to circumstances beyond our control, the TEAM AMERICA 12/27 screening has been cancelled. We apologize & will provide refunds today.
— Alamo Drafthouse DFW (@AlamoDFW) December 18, 2014
via Good Times Weekly:
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A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams.
“Are you dreaming right now?” asks science writer and dream researcher David Jay Brown. We are sitting in the ivy-draped courtyard of Laili, next to a babbling fountain and a rowdy dinner party of 10.
“No!” I say, sure of the answer to such an absurd question.
“But how do you know?” he asks.
“I just know.”
“Well, have you tested it?” He picks up a fork and taps the wall. In a dream, maybe the tines would bend, he says. In a dream, the words on the menu would scramble the minute you looked away and looked back again. And if you plugged your nose and breathed out, you’d feel the air leaving your nostrils, even though they were plugged.
“Nope, not dreaming,” I say, through a pinched nose. But there’s an epiphany scratching around inside his point: even when fork tines bend with no effort and landscapes transform at the mere suggestion of thought, we accept what we’re experiencing in a dream as real.
via Tech Dirt:
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Geek gadget also-ran KlearGear gained internet infamy thanks to the following paragraph tucked away on its “Terms of Sale and Use” page:
In an effort to ensure fair and honest public feedback, and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any form, your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts KlearGear.com, its reputation, products, services, management or employees.
Tacked onto this absurd redefining of “fair and honest feedback” was a $3,500 fee. This was levelled at a couple who complained about the non-delivery of products it had paid for. This went to court, and the couple was awarded over $300,000 in a default judgement when KlearGear no-showed.
For the most part, this would seem to be a cautionary tale — something other companies would take into consideration when crafting their own terms of service. But some companies are still apparently willing to dance with the Devil Streisand by including onerous fees tied to the phrase “fair and honest feedback.” Not only will the enforcement of this clause likely result in large amounts of public shaming, but in some states, this may actually be illegal.
via Tech Dirt:
As a string of whistle blowers like former AT&T employee Mark Klein have made clear abundantly clear, the line purportedly separating intelligence operations from the nation’s incumbent phone companies was all-but obliterated long ago. As such, it’s relatively amusing to see Verizon announce this week that the company is offering up a new encrypted wireless voice service named Voice Cypher. Voice Cypher, Verizon states, offers “end-to-end” encryption for voice calls on iOS, Android, or BlackBerry devices equipped with a special app made by Cellcrypt.
Verizon’s marketing materials for the service feature young, hip, privacy-conscious users enjoying the “industry’s most secure voice communication” platform:
You heard that right.
Google chairman Eric “NSA” Schmidt once said quite proudly: You Have No Privacy – Get Over It.”
Eric Schmidt Dismisses Privacy: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/12/google-ceo-eric-schmidt-dismisses-privacy
Secrets Are for Filthy People: http://gawker.com/5419271/google-ceo-secrets-are-for-filthy-people
Now Eric wants you to be sure and use Google’s secure servers for your data storage needs.
I’ll respond to that directly: FQ Eric. Sincerely, Chaos_Dynamics
Here’s the story from IT World:
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Google has worked hard to lock down the personal data it collects since revelations in the last year and a half about mass surveillance programs at the U.S. National Security Agency, company Chairman Eric Schmidt said.
The news of surveillance by the NSA and intelligence agency counterparts at allied nations has damaged the U.S. tech industry on “many levels,” with many Europeans now distrusting U.S. tech companies to hold on to their personal data, Schmidt said Friday at a surveillance conference at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.