Geek Stuff category archive
Carl Hiaasen ghostwrites Mark Zuckerberg. A snippet:
Methinks he has a point.
Follow the link for the rest.
Oh what a tangled web the Zuckerborg weaves,
as these discovered when they tried to leave.
Consumer champion Martin Lewis, Britain’s Money Saving Expert, has declared he is suing Facebook for defamation over fake adverts featuring his face that repeatedly appear on the under-fire social network.
“Within the last year, the social media site has published over 50 fake Martin Lewis adverts which are regularly seen, likely by millions of people, in the UK,” complained Lewis. “The most prevalent are get-rich-quick schemes currently titled ‘Bitcoin code’ or ‘Cloud Trader’, which are fronts for binary trading firms based outside the EU.”
More at the link.
At The Denver Post, Diane Carman explains that the blame doesn’t lie only with Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and their ilk. A snippet (follow the link for the rest):
Here’s the deal. You know that advertisement for overpriced slippers that keeps coming at you whenever you access your digital newspaper subscription or perform a Google search or check Facebook? At some point you innocently click on the ad to see what it’s all about, and then they’ve got you. The ads keep coming. And pretty soon you think you really need another pair of slippers even if they cost 150 bucks and, after all, they’re still just slippers.
You’ve been played.
A really really good con job is still a con job. Persons who stay aware and do their homework generally do not let themselves get conned.
The same goes for societies.
My word, Facebook does indeed function as a funnel for foolishness.
Writing at Psychology Today Blogs, Susan Krauss Whitbourne describes how Facebook profiled its
users victims. Here’s a bit of the article:
As part of the expose now coming to light, one study, in particular, has not received a great deal of attention, but in some ways is even more ominous than the Cambridge Analytica story alone. In 2015, Kogan published a scientific article (link is external) with collaborators from well-respected academic institutions as well as his company, and Facebook researchers, in which the claim was made that people of higher social status have fewer international friends. The underlying theory was that people with greater wealth and power don’t need to affiliate with people who aren’t like them; i.e., people from other nations. The authors didn’t seem to think that using data from millions of Facebook data, without their awareness, would constitute an ethical violation. See what you think after reading the details of this paper.
Learn about the wonderful world of free and open source. Use computers to do what you want, not what someone else wants you to do. Learn how to use GNU/Linux and its plethora of free and open source software to get stuff done with computers.
It’s not hard; it’s just different.
Who: Everyone in TideWater/Hampton Roads with interest in any/all flavors of Unix/Linux. There are no dues or signup requirements. All are welcome.
Where: Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk Training Room (map). (Wireless and wired internet connection available.) Turn right upon entering, then left at the last corridor and look for the open meeting room.
Pap and Farron discuss how Facebook has “scraped” phone calls and contacts using its Android app.
In the Hartford Courant, Matthew Kauffman tells a fascinating tale of how he toyed with an internet fraudster for two weeks. From the opening of his article:
I’ve written about Internet scams before, and online swindlers are nothing if not creative, forever coming up with variations on a singular theme: Creating a credible-sounding transaction that will trick the unsuspecting into parting with thousands of dollars through untraceable means.
Give it a read.
In related news, Daniel Ruth points out that Facebook’s
targets users are hardly blameless. A snippet:
Sure, it is rather tawdry so many naive people willingly provided information about themselves that was then cynically exploited for crass political purposes. But doesn’t this say more about the gullibility of the victims than it does about the dark forces behind the scenes who manipulated the data?
After all, Facebook is nothing more than a huge, honking privacy violation machine. It is not an egalitarian social network uniting the world in a common bond of friendship and sharing. Like so many other cyber platforms, Facebook has become a propaganda weapon, a troller’s paradise and an opportunity to sell all manner of stuff. It’s the General Motors of hubris.
Follow the link for a thoughtful column on privacy and social media. Frankly, I think the columnist is somewhat naive and doesn’t fully get the extent to which the internet is a public place that never forgets, and that one should conduct oneself accordingly, but I think his musings provoke enough thought to be worth a read.