Daily Archives: March 21, 2018

Today’s Holiday: Vernal Equinox at Chichén Itzá

Today’s Holiday:
Vernal Equinox at Chichén Itzá

Chichén Itzá, located on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, is one of the country’s biggest and best preserved Mayan ruins. Every year on the Vernal Equinox, the angle of the sunlight hitting the enormous El Castillo pyramid creates a shadow that gives the illusion of a snake slithering down its side. The Mayans believed that this was Kukulcán, the feathered snake god known to the Aztecs as Quetzalcoatl. Tourists converge on the site on the equinox, and visitors enjoy folk dancers, musicians, and poets while they wait for the moment of the serpent’s appearance. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday: Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, AKA John Paul (1763)

Today’s Birthday:
Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, AKA John Paul (1763)

The son of a German pastor, Richter initially planned to follow in his father’s footsteps, but after studying theology at university, he found a new passion in writing. He published two poorly received satirical works before suffering a spiritual crisis that profoundly altered his outlook and writing style. His next book, Die unsichtbare Loge, The Invisible Lodge, a romance published in 1793, was the first of his many works to receive acclaim. Who inspired his pen name, Jean Paul? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History: The First Rock Major Concert Is Held, Gets Shut Down (1952)

This Day in History:
The First Rock Major Concert Is Held, Gets Shut Down (1952)

On the night of March 21, 1952, more than 20,000 fans tried to pack into the Cleveland Arena, which had an actual capacity of about half that number. Consequently, authorities shut down that evening’s concert, the Moondog Coronation Ball, just minutes into the opening act, Paul Williams and his Hucklebuckers. The show is considered to have been the first major rock concert in history. It was promoted by Alan Freed, the Cleveland disc jockey believed to have coined what term? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day: Henry David Thoreau

Quote of the Day:
Henry David Thoreau

It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day: Terror Bombing

Article of the Day:
Terror Bombing

Terror bombing is a military strategy that involves deliberately bombing civilian targets in order to damage enemy morale and elicit panic. During World War II, the legality of area bombardment—the bombing of general regions rather than specific targets—rested on the language of treaties drafted in a time before aerial mass bombardment was possible. Despite diplomatic attempts, such language was not updated until after the war. How have treaties since 1945 treated the targeting of noncombatants? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Idiom of the Day: make the best of a bad bargain

Idiom of the Day:
make the best of a bad bargain

To deal with and create the best possible outcome of a bad, unfortunate, or unpleasant situation or set of circumstances. Watch the video…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day: miserly

Word of the Day:

Definition: (adjective) (Used of persons or behavior) characterized by or indicative of lack of generosity.
Synonyms: mingy, tight, mean
Usage: The necessity of disbursing passage money for all his tribe seemed to disturb him in a manner that was the more striking because otherwise he gave no signs of a miserly disposition.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

How to protect your personal data from Facebook profiteering

How to protect your personal data from Facebook profiteering
Should you delete Facebook? Or is there a way to use the “free” social media platform without allowing it to make money off your personal data?

Revelations that the Trump-linked political data firm Cambridge Analytica skirted Facebook’s privacy policies to suck up data on over 50 million Americans, and undercover videos showing the company executives boasting about their deceptive campaign tactics are just the nudge some users need to quit the platform entirely, judging by the social media outcry that sent the hashtag #deletefacebook trending Tuesday.

One of the loudest voices came from Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, which Facebook purchased in 2014. “It is time. #deletefacebook” he told his Twitter followers.

As the saying goes, when the service is free, you are the product.

“All data-based companies use collected data to make money. Where we draw the line on what they can and can’t do is the $64,000 question right now,” said Raj Goyle, former deputy legal director of the ACLU and co-CEO and co-founder of legal tech site Bodhala. “It’s extremely hard for people to safely use a platform when they are not completely sure what they should be protecting themselves against, and what warning signs they should be looking for.”

But for those who can’t quite quit Facebook, there are ways to at least minimize the site’s ability to monetize your personal information without entirely losing the ability to see what cute thing your cousin’s baby gurgled this hour or what your co-worker thinks of his sandwich.

For starters, you can go into your applications tab. Under “Apps, Websites, and Plugins” hit the edit tab and “Disable Platform.” This will stop your data from streaming through Facebook’s API, which is how third parties see all your activity. It will also prevent you from logging in to other sites with Facebook, shut down your Instagram access, and you won’t be able to play platform-based apps like “Farmville” anymore.

Screenshot of Facebook’s current data sharing settings for individual users. Facebook privacy settings
If that’s too much and you’re mainly just bothered about the news that your friends who use an app could end up sharing your data even if you never used the app or got any notification, then uncheck all the radio buttons under the “Apps others use” heading for the pieces of data you don’t want your friends to share.

Each button warns you that might not be able to use certain apps on Facebook and other sites, but if you just bookmark the address above then you can go always go back and re-enable something if you later find a web service isn’t working the way you want it to.

The sharing doesn’t stop there. “Even if your profile is set to private,” said Ron Schlecht, managing founder of cybersecurity firm BTB Security, your likes, tagged photos, and other details, “can be made available to people who are not your friends or outside your social network.”

Some people try to hide by using a fake name or persona on Facebook. But the cellphone number or email address they used to authenticate themselves is connected to all that data, said Schlecht.

That personal identifier can then be connected by data brokers to other sources of your data and reconnect your profile. So while you might be hidden from your old high-school boyfriend or boss, the data miners can still find you.

This is why it can be good to download a copy of all your Facebook data. It can be a memento of all your Facebook activity, but it can also be a learning experience to see just how much information you’re sharing. Go under “Settings” and select the option to download your data. It will take a few minutes and the information will come in a few folders, including one that divides up your friends based on whether they’re part of your “starting adult life” or “established adult life,” along with a file of your facial recognition information called facedata.htm.

“In addition to raising questions about Facebook’s role in the 2016 presidential election, this news is a reminder of the inevitable privacy risks that users face when their personal information is captured, analyzed, indefinitely stored, and shared by a constellation of data brokers, marketers, and social media companies,” wrote EFF, a non-profit digital privacy and rights advocacy group.

Ultimately, it may be a contradiction to think that anyone can use a website designed to connect people and their data together and not have their information exploited.

“It’s not possible to use Facebook safely because the platform is about putting vast amounts of personal information in one place,” said Goyle. “Technology is so well developed that it can accurately analyze scraps of information to reconstruct whole profiles of valuable user data. Facebook itself cannot fully protect users from companies and people who want to make use of that information – nor does it seem to want to.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to break silence on Cambridge Analytica data use
NBC News
New York and Massachusetts to investigate Cambridge Analytica and Facebook
NBC News
Cambridge Analytica harvested data from millions of unsuspecting Facebook users
NBC News
How To Protect Your Personal Data On Facebook
CBS New York
Fed up with Facebook? Here’s how to protect your data