Tag Archives: technology

Involuntary Technological Encroachment

Once upon a time, the advent of the radio was considered a major advancement, and families in the evenings would huddle together and listen to favorite radio shows. Not that much later, television became the big thing. And with TV, it was easy to sit passively by as a couch potato watching one show after another.

Indeed, there is the following joke: A man says to his wife, “Honey, if I ever became a vegetable, please pull the plug.” So, the wife walks past her husband on the couch over to the television set and pulls its plug from the wall electrical socket.

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Will California Consumers Share in Wealth From Their Online Data?

Technology companies collect all sorts of data on their users. The terms of service located on their web sites spell out for users the types of data collected and how that data will be used. The data collected from users is extremely useful for tech companies in terms of how to market to them further, and accordingly, that data has tremendous economic value.

Along comes the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, who according to APNews.com, has announced that California consumers should share in the billions of dollars that tech companies make on personal data they collect. Indeed, Governor Newsom reportedly has asked his aides to come up with a proposal for what has been referred to as a “data dividend” for California residents. However, it is not clear whether he envisions a tax on tech companies, refunds to users, or some other idea.

Continue reading Will California Consumers Share in Wealth From Their Online Data?

Stealing Your Online Face – Online Truth Suffers Another Blow

What is “real” and what is “fake” in terms of online content we review? This has become a major, if not dominant, concern with respect to the reliability of what we see on the internet. Are suggested “facts” really true? Do we really know the actual source of material posted on the internet?

And now our worry in this area should be heightened by the development of face-swapping videos. For example, FakeApp can be utilized to create altered videos by inserting faces of people into these videos, as reported in detail by Business Insider. This face-swapping technique has been used by many people just for fun. As an example, Nicholas Cage’s image was inserted to have him becoming Lois Lane in a Superman movie (perhaps Nicholas Cage was not amused).  Continue reading Stealing Your Online Face – Online Truth Suffers Another Blow

Tech Acumen: Many Companies Falling Behind

Corporate America and companies around the globe are spending vast amounts of money trying to keep up with all sorts of threats in this new digital age. So, how are companies really doing?

Unfortunately, not so well. Indeed, according to PwC’s 2017 Digital IQ Survey, as reported by PR Daily, barely more than half of IT executives from the US and 52 other countries reported that their companies have a “strong digital IQ.” This is down from 67 percent so reporting in 2016, and 66 percent in 2015. Continue reading Tech Acumen: Many Companies Falling Behind

We Need Internet Stop Signs

Has our ability to stay present in the real world largely been destroyed by the internet? If so, how has that happened? If we erected internet “stop signs” would we be better off?

While we were saturated with different sources of information, news, and entertainment as recently as the Twentieth Century, those sources had naturally occurring stop cues that allowed us to pause and consider disengaging from the sources.  Continue reading We Need Internet Stop Signs

What You Might Not Know About Amazon

Sure, sure, like most of us, you use Amazon often to buy things online and have them delivered to your home without the hassle of actually having to go out to the store. So, given your buying familiarity with Amazon, you might think you know quite a bit about the company. But perhaps there is much more to know.

Indeed, in a recent book by Brad Stone, titled “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,” profiled by Business Insider, much is revealed that you might not know. (And yes, big surprise, you can purchase the book on Amazon). Continue reading What You Might Not Know About Amazon

Human Rights in the Digital Age

Should you have human rights specific to the new digital age? The answer is a clear YES, according to Gerd Leonhard, the author of the new book titled “Technology vs. Humanity.” Indeed, Leonhard sets out five potential human rights in what he calls a Digital Ethics Manifesto. So, what are these proposed rights?  Continue reading Human Rights in the Digital Age

Thankful for Technology

At times, it can seem like technology is bringing us down …

We frequently hear about: cyberbullying of teens; online intellectual property infringement; various forms of identity theft, hacking, privacy and security violations, and cyber crime; cyber warfare; illegal sales of munitions and slaves and the organization of terrorist activities on the Dark Web; political email scandals; potential foreign Internet influence over US political elections; and the list goes on and on.

But during this Thanksgiving and holiday season, not only can we be thankful for our family and friends, we also can be grateful for the many benefits of technology.

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Amazon Now Raking in the Dough

Once upon a time, toward the beginning of the commercial internet, critics questioned Amazon’s aggressive approach in throwing money at the concept of becoming the full-purpose seller of all types of products online. Indeed, while Amazon was growing along the way, it was in the red, far from turning a profit. Detractors believed that Amazon’s “Hail Mary” approach would fail, and the only question was when Amazon would go under, like many other early dot coms.

Well, who is laughing now? Amazon, and CEO Jeff Bezos, of course.  Continue reading Amazon Now Raking in the Dough

Hackers Are Coming After Your Private Data

Is your personal data safe out there in cyberspace? This is the question so many people have been asking lately based on seemingly endless computer hacks. And, unfortunately, the answer to this question might not be what you want to hear.

In terms of recent noteworthy developments, unless you have been living in an isolated cave, you undoubtedly have heard about the Ashley Madison hacking disaster. The Ashley Madison hack does not only present a problem for the site’s users who thought that their personally identifiable information would be secure, but it points to a larger problem beyond this one specific site.  Continue reading Hackers Are Coming After Your Private Data