Wednesday, April 9, 2014

That escalated quickly

A while back I did a lecture on geek culture. We talked a lot about memes for their shortcuts of communication. This is a really fantastic primer of where theses memes come from. Take a few minutes and enjoy the video. I did.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Worry about the right things

Many people worry about getting hacked or having their info taken. Although this does happen, it is the other lesser known activities that are going to get you taken advantage of. Let me introduce you to two versions of an ATM skimmer. These are very convincing fakes placed over ATM machines. They are used to steal your card's info so they may resell it or use the money. The problem is that they are so real-looking that it is hard to know the are even there. Before you insert your card into an ATM, see if you can get a fingernail under the card slot or the keypad. If so, DO NOT USE THAT ATM. Report it ASAP to the bank.
Below are two versions of the skimmer.
With all information, don't be afraid, just be aware.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

It's just metadata, who cares?

I do.
Metadata are hints and details at what you have been doing or where you have gone. Many say they don't care but those people don't understand what metadata is. Think of letting someone know where you make every call and whom it went to makes me rather nervous. The counter argument to this is, people give away their info freely all the time, but these companies, do not have the ability to imprison me or to take away my rights. The NSA says they only do two hops, meaning If a friend called a terrorist then the NSA could call me because it is just TWO data points away from me. The issue is that most people have called a major business like Fedex or AT&T. This means that a "terrorist" could call FedEx and now everyone who has called Fedex is a hop away from being investigated, even though there is no real connection. This opens the possibility of huge swaths of people to be spied on or have their details kept. I recommend reading this article off of Boing Boing and to watch the interview below from PBS News Hour to understand a bit more about what metadata is and how is can be used. Remember, there may not be a use for your data now, but there may be one coming up soon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

VR is back!

From the Oculus to Sony's Playstation to the Xbox, all are going Virtual reality. In 1993, I attended a VR conference in Boston. These were the barest rudimentary setup for  "Virtual Reality". They had games like Dactyl Nightmare and some shaky first person perspective roller coaster rides. The nineties promised VR but it just could never make it off the ground with the general public.The VR future promised we could do almost anything, go anywhere and interact everywhere.  Now that technology, in general, is so pervasive and normalized, this and other types of wearable tech just seem like the natural progression. Below is a video from Oculus that shows off how the goggles work. Also, check here to read about the PS4 and XBox's new VR stuff coming out eventually. I think gaming is the perfect venue to get people used to this concept. And speaking of other wearables. Google announced yesterday, their version of the smart watch. As for me, I can't freakin wait!

Below is Google's video for their new smartwatch. Although, I love the idea and the toe tapping song, I did see one more thing were people think they are the only ones around. We will eventually have to come up with what having good manners means with our tech in public.