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Friday, April 19, 2019

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By augmenting their bodies and minds to acquire animal-like abilities, some people are trying to sense a world that most humans cannot experience.


At the end of World War I, the aristocratic Horace Ridler returned to Britain from Mesopotamia a changed man. Turning his back on his privileged upbringing, Ridler tattooed his face and body in swirling patterns, took to wearing a large nose ring and stretched out his earlobes. Donning a costume of jewelled robes, he reinvented himself as Omi the Zebra Man and toured with circuses such as Barnum and Bailey, and Ripley's Odditorium.     Ridler was just one in a long line of people who devoted themselves to taking on animal-like appeareances.

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Android wearables provide just the right information at just the right time, allowing you to be connected to the virtual world and present in the real world.


Laptop Bridge to Android

Designing for Android Wear is substantially different than designing for phones or tablets, so we'll start by describing how your content can work in tandem with the overall Android Wear vision.  Android Wear experiences are contextually aware and smart. These devices bring a new level of awareness to computing. Rather than requiring attention and input from users, Android wearables are aware of their situation and state displaying the right information at the right time. Timely, relevant, specific.

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Despite ramped-up security efforts in anticipation of the 2014 Winter Olympics, concerns persist over terrorist threats facing the games. CFR Distinguished Visiting Fellow Raymond W. Kelly highlights three things to know about the threats and response preparedness in Sochi.

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Another day, another Facebook and Google privacy policy change.

Facebook is axing its privacy option that enables users to be unsearchable. Not to be outdone, Google plans to sell users' endorsements as a social marketing tool.

In a nutshell: Get ready for less privacy and more ads -- the best of both worlds! 

If you've hidden yourself from being searchable on Facebook, get ready to come out of hiding.

Facebook, which boasts 1.2 billion users, is removing the option to be unsearchable by name. But some critics, like Josh Constine at TechCrunch, think the move is wise for safety reasons.

Folks like Constine believe the "unsearchable" option lulled users into a false sense of security because people could still find you through a myriad of other ways -- tagged photos, Graph Search, mutual friends' "Friends" lists and even "Likes" on a mutual friend's News Feed post.

Still, the solution isn't much better. Rather than having a more universal setting, you'll have to manually restrict the visibility of each piece of your profile to stay hidden.

Google Privacy Change: Selling Social Endorsements

Under Google's new terms of service, starting Nov. 11, Google can include your name, photo, and comments in ads shown across the Internet, based on ratings, reviews and posts you've made on Google Plus and other Google services like YouTube, reports The New York Times.

Translation: When you follow a restaurant on Google+ or give four stars to an album on a Google service, your name, photo, and endorsement can show up in an ad for the restaurant or album.

Facebook already does this through its "Sponsored Stories" ads. That means when you post "My tush has never felt softer" on Charmin's Facebook page, Charmin could pay Facebook to broadcast your glowing recommendation to all of your "friends."

Essentially, you're a product endorser -- without getting paid. How awesome is that?!

Google realized how awesome that scheme is (for companies...) and is finally joining the bandwagon.

Unlike Facebook, however, Google will give its users the chance to opt out and limit their visibility in the new endorsements through its settings page. People under the age of 18 will automatically be excluded, reports The Times.



Facebook is removing the option to be unsearchable by name, highlighting lack of universal privacy controls   "Who can look up your Timeline by name?" Anyone you haven't blocked. Facebook is removing this privacy setting, notifying those who had hidden themselves that they'll be searchable. It deleted the option from those who hadn't used it in December, and is starting to push everyone to use privacy controls on each type of content they share. But there's no one-click opt out of Facebook search.


To be fair, the "Who can look up your Timeline by name?" feature was likely misunderstood by lots of people. At first glance, you might assume it means that strangers can't find your profile. But that's incorrect. There have been lots of ways to navigate to your profile, like clicking your name on a photo you're tagged in, finding your name in a friend's friend list, or combing through Likes on a mutual friend's News Feed post.

With the roll out of Graph Search, the avenues for sniffing out someone's profile grew exponentially. Basically every piece of personal information (and soon the content you post about) could bring you up in a search. If you publicly list that you live in San Francisco, a Graph Search for "People who live in San Francisco" could lead someone to your profile.


It also led people to think search was broken in some cases. If I met someone through a Facebook Group and wanted to friend them, I might search for them and not be able to find them if they had used this privacy setting. But what's more important are the safety implications.

Keeping this privacy option around gave people a false sense of security. For that reason, it's wise for Facebook to remove it. But it should have provided an ever stronger universal privacy control for opting out of search, not a slew of weaker ones.

Over the new few months, users who've employed the privacy setting to avoid being searched by name will see a big announcement at the top of their Facebook homepage explaining what's happening. They'll have to confirm they understand the change before they're put back into name search and the privacy setting disappears from their options.


After that, the way people can stay hidden is to manually restrict the visibility of each piece of their profile. And that is a bit of a chore. You'd have to go through every piece of personal information in your About section and set its visibility to 'Friends' or 'Only me'. At least Facebook provides a quick way to restrict the visibility of all your old News Feed posts.

Serious privacy aficionados should remember that your current profile picture and cover image are always public, so you'd have to leave those blank if you didn't want anyone to any idea of who you are beyond your name.

For people with stalkers, though, Facebook may have just gotten a bit more dangerous. Facebook tells me the way to keep a specific person from finding your profile or viewing any of your content is to block them. But what if your stalker just signs up for a fake profile with a new name? Then they could search and find you.

One solution is to use a fake name. Though that violates Facebook's terms of service, it's a popular solution for job seekers and privacy buffs to avoid bosses and ex-lovers.

limit audience

This is where there's friction, as Facebook's mission to connect the world, responsibility to generate returns for its investors, and its duty to keep people's privacy safe come into conflict. Facebook is not just trying to make more money, and designing easy privacy controls is no simple task. In the last two years it's added in-line controls for everything as well as privacy shortcuts in the navigation bar, but I feel like Facebook could do more.

The social network could surely offer an option to lock down all your personal information the same way it does for your old posts, but it doesn't. It could offer a way to opt out of appearing in any type of search results, not just searches for your name, but it doesn't. It wants your friends to be able to find you. It wants Graph Search to be a comprehensive utility. It wants to foster the connection your friendship and News Feed posts generate, which also keep it in business. But it's protecting its access to these things by sacrificing your right to choose just how much your identity is indexed.

The more time you spend shopping, connecting with people, and looking up information online, the more your online privacy is at risk -- unless you follow a few simple steps to stay safe.

Information you share over the Internet is used by advertisers, but they're not the only ones paying attention. Malicious hackers can piece together your information online to steal your identity or invade your family's privacy. Unfortunately there isn't a simple "security" button on your computer or smartphone that will keep all of your personal data safe. If you want to protect your online privacy, you need to take action.

Here are seven simple steps you can take right now:

  • Review privacy policies on websites you visit often. Websites that store your information generally have a privacy policy somewhere that tells how they use your info and gives you options to keep it private. It's a good idea to make a habit of checking these policies regularly so that you can stay on top of any changes.
  • Don't over-share. It's tempting to stay on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all day to keep in touch with friends, but keep in mind that other people may get their hands on that information. If you do share a lot online, try to limit identifying where you are; that can give away a lot about you and where you live.
  • Clear cookies periodically. Many websites will put cookies on your site to remember your preferences, which can be helpful. But more cookies mean that more third parties are storing your information, which can put you at risk. Clear your cookies once in a while to get a fresh start.
  • Be careful with financial information. Credit card or bank information is very important, so only share it with websites you trust. Look for secure sites that have a little lock symbol or use "https" URLs so you know your information is protected.
  • Avoid unsecured networks. The free WiFi at the airport or coffee shop is great, but since it's not password-protected, anyone can use it. That also means someone could be monitoring it and siphoning personal information, like passwords and account numbers, over the open connection. If you're using the public network, avoid sending private information.
  • Vary your passwords. Using only one password may make it easy to remember, but it also means that if one account is compromised, all of your accounts are at risk. Use different passwords, and change them every few months -- especially for your email and bank accounts. Then if one password gets out, it won't cause too much damage.
  • Sign out. It might be convenient to remain logged in to your online accounts, but it's safer to log out when you're done. That's especially true on a shared machine like a work computer or public laptop.