Privacy

Nest releases home security camera

Nest, the thermostat people, have been busy branching out by developing (or buying) other home gadgets like smoke detectors and security cameras. The company recently announced the Nest Cam, an Internet of Things (IoT) security camera.

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Social media and hiring

The always interesting David Strom has a great piece here about the dangers of social media in the business world. He recounts a recent incident where a job applicant who received two job offers decided to ask the whole world which one she should take.

Needless to say, it did not turn out well for the young woman. One of the companies, after seeing her "pros and cons" post about each company, took offense and rescinded their offer. Which might sound sensible, but left the company looking thin-skinned and defensive.

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The emerging revolution in health care

Fourteen major U.S. hospitals are experimenting with trial programs using the Apple HealthKit tools, which provide health and fitness tracking on iPhones and iPads.

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Health apps: The next frontier

More details continue to leak out about Apple's next release of the iPhone/iPad operations system (iOS 8). Apparently, the Health app will be able to use late model iPhone motion sensors to monitor the number of steps you take. This sounds simple, but today, if you want to do that, you have to buy a separate device to do that, and many of those electronic devices have awkward interfaces.

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The emerging revolution in health care....by Apple

Some time this fall, Apple is likely to announce what has been called the "iWatch," although that may or may not actually be its name. There have probably been more rumors promulgated about this supposed product than any other Apple product ever. The latest rumor is that the watch will have "more than ten sensors," including a heart rate sensor and other health and fitness monitoring devices.

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Will Apple's HealthKit revolutionize health?

In San Francisco yesterday, Apple Computer announced that it was bringing both a new app ("Health") and a new developer interface for that app ("HealthKit") to the iPhone and the iPad. The app will give users a single place to store and track a wide variety of health-related information, including fitness activity, lab results, medications, and vital signs.

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Blackphone is a response to the NSA data capture

The Blackphone is a smartphone based on the Android OS, but with additional layers of security and encryption, giving Blackphone users secure use of email, messaging, and voice telephony.

It maybe that Snowden's leak of NSA data collection may turn out to have a silver lining, as we may see a market for these kinds of devices develop much faster than anyone would have thought.

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Microsoft moving agressively to encrypt customer data

My hat is off to Microsoft for their extremely aggressive efforts to encrypt customer data. In the wake of the Snowden leaks that revealed NSA collecting data from companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, and others, Microsoft has correctly recognized the serious impact that data collection could have on the company's bottom line, both in the U.S. and abroad.

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The empire strikes back

The big players on the Internet--Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and others--are making changes in the way they push their data and services around the Internet. Stung by revelations that the NSA has been vacuuming up their customer data, these firms are adding new encryption to their data streams between data centers and between their data centers and customers. As they should.

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The Internet regards censorship (or snooping) as damage and routes around it

I'm not even going to try to link to them, but a flood of privacy-enabled apps and services are already beginning to appear.....heavily encrypted email apps, encrypted VPN apps, Web browsers that automatically route queries through proxy services that mask your IP address....the Internet was designed to survive a nuclear holocaust. Snooping by the NSA....anything the NSA can do, geeks can probably route around without a whole lot of effort.

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Tips on protecting your privacy

David Strom has some great (and easy) tips on minimizing your privacy exposure on some of the popular online services like LinkedIn and Google, and additional tips for iPhone and the iPad.

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Internet of Things: When creeps hack the baby monitor

Color me skeptical about the buzz around "The Internet of Things." This is getting a lot of attention, because there is a lot of money to be made getting people to throw out their perfectly adequate $12 toaster and replacing it with a $60 WiFi-enabled toaster that you can control from your smartphone. But adding electronics to analog devices does not automatically make them a)more secure, or b)more reliable.

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Privacy: It's all gone

Facebook and LinkedIn now appear to be exchanging subscriber information, as I just received a Facebook email suggesting that I friend two business associates. The only way Facebook could know I have any relationship with these people is if Facebook had access to LinkedIn subscribers. I only use Facebook for close family and a few friends, so Facebook could not have made the connection with these people (one of whom is in Asia) by doing a second and third degree of separation search.

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More privacy concerns with Google Glass

The Telegraph has another article on the privacy issues surrounding Google Glass. The problem is that Google Glass will be sending every single interaction that the wearer has to Google, and that data will be added to the massive dossiers that Google already maintains on Internet users. Google has been very quiet about what they intend to do with the massive data streams that will be generated by Google Glass wearers.

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Gmail can read your attachments

Gmail can now read many kinds of attachments. It is touted as a benefit to users, as a Gmail user can search not just the text of emails, but also the text of attachments stored on Gmail. But it also means Google will be searching those attachments as well and using the information it finds to fine-tune the kinds of ads it delivers to you.

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Do Not Track spat heats up

The Do Not Track fight is heating up, with the big Web sites like Google and Facebook firmly opposed to the idea that they should not be allowed to track where consumers go and what they do online. The Federal government is threatening legislation that will require Web sites to allow an opt out option. It is a dilemma, as sites like Yahoo!, Google, Bing, and others make their money in large part by using tracking data to sell ads.

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PeekYou tries to aggregate even more "private" public information

Peek You is an information aggregator service that tries to pull together as much publicly available information as possible about someone and package it up neatly. Many of the items it will list take you directly to other sites that provide even more information. The service tries to list all of the available social media connections as well (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc.).

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The scourge of phishing

A lot of new phishing schemes are popping up....a family member mentioned that she got an email "from US Airways" telling her to check in for a flight....I've gotten hundreds of those in the past week.

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Clueless teens dumping Facebook for Twitter

I had to read the first sentence of this article twice because I thought it must be a joke:

Teens, after being friended by parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles on Facebook, have moved to Twitter to get a little more privacy.

Trading Facebook for Twitter? Really?

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"I think that Facebook is the biggest waste of time..."

A guy named Jake Reilly dropped all electronic communication, including the phone, for ninety days, calling it "The Amish Project." This story is really interesting, as he ran into all sorts of logistical challenges, some of them amusing. For example, he'd meet a girl in a bar, she would give him her phone number, and he'd have to explain he could not call her. And the girl would think he was lying to avoid telling her he did not like her.

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