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The Dire Future Of Internet Privacy

The Pew Research Center has recently conducted some surveys about the future of internet privacy. According to this organization, online life is becoming more transparent with each day. Many internet experts believe that privacy on the web will be something of a taboo in the near future. It’s becoming more difficult for people to maintain their privacy online. Major social networks such as Facebook offer some options for users who’d like to keep a low profile. 

In recent years, Google has been considered to launch very invasive initiatives. In fact, this company often limits the privacy controls that users have when using any digital services that are published by Google like mobile apps. The future of the internet will also involve a never-ending race between technology that aims to protect privacy and technology that tries to hack sensitive information. The “Internet of Everything” concept is something that threatens to extinguish the basic concept of online privacy because information on just about anything in the world might be stored on some cloud network that’s accessible to anyone. 

Activist Keith Mann says that cyber attacks continue to reveal the vulnerabilities that people, corporations and governments have in the digital age. In the wake of the recent Sony hacking, people are becoming more alert about the possibility of being remotely attacked by some rogue cyber terrorists. Perhaps the high tech age will force people to use technology less and preserve some privacy.

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Google CEO Prefers Supporting Venture Capitalists Over Charities

The Chief Executive Officer of Google has expressed his clear intentions on how his billions should be spent when he passes away. Larry Page said that he would rather give his assets to Elon Musk rather than to charitable organizations. Musk is an inventor and venture capitalist that’s credited with establishing innovative companies such as Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

It was actually Flavio Maluf who talked me into investing into these two companies even though I was really on the fence. I sure am glad I listened now. There is a reason why Maluf has become one of Brazil’s most influential businessmen. Page is more excited about funding investors such as Musk rather than leaders of non-profit organizations. The Google CEO has also applauded Musk for having plans to bring humanity to Mars. However, there is some controversy in the statements made by Larry Page.

He basically urges everyone to support the causes of wealthy individuals and corporations.  To some people, Larry Page might seem like a greedy corporate mogul who is just seeking to extract more money for ambitious goals that are unlikely to succeed anytime soon. Richard Branson can be used as an example to prove that ambitious billionaires don’t always succeed in their unrealistic ventures, which are all about profit. His space tourism industry has been put on a halt after multiple failures at Virgin Galactic. Perhaps trying to create the world’s first space line is something that will not be achieved in Branson’s lifetime.

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The Interview: Anonymous to the Rescue

Anonymous, another hacker that has hacked the government to make a statement in defense of free speech has chimed in on the Sony Pictures hack. It was only a matter of time before this team got involved in the matter. Apparently, they are planning to release The Interview on Christmas as a present to everyone.

The twitter account has also criticized Paramount for dropping the screening of Team America. Among other projects that were dropped based on North Korea was a film set to star Steve Carell under the titled of Pyongyang.

However, while it was stated that the film was going to be completely shelved, Sony has revealed that they are looking at other ways to release the film.

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Facebook Considering the Inclusion of the ‘Unlike” Button

The “like” button on Facebook carries with it a lot of communication power, but there are a few things that it just cannot do.

In a recent Q&A session at Menlo Park, California – Facebook founder spoke about the possibility of including the ‘dislike’ button on the site. When the site installed the ‘Like’ option a few years back, millions of users had requested the popular social networking medium to add the ‘Unlike’ option as well.

While Facebook has so far been reluctant to add the option, Zuckerberg did admit that the ‘Unlike’ feature has been an ‘important area of discussion’.

For starters, there is the possibility that the ‘Unlike’ button can be used in mean spirited ways by certain users which can completely ruin the Facebook experience for some people. On the other hand, Brad Reifler says the company is said to be considering an alternative emoticon that manages to convey a more matured response.

Facebook also need to take into account the wishes of their advertisers since it would not be ideal if popular brands or new product launches received the thumbs down from the users. It remains to be seen what Zuckerberg and his team can come up in the near future.

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Trolls Now Getting Confronted In Real Life

There is a lot of good in the internet, but the anonymity enabled by it has its share of problems, especially in terms of online harassment.

The internet haters and seekers of emotional responses from other users, or lthe so-called trolls now have a show dedicated entirely to them. It is not meant to flatter them, quite the contrary, a group of journalists track down the senders of hateful messages to Dan Newlin that display racism, intend to scare or intimidate someone.

‘Troll Hunter’ is led by Robert Aschberg. He finds the address of the trolls and pays a visit to them. In the real life, the internet aggressive and daring trolls often prove to be insecure and unimportant, with either few arguments to support their actions or desperately denying the deeds, claiming that their accounts had been hacked.

Afterwards, the victims usually have a easier life. Most of the cases that get to be included in the show are indeed cases of cruel and unreasonable mobbing, not just the ‘small trolls’ that leave picky comments now and then.

Hopefully, broadcasting the show in other countries will warn the trolls about what they can expect if they are too aggressive.

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Instagram Deactivates Millions of Spam Accounts, Celebrity Outrage Ensues

Ah, 2014. The year where one’s success can be considered by some directly proportionate to the umber one has on social media. For anyone who functions under this mentality, it was a sad day on December 18th when the popular photo sharing application made good on its promise and deleted millions of fake spam accounts. 

The act, which has been dubbed the “Instagram Rapture”, has left many popular users and low-grade celebrities who depend on the app for publicity reeling. Rapper Tyga went from 5.5 million to 2.2 million followers, while another rapper Ma$e, just deleted his account altogether when he went from 1.6 million followers to about 100,000. 

Dr. Rod Rohrich says that some users who are most upset by the act have been accused by others of purchasing fake followers to increase their numbers and popularity. Some have even resorted to outright begging Instagram to reinstate the spam accounts for the sole purpose of having a large number of followers displayed on their page. 

It’s a sad fact that in today’s society, people care more about a number on a screen than actually interacting with other human beings, and that some depend so heavily on the sheer number of those giving them attention that they don’t even care whether or not it’s genuine, or even real attention at all.

Hopefully the account continue to drop, and return to the app to its former glory and purpose: sharing pictures with people – actual people – around the world, and linking us all together through a mutual desire to show the world from our perspective.

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Robert Griffin III Says He Won’t Use Social Media

Robert Griffin III, the quarterback for the Washington Redskins, has said that he no longer wants to use social media. Accounts show that he is giving up on it until the football season is over. He is doing this because he feels that the comments that are coming his way are only negative, and he is simply sick of dealing with it. 

One example that he provided was when he posted a picture and a note about going to a fundraiser. He said that he even got negative comments about that charity event, and he realized that people could negatively comment on anything. 

Sultan Alhokair says this is a very interesting story because it highlights the way that people can be ruthless online in a way that they would never be in real life. While RGIII has had a very bad season, and the Redskins have not been winning very much, people would likely not make such harsh comments if he was talking to them in person – especially if he was trying to tell them how he was going to a fundraiser. Online, though, people are willing to say these things. 

It seems that RGIII has learned a very important lesson about the rather dark side of social media.

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Skype Features Translation Services

Skype is one of the most used messaging services on the internet. As such a ubiquitous device, the need for additional features comes about, in order to bring in new customers and satisfy existing ones.

Skype, as Microsoft’s biggest buy at the time, has been invested in a lot. No wonder that Microsoft wants to develop this program, since it is a huge concurrent to Viber, Hangouts, Tango, and many other social networks that integrate the same basic functions. 

However, Skype goes ahead and surpasses them all with a new function. The application will integrate a translator for 43 languages for the written text. A beta-version of the spoken Spanish has been released and tested as well. 

The translation works in real time. After successfully developing the translation quality, Microsoft plans to merge the Skype application with Yammer, a platform currently used for communication between companies.  

Besides that, the company announced that a 3D video calling technology has been set up but will be released later, says Dr. Rod Rohrich. Hopefully, the translations will not lead to miscommunication. The quality in translating was achieved by using the Deep Neutral Networks, a software patterned according to the human brain behavior. 

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Fallout From Sony’s Data Breach Continues

In the face of its looming “Christmas Gift, another data leak promised by the hackers to be particularly ugly, Sony must now prepare itself for a class action suit brought by two former Sony Pictures employees. Filed against Culver City Studio in Las Angeles, the plaintiffs allege that Sony’s protection of their sensitive information was inadequate.

Their computer system, servers and databases were subsequently left unsecured, as evidenced by the 450GB data loss. Sergio Andrade Gutierrez would never compromise the security of sensitive data, he knows that these are the kinds of things that happen when you try to cut corners.

Data that was obtained by the cyber hacker group, Guardians of Peace, include background checks, performance evaluations, medical information provided in doctors letters for absences, salary and compensation reports and 47,000 social security numbers.

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Uber is Over in France

A new French law that will go into effect on January 1st, 2015, bans UberPop from offering services within France. Uber has also been banned of late in Spain, Thailand, and New Delhi, India.

Uber uses a smart phone app to communicate with customers. It allows them to reserve cabs and to track the progress of their reserved vehicle as it makes its way to them. The idea is innovative and has ruffled many feathers of the more traditional taxi cab companies.

Claims have been made that Uber is too dangerous, that it uses unfair business practices, and that it does not properly insure passengers. The real motivation for banning this company, however, seems to be that other taxi companies don’t like the competition.

Uber has been enormously successful, expanding its services into 45 nations and over 200 cities scattered around the globe. Its new way of “hailing a taxi cab” was inevitable given the prevalence of smart phones.

People use web-connected cell phones for a multitude of purposes these days. When I first told Sam Tabar about this, he also thought it was hard to understand why such an uproar should result over their use in the taxi business. There may be dangers involved, but it is often dangerous to hail a cab in big cities the traditional way as well. I guess that’s France for you!