This is an awesome article at Spiked! Online about "Internet addiction". It might change the way you look at the issue or at least give you something to chew on.
Finally, I found an article that hits the sweet spot and is accurate to a "t". It's got all the facts on where and how it started.
Well, they left out 4chan's /X/, which happened in between Vanilla Gallery's Instagram and Reddit, but that's okay.
"These trends are “part of a moral panic, fueled by parents’ fears in wanting to know what their kids are up to,” Benjamin Radford, a folklorist and research fellow at the Committee for Skeptic Inquiry, told Rolling Stone."
I would say it's more likely a parent's fear of wanting to know that their kids are safe, but that's just me. 😕
I desperately want to know how to get a job as a folklorist. That's like ...my dream job. I'm a huge fan of folklore, urban legends, fairy tales and now creepypasta (the internet version of the previous). There's so much to dig into and so much rich yummy culture to pull up from all of it.
Anyway, check out the article, it's good.
MOMO IS NOT TRYING TO KILL CHILDREN
(Article at The Atlantic)
Doing something a little different this beautiful sunny Friday! How about Fun Friday? Look at the pictures below. Think you can tell which of these people are real?
Go look. I'll wait here.
None of them are. Want to generate fake people of your own? Go to this link and hit your browser's refresh button for a new non-person every two seconds: This Person Does Not Exist
All of these 'people' are stitched together using Generative Adversarial Networks or GANs for short. It's AI - A type of a machine learning network. It kind of gives me the creeps, but it's also very cool.
Right now, it's very easy to see the bits that look like bad image alterations. Some are much easier than others. The guy with the disembodied hand on his shoulder is the perfect example of this, as is the woman with the orange hair. It's clear that the computers thought her hair was the color of the hat rim and thought the hand was an exposed part of his body. It's a color error.
Thing is, this network is learning what works and what doesn't, so it will improve with time without human intervention. It's rudimentary now. Imagine what it will be able to do in the future - Make entire videos without the need for any biological input?
You can read about it at Wikipedia:
Huh. This is a big data breach. If I'm reading it correctly, it's data on 81,934,021 Americans in total. I'm not sure if that second data set is just part of the first.
Of course it was a data aggregation company. They use bots, crawlers and spiders to trawl the internet for information on people. Then they collate it. Then they sell it to sketch companies who use it to robo call our cell phones or send us spam. Or time shares. 😫
This is from the article:
"...56,934,021 US citizens, with information such as first name, last name, employers, job title, email, address, state, zip, phone number, and IP address"
"Another index of the same database contained more than 25 million records with more of a “Yellow Pages” details directory: name, company details, zip address, carrier route, latitude/longitude, census tract, phone number, web address, email, employees count, revenue numbers, NAICS codes, SIC codes, and etc."
I've been thinking a lot about how much information is online about all of us. There's a huge temptation to throw caution to the wind and just let it happen. Give various companies like Facebook, Google, Twitch, Yahoo or Twitter all the information they're grasping for despite all the warning bells in our heads.
It's sort of like being in the path of a speeding train and knowing that you will never get out of the way fast enough. It's kind of accepting the certainty of a death.
For us older folks, it's the death of privacy in a big way. We used to take it for granted that there was a major amount of time and work put into getting all of our information in one place. It usually involved trips to the library, the courthouse where we grew up and where we currently live.
We also depended on officials to guard our documents. The DMV didn't release our address and info all willy-nilly. Our home ownership documents were accessible, but you had to ask an actual person to get them for you. The same was true for marriage licenses. You could purchase an unlisted phone number. Relatives were yours to disclose or not.
Now? Look yourself up online. It's all there. The data aggregation companies are just collators. They just help other companies make the data work for them.
This is an intense topic and one that bothers me a lot. Click on the image to go to the article at the HackenProof blog.
Have you ever tried to work with a piece of electronics and wondered if they tested the design with a panel of inbred monkeys?
I'm working with a phone right now and the touch screen isn't working properly. I think the problem is actually the software rather than a hardware problem, so I want to do a factory reset on it first. It is impossible to do that.
The first step is to completely shut down the phone. Most phones do this with a long press on the power button. This phone does it with a long press on the power button PLUS a screen pull down. If you can't use the touch screen, what are you supposed to do?