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Logan Hochstetler

Logan Hochstetler

Here’s why you need to start paying attention to Google Maps Timeline, an obscure Google feature you’ve probably never heard of.

I went over to a friend’s house a few days ago.

I arrived at 8:51 p.m. after a six-minute walk, and sat in the back yard until 10:11, a total of 80 minutes.

I don’t usually keep track of my life at this level of detail. But it turns out that between them, Google and my Android phone do. 

Since April, when I got the phone and activated the Google Maps app, the phone has been reporting my comings and goings, all of which are mapped and are visible if I’m logged in to my Google account. Have a look at your version — there may be data on you.

Google Maps Timeline, a feature that launched last summer, has tracked essentially all my movements since April 5. As far as I can tell it’s almost perfectly accurate in understanding whether I’ve been on foot, driving, or riding a bike.

The slower I travel, the more accurate the resulting maps are. When Toronto’s Don Valley Parkway is moving well, I’m tracked in quick, crude lines. In slow traffic, it becomes more precise. 

How often does my phone connect to Google? It varies, spokesperson Aaron Brindle wrote in an e-mail.

“In order for your timeline to work properly, it collects data from a variety of sources such as GPS, WiFi, cell towers and device sensors like gyroscopes and accelerometers.”

Based on my own maps, though, it seems to be in the order of about two to five minutes, though I’ve found strings that are 20 seconds apart.

A couple of days after my 80-minute social call, our middle child, who’s seven, was excited about soccer practice. Her excitement couldn’t be contained, so I took her to the park early. Once there, we had to run around until things started, until all that energy could be channeled into organized sports. Here’s what Google made of it (light blue lines only): 

160608_withrow

 

 

As with so many things that affect our digital privacy, I apparently agreed to all this tracking, but without visualizing what my agreement would mean. It happened when I was setting up the phone and trying to get Google’s map app to work back in April.

“You must opt-in to turn on Location History for your Google account, and turn on each signed-in device that you want to use to send location reports to Location History,” Brindle wrote. “Location History is turned off by default.”

Can I trust Google with all this data I didn’t know was being gathered? For the sake of argument, let’s say the answer is yes.

A search for “google maps timeline” creepy gets dozens of results. I see the point, and somewhat agree, but on the other hand we have to give Google credit for transparency.

READ MORE: Does your phone help build Google’s traffic maps? (And is that bad?)

We sacrifice our online privacy on many different kinds of altars, but I’ve never seen a company visualize in such detail what data they were collecting, and explain exactly how to turn it off (which is easy to do).

The bigger problem, though, is this.

Even though we try to safeguard the dozens of passwords we accumulate in our digital life, our security is never going to be perfect. It’s easy to remember simple passwords, easy to rarely change them, easy to let a web browser remember them. Bad habits make busy lives a bit smoother, and they don’t matter, until they do.

The problem with Timeline is that anyone who gets hold of my Google username and password would have access not just to my email, but also to a detailed record of all of my physical movements. They could also use the Timeline feature that lets users export your geospatial data as a .kml file, and look at it in Google Earth, where it will play as an animation. So a single compromise of the Google account could lead to a permanent compromise of the data and a user’s past whereabouts.

With this in mind, let’s read this e-mailed statement from Google explaining the purpose of Timeline:

Your Timeline in Google Maps helps you easily remember and visualize the places you’ve been on a given day, month or year — providing a useful map of your life. This feature helps you visualize your real-world routines, easily view the trips you’ve taken and get a glimpse of the places you spend your time.

Now, let’s change a few pronouns around. I’ll use myself as an example.

Cain’s Timeline in Google Maps helps you easily visualize the places he has been on a given day, month or year — providing a useful map of his life. This feature helps you visualize his real-world routines, easily view the trips he’s taken and get a glimpse of the places he spends his time.

Not surprisingly, police have started to explore the possibilities. Earlier this year, the FBI served Google with a warrant in which they sought Android location data which they hoped would place a California man they were investigating for bank robbery at the scene of the crime.

The data should be precise enough to place Timothy Graham in the Bank of America in Ramona, Calif. on the day in question, supposing he robbed the bank and was dumb enough to bring his phone along as well as the “painter’s mask, hat and glasses” that witnesses described to police.

Here’s where I spent the day Tuesday, in Global’s Toronto newsroom, as my phone checked in with Google over and over again. That pretty much is where I sit, give or take five metres or so. 

160608_barber greene_2

 

In the meantime, Timeline lets users edit or correct their data, remove dates — or just delete the whole thing entirely.

There is no real down side, Brindle says, unless you find Timeline itself useful. Google’s other location-based features will all still work.

Timeline does have a feature that alerts you to traffic problems on your usual commute, once it learns your normal route. It can also automatically generate a photo gallery if you go on vacation.

We’re not good at navigating the new world that our devices offer us, at least if we’re trying to hold on to the last shreds of privacy that are left to us.

“We have this consent model, but the consent model doesn’t work, because people don’t know what they’re consenting to,” University of Toronto law professor Lisa Austin said when we started writing about digital privacy. “It’s impossible for the average person to understand this actually, just in terms of information overload and the implications of it.”

“These companies, God knows what half of them do with your information, because we’re not reading these policies. We don’t know what we’re authorizing them to do, let alone what they’re actually following what they say they’re doing.”

 

Source:  http://globalnews.ca/news/2746703/google-maps-timeline-why-a-little-known-google-feature-tracked-me-for-months/

The News Feed is the first thing you see when you open the Facebook app and the social networking company wants it to get a lot more personal.

Earlier this month, tweets surfaced showing Facebook testing a feature to allow users to scroll through categories such as "sports" or "world news" in the News Feed.

The testing was confirmed by a senior product designer on Thursday to CNBC who explained why customization of Facebook's features area is a key focus for the company.

"The thing that we want to do, you know our goal with News Feed, is if you as an individual get the stories and the news and the content that is most interesting to you. Not to the world at large but to you," Julie Zhuo, vice president of product design at Facebook,told CNBC in an interview at The Next Web Conference.

"Part of doing that is to make sure that we are able to get better signal about what you care about, what you don't care about. And a huge mission of the news feed team to really make that experience better and better so that you know we can get to the point where all the stuff we are showing you is the stuff that you want to see in the order of what's most important to you."

Within the categories, users can customize what they would like to see around their specific preferences. It is currently being tested on the Android app.

Facebook tests its News Feed feature internally as well with a group that monitor what content is being surfaced.

"One of the things that we started to do was get a lot more input from real people. We have a group of people who are kind of our quality panel and what they do is every day they go through their own news feed and give us feedback," Zhuo told CNBC.

They give us this really really deep signal on every story on their news feed. And we use that to help us better train the way that we rank stories and do a better job for everyone. That has been hugely useful in terms of helping us calibrate on whether we are making progress on showing people better and better things."

Facebook has previously released features to help customize people's news feed. Last summer, it launched a feature called "See First" which allows users to choose which friends' posts appear at the top of their timeline.

For advertisers, a customized News Feed will give them the chance to target ads more effectively based on specific things people are interested in.

Source:  http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/26/facebook-wants-your-news-feed-to-get-more-personal-heres-why.html

On the last day of I/O, Google's ATAP division has finally given us some firm details on when it will release a very real Project Ara modular phone. A developer edition running Android with a 5.3-inch screen is shipping this fall, while a consumer version of the phone will be available some time in 2017. To get your hands on a device this year, you have to head over to ATAP's dedicated Ara website and fill out the form indicating what type of module you'd like to develop for the phone.

Ara has come a long way since it was first demoed at I/O 2014. In fact, more than 30 people are now using Ara phones at Google as their primary device, according to Wired. Google has also decided to spin out Ara as another division inside Google, effectively "graduating" the project to indicate its a real business and a serious initiative for the company.

For the upcoming developer kit, the Ara team has been "working with a new set of technologies." The phone technology is integrated into the frame now, instead of being its own module. That would appear to mean parts like the CPU, battery, and display will not be immediately swappable, at least not with the first-generation version. That said, Ara now has six modular slots — each one is generic, so you can put any module in any slot. They're all interconnected via an advanced "Unipro" network. That standardization should help each module withstand being connected and disconnected constantly, as well as helping them charge when plugged in and simply not break from heavy use.

Google's modular Project Ara phone is almost ready to ship

On stage, we watched an engineer put a camera module in and take a photo — all without rebooting the device. You can remove a module just by going to the settings app to select it for removal. Or say, "Okay Google, eject the camera." When that was demoed, the crowd went wild. All of the modules are now controlled directly via software. With a button on the side of the phone, you can bring up an overview of all your modules. This is designed to prevent any mechanical failures, and it also introduces the potential for password-protected modules, according to Wired. (Ara ran into some delays last year after a pilot program in Puerto Rico, supposedly to help perfect how the modules connected to the device.)

The are a number of intriguing possibilities. Early development partners include Panasonic, TDK, iHealth, E Ink, Toshiba, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and Samsung, all of which are working on modules for the phone ranging from displays to cameras. But there's also untested potential for add-ons like projectors, fitness trackers, lights, and improved speakers. Not to mention all the cosmetic upgrades a modular phone allows. The Ara team is calling aesthetic change-ups to its device "style" modules.

Whatever third-party companies end up creating, it will have to be intriguing enough to sell consumers on a radically different type of smartphone. An Ara device is as much a product of its parts as it as it a cohesive whole with a recognizable identity. Where it goes from there depends on what you want to do with it, and that's an exciting future even if it's a year away for everyday buyers.

Google atap project ara 2016 6.0

Source: http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/20/11721284/google-atap-project-ara-phone-shipping-developers-fall-2016

A prospective client had something to hide when she claimed no previous involvement in an industry rife with fraud. This claim stated in conjunction with the submission of an informed business plan rang false. Other clues about her integrity worried the lawyer. He soon suspected that she was a dishonest person. After the meeting, he consulted another partner, who in turn delivered the puzzle to my e-mail inbox. My mission was to fit the mismatched pieces of information together, either substantiating or disproving the lawyer's skepticism.

Internet Archive to the Rescue

Wanting to emphasize the importance of retaining knowledge of history, George Santayana wrote the words made famous by the film, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich--"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Of course, at the time the Internet Archive didn't exist; nor did the Information Age. If it had, perhaps he would have edited his philosophy to state, "Those who cannot discover the past are condemned to repeat it."

Certainly in times when new information amounts to five exabytes, or the equivalent of "information contained in half a million new libraries the size of the Library of Congress print collections" (How Much Information 2003?), it is perhaps fortunate that librarians possess a knack for discovering information. It is also in our favor that Brewster Kahle and Alexa Internet foresaw a need for an archive of Web sites.
Internet Archive and the Wayback Machine

Founded in 1996, the Internet Archive contains about 30 billion archived Web pages. While always open to researchers, the collection did not become readily accessible until the introduction of the Wayback Machine in 2001. The Wayback Machine enables finding archived pages by their Web address. Enter a URL to retrieve a dated listing of archived versions. You can then display the archived document as well as any archived pages linked from it.

The Internet Archive helped me successfully respond to the concerns the lawyers had about the prospective client. It contained evidence of a business relationship with a company clearly in the suspect industry. Broadening the investigation to include the newly discovered company led to information about an active criminal investigation.

Suddenly, the pieces of the puzzle came together and spelled L-I-A-R.
Using the Internet Archive should be a consideration for any research project that involves due diligence, or the careful investigation of someone or something to satisfy an obligation. In addition to people and company investigations, it can assist in patent research for evidence of prior art, or copyright or trademark research for evidence of infringement. It can also come in handy when researching events in history, looking for copies of older documents like superseded statutes or regulations, or when seeking the ideals of a former political administration. (Note: 25 October 2004.

A special keyword search engine, called Recall Search, facilitates some of these queries. Unfortunately, it was removed from the site during mid-September. Messages posted in the Internet Archive forum indicate they plan to bring it back. Note: 15 June 2007. I think it's safe to assume that Recall Search is not coming back. However, check out the site for developments in searching archived audio (music), video (movies) and text (books).)

Recall Search at the Internet Archive

But while the Internet Archive contains information useful in investigative research, finding what you want within the massive collection presents a challenge. If you know the exact URL of the document, or if you want to examine the contents of a specific Web site--as was the case in the scenario involving the prospective client--then the Wayback Machine will suffice. But searching the Internet Archive by keyword was not an option until recently. (Note: See the note in the previous paragraph.)

During September 2003, the project introduced Recall Search, a beta version of a keyword search feature. Recall makes about one-third, or 11 billion, Web pages in the archived collection accessible by keyword. While it further facilitates finding information in the Internet Archive, it does not replace the Wayback Machine. Because of the limited size of the keyword indexed collection and the problems inherent in keyword searching, due diligence researchers should use both finding tools.
Recall does not support Boolean operators. Instead, enter one or more keywords (fewer is probably better) and, if desired, limit the results by date.

Results appear with a graph that illustrates the frequency of the search terms over time. It also provides clues about their context. For example, a search for my name limited to Web pages collected between January 2002 and May 2003 finds ties to the concepts, "school of law," "government resources," "research site," "research librarian," "legal professionals" and "legal research." The resulting graph further shows peaks at the beginning of 2002 and in the spring of 2003.

Applying content-based relevancy ranking, Recall also generates topics and categories. Little information exists about how this feature works, and I have experienced mixed results. But the idea is to limit results by selecting a topic or category relevant to the issue.

Suppose you enter the keyword, Microsoft. The right side of the search results page suggests concepts for narrowing the query. For example, it asks if instead you mean Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, and so on. Likewise, a search for turkey suggests wild turkey, the country of Turkey, turkey hunting, roast turkey and other interpretations.

While content-based relevancy ranking can be a useful algorithm, it is far from perfect. Some topics and categories generated might not seem to make sense. If the queries you run do not produce satisfactory results, consider another approach.

Pinpoint the specific sites you want to investigate by first conducting the research on the Web. In the prospective client example, an old issue of the newsletter of the company under criminal investigation (Company A) mentioned the prospective client's company (Company B). This clue led us to Company A's Web site where we found no further mention of Company B. However, with the Web site address in hand, we reviewed almost every archived page at the Internet Archive and found solid evidence of a past relationship. Additional research, during which we tracked down court records and spoke to one of the investigators, provided the verification we needed to confront the prospective client.

Advanced Search Techniques

You can display all versions of a specific page or Web site during a certain time period by modifying the URL. Greg Notess first illustrated this strategy in his On The Net column (See "The Wayback Machine: The Web's Archive," Online, March/April 2002).
A request for all archived versions of a page looks like this:
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.domain.com

The asterisk is a wildcard that you can modify. For example, to find all versions from the year 2002, you would enter:
http://web.archive.org/web/2002*/http://www.domain.com
Or to find all versions from September 2002, you would enter:
http://web.archive.org/web/200209*/http://www.domain.com
Sometimes you encounter problems when you browse pages in the archive. For example, I often receive a "failed connection" error message. This may be the result of busy Web servers or a problem with the page. It may also occur if the live Web site prohibits crawlers.

To find out if the latter issue is the problem, check the site's robot exclusion file. A standard honored by most search engines, the robot exclusion file resides in the root-level directory. To find it, enter the main URL in your browser address line followed by robots.txt. Like this: http://www.domain.com/robots.txt .
If the site blocks the Internet Archive's crawler, it will contain two lines of text similar to the following:
User-agent: ia_archiver
Disallow: /
If it forbids all crawlers, the commands should look like this:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /

It's common for Web sites to block crawlers, including the Internet Archive, from indexing their copyrighted images and other non-text files. If the Internet Archive blots out images with gray boxes, then the Web site probably prevents it from making the graphics available.

If the site does not appear to block the Internet Archive, don't give up when you encounter a "failed connection" message. Return to the Wayback Machine and enter the Web page address. This strategy generates a list of archived versions of the page whereas Recall presents specific matches to a query. One of the other dated copies of the page may load without problems.

Conclusion

While the Internet Archive does not contain a complete archive of the Web, it offers a significant collection that due diligence researchers should not overlook. Tools like the Wayback Machine and Recall Search provide points of access. However, these utilities only handle simple queries. You can search by Web page address or keyword. You cannot conduct Boolean searching or limit a query by key information. Moreover, Recall Search limits keyword access to one-third of the collection. Consequently, conduct what research you can elsewhere first using public Web search engines and commercial sources. Then use the information you discover to scour relevant sites in the Internet Archive.

Source:  http://virtualchase.justia.com/content/internet-archive-and-search-integrity

Google I/O, the company's massive annual developer event, has wrapped up for 2016. As usual, CEO Sundar Pichai and a host of the company's executives gave the world a look at what it's planning for the next year. Unfortunately, we'll need to wait to see how everything works in the real world, as nearly everything Google announced won't come to fruition for months. But that's not meant to minimize what Google announced this week -- indeed, many of the company's biggest and most important products will look a lot different six months from now.

Easily the flashiest two announcements this week were Daydream and Google Home. The latter is Google's first entry into a relatively new product category, but it's powered by years of organizing knowledge across the internet as well as everything it learns about its users. That sounds creepier than it is in reality -- if you've opted into products like Gmail, Calendar and Google Now, Google Home will use all the info you've stored there to make it a better product. As cool and surprisingly useful as Amazon Echo can be, it's not hard to imagine that Google Home will trump it in a number of ways.

Daydream, meanwhile, is the company's true VR ambitions revealed. Cardboard was how it got its feet wet; Daydream is how it'll really make an impact. By leveraging the combined forces of Google's hardware partners, the flexibility and power of Android and the company's army of developers, Google could be looking to mimic the strategy that made Android so successful in the first place.

The news that Google is rethinking messaging apps yet again was met with less enthusiasm, but the most important part of the Allo isn't smart replies -- it's the integration with the Google Assistant. That's how Google is referring to the bot that lives inside the app, letting you ask questions with natural language. That same assistant is what'll make Google Home work, and it's highly likely we'll be seeing the company refer to the Google Assistant much more as the year goes on.

Other announcements that were more subtle but no less important to Google's overall strategy include Instant Apps and the plan to bring Android apps to Chrome OS. By the end of the year, Chrome OS's perpetual app problem could be solved -- and the platform has already been growing significantly without this huge new feature. And Instant Apps is a profound example of changing how we currently use smartphones. Not having to download and install apps you use infrequently could help keep our phones clutter-free.

Other Android news included a quite stable beta of Android N; in my limited testing it's definitely worth checking out. Android Wear itself saw a more profound redesign. While I'm not sure that we need a keyboard on our smart watches, it's good to see Google honing in on what users do most to make the experience better.

And, of course, Weird Google was on display, most notably in the ATAP presentation that saw the company announce a smart jean jacket designed with Levis for bikers, a smartwatch that you can control with radar-powered finger gestures, and a launch date for the long-awaited Project Ara modular smartphone.

Add it all up and this I/O felt like a fairly transformative show, even though there wasn't a lot of stuff to could go try out immediately. I was hoping to get some time with Daydream or see how Allo or Google Home works, but we'll have to wait on that for now. By the end of the year, though, the way Google and its users interact with each other will look a lot different.

Source:  http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/21/google-IO-2016-wrap-up/

The Internet serves not only as a breeding ground for extremism, but also offers myriad data streams which potentially hold great value to law enforcement. The report by the OII’s Ian Brown and Josh Cowls for the VOX-Pol project: Check the Web: Assessing the Ethics and Politics of Policing the Internet for Extremist Material explores the complexities of policing the web for extremist material, and its implications for security, privacy and human rights. Josh Cowls discusses the report with blog editor Bertie Vidgen.*

*please note that the views given here do not necessarily reflect the content of the report, or those of the lead author, Ian Brown.

Ed: Josh, could you let us know the purpose of the report, outline some of the key findings, and tell us how you went about researching the topic?

Josh: Sure. In the report we take a step back from the ground-level question of ‘what are the police doing?’ and instead ask, ‘what are the ethical and political boundaries, rationale and justifications for policing the web for these kinds of activity?’ We used an international human rights framework as an ethical and legal basis to understand what is being done. We also tried to further the debate by clarifying a few things: what has already been done by law enforcement, and, really crucially, what the perspectives are of all those involved, including lawmakers, law enforcers, technology companies, academia and many others.

We derived the insights in the report from a series of workshops, one of which was held as part of the EU-funded VOX-Pol network. The workshops involved participants who were quite high up in law enforcement, the intelligence agencies, the tech industry civil society, and academia. We followed these up with interviews with other individuals in similar positions and conducted background policy research.

Ed: You highlight that many extremist groups (such as Isis) are making really significant use of online platforms to organize, radicalize people, and communicate their messages.

Josh: Absolutely. A large part of our initial interest when writing the report lay in finding out more about the role of the Internet in facilitating the organization, coordination, recruitment and inspiration of violent extremism. The impact of this has been felt very recently in Paris and Beirut, and many other places worldwide. This report pre-dates these most recent developments, but was written in the context of these sorts of events.

Given the Internet is so embedded in our social lives, I think it would have been surprising if political extremist activity hadn’t gone online as well. Of course, the Internet is a very powerful tool and in the wrong hands it can be a very destructive force. But other research, separate from this report, has found that the Internet is not usually people’s first point of contact with extremism: more often than not that actually happens offline through people you know in the wider world. Nonetheless it can definitely serve as an incubator of extremism and can serve to inspire further attacks.

Ed: In the report you identify different groups in society that are affected by, and affecting, issues of extremism, privacy, and governance – including civil society, academics, large corporations and governments

Josh: Yes, in the later stages of the report we do divide society into these groups, and offer some perspectives on what they do, and what they think about counter-extremism. For example, in terms of counter-speech there are different roles for government, civil society, and industry. There is this idea that ISIS are really good at social media, and that that is how they are powering a lot of their support; but one of the people that we spoke to said that it is not the case that ISIS are really good, it is just that governments are really bad!

We shouldn’t ask government to participate in the social network: bureaucracies often struggle to be really flexible and nimble players on social media. In contrast, civil society groups tend to be more engaged with communities and know how to “speak the language” of those who might be vulnerable to radicalization. As such they can enter that dialogue in a much more informed and effective way.

The other tension, or paradigm, that we offer in this report is the distinction between whether people are ‘at risk’ or ‘a risk’. What we try to point to is that people can go from one to the other. They start by being ‘at risk’ of radicalization, but if they do get radicalized and become a violent threat to society, which only happens in the minority of cases, then they become ‘a risk’. Engaging with people who are ‘at risk’ highlights the importance of having respect and dialogue with communities that are often the first to be lambasted when things go wrong, but which seldom get all the help they need, or the credit when they get it right. We argue that civil society is particularly suited for being part of this process.

Ed: It seems like the things that people do or say online can only really be understood in terms of the context. But often we don’t have enough information, and it can be very hard to just look at something and say ‘This is definitely extremist material that is going to incite someone to commit terrorist or violent acts’.

Josh: Yes, I think you’re right. In the report we try to take what is a very complicated concept – extremist material – and divide it into more manageable chunks of meaning. We talk about three hierarchical levels. The degree of legal consensus over whether content should be banned decreases as it gets less extreme. The first level we identified was straight up provocation and hate speech. Hate speech legislation has been part of the law for a long time. You can’t incite racial hatred, you can’t incite people to crimes, and you can’t promote terrorism. Most countries in Europe have laws against these things.

The second level is the glorification and justification of terrorism. This is usually more post-hoc as by definition if you are glorifying something it has already happened. You may well be inspiring future actions, but that relationship between the act of violence and the speech act is different than with provocation. Nevertheless, some countries, such as Spain and France, have pushed hard on criminalising this. The third level is non-violent extremist material. This is the most contentious level, as there is very little consensus about what types of material should be called ‘extremist’ even though they are non-violent. One of the interviewees that we spoke to said that often it is hard to distinguish between someone who is just being friendly and someone who is really trying to persuade or groom someone to go to Syria. It is really hard to put this into a legal framework with the level of clarity that the law demands.

There is a proportionality question here. When should something be considered specifically illegal? And, then, if an illegal act has been committed what should the appropriate response be? This is bound to be very different in different situations.

Ed: Do you think that there are any immediate or practical steps that governments can take to improve the current situation? And do you think that there any ethical concerns which are not being paid sufficient attention?

Josh: In the report we raised a few concerns about existing government responses. There are lots of things beside privacy that could be seen as fundamental human rights and that are being encroached upon. Freedom of association and assembly is a really interesting one. We might not have the same reverence for a Facebook event plan or discussion group as we would a protest in a town hall, but of course they are fundamentally pretty similar.

The wider danger here is the issue of mission creep. Once you have systems in place that can do potentially very powerful analytical investigatory things then there is a risk that we could just keep extending them. If something can help us fight terrorism then should we use it to fight drug trafficking and violent crime more generally? It feels to me like there is a technical-military-industrial complex mentality in government where if you build the systems then you just want to use them. In the same way that CCTV cameras record you irrespective of whether or not you commit a violent crime or shoplift, we need to ask whether the same panoptical systems of surveillance should be extended to the Internet. Now, to a large extent they are already there. But what should we train the torchlight on next?

This takes us back to the importance of having necessary, proportionate, and independently authorized processes. When you drill down into how rights privacy should be balanced with security then it gets really complicated. But the basic process-driven things that we identified in the report are far simpler: if we accept that governments have the right to take certain actions in the name of security, then, no matter how important or life-saving those actions are, there are still protocols that governments must follow. We really wanted to infuse these issues into the debate through the report.

Source:  http://blogs.oii.ox.ac.uk/policy/assessing-the-ethics-and-politics-of-policing-the-internet-for-extremist-material/

It is clear that search has not changed much in the past 20 years. Back in the 1990s, enterprise search first included indexing multiple, heterogeneous data sets into a single search experience, with full document-level security, using search engines and this pretty much sums up the situation today.

A survey conducted by SearchYourCloud, a search and security company, revealed that a third of respondents spend between five and 25 minutes searching every time they want to find a document, while only one in five searches is correct the first time. The search for corporate information is eating into workplace productivity. Only 20 per cent of respondents reported first time successful searches. Other key findings from the survey include that it takes workers up to eight searches to find the right document and information, according to 80 per cent of respondents.

Verity began offering search in the late 1980s until it was acquired by Autonomy in 2006. Previously, Verity provided unified results from multiple, simultaneous searches from the desktop to the enterprise. While Verity took a semantic approach to search, Autonomy took a statistical approach to understand statistical relationships between terms. In 2011, HP acquired Autonomy to bolster its search and analytics business. Also in 2011, Oracle, which launched Oracle Secure Search in 2006, acquired Endeca. In order to improve SharePoint search capabilities, Microsoft acquired FAST Search and Development.

While it may seem like the search industry grew in this time period with these new companies emerging, it is actually the opposite. Rather, Autonomy and Microsoft came along and made search more about consultancy and less about usability or actual results. It took what was a vital part of the search world and combined services to enhance it for general enterprise, not make it easier to search your information.

Nevertheless, in the past five years, the demand for a secure search that delivers results quickly has grown, in part, due to Big Data, mobility and cloud services. Big Data encompasses the massive amounts of data that is stored in databases, spreadsheets, emails, reports, etc. and generally needs to be searched separately. With mobile and cloud services, users and their devices are more dispersed with important files stored on numerous devices, on-premises and in the cloud. The problem is made even worse because most data is collected into large repositories, which are slower and more complicated to search, which results in companies’ having a big “pile” of data, whether in a database, series of Excels or as stored photos, emails and other files, that are unusable and consequently reduce productivity.

With the advent of federated search, the ability to search across multiple repositories has improved. Moreover, with federated de-duplicated results, users do not receive thousands of irrelevant documents or emails. Users can simultaneously search across applications. It is best to take a non-repository processing approach and keep the existing data silos separate. A large repository can be kludgy with inherent security risks and to combine multiple silos may create problems in reconciling different processing power and security levels.

To find needed information, an enterprise search tool must deliver the exact results in a timely manner and not a boatload of assorted data that does not deliver the data the person actually needs. Unlike a Google search that finds what is considered to be most relevant based on visits and cookies and the more results the better, enterprise search should deliver information that is relevant to only that task at hand – payroll, results, competitive information, etc. – be it in Excel, SharePoint or HANA database.

Furthermore, because this type of information is typically private data, the delivered results need to be available to only those who need access while not allowing those who wish to use the information without permission. Consequently, it is important to determine which question you are asking the data to answer. Rapid response is also key, which is another reason that search needs to find the data so you can quickly act on it. Whether it is to solve a client issue, approve overtime and/or commissions, present information to the board of directors, or improve the sales process, it’s critical to have instant access to accurate search results to keep enterprise productivity.

The good news is that search is evolving, albeit slowly. Developers of enterprise search are now coming to realise that it must:

Bring needed answers and/or files and not merely a list of results.
Learn from analytics and past searches.
Be able to search seamlessly across multiple repositories.

Deliver results blindingly fast

While search has not improved much in the past 20 years, there are new federated searches that can securely find the right document at the right time. These new types of search also add security to protect privacy of files as they traverse networks.

Things are looking up in the search world, so stay tuned on the journey.

Source: http://www.itproportal.com/2016/02/28/the-search-continues-history-of-searchs-unsatisfactory-progress/

Google is developing a standalone virtual reality headset that will be several steps removed from Google's Cardboard VR, The Wall Street Journal reported last week. Instead of relying on a user's smartphone and a lens-fitted cardboard headset, it will have all the necessary components built in.

 

It also won't have to rely on a PC or a console for processing power as do Sony's PlayStation VR, HTC's Vive and Oculus VR's Rift headsets, according to the Journal's sources. It will have integrated processors, lenses, cameras and sensors.

Chipmaker Movidius will provide the chips for the headset, enabling the device to track the motion of the user's head based on input from the product's cameras, according to the WSJ.

Pricing is expected to fall in the mid-tier range.

 

 

 

Supporting Evidence

 

Google declined to comment on the rumors that it has been working on a standalone VR headset, but evidence suggests that it is.

Last month, the company moved Clay Bavor from his role as vice president of product management and installed him as vice president of virtual reality.

Along with putting one of its best brains on virtual reality, it has offered curious job postings calling for talent to develop VR cameras and battery-powered portable products.

 

Fall Into the Gap

 

A midtier headset follows the logic of Cardboard. Google has introduced more than 5 million people to VR, and a standalone product could take those followers even deeper down the rabbit hole.

If Google is as serious about VR as it has said it is, it will need to move forward from Cardboard. The tech is limited in the type of experiences it can offer, even when compared to Samsung's $100 Gear VR, according to Patrick Walker, VP of insights and analytics at EEDAR.

 

"I would expect this next project to be an evolution of the Google Cardboard that will phase it out, especially because the price point of the Google VR headset will likely be relatively low but will offer so much more VR capability than the Google cardboard," he told TechNewsWorld.

 

A standalone Google VR headset would be an interesting play, said Kevin Krewell, principal analyst at Tirias Research. With the Rift set at US$600 and the Vive expected to top that, there's a gulf between high-end VR experiences and the Cardboard and Gear VR types.

 

"It's a very good opportunity for someone to fill in the gap," he told TechNewsWorld. "There's a giant hole between the two experiences, and I'm surprised more companies haven't done something in the price range between $300 and $600."

Filling that gap could make the Google device priced to sell well, picking up consumers let down by the high cost of the Rift.

"From a price-point point of view, something in the midtier could sell a million or more units, while the higher-end stuff, despite the hype, might only sell tens of thousands of units, not a high volume, at this stage," said EEDAR's Walker.

 

Market Watch

 

EEDAR sees two primary verticals in the VR market, he noted.

"The high-end VR devices are targeting a consumer who is an early adopter and heavy gamer, whether on console or PC," said Walker.

That market is in the crosshairs of Facebook's Oculus Group, HTC and Valve, and Sony. It's different from the mainstream, more accessible market Google and Samsung have gone after, he said.

"Therefore," Walker said, "we think that the Google initiatives will have much more impact on the Gear VR than on Oculus, HTC and Sony products."

 

Source:  http://www.technewsworld.com/story/83121.html

 

 

You might look at the internet in private, but anything you share can quickly become very public. Knowing these five types of internet abuse—which have been used by cyberbullies to embarrass, exploit and harass others—as well as strategies for protecting yourself against them, can help you avoid running into problems.

 

1-Social Exclusion

Social exclusion might be one of the mildest forms of cyberbullying, but it can cause serious distress: it's the online equivalent of leaving someone out of a group to which they should expect automatic membership. This could include an entire class not accepting a friend request from a particular classmate.

 

Tip: Focus on developing real-life relationships rather than depending on virtual relationships for social connection. If you or your child is being excluded online, this is probably an indication of a more serious social problem in real life. Talk to your parents, teachers, or a counselor if you're being socially excluded at school. Joining online or real-life groups based on your interests, hobbies, or activities is also helpful.

 

2-Tagging Without Permission

 

Tagging is a way of attaching a person's name to an online image so that their name appears on the image, or so that images of a particular person can be identified by searching for tagged images using their name. Tagging someone's name against an embarrassing, defaming, or manipulated image—particularly without her permission—is a form of internet abuse, especially when the intention is to cause that person distress or ridicule.

 

Tip: Limit and censor images that you post of yourself, and that others post of you. Adjust the privacy settings of Facebook or the website you are using and so that tagged images of you cannot be seen by others. Block people from accessing any information about you. If your image has been posted on a website, contact the website administrator and request that it be taken down. If the image is pornographic, you may be able to report the abuse to the police, although some teens have found themselves in trouble for others' posting sext images of them online.

 

 

3-Flaming

 

Flaming is the practice of posting derogatory comments about another person. It can include outing another person by revealing that he is gay when he hasn't come out himself; character assassination by berating someone's character throught exaggerating her perceived faults in an unbalanced way; or posting up untrue information about someone in order to damage her image or reputation.

 

Tip: Although abuse is never the fault of the victim, you can reduce the likelihood that it will happen to you by conducting yourself appropriately online, avoiding provoking negative reactions in others by comments you make, and treating yourself and others with respect. At the very least, any flaming that does happen will be unsubstantiated and unconvincing. And if it does happen, report abuse to the owner of the website; webmasters are increasingly aware of internet abuse and have moderators who can remove offensive material.

 

 

4-Sext Re-Posting

 

Sexting is a risky activity, but when you are in a relationship, you can be drawn into sexting a picture of yourself to your loved one without thinking about the potential future risk of its being used against you.

 

Read more in To Sext or Not to Sext?

 

Younger internet users, especially teenage girls, can also be flattered into sexting images of themselves, or flashing on a webcam, by predators, pedophiles, and pornographers who can use these images for cybersex. This is known as coercion, and is a form of internet abuse. While you may feel embarrassed by such images of you being made public, it is not your fault. Ask them to take the image down, and if they do not, report it to the website as being posted without your consent. If they continue to leave it online, and especially if they are harassing you in any other way, report it to the police.

 

5-Impersonation and Identity Theft

 

Impersonation is pretending to be someone else, and can range from obvious mockery to actually borrowing or stealing someone's identity—such as their name, image, or identifying information—to carry out actions which are attributed to the victim.

 

Tip: For superficial impersonations, such as someone posting up a silly comment online using your name, add a comment below stating that it was not made by you. For more serious impersonations, like comments expressing controversial views you do not agree with, contact the webmaster and ask to have it removed. If your personal information is used to commit theft or another crime, you either confront the culprit to correct the matter, or report it to the police.

 

Source:  https://www.verywell.com/five-types-of-internet-abuse-used-to-cyberbully-22282

You might look at the internet in private, but anything you share can quickly become very public. Knowing these five types of internet abuse—which have been used by cyberbullies to embarrass, exploit and harass others—as well as strategies for protecting yourself against them, can help you avoid running into problems.

1
 Social Exclusion

Models pose as girl being excluded by peers
 Social exclusion online is a type of cyberbullying. Vicky Kasala / Getty Images

Social exclusion might be one of the mildest forms of cyberbullying, but it can cause serious distress: it's the online equivalent of leaving someone out of a group to which they should expect automatic membership. This could include an entire class not accepting a friend request from a particular classmate.

Tip: Focus on developing real-life relationships rather than depending on virtual relationships for social connection. If you or your child is being excluded online, this is probably an indication of a more serious social problem in real life. Talk to your parents, teachers, or a counselor if you're being socially excluded at school. Joining online or real-life groups based on your interests, hobbies, or activities is also helpful.

2
 Tagging Without Permission

Tagging is a way of attaching a person's name to an online image so that their name appears on the image, or so that images of a particular person can be identified by searching for tagged images using their name. Tagging someone's name against an embarrassing, defaming, or manipulated image—particularly without her permission—is a form of internet abuse, especially when the intention is to cause that person distress or ridicule.

Tip: Limit and censor images that you post of yourself, and that others post of you. Adjust the privacy settings of Facebook or the website you are using and so that tagged images of you cannot be seen by others. Block people from accessing any information about you. If your image has been posted on a website, contact the website administrator and request that it be taken down. If the image is pornographic, you may be able to report the abuse to the police, although some teens have found themselves in trouble for others' posting sext images of them online.

3
 Flaming

Flaming is the practice of posting derogatory comments about another person. It can include outing another person by revealing that he is gay when he hasn't come out himself; character assassination by berating someone's character throught exaggerating her perceived faults in an unbalanced way; or posting up untrue information about someone in order to damage her image or reputation.

Tip: Although abuse is never the fault of the victim, you can reduce the likelihood that it will happen to you by conducting yourself appropriately online, avoiding provoking negative reactions in others by comments you make, and treating yourself and others with respect. At the very least, any flaming that does happen will be unsubstantiated and unconvincing. And if it does happen, report abuse to the owner of the website; webmasters are increasingly aware of internet abuse and have moderators who can remove offensive material.

4
 Sext Re-Posting

Sexting is a risky activity, but when you are in a relationship, you can be drawn into sexting a picture of yourself to your loved one without thinking about the potential future risk of its being used against you.

Read more in To Sext or Not to Sext?

Younger internet users, especially teenage girls, can also be flattered into sexting images of themselves, or flashing on a webcam, by predators, pedophiles, and pornographers who can use these images for cybersex. This is known as coercion, and is a form of internet abuse. While you may feel embarrassed by such images of you being made public, it is not your fault. Ask them to take the image down, and if they do not, report it to the website as being posted without your consent. If they continue to leave it online, and especially if they are harassing you in any other way, report it to the police.

5
 Impersonation and Identity Theft

Impersonation is pretending to be someone else, and can range from obvious mockery to actually borrowing or stealing someone's identity—such as their name, image, or identifying information—to carry out actions which are attributed to the victim.

Tip: For superficial impersonations, such as someone posting up a silly comment online using your name, add a comment below stating that it was not made by you. For more serious impersonations, like comments expressing controversial views you do not agree with, contact the webmaster and ask to have it removed. If your personal information is used to commit theft or another crime, you either confront the culprit to correct the matter, or report it to the police.

 

The backlash against the information overload of the modern Internet era is getting stronger than ever. After years of sharing everything with everyone and breathlessly embracing the latest site du jour on the social Web, people are realizing that they can no longer keep up. Signs of this are all around us – people promising to “go off the grid” for days at a time, people removing their profiles from social networks and complaining of social media fatigue, and people scrambling to find new ways to rein in their social media promiscuity. But is this Slow Internet movement based around an ultimately flawed idea – that it’s actually possible to shut off the massive meme-spraying firehose of the Interwebs?

 

People who are in the Slow Internet movement, of course, don’t actually refer to this as the Slow Internet movement, much as the pioneers of the Slow Food movement never actually referred to it as the Slow Food movement until a bunch of foodies in Italy took it into their own hands when they saw a McDonald's opening near the Spanish Steps in Rome. The manifesto of the Slow Internet movement is similar to the manifesto of the Slow Food movement, but adapted for the realities of our digital age: making an effort to spend more quality time offline, re-thinking relationships on social networks, and finding ways to reduce the feeling of guilt about not checking one's streams constantly.

It’s easy to see why the Slow Internet movement has struck a chord with so many people – this Internet thing seems to be getting away from us these days. According to Mark Zuckerberg’s Law of Online Sharing, we’re on pace to share billions of pieces of content in 2012. People who have already hooked up their Spotify music accounts to Facebook have shared more than 1.5 billion pieces of information in just the last two months. Not only that, the amount of information that we share online will double every year, ad infinitum, thanks to the whole concept of "frictionless sharing." (Sound familiar? It’s Moore’s Law updated for the social networking era.)

But let’s step back for a second. How extraordinary is this massive amount of information flooding into our lives?

One of last year’s most popular books – The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood from James Gleick (yes, that James Gleick) – documented numerous occasions in history when even the leading intellectuals of the day admitted to being overloaded by the amount of information out there. Leibniz feared a return to barbarism "to which result that horrible mass of books which keeps on growing might contribute very much." The words of Alexander Pope, responding to the veritable flood of books brought on by the printing press, are priceless: “Paper became so cheap, and printers so numerous, that a deluge of Authors covered the land.” Contemporaries wrote of drowning in a "churning flood" of information. T.S. Eliot feared that all this new information was bringing us no closer to enlightenment: "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? / Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"

And that’s the same story teased out by another book on information overload through the ages, Too Much to Know. As Harvard historian Ann Blair makes clear, the same issues that we’re facing today brought on by the flood of information in our lives are the same ones contemplated hundreds of years ago during the European Renaissance, long before the information era and the rapid proliferation of modern communications. Yet, as Blair points out, Renaissance scholars eventually found a way to “surf” the massive tidal wave of information that was being unlocked each day using new indexing techniques and inventing literary genres like the florilegium.

If information, indeed, wants to be free, it means that it’s destined to propagate endlessly, without limit. Think of Borges's infinite Library of Babel, where everything can be found, but nothing can be located. The world is headed toward maximum entropy, a fact that members of the Slow Internet movement seem to forget. The Joy of Quiet is not actually a joy, and it’s never actually getting any quieter. The only thing capable of taming the exponential growth of information is something else that can also grow at an exponential pace: silicon. But that opens up a whole other can of worms – at what point will man and machine become one, in our mad scramble to make sense of the sheer amount of information in our lives? 

Source :
http://bigthink.com/endless-innovation/information-overload-there-has-always-been-too-much-to-know

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