LED Day – 146

What is Project LED? Find out here

I’m something of a photographer too! Check out my work here.

Day of November 12th 2014

  • The Nexus 6 is coming out! It comes with Android Lollipop (5.0) and starts at $650. It is being hailed as the cheapest flagship smartphone on the market.
  • Kim Kardashian has fully exposed her body to Paper Magazine. The photoshoot is highly controversial on social media and has resulted in a slew of memes and media tabloid articles. (Links to photos in source.)
  • Robert George Kardashian (father of Kim Kardashian and her sisters) was an American lawyer and business. Robert Kardashian is most famous for his role in the OJ Simpson trial. He passed away at the age of 59 from esophageal cancer; he was ethnically Armenian.
  • The APA (American Psychological Association) estimates that the divorce rate in America is somewhere between 40 and 50 percent (variable by year). This statistic itself seems to make people edgy about divorce.
  • This Spiderman gif seems to dance in sync to any song! Maybe it’s placebo effect, but it sure works for me.

    http://9gag.com/gag/aPvwPzg/damn-spiderman-can-dance

Sources:

Daily Track:

LED Day – 144

What is Project LED? Find out here

I’m something of a photographer too! Check out my work here.

Day of November 1st 2014

  • T-Pain can actually sing quite well without auto-tune!
  • Corning is a 163 year old company; the group used to produce light-bulbs for Thomas Edison .
  • Synthetic sapphire is the second hardest material on the planet; only diamonds are harder.
  • Lenovo’s y50 Touch Gaming Laptop has a 4K display, but most games cannot run at that resolution without significant lag.
  • An anaphora is “the use of a word referring to or replacing a word used earlier in a sentence, to avoid repetition, such as do in I like it and so do they.” (This definition quoted from Google’s dictionary function.)
  • The population of Japan is about 127.3 million; there are about 1.4 births per woman (fertility rate).

Sources:

Daily Track:

LED Day – 137

What is Project LED? Find out here

I’m something of a photographer too! Check out my work here.

Day of October 8th 2014

  • Khan Academy has an open email policy for internship and job applications.
  • A venture capitalist is an individual (or firm) who invests money into start-ups and small companies which (seemingly) have the capacity for growth, but lack access to public funding.  Successful venture capitalists are rewarded handsomely as the small companies they initially invested in, become giants.
  • Instagram is a much more diverse and dense platform than I originally thought. The hashtags system and total photo library is incredibly vast.
  • There are several programs which help you produce watermarks which you can batch process. Visual Watermark is one of those programs. This is also doable in Photoshop.
  • The Kik platform is much more popular than I knew. I had thought Kik to be one of those more obscure messenger apps with a very small userbase.

Sources:

  • I headed over to the internships page on Khan Academy, and they don’t have a specific format for applications. Interests are encouraged to simply email.
  • I’ve heard of venture capitalists, but I never really knew exactly what they were. I ran a Google search for the definition.
  • I was off Instagram for about a year, because my DSLR photos were difficult to upload. Now I’ve finally put in the effort to figure out, and I’ve found that Instagram has really grown!
  • I was recently advised to watermark my photos because photo theft is rather common. I went about searching for methods to batch/mass process watermarks.
  • Getting into the Instagram scene exposed me to a lot of activity on Kik. I typically only used Facebook Messenger.

Daily Track:

LED Day – 130

What is Project LED? Find out here

I’m something of a photographer too! Check out my work here.

Day of September 20th 2014

  • The town of Southold, NY (Long Island) has passed legislation which limits the strength of outdoor lights owned by residents. This was done to protect Southold’s status as one of the darkest sky spots in lower New York. (The stars and Milky Way are visible from Southold!)
  • V4L (Vapor 4 Life: producers of the Vapor Zeus E-Cig) rewards its repeat customers. I received a single free Vapor King disposable E-Cig!
  • The ALEKS (Asessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) system is used to teach a variety of courses in conjunction with in class lectures at accredited universities.
  • There’s a very useful (unofficial) Facebook Messenger extension for Google Chrome. (Link in source)
  • The Horton Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse on the northern edge of Eastern Long Island. It was commissioned in 1790 by (former & first) President George Washington, but not built until 1857.

Sources:

Daily Track:

On Internet and Security Leaks

DSC_2197Over the last few days, I’ve seen countless reports, op-ed pieces — even gossip columns and tabloid articles — about the “heinous crime(s)” recently committed online. Now that this personal photo hacking scandal (involving Jennifer LawrenceKate Upton and several other popular female media stars) has blown over a little bit, I feel that it’s a bit more appropriate to have an objective analysis of the incident, and the relevant cultural backlash.

More information on the photo leak can be found here:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/01/showbiz/jennifer-lawrence-photos/

First, a few facts that seem to have been blurred in the crossfire of opinions.

  • iCloud itself was not compromised as a system. The cyber attack was targeted at specific individuals, and employed a combination of social hacking techniques and flaw exploitation. In this particular case, social hacking means that the hackers tried guessing passwords, and answers to security questions; hackers also exploited the fact that Apple’s iCloud password recovery system does not lock out users from making password recovery attempts or logging in, after multiple failures.
  • The DMCA allows for legal claims (at the Federal level) to be made concerning personal or copyrighted material published on the internet. These claims are then evaluated and sent to the hosting party/web admin. At this point, a site(s) hosting the material is legally required to see to its immediate removal. The DMCA does not require private hosts like 4chanReddit and Google (all of which have a large public user base) to constantly monitor and filter their content.
  • Both the theft and the online release of the photos in question are considered criminal activity.
  • The official investigation is high profile and being handled by the FBI.

Everything I’ve read so far concerning the iCloud breach has made out the hackers to be wicked, bordering on evil. Posts and articles written by feminists take a very strong (and typical) position about how the leak perpetuates rape culture and demeans the privacy and security of women. Conversely, the anonymous (and largely male) free-for-all communities on Reddit & 4chan were rather grossly excited and welcomed the photos — even setting up dedicated forum threads for easy access. Some writers have criticized the victims of the cyber attack for either having stored the revealing photos on iCloud or having taken the photos in the first place, while others have even written about the concept of hacker’s glory, which may play a major role in motivating hackers to continue hacking and publishing/trading their illicitly obtained data. Regardless of point of view or persuasion, the salient take-away from this incident should be that data organized online is only as safe as its irrelevance. Or more simply put: if the data hidden behind passwords is not important to a potential thief, then it is safe. Any data stored with information giants is at risk of theft; including the likes of (but not limited to) AppleGoogle and Microsoft – all of which offer e-mail, cloud storage and instant messaging services.

This issue of flawed internet security has been highlighted countless times over the last decade. Hackers have hacked everything from the credit card information of private citizens to the front pages of major government institutions. And then of course there’s the issue of who the hackers actually are; as Edward Snowden gracefully revealed to American public, introverted teenagers with lots of free time aren’t the only ones hunting and hacking for data. Intelligence agencies all over the world (especially our own) prowl the internet and take as they see fit.

Check out this awesome interactive infographic detailing data theft from the last decade.

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/worlds-biggest-data-breaches-hacks/

This sort of behavior by any party, be it adolescent or secret agent, is considered theft, but not in the traditional sense. I found many op-ed articles likening digital data theft to the theft of one’s home, car or person; an analogy I strongly oppose. The internet is an enormous and dynamic system of networks. Not a neighborhood, parking lot or city block. Stealing from the internet is nowhere near as personal as stealing in real life. It is this impersonal attitude in particular which makes online theft so common and light on the conscience; hackers can effectively rob hundreds and thousands of people with just a few keystrokes. This experience of pulling files off of a remote server is nothing like traditional theft for the hacker or the victim. It’s also worth mentioning that victims of cyber theft are usually not “robbed” of their data. In most cases, the stolen material is simply copied and used without authorization.

It’s probably fair to say (for now) that the vast majority of internet users won’t be affected by online security breaches in any life changing way, but Big Data is coming. Data giants already have comprehensive sets of information detailing the lives of the average user. A combination of the data stored in my Facebook and Google accounts can be used to easily create a very (and almost scarily accurate) comprehensive map of my life. Just the other day, Google Now informed me that I walked 19% more than I did the month prior. As we move forward, even more of our data will be organized in cyberspace. Smart-watches and newer smartphones are beginning to keep track of blood pressure, pulse and even caloric intake; smart-glasses will eventually make it through legal and civil hurdles and revolutionize the way we see the world. It’s definitely high time to take our data security more seriously.

FM RADIO

 

 

 

LED Day – 41

What is Project LED? Find out here

Day of May 11th 2014

  • Viggle is a pretty awesome app which gives you points for watching TV, listening to music and watching adverts.
  • Slidejoy is an app which puts ads on your lock screen and pays you a uniform fee per ad view.
  • There are SD cards with WiFi built into them. They allow for transfer of files across devices on the same network without having to eject the SD card. I can’t see how this would helpful for anyone who doesn’t use a DSLR camera.
  • Blur magazine is a magazine which compiles a set of photos from public submission.
  • The term 4k video refers to 4000 vertical lines of pixels in an image.
  • There are massively active click-farms (in developing countries) out there which provide tons of likes on Facebook. Buying likes from click-farm sites is against Facebook’s policy, but it appears that when you choose to promote your posts on Facebook with Facebook’s promotion system, the likes come from the same places.

Sources:

  • I heard about the Viggle app on a news program covering people who actually seemed to have made a significant amount of money working at home.
  • I heard about the Slidejoy app on a news program covering people who actually seemed to have made a significant amount of money working at home.
  • I was looking at Amazon deals on SD cards when I came across the new breed of WiFi enabled SD cards.
  • I was doing research on what a professional photographer really is and came across sites where amateurs and professionals submit photos.

    http://www.blur-magazine.com/

  • I was doing research on 4k TV’s when I learned what they actually are. Many 4k TV’s won’t make a difference to your viewing experience simply because of how much information your eye can process.
  • This video titled Facebook Fraud is rather eye-opening.

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