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VOLUME 18 NO. 5

EXAMINE THE NET WAY OF LIFE

JANUARY, 2019

 

 

 

IN THIS ISSUE:

 

FB IS TERRIBLE

FOUND BUT NOT LOST ON THE INTERNET

RESOLUTIONS

iTOONS

WHETHER REPORT

BARF BAGS

NEW SHOW HACK!

©2019 Ski

Words, Cartoons & Illustrations

All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Distributed by pindermedia.com, inc.

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EXAMINE THE NET WAY OF LIFE

cyberculture, commentary, cartoons, essays
 

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FB IS TERRIBLE ARTICLE

Facebook is terrible. We all knew that. We just did not know how terrible it really is.

The New York times exposed Facebook's own breach of its privacy rules. Facebook's data sharing deals with some of the world's biggest companies raised serious concerns about the social network's approach to privacy. More than 270 pages of Facebook documents obtained by the Times show the firm gave certain companies privileged access to user data, including user names and email addresses through their Facebook friends, despite the fact that Facebook said it restricted this access in 2014.

In return, Amazon reportedly provided Facebook with contact lists to give it a better idea of people's relationships, and allow it to suggest “connections. ” It does not make sense for Facebook to look to Amazon or any other big data miners to suggest connections for FB users when Facebook itself is one of the largest data miners on the social media planet. It comes down to data sharing and money for data access.

Facebook defended its relationship with partners including Amazon. It said that it was up to its partners to get consent from users. “Our integration partners had to get authorization from people. You would have had to sign in with your Facebook account to use the integration offered by Apple, Amazon or another integration partner,” it said.

Everyone has become numb by the pop up ads in your social feeds of products or services you may have Googled in the last 24 hours. For example, we had a stuck pump soap dispenser. A quick YouTube video search yielded a film on how to make the pump work. You hold a wrench to the base and turn counter-clockwise to release the locking mechanism. It worked. But then, for the rest of the day wrench and hardware ads showed up in our feeds. It seems the big players are not selling data lists, but real time access to their customer's keystrokes.

It begins the dark thoughts of a Big Brother society where the big data platforms know everything about you.

It has begun to sting users in unusual ways. Facebook claimed it was going to curtail fake news and hate speech on its platform. Instead of being merely a platform distribution service, it was going to use AI to filter through posts to eliminate unwanted content. That means Facebook is taking itself out of a safe harbor and into the realm of editing published content. By being responsive to some criticism, it has begun to interfere with user preferences.

It starts to block reviews, comments and links between an artist and a fan under the guise that there is an illicit connection between the two - - - - like a undisclosed pay-to-comment relationship. But it most likely is merely a personal opinion post and not an undisclosed paid influencer at work. The FTC now requires all social media influencers to disclose their product placement relationship and payments to its viewers. But Facebook's use of its connection data, such as follows and likes, is without any context to block communication between friends, colleagues or admirers.

Facebook reportedly did not let users know this data sharing, and block programs were happening nor get their consent. Amazon declined to tell the New York Times about its data sharing deal with Facebook but said it used the information “appropriately.” Amazon claims it uses APIs provided by Facebook in order to enable Facebook users to experience its products. Why was Facebook giving out this data about its users to other tech giants without explaining the benefits to either Facebook or its individual users.

It is another terrible publicity nightmare for Facebook. It is still getting jabbed for being played as a conduit for alleged illegal election manipulation by foreign agents. Facebook continues to claim that its enhancements are for the betterment of the user's experience, but advertisements are getting more feed space and actual links to friend posts are getting increasingly haphazard to read. The top story sort seems to be the default that most do not want. The most recent post setting is fine, but it is mashing an evergreen mentality on re-filtering old posts without any updates (but some may be linked to a preceding advertisement). Some users now have to go to their personal friend settings page to find out who has made recently made posts, click on their friends' own home page just to catch up with their activities.

Some would call this a downgrade to the original FB experience, especially if you have to dig for your own new posts. But others would call this a form of social engineering; FB is controlling what and how you view information without regard to your personal preferences, settings or privacy.

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FOUND BUT NOT LOST ON THE INTERNET

British graffiti artist Banksy's latest work is a corner turner on his view on climate change and the environment. The unknown artist who has captivated the art world by his pranks has used his mysterious mantra to make timely social commentary.

Source: aol.com

 

A happy face logo has been turned upside down by unhappy Amazon employees. As Amazon becomes the planet's global source and shipping company, overworked, overstressed and underappreciated workers are beginning to lash back with protests, social media gripes and union talk about alleged sweatshop distribution centers. Further complicating Amazon's management is that the highly profitable company got billions in corporate welfare from D.C./Virginia and NYC to build new corporate offices, which will probably displace many middle and lower class people.

Source: Gizmodo

 

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RESOLUTIONS! COMMENTARY

2018 was a year of a glacial thaw towards change. It was a simple philosophy to get outside one's current comfort zone, explore new things, socialize, and be more creative away from the daily grind of work.

But incremental progress needs to have some forward momentum to succeed. You need to focus on a mindset. That is why so many people have New Year's resolutions as a means to set new goals. In no particular order, here are some thoughts, ideas, goals and promises made in order to have a better digital, personal, technological, cultural and rewarding year:

EXPAND the number of new international news sources to learn about how other people around the world view America, its principles and policies.

USE the internet vast resources to view different kinds of programming from different kinds of content producers, from YouTubers to national networks, to streaming services and original studio works.

LESS procrastination on the computer screen as one can easily get lost in web of distraction.

TRAVEL more to new places. The Internet is a great free travel guide to explore new cities, countries and places without leaving your home computer. But even those virtual experiences pale by comparison of actually going to those places to experience the sights, sounds, smells and culture first hand.

BETTER keep track of current and new friendships. The social media is easy to click likes and follows, but one should be more engaged and responsive in your friend's lives and events, even if you cannot be there in person.

EXERCISE your heart, mind, body and soul more. Physical exercise is important to overall health, but mental experiences and learning is just as important. The technology exists to be able to learn new languages, master new artistic forms, create lasting memories in words or pictures.

BE NICER to other people. Social media gives one the option of weaponized snark. It is easy, quick and sometimes unfiltered hurt. The discord amongst digital relationships is a growing trend which does not bode well for maintaining a personal level of overall happiness. Human beings may live solitary lives but we are still social animals.

COMPLETE what you have started; there is a novel outlined, a series of artwork sketches to paint, and more stories to tell.

 

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THE WHETHER REPORT

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STATUS

Question: Whether a split political Congress and stubborn President keep the USA out of a recession in 2019?

* Educated Guess

* Possible

* Probable

* Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

* Doubtful

* Vapor Dream

Question: Whether Facebook's privacy policy violations will have massive user drop outs in social media platforms?

* Educated Guess

* Possible

* Probable

* Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

* Doubtful

* Vapor Dream

Question: Whether climate change debate will hinge upon science more than taxation?

* Educated Guess

* Possible

* Probable

* Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

* Doubtful

* Vapor Dream

 

Earlier this year, a cryptic press release landed in the inboxes of journalists. It said CREATIVITY IS NOT ONLY FOR HUMANS. The makers were a French trio known as Obvious, and their claim was that their artificial intelligence (AI) had managed to create art. It was the first of a stream of publicity that heralded the auction of a weird portrait. Christie's had been expecting less than $10,000 but it sold for $430,000. It was not praised as being as good art. And those struggling real painters must not have been pleased with the result. But saying that AI will take over the art world is false. AI is merely a tool not a revolutionary being. The artist is not really a painter but a coder who links graphic bits from data directories to stitch together a final picture. To claim a computer is creating art like a human is a programmer fantasy.

 

An Asian woman named Pony posed in front of her new Lambo supercar. She is a cosmetics and make up fashionista in Korea who has a two million following. It may be a successful brag or an illusion of what only the top 1 percent of YouTubers can achieve: an actual living from creating their own content. Early on, some of the most famous YouTubers made some real money, but in the end when they took out the costs of filming, editing, rent, utilities from the hours they worked, they found out they were making in profit less than a minimum wage at a fast food restaurant. The lesson is simple: do what you love to do, and if you are lucky you can make a living at it. But the reality is most content producers make little to nothing for their efforts.

 

Call of Duty was proclaimed the biggest video game of 2018, racking up $3.2 billionin profits, just ahead of Fortnite (profit and revenue figures are sparse because companies are usually private). Video games now have the look and feel of big Hollywood action-blockbuster films. The reason is simple: games can vastly outperform a Hollywood film in terms of revenue. Fortnite and PUBG are other billion dollar game franchises. The appeal is simple as well: the player is put into a Hollywood action setting with a simple task to loot and shoot your way to a victory, usually taking very little time to do so. The high action, low skill level has made the battle royale concept quite addictive. It has spawned careers for professional game players and YouTube game channel hosts. It has also become the bane of school teachers who are constantly competing against the mobile version of the games in their students' hands during class.

 


 

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