internet

adminJuly 29, 2018
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6min

Fake products are steadily invading the market nowadays; from fake CDs to fake designer bags and fake smartphones. I’m sure most of you won’t be surprised if some of the accounts following you on your social media accounts are fake, too; in fact, it has totally gone mainstream.

For sure there are also others who do not realize that they are being followed by a number of bots and fake accounts. This is not anybody’s fault. Bot accounts, by nature, tend to follow popular accounts.

Facebook fake accounts and bots

In order to keep social media clean and authentic, people should take initiative in keeping an eye on their followers on social media, blocking or reporting anyone with a suspicious or spam account.

To do all that, you will need to know how to spot fake accounts. Since most of them are pretty authentic-looking, it is kind of hard for most internet users, especially those who are not tech-savvy, to distinguish the difference. To help you on your quest for a cleaner and safe social media experience, I’ll share some useful tips. Here they are;

Fake Accounts have Lots of Followers but Low Engagement

The easiest way to determine whether an account is fake is to see if it has a lot of followers, accompanied by a low level of engagement. It isn’t normal for an account that has over 1,000 followers to only have 2 or 5 likes per post. An authentic account usually has followers that are active and engaging; they regularly like or comment on each post.

Fake Social Accounts

Fake Accounts have an Engagement Rate that is too Fast

Most con artists today are getting wiser, and so they try to make an authentic account by having more followers and likes. They are able to do so by means of purchasing likes, which automatically likes anything that the account posts. What makes it more obvious is that these likes are accompanied by zero comments.

In addition, genuine accounts have an engagement that gradually takes place and usually has a decent balance between likes and comments.

Fake Accounts have an Engagement Rate that is too Fast

Fake Accounts Usually have Very Few Posts

A real account has many followers because they’ve done something to deserve it; just like how in Instagram you post pictures so that you can influence people to follow you. Now, isn’t it fishy to see an Instagram account that has over 1,000 followers to have only five to ten posts? Most likely those are fake accounts that are populated with fake followers.

Fake Accounts Usually Contain Shady Contents

Sometimes, you can just tell that an account is fake because it obviously looks shady. For instance, the account may have a photo of a handsome guy or a gorgeous girl as its profile picture, but when you look at the content, it is populated with blurry selfies or photos of beautiful landscapes. In short, the content of the account is populated with amateur content. The photos are probably stolen from accounts of other users in an effort to make their account look authentic.

Now that you are equipped with these pointers, you have a higher chance to avoid falling victim to bots and fake accounts. Always remember: “Stay safe on the Internet.”


adminJuly 21, 2018
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7min

During the last few decades, technology has been continually evolving in a rapid fashion. It started with the rise of the Internet and smartphones. Aside from that, other smart gadgets and technologies began to circulate the market as well.

At present, breakthrough technology is dramatically changing how things work in various industries in countless and unexpected ways. For instance, modern technology makes it easier for people to make accommodation and travel arrangements, and so technological advancement has boosted tourism and travel.

If you look at the manufacturing industry, technology has also played a key part in assisting production with the help of the computational power and data availability that it provides. Technology has also helped other industries such as farming, healthcare, automotive, music, and transportation.

In short, technology has been an indispensable factor in changing various industries and helping them to thrive and survive in better ways than they did before.

Below you will read about some of the hand-picked breakthrough technologies that are included in this year’s MIT Technology Review.

MIT Technology Review

3-D Metal Printing

3-D printing began as far back as 1981, but it was mostly used by hobbyist and also for designing purposes. Currently, however, 3D printing has been viewed as a sensible approach in manufacturing metal parts. 3-D printers can easily make metal objects quickly and, most importantly, in a cheaper way.

Looking at it as a whole, this technology is capable of making large and complex-looking metal objects and parts that are on demand. It could, in turn, potentially transform manufacturing as we know it and open up new doors of possibilities and opportunities.

The current key players of 3-D metal printing are Markforged, Desktop Metal, and GE.

Artificial Embryos

This technological breakthrough has given a completely different meaning to how life can be created. Experts working at the University of Cambridge have cultivated real-looking mouse embryos just by using stem cells. No egg or sperm was required; just stem cells that were harvested from another embryo.

This breakthrough of artificial embryos will certainly open up new doors for us to better understand how life develops. However, it also poses various concerns such as ethical and, surprisingly, even philosophical problems.

The current key players of artificial embryos are the University of Cambridge, University of Michigan, and Rockefeller University.

Artificial Embryos

 

Cloud-based AI Services

Artificial Intelligence has always been making huge splashes in various industries; however, it is dominated by only a select few. Now, by making it a cloud-based service, AI can easily be available to many others and offer the economy a significant boost.

The current key players of Cloud-based AI services are Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. Together they are working to increase people’s access to machine learning and artificial intelligence and make it relatively affordable and easy to use.

Cloud-based AI Services

Babel Fish Earbuds

Ever since time immemorial, language has always been one of the greatest barriers to communication and it still is. With the help of near-real-time translation, people can have their conversation in different languages and in near real-time, which is not just effective but also efficient.

It has been reported that the earbuds are still in their early stages, but it cannot be denied that the underlying technology in this is truly promising.

Babel Fish Earbuds

These are truly exciting times as technology advances with blinding speed.  It is just as hard to imagine what the next 20 years will bring just as it is was hard for us to imagine what today would be like 20 years ago.  What is truly extraordinary about breakthroughs today is that they are spreading out into different industries rapidly, and are no longer mostly just limited to just a few industries, like the way they were 20 years ago.


adminJune 15, 2018
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6min

At present, with all the emerging social media websites and applications on the Internet, it is extremely crucial that we maintain a level of protection against possible online attacks since it can ultimately jeopardize our internet privacy and safety.

Internet Privacy, a Personal Right That Needs Safeguarding

Internet privacy, which can also be called online privacy, is the privacy and security level of personal data published on the Internet. It is a broad term that refers to a variety of factors, techniques, and technologies that is used to protect sensitive and private data, communications, and preferences.

Consequently, maintaining internet privacy simply means protecting your data from inadvertently being stolen or picked up by an unknown individual. Internet privacy is unlike privacy in real life. It is not as simple as closing the doors or bedroom curtains since real life situations do not apply to the online world, mostly because the notion of privacy is flawed in the digital space.

Whether they acknowledge it or not, most people don’t even know the importance of internet privacy. So, let’s discuss the importance of internet privacy and why we need to safeguard it.

Why is it so Important?

Let’s admit it, we all have something to hide, regardless of how small or big it might be. It could be on the subject of finances, health, family matters, or whatever. Hiding information, which is truly important, is actually not a bad habit, and people usually do it with a sense of self-preservation.

In any case, some matters do not require to be broadcast on social media for the benefit of the entire world. These are actually the kinds of information that a person should be protected at all cost.

Most marketing companies usually take advantage of people’s unpreparedness and try to look into the latter’s private information so that they could use it with efforts of marketing certain products. The same is also true for a lot of unscrupulous people that only have the intention of defrauding people who are not safeguarding their internet privacy.

When you do something on the Internet, you may not know it but every little thing leaves digital footprints that are difficult to erase from the Internet despite the removal of any information. These digital footprints are what those people are looking for.

How Can You Increase Your Privacy Online?

There are several things you can do to browse the Internet a bit more privately to avoid being trailed. You will learn about some of the steps that you can take, from basic settings changes to various extensions you can install that will do the safeguarding for you.

You might be familiar with your browser’s private browsing mode, which is also called incognito, but there are some key limitations there that you should know. Although it basically lets you start a fresh identity on the web and wipes it all as soon as you close the window, it doesn’t actually block the things that let online advertisers track you

A simple first step is to change your browser’s settings, make it so that you don’t accept cookies from third parties. Cookies are small chunks of data that websites store on your computer. They can be used for helpful things, like keeping you logged in, but they can also be used to track you. Of course, it isn’t going to end all tracking, but it would mean less tracking and fewer personalized ads from popping up.

Although all the above tips are helpful, they don’t really block everything. Fortunately, you can still make use of browser extensions that will help you take care of those.  Here is a comprehensive list of browser extensions that can help protect your privacy online:

  • AdBlock Plus
  • uBlock Origin
  • Disconnect
  • Ghostery
  • ScriptSafe
  • Privacy Badger

Lastly, you can take advantage of the options given to you. For instance, Facebook lets you turn off ad personalization by going to its ads setting.  Taking all these steps won’t necessarily solve every issue of internet privacy, but these critical and easy first steps will surely make you feel a bit more secure.


adminJune 7, 2018
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6min

With the way the world of technology is advancing today, it isn’t so surprising to hear about someone finding their true love online. In fact, since online dating sites and apps have rapidly gained fame, we all know at least one person who has found love through the Internet.

And obviously, because of this trend, various online dating sites and apps have begun crowding on the Internet. It is, of course, a bit scary to sign up for an online dating site because one might worry about the trust and security aspects, not to mention that some of these online dating sites require a subscription fee. But contrary to popular belief, there are some online dating sites that are privacy-safe and surprisingly free, including Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, Tastebuds, Passion Network, and DateMySchool, to name a few.

Facebook Announces Dating Feature

During Facebook’s annual F8 Developer Conference, Mark Zuckerberg, who co-founded Facebook and is currently leading it as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, talked about how Facebook is developing a proprietary dating app separate from the rest of Facebook’s products; a new feature that will only be visible to non-friends who also opted into dating.

“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships and not just for hook-ups,” Zuckerberg told the audience, explaining that the opt-in feature will allow users to build and share a separate dating profile.

With the way Facebook has collected data on every user, “a dating tool has always seemed the next logical step,” Chris Cox, Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, said.

Facebook Announces Dating Feature

How Will This New Feature Work?

First of all, users can opt-in to create a profile with just their first name. Their profile won’t be visible to friends, users who didn’t choose to sign-up for the dating feature, and most importantly, it won’t show up in the News Feed.

After that first and most important part, users are allowed to browse events in their city and groups that would match their interests; users can select to “unlock” one for dating. Then, users will be able to see the profiles of other dating users who’ve unlocked the same events or groups.

And after that, users can browse through other user’s profiles that show off a few of their photos together with some basic information about them. Users will be shown users based on mutual interests and friends, plus other data Facebook has on you.

Lastly, if both users are interested, they will be able to start a conversation in a special box, which is separate from Messenger and WhatsApp. For the user’s safety, only text can be sent through this message box for now.

How Safe Will This New Feature Be?

Facebook Privacy and Safety

However, the most important question to be asked is whether Facebook has built enough barricades between its social network and new dating feature. It will certainly be awkward to expand your network and then trying online dating in just one app. Also, if something bad happens, they could end up blaming the new dating feature, or worse Facebook itself. However, as Chris Cox explained, dating was always a natural fit for Facebook thanks to its ubiquity, data, and trusted platform for identity.

“We have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning,” Mark Zuckerberg said. The company has been under fire recently for possibly not doing this with its other features over the years.

So, how will this new dating feature fare? Let’s wait and see. As for most people, I think they would find it fun and interesting because it would surely help them build confidence and it would be a fun, new way to meet other people.


adminMay 31, 2018
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5min

Net Neutrality is a hot topic in the world of US politics these days but what exactly is it?  The issue of Net Neutrality is said to have united those on the Right and those on the Left, Republican, and Democrat.  Net Neutrality is the premise that internet providers can not throttle or slow down certain websites based on that internet provider’s economic and or political motives.

The greater issue of the free market vs. government intervention is demonstrated perfectly in this hot button issue.  Those against Net Neutrality, such as current US president Donald Trump, argue that having Net Neutrality is too much government intervention in the free market.  Furthermore, internet cable company providers, such as Comcast and Verizon, have very valid arguments that certain websites, such as YouTube and NetFlix, are essentially bandwidth hogs.  As you may very well know, both YouTube and NetFlix are video streaming websites which demand a great amount of bandwidth from Internet providers.  Comcast and Verizon’s argument goes a bit like this:  Imagine two customers, both pay the same rate, but one customer is a 16-year-old who uses YouTube all day and the other customer is an 80-year-old grandmother who does nothing more with her internet service than read static websites that tell stories about history.

The infrastructure needed to support the 16-year old’s internet usage is obviously greater than the 80-year-old woman’s internet usage, thus the profit margins between these two customers are not the same for Internet providers.  Therefore, according to the likes of Comcast and Verizon, YouTube and NetFlix should have to pay additional for their increased bandwidth needs.  This would essentially result in the 16-year-old having to pay more for his internet “package,” as the cost would be passed on to the consumer and not to YouTube and Netflix directly.

For those who are fighting to keep Net Neutrality, their fear is that the Internet providers will simply try to introduce their own version of YouTube and NetFlix by offering clone services for cheap.  There is also the dark nefarious fear that entire news websites will be “blocked” out by Internet companies that do not like the politics of such banned websites.

As it stands right now, the internet is essential “even” or somewhat “open” in America right now, but without Net Neutrality the internet could resemble something more like a cable TV package.  As you may know, cable TV packages are the dread of the entire consumer industry.  Overpriced and bundled with a bunch of crap, most cable TV packages are despised by Americans a million times over.  Without Net Neutrality we could be looking at a future where getting YouTube and NetFlix will cost extra.  It is my dear opinion that the free market people, who argue against having Net Neutrality, have one fatal flaw in their argument:  There is no free market in the world of Internet providers.

Internet providers are monopolies who collude with the government to keep competition out.  Therefore, internet providers need to either be regulated with Net Neutrality, or some derivative of it, or they need to be broken up into smaller companies like Bell Atlantic was in the 1980s.  The future of Net Neutrality is uncertain as the battle to maintain it or destroy it rages on in Washington D.C.  If you are not American, you may think that this has nothing to do with you, but you would be wrong.  The future of Net Neutrality in America will lead the way for Internet providers all over the globe, as the US is always a trend maker in many markets.



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