If your home is anything like mine, you have surge protectors all over the place, providing power and protection to appliances and 21st Century digital devices. Even my refrigerator is plugged into one after a power surge took out a number of refrigerators in the neighborhood.
Some surge protectors are powerful devices that promise, not only to protect appliances and devices but to pay for replacement devices if it does protect during a surge. Other devices, power strips that look like surge protectors, are just glorified extension cords.
No, I was not surprised to read that kids figure out how to how to get around the Apple iPhone parental controls. The Washington Post published an October 15, 2019 article that tells all about it, and in my experience, the kids’ actions are not limited to Apple parental controls.
How do you develop a solid online presence while simultaneously having the ability to enjoy a social media account with friends and maybe even be a little goofy? It is possible, but organizing one’s digital footprints takes organization and attention.
This issue is of paramount importance for people who will be applying for school or jobs in today’s digital world.
Hate groups and their members have been around for a long time, but the connected world has amplified their insidious messages for people of all ages. A sizeable percentage of the online messages from these groups are aimed at middle and high school children.
Over the years, I’ve shared my excitement about computers, the Internet, the web, and eventually social media with people of all ages, and I continue to believe in the power of technology and learning. Yet, on a regular basis, a small interior voice of discomfort warned me again and again about extremists’ digital activities. Articles appearing on one of my news feeds would catch my attention, or occasionally a middle or high school student or a parent would comment about hateful comments seen online. Once a colleague shared an article that described how hate groups recruit kids with cool music. Continue reading “Yes, White Supremacists Do Attempt to Recruit Kids Online”→
The other day I was sitting in a group talking about mobile phone calls.
Every single person expressed frustration about the number of fraudulent phone calls that ring up on any given day. While the phone companies, AT&T for instance, now identifies possible spam calls, there are still far more calls that are not identified.
This a frustrating 21st Century problem and just about everyone in the conversation had the same strategy. No one answers the phone unless the number is recognized or the caller is in contacts and thereby identified by name. Everyone assumes that a legitimate caller will leave a message. Continue reading “Phone Calls Are Becoming Intimidating”→
“It’s time to move past fake news,” suggests an August 30, 2019 editorial in the Toronto Star, which explains the need to amend or change the terminology, instead labeling made-up information as disinformation. The article points out that, while there has always been made up or exaggerated information, our contemporary digital world provides easy and efficient ways to spread disinformation.
Fake news is a misnomer. There is no “news” in it. And the term has become mere shorthand to dismiss anything with which the user of the phrase disagrees.
Quoting scholars including Kathleen Hall Jamieson, at the University of Pennsylvania, and David Runciman at Cambridge University, the Toronto Star editorial writers note that the digital revolution allows people to target various groups with disinformation. Moreover, the digital precision and speed of social media make it easier to challenge the cultural norms of democracy. Sometimes these challenges are designed to make people understand even less about democratic institutions. Continue reading “The Word Fake Really Can’t Describe the Word News”→
After six or seven years of using a free email account, I decided to switch to one that I pay for, one that does not share my data or track what I do.
I made the decision after I looked at my Google purchase list that goes back for years. These notations include hotels, restaurants, transportation tickets, clothes, books and just about everything else that I bought online. Looking over the list, I observed that it was pretty easy to monitor the past few years of my life just by looking through my purchases. I had no privacy.
One of my friends said it best when he commented, “When something is free, you and your data are the product.” So that is when I decided to switch. I do not want to be the product. I am tired of serving as the product.
I looked at half-a-dozen different programs, all of which emphasize privacy and freedom from tracking, and I chose one that several people I know have used. Then I got out my credit card, paid for a year and — wonder of wonders — the charge did not show up on Google Purchases.
Since then I’ve spent time moving things over to my new email system. This includes just about everything that asks me to sign up with my email address and probably anything that relates to business.