Truly Secure Messaging, Data Encryption, and Twitter Faux Pas – Episode 24

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Data Security: If you're not paying for the product, you are the product. The Digital Dive Podcast

In the wake of continual major data security breaches, Edward Snowden’s NSA leak, and countless new startups in the Privacy/Security sector, all eyes have been on the growing concern of protecting information in the digital world.

This week, The Digital Dive Podcast examines data encryption. From the early days of walkie talkies to TETRA, standard public-key cryptography, and end-to-end encryption (E2EE), the promise of a secure transfer of information is often murky.
Also, did you know that the Facebook Like counter button on blogs and articles counts more than just Likes? Shares and Comments are included. (Thanks Mari Smith.)

I. Heml.is

Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde et al.’s crowdfunded, in-development app Hemlis (Swedish for “secret”) endeavors to offer a more secure communication channel than texting, email, and apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp. Hemlis promises to surpass these channels by using end-to-end encryption (like iMessage and Facetime) which makes the content of users’ messages unretrievable even by Hemlis employees. Coming soonish for iPhone and Android. DDP asks, “Could secure messaging apps like Hemlis change mobile industry standards for communication or become just another attempt to capitalize on growing public paranoia?”

Hemlis video referenced in the episode:

II. Thanks, But No Thanks: a Twitter PSA

Co-host Melanie Touchstone makes a plea to Twitter users to stop tweeting and DMing “Thanks for the Follow” messages. Also, again: death to auto-DMs.

Tips on Tap:

1.iPhone screenshot how to respond to incoming calls with a message or reminder (Update: this tip applies to iOS 6:) iPhone shortcut for responding to calls: If you receive a call when you’re busy, but you want to respond with a text or call back later, you can with the phone icon on the bottom right (to the right of Decline and Answer). Slide it up while the call is coming in and choose from the available options: Select Reply With Message to send a default message to the caller (adjustable in Settings). Choose Remind Me Later to set up a reminder for a certain time or place.

2. iPhone typing shortcut: (update: still works on iOS 7) Quickly switch between alphabetical and numerical keyboards. Especially useful for inserting the @ symbol in an email address or adding punctuation marks and currency symbols. While typing on the alphabetical keyboard, hold down the 123 on bottom left and drag your finger up to the character you wish to insert. Then release and the phone automatically switches you back to the alphabetical keyboard. This will save you at least two keystrokes for every character. Howcast video: How to Type Faster on Your iPhone

3. Grid app – Great new free spreadsheet app for iOS. This beautiful “spreadsheet on steroids” lets you incorporate images, graphs, to-do lists, and links. Think Pinterest + MS Excel + infographic. Grid was created by an ex-Excel developer and is highly visual.

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Gmail’s New Inbox Threatens Email Marketing; Gamer Dads Hack Away Gender Roles – Episode 23

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Website update 7/16/13: We are having some theme/layout issues. Will fix them soon. Thanks.
I. New Gmail Layout Threatens Email Marketing As We Know It
Email is one of the original eCommerce platforms, and it is also one of the most effective for merchants. 83% of small and medium-size businesses say email is critically important to their overall marketing strategy.
So, what happens when the world’s most used email service, Gmail, introduces a new tabbed layout that automatically hides automated marketing emails? Email users rejoice. Marketers cringe. Melanie and Emily weigh in on why this is good news for consumers, but potentially catastrophic news for digital marketers.
Gmail vs EmailMarketing
Reports/Statistics cited:
II. In-Car Navigation Technology Moves to the Windshield
  • GPS navigation company Garmin has developed the HUD for drivers (heads-up display). It’s a portable device that displays navigation information from a smartphone onto the car’s windshield.
  • How: a transparent film affixes to the windshield, or an included reflector lens attaches to the device. You can see real-time navigation information in daytime and nighttime driving situations. The HUD supports iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 8 devices when used in conjunction with the Garmin StreetPilot1 or Navigon app. HUD cradle: $129.
  • Question: When will mobile phones have the native/quotidian ability to beam onto windshield? This would negate the need for a separate one-trick pony Garmin dock.
III. Dads Hack Video Games to Reverse Gender Roles and Inspire Their Daughters
Some very cool parents who also happen to be developers wanted to make gaming more of an inspiring experience for their young daughters. Examples: Donkey Kong and Zelda were hacked to change up gender roles and make the girl characters heroes.
  • Mario was now under Donkey Kong’s control
  • Pauline was tasked with rescuing the plumber in distress.
Following his successful DK character role reversal for Donkey Kong for NES, father Mike Mika’s YouTube channel shows the hack and lets you download the patch.

Another awesome dad: Small business owner and gamer dad Mike Hoye spent a few weeks hand-tweaking the text in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker so that the main character was referred to as a girl instead of a boy. “I’m not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero.” –“I am no man”: For Zelda-playing daughter, dad gives Link a sex change 11/8/12

Big ups to these dads!
Tips on Tap
1) Clapmera – So simple, so genius. Instead of relying on the often frustrating camera timer or someone else to take images from afar, this app takes a picture when you clap. Free camera app for iPhone and iPad.
Free for iPhone and Google Play, FxCamera is a cross between Instagram and Vine.
Just by sharing a single photo taken with FxCamera on Facebook or Twitter, FxCamera will donate a penny for a photo (up to $10,000) to Japan Water Forum.
3) ecorner.stanford.edu – If you’re a fan of TedTalks and other informative, often inspiring video tools for personal growth, take advantage of ecorner.stanford.edu. Melanie recommends one in particular: Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett Packard on leadership, distilling information.

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You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and/or leave us a review!

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Banning Bikinis and Booze – Advertising, Censorship, and Sexism – Episode 21

Vintage print ad Del Monte ketchup - "You mean a woman can open it?"
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Vintage print ad Del Monte ketchup - "You mean a woman can open it?"This week, discussion centers around advertising, censorship, sexism, and the media. Where should we draw the line between free speech and offensive content? Does controversy and banning empower the content or spark an important dialogue? Enjoy the heated debate.
  1. Flickr announced in late May that every user will get a free terabyte of space
  2. Windows 8: Less talking, more doing commercial for Asus Vivo Tablet mocks the iPad using Siri’s voice. The Windows tablet at 64GB is $449 vs. $699 for a 64GB iPad. Windows jabs the iPad for not being able to multitask (in the desktop sense of the word) and lacking Powerpoint (which is a weak point).
  3. Censorship and Sexism in Advertising – At Home and Abroad:

3.1 Turkey to ban alcohol ads

  OOH advertising - bus shelter ad space "No Alcohol Ads Here"
  • The Turkish Parliament passed legislation on May 24, 2013 to ban advertising of alcohol and to outlaw sales of alcoholic drinks between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. except in tourist zones.
  • Claim from government: protect youths
  • Sparked riots and protests in Istanbul and Ankura
  • Not unheard of: Los Angeles City Council considering a city-wide ban on alcohol advertising on municipal property; already prohibited on bus benches
  • Philadelphia already operates such a ban
  • San Francisco bans alcohol advertising on public transport
  • Alcohol ads are already mostly banned in Sweden, Malaysia, and Russia
  • US standard: alcohol ads can only be placed in media where 70% of the audience is over the legal drinking age (21)
  • Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) has called for a review into existing rules – which ban alcohol ads from airing in shows that appeal to under-18s – after finding that between 2007 and 2011, number of alcohol commercials seen by children rose almost 19%

3.2 “Sexist and degrading” Pamela Anderson commercial for Crazy Domains banned in UK

Videograb of Pamela Anderson in Crazy Domains banned commercial (deemed sexist and degrading)

The Australian commercial was first broadcast in 2010 and was banned shortly thereafter. Much like the notoriously sexist GoDaddy Superbowl ads in the US, this ad for another web hosting company depicts females as sex objects to be consumed… but this time they are in a business setting. We’re not going to embed the video but you can view it at the Huff Post link below.

“Australian Advertising Standards Board decided the bikini sequence was sexist, exploitative and had “no relevance to the product.'” –Huffington Post

Last week, the Crazy Domains commercial was allowed to air in the UK after 9PM. A few days later on 6/5/13, the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned it but with slightly different reasoning:

“We considered it gave the impression that he viewed his female colleagues as sexual objects to be lusted after. Because of that, we considered the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some viewers.” -ASA

“Crazy Domains’ parent company Dreamscape Networks insisted that the dream sequence was not “gratuitous or pornographic”, saying it portrayed the women as ‘attractive, dynamic and confident business people.'” Dreamscape Networks is based in Dubai…
Emily and Melanie discuss censorship in advertising, the media’s portrayal of women, and argue over whether marketing and media inform culture and shape our minds, or gain their power from the attention society gives to controversial content.
  • Startling statistics about lack of female leaders (the US ranks 90th in terms of number of women in legislative positions, behind China, Iraq, Cuba and more). 67 nations have had female presidents or prime ministers. The US is not one.
  • Who is responsible for perpetuating stereotypes? Should we blame an ad for misrepresentation of women, or the society that makes the ad successful?
  • 2010 documentary film Miss Representation “exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.” (Updated 10/7/13 – film is no longer free on YouTube.) Watch: Miss Representation on Netflix. Or rent on YouTube- $1.99Trailer:

Thanks to Digital Divas Atlanta for the March 2013 screening.

TIPS ON TAP

  1. Sort Gmail inbox by sender: Go to your inbox and hover over the sender’s name. In a second or two a window will pop open. Now choose “emails” near the bottom. Your inbox will now be sorted by the sender you hovered over. You can now read, delete, or move all those emails at once. Quite a time saver!
  2. Tips to Keep Your Mac Running Like New:

    2a) Restart your computer somewhat frequently. Restart can help flush out some old gunk that’s slowing it down.

    2b) Keep desktop clean of files. Place them in folders and Finder will be faster.

    2c) Restart your browser and clear the cache.
  3. FrontFlip is a mobile loyalty and engagement app for businesses. Get customers to scan to win prizes and gifts from restaurants, shops, bars, salons, etc.

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CAS Internet Piracy Crackdown and Outlook.com’s War on Gmail – Episode 15

MPAA Anti-Piracy PSA
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Melanie Touchstone and Emily Binder are back this week for lucky 15 covering the Center for Internet Security’s new Copyright Alert System, an ISP-backed online piracy crackdown plus Microsoft’s launch of Outlook.com email.

I. The 6 Strikes Copyright Alert System – MPAA Got Time For That

MPAA Anti-Piracy PSA
Appearing before your DVD feature film, the much-loved PSA from MPAA’s “Piracy — It’s a Crime” campaign c. 2005

The Copyright Alert System –  A collaboration between the Center for Copyright Information, the MPAA, RIAA, and Internet service providers aimed at curbing illegal downloads of copyrighted content. Watch the CAS Process video.

  • What it means for users, peer to peer downloads, online piracy, and your home Internet account status and speed. Remember, email and Dropbox etc. are safe from the CAS monitoring. However, MPAA and RIAA got time for that when it’s P2P.

II. Outlook.com

  • If you are a user of Hotmail, MSN or other Microsoft email services you will (if you haven’t already) notice a major change: When you sign in, you’re sent to a new service called Outlook.com.
  • “Outlook? As in what I use at work?” Yes. But Microsoft is now adapting the Outlook brand for personal, web-based email services as well. It’s part of a broad makeover that includes the company’s overhaul of the Windows operating system and the Office software suite.
  • Outlook.com is a challenge to Gmail in several ways, including the touted benefits:
    • Email content will not be used to target ads (something many users don’t like about Gmail)
    • Outlook integrates with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter
    • Users can alternate email addresses without signing up for additional accounts
    • Customizable filters like “shipping updates”
    • Clear the trash can and still have a chance to recover deleted emails from the server

Tips on Tap

      1. Slice – this free app “keeps track of what you buy, effortlessly” using your email inbox. Slice tracks your shipments, online orders, and triggers alerts when items you have recently purchased go on sale. For iPhone, Android, and web.
      2. Blackl.com – a “green” search engine powered by Google, Blackl is essentially Google search in your browser on a black background. AMOLED screens use a lot less power displaying black instead of white. (AMOLED = Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode, the technology used in most smartphone screens.)
      3. How to Evade the Copyright Alert System (CAS): The most obvious solution: Stream, don’t download. Jared Moya offers four more workarounds including Usenet, upgrading your residential account to a business account, and using a VPN. – zeropaid.com, 2/26/13

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You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review!

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The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in