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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Vine vs. Instagram Video and Lulu’s Controversial “Yelp for Men” App – Episode 22

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I. Vine vs. Instagram Video – New Feature

Instagram’s new video feature has everyone asking if Vine can survive (and has some IGers pretty annoyed). Co-hosts Emily and Melanie give a side-by-side comparison.

Image courtesy of TechCrunch
Image courtesy of TechCrunch

II. Controversial “Yelp for Men” App Lets Women Rate Ex-Boyfriends 

Melanie and Emily take on Lulu, an app that allows women (and only women) to anonymously create “reviews” of men they know. Profiles are pulled from app users’ male Facebook friends.Lulu app ad "Research your latest crush" This isn’t an opt-in app; profiles are automatically created without the man’s knowledge or permission, and any man on Facebook is fair game. Pictures and limited profile/public information from Facebook, combined with anonymous rankings from women who’ve dated them, hated them, or adored them, are used to create a man’s profile on Lulu– complete with a numeric ranking and a myriad of hashtags ranging from complimentary to cruel…

Examples of Lulu hashtags to review men:

#BurnsCornflakes
#ObsessedWithHisMom
#BabyDaddy
#DoesDishes
#SixPack
#DrinksTheHaterade
#CanBuildFires
#EpicSmile
#CheaperThanaBigMac
#WearsFratTanks

Arguments for and against the app are abundant. A few comments from around the web:

Creepy, non-consensual and harassing.
Just an app for something that girls do anyway.
This is the stuff [women] need to know when checking out a guy. Lulu puts the girls in control.
The textual equivalent of leaking your ex’s naked pics to the Internet.

Currently, the app is geared toward college-aged adults (but then again, so was Facebook).

Tips on Tap

I. Swackett – Free weather app available on most platforms. Combines forcast and weather information with added features, such as “Dog Walking Index”, clothing suggestions, and an excellent mobile shopping tie-in. Advertising win!

II. Facetune – Photo beautifying tools are a dime a dozen, but this one has been making waves. Ranked number three on the App Store’s top paid apps chart, this app is geared toward making photos of people more flattering.

III. LinkedIn Privacy Tip – There is a LinkedIn profile setting under Settings -> Groups, Companies & Applications. Under Privacy Controls, you can turn on/off two things. One is whether you share data with third parties. Understand the associated risks and potential social benefits for a LinkedIn connected content experience vs. exposing one’s perusal of job-seeking content to one’s entire network.

“If you’re signed in to LinkedIn when you view any page that uses our professional plugins, we receive information that you’ve visited that page. This allows us to improve your LinkedIn experience and provide you with insights from your professional network, like how many of your connections have shared an article into LinkedIn using the Share on LinkedIn plugin.” -LinkedIn

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Love in the Digital Age: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly – Episode 16

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Love in the Digital Age

This week on the DDP, Melanie and Emily discuss the way technology has radically changed the world of dating and relationships – for better and for worse. Take a walk through the good, the bad, and the ugly ways that social media, online dating sites, search engines, etc. impact the fundamentals of romance in modern culture. Is the level of transparency afforded by technology a good thing?

I. “Facebook me.” – When first meeting, how soon should you share your social profile? Is sharing a social profile more intimate than sharing a phone number?

II. Online dating websites – The popularity of online dating sites has skyrocketed over the past few years, and the average age of users is dropping. The co-hosts discuss the advantages and disadvantages of meeting organically vs. meeting online. Is there still a stigma?

III. Breaking up digitally – “Out of sight, out of mind” is increasingly difficult as individual online presences grow. Avoiding an ex online can be almost impossible when you have mutual friends. Listen for websites and apps that can help ease the pain.

Online Dating

Tips on Tap:

I. Block Your Ex –  Browser add on that blocks you from seeing your ex on social media, search engines, and blog networks. blockyourex.com

II. Never Liked it Anyway – Online marketplace to sell gifts from exes that are too hard to keep. neverlikeditanyway.com

III. What to do if your site gets hacked: Informative videos from Google Webmaster.

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Fraley v. Facebook: A User Win? – Episode 13

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In the news:

1) Coca Cola addresses the obesity epidemic

2) Spam email hits a five-year low, but is still two-thirds of all email.
Considering how prevalent spam is, it’s no wonder many people who recently received the legal notice Fraley v. Facebook email were suspicious:

Fraley v. Facebook, Inc. Lawsuit – Sponsored Stories

If you’re an eligible Facebook user in the U.S. or UK, you may have already receiveFacebook sponsored story with gavel Fraley v. Facebookd an email (or may get one soon) from legalnotice@facebookmail.com titled: “Re: Legal Notice of Settlement of Class Action:”

You are receiving this e-mail because you may have been featured in a “Sponsored Story” on Facebook prior to December 3, 2012…

What are sponsored stories?

“Sponsored stories are messages coming from friends about them engaging with your Page, app or event that a business, organization or individual has paid to highlight so there’s a better chance people see them.” -Facebook

Who is the lead plaintiff, Angel Fraley? If the Fraley v. Facebook goes cy pres, which not-for-profit organizations will receive what’s left of the $20 million settlement? Why does this all smell fishy? What does the average user stand to gain (besides $10 max)?

Tips on Tap

1) Prevent cell phone frostbite: Keep your phone in your pocket in cold temperatures to prevent decline in the lithium ion battery when it’s below freezing.

2) Fashism.com – A fashion crowdsourcing website and app for iPhone and Android. “Post a photo, ask a question, get advice.”

3) Electronics buying guide – When to buy:

  • Computer monitors: January-February
  • Cell phones – Valentine’s Day (look for BOGO deals)

Show Notes

  1. “Spam hits a five-year low (but it’s still two-thirds of all email)” –NBCNews – Technology 1/25/13
  2. Fraley v. Facebook, Inc. – fraleyfacebooksettlement.com/
  3. Citizen Media Law Project- Fraley v. Facebook

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Facebook Fake Accounts, Timeline Changes, and Your Digital Legacy – Episode 12

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1) Passing Down Digital Assets After Death
Emily and Melanie argue about whether acknowledging your digital footprint in your last will and testament is ridiculous (and what is at stake).digital footprint social media

  • What happens to your email, social media, blog, photos, cloud documents, financial, professional, and gaming accounts when you die?
  • Why online accounts matter after death:
  • 1) Wishes of the deceased: do they want the FB account up as a memorial? for how long? who should be trusted with the emails, records, photos, videos, messages, etc.?
  • 2) Money: U.S. consumers value their digital assets, on average, at nearly $55,000. 2011 McAfee Survey. That includes MMOG (massive multiplayer online game) assets, photos, projects, hobbies, personal records, career information, entertainment, and email.
  • “Online companies face a ‘patchwork of state laws’ and are usually cautious when it comes to granting access to a deceased user’s account.” -via nbcnews.com
  • U.S. General Services Administration recommends you set up a social media will
  • Only five states’ estate laws include digital assets: CT, RI, OK, IN, and ID. Some statutes only relate to email. Just OK and ID clearly include social networking and blogging as part of an estate (well done, y’all).
  • How to: digital estate planning – Consider using a paid service on this list: thedigitalbeyond.com/online-services-list/

2) Fake Facebook Accounts – Categories, Prevalence, Issues Like Fake Clicks

  • The “bad actors” that Facebook targets are people with many fake accounts
  • As of 8/1/12, CNET reports 8.7%, or 83.09M accounts are fake: “Facebook estimates that 4.8% are duplicate accounts, 2.4% are user-misclassified accounts, and 1.5% are undesirable accounts.”
  • We want to ensure that one of the core tenets of Facebook is that you have your unique identity on Facebook.” -Facebook’s Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions Carolyn Everson to Business Insider

3) Facebook to roll out more Timeline changes

  • In New Zealand and parts of Europe, FB has started to roll out new changes to Timeline. Changes to expect for profiles (and probably brand pages eventually):
  • Boxes below your cover image will be replaced with a simpler, tabbed design. Posts in single wide column on the left as opposed to being randomly split into two columns.
  • New “collections manager” lets you drag to reorder your collections (e.g. maps and friends)
  • Nods to Twitter: 1) Subscribers will be called followers. Subscribers/followers are different from friends.
  • 2) Your name will appear in white over the bottom of your cover photo. Basic info including location and job will be located to the right of your profile pic instead of below.

4) Facebook Ads, Mobile, and Stock

  • Facebook shares are way up ($30/share).
  • Mobile has gone from being perceived as a challenge to Facebook toa huge opportunity.
  • Mobile revenues predicted to make up 20%-24% of Facebook’s overall top line in Q4-2012, up from 3% in Q2-2012.
  • Analyst Anmuth says mobile will generate $2.13 billion for Facebook in 2013, up from his previous $2 billion estimate.
  • FB mobile revenues to surpass desktop in 2014
  • Ads in the Newsfeed are much more effective than ads on the right side
  • Facebook Gifts – predicted to contribute $1 billion+ by 2015, and 5% of Facebook’s profits in 2013.
  • Advertisers love Facebook’s ad exchange, which has tons of room to grow. –Business Insider 2/2/13

Tips On Tap

1. Home Inventory: As we begin a new year, here’s a life admin tip to ensure that your home or renter’s insurance really will cover you if disaster strikes. With camera phones and free online storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox, you have no excuse not to make a video documenting your possessions and store it in the cloud. Try CNET’s recommended WhatYouOwn – home inventory software. Free trial version for Mac OS or Windows 8. Why create a home inventory:
  • Purchase enough insurance to replace things you own.
  • Get insurance claims settled faster.
  • Substantiate losses for income tax return.

2) AppGratis is a free iPhone app that recommends a new app each day that’s free for that day. It is available on Android in France and should be coming to the US soon. Emily downloaded the super skeuomorphic Daily Weather app. Its merits are discussed.

3) Digitally Imported App– http://www.di.fm/ “Digitally Imported – Addictive Electronic Music 24/7”

  • A free music streaming app with premium membership option.
  • Great for serious electronic and progressive music fans because it is genre-specific and very extensive in sub-genre channels
  • Social: Community tab displays Facebook and Twitter conversations
  • Radio shows can submit demos to be on the dozens of stations
  • They air popular shows like Armin Van Buuren’s A State of Trance, Carl Cox Global with Carl Cox and Friends at scheduled times, otherwise you can stream Channels

Show Notes

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You can download or stream The Digital Dive at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us an (authentic) review!The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming app. If you’re new to Stitcher, please sign up with our link below.Hear us on Stitcher Smart Radio

Twitstagram, Facebook iOS 6 Privacy Nightmare, and the Internet Down Under – Episode 8

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This week Emily Binder and Melanie Touchstone cover Twitter photo filters, standing desk adventures, and a major privacy issue with Facebook/iOS 6 integration that hit a little too close to home for Ms. Binder. Your favorite digital divers are also thrilled to bring special guest Australian Crime Fiction Publisher Liam Jose on the show. Liam chimes in on Australia’s recent controversial policies regarding Internet censorship.

I. Standing Desk Update – How Melanie used stacks of office supplies to prevent cancer (original post link in show notes)

II. Twitstagram- Twitter to add Instagram-like photo filters in the next few months

III. Australian government tries to censor the Internet

IV. The Facebook iOS 6 integration nightmare: Em and Mel learn the hard way about the amount of information iOS Contacts pulls from Facebook based on mobile number and email address.

Source: Brian Farrington via townhall.com

Special Guest Liam Jose with Co-host Melanie Touchstone

Tips on Tap:

1. Zite: Apple’s #1 iPad news app of 2011 is still pretty great. Zite is “Your Personalized Magazine.” The app automatically learns what kind of articles, blogs, and videos you like and gets smarter as you use it.

2. Instagram spam comments are on the rise. How to delete Instagram comments and report abuse. (Tap the comment button as though you were going to comment. Then tap on the comment. Tap the trash icon that appears to the left.)

3. iOS 6 Ad Tracking: How to Opt Out. By default iOS 6 tracks iPhone and iPad owners’ browsing history to serve advertisements. How adjust your iOS ad tracking settings: Settings –>; General –>; About –>; Advertising. You’ll see Limit Ad Tracking. The default toggle is in the OFF position. That means ad tracking is turned on. If you want to opt out of targeted advertising, switch Limit Ad Tracking to the ON position. Note: Being tracked or not is a personal preference.

Show notes:

  1. The Standing Desk Adventure – Melanie Touchstone. missmelt.com, 11/14/12
  2. Twitter to Add Photo Filters to Compete With Instagram – NYTimes.com, 11/6/12
Co-host Emily Binder and Special Guest Liam Jose in the studio

Can’t get enough of Liam Jose? Check out thecrimefactory.com and follow Liam on Twitter.

You can download or stream The Digital Dive at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–>; If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review! The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming smartphone app. If you’re a new subscriber, please sign up with our link below.
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The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in