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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Google Now for iOS, Amazon vs. Netflix, & Surprising Twitter Study – Episode 19

Netflix vs. Amazon punching bags
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Netflix vs. Amazon punching bagsTopics

  1. In response to Netflix‘s exclusive programming featuring their hit series House of Cards, Amazon announced in March 2013 that they were creating a Zombieland pilot. On April 19, 2013 they released Amazon Original Series as fourteen original pilots available free to Amazon Prime members. Users vote on their favorites and Amazon will likely produce two winners as full series. Emily gives the run-down on both House of Cards and a couple of the Amazon pilots: Those Who Can’t and Betas. Follow-up from Episode 14. P.S. Downton Abbey fans, by the end of 2013, Prime Instant Video will be the only paid streaming service to offer Downton Abbey. Hulu Plus and Netflix are out.
  2. Google_Now_iPad_and_iPhone_610x414Google Now comes to iOS.  Available since July 2012 for some Android users, Apple device owners now have access to the clairvoyant Google Now by signing into one’s Google account in the free Google app for iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
    The nascent Google Now is a savvy digital assistant in ways that Siri can’t compete. Because Google records its users’ actions in all of its products (from web search to Maps to Gmail to Google+ and more) it has access to massive amounts of data and the ability to triangulate personal information, behavior patterns, calendar events, contacts and more. The potential for Google Now is quite exciting. Some users have concerns over privacy issues. However Emily is happy to benefit from the data she is already sharing with Google in exchange for predictive, personalized assistance. How will Apple and Facebook compete?
  3. Instagram app update: 5/3/13: Now users can tag other IG users in photos like you tag friends in Facebook photos. Tags must be approved.
  4. Best Brands on Twitter: Social Media startup Nestivity released their list of the top 25 most engaged brands on Twitter – we look at the top 10 and why they are successful.

About the List:

  • Brands were selected based on the results of a study that examined how brands cultivate relationships with influencers, customers, and advocates on Twitter.
  • Primarily using push marketing on Twitter doesn’t work (obviously)
  • Conducted by Evolve Capital Inc. (private equity firm) and UCLA Anderson School of Management, the study looked at the top 100 most-followed brands on Twitter, analyzing over 739,000 tweets over one month.
  • Significant: study was backed by a private equity/venture capital fund. Investors are paying attention and putting money into researching the success of brands on Twitter. Investor attention is often a barometer of the times; the players who have a major say in the lifespan and  ultimate success of companies and industries are making a real connection between brand engagement on Twitter and a company’s bottom line.
  • High follower count also did not necessarily mean an engaged audience: “While all of the 25 most engaged Twitter accounts had over a million followers, so did the bottom 70% of the same.”
  • 76% of content that was shared (RT’d) had a photo attached, and 18% had a video as part of the message.

Top 10 Brands on Twitter:

  1. Notebook of Love
  2. Disneywords
  3. ESPN
  4. Playstation
  5. Disney
  6. Chelsea Football Club
  7. BBC Breaking News
  8. NASA
  9. CNN Breaking News
  10. Instagram

Tips on Tap:

  1. Twitter Keyboard Shortcuts:
    M = new direct message
    N= new tweet
    R = reply
    T = retweet
    GR = Mentions
    GH = Home
    GM – Messages
    . = load new tweets
  2. Tips to resize and optimize layout of web images:
    A. Two free tools to resize web images: Picresize and Resize Your Image
    B. When resizing, c
    hoose small file sizes: Upload a PNG or JPG not too much larger than your desired image size. Choose PNG or JPG over BMP as the file format. Your site load times will benefit.
    B. Have subjects (people, animals, products, etc.) facing in toward the block of text instead of outward and away from the text.
  3. Smartskin Condoms for Smartphones
    Sex sells. This thermoplastic skin slips on and stretches to fit and protect your iPhone 4/4s/5 or Galaxy S3. Water-resistant plastic wraps retain touchscreen and call functionality and 98% camera clarity. Note that neither headphones nor cables can be used with Smartskin. Up to three uses per tab/pack. Smartskin from Firebox costs $18.50.

Show Notes:

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Diving Backward: Our Favorite Episodes – The Digital Dive Podcast

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FotoFlexer_Photo
an homage to terrible Photoshop work.

The Digital Dive Podcast looks back at our six favorite episodes:

1) U-Turn Into a Tech-Speak Future – Episode 5
Is text-speak destroying the English language? IDK.

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2) Murder Kroger and Mobile Payments- Episode 3
Adventures in mobile payments and Atlanta’s favorite Kroger on Ponce.
Podcast: 

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(Please excuse the less awesome sound quality on this early episode.)

3) Twitstagram, Facebook iOS 6 Privacy Nightmare, and the Internet Down Under – Episode 8
Standing desks, kangaroos, and Facebook privacy issues for the U.S. and Australia. Special guest interview with Liam Jose.

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Zoroaster Interview: Dan Scanlan on Digital Music Distribution – Episode 9
Does music pay in the digital age? (Sort of.) From the Victrola to Spotify and YouTube. We interview Zoroaster drummer Dan Scanlan and get a musician’s perspective.

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Facebook Fake Accounts, Timeline Changes, and Your Digital Legacy – Episode 12
Who gets all of your Farmville winnings when you’re gone? Why you should leave behind a digital last will and testament.

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Love in the Digital Age: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly – Episode 16
Peace, love, and robots. Emily and Melanie debate Facebook dating etiquette.

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Which was your favorite Digital Dive?
Thanks for listening. We will return with Episode 19 next week. And stay tuned for a very special Episode 20 video podcast about Millennials!

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 (some stars, if you will).

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

CYBER ATTACK! – Episode 18

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Cyber Attack - The Digital Dive Podcast

Almost daily, news reports of major corporations falling victim to cyber attacks flood the media. What does this mean for us as individuals? As consumers? As a society? How serious a threat are we facing, and how much of it is media hype?

I. Boston Marathon Bombing media coverage: Twitter’s integral role. From helping runners notify their loved ones amid the chaos, to hospitals communicating occupancy info, to the Boston Police Department announcing the capture of the suspect — Twitter played an important role in the devastating event. Emily and Melanie discuss. To find out ways to help the victims, click here.

II. Spamhaus and other recent/notable cyber attacks. The list of companies that have fallen victim to cyber attacks reads like a Fortune 50 list — Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, The New York Times, Sony, and even government entities such as the US Federal Reserve, South Korea, North Korea, etc. have reported major security breaches linked to hackers. Recently, the infamous Spamhaus attack caused a global Internet slow-down by what some experts are calling the biggest cyber attack in history. Click here to see the Cyberbunker building image referenced.

III. Portrait of a Hacker. So, who are the men and women behind cyber attacks? Melanie and Emily discuss hacking history, a common type of attack (denial-of-service attack, or DDoS), and three types of hackers: ethical hackers, hacktavists, and organized cyber crime groups. Is there a such thing as a good hacker?

DDOS

IV. What we’re doing about it. Governments and corporate executives are beginning to realize the severity of a potential cyber attack. Emily and Melanie discuss the ways the EU, U.S., and others are taking protective initiatives.

Tips on Tap

I. FireMe! App – New app which tracks certain negative phrases about bosses and jobs in social media and rates how likely they are to get the poster fired.

II. Vine – Emily’s love/hate relationship with Vine, a sometimes bagbiter new Twitter-owned social media platform that allows users to create six-second .gif-like looping video mash-ups. Less than three months after its January 2013 release, the popular video-sharing service topped the U.S. App Store’s list of free iPhone apps. Emily quoted John Constine’s 4/20/13 techcrunch article about Vine (and this is just poignant in general about how we use smartphones to memorialize moments):

It’s when Vines disintegrate that I get truly angry, though. It’s blatant violation of the implicit value exchange between a human and an app. Rather than live a moment, I recorded it. When I ended up with nothing to show for it, I feel cheated.

III. Shopping for Flights Online: When to Buy – Melanie offers tips on how and when to get the best deal on airfare online.

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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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Super Bowl Ads, Netflix’s TV “Binge-Watching” Model & the Content Renaissance – Episode 14

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Topics: The most popular 2013 Super Bowl ads and advertisers’ attempts to engage viewers on social, Netflix’s game-changing business model, the television renaissance, and our predictions on the future of media consumption.

I. Super Bowl Ads
Melanie and Emily review the most talked about Super Bowl commercials & ads of 2013, including:

  • Ram Trucks – “Farmer” – Paul Harvey (Dodge – Chrysler)
  • Budweiser – “Brotherhood”
  • Jeep – “America Will Be Whole Again” – Oprah (Chrysler)
  • Mercedes-Benz – “Soul” – Willem Dafoe
  • Oreo – “Dunk in the Dark” (Twitter photo post) – total show stealer

Judge for yourself–you can watch this year’s Super Bowl commercials here

II. Netflix
Netflix is changing the traditional television viewing model from trickle out to “binge watching” with their new series House of Cards. Will this decisive shift in TV consumption change the future of television? Will the “I Want it Now” mentality extend to new film releases? Listen for Melanie’s prediction on the future of movie theaters.

Tips on Tap:

I. Prompt Me Nina — Password reminder app created by 14 year old British Teen Nina Devani. Customized password reminder question prompts.

II. UnoDNS — Paid Service lets you access your Netflix, Hulu & Spotify accounts from outside the country.

III. 1Weather App — Excellent free weather app for Android available on Google Play

Show Notes:
Most social TV event ever?
By Bluefin’s measure, Super Bowl social media activity peaked during Beyonce’s halftime performance with 366,000 comments per minute. By comparison, well ahead of the 261,000 comments per minute generated the moment Barack Obama was reelected.

Twitter: the Super Bowl generated a total of 26.13 million tweets, according to SocialGuide, which was nearly as many as all three of last year’s presidential debates combined (27.63 million total, peak of 10.87 million).
Super Bowl is most social TV event ever 2/5/13

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What to Do When Phone Falls in Water + Social Media Catastrophes of 2012 – Episode 10

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I. What to Do When Your Phone Falls in Water– Many of us have faced that dreaded moment: one minute you’re sending a text, the next minute you’re panic-stricken fishing your phone

Smartphones don't come with floaties

out of a puddle/toilet/pool, etc. In the wake of Melanie’s recent iPhone nosedive into a cup of water, Rube Goldberg-style, the ladies give you step-by-step directions of what to do when that unfortunate digital dive occurs.

 

 

II. Top Social Media Catastrophes of 2012 (and What We Can Learn From Them)-

yeah, not good...

Chick-fil-A’s fake Facebook profile. An NRA journal’s untimely message. StubHub’s self-deprecating tweet. You’ve heard the stories, now Emily and Melanie look back at them and discuss what we can learn from some of the year’s biggest social media blunders.

Tips on Tap:

I. Ever wonder what you say in your sleep? Want to prove that your partner is snoring? With the Sleep Talk Recorder app, you can do just that. This handy little app for iPhone and Android picks up on your sleep babble and strange sounds in the night and records them (without all of that dead-space in between). Try it out, and take a look at some hilarious findings other users have submitted. sleeptalkrecorder.com

II. The Fiscal Cliff Calculator– how will it impact you? We’re all sick of hearing about the fiscal cliff, but as we near the metaphor’s edge it’s worth taking a look at how it will impact you. Enter your information (filing status, income, and the like) into the calculator and then choose from a drop down that then compares your tax withholdings, etc. under the current law with several potential outcomes. taxpolicycenter.org/taxcalculator/index.cfm

III. Learnvest.com – Learnvest is a website, smartphone app, and email newsletter geared toward professional women. It offers advice about myriad financial topics from negotiating a raise to navigating tax law, dealing with awkward financial situations or different money attitudes with friends and family, etiquette for paying the bill at a business meal, saving for retirement and your 401k, and getting the most bang for your buck at the grocery store, value out of your clothing, and investing in the stock market.
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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 a 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 Follow us on Twitter @thedigitaldive_ and Like us on Facebook

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