Archives for Notes From The Electronic Cottage

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 4/19/18

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

The media show surrounding Congress people questioning Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook’s privacy policies is blessedly over but the problem of what we can do as individuals to protect our personal information online goes on. Here are a few more ideas.

Here is a link to an article that may offer users of Facebook and Google a bit of a surprise:

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 4/12/18

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Is there any way we can preserve some personal privacy online in our digital world?

Facebook has been much in the news lately since Cambridge Analytica scraped data on 87 million American Facebook users and used that information to try to influence voters in the last national election. But, of course, using people’s personal information to profile them is nothing new – it goes on all the time for all sorts of purposes. That’s the bargain we users make. We use free online services like Facebook, and those services sell our information to others who will pay for it. Is there any way we can preserve some personal privacy online in our digital world? Here is a first suggestion.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 4/5/18

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Psychographic Profiling

Recent disclosures about how Cambridge Analytica mined data on 50 million Facebook users to conduct psychographic profiles of Americans to use in the last election have surprised and shocked many people. Those people have not been regular listeners to Notes from the Electronic Cottage since we have been pointing out such efforts for years. As a refresher, here’s an episode from October — of 2015!

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 3/29/18

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell
Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA)

Congress just passed, with much righteous posturing and by overwhelming majorities, the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act, or SESTA. While the Act’s intent is noble, the likelihood of it accomplishing its goal is small, even according to the Department of Justice, while the possibility of the unintended consequence of reducing free speech online is significant. Here’s why.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 3/22/18

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell
AI & Life 3.0

Have you ever wondered what it means to be human in the age of Artificial Intelligence? If not, now is a good time to start pondering because the age of AI is upon us. A recent book tries to at least begin a discussion about that question. It’s called “Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” by Max Tegmark. Here are some of the questions that book raises, questions we are all going to have to answer for ourselves very soon.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 3/15/18

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

What do fitness trackers and cars have in common? They both provide a treasure trove of information about where their users go, the routes they take, when and how long they are moving, and a whole lot more. Estimates are that 98% of cars sold this year will have modems embedded in them, which could be very convenient – and very revealing about their drivers’ lives. Fitness trackers can sometimes tell even more, as the military recently found out when the data from fitness trackers that soldiers were wearing made secret military bases not so secret any more.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 3/8/18

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Two topics today, both very important in our daily lives in different ways. March 11-17 is Sunshine Week, a time devoted to thinking about how much access we taxpayers and citizens have to the information that our governments generate. The name comes from the famous line by Justice Louis Brandeis that “Sunshine is said to be the best disinfectant.” We also take a look at what money is in today’s world, and why a new digital currency called bitcoin, and the technology it is based on called blockchain, have a very good chance of changing the way we shop, pay bills, make contracts, and more. Here’s why.

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 3/1/18

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

Copyright is supposed to strike a balance between the rights of copyright holders and the rights of users. One tool to help do that is Fair Use. Fair Use Week offers a great opportunity to become more familiar with the Fair Use provisions of our copyright law.
Here are some resources, discussed in today’s program, that might be useful in expanding our understanding of Fair Use.