A Thing I Like

All things digital.

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Freedom of Speech

Is a pillar of democracy. As Jon Stewart noted, comedy shouldn’t be an act of courage.


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Future Jobs: Personal Data Analyst

Down the road you’re going to create a lot of data, from health stats to social media posts to automobile numbers and on and on. Right now there’s no one good way to make sense of all that data unless your a data scientist with access to Tableau.

In the not too distant future I envision Personal Data Analysts. Much like how personal trainers work with you to get you in top physical form, Personal Data Analysts will work with you to find patterns in your behavior and get you in financial, physical, social and mental shape.

Where would they even start? Take a look at the work Nicholas Felton produces on a regular basis. Each year he creates the Feltron Annual Report.


He documents things like books read, restaurants visited, mail sent, places traveled and so on. All this data will be very common and accessible in the near future. Your health records and your financial records will...

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The Misbehaving Smart Home

How secure is the technology behind the internet of things? Are the devices in our homes safe from outside hackers? What would it look like if you home wasn’t secured?

A lot of hackers are like graffiti artists, they create for the sake of creating without doing a whole lot of damage. Other hackers look to make money or just wreak havoc from within systems. I think we’ll see a bit of both, hackers that that want you to know they were there and those that want to profit from your tech or cause serious damage.

The first set of hackers will look to tweak the settings on your central air, your television set, your stereo and anything else that’s connected. I can imagine him turning on and off your Philips Hue light bulb in a specific pattern, or turning your television up to the maximum volume, maybe even opening and closing your garage door repeatedly.


So these are pretty...

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A Lightshow Called Pixel

Via Neatorama -

Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne are artists and performers who developed Pixel, an amazing visual display incorporating both dance and light projected onto the stage and dancers. The 11 dancers involved in the hour-long production seemlessly move with the light, appearing to interact with it like it’s a living creature.

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Google Asks FCC to Reclassify Broadband as Utility


Google filed with the FCC to reclassify broadband as a utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. Up until now Google hasn’t had the luxury of using key infrastructure to wire its broadband like Comcast, AT&T and other big services have enjoyed.

From the Wall Street Journal -

Title II would expose Google Fiber to new regulations usually targeted at communications utilities and monopolies. Rates and service quality would be regulated by the government and Google Fiber may have to ask permission to stop providing some services, according to Tom Cohen, a communications lawyer at Kelley Drye & Warren.

Leveraging poles, ducts, conduits and rights of way cost a fraction of what Google is paying to wire homes currently. With the new regulations and use of this infrastructure, Google will be able to cheaply wire homes almost anywhere.

More fiber = more markets.

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Fitbit Vs Google Fit

I got a new Fitbit for Christmas and decided to compare how it works versus Google Fit, the mobile app that also tracks your steps. While this isn’t exactly scientific it was an easy comparison.

I basically started the day at zero. I kept my phone in my pocket and the Fitbit on my wrist and went from there. By the end of the day the count on the Fitbit was about two hundred steps greater than the Google Fit app. The reason for this is that while you keep the Fit on your phone, you sometimes forget to put it in your pocket. With the Fitbit you don’t forget, it’s just there.

My suggestion if you’re looking for a connected pedometer like the Fitbit or the Fit, go with the Fitbit. It’s rugged, it’s always on and it’s slightly more accurate.

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Many Headed Hydra of Open Bay


I had written recently about what happens when you gut a place like Silk Road. What you see is new technology replace the old and a hundred platforms in place of the one.

Recently it appears that this lesson hasn’t been learned and probably never will be as long as the original platform is deemed illegal. The Pirate Bay, after years of prosecution against its founding members, has finally shut its doors.

But nobody really believed that would be the end of it, that would be too naive.

Open Bay has opened up and created a platform that allows anyone to set up shop as a Pirate Bay clone. Where we had one Pirate Bay, we now have 372.

From VentureBeat -

The Open Bay, which lets anyone with “minimal knowledge of how the Internet and websites work” deploy their own version of The Pirate Bay online, is becoming an open source engine of The Pirate Bay website, the group told VentureBeat...

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What is ChangeTip?


ChangeTip is a simple way to send and receive Bitcoins. This video does a better job at explaining, take a look.

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The DPRK Responds to the Sony Attacks

The Vox has a blow by blow of the long winded and somewhat ridiculous screed released by the DPRK earlier today. If you can stomach 10 minutes of insanity from North Korea, I highly recommend the read. Here’s a snippet.

Pyongyang, December 21 (KCNA) – The Policy Department of the National Commission of the DPRK issued the following statement Sunday:

Strange thing that happened in the heart of the U.S., the ill-famed cesspool of injustice, is now afloat in the world as shocking news.

The Sony Pictures Entertainment, the biggest movie producer in the U.S., which produced the undesirable reactionary film “The Interview” daring hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK and agitating even terrorism and had a plan to distribute it, was exposed to surprisingly sophisticated, destructive and threatening cyber warfare and has been thrown into a bottomless quagmire after...

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New Uses for the Tinder Model

Tinder has perfected the art of the swipe, left for no and right for yes. This approach has partially made the app so addictive others are trying to mimic their success.

I can imagine I’m not the first to try to think of uses outside of the dating world though I’ve yet to see the swipe approach out in the wild. So what other services could use the swipe left or right method for attracting new clientele? A few come to mind.

  • Doctors - you show your vitals, health history and insurance type and you see the ratings of doctors, number of comments, time in practice, malpractice claims and you go from there.
  • Cars - your credit rating, car type desired, new or used and the dealer/seller sees your credit rating.
  • Babysitters - how many kids do you have, what’s your credit score, what’s your occupation, have you used sitters from the service before? You see the sitter’s rating, age...

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