You’re not ready to know all that Google and Facebook know about us

What Google & FB have on you ss
Source: Dylan Curran’s article on The Guardian
It’s awe-inspiring and terrifying to know how much Google and Facebook know about us: where we go, what time we go to the gym, what you’ve searched, what searches you’ve deleted, what apps you use, what you and your friends talk about, and more. Dylan Curran, writing in The Guardian, says,

They can access your webcam and microphone
The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to. read more

The North: a new collection of interactive multimedia stories of Newark that “must be told”

The NorthAuthor of Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power Dr. Junius Williams introduces The North multimedia storytelling project with these words:

THESE STORIES MUST BE TOLD
Sometime ago, those of us who entered political movements for change walked on our first picket line or marched in our first demonstration. At some point we got hooked on concepts like “Freedom”, “Direct Action” and “Resistance” to get rid of Jim Crow racism. Eventually we came to learn how to spend time in jail, survive police and vigilante violence; to organize poor and working class black people; to extract perks and building blocks from federal programs and build coalitions among unpredictable community groups; to fight city hall; to negotiate agreements that produced opportunities and skill development for community development; and to manage campaigns to elect black politicians. read more

Gerrymandering helped the GOP win big – so they seek to expand their advantage by sabotaging 2020 Census

The Census in the Constitution

Bill Moyers points out, “the Census is key to the work (of) researchers and journalists,” so hobbling the Census’ data collection process will hobble the ability of independent analysts to examine the realities of American life and to tell accurate and authoritative stories about it. Furthermore, funding to serve Americans is allocated according to the composition of neighborhoods and households – and these characteristics are established through the Census.

And by the way, did you know that the U.S. Census is required in our Constitution? read more

Spend 2 minutes to learn why net neutrality is more important than you think

Website throttling
Your favorite website will be in the “Everyone Else” lane if Net Neutrality is lost Source: Iowa State Daily
Washington Post gives a neat synopsis of what The People stand to lose if Trump appointed Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gets his wish and finds a way to reverse the Obama era protections establishing net neutrality, which WaPo defines as, “the regulations that forbid Internet providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic.”

The rules, approved by the FCC during the Obama administration, classified Internet providers as “common carriers” — a move that allowed the agency to regulate those companies more strictly than before. In addition to banning the blocking or slowing of Internet traffic, the regulations also gave the FCC the ability to investigate business practices among Internet providers that it deemed potentially anticompetitive. read more

Online privacy advice via The New York Times, Wired and Forbes

NJ Sen. Loretta Weinberg hailed as champion of a free press and gov’t transparency

Press freedom via freepress.net
Press Freedom source: freepress.net
Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg received the National Newspaper Association Open Government Award for her legislative advocacy to promote government transparency and accountability. The award was presented to the senator Thursday by NNA President Matt Paxton during the 2017 Community Newspaper Leadership Summit at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“Whether at the state or national level, an attack on the media is an attack on our democracy. Particularly during these uncertain times, we have to stand in support of a free and independent press. I am committed to continuing the fight for government transparency and accountability and am honored to receive this award from the National Newspaper Association,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “I am also dedicated to continuing the work that I’ve done over the last several years to reform the state’s open government laws to make government more accessible to the public. A strong press and transparent government are the best safeguards for truth in our state and our country.” read more

Trump shut down NPS for climate change tweets but can’t block new unofficial Twitter account

@AltNatParkSer
Over at the Palmer Report, Bill Palmer tells us the way National Park employees found to stand up to Trump, who is blocking federal employees from commenting on climate change to the extent that he has issued a gag order to prevent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from mentioning it and has deleted tweets made by the National Park Service (NPS) and even suspended the Twitter account of one park account that tweeted about climate change. An anonymous group of individuals has created an unofficial Twitter account for park and climate change news that Trump can’t touch. read more

Obama’s entire White House website, including data and Español/Spanish now live at the Obama Library site

White House website
Source: Wikipedia
All factual information from the Obama presidency is not lost! The President Obama White House website, including its Spanish language pages and its data catalog all remain publicly accessible at the ObamaWhiteHouse.gov website. Even the Obama White House social media feeds have been archived there.

Creation of this resource is another huge reason to thank President Obama: as of 23 January 2017, the incoming administration has already removed both climate change data and all Spanish language information. Pres. Obama’s team tells why he created the archive and what you’ll find there: read more

With the addition of Google Play Store access, Chromebooks are finally real laptops – well, sort of.

chrome-os-53 on chromebook
Source: https://9to5google.com

For $2-300 you can set yourself up with a Chromebook, which gives you access to Google’s suite of Cloud apps. And now, when you upgrade to Chrome Version 53, you get access to the Google Play Store too – which means access to all the Android apps you can install on a computer that offers less storage than the average smartphone.

This isn’t to say that Play Store access stinks completely. What seems to be true, is that you still have to be somewhat of a hacker to get anything approximating full laptop functionality out of a Chromebook, even with Android apps availability. read more

Uber won’t wait – rolls out driverless vehicles in Pittsburgh this month

Uber self-driving car
Source: Uber

For whatever its reasons: to be seen as a innovation leader … due to bad press when a driver ran a little girl down and her family paid the funeral expenses because neither the driver nor Uber agreed to assume liability … Because the math shows that drivers make a lot less money than they thought they would after car expenses, wear and tear and time are calculated … or because Google and Tesla are hard on the heels of driverless technology revolution …

Whatever the reasons are, Uber is not waiting five years – or even one – to roll out driverless vehicles. Instead, the rollout launches this month in Pittsburgh, PA, with stand-by technicians at the wheels of cars and others taking notes but none} of them are supposed to interact with customers nor drive. Bloomberg provides details: read more

Hundreds of Asian Americans create Google Doc letter in 1 day to tell their families about the relevance of #BlackLivesMatter

An Open Letter
Source: Letters for Black Lives
Brian Fung of the Washington Post reports on a completely new phenomenon that came to life this week when Christina Xu started a letter online to explain to Asian elders why the #BlackLivesMatter movement has relevance and importance for the Asian community, called for community input and acquired hundreds of collaborators in the space of just a few hours.

In fact, let’s draft letters in our native languages to our parents and our communities. Get it passed around WhatsApp, WeChat, LINE, etc. read more

Principal Moody suspended for letting Paterson rapper Fetty Wap film music video at East Side High

Principal Zatiti Moody
Source: Urban Renaissance Media
A Paterson principal known for his educating excellence and strict discipline enforcement has been suspended from office by the New Jersey State appointed superintendent known for his attempts to keep Paterson students from experiencing quality education. The ostensible reason for the suspension: Principal Zatiti Moody allowed music phenomenon Fetty Wap to film a music video at East Side High School which contains twerking and portrays drug use. Behaviour that – like it or not – happens to be part of the school experience for many urban students. read more

The (famous & myopic) view of the world from the POV of New Yorkers

NYC center of the universe
New Yorker cover NYC center of the universe, by Saul Steinberg
Yesterday somebody mentioned what life looks like to New Yorkers and I realized … so much time has passed since Saul Steinberg drew the famous New York cover showing what the world looks like for New Yorkers – with Jersey a slender line across the Hudson with Japan and China just blips in the far distance … that my 21 year old son may have not ever seen it. So I looked around, found the cover easily on the internet and sure enough, Ari had never seen it before. It’s a doozy, though, isn’t it? read more

The Wei endorses the Electronic Frontier Alliance Principles

Join us EFA image
Source: Electronic Frontier Alliance
The Wei endorses the Electronic Frontier Alliance Principles. The Electronic Frontier Alliance is a grassroots network of community and campus organizations across the United States working to educate our neighbors about the importance of digital rights. Participation is open to any group that endorses our simple principles.

Electronic Frontier Alliance Principles

As a member organization of the EFA, we believe that technology should support the intellectual freedom at the heart of a democratic society. In the digital age, that entails advancing: read more

Facebook hacked – phishing scam prompts you to enter password to seize control of your account

I woke up in the middle of the night and naturally, checked Facebook before turning over in my bed to go back to sleep. Because that’s what everybody does, right?

A notice to re-enter my password popped onto my screen. This happens sometimes, so I re-entered my Facebook password. Must have entered it wrong, I thought, because the notice popped up again. Annoying – this time I know I entered it right.

So I hit the back key and became instantly suspicious. My Facebook connection was working fine. Uh oh. I probably just gave my password to some hackers. What looked like a password prompt was probably phishers looking to secure my account. I knew what was coming next: read more