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Why We Don’t Protect Our Passwords

Harvard Business Review:

If you aren’t using longer, difficult to guess passwords, not sharing passwords across sites, and changing them regularly you are putting yourself at risk. Protect yourself and your data. Change your passwords regularly.

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

Last week, news broke that a Russian crime ring has stolen 1.2 billion user-name and password combinations, and more than 500 million email addresses—the latest in a long string of data breaches. The experts say the best way to protect your identity and online information is to change passwords regularly and use a different password for every site. Yet according to a survey conducted last spring by the Pew Research Center, only 39 percent of Internet users ever changed their passwords.

As someone who studies consumer choice behavior, I’m always intrigued by statistics like these. Obviously, there is a yawning chasm between what we should be doing and what we actually do. And I’m just as guilty. I have not changed my password despite a one-in-three chance that my computer will be hacked, my credit card abused, my identity stolen, and all the other stuff I do not want to…

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Ever feel alone in a crowded place? This artist gets you

Steve Banfield:

beautiful and haunting

Originally posted on ideas.ted.com:

Adam Magyar struggles with the speed of time. (Who can blame him?) In response, the Hungarian artist and photographer captures densely populated urban areas at extremely high speeds — then slows each moment down so you can experience every breath and blink. The result: hypnotic videos that reveal the hidden depths of everyday experiences. One conceptual series, Stainless, turns a mundane subway commute into a meditation on mortality and human perception. In Stainless, Magyar creates both videos and still photographs, the latter using a line-scan camera (the same kind of camera used in a scanner) to turn a speeding train into “a frozen image of impossible clarity and stillness, a reality imperceptible to both passengers speeding into the station and bystanders waiting to board,” writes Joshua Hammer in Matter. “The individuals in his trains ride together yet apart, lost in their own thoughts, often transfixed by their hand-held devices.”

Below, see five haunting gifs…

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Divorcing the Robot

Steve Banfield:

Sometimes we need to be reminded we are only seeing what the algorithms show us, unless we open our eyes to really look beyond the feed.

Originally posted on Campaign for Boring Development:

It’s only tangentially related to the topic of this blog, but just so you know: my ranting, bitter denunciation of Facebook is live today here.

(For reasons I don’t understand, Google isn’t indexing the post on Medium.com, so I’m copying it after the break here. The original is much nicer to look at, of course.)

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Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police

Steve Banfield:

I don’t know that I have ever agreed with Rand Paul, until now. He is right on this. We have swung too far and need to return to balance.

Originally posted on TIME:

The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown is an awful tragedy that continues to send shockwaves through the community of Ferguson, Missouri and across the nation.

If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn’t have expected to be shot.

The outrage in Ferguson is understandable—though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response.

The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action.

Glenn Reynolds, in Popular Mechanics, recognized the increasing militarization of the police five years ago. In 2009 he wrote:

Soldiers and police are supposed to be different. … Police look inward…

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Why the consumer is still held hostage in peering disputes

Steve Banfield:

I love Netflix and I’ve long since abandoned using cable broadband.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Angry customers. Dueling blog posts. An FCC investigation. The most recent fight over peering practices between large ISPs and Netflix has raged for almost 10 months, and we are still at the point where each side is defending its point of view and the end consumer is still getting screwed when they try to watch streaming video.

We’ve talked a lot about why this is happening and each side’s arguments. Others have laid out how to get around the problem using virtual private networks that can hide the Netflix traffic. Verizon has been the latest ISP to face the wrath of customers. On Wednesday it tried to explain its position. On Thursday Level 3 explained why Verizon was full of crap and a customer tested his connection using the aforementioned VPN and discovered he could get 10x the speed.

But the core of the problem here isn’t…

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Motor City Revival: See Detroit’s Stunning Evolution in 19 GIFs

Steve Banfield:

Still a long way to go, but so much progress happening.

Originally posted on TIME:

The Motor City, the former automotive capital of the nation, has seen a steady and precipitous decline in population and economic growth over the last half-century. The automotive industry’s move out of Detroit, poor political decision-making, and the collapse of the housing industry can all be viewed as causes for the city’s decline, among other reasons. On July 18, 2013, unable to pay its looming debts, Detroit became the largest city in U.S. history to enter bankruptcy.

However, this momentous step did not happen overnight. Detroit was hit with a housing crisis in 2008, a sign of economic trouble that foreshadowed the city’s bankruptcy. A major outcome of that crisis is the city’s ongoing blight epidemic. Vast stretches of abandoned residential property lay on the outskirts of the once sprawling 139-square-mile city.

As Steven Grey wrote in 2009, “If there’s any city that symbolizes the most extreme effects of…

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Google Previews A ‘Material Design’ Inspired Look For Chrome OS

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

All of Google’s properties will eventually bear a look inspired by ‘Material Design‘ and Android L, and Chrome OS is part of that sweeping visual overhaul, too. A new preview posted by Google “Happiness Evangelist” François Beaufort today (via 9to5Google) shows a very early design inspired by the card-style multitasking view that made an appearance in Android L, the new Material Design-based update for Google’s mobile OS.

The new look, which clearly lacks polish and yet bears some hallmark resemblance to Google’s other Material Design reimaginings, is actually available already on the prerelease Chromium OS builds, and those keen on getting an early look and not afraid to get their hands a little dirty can follow along with fresh updates to the new look as they happen.

What’s interesting about this new look is that it resembles not only Google’s other efforts around Material Design, but also Apple’s…

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It is time to stop rewarding failure

Steve Banfield:

While I don’t know if SV has embraced failing upwards, Microsoft, Sony, HP and too many of the tech giants have. The question is how long before the disease reaches Google, Yahoo and Facebook?

Originally posted on Om Malik:

Silicon Valley (the notion) has become very much like rest of corporate America — it has embraced the philosophy of failing upwards. I have seen many executives get bumped up the ranks, get fancier titles and bigger paychecks, even though they were disastrous at their job. Many have left destruction and dismay in their wake. And yet, there they are getting bumped up — again and again. I was reminded of this disease this morning when I read about Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs of which 12,500 odd will be at the Nokia division. Microsoft’s board might have eased out Steve Ballmer, but man, why aren’t they thinking about Stephen Elop.

When I met him in his prior gig at Microsoft, Elop seemed to be a nice enough guy, not quite a visionary, but good enough for what was then essentially a monopoly.  The very fact that a middling executive could…

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The 40 over 40: Puncturing the myth of older founders

Steve Banfield:

brilliant piece taking down the age bias against older founders in Silicon Valley

Originally posted on @frankba blogging:

The TechCrunch 40 over 40.

I was slack jawed. Sitting across the table from a very successful thirty-something founder I was listening to him lament the hiring of a fifty+ year old CEO for one of his companies. There is no shame in making a bad hire, but he found only one proximal cause for the poor performance: the guy’s age. Listening to his description of that CEO’s failings, I was thinking what a horrible overall fit for the job this person was. Yet the founder’s conclusion was, “I’m never going to hire anyone over 35 again.” My conclusion was: you made a bad hire.

So it goes in The Valley sometimes. Age is strangely a proxy for performance, reflexively, maddeningly inversely proportional. It is irrelevant that the data says otherwise. I think later that week I saw yet another one of Forbes’s lists. I think this one was…

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Apple bolsters iOS 8 Health app with on-device steps counting & caffeine tracking

Steve Banfield:

Caffeine tracking? Dear Lord I wouldn’t even want to know how much of that I consume each day.

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

Apple has made significant enhancements to its upcoming Health application for iOS 8 in the latest beta of the new iPhone operating system. Most notably, the Health application can now utilize the iPhone’s own M7 motion tracking hardware for data sourcing.

The Health app’s Steps counter tab can now report steps without connecting to any third party applications or hardware devices. Because this feature likely uses the M7 processor, an iPhone 5s is required to get the steps data directly from the device…

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