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99 Days from Facebook

So this is my last post, or at least my last post that will be shared to Facebook for the next 99 Days.

You may have read about the 99 Days of Freedom project because of the recent news about Facebook’s social experiment with user moods. 99 Days started as a kind of protest about how people perceived they were being treated as Facebook’s guinea pigs but for me it struck a cord about how dependent I’ve become on Facebook as a platform.

The only way to see if Facebook is really adding daily value is to try something different. Tonight I posted my 99 Days page to my Facebook profile and logged out of my account. I’ve disconnected my Twitter feed from Facebook and will be doing the same for WordPress (after this post), Buffer and anything else that throws content up there. I won’t be using Facebook on my mobile devices as well.

Unfortunately Facebook doesn’t seem to have a “on vacation” responder for their Messenger app. Not sure if that means I should break my “fast” from time to time just to make sure people don’t think I’m ignoring them for three months. Hopefully everyone will remember to try me by SMS, Google Talk and Twitter DM.

See you (on Facebook) in 99 days!

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For The First Time, More People Will Watch MLB.tv Streams On Devices Than Desktops

Steve Banfield:

I recognize that 2002 screenshot. Was never a big fan of the pear-shaped play button on the RealOne Player.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

On August 26th of 2002, Major League Baseball streamed its first live MLB.tv video of a game to the web — a tiny, grainy little player that looks laughable in comparison to today’s HD streams you hold in your palm.

This month, 12 years later, the MLB says that it projects that over 51% of its monthly live streams will be watched on ‘connected’ and mobile devices in August. It says that this is a first for any live sports video product on the Internet. Note that this is not purely on ‘mobile’ devices — it also includes ‘connected’ devices, which would count the Apple TV, Roku and other boxes where the MLB.tv service is available. Still, most of that is mobile and all of it comes from MLB’s various apps and integration deals which have made it such a success story in online sports streaming.

The original stream had around 30,000 viewers, total…

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Your Content Strategy Is Also a Recruiting Strategy

Harvard Business Review:

Why I want our marketing teams and HR teams to be best buddies.
It’s also why you need to get your content strategy generating content outside your industry niche. If you’re just talking to the audience you already have then your ability to reach new candidates from outside your industry who can bring new, exciting ideas to the team is taken away. You can’t just preach to the choir.

Originally posted on HBR Blog Network - Harvard Business Review:

I recently asked a friend in California about the drought. “Nothing has changed,” he said. “There may be an emergency, but we’re still watering our lawns.”

There’s a similar crisis in the private sector, and plenty of leaders are approaching it with the same mentality as my friend.

But this time, it’s not the lawns that are drying up; it’s the talent pool.

Much like the drought, there are several factors contributing to this crisis. The first is generational. As Boomers retire, they’re leaving behind vacancies that younger workers aren’t equipped to fill.

The second is the recession. At its height, 60 percent of the workforce planned to seek new employment once the economy bounced back. After it did, 54 percent of companies lost top talent within just six months. These free agents are demanding unique work cultures and competitive development opportunities.

And with a shrinking labor pool that’s…

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Why Are PC Sales Up And Tablet Sales Down?

Steve Banfield:

I definitely agree with Peter on this. Surface tries to be a “super tablet” but the visual complexity of Windows 8.x has been a turn off for too many. There’s still an opportunity in this space but the OS for these super tablets can’t be a “touchified” version of a desktop OS or a upsized version of a smartphone OS.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s note: Peter Yared is the founder and CTO of Sapho and was formerly the CTO/CIO of CBS Interactive.

When iPads first came out, they were hailed as the undoing of the PC. Finally, a cheap and reliable computing device for the average user instead of the complicated, quirky PC. After a few years of strong growth for iOS and Android tablets and a corresponding decrease in PC sales, the inverse is suddenly true: PC sales are up and tablet sales are “crashing.” What happened?

The tablet slowdown shouldn’t be a surprise given that tablets have hardly improved beyond relatively superficial changes in size, screen resolution, and processor speed. The initial market for tablets is now saturated: grandparents and kids have them, people bought them as Sonos controllers and such, and numerous households have them around for reading. People that want tablets have them, and there’s just no need…

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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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