GM to put spy tech in cars, to spy on drivers behavior

GM cars will monitor your head and eye position to determine if you meet their appropriate profile for safe driving. Once the cameras are in place, GM hints at future opportunities to spy on your behavior:

“Safety doesn’t sell cars – sexy sells cars,” said Ken Kroeger, Seeing Machines’ chief executive. “But once cameras are there, they can be expanded for other features and purposes.”

via GM to launch cars that can pick up on distracted driving – FT.com.

The car companies want to make money. Duh. This data will likely be collected, partially to potentially reduce GM liability when they mess up the ignition switches, but also sold to insurance companies who will adjust your insurance premium based on how often your eyes are looking at the hypothetically ideal spots. They claim the technology can even determine how much thinking you are doing. (Well, if you bought a GM product, you probably were not thinking, speaking from personal experience :) )

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“3 Million Teens Leave Facebook In 3 Years: The 2014 Facebook Demographic Report”

Top Insights:

1 Teens 13-17 on Facebook have declined -25.3% over the last 3 years.

2 Over the same period of time, 55+ has exploded with +80.4% growth in the last 3 years.

via 3 Million Teens Leave Facebook In 3 Years: The 2014 Facebook Demographic Report | iStrategyLabs – A Digital Agency That Invents Solutions Online and Off.

FB is no longer cool. A novel (and unproven) model created by researchers at Princeton University suggests 80% of FB users may quit the service by the end of 2017. FB says their own model indicates Princeton will lose all of their students by 2021 :)

Two of my adult children have mostly stopped using FB and a 3rd  uses FB only occasionally. Two of my own siblings and one cousin have deleted their FB accounts in recent months. Several months ago, I deleted the FB app from all mobile devices – I had zero need to be alerted to someone posting or liking something, in real time. Perhaps we are on the leading edge!

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California government agencies can demand social media account passwords from job applicants

State law prohibits employers from demanding access to your online account passwords, but the law exempts government agencies: Police agencies want access to applicants’ social-media passwords – SFGate.

Depending on the agency, some require applicants to log in to their social media account and then allow a government employee to peruse your social media (in your presence), while others require that you hand over your account log in information and password to the agency.

When a 3rd party logs in to your social media account, the government agency also has access to private posts of your friends that have been shared with you, but which may never have been intended for wide dissemination.

Why stop at social media accounts? The argument for social media account access and review equally applies to reading your email, reviewing your telephone records or rummaging through your home.

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Fascinating TED talk on our “addiction to experts”

The thesis is that we are “addicted to experts” and when listening to experts, some research shows we basically stop thinking. Instead, we should continue to think for ourselves and must be willing to dissent from and to confront experts (who can be wrong more often than many may admit).

Prof. Noreena Hertz taught and conducted research at University College London at the time this talk was presented in 2010. She has expounded on this thesis in a later book (which I have not yet read)

Unfortunately, I have been burned by “experts” on numerous occasions so I rarely accept an expert’s statement without doing critical analysis of my own. Sorry to say.

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“Study: Social media users shy away from opinions”

Study: Social media users shy away from opinions | Technology | KATU.com – Portland News, Sports, Traffic Weather and Breaking News – Portland, Oregon.

Study suggests people post what they expect their followers to agree with – in other words, Facebook becomes an echo chamber that stifles discussion and debate. Few people will challenge their “friends” when there are different interpretations or even when the facts are completely wrong.

A side effect is that people become dumber over time as they learn things that are not actually true but which go unquestioned. Propagandists know the first message delivered often sticks, in spite of later contradictory information. As a consequence, social media has become a frictionless conduit for the unimpeded flow of propaganda messaging.

A related issue is that as elections approach (and for some people this seems to be a 12 month long event, held annually), much political propaganda is posted online. And much political propagandizing falls into the category of online bullying: anyone who does not agree is obviously wrong or stupid.

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Facebook automatically moderates your news feed

Facebook moves to rid its feed of click bait | PCWorld.

Facebook expands its control over what you see in your newsfeed. Already having split off group messages into separate news feeds (that you miss unless you deliberately go searching for them), and adjusting the order of items in your news feed, Facebook will now censor posted links it detects might, possibly, perhaps be classified as “click bait”.

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Social media seen as bad for mental health

According to the University of Salford’s study, 5 out of 10 respondents said using Facebook and Twitter makes their lives worse, their self-esteem suffers when they compare their own accomplishments to those of their online friends.

via Does Social Media Affect Your Mental Health – infographic | Digital Information World.

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Apple in Talks With Insurance Companies Over HealthKit

Apple in Talks With Insurance Companies Over HealthKit Partnership – Mac Rumors.

Rumors are that Apple is working on technologies and devices to monitor our own health, and that if we agree to share this with insurance companies, corporate health care plans (but not individual plans?) can see up to a 30% discount as part of programs to give incentives to “healthy behavior”.

How long until the NSA  knows every breath you take?

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Why on-the-job training has mostly vanished

Is On-the-Job Training Still Worth It for Companies? – Businessweek.

The relationship between employers and employees is such that jobs are rarely long lasting anymore. As a result, employers do not wish to invest in worker training for fear they will not see a return on investment. Another fear, not mentioned in the article, is that training workers with new skills often implies they should earn more money – which employers prefer not to pay. And when the employer does not pay for those additional skills, the employee leaves for elsewhere.

An issue in my field is employers seeking applicants with a long list of degrees and certifications, paid for by the employee. But employers are not paying much more for the employee’s own investment – the result is employers are expecting more but paying less for that value. Which is another way of saying that pay is going down, even if the $ value looks greater.

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