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Data Mining – To The Extreme!

With Privacy continuing to be the problem of this generation, we wonder how technology can change the way people function from day to day. Through data mining, information is at the hands of people that you have never, and will never, meet in your life. How does that make you feel? This post will refer to how your information is being spread without your knowledge.

In our day in age, online shopping is the new way to get your errands done without having to leave the comfort of your home. It is convenient to the point where all you need to do is put your credit card information into the system and then click submit. There are even great return policies on many items which make buying items online even more of an incentive. I mean, unless they use what you look up to start to stalk you…

Stalking through the internet you ask? Yeah, there is such a thing and Target has successfully mastered the art of it through their constant emails and catalogs. In the specific article above in which we went over in class, a High School girl who had yet told her parents she was pregnant was beginning to receive ads from Target about coupons on baby supplies. The Dad, not knowing of “in house situations” that have been going on, wringed out Target employees via the phone about their snooping on his daughters life and for “falsifying” the coupons to his daughter. What he didn’t know was that this data was provided by his very own daughter who was in fact pregnant and due in the future months. Bummer…

But what does that say about Target? Data Mining has been company’s best friends. It is information that is developed through non-personal contact by individuals through the internet. The system that they have devised makes it so people have no idea they are being followed “stalked” through their online shopping carts, but also do not give consent to this information being lent to companies. I guess we now will have to sign terms of agreement to shop on certain websites now.

Information is not just limited to what people want to purchase online. In the past 2012 London Olympics, information on the athletes was found and collected to display to the world. Information from the amount of money each past Olympics made to the amount of calories Michael Phelps eats from day to day, sometimes you wonder where this information comes from, but for that answer you can simply put: the internet.

There are even threats that are beginning to create in our society from these actions which could lead to huge problems. GOOGLE has had to put limits and sign agreements based on their ability to use cloud storage to gain information through data mining. This information has to be limited since GOOGLE having so much data stored in its databases, could control more than just the search engine world, but the internet in general.

The only hope we have is if data mining can be used to help prevent killings such as the Colorado Shooting.The NSA has created an algorithm that can “potentially” help prevent these situations from happening in its entirety by tracking people’s actions online and throwing up a red flag in the algorithm’s data center. Even though this is a complete invasion of one’s life, it also could save thousands of lives around the world.

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Google Earth Invades Lives

Goggle Earth is great for many reasons. It can give you overhead views of areas in the United States that you never thought you could go to, be used as a way to navigate yourself to a destination, and of course take pictures of your every move! Wait, but that last part. Take pictures of me? In my backyard?

This is the problem now a days with technology. They are invited to places that normally people and viewing eyes of the public are not allowed to. Google Earth has been able to take high-resolution pictures from satellites and GoogleCars, which are cars with high-speed cameras attached to them, and combine them to make their map database for all to access. Does that scare you?

As stated in a talk with Robin Roberts from ABC’s Good Morning America talk show, the issue was brought up in a manner that freaked people out. They recalled to this situation as like a “Big Brother” device that is always watching your every move. It makes once private areas, such as your backyard, or the example from class, an outdoor shower, not so private anymore. With everyone who has internet being able to access these photos, who knows what type of people are creeping on you.

Google has responded to this with a simple answer to the breach of privacy they are encountering. When referring back to Google’s StreetView photos (the pictures from the Google Cars), Kevin Bankston the staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation said the best solution was to ” …obscuring the faces of people”. Yeah great Kevin, but we all know that once something is posted to the internet, it doesn’t go away. Plus, even if the face is blurred out, your body, car, house, and any other information you don’t want random strangers to find out may also be in the picture. So are you going to blur out all of that as well? Hope the largest “braintrust” group in the world has an answer for that one.

There is still hope though. With irate individuals spread out all across the country, people have devised a way to delete those pictures if the user wants to. By following these steps, you will be able to delete the photo from Google searches and are told that the photo will not appear anywhere on the internet. Of course, my parents have always told me, “don’t post anything you wouldn’t want us to see, cause once its up there, it will always be stored somewhere”. So very true Mom and Dad, and to think they thought I never listened to them!

So next time you see a GoogleCar coming around, make sure to put on your happy face! The world is watching you…

-Mike

“Anonymous”

After mentioning this group in class, I thought it would be rather interesting to do some of my own investigating into this hacker group myself. Just as a little background for those who do not know, Anonymous is a group of’ hackist’ which was formed in 2003. The group is formed all throughout the world and is not just one set group of individuals, but instead, random individuals spread out all over the world. Their mission is not definite, but their objectives are always for some reason, some could be humorous such as their latest hack. Today alone, Anonymous is labeled to the latest Burger King Twitter spoof that got Burger King trending on Twitter today for multiple hours. By switching the picture of Burger King to a McDonald’s sign and then tweeting that the Whopper was a “flop” which led to Burger King being bought out by McDonald. Of course, none of this is true, but the concept is quite funny and rather harmless. Actually, Burger King benefited greatly from this, gaining over 800,000 followers on twitter during these shenanigans. Whatever their objective was, Anonymous wanted to be noticed, and they want to show the world that people really are not as safe as they think they are.

When looking at this group, you can already tell that they are not an average group of people. These individuals are borderline geniuses before they join the group. When looking at their website, there appears to be an IQTest needed before you are gained access to the group. With that being said, accomplishments such as Hacking into FBI and Government Bodies require great knowledge of not only the internet, but of breaching highly secured sites for information.

I look at this situation as a possible terrorist threat in the near future. Seeing as you cannot pinpoint who is hacking into all of these very important and private files, it is nearly impossible to find out what information is being taken, or any motives that may be in the works for the future. Some things, such as the Burger King Twitter hacking might be humorous, but it again proves how easy it is to access one’s information. I know I am not your parent, but to whomever reads this post, groups like this are lurking all around the world and could target you next just for “fun”.

-Mike

GIS Speaker

After listening to how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) works, it is strange how technology has grown in the past decade. GIS allows for a lot of commonly used devices to function such as map quests, navigation systems, the find your location on your Smartphones, and more. More importantly, it is used in a business fashion in order to pick out the best possible location for your business to buy property based on trends the trends of people and the convenience of your location. With that, there is so much more thought put into where your business should be located, which goes all the way down to which side of the road would be best for earning the maximum profit. When relating this back to class, it is clear that being supplied with all this information now a days helps tremendously with making executive decision for smaller, mom and pop business such as deli’s and gas stations. By looking at the natural flow of traffic both in the morning and in the evenings, you are able to determine your estimated profits on both sides of the roads. Seeing as it is harder to make a left hand turn, the convenience of a right hand turn during these really busy hours of the day could allow for an increase in profit for your business. In my eyes, GIS has allowed for us normal folk to function more efficiently on a daily basis. If we need to find a store but we did not print the instructions out, we can now depend on anything with Wi-Fi or internet access to help us discover the exact location of where we want to go.

There is a downside to using GIS, and that is reliance. Personally, I know I am not the most directional savvy individual. Getting lost both on the roads when driving and in general, walking around foreign cities, is a continuing event. Due to GIS systems and their availability, I feel as though my memory and awareness to what is around me is greatly impacted. I can read a map on a device perfectly fine, but navigating and using my knowledge of the area I am in without the device would be a navigational disaster. Personally, too much dependence on items such as these could in fact hurt individuals in the long run.

In the attached article, GIS is explained on how useful it has been in various different fields and the extent to which it has now grown to help people in various different ways.

http://gpssystems.net/gis-custom-map-data/

“I AM”

After viewing this movie, it put into perspective the importance of  how people can change the world. The story line in my eyes was very vague until the last 10 minutes when you were finally introduced to the idea that people are the reason for everything in the world. We are the ones who can make the biggest changes, create the largest disasters, and think up the next best thing for the world to prosper from. When there is ever a challenge or situation that you may run into, do not leave it to others to come and fix it. Instead, make it an initiative for yourself to figure out a solution and take action.

What really got me caught up in this movie was the power that one person can have on the rest of the world. As seen in class, Google has now taken over the world in more ways than one. They have revolutionized the way that people function from day to day through their search bars, applications, and vast knowledge and dedication to the world of technology. Today, Google inspires most people multiple times a day without them even knowing. But where did it start? Where did Goggle originate from? That answer can be simply answered by one thing: an idea. Someone had an idea to get a super knowledge base for everyone to use. They wanted their information fast, without having to go through the Yellow Pages. This individual had a dream to change people’s lives, but did not want to wait and see who was going to put their idea to work. Instead, through being proactive, Google was created and is now one of the largest used sites in the world.

The fact of the matter is, people who have the idea in their head that change can be overcome, there is nothing stopping them than themselves. In the video attached shows a former paratrooper who was hurt during his time serving our country. His knee was considered to be worthless by doctors and was told that he would never be able to walk without his cane/assistance for the rest of his life. If you want to see what humans can do when they put their mind to something that they truly believe in, watch this video!

Why Tweeting MLK’s “I Have a Dream” Speech Now Constitutes Civil Disobedience

The MLK Speech being brought to Twitter has made it apparent that there are serious conflictions with old and new generations of people. The SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) was established to prevent any illegal trafficking of material through the internet. This also brings into account the copywriter law which states that a personas material cannot be released to the public until 70 years have passed since his/her death. These two laws go hand and hand in the sense that both look for preserving the credit to the true owner of a piece of work. Seeing as Martin Luther King was such an influential person on many different levels, his hard work should be recognized properly and not through social media in what could be a “disrespectful manner”. You may ask why posts on twitter may be disrespectful. In my eyes, twitter is loaded with all of your friends and is an easy way to update people on your daily duties. Suppose on MLK Day you “tweeted” the speech. At that point, anyone has the ability to write whatever they want about this powerful speech with no one there to stop them. Defacing what is known as one of the greatest speeches over social media should be an internet crime. (With a fine of some acceptable amount to follow!)

            As the article states, others believe that the copyright law should change stating, “It not only fails to serve its primary constitutional goal—promoting the progress of knowledge and useful arts—but it actively hinders that goal and often silences important speech”(Ammori). With this, people are arguing that seeing as these copy write laws are in place, people are not able to learn more about the important things in life if they are not allowed on the internet within 70 years of the creators death. It seems as though there are supporters strongly for both cases, which makes this debate even more interesting. Seeing as how many individuals in this generation that we are living in now rely so heavily on technology, it almost seems as though the only way one will learn about the important things that have once occurred are if they read it on one of their social media sites. Hindering to learning, I now see, but I also do see the problem with the copywriter law.

            In 2013, copywriter does not hold up to the standards at which people want it to be. It is not the overlying law, and is continually being broken day in and day out. The best example I can give is with music. People torrent music on a daily basis, which is basically stealing music from artists. It has gotten to the point where artists themselves ENCOURAGE their fans to torrent their music from free online sites. Why? Because with people now not buying full CD’s and only downloading the few songs they like from each album, they are able to have exactly what they want, for the exact price they want. FREE! The link attached helps to support the tormenting epidemic.

Why Most Artists Profit from Piracy