Connect with us

General

Study: Social Media Sites Can Predict Behavior—Even If You Don’t Have an Account

Advertisement
Click this link to get up to 40% discount on outlet items. Includes free shipping. Restrictions may apply.

You can run but you can’t hide from social media.

A new study likens privacy on social networks to second-hand smoke: It’s controlled by the people around you.

In a paper published by the journal Nature Human Behavior, researchers from the University of Vermont and University of Adelaide highlight the unsettling fact that when it comes to the Internet, your personal business is anything but.

“We show that 95 percent of the potential predictive accuracy for an individual is achievable using their social ties only, without requiring that individual’s data,” the study said.

Using more than 30 million public tweets from nearly 14,000 users, researchers found they could accurately predict someone’s future posts based on only eight or nine of their digital friends’ feeds.

Perhaps more concerning, though, is the ease with which the team can make the same predictions for folks who have left a social media platform—or never even joined in the first place.

As long as your contacts are on a social network—Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc.—it is possible to use their data to calculate 95 percent “potential predictive accuracy” of how you would behave on the service.

While most people signing up for a social network account understand the implicit transfer of personal information, they’re often unaware of the impact on their mates’ data.

“Our results have distinct privacy implications,” the study warned. “Information is so strongly embedded in a social network that, in principle, one can profile an individual from their available social ties even when the individual forgoes the platform completely.”

In theory, a company, government, or other actor could use this method to accurately profile someone—political ideology, favorite products, religious commitments—from their family, friends, colleagues, or acquaintances.

“There’s no place to hide in a social network,” study co-author Lewis Mitchell, a lecturer in applied mathematics at the University of Adelaide in Australia, said in a statement.

The good news is there’s a mathematical upper limit on how much predictive information a social network can hold. The bad news: It makes little difference if the person being profiled actually uses that network.

“You alone don’t control your privacy on social media platforms,” UVM professor Jim Bagrow said. “Your friends have a say, too.”

More on Geek.com:

SOURCE

Advertisement
Get Free Shipping and Free Exchanges on All Apex Shoes!
Code: SO6GDBEL6WC4. Enter this discount code at checkout to save 50% on health collection. Restrictions apply. See website for more details.

General

Watch a Fleet of SpotMini Robo Dogs Haul a Box Truck

Advertisement
Click this link to get the Moto Z2 Force for just $31.50/month. Unlimited and device payment activation required. Includes free shipping. Restrictions may apply.

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of the impending robot revolution.

Actually, it’s the sound of 10 SpotMini robo dogs hauling a truck across the Boston Dynamics parking lot.

Like I said: impending uprising.

Small and nimble, the 2.75-foot-tall, four-legged machine inherited the mobility of big brother Spot—with the added ability to pick up and handle objects using a claw-like arm and perception sensors.

Considered Boston Dynamics’ “quietest robot” yet, SpotMini can carry a 30-pound payload while operating for up to 90 minutes on a single charge.

[embedded content]

“These Spot robots are coming off the production line now,” the Massachusetts-based engineering firm said in a video caption, promising availability “for a range of applications.”

Company co-founder Marc Raibert last year tipped potential clients in four categories: construction, delivery, security, and home assistance. (And, now, roadside service.)

There is no word yet on pricing.

Anyone else get a sort of sinking feeling watching the robo dogs wake up and snap into position like a headless army?

Something about their asynchronous marching and stiff frames remind me equally of Santa’s reindeer and mechanized assassins.

Yet, when Boston Dynamics last year released a minute-long clip of its droid dog shimmying along to “Uptown Funk,” my heart melted; SpotMini side-steps, twerks, and does the best automated Running Man YouTube has ever seen.

That’s nothing, though, compared with dynamic humanoid Atlas.

Standing nearly five feet tall and weighing 165 lbs, the robot is an athlete and gymnast: In 2017, it landed a perfect backflip—completely unaided; last year, Boston Dynamics highlighted the droid’s ability to job comfortably over uneven natural terrain, jump gracefully over a log, and leap up steps without breaking its stride.

I can’t even jump onto the 18-inch plyo box at the gym.

More on Geek.com:

SOURCE

Advertisement
Samsung J7 V just $5 mo. New device payment purchase req'd. Plus, free shipping.
Click this link to get the Moto Z2 Force for just $31.50/month. Unlimited and device payment activation required. Includes free shipping. Restrictions may apply.
Continue Reading

General

New Uber Initiative Boosts Rider Safety on College Campuses

Advertisement
Code: SHOEBUY. 10% Off Sitewide plus Free Shipping!

Uber is cracking down on fake rideshare drivers after a college student was murdered last month waiting for a pick up.

The transportation network, in partnership with the University of South Carolina, has launched the Campus Safety Initiative: a national effort to help students learn how to avoid fraudulent chauffeurs.

In March, 21-year-old USC student Samantha Josephson went missing after getting into a car outside a Columbia bar. Her body was later found on a secluded dirt road in nearby Clarendon County.

The Columbia Police Department announced that 24-year-old Nathaniel Rowland has been charged with murder and kidnapping, after matching large amounts of blood in the suspect’s car to the missing New Jersey woman, CBS reported.

It’s believed Rowland posed as an Uber driver to lure his victim into the car.

“We were heartbroken by the recent crime committed by a fake rideshare driver in South Carolina,” Andrew Macdonald, Uber VP of operations, wrote in a blog post. “While no words can alleviate the loss felt by the Josephson family, we are committed to continuing to take action to make our communities safer.”

Existing public awareness campaign Check Your Ride, introduced two years ago, encourages users to double check that the vehicle and driver match details in the app before entering a car.

But if you’re in a hurry or maybe a bit tipsy, safety precautions can often be thrown to the wind.

New in-app safety features—like push notifications and banners—are rolling out now to remind folks how to confirm the right car before it arrives.

“In addition to these steps, you can also ask the driver to confirm your name,” Macdonald suggested, echoing the #WhatsMyName mission by the Josephson family to educate the world on rideshare precautions.

Inspired by the University of South Carolina and its students, Uber is working with the Columbia Police Department to create dedicated pickup zones—well-lit areas with law enforcement on hand to help riders and drivers connect safely.

“Our goal is to make checking your ride before you get in the car synonymous with using Uber,” Macdonald said. “There is nothing more important than the safety of the people we serve and we’re constantly working to improve.”

Rival Lyft also announced enhancements to the safety and security of its platform, including continuous background checks and enhanced identity verification.

Neither of which will save an unsuspecting rider from getting into the wrong car. But every little bit helps, right?

More on Geek.com:

SOURCE

Advertisement
Gamiss is a leading international online fashion clothing store. Focusing on the very latest in affordable fashion style, both apparels and accessories, we provides thousands of the latest in chic product lines, to give maximum choice to our discerning clienteles. We aim to offer an extensive range
Samsung J7 V just $5 mo. New device payment purchase req'd. Plus, free shipping.
Continue Reading

General

Samsung Galaxy Fold Keeps Breaking and It’s Hilarious

Advertisement
Code: SHOEBUY. 10% Off Sitewide plus Free Shipping!

Does anyone really want a smartphone that folds? Like, really? Shoving two phones together with a seemingly nifty hinge always just felt like a grift to just sell one phone for double the price. Give me a nice small screen and a headphone jack and I’m good.

But even if you’ve bought into the tech hype that foldable phones are the way of the future, you may want to hold back on spending $2,000 on the most high-profile example of this trend the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Tech journalists this week got their review units for the upcoming device and right now it’s looking pretty fragile.

Take a look.

Samsung can show as much footage of robots bending the phone hinge as they want, but something isn’t right if the bridge is breaking just after days of use by careful professionals. If two of your effectively three screens fizzle out so quickly, just buy a normal phone with one solid screen for way cheaper.

Even more concerning is that there are apparently multiple causes of this problem. The most common issue is reviewers accidentally a protective film that appears to be an optional screen protector but is actually extremely vital. So be careful about that if you still want to pick this up. But at The Verge their screen broke after a piece of debris somehow wedged itself in the hinge and basically cut the unfolded screen down the middle. So the solution is to basically treat the Samsung Galaxy Fold like a sick child, not a premium piece of tech.

As a consumer you always face risks being an early adopter of bleeding-edge technology. It takes time for manufacturers to work out little kinks in big innovations. Remember the last Samsung phone disaster when batteries kept blowing up? And I should say we also have a Samsung Galaxy Fold here at the PCMag office that seems okay… right now. Still, unless you absolutely positively need a folding phone as soon as possible, here are some other Android phones you may want to invest in instead of the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

[embedded content]

SOURCE

Advertisement
Click through this link to save over 80% on select sale items. Includes free shipping on orders $89 or more. Restrictions may apply.
Promo code not required. The deal applies to a specific group of goods. The deal is available for all customers of the e-store. The deal is available without amount restrictions
Continue Reading

Deals

Advertisement
Click this link to get $200 discount on iPad. Includes free shipping. Restrictions may apply.
Click this link to get the Moto Z2 Force for just $31.50/month. Unlimited and device payment activation required. Includes free shipping. Restrictions may apply.
Code: VZWDEAL. Enter this coupon code at checkout to get $100 discount on Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Includes free shipping. Restrictions may apply. Device payment purchase required.

Trending