Posts tagged think

The Feds Think It’s OK To Impersonate You On Facebook Using What’s On Your Phone

A special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration impersonated a woman by creating a fake Facebook profile and posting photos from her phone in an attempt to communicate with criminals. That woman, Sondra Arquiett, is now suing the agent and the federal government for at least $750,000.

Arquiett’s court filing, first discovered by BuzzFeed, and related legal documents describe her 2010 arrest following a joint investigation into local drug trafficking by the DEA and other agencies. Investigators seized her phone at the time of her arrest. Arquiett pled guilty to an “intent to distribute” drug charge and received five years of probation.

Soon after her arrest, however, Timothy Sinnigen—the DEA agent and defendant in the lawsuit—set up a fake Facebook profile page using Arquiett’s name and photos taken from her seized cellphone in an apparent attempt to communicate with other members of the alleged drug ring. In her complaint, Arquiett claims the agent used this data from her phone without her knowledge or consent.

In response, the Justice Department claims that Sinnigen set up and used the fake Facebook profile for a “legitimate law enforcement purpose,” though without specifying what that legitimate purpose was. The department denies any wrongdoing. Sinnigen sent and received friend requests while impersonating Arquiett, including one to a wanted fugitive who was evading arrest.

The agency says that while Arquiett did not give explicit consent for the photos to be used on an account impersonating her, she granted access to the information stored in her device to aid in ongoing criminal investigations.

Arguiett charges in her complaint that some of the photos used were “revealing and suggestive,” such as one of her in her bra and panties. Sinnigen also posted photos of Arquiett’s young son and niece. Arquiett claims she didn’t know about the page until a friend showed it to her, since no one ever told her that a federal agent might post her personal photos and other information on a public Facebook profile under her name. She says she suffered “fear and great emotional distress” as a result.

The Justice Department’s response goes on to argue that:

  • Plaintiff does not have a First Amendment Right to Privacy in the photographs contained on her cell phone.
  • Plaintiff relinquished any expectation of privacy she may have had to the photographs contained on her cell phone.
  • Plaintiff consented to the search of her cell phone.
  • Plaintiff consented to use of information contained on her cell phone in ongoing criminal investigations.
  • Plaintiff cannot establish a violation of her substantive due process rights because she has not, and cannot, allege that Defendant Sinnigen’s alleged actions were taken with the absence of a legitimate governmental interest.

A number of law and privacy experts told BuzzFeed the government’s actions are hugely problematic, and that consenting to use the contents of a device does not grant permission to steal someone’s identity. 

Whether or not the Justice Department has a legal right to impersonate Arquiett, Sinnigen’s actions appear to have violated Facebook’s terms of service, which state that, “Pretending to be anything or anyone isn’t allowed.” The fake-Arquiett Facebook page has also apparently vanished from the site.

Lead image by Ryan Lackey

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Reaction: What SEOs Think About Facts & Answers Showing In Google Search Results

Last week, Google officially rolled out Structured Snippets, the search giant’s move to show snippets of relevant data directly in its search results. According to Google, the content being displayed is powered by its Knowledge Graph, as well as other data sources. As Search Engine Land news…



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Think iOS 8 Crashes A Lot? You’re Not Imagining Things

Stability, thy name is not iOS 8.

According to a report by mobile app performance management firm Crittercism, titled “Mobile Experience Benchmark Report: Apple Edition,” iOS 8 foists more crashes on users than iOS 7. 

The company found the new iPhone software has a crash rate of 3.6%, while the older version throws in the towel less often, at just 2%. (Crittercism measures the crash rate as the percentage of app launches that result in a crash.)

There are two ways to look at that: On one hand, the difference between the actual two numbers doesn’t look like much. Then again, you could also say that iOS 8 crashes 78% more frequently than its predecessor, which sounds like an awful lot. The latter, unsurprisingly, tends to be the version fueling this headline as it rampages across the Web. 

Courtesy of Crittercism

Either way, the news gets worse the further you drill into the details. iOS 8 crashes apparently haven’t slowed since the update launched last week; they’ve actually grown steadily, says the company, which came to the conclusion after analyzing data from its 1 billion users. 

See also: Five Common iOS 8 Complaints And How To Fix Them 

iPhone users still clinging to their older, smaller devices seem to have it the worst of all. While the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have crash rates of 2.6% and 2.1%, respectively, older iPhones (the 5S and earlier) crash at a rate of 3.6%. Companies tend to optimize their latest software for their newest, most powerful devices, so that’s not exactly shocking. Indeed, owners of the iPhone 4S—the oldest phone capable of running iOS 8—probably have the worst time of all.

Old hardware that can’t handle demanding new software may be only part of the problem. Old, buggy mobile apps that haven’t been optimized for iOS 8 could be another. And iOS 8 could simply still have a lot of bugs in it, one or more of which might be contributing to these crashes.

Those last two factors will likely improve over time. But there’s no cure for old hardware. If you own one of those phones and you don’t want to risk being stuck with a crash-prone setup, the best thing to do might be to downgrade back to iOS 7 (and fast!) or get a new handset.

Lead photo by Mike Licht

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SEO Encompasses more than You Think it Does – Las Vegas Informer


Las Vegas Informer
SEO Encompasses more than You Think it Does
Las Vegas Informer
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process that puts your business or brand front and center for audiences to discover, which is why some of the most sought-after digital marketing pros are those with the expertise to transform complicated

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Think Like A Startup: Five Ways To Boost Your SEO Strategy – Forbes

Think Like A Startup: Five Ways To Boost Your SEO Strategy
Forbes
In garages, dorm rooms, and basements all around the world, people are bringing their business ideas to life. But this surge of entrepreneurial energy isn't limited to actual startups. Big brands like Coca-Cola and Red Bull are adopting lean and agile

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Twitter Reveals How Many Active Users Are Bots, The Number May Be Higher Than You Think by @mattsouthern

Twitter revealed how many of its monthly active users are bots in a report just filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The report indicates that as much as 8.5 percent of Twitter’s monthly active users are bots. A bot is a small, data-collecting software application. Bots are completely automated and involve no human interaction. This sheds some light on a problem Twitter has with bots posing as human accounts. This is a problem because businesses rely on the accuracy of their audience numbers to estimate their true reach. The report states how bot counts are calculated “Our metrics are also […]

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Here’s What Teens Think It Takes To Work In Tech

It’s easy to get swept up in the media myths of the technology world. The good news is that a new generation readying themselves for careers in tech are looking past the stereotypes and embracing opportunity.

On Friday, LinkedIn hosted an event as part of its LinkedIn For Good initiative, in which it encouraged 2,500 employees around the world to spend the day giving back to their community.

As part of that “InDay” event, the company hosted 100 teenagers from the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula at its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters to talk about career opportunities, create a LinkedIn profile, and learn about the skills needed to achieve their dream jobs.

Breaking Down Media Myths About Silicon Valley

The event looked nothing like the Hollywood versions of the tech world we see in movies like The Internship and HBO’s Silicon Valley. While those shows satirize what it takes to make it in tech, they also risk celebrating and elevating the screen-friendly “brogrammer” cultural myth of hard-partying code jocks. While brogrammers are easier to find on TV than on the actual streets of San Francisco, the brogrammer stereotype has life because Silicon Valley does have a real problem attracting a diverse workforce.

Statistics recently released by major tech companies show that there are real numbers behind the stereotypes: The tech workforce is disproportionally Caucasian and male. (LinkedIn was one of the companies to share its numbers.)

Against this backdrop, it’s easy to understand why some get dispirited. But organizations and companies are working to change the culture of technology and nurture diverse voices, and women are fighting to change the culture of tech from within. And the teens we talked to weren’t paying much attention to Hollywood’s version of what a programmer looks like.

Teens In Tech

In a crowded room on the company’s leafy campus, LinkedIn employees and students from the Boys and Girls Club exchanged wisdom. Students discovered what it means to network, while employees reminisced about their own high-school days, and the angst and frustration of figuring out a career path.

Salvador Rodriguez, human resources intern at LinkedIn, and past Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula student, interviews LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, and Boys and Girls Club executive director Peter Fortenbaugh.

After hearing from LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and Peter Fortenbaugh, executive director of the Peninsula Boys and Girls Club, LinkedIn employees teamed up with students in one-on-one sessions to help build their online resumes, and, hopefully, put them en route to their future careers.

I shadowed three students who have dreams of working in tech to find out what drives them, and whether or not the culture of the tech community, often portrayed as toxic or excluding, now deters them from pursuing their future dreams.

All three were steadfast in their desire to become the next generation of builders. They weren’t worried about culture fit. They were more worried about mastering math.

“There’s no way [gender inequality] will be balanced by the time I’m coding.” 

Dana Levinthal, 14, snacked on Lay’s potato chips and sipped on a raw-sugar Coca-Cola as she talked to me about wanting to become a programmer at Facebook or Google. What about a startup, I asked.

“There’s always a chance they could go under,” she replied. “I want something more secure.”

The sage teen from Redwood City doesn’t have any coding experience yet, though she’s heard of languages like Java and C++. But she thinks her experience in “modding” Minecraft, a popular game, has already taught her one of the most important skills about being a programmer: patience.

She does understand it takes more than creativity, patience and boundless energy to become a programmer; Dana wants to go to MIT, and is aiming to finish calculus by her senior year.

As a high-school freshman, she’s familiar with the imbalance of women in tech, but that only fuels her desire to be among the next generation of Googlers.

“I’m aware that only ten percent of women hold IT jobs,” she said. “There’s no way it will be balanced by the time I’m coding, in 10 to 15 years.”

Dana Levinthal volunteered to take photos for the Boys and Girls Club during the event. 

For some, the gender gap can be discouraging, especially since just 18 percent of computer science graduates in the U.S. are female, and reports of harassment and discrimination have cast shadows on the tech community. To Dana though, this imbalance presents an opportunity.

“Because women are a minority in that field, I’m more likely to get a scholarship and get hired,” she said.

“Don’t gain the world, and lose your soul.”

Diquan Richard was all smiles at inDay.

Diquan Richard’s idols are Steve Jobs and Bob Marley—two very different innovators whose passion and breakthroughs in creative and technical fields inspire him to pursue his career goal of becoming a Pixar animator. He’s been involved with the Boys and Girls Club for 14 years, and is a native of East Palo Alto.

He discovered his dream of working at Pixar in 7th grade, and he’s been perfecting his talent for drawing and storytelling while overcoming personal hardships ever since.

“Technology has given me comfort,” Diquan said. “It’s allowed me to connect with people during the most challenging times.”

Like most teenagers, 18-year-old Diquan uses applications like Snapchat and Instagram to connect with friends. On his Lenovo computer, he uses more sophisticated technology to build creatures with Photoshop, Flash and Maya, the animation software. Those will prove crucial to his burgeoning career.

LinkedIn employees used Diquan’s profile as an example of how students can connect with mentors and alumni. 

Diquan is a student at Cañada College, a two-year institution in Redwood City, Calif., where he’s taking general-education courses before applying to a university for a digital arts and animation degree.

“My biggest challenge in school is math,” he said. “It’s something I’m going to have to work with everyday—using geometry and algebra. Making sure everything cooperates.”

At the InDay event, LinkedIn employees helped Diquan take the first step to achieving his career. In a demonstration, two of them used Diquan’s profile as an example of how to connect with college alumni and ask for advice from people whose careers they admire. They discovered a Cañada College graduate who worked at Pixar, and the team offered to facilitate an introduction.

Diquan could not stop smiling.

Though technology will become an invaluable resource for him in the future, Diquan noted that it’s not all perfect. Some apps, he said, are a huge waste of time.

“Bob Marley once said, ‘Don’t gain the world, and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver and gold,’” he told me.

“One stereotype I know about tech, is that they think guys are better.”

Anna Gomez at LinkedIn’s InDay event.

“I was kind of a weird child,” Anna Gomez, 14, said, as I sat down to ask her about her career plans. “One time I had cardboard boxes, and I would pretend they were metal and make a robot.”

“That’s not weird,” I told her. “That’s awesome.”

Anna wants to be a computer engineer and eventually a video game designer. Her favorite video game is Assassin’s Creed, which she plays regularly on her PlayStation 3.

She’s trying to learn coding, but she’s conflicted. Her high school offers computer engineering, but she also wants to take cooking as an elective. Anna hadn’t heard of organizations like Girls Who Code.

“Most of my friends are girls, and they don’t really play video games,” she said, and looked down at her hands. “Most of my guy friends play video games, though.”

Through the Boys and Girls Club, Anna has visited numerous tech companies, including Google, Intel, Facebook and LinkedIn. She says the experience has only encouraged her pursuit of working in technology, though she thinks it is very hard to get a job in tech.

Anna was also taking photos around the LinkedIn campus. 

The biggest skill she thinks engineers need is, like the other students, math. Anna said math classes are going to be hard for her, but, with her brother as an influence, she’s going to learn coding, and eventually take computer science in college.

Like Dana, she’s not deterred by inequality or lack of women in engineering fields.

“One stereotype I know about tech, is that they think guys are better,” she said. “But I don’t think that’s true.”

A Promising Future

After setting up personal LinkedIn accounts and taking a handful of profile pictures, both silly and serious, the students made their way back to the crowded room, which was getting warmer by the minute.

A group of observers and participants trailed behind, as the girls took extra time photographing the LinkedIn campus with cameras provided by the Boys and Girls Club. They wanted to document everything.

By the afternoon’s end, Dana, Diquan, and Anna, along with many other club members, had their own LinkedIn profiles, which would help them discover career opportunities and connect with people just like them, in jobs they want to explore.

Back in the room, the students and mentors were asked to take a picture—and the smiling teens looked back at the camera promisingly.

The next generation of coders and makers don’t see the same frustration their counterparts working in tech right now face on a regular basis. Instead, they have hope that—although their path may not be perfect or easy—a passion for technology and education will get them started.

And once they’re inside those campuses they’ve visited as students, they’ll have the power to take on those challenges—and, eventually, change those stereotypes. 

At the end of the day, students and mentors posed for a photo.

Photos by Selena Larson for ReadWrite

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The shocking truth about SEO: it’s not as complicated as you think – Econsultancy (blog)

The shocking truth about SEO: it's not as complicated as you think
Econsultancy (blog)
As you probably know by now, SEO and PR are getting more closely related. But there is one aspect that both have always had in common, and that is that both have long been labelled a supposed 'dark art'. PR and SEO; mysterious art forms that deal in

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Why AdWords Dynamic Search Ads Work Better Than You Think

I have a confession: I used to hate Dynamic Search Ads. I’m sure some of you still do. For my part, I had used them unsuccessfully in a couple of accounts and decided they were no good. It wasn’t until a few months ago, when I saw this awesome presentation from Matt Umbro at SMX…



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4 ‘Don’ts’ From My Favorite UX Book, “Don’t Make Me Think” [SEJ BOOK CLUB] by @itsduhnise

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a monthly series of book reviews by the Search Engine Journal editorial team.  Join us each month to discuss our picks on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ using the hashtag #SEJBookClub and via the comments below. “This book changed my life,” he said. I can’t help but react skeptically whenever anyone says something like that. Perhaps I’m getting crotchety in my old age, but nowadays it feels like we all tend to skew to hyperbole. Maybe it’s just a survival mechanism developed in the era of Facebook/Snapchat/that meme/viral blah/Instagram: it’s never been so easy to get our 15 minutes, […]

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