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Dating Online? Your SAT Score May Determine Who You See On a Site

Interesting tidbit here, that some sites including the largest dating site, Match is using your educational data to manipulate who you see on the site, as well as who sees you. By collecting data such as your SAT Score, a test you likely took way back there in High School, a good analyst can determine a couple of things about you. First, people with the top 10% or so in SAT Scores tend to be College Graduates. Recent research has shown that that has no correlation to them being smarter, than say the next 25% – but being in the top 10% means you have a better chance of attending an elite school. One of the common characteristics of elite schools is a much higher graduation rate – typically over 90% for the very top schools vs 50-65% for State Schools. That also has some rather significant impact on potential income.

Along with the numerous personal tastes which drive selection of someone to date, liking tall women, or short men, redheads, or spiked hair and nose rings…

Is the correlation that relationships are based on shared experiences. There is a low likelihood that a woman whose job takes her around the world is going to chose a guy who is a construction worker. If I can’t dress her up and take her out with my friends and business associates without embarrassment…The relationship is very short lived. If a woman doesn’t want to date men with beards, then the fastest way to drive her off a dating site is to fill her potential matches box up with bearded guys.

Where the rub comes, is how they collect this information. And something I will call “disparate impact”, because black folks tend to have lower SAT Scores.

How Dating Sites, Thanks to Princeton Review, Know More About You Than You Do

When I was growing up, there were always three places that my parents said were great for meeting your future girlfriend, wife or significant other: church, work and, of course, school. Our church attendance had waned in my late high school years, and I worked at a bagel bakery—so college seemed the mostly likely option for me.

For me, living in the lily-white suburbs where dating options were fraught with complications (because racism), the idea that doing well on my SATs might put me in a college classroom next to my own personal Freddie Brooks, Monica Wright or Laila was enough incentive to put in those extra study hours.

Of course, it turns out that my parents were more prescient than they thought. Dating companies are starting to use college prep for matchmaking purposes, which causes some groups to worry about not only our education policies but our privacy, too.

At this point we’re all in the Matrix. Despite the extremes to which Edward Snowden went to show us how the government violates our privacy, most Americans give up terabytes of personal information every day for an extra 10 percent off at Target. Want this new free app? Give us access to all your phone contacts. Want to sign up for this new email account? We’ll scan your emails for potential advertising targets.

This kind of intrusive data mining is particularly important in the African-American community, where the majority of our Internet access comes through smartphones and our social media use, especially on places like Twitter, where our use is incredibly high. But what about when you don’t expect your personal information to be used?

Late in 2014, Match Group, the consortium that owns Match.com, OkCupid, Tinder and a ton of other dating apps and sites, decided that it wanted to improve its access to young, fresh, single people’s preferences and tendencies. So what did it do? It purchased the Princeton Review. That’s right, Princeton Review, the test-prep program most commonly used by African Americans across the country, now collects data on kids to improve the targeting, marketing and analysis of dating platforms.

Now, it’s not working all that well if you’re black and dating on OkCupid, but in general, the strategy was that all those random surveys you take in an SAT-prep class—like on yourcollege hopes and worries, what makes a good college, college-ranking surveys, etc.—are chock-full of data that can help dating sites down the road. The catch is that survey data that was ostensibly about education is now being used for purposes that the kids taking those surveys never intended.

As with other breaches of computer privacy, most Americans reacted with a yawn. What’s the big deal if scouring the academic insecurities of a bunch of teenagers helps an organization connect a neurotic grad student with a working-class Romeo a few years later? First, you’re not getting paid for it. Many public schools that are majority African American and subsidize SAT-prep programs to help kids get into college are essentially paying twice: once to get the test prep for students and then again by giving this company millions of dollars in free information that doesn’t come back to the school.

But the problem runs deeper than that. This aggregate collecting of big data without the knowledge of consumers leads to everything from increased insurance premiums to loan discrimination to identity theft. What if Match.com sells Princeton Review-survey information to corporations that use internal data to decide whether or not loans should go to certain communities? What if high school survey data is used to justify aggressive stop-and-frisk-type policies—providing a cheap shortcut for lazy police departments that don’t want to conduct their own research?

Or, quite simply, what about the preponderance of data breaches we’ve seen, from Sony to Target, that are made easier the more hands our personal data goes through without our knowledge? Several organizations, including Consumer Action out of California, have begun highlighting these problems, especially with the way consumer data is being extracted from minority communities withno regard for privacy, reimbursement or consumer protection. However, it wouldn’t hurt if some 2016 candidates talked about this issue, seeing as how just a few months ago, half the GOP field was willing to let the FBI just dig all around Apple’s data files….

 
 

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Death of an Era

The fastest growing segment of the music industry is recordings on Vinyl. Yeah, it is antique by today’s standards – but the audio quality far surpasses anything on the digital medias. Turntables and Tube Amps are back – big time, as Vinyl sales are rising at 50% a year.

So the death of this Chicago institution has more to do with merchandising than product. The costs of maintaining a brick and mortar retail outlet versus warehousing and distribution through the Internet. What will be interesting to see is whether the internet model will work in an industry where impulse buying is integral to sales. Last count, I had about 600 Albums in my personal collection. Fully half of those were “impulse buys” while looking for something else, where in thumbing through the bins I saw something such as a particular musician or group of musicians doing studio on the recording. Such “Liner Note” information is seldom provided on Internet sites – making searching for a “find” particularly vexing on the net.

Chicago is a bit smaller today.

Jazz Record Mart closes

The Jazz Record Mart, which long billed itself as “The World’s Largest Jazz and Blues Record Store,” closed its doors at 11:30 a.m. Monday, 10 minutes after a deal was completed to sell the business, according to manager/buyer Kent Richmond.

Wolfgang’s Vault – a Reno, Nev., operation that buys and sells music, film and other cultural items – has acquired the store’s inventory and the Jazz Record Mart name and web site.

“We had a lot of people knocking on the doors this morning,” said Richmond. “We did open at 10 and did a fair amount of business for the short time we were open.

“Once the deal was finalized, that’s when we had to close the doors.”

Also sold in the deal were “record bins, all the art work and everything,” said Richmond. The inventory will be shipped to Nevada…More

For you youngsters who have never been in one of these – this is what the Old Skool Record stores looked like. It is sort of like the difference between a Kindle and a real book.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Shopper Beware

Any place thee is money – there will people there trying to steal it. Recently ran into two scams, one being based on the old Nigerian, “there is money left in your name, just send us money to get it to you” ruse, a second by a Internet employment board requesting $40 a month to access nonexistent executive level jobs. Most real companies have a Jobs board on their website. If they do not it is a red flag that something isn’t quite right. If the job isn’t listed on a company website, and is listed on an online one requiring you to pay membership fees…It 90% of the time is a scam. The most effective scams are based around playing on the victim’s greed and avarice.

Any website, that isn’t the US Government IRS or Social Security that asks you online for your SSN, or credit card number online…Is a Scam. Period.

In general – if it sounds to good to be true..It’s a scam.

Here’s a list of 12 scams from the Better Business Bureau and law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for as you hit the malls or shop online.

Fake shipping notifications: These can have attachments or links to sites that will download malware on your computer to steal your identity and your passwords. Don’t be fooled by a holiday phishing scam.

E-cards: Electronic holiday cards can be used to steal your data. Two red flags to watch out for are: the sender’s name is not apparent; you are required to share additional information to get the card.

Letters from Santa: Several trusted companies offer personalized letters from Santa, but scammers mimic them to get personal information from unsuspecting parents. Check with bbb.org to find out which ones are legitimate.

Temporary holiday jobs: Retailers and delivery services need extra help at the holidays, but beware of offers that require you to share personal information online or pay for a job lead. Apply in person or go to retailers’ main websites to find out who is hiring.

Unusual forms of payment: Be wary of anyone who asks you to pay for holiday purchases using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, third parties, etc. These payments cannot be traced and cannot be undone. Use a credit card on a secure website; look for https in the address (the extra “s” is for “secure”) and the lock symbol.

Social media gift exchange: It sounds like a great deal; buy one gift and get 36 in return. But it’s aa variation on a pyramid scheme and it’s illegal, says the BBB.

Deceptive Advertising — Just like fake websites, fake apps are built at this time of year to target people who prefer shopping from their phones. Be especially wary of phone shopping apps; even those marked with an Amazon or Ebay logo could be fake. And, dangerous links, phony contests on social media, and bogus gift cards allow scammers to steal your personal information, says McAfee.com. Watch out for URLs that use the names of well-known brands along with extra words.

Bogus Charities — The holidays prompt us to donate to charities, but scam artists take advantage of this by sending emails for fake charities or sharing viral promos. Before donating, do your homework. Groups such as the Better Business Bureau, Charity Watch and even the Internal Revenue Service have tips to safely donate to charities.

Promotional Emails —The International Business Times says to treat all promotional emails that aren’t coming from a trusted retailer as dangerous material. Even if you open the email, do not click on any links inside.

Gift Card Scams — The popular gifts can be an opportunity for thieves, who copy the numbers off cards in a store, then check online or call the 1-800 number to see if the card is activated. Once a card is active, the thieves spend its contents online, and the rightful card holder has no money, says the Better Business Bureau. And never buy discounted gift cards sold online; scammers will keep your cash, and use the gift cards.

Use a Credit Card — Using a credit card is safer than swiping your debit card when shopping. Credit cards have more security features than debit cards and credit companies are more willing to replace your stolen money than most banks, according to IBT.

Package Theft — The internet is full of videos of thieves stealing packages left by delivery services on doorsteps. Police believe the criminals follow delivery trucks into neighborhoods, say Annapolis Police. To thwart thieves, require a signature for all packages. If nobody will be home to accept a delivery, have the package held at the nearest service location for you to pick it up.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2015 in American Greed

 

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Exposing Online Bigots

I think just about everyone who has participated in any public online discussion on the internet has seen the work of racist trolls. Believing they are anonymous, such racist trolls regularly attack black forums. It would seem in Brazil, they have developed a partial solution…

Your Next Racist Tweet Could Go on a Billboard Outside Your House

Spend a little time on Twitter and you’ll quickly find out that for every empowering Black Lives Matter or Hispanic Girls United message posted, anonymous users of the social media platform also churn out plenty of hate—without any repercussions for their name-calling or threats. Back in October, author and economist Umair Haque wrote over at Medium that Twitter is becoming a ghost town owing to the amount of abuse on the platform, “and the fact that the average person can’t do anything about it.”

But perhaps the people who make racist comments on social media could be put on blast through the magic of geotagging. That’s the idea at the heart of “Virtual Racism, Real Consequences,” a Brazilian campaign that posts billboards with offensive online comments in the neighborhood where they were published—potentially squashing the idea that social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook are an anonymous Wild West of bigoted name-calling.

The campaign was launched this summer by Criola, an Afro-Brazilian civil rights organization, after a black weather reporter in Brazil was the object of severe racial harassment on Facebook. The effort tracks down the geotagged locations of the authors of anonymous comments posted on social media; Criola then purchases space on billboards or on buses nearby. Although the campaign blurs out names and profile pictures, the bigoted postings are exposed for everyone to see.

“Those people think they can sit in the comfort of their homes and do whatever they want on the Internet. We don’t let that happen. They can’t hide from us; we will find them,” Criola’s founder, Jurema Werneck, told BBC Trending.

A 2014 analysis by the U.K.-based think tank Demos of nearly 127,000 English-language tweets written over a nine-day period found that 10,000 tweets with a racial slur are posted daily. While the report’s authors noted that “the overwhelming majority of them are not used in an obviously prejudicial or hateful way,” it’s one thing for black folks to tweet each other the lyrics of a popular rap song that contains the n-word and quite another to be on the receiving end of the hate that some people of color experience on social media (particularly if they are active in social justice work). Shaun King, an activist who is the senior justice writer at the New York Daily News, wroteearlier this month that racial abuse on Twitter is so bad that “I almost need to pray before I use it.”

King wrote that he’s blocked 20,000 people on the platform so far this year owing to the bigoted hate that comes his way. “Racists now post messages on every single hashtag of interest to black folk. Almost always without their real names or faces, racists will use racial slurs in messages to or about people thousands of times per day on Twitter,” he wrote. “It’s so prevalent, so pervasive, that it’s basically impossible to use the service as a person of color and not have to face it down every single day.”

When a person’s identity is known, the consequences for posting offensive comments online can be severe. In 2013, former public relations executive Justine Sacco was axedafter her tweet “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” went viral. And in October, 20-year-old Erika Escalante was fired from her internship at a health and wellness company in Arizona after she posted an image on Twitter of herself in a cotton field. The caption for the photo: “Our inner n—– came out today.”

Meanwhile, Werneck told BBC Trending that although Brazil has laws against hate speech, they are not always enforced, and some people may be afraid of speaking up. To that end, she hopes the campaign will empower people to expose the abuse they encounter online. And perhaps with their anonymity in doubt, some folks might choose to keep their prejudiced thoughts to themselves.

WOuld work in the US in my view – if the billboards did full exposure.

 

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2015 in The Definition of Racism

 

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85 Years For Stalking Wife

The American Justice System is a joke.

Admittedly this guy needed to go to jail… But 85 Years?

You can’t get that for Murder in most states.

And after the George Zimmerman trial – you are under less of a risk to go to jail at all committing murder of black children.

Pr. George’s man who used social media to stalk ex-wife sentenced to 85 years

A Hyattsville man accused of posing as his ex-wife online and posting ads soliciting sex from strangers was sentenced Thursday to 85 years in prison.

Michael A. Johnson II created a Craigslist ad with abhorrent titles advertising sex from his ex-wife, according to court papers. The ads attracted about 50 men to the woman’s house, including some who tried to break in, the records said.

“It’s hard to imagine doing this to someone you once loved,” Prince George’s County Circuit Judge Maureen M. Lamasney said in court.

The case is among several nationwide in which people have been accused of stealing their victim’s online persona and postingInternet ads offering sex.

The woman told The Washington Post in a recent interview that she resorted to buying a shotgun and staying up all night pointing it at the door. She said she found several fake profiles in her name on sites including Facebook and the pornography aggregator XTube. One of the ads offered up her three children for sex and included their photos.

“This wasn’t just a case of him sending e-mails,” the woman said in court. “He changed my life and my children’s lives forever.”

“We felt like refugees in our own home, no one should have to live like that,” added the woman, who asked not to be identified for fear of continued harassment.

The woman obtained a restraining order against her ex-husband after he assaulted her in 2011, wrapping his hands around her neck, court papers say. After that incident, the cyber-terror began in earnest.

Johnson was convicted in June of more than 70 counts, including stalking, reckless endangerment and violations of a protective order.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Dead Sea Scrolls Available Online Today

A couple of thousand years later – the Dead Sea Scrolls are now online, with a little help from Google

Now, even armchair conspiracy theorists can make up their own interpretations ans translations!

Unlike this picture, the scrolls have been scanned at up to 1200 Megapixels so that the tiniest detail is visible

Scrolls available for viewing online are:

  • The Temple Scroll: lays out plans for the construction and operation of the Temple. Written on thin animal skin.
  • The War Scroll: one of the first scrolls to be found. The War Scroll outlines an end of days time where the the archangel Michael leads the “Sons of Light” against the “Sons of Darkness”.
  • The Community Rule Scroll: also known as the manual of discipline, the scroll outlines a comprehensive guide for the “community”, whose identity remains uncertain, although is believed to be the Jewish sect the Essenes.
  • The Great Isaiah Scroll: the best preserved of all the biblical scrolls, it contains a Hebrew version of the book of Isaiah.
  • The Commentary of Habakkuk Scroll: interprets the first two chapters of the book of Habakkuk.
 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in News

 

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