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  • Geebo 12:37 pm on November 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , representation, Shereef Bishay   

    Democracy 2.0: Please share this video 

    Democracy 2.0: Please share this video

    Rather than getting on YouTube and simply complaining about the outcome of the election, tech influencer Shereef Bishay has come up with a plan that he feels will not only give everyday citizens direct representation in congress but our opinions will actually matter. In his YouTube video entitled ‘Upgrading our democracy’ Mr. Bishay refers to democracy as an operating system that is in desperate need of an upgrade.

    In his plan Mr. Bishay suggests there should be a web portal where we vote on the issues facing congress today that go straight to our representatives. However, if we don’t want to vote on every issue we can give our votes to proxies who can vote on our behalf. The example that Mr. Bishay gives is that you can give your vote to the Sierra Club if you care about environmental issues.

    The problem is that our current representation are more beholden to lobbyists and special interest groups rather than their constituents and can vote on issues any way they see fit. Mr Bishay has a suggestion for that as well. He believes that there should be an internet candidate to congress who should be legally bound to vote as the way the constituents he or she represents have voted. He suggests we should have these internet candidates in all congressional races until all the old guard is removed and the new system is patched, as he calls it.

    He does into more detail in his video below and would like to see his video shared on Facebook at least 1000 times before he puts in money himself then starts a Kickstarter campaign to get the ball rolling. Please watch the reasonably short video in its entirety.

    Are there flaws in Mr. Bishay’s plan, of course there are. There are flaws in almost any plan, and there are definitely too many flaws in the way today’s political system works. We’ve been using the same form of representation for over 200 years and our technology has vastly surpassed that system. Isn’t it time to bring the two on par?

    Please share Mr. Bishay’s video today.

  • Geebo 11:12 am on November 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Honoring our veterans on Veterans Day 

    Honoring our veterans on Veterans Day

    Today, as I’m sure you know, is Veterans Day. It was originally known as Armistice Day to celebrate the ending of World War I. In the US, it was later changed to Veterans Day to honor all the veterans who fought in all US wars.

    According to the US Census there are 18.8 million veterans in the US today. A number of them need assistance with mental healthcare due to PTSD and too many of them are currently homeless.

    Maybe this year, especially with the amount of division in our country right now, we should pledge to do more to help our veterans, not just for one day, but all year round. Volunteer, or donate, or do what you can to help our veterans who are in need of assistance.

    As civilians we should be more than happy to assist those who fought for our country and need our help. They have given so much and gotten so little in return where they should be on our minds all year-long.

  • Geebo 12:00 pm on November 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Can Samsung bounce back with a ‘flip’ phone? 

    Can Samsung bounce back with a 'flip' phone?

    If you’ve flown anywhere in the US lately, you’ve probably heard the warning that it’s illegal to fly with a Samsung Galaxy Note 7. In case you haven’t heard, the Galaxy Note 7 has had some minor issues with occasionally bursting into flames at the most inopportune times. Even though that there have been recalls of the phone and apologies from Samsung it’s been a PR nightmare for the South Korean phone company.

    A lot of people in the financial and tech worlds have been saying that it’s going to take a long time for Samsung to get back to where it was as a leader in the smart phone industry. It may not take them too long with the development of a new flip phone. They don’t mean your old early 2000s flip phone that was so satisfying to close to hang up on someone, but a new foldable smart phone.

    According to reports Samsung will be releasing a phone next year that’s not only foldable but has a hinge on the back that possibly can be slid up and down the length of the phone making it foldable just about anywhere on the phone. What remains to be seen is whether or not a foldable phone is something the public will want or just another cell phone gimmick that will fail to catch on?

  • Geebo 11:24 am on November 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    In the wake of the election comes the opportunity to reconcile 

    In the wake of the election comes the opportunity to reconcile

    As the saying goes, it’s all over but the shouting, and boy is there shouting. Today, half of us are acting like this is the Apocalypse, while the other half of us are gloating like Emperor Palpatine when he revealed that the second Death Star was full operational. While this has been a very divisive election it’s not the worst thing to happen to our country.

    If you think this election is bad, consider the election of Abraham Lincoln. You may ask, what was so bad about the election of one of our greatest presidents of all time. Well, Lincoln’s election was the impetus for the South to secede and ignite the country into civil war. It is highly doubtful that this election will result in the hundreds of thousands American citizens killing each other over political belief.

    Instead of digging in further to our comfortable echo chambers either, commiserating or celebrating with like-minded people, we should get to know our friends who think differently than we do. Not everyone on the other side from the political spectrum from you is a stereotype of whatever political ideology they subscribe to. As a country we need the more rational of us to come together and work together to keep the country from being even more divisive. We need to set an example to show those who need more convincing that the American people can be united and work together.

    If we keep practicing ignorance and intolerance, and yes all parties on the political spectrum can be accused of both, it will always be politics as usual, and even more people will become disenfranchised.

    Now is the greatest opportunity for civility to become the order of the day in so we can really make our country greater than it ever has been.

  • Geebo 9:18 am on November 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Get out and vote! 

    Get out and vote!

    It’s finally here. Today is election day in what is possibly the most important and controversial election in decades. While we’re not here to tell you who to vote for, we do have some information to help you along with the voting process.

    NBC News has a guide to some helpful tech tips for the election including some helpful apps and how to find your voting place with your smart phone. Speaking of technical tips, Google is claiming that they will have election results as soon as the respective polls are closed.

    In case you need a ride to the polls, ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft are offering either free or discounted rides.

    If you’re thinking about foregoing voting today because you’re afraid the election will be hacked, you can put that thought out of your head. Not only is the government on high alert for such an attack, the real threat to hacking the election is good old-fashioned misinformation and misdirection.

    Lastly, please don’t forget that if you’re in line to vote when the polls close they still have to let you vote.

    Now you have no excuses, get out and vote as every vote really does count, especially in this crucial election.

  • Geebo 10:58 am on November 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: detectives, ,   

    The social network detectives 

    The social network detectives

    With the advent and ubiquity of social media most people have to worry about embarrassing photos of themselves from being disseminated into the social stream. It’s not unheard of that a drunken picture posted by a friend on MySpace back in the day to cost someone a job or other opportunities.

    Now imagine that you’re trying to commit workman’s comp or disability fraud. You would think that these fraudsters would keep their activities off of social media. Then again, no one ever said that criminals were smart. CBS/CNET has a great article about how a group of claims investigators use social networking tools to investigate these types of fraud.

    The amazing thing from that article is the lengths people will go to try to disguise their identity so they can commit fraud and continue to post their daily lives on social media. For example, one man claimed he had an injury where he was unable to walk, yet he was posting on social media about how he was running marathons. Gotta get that 26.2 sticker I guess.

    What is it about social media that makes people not only over-share details of their lives that could put them in potential danger, but in some cases they risk jail time? The 1970s were called the ‘me decade’ since so many people were looking to improve their own lives through what was then new and unconventional means. Maybe the 2010s should be called the Me Decade II since so many of our lives are driven by likes and subscribers.

  • Geebo 10:56 am on November 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Don’t believe all the health stories on social media 

    Don't believe all the health stories on social media

    In the years prior to the internet, there was a lot of ignorance when it came to knowledge of medical issues. During the 1980s, there was a lot of misinformation and fear when it came to AIDS. There was so much bad information out there about how AIDS and HIV can be contracted, that many people treated it like leprosy. It was only through years of education and public information have we greatly reduced that stigma.

    Now in the days of the internet with access to the all of world’s knowledge we should be more enlightened when it comes to outbreaks of certain diseases. The problem is that with social media, the fear and misinformation have an audience equal to the truth.

    According to the Huffington Post, at the height of the Zika virus onset, the most stories read and shared on social media about the subject were either conspiracy related or just flat-out wrong. The same thing happened with the Ebola scare a few years back, and the argument over vaccinating your children seems to be eternal.

    When the fear and misinformation become more dominant than facts we could find ourselves returning to the days of leeches, blood-letting and releasing our humors. That may be a hyperbolic example but it can happen slowly over time if we’re not careful enough.

  • Geebo 10:05 am on November 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Netflix to offer content downloads for offline viewing 

    Netflix to offer content downloads for offline viewing

    A Netflix executive recently mentioned on a TV interview that the online streaming service is looking into offering an option for users to actually download content for viewing offline. This would allow users to view content while an internet connection may not be available. While this may only affect a niche market in the US, Netflix is targeting a more global audience that may not have the internet speeds needed to effectively stream their content.

    One has to wonder how this will affect online piracy though. Most copyrighted content, whether online or off, is protected by what’s known as Digital Rights Management or DRM. That’s basically software or code that tries to prevent the copyrighted material from being copied and distributed for free. The problem is, rarely has there been a DRM that wasn’t cracked within a matter of days.

    However services like Netflix and Amazon Video are actually curbing piracy by offering streaming content. It’s much easier to just click a button on your device of choice than going through a somewhat convoluted and illegal process in order to access content for free.

  • Geebo 10:01 am on November 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Amazon charges more to non-Prime customers in physical stores 

    Amazon charges more to non-Prime customers in physical stores

    Online retail giant Amazon has opened physical brick and mortar stores in Seattle, Portland, and San Diego. They plan on opening two more stores in Chicago and Boston. At these physical locations they sell mostly books, which is where Amazon originally made their bread and butter. However they’ve started a minor controversy by charging Amazon Prime members lower prices at their physical stores.

    Amazon Prime is a paid perk for Amazon.com members where they can receive additional benefits like faster delivery and access to their Netflix-like service, Amazon Video. However, what the Prime membership doesn’t do is give Prime members better prices on their website. By using the stick and carrot of lower prices at the physical stores to get customers to sign up for Prime, it seems that they’re trying to extort their customers into paying close to $100 a year just to get a few bucks off for books at their physical location.

    Now some may say that this sounds like any other ‘price club’ that a lot of stores have. The store gives you a card and when you present their card at checkout you get a discount on sale items. So how is that different from Amazon Prime? Well, at most of these stores that have price clubs, membership is free. That’s a far cry from $100 a year just for books. This sounds like it may be a minor backfire for Amazon as the only people they’ll be getting at their physical stores are people who need to have a book right now and will be willing to pay a few extra bucks for the non-Prime price.

  • Geebo 11:54 am on November 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Uber and Lyft surpass taxis in at least one category, discrimination 

    Uber and Lyft surpasses taxis in at least one category, discrimination

    Ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have been taking a bite out of the taxi industry for some time now and with good reason. They’re cheaper, they’re more convenient, and by most anecdotal evidence, the drivers are more friendly and helpful. Now according to a study by major universities, Uber and Lyft have embraced a practice that the taxi industry made infamous, and that’s discrimination against minorities and women.

    The study found that an inordinate number of Uber and Lyft drivers would cancel rides if the user requesting the ride either appeared black or had an African-American sounding name. The way the apps work are, the drivers accept the ride request first then receive the users information including name and picture. It’s at that point that drivers have been allegedly cancelling the rides.

    The ride sharing drivers have also allegedly embraced another practice that has been known to plague the taxi industry. The report claims that when the drivers pick up female passengers, they’ll take longer routes to the destination in order to inflate rates.

    While these ride sharing apps have been heralded as the new way of doing things, it’s starting to appear like the more things change the more they stay the same.

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