Decentralization, the people, power, money and the future of the internet

Mozfest 2016

I made reference to the decentralised web multiples times in the past but recently I posted a blog about it. I didnt want to say too much because I knew the Mozilla Festival was due to announce the call for participation.

This year things have changed quite a bit; this year its based around the Mozilla Internet health report.

I’m co-wrangling the decentralization space (note the Z not S, I tried but failed…), and of course I urge you all to check out the space narrative below.

the future is here
The year is 2027: Who owns the Internet?

In the dystopian version of 2027, the Internet is owned by a powerful few. Big tech corporations, select media companies and closed governments control the content on the Internet, the data that flows across the Internet and how people connect to the Internet. This dystopian future is closer than you may think.

On the flip side, what is the utopian version of the Internet in 2027? What future do we want to build? Where do emerging technologies like AI, mesh networking and Blockchain fit in? How do we ensure people are the most important part of the Internet?

Join us at Mozfest as we look into the future. Dystopian, utopian or somewhere in between—let’s explore the Internet of 2027.

Exciting eh? but you maybe thinking, well this doesn’t sound like something I’d be interested in applying for?

Think again… its likely that there is something you haven’t considered which is perfectly fitting for example…

  • Power (political or system) distribution
  • Devolution
  • P2P technology like WebRTC, Torrent, etc
  • IndieWeb
  • Sharing economics
  • Crowd funding
  • Democratizing power
  • Open data and apis
  • Robustness & Sustainability
  • Net neutrality
  • Emergence
  • Open alternatives
  • Networks of trust
  • Mesh networking
  • The co-operative movement
  • Networked intelligence
  • Federated systems

So what you waiting for?

Add your proposal to the already growing list of proposals.

See you Mozilla Festival 2017

It’s hot out here being so geeky

Jeremy

I do like a little Catfish, its one of my guilty pleasures and perfect for when I’m cooking in the Kitchen.

However Episode 11 of season 6 (catfish s6x11) stood out for me

Colleen met Tony online and fell madly in love. Though they’ve never met, Tony proposed to Colleen over the phone and she accepted. Now, Nev and Max help her finally face the truth to reveal the mystery man she’s engaged to.
I’m going to spoil the episode, so if you want to be unspoiled stop now.
Tony is the Catfish and pretends to be a white geeky guy to Colleen. Shes suspicious calls in the Nev & Max to check him out. They find out that he’s actually this geeky black guy who has been pretending to be a white geeky guy. Almost everything else is true and when they finally out him, theres a moment of … why did he lie? Usually a clear reason why they Catfish, like they are the opposite sex, super young/old, a friend, ex-partner or even dangerous.
When sitting down with him, Nev & Max uncover a problem which is based around stereotypes. Tony’s personality is geeky and shy; from his previous experiences he found some women assume things of a black man and are disappointed when he’s honest about who he is deep down (Thats the crux although a lot more is said which I could dig right into).
He then goes on to talk about how his family are not accepting of mixed race relationships and this further blows up in a later discussion with his family. They ask why a white man and when he gives his reasons, they are even more mortified than the whole proposal of marriage to a white woman (Colleen).
The whole thing serves as a reminder of how many people have to live up to these bollox stereotypes, and how we oppose our stereotypes on each other. Its also a reminder of how uncool its still seen to be geeky in black culture. You could argue this is Tony’s problem but I’d argue you haven’t been paying attention.
Interestingly I finally watched I am not your negro, which is a uncomfortable watch for many as it centres around race relations and power in America.
By and large this film concerns itself with the greater philosophy of why groups in power behave the way they do. This might be the only movie about race relations I’ve ever seen that adequately explains – with sympathy – the root causes of a complacent white American mindset. And it took a black writer and director to do it.
Watching I am not your negro points at why someone like Tony may feel the need to lie about himself? Lovia from the new republic said…

The last half of I Am Not Your Negro moves out of the lives of Malcolm, Martin, and Medgar and takes a broader look at American culture. Over clips of daytime dramas like The Steve Wilkos Show and The Jerry Springer Show, Jackson reads Baldwin’s prescient commentary:

“To watch the TV screen for any length of time is to learn some really frightening things about the American sense of reality. We are cruelly trapped between what we would like to be and what we actually are. And we cannot possibly become what we would like to be until we are willing to ask ourselves just why the lives we lead on this continent are mainly so empty, so tame, and so ugly. These images are designed not to trouble, but to reassure. They also weaken our ability to deal with the world as it is, ourselves as we are.”

Americans in the age of Trump are undergoing a painful period of self-reflection. The election of a reality television star to the highest office in the land would be disconcerting on its own. But the fact that this same star proved time and again that he has no respect for women, minorities, and the disabled makes his election that much harder to understand.

Almost feel like some of the works from Andy Curtis could be very fitting too.

Facebook is the village campfire?

M. Night Shyamalan's Village
M. Night Shyamalan may have lost his movie mojo but the village is a apt example.

Got to love Oli… He wrote about his return to Facebook and yes I did reply to his thoughts in a blog. To which he replied to in a new blog, stipulating Facebook is the campfire

Imagine living in a village, in your own cottage, doing your own thing. You wave to your neighbors, see them at the odd social event and maybe gossip when you meet. Nice huh? One night somebody builds a fire and a few people drift out and sit round the fire, singing songs, telling tales, toasting marshmallows, all the stuff you’ve seen in American summer camps that probably never actually happens.

Over time, more people join in the evenings, and the quality of the chat drops off a bit, and a few people are a bit arsey, but it’s nice, warm and social. You don’t have to do much if you don’t want, but you’ll get the odd beer or marshmallow and hear the little bits of news, a pregnancy, a holiday, who’s been snogging who etc etc. There are claps on the back when you crack a joke. Everybody faces into the fire.

Not going out to that fire is tough. It’s not that people forgot about you, or don’t want to see you or hear your news, but they do forgot that they haven’t seen you, or told you their news. They shared it round the campfire after all. You might still have people round to tea occasionally, or pick up the phone to speak to them but that easy comradery is missing. That warm glow doesn’t reach far either, in fact it’s very much a walled garden.

When I think of the campfire, I think little village and nice for a while but then its time to get out. Time to leave, explore and move forward. Maybe thats what bugs me a lot about using Facebook. Its all people I know and its too comfortable. I can talk about the filter bubble and data ethics and facebook messing with the news feed. But its all too comfortable. Theres nothing challenging your views, nothing making you explore (except the occasional event).

I would go as far as to say Facebook is making you a boring old sod. Remember, when I wrote how to be interesting ages ago. I wrote…

Talk to someone new at least every week

Good luck doing that on Facebook…  Even with a massive number of friends on Facebook, Facebook will filter out most of them. Yes welcome to the village campfire.

As I said above, M. Night Shyamalan may have lost his movie mojo but the village is a perfect example.

The population of a small, isolated countryside village believe that their alliance with the mysterious creatures that inhabit the forest around them is coming to an end.

If you not seen the film, you are not missing anything and I’m going to kind of spoil it for you right now for you. The mysterious creatures are other people and they exist in the outside world of the internet. That campfire keeps pulling you back but sometimes you just need to get out discover the milestones of freedom by getting out of the village and that super comfortable campfire.

Its nice to visit every once in a while, catchup, get warm and decide to leave. Do you want to hangout there and be known as the one who never leaves?

I thought not… Moderation Oli, limit your time at the Facebook campfire!

 

 

What to do with super fast broadband?

Consume Superfast fibre broadband?

I snapped this while waiting for the tram back home last night in Cholton. I read the side bits and thought to myself, they are all about consumption except maybe the the “connect more?

I don’t have a big problem with this but it does make me wonder, that super fast broadband is being sold as a quicker way to consume even more.

For me Superfast broadband (which I’m still waiting for due to the Manchester council highway authority not allowing Hyperoptic to connect it to the loop) isn’t about consumption. I’m already considering what I can do like vpn, plex, hosting, streaming radio station, etc…

Bruce James summed it up via Facebook…

Tragic waste of an opportunity since every TCP/IP based computer has (in theory) the capacity to serve data in a truly decentralised way. But we handed it all over to the commercial interests who gain by centralising and controlling what we watch, play, listen to and buy.

It is tragic and with so much bandwidth the usual excuse of asymmetricity holds far less ground. Hate seeing wasted opportunities.

Why was my internet throttled?

Over the last few days my internet has felt super slow. I couldn’t work out why? So after a number of tests on my local gigabit network, turning things on and off I decided something was happening further up the pipe. But what? Ping times to all the usual big services was fine. But pull up a webpage and it was hit or miss that it would load half the components.

It was time for a email by to my ISP (ukfsn.org) asking what was going on? The email I got back within a hour or so said this…

I’ve just checked the line and I can see that it is showing as being blocked due to repeated copyright infringement notices.

Please contact Enta support to resolve this.

Unfortunately I am not able to resolve this for you as they will require confirmation from you that you are not engaging in file sharing or similar activities around material that is subject to copyright restrictions.

Enta provide the actual pipe to my ISP (ukfsn) as they provide to many others. Generally ukfsn care little about (within extremes) what you do with the internet and don’t monitor its customers. But it seems somebody further up stream is doing it for them and worst still they are throttling bandwidth.

I called Enta, they explained what they thought was happening and suggested I should turn off all machines and devices on the connection till I know what’s happening. I explained I had already done so and seen nothing suspicious and they turned the throttling off, saying they will monitor the situation. At no point was I blamed which was good because I was planning on going crazy if they dared accuse me.

I originally thought it was a government thing but Hadley pointed me at this story.

The British Recorded Music Industry (BPI), which together with the Motion Picture Association (MPA) has agreed the voluntary regime with the ISPs, said that the warning letters issued by ISPs will be sent out on the basis of evidence gathered by the rights holders.

“In order to help protect their copyrights, rights holders monitor public peer-to-peer swarms, looking for their copyright content being made available illegally,” the BPI said in a statement. “When they discover copyright content being made available illegally, they capture the evidence, verify the copyright content and record the IP address, date and time stamp. A summary of this evidence is then be provided to the ISPs, who establish which of their customers was using the IP address on that date and at that time and send an ‘alert’ to that subscriber.”

I’m still a little unsure if what they did was really fair or even legal? I want to see the evidence, but what can I do with it? Maybe I’ll get a few days credit to my truly unlimited connection? A letter of apology? Is it worth it? Tell you what if it happens again I’ll be spitting blood!

Dating in the 90’s vs Now, which do you prefer?

Tim continues his run of good quality links on twitter. This time something from Buzzfeed Yellow Youtube channel.

Dating in the 90’s verses now… is a witty look nostalgic trip back to dating in the 90’s (loving the drink reversal btw) Something I see a throw back to in many dating apps. I hear everyday from certain friends, I just want to meet someone like the old days… Well this is a reminder of what it really was like.

I’m not saying things are better now, just different. As I said in my Primeconf talk, the geeks won but it was a pyrrhic victory (not peridoc victory as I thought it was spelled in my talk). People have been left alienated and hurt by the way things have changed. I’m unsure if people will get over it or it will swing back the other way?

Fascinating reading the comments on youtube following the video.

Gareth Ferguson writes…

Virtual dating is for cowards. Nothing says success like meeting a girl somewhere in public, flirt for a lil bit, and get the number. There is no mystery, what you see is what you get. When using the Internet, its common for fat chicks to use old pictures of themselves so they can give the illusion that this is who you are talking with. Where is the confidence in that? Then you get persons who seem to be so interesting online til you meet them in person and its like BORING!!! Give me a real date than a virtual date any day

As you can imagine that caused a massive load of comments… but there are some interesting ones mixed in.

atomic jacob replied with…

it has nothing to do about not having courage, its infact the opposite. women need to stop taking the role of submissive and have the courage or balls go out and get what they want. i admire women who have that sort of courage, and that doesnt make me weak or lacking balls(i liked that term lol)

On balance, I prefer to float between both ways. There is a feeling that a nostalgic look back is waste of time really? And ever so easy, maybe this part of growing old? Sorry things are the way they are, learn to adapt… Change is the only constant.

The fight over dating will rage on, and anyone who manages to get the balance right will make a killing, specially if they don’t manipulate users too

Uber drives its way on the UK scene

2014-01-26 | 23-52-16

Uber has soft launched (I guess, is the best term for it) in Manchester and the impact is interesting to watch. Uber is basically a ride sharing network (legally I don’t believe they can call it a taxi service Thanks Chris for pointing out UberX is a legal and licensed Taxi service).

Its quite simple, you sign up and install the app and you can see all the uber rides around you. To order one, you simply request that one pick you up from your exact location. Then say where you want to go. That simple. Unlike most taxis, you can see exactly when and when your ride is coming and heck you can even start walking somewhere and the driver will see your exact location change (great for when trying to get out of the rain for example). No phoning an operator, trying to get through and trying to explain where you are.

There have been apps for taxis but most of them suck and although Uber isn’t perfect, its better than 99% of whats out there.

The fact your payment is done through a connected credit card rather than cash or even debit card is a massive advantage. Frankly these guys have something which is pretty useful. I can’t tell you the amount of times, I have had the taxi driver pull over at a cash machine because I don’t have the cash or they don’t cards. Heck once I stopped at my destination and then had to get back on the road to find a cash machine because their card machine wasn’t working! (seriously!)

But its not all good news, I’ve been tracking Uber’s problems in America and theres even recent problems in Europe.

However, Uber is the perfect example of how the internet when embraced is disrupting traditional business forever…

From the Cluetrain manfesto… rule #89

We have real power and we know it. If you don’t quite see the light, some other outfit will come along that’s more attentive, more interesting, more fun to play with.

I do feel for the taxis company’s but they had their chances and may have blown it? Just like the music business and many others, they really need to up their game or feel the heat from Uber, as their drivers leave for the Uber deal…

Hyperoptic 1gigabit fiber to the flat

Supernova

Fiber to my flat… thats what I’ve been dreaming and thinking about recently. And I’m not the only one. Hyperoptic got in touch a while ago and said if we can get over 25% of the flat to commit to the upgrade, they would put in fiber.

Being a skeptical person I decided to check out their track record and terms and cons. I also asked on Twitter which resulted in some amazing speed tests from @cvrabie.

Speed test from a happy customer

And recently the FT did a piece as part of their “how to spend it” section. As a follow on from the news about many luxury flats being stuck in the dark ages when it comes to broadband internet.

To be honest I think we should drop the term broadband when your talking speeds faster than 99% of the UK. The only time I have ever experience such speed was in Stockholm when visiting sarah’s friends and hooking up my laptop to his 10 megabit connection complete with class A public IPs!

Now I get close to that at home right now but certainly not simultaneously.

Hyperoptic reminds me of Google Fiber, but its in the UK and they are interested in Manchester and Islington Wharf.

50 pounds a month is nothing for this class of connection. Even if there is a 2 year contract, I’m still in. I pay right now about £30 for a totally unlimited connection to the internet from UKFSN. Why so much, partly look at their response to a bill a while ago. The connection is pure and fast. I happily hand over £30 a month for no blockages, no stupid conditions, no stupidity.

People scoff when I tell them how much I pay, but to me the internet is very important. I happily pay for a very good connection because without it, I would loose so much more.

As we try and convince the rest of the residents to sign up, I ask myself why would you not? I know I live in the future but seriously?

Why would you not?

Your own personal cloud

The personal or private cloud is growing in popularity and I’m starting to see it spring up in the popular tech press more and more. Interestingly I keep starting a blog post then not finishing it because theres not quite enough to talk about. Then I heard Bruce Sterling’s 2012 South by south west talk (recommended to me by Imran)

The bit which really got me was the 5 stacks part.

“[There’s] a new phenomena that I like to call the Stacks [vertically integrated social media]. And we’ve got five of them — Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. The future of the stacks is basically to take over the internet and render it irrelevant. They’re not hostile to the internet — they’re just [looking after] their own situation. And they all think they’ll be the one Stack… and render the others irrelevant. And they’ll all be rendered irrelevant. That’s the future of the Stacks.

People like the Stacks, [because] the internet is scary now — so what’s the problem there? None of them offer any prosperity or security to their human participants, except for their shareholders. The internet has users. Stack people are livestock — ignorant of what’s going on, and moving from on stack to another. The Stacks really, really want to know you’re a dog.

They’re annihilating other media… The Lords of the Stacks. And they’re not bad guys — I’d be happy to buy them a beer. But really, a free people would not be so dependent on a Napoleonic mobile people. What if Mark Zuckerberg trips over a skateboard?

This structure won’t last very long… But you’re really core people for them and their interests. You are them. I’m them.

Bruce is right on the money. The 5 stacks have been trying to outdo each other for many years and see the whole thing as a zero-sum game, death to the end. This is not the way the internet or human society has to work or has to be. On the face of it, they are friendly but like a vicious dog (remember I’m not really a fan of them) they need a certain amount of caution.

Even myself are weary of how much data I hand over to Google. It may seem like I don’ t care but you would be very wrong. If I didn’t care I would sign up for Google Drive storage (I like the idea of being able to search across all my files, something which is tricky with Dropbox), would have moved from Evernote to Google Keep, etc, etc… I tend to keep my data across different stacks and deal with the migration and syncing myself. Its a bit of a pain and boy would it be easier to just dump it in Google’s cloud/stack. But I don’t want that.

I have been experimenting with my own cloud but not found anything yet which works the way I really want it to. The thing about clouds is they should merge and split or in other terms they should seamlessly blend. A personal cloud should consume and work with the other clouds. Now I understand the 5 stacks don’t really want to work with anyone else and will make there clouds/stacks difficult to inter-operate with but it can be done.

Some of you may say “Ian your dreaming…” but I point you at Trovebox which use to be Openphoto. The original idea was that you could store the photos in your own cloud and simply using an a bit of http linking and authentication, build your own decentralised flickr without handing over your actual photos. Another example is the absolute power of ifttt.com.

The lure of having a cloud which is as powerful and ubiquitous as other the other 5 clouds would be amazing. The advantages are all there but unlike the 5 clouds, you wouldn’t have to worry about it snooping on you and selling data to others. Increasingly more and more of us post Edward Snowdon.would like to something which we could exist and support our own ambitions not the shareholders.

Revelations that many governments of the world are able to collect personal data on-demand has called into question our desire and need to keep everything online. While we want to access and share our content, we want privacy and security as well. Whether it is photos on a social network or work documents in an online storage account, we want to know that we have absolute control of our data because it is ours, regardless of what services we use and regardless of how they choose to manage their Terms of Service.

Ok so were all down with Personal clouds? What are the projects I have been keeping an eye on? Cozy.io, Sparkleshare, Owncloud, Tonido and Amahi. Weirdly the last one isn’t really a Cloud but I’ve looked into turning it into a personal cloud platform.

The problem with the personal clouds is they are a long way off that ready state. They require a lot of hand cranking and can be a massive time and money hog. Which means only those knowledgeable and with enough money can afford the privacy…?

Its a shame but whats new?

Well nothing much but its fascinating what else you can do with your own cloud. I have seen a lot of activity around the idea. For example you have things like tent.io and you got to admire what Bit Torrent inc are doing in the labs, if only it was open source. Would love to use Bittorrent sync across the board but I just don’t trust it more than dropbox. In which case I might as well keep using dropbox? At least they have 2 factor authentication now and full support for Linux. Plus the amount of other cloud services which support dropbox is very high.

Ultimately if the personal cloud is going to really make a dent. It needs to be super flexible, work with others and support features which the others wouldn’t dare (bit torrent is one such feature)

Scratching at the online dating bubble

Freakonomics recently put up a podcast about online dating. I love the it the show and you know your in for a good show when someone says…

…if only everybody approached it like an economist would…

Online dating through the eyes of an economist is a very intriguing world indeed. But unfortunately not everyone does. In actual fact theres a well known phenomenon which happens when faced with love.

…being attracted to a person is a lot like being on drugs. The release of chemicals into our brain and body creates an altered mental state in which we both perceive and behave differently than we normally would..

But back to the Freakonomics podcast. The bulk of the show was dedicated to AaronCarterFan, who I have written about before.

Theres some nice juicy parts in the show including,

OYER: Okay, so as I look at what you’ve got here, well, before we even look at it we have to stop and think about the first thing an economist is going to do is think about supply and demand. So I don’t know if you realize this, but you’re in a great position. New York City is demographically more female than male. I’m not entirely sure why that’s true. Out here in San Francisco it’s the opposite. We have an oversupply of men relative to women, at least compared to other cities. New York City and Washington D.C. tend to swing much more towards more available women. So you’re in a good position from a competitive point of view. You’re providing a good, single, straight male, which is in relatively high demand. Now the other thing to keep in mind here is time is very much on your side. So you’re in a good position for two other reasons, and that is the male/female differential I just mentioned is going to swing much more in your favor over the next 10 years. So you’re under no pressure to hook up for a long-term relationship right now. So that’s one thing that’s good. The other thing is just more generally, aside from your gender, the fact that you’re 28 years old from an economist point of view means that you should be very picky. So you should be picky, you should be looking for a really good match. And the reason for that is suppose you do find just the right person, and get married and live happily ever after, well you’re in no rush to do that because you have, let’s just say 50 more years in which to enjoy the relationship you find if it’s a successful one. So when I was on the online dating market recently, you know, I’m much older than you are, and from a rational economic perspective, I should be less picky than you. I should be searching a little less carefully. I should be settling, settling is an important idea, it’s a very important idea to economists because of what we call search theory suggests that at some point you should realize that  having what you have is better than expending more resources to try to do better. And that’s more true when you’re my age, I’m 50 now, than when you’re your age, which is 28.

And the guys are right… no rush, be a picky, nothing worst that rushing into something which isn’t going anywhere.

Justin WOLFERS: The Internet has turned matching upside down. It used to be that you would find compatibility first and then learn more about someone else’s attributes. And now you see all the attributes and then you learn about compatibility later.

This is something which certainly makes things very different. I always say to people who say, its easy. Go find someone and your done. Well here’s the big difference… Attributes before Chemistry. We’re still grappling with this major shift, and to be honest I hadn’t really thought about it in these terms before. This is the internet’s effect on the way we meet. We truly do live in the age of algorithms, like it or not!

Even the likes of Speed dating, Singles party’s, etc are holding to a somewhat dying tradition?

What you want to remember in your profile is that you want to be very upfront and forthcoming in anything that is what an economist would call a coordination game. It’s where our interests are aligned and as long as we have the right information we’re going to make the right decision. So in my case I was very upfront and forthcoming in my profile about the fact that I had a large and badly behaved golden retriever, and the fact that I have two teenaged children. Because if somebody was against those things, then those were deal breakers. And in your case, you want to be honest about the fact that you’re a public radio producer because on the one hand that’s very attractive to some people, but it also indicates that you’re not going to be rich, at least in the short term. You don’t want anybody who wants you just for your money, either because you don’t like those types of people or because even if you do you’re not going to get them once they have the information anyway.

This for me is an argument why you need to be honest on your profile. Its not about attracting everyone but the right people for you. Define your dealbreakers too. Although I joke I wouldn’t date someone who shopped in Aldi, its not really a deal breaker. I would have to wonder about their taste buds when it comes to fruit and veg, but its no deal breaker. A deal breaker is someone who drinks to get drunk all the time, dabbles with hard drugs, strong right wing views, can’t think deeper than what the soaps are showing.

Of course deal breakers can change, for example a while ago a deal breaker was having a child. Not because I have anything against kids, but I just wasn’t ready for that. And I’d rather be upfront about that. Hence on my profile it says…

I have little time for the mainstream garbage of pop music/fashion/celeb driven nonsense.

I removed the sorry if that winds you up part. As I’m not sorry, it was never going to be…

The podcast or the transcript is worth a listen/read, theres some great down to earth advice for online daters and all from people who look at the hidden side of everything. Of course I’m very tempted to write them a email asking them to look at other parts of the online dating world including the crack of the dating, the 3day trial.

Consequence or Inception of connecting people

I saw the below tweet and felt like it needed to be not just retweeted but also blogged…

Help this teacher make a great point to her students about the consequences of social network use. Please RT widely

From Twitter

It says…

I want to illustrate to my junior high students (grade 7-9) how fast a photo can be shared on the internet. Please “Like” and “Share” this image to help me teach caution and discernment to the students in my classes.

Although a great idea and I’m not against teaching and eduction, but its worth pointing out the incredible power this also brings to each and everyone of us. Empowerment should also be taught in the same lesson. Never has there been a way to connect a mass audience at such low cost and such speed. The inception of the internet and social media is a great thing too. And its too easy to teach the negative. The internet and social media isn’t something which should be feared, rather taught how to responsibly participate in.

 

What is a Catfish?

Catfish doc

A few people recently have asked me,

What is a Catfish?

Well urban dictionary says

A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances. For example…

Did you hear how Dave got totally catfished last month?! The fox he thought he was talking to turned out to be a pervy guy from San Diego!

I was really falling for that gorgeous gal on Facebook, but she turned out to be a catfish

So catfishing is…

The phenomenon of internet predators that fabricate online identities and entire social circles to trick people into emotional/romantic relationships (over a long period of time).

Possible motivations: revenge, loneliness, curiosity, boredom

The term catfishing was inspired by the 2010 documentary “Catfish.”

Gwen was worried that her online boyfriend was a phoney after she saw a TV program about Catfishing.
Its a newish phenomena but has a history in the way some rather disturbed humans deal with new communication technology.

Lets look at the Catfishing of our twitter/dating acquittance Claire Travis Smith and many other woman, as a example… in the hoaxer who breaks womens hearts.

The name of Amy Palmer has been changed, too. She may not deserve a covering identity, another one; even so, after discussion with psychologists and with editors at the Observer it was agreed that this extensive, energetic fraud could only have been conducted by a profoundly disturbed person. When I presented the evidence gathered to an investigative psychologist, Dr Keith Ashcroft, he suggested “the temporary relief of boredom” as one of the hoaxer’s motivations. He also introduced me to the psychologists’ term “duping delight”. Dr Ashcroft explained: “Essentially a thrill derived from having victims being intensely controlled and manipulated by carefully formulated deceptions. This is often the modus operandi of a psychopath.”

Catfish = Psychopath, maybe? I usually think of them as people with problems who’s self confidence might be quite low.

Its important to note, most Catfishers do not do it for money. So there quite different from spammers or scammers, although the process of convincing the mark/victim can be very similar to start. Anyone can fall for it, not just women but men too…Its worth mentioning on top of all this, MTV have a series using the same guys behind the 2010 documentary.

The show is your typical MTV stuff but when your watching you think “nahhh not me“, well let me tell you its easily done and once they got you, they got you good.

I have been lucky to avoid them to date but its worth following rule number 7 in dawn porters guide to dating.

7. Get real – and get real early. Don’t fall for the spell of email and text – feeling close online says nothing about whether you’re compatible in real life. So talk on the phone and meet up as soon as you possibly can.

As someone once said, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is… Now I’m waiting for the 419 eater for catfishers. Maybe it should be called Dogfishing or something like that?

Dirty little fingers in the data bucket

OkCupid | NO MATCH

Well I got to say… Its good to see some of the online dating sites feeling the heat from BBC’s Panorama last week.

In “Tainted Love: Secrets of the Dating Game,” the state broadcaster’s flagship current affairs program, Panorama, claimed to have uncovered a wide range of questionable practices by the online dating industry.

These include deliberate use of millions of photos and private details taken from social media sites without consent and reused to set up fake profiles of imaginary potential partners to, in the program’s words, “tempt the lovelorn.”

The documentary featured interviews with former online dating agency staffers who admitted on camera how they’d used such data to create fake profiles and adopt multiple personas to reel in those looking for love — and to boost profits.

The report also claimed the sources of this illegally obtained personal material ranged from British celebrities, politicians and even children. On camera, one former employee said that other European countries (notably Spain) were the main target, with easy pickings apparently coming from platforms such as MySpace.

As part of the investigation, reporters posing as prospective dating agency business openers were able to buy 10,000 people’s details, including birthdates and sexual preferences. That dataset included a member of the House of Lords, academics and BBC staff, all of whom told the BBC they had never signed up for such services.

Even my choice OkCupid are being targeted. Which is good because to be fair, although I do like their business model (well its better that the rest), I will never forget that they have been bought by Match.com and things are slightly changing for the worst.

 

BBC R&D/FIRM Research Fellow…

BBC R&D (the place I work) are looking for a Research Fellow to work directly on the Internet of Things…

What is the internet of things you may be thinking?

Well here’s the IBM Utopian vision.

The BBC is looking ahead to a world where human-friendly network-aware technology is the norm. In this world people will continue to tell stories. This project is about prototyping a toolset, which enables exploration and creation of experiences in that world. Working on this project you will explore diverse ‘Internet of Things’ scenarios by building iterative prototypes. The software and hardware extracted will form a reusable toolset enabling the BBC to become a leader in this area and potentially define new standards for technology and usability.  Ultimately, the BBC wants to understand how informing, educating and entertaining audiences could change.

This 1-year fixed post is for a Research Fellow to work within BBC R&D, MediaCityUK, with academic supervision from the University of Salford. The main focus of the project is to explore and develop a practical toolset enabling research into user experience/ HCI issues surrounding the “Internet of things”.

The appointed candidate will be based within the BBC R&D team at MediaCityUK (Dock House), and receive academic supervision at the University of Salford. The post is funded through the FIRM project (Framework for Innovation and Research in MediaCityUK), supported by a UK Research Council UK Digital Economy grant.

If your interested check it out here… be good to have you onboaed