Smart Jackets

Hey peeps, it’s been a while ūüôā Honestly, I really haven’t had¬†anything important to say. So, instead of putting out a post¬†just for the sake of it, I choose not to blog at all until, something interesting and/or exciting comes along.

I’ve already told you that I ‚̧ԳŹ collaborations and that I hope to see many more! Smart Jackets is a collaboration between Levi (yes, the jeans company) and Google and it’s exactly what it sounds like – a wireless¬†enabled jean jacket – that will cost you $350.¬†Mashable notes, “…for now the jacket is mainly used to control core features of your smartphone, like starting or stopping music, answering the phone or reading text messages, as well as Google services like Maps and Calendar.” iPhone users are out of luck – at least until Apple announces a similar partnership with another popular jeans brand and we all are again, forced to pick sides… sigh.

You all know I love technology; but, I do just have to say one thing here, especially in the age of leaks, breaches and hacks. The more connected we are, the more vulnerable we are and our (perceived) “safeness” lies solely in these company’s ability to protect their infrastructure (severs, databases, etc.) from outside intrusions. I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy this jacket or that you should¬†be paranoid about everything that’s connected or that we should all¬†go back using to flip phones. What I am saying is everyone needs to be aware. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your perspective), this is the economy we live in and the way of the world/future (see also Drones).

You can watch¬†Levi’s smart¬†jacket in action below.

Behavioral Advertising

338207-browser-wars-browser-wars-chrome-vs-ie-vs-firefoxLet’s get to the nitty gritty here – What is behavioral advertising? It basically means that “someone”¬†analyzes your the things you do online¬†(i.e. clicking on a certain link or visiting a certain site) to gain information about you (and your¬†behavior) in an attempt to advertise their services or products. For example, let’s say you go to Nordstrom’s website and search for a handbag. You find one you like, then click on it – it’s a pink handbag. After looking at the pics or maybe reading the reviews, you decide it’s not the right handbag for you.¬†A¬†few minutes later, you visit Facebook¬†and miraculously, you see that same pink purse (and maybe other similar pink purses) highlighted in the “Things you might like” section or in the ads on the side of the page. How did that happen? You have just experienced Behavioral Advertising!¬†This freaks me out. I absolutely hate it. It’s like someone is stalking my every move on the internet. Well, they are! (see also Buh-Bye¬†Facebook)

“Some of the ads you receive on Web pages are customized based on predictions about your interests generated from your visits to different Web sites. This type of ad customization is sometimes called¬†“online behavioral” or “interest-based” advertising.” This definition is according to the Digital Advertising Alliance Consumer Choice page. The good news is that you can find out all the companies that are collecting your behavioral data (not that you care) and OPT OUT. Personally, I could care less who these companies are! There’s no need for me to pick and choose who gets to track me and who doesn’t! Scroll all the way to the bottom on this page and select Choose All Companies, as shown in the image below.

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Few tips: 1) Before you do this, you need to ensure that cookies are enabled on your browser (If you don’t know what cookies are, read my post Online Tracking). If you don’t really care and just want to get it done¬†for the sake of this exercise, instructions (with pictures) on how to enable cookies for all browsers can be found here¬†here.¬†2) If you use multiple browsers (Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox), be sure to do this on each and every browser, including your mobile devices!

Happy no-behavioral-advertising Browsing!

Jan 1: Buh-Bye Facebook

A few days ago I received a notification from Facebook:


It gave me an erie feeling. I didn’t read it at the time, figuring that I¬†had a little bit of time to digest the change. Check out the video below and make your own decision. Mine is, effective January 1: Buh-Bye Facebook. These days, I find Twitter much more entertaining & informative anyway. Be sure to follow me. ==>



bullyOctober is National Bullying Prevention Month – for kids, teens AND adults. Bullying happens at schools, on the playground, in social organizations and online. The latter is exactly what¬†Cyberbullying means: “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones and other electronic devices.” No longer are people waiting until the next time they see a person face-to-face to bully, they are doing it right away, online, for the whole world to see.¬†Green Giant¬†(New York Times) has a campaign encouraging parents to write letters to their children to get them to stand up to bullying.

Mashable reports that the big technology companies are taking a stance, too. Facebook published a manual for educators and community leaders in its Family Safety Center, Google+ has teamed up with PopSugar Moms to host discussion forums via Google Hangouts, Twitter is sharing safety tips with parents. The Office Depot Foundation has also teamed up with One Direction to launch a free, education program aimed at creating bully-free schools. You can apply to bring the program to your school here.

If you haven’t caught on yet, this is a big deal! It’s a big deal with teenagers, who can be more vulnerable and less comfortable in their own skin, but it’s also prevalent with ADULTS! Unlike playground spats and classroom brawls, online bullying DOES NOT GO AWAY. EVER. The victim is terrorized by negative comments or insinuations and the perpetrator’s online reputation is tarnished.¬†PERMANENTLY. Both parties lose. People take screenshots of tweets prior to them being deleted and then there are these not-so-little organizations, like The Library of Congress, that pretty much archive the ENTIRE web, tweet by tweet, post by post!

Not only is cyberbullying not nice,  in some states it is ILLEGAL! So think twice about what you post on Instagram, what you Tweet and post on Facebook because what you say, tweet and post CAN BE USED AGAINST YOU IN A COURT OF LAW. (side note: the dumbest criminal has to be the one that incriminates himself)

Moms, Dads, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Sisters, Brothers and Friends: Raise a Giant!!! Wear blue on Monday, October 7th and STOMP Out Bullying!