Who is Zo?

Before we get to who Zo is, let’s talk about the app she resides in, GroupMe.

GroupMe is a mobile group messaging app owned by Microsoft, similar to What’s App or a simple group chat on your phone; but, only a little more sophisticated with features like creating events or polls. Zo is a social AI (artificial intelligence) chat bot (or robot of sorts) that is automatically added to your contact list by Microsoft.

When added to a group, Zo will have access to your display name, messages, and any other content you and other members of the group share. GroupMe

Did you get that??? It’s a “person” who can read everything that you or others in your group chat post. You can remove this “spy” using the following steps:

  1. Open the GroupMe app on your phone.
  2. Click the menu bar at the top left of the app (it looks like 3 horizontal lines)
  3. Select Contacts.
  4. Search for “Zo” or scroll down to locate her.
  5. Click on her name.
  6. Select Block. The contact should then look like the screenshot below.

Remember, somebody is always watching… 👀👀👀 especially in FREE apps/services!

Smart Jackets

Hey peeps, it’s been a while 🙂 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 ❤️ 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.

DoD + Silicon Valley > ISIL

  • DoD: Department of Defense
  • Silicon Valley: Tech industry leaders, mostly located in California
  • >: Greater than
  • ISIL: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, jihadist militant group

Now you can understand the title of this post, DoD + Silicon Valley > ISIL? Meaning can a partnership between the tech world and the US government be the key to fighting terrorism? That’s exactly what the Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, suggested this week (watch below).

It really is a crazy time in tech and I can’t imagine how the US government can expect this campaign to be successful, without the likes of Apple, who by the way is currently in a fight with the FBI for REFUSING to unlock an iPhone of one of the SanBernardino shooters. Don’t think this is at all inconsequential. As I told you before, it would be EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to see what side the other tech companies took in this battle. Facebook, Google, Verizon, Microsoft, Amazon and others ALL support Apple’s position.

U.S. Secretary of Defense on Apple encryption: ‘I’m not a believer in backdoors’

So how can the government on one hand, ask tech to help fight terrorism one way, while at the same time asking these companies to completely ignore the privacy of millions of Americans also in the name of fighting terrorism. Sorry; but, that is not going to fly, so saith and judge in New York.

US cannot make Apple provide iPhone data in drug case, NY judge says

Apple Gets Tech Industry Backing in iPhone Dispute, Despite Misgivings

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 5.33.14 PM

Shop Assistant Turned App

What happens when a bakery assistant asks for similar permissions as an app on your cell phone, including access to people’s text message history and details of their past movements? That’s just the kind of questions most apps ask people everyday when you download them. Most people just skip right by it and click “OK”.  Watch what happens in real life when a bakery asks its customers these same questions.

Creepy, no? We use “Location Services” a lot – I am frequently guilty of this when I need directions somewhere or want to find the nearest Macy’s – this is one of the great conveniences of having a cell phone, no? It’s frustrating to think of not having these features. The extreme option would be to turn Location services off or only enable them when needed. If that doesn’t sound practical for you, PAY ATTENTION to questions being asked and check the box to “ONLY ALLOW LOCATION ACCESS WHILE USING THE APP”. If the only option is “ALWAYS” allow access – like Macy’s 😦 since this is my FAVORITE store – , definitely turn it off until needed. And remember, WHILE USING means anytime the app is OPEN, so be sure to close it! Otherwise, WHILE USING = ALWAYS.

Here are a few shots from the YouTube video.

apps physicaldigital

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