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Archive for March, 2013

(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (to Privacy!)

Fight For Your Right to Privacy

Who should care about privacy? Only people that have something to hide, right? Wrong.  That thought is a common misconception about privacy but privacy is for everyone, even you and it’s not only necessary and important it’s also a privilege.

This is demonstrated when we look at the definition of privacy from Merriam-Webster Dictionary: privacy is the quality or state of being apart from company or observation and freedom from unauthorized intrusion.  So, everyone has a right to be free from observation and intrusion; don’t you want to protect that?  That’s where Internet Privacy Laws come in.  Specifically the Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA), this law plays a huge part regarding privacy as a right in a free society and it also affects the economy.

Today all of your personal and confidential information has been made electronic. Businesses have moved their sensitive data from outdated paper files to cloud storage.  Gone are the days when files upon paper files are kept in doctor’s offices, therapist’s offices, accounting offices, etc. Industry is keeping up with the times so why isn’t the law?

The ECPA hasn’t been updated since 1986! In 1986 the Beastie Boys song “(You Gotta)Fight for your Right (To Party!)” was released and I wasn’t even old enough to listen to it. There’s also an entire generation currently working in the IT field that wasn’t even born when the ECPA was created.

Outdated privacy laws harm small businesses because it makes consumers insecure about the safety of their private details. The ECPA needs to be updated to provide online customers the same legal protection they receive offline. Watch the video below from www.vanishingrights.com to see how much has changed from 1986 when the ECPA was created, then visit the website to see what you can do to fight for your right to privacy.

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Bracket Yourself for March Madness

You’re Going to Need More Than Luck – Bracket Yourself for March Madness

March Madness

Just one more day for basketball fans to get their brackets filled out for March Madness. The tournament begins tomorrow!  Physicists, math professors, the UPS guy and the girl at Starbucks all seem to have their own way to predict the winners and losers in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. But is there really a method to March Madness? Even die hard basketball fans using point spreads and matchups don’t find it easy to pick, in fact no human or computer has been able to master a perfect bracket.  The best anyone has done, was guessing “52 out of the 64 games,” according to Keith Lipscomb at ESPN.

More than 3 million people filled out brackets on ESPN.com last year and one might assume all were people knowledgeable about college basketball or they at least knew a little. But even with experience it’s still a difficult task. So what about the people that know nothing? What are the odds of randomly predicting the outcome of every game?  “If the predictions of game winners were based on coin flips, the odds of a perfectly correct bracket are one in over 9 quintillion — that’s the number 9 followed by 18 zeroes” — said Jeff Bergen, a mathematician at DePaul University in Chicago.

Astronomical odds of getting a perfect bracket aside, March Madness is about having fun.  Here are 5 tips that might help you finish ahead of  your co-workers/friends/family this year or maybe even in front of Obama. Good Luck!

Five Things To Remember about Bracketology:

  1. Don’t Overthink aka Listen to your Gut – stick with your first thought, analysis is paralysis
  2. Seeds Are There For a Reason – read the seed
  3. Where the Game is Played Matters – think travel time and home court advantage
  4.  History Isn’t Important – it doesn’t matter who won in the past
  5. It Really Doesn’t Matter – you can’t control the NCAA so get your bracket done, watch the games and just have fun!

March Madness

 

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Explain Like I’m Five Reddit Video Series

Reddit’s New YouTube Series Explain Like I’m Five

Reddit has launched a video series on YouTube based on a popular subreddit entitled “Explain Like I’m Five.” Reddit calls itself “the front page of the Internet” and it’s memes spread across the web faster than you can say grumpy cat.  The subreddit attempts to explain complicated ideas in an understandable way, much like you would explain something to a child.  For example the topics of the videos are: the stock market, existentialism and the current state of Syria.

The series starts off with three videos of two adults explaining aforementioned topics to children and were funded by YouTube in efforts to gain more unique user generated content. Reddit general manager Erik Martin told the Hollywood Reporter, “For us, it’s more about encouraging the Reddit community and bigger community of producers, filmmakers, and animators out there to create content, video, web series, shows … based on Reddit content.” Martin said more videos will be made out of other subreddits as well.

The videos are an experiment for Reddit to see if answers from the forum actually make sense to five year olds and although the subreddit was geared towards adult readers it now features real five year old kids.  Just like an actual Reddit thread, the kids get to ask questions and comment throughout the discussion. From what I’ve seen, these videos are going to help out quite a bit of adults who need the “Explain like I’m Five” learning method. Maybe it’ll become something like “Hooked on Phonics.”

Check them out here:

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