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  #1  
Old December 21st, 2017, 12:41 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Default If You Control the Menu, You Control the Choices

Essential article from a former google employee: How Technology is Hijacking Your Mind.

https://medium.com/@tristanharris/ho...t-56d62ef5edf3

I already cited the paragraph about slot machines in a recent thread, but the complete article is worth a read, especially for us photographer as our beloved activity is at a cross road and not for the best.
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  #2  
Old December 22nd, 2017, 08:58 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Jerome,

Tell us more of your thoughts about the impact of "choice" in a technical age on our photography.

You have opened my eyes to the practice of Facebook, Google and retailers who give us choices to have us tricked into thinking we are make decisions that help us.

I would love to be able to use that to honestly promote the website by bring images or ideas tobthe attention of folk who, likely would be happy to knowcof a fabulous image of a grasshopper or landscape in a vineyard. How easy wouldcthat bectobimplement in a positive way?

Asher
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  #3  
Old December 22nd, 2017, 09:50 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Unfortunately, Asher, the cards are stacked against you by people much more powerful than you can imagine. You don't control the menu, they do. They design the menus of the machines which we all use to take and share photographs. You don't.

That is the next point in this thread: photography is changing. The way we all take and share pictures is changing and I am genuinely frightened by how it could be in 10 years. You and I may not see it directly, because we are old and entrenched in our habits, but the world will not wait for us.

Before we discuss the future, let us talk about the present. What about your pictures? How do you take them, what do you do with them? Has that changed noticeably in the past years?

Others are welcome to answer as well.
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  #4  
Old December 22nd, 2017, 10:39 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Here goes, my photography habits:

Childhood: Fascinated by the ability to capture images with a Kodak box camera. Used 120 film, I believe and processed it in my sink at night and then made contact prints. I put the prints in an album to share with family.

I graduated to a Kodak Retinette 1B and this wentcwith me to France where I worked the summers as a moniteur dans une colonie de Vacance at Coulomier near Paris or Lutenbach village in the Haut Rhine near Colmar. Again it went with me to Nigeria to travel with the Oeace Corps and document the various tribal life.

The pictures were printed, placed in envelopes and shown to friends one or two times but enjoyed and reviewed personally many times over.

Then I moved up to a Pentax Spotmatic and felt so liberated to be able to focus so easily with a fuzzy view suddenly becoming crystal clear. This time I was in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe and mostly shot chromed and gave slide shows on my Kodak Carousel projector.

As a clinician, I moved to a series of Canon Eos Cameras, again almost exclusively using Kodachrome II and documented patients for treatment. When one man claimed that Radiation Treatment gave him two new Mike's on his face, I was able to showchun a dated Kodachrome slide with those lesions already fully gown, LOL.

Meanwhile I had been shooting with my father in law and he used Deardorf and sheet film as well as Mamiya C330 twin lens reflexes and finally Hasselblad. This meant a lot of time in the dark room, although I never mastered color darkroom work. Forbme itcwas the Bronica system that absorbed nevand I sent my color dim out to be processed. I posed folk in a huge social event using my Canon Eos to get them in the mood and then switched to my Bronica setup with stoves to take one perfect happy picture of a celebrating couple.

The pictures were printed in a lab and prints delivered. Then the film remained in envelopes in a shoes box for decades... until transferred to
plastic transparent bins!

Then came great CMYK Epson printers. With a Canon Eos 3D I could take pictures and givevthrmmoutvro friends and family. Mastering Photoshop meant I could go beyond my father in laws valiant struggles in the wet darkroom and create exhibition class prints at home! This was revolutionary.

That brings me to the start of OPF. In the meanwhile I invested in large format film and schlepped my gear in the desert and woods, wishing for a Sherpa. Was going to switch to Cibachrome but manufacture ceased!

Now I have a large Canon printer for exhibition prints and build my portfolio.

Oh, the iPhone disruption: having that device with me means I leave my digicams behind more often. That's a pity as the quality is not as good. However it is still good enough to distract me!

Asher

That's it for now.
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  #5  
Old December 22nd, 2017, 12:19 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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It is a fascinating story and not that remote from my experiences with photography. But we are both old and the real changes happened in the past 10 years. So, back to the question: has your practice changed noticeably in the past 10 years? Because if it has not, you may be unaware of the modern times.
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  #6  
Old December 22nd, 2017, 12:28 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
It is a fascinating story and not that remote from my experiences with photography. But we are both old and the real changes happened in the past 10 years. So, back to the question: has your practice changed noticeably in the past 10 years? Because if it has not, you may be unaware of the modern times.
The biggest change has been to use the iphone to send snaps instead of printing pictures. I keep on my photne examples of my work. Unfortunately, it can include automatic uploads of all my galleries and so accidentally folk can see pictures that are embrassing to them.

I would say, the biggest change is that I can share pictures with one click.

Also that a lot of my time is stolen by Facebook, Linked in and the like making it appear that a lot of folk are interested in speaking to me. I get flattered and I now see that everything I do has been conjured up by the social media sites to keep me clicking.

A lot of my own pictures, that I share, dont even get looked at, as folk are overwhelmed with pushed content!

Asher
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  #7  
Old December 22nd, 2017, 05:41 PM
James Lemon James Lemon is offline
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I have invested into digital art work of limited additions with digital certificates. They can be bought, sold or traded. I have a notion that going forward people will view art work on a different platform such as fancy framed computer display screens mounted on walls instead of prints. You will be able to change out your art displays as you wish.
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  #8  
Old December 23rd, 2017, 01:51 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
The biggest change has been to use the iphone to send snaps instead of printing pictures.

Exactly, and you are not alone.

Let me first share an article about the market share of cameras:

This is what the history of camera sales looks like with smartphones included

This are the charts from that article. The first chart is an enlargement of the bottom of the second one. Smartphones are in yellow:






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  #9  
Old December 23rd, 2017, 02:57 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Now that you have followed me down this very long image, let me remind you of the recent history.

Let us go back ten years ago, around 2007. The first consumer DSLR was the Canon D30, in 2000. The first affordable 24x36 was the EOS 5D in 2005. Apple Aperture was first issued in 2005 as well, quickly followed by Lightroom.
Basically, in 2005, the money was made in the market of amateur photographers who bought DSLRs or compact digital cameras, lenses and needed software to manage a growing collection of images. Compared to analog photography, digital shooters produced many more images and faced the problem to manage them.

Amateurs also faced the problem of what to do with their images. Photo-sharing sites started to grow around that time. Flickr was founded in 2004, dpreview was really taking off at the time and got bought by Amazon in 2007. Forums of all sorts were really active. That was another revenue source.

Still around the same time, the first iPhone was introduced in june 2007. Facebook was founded in 2004, but growth really started around 2006.

Fast-forward 10 years to today and the situation is completely different. There are still amateurs using stand-alone digital cameras, but this is not where the big money is made. Apple Aperture was discontinued in 2015, Lightroom just got subscription only.

Smartphones generate more than 50% of Internet traffic. Statistics are hard to come by, as the amount of traffic generated on fixed line also correspond to usage like app upgrades, TV streaming, etc… but the writing is on the wall: the Internet of users (and not of machines) is mainly a smartphone landscape.

Facebook generates 20% of mobile traffic. Google (Youtube) about as much.

In the USA, Google gets 240$ revenue per user per year from advertisements. Facebook about 40$. Figures in Europe are about a third of that.
Apple app store generates about 60$ per user per year. Google app store generates about 6$ per user pet year, but that is due to the large number of cheap entry smartphones using the Android operating system.

Basically, today’s big money is in the Smartphone, advertisements, app and subscription models. It is the only way to support growth and continuous development of software and hardware which are increasingly costly to maintain. Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, all the large corporations are absolutely dependent on the average smartphone user spending more and more time and money on this tiny screen.

Photography is uniquely necessary for that for the simple reason that people prefer images to text, especially on a tiny screen. So the question the big corporations had to answer is “how do we design the menu so that we get more of what we want?”. More photography, more sharing, content shared which is more adapted to the need of the large corporations and, ideally, the same people would spend more on apps and subscriptions.
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  #10  
Old January 13th, 2018, 04:25 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Now that the holiday season is behind us, I would like to come back to this thread.

We already saw that the question the big corporations ask themselves is “how do we design the menu so that we get more of what we want?”. I think that this question will define the future of photography in the next 10 years. I also think that the answer is not to the advantage of photographers.

We have lived since the middle of the last century in an economy designed around serving the customer. Basically, manufacturers tried to find out what the customers wanted and competed on how to best adapt to that at the lowest price. There was some misadaptation, as the customers sometimes wanted things that were not really adapted to their needs. For example, the SLR of the 80s sold on the availability of lenses that few consumer really needed. But they wanted the lenses to be available, because the typical customer lived in a fantasy where every photographer was potentially a pro.

This has drastically changed about 10 years ago. We may still believe that we own the device we use, but that is less and less true. Taking the example of a cell phone again, you do not own an android phone. You may believe that you own the last Samsung smartphone you bought, but it is not so. You have only financed Samsung, poured your money in the development of Exynos processors and OLED screens, etc... You do not have a customer relationship with a third player: Google. Effectively, you have spent 500$ for the hardware and its development costs, you are still short of another greenback for the cost of developing and maintaining Android and all the software which comes with it. You did not buy that. You are not a Google customer.

Yet Google wants their money back. With interests. To achieve that goal, they will design the menu which fits their objectives, not yours. In which respect is your photography part of Google's plans?

Apple does more or less the same, BTW, as they need to follow the strategy which maximises profits today.
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  #11  
Old January 13th, 2018, 10:05 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Of very distant relevance to the subject, I would like to suggest that there are other players that are shaping the future too.

As I have mentioned in the past, being a western centric forum, folks here tend to ignore that there are more users of google like competitors in the PRC.

Telecent, I have a strong belief, shallovertake Apple in market captilisation in the near future.
There are more smartphone users in the PRC. Alone than all of North America and Europe combined.

In Asia, Alibaba, JD, Momo, etc..as an example are capturing market share at a breadth taking pace.

In India alone, the Chines competitors are rivaling their western counterparts.
In the Asia Pacific region, IMO is the preferred social media network...I know, I have recently returned from there and was pleasantly surprised at the inroads being made by against the now fairly well established names.

The menus, as mentioned, in the thread might not necessarily be from those we expect to provide us the services currently.

We ignore this aggressive growth of social technology from other parts of the world at our peril.

p.s. I know this more thoroughly coz I am invested in these companies for quite sometime. I study these trends assiduously. The Yuan, if one does not know, was recently included in the basket of international currencies against opposition from expected sources ove many years. One cannot just ignore the second biggest economy in the world. But many people continue to do so.
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  #12  
Old January 13th, 2018, 10:35 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Of very distant relevance to the subject, I would like to suggest that there are other players that are shaping the future too.

As I have mentioned in the past, being a western centric forum, folks here tend to ignore that there are more users of google like competitors in the PRC.
Indeed I should have mentioned that the situation I described was western centric. You, of course, are ideally placed to tell us about the situation in the middle east. But first, a map:


Second, a lecture about social networks in China in a hacker's congress:

https://media.ccc.de/v/34c3-8874-gamified_control#t=79

IMO, if we are thinking about the same thing, is an instant messaging and video connect system.
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  #13  
Old January 13th, 2018, 10:48 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Middle East is western centric.

Check the Telecent and see what it does and its growth.
I did not say currently...in the near future.

I know you went to Africa or the outpost of the French colony there, Benin, you must have seen or read about the Chinese effort in Africa. They are concentrating more on infrastructure, not on military expeditions.
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  #14  
Old January 13th, 2018, 10:57 AM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Controlling users by providing a set of choices reminds me of Newspeak - limiting choices in another way. This is valid for all markets.

WeChat (like QZone by Tencent) is on the way to become an alternative identification system in China where it has a large userbase - exceeding the userbase of QZone.

Interesting times...

Best regards
Michael
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Old January 14th, 2018, 12:10 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Politiciams also provide flase choice by coining terms of their own as part of a coin which suggests the choices are some narrow set of possibities that really are bogus and just conjured up to deceive us.

One example is "Partial Birth Abortion". This sounds like a scene in a blood and gore horrow movie. Actually no physician knows what this is! It is conjured up to give the impression that abortionists are killing living children as they are born!

Actually the only procedure anything akin to that, is when a fetus does not develop a brain at all and instead the skull is massively enlarged by a fluid accumulation like a water filled balloon. In order to get the non viable fetus out, it has to be decompressed or it will kill the mother in futile labor. Most doctors on this planet have never seen such an abnormality as it is exceedingly rare. I observe one in California and one very foolish nurse reported the doctors to the police and the district attorney opened up a criminal prosecution for manslaughter.

Using extreme conjured up choices appleis to concepts of immigrants when the Mexicans, for example, are assigned terms like murders, drug pushers and rapists. Actually the crime rate in Hispanics in California is prpbably lower than most other groups. Still, by giving folk the simplistic picture of choosing between safety oor abuse by immigrants, of course folk are lead to bolster already common xenophobic beliefs of white folk in the USA.

Someone said that "He who controls the metaphors, controls the war!"

From the earliest times, we have learned to herd prey along the path we have planned for them!

Asher
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  #16  
Old January 14th, 2018, 01:28 AM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nagel View Post
Controlling users by providing a set of choices reminds me of Newspeak - limiting choices in another way.
The concept of Newspeak includes the method to remove undesirable expressions/words from the language and add new words with a defined meaning so people cannot think in an undesired way anymore because the words are missing. The language is shaped into a tool to direct thought patterns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Someone said that "He who controls the metaphors, controls the war!"
You are basically confirming the concept of Newspeak as metapthors are figures of speech (language again).

Jerome wrote of limiting choices and that this is used for directing people to generate profit. I think this should remain the topic. I just observed the likeness to the concept mentioned above.

Best regards
Michael
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Old January 14th, 2018, 02:30 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nagel View Post
The concept of Newspeak includes the method to remove undesirable expressions/words from the language and add new words with a defined meaning so people cannot think in an undesired way anymore because the words are missing. The language is shaped into a tool to direct thought patterns.



You are basically confirming the concept of Newspeak as metapthors are figures of speech (language again).

Jerome wrote of limiting choices and that this is used for directing people to generate profit. I think this should remain the topic. I just observed the likeness to the concept mentioned above.

@ Michael: Agreed, the main topic is leading folk to decision based on the mega corporation's desire to have us buy more "stuff".

@ All: Language too, does similarly guide and limit us. The values language imposes on us, also directs our choices. So perhaps, the web-based giants like Google and Facebook et al, also add or manipulate our vocabularies to help guide us to the reduced choices they have made for us.

Can anyone provide an example of new language use being employed to help drive us into the choices the companies wish to seducecus with?

Asher
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Old January 14th, 2018, 04:03 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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I am not a specialist in languages, but I think that George Orwell was a bit too extreme in his thoughts. The idea to suppress words from the vocabulary to make dissenting opinions literally unthinkable does not seem to have been really applied for the simple reason that no political power was ever in the position to control language in a such manner.

However, what we have is the use of buzzwords, lingo or jargon in marketing, business and political settings. This gave birth to the amusing game "buzzword bingo", where you would score points for each buzzword uttered in a business meeting. In truth, words as "Risk Management", Penetration, Proactive, Paradigm, Disruptive, Facilitate, etc... are rarely used according to their standard meaning in business meetings. Their meaning in business speak is rather nebulous, which becomes quite obvious when a translation into another language is necessary. Therefore, there is a weakening of language, but not by the suppression of words. On the contrary, seldom used words are appropriated by the jargon and stripped of their standard meaning.
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Old January 14th, 2018, 04:21 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Jerome,

Can you think of Facebook using words in a new way or creating new ones.

I get notifications from Facebook that someone sent me a message. Now I have to open their messaging app, (which otherwise I would never use), to discover that I need to give this other person. "Wink"!

Now they seduced me with the announcement of a "message" but then it turned out they just wanted to get me to use their message app to create, from nowhere, a chat with a forgotten old acquaintance of mine.

So that use of the word "wink" is a stratagem to guide me to communicate with an old forgotten acquaintance in the UK. I guess then they can report to their advertisers that they have slightly more transatlantic discussions or their app, increasing its importance to potential advertisers - if they can replicate that with tens of thousands of folk who are flattered that long lost acquaintances and relatives are thinking of them...when it's a lie!


Asher
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  #20  
Old January 14th, 2018, 07:23 AM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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I think that the exaggeration by George Orwell was deliberate, he wanted to make a point here.

There are a lot of neologisms coming from advertisements - these influence the language(s) quite a lot.
Think of brand names becoming synonyms for objects.

Here is an article discussing this (pdf link) - found in the English for Specific Purposes World Journal (open Access).

Think also of nouns becoming verbs - e.g. to google.

My point is that both language and choices are used to guide/direct consumers.

Best regards
Michael
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Old January 20th, 2018, 10:12 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Coming back to this thread, the idea that alternative players would change the present system design does not quite convince me.

Software uniquely benefits from economies of scale: development is horribly expensive and manufacture is free as is simply means copying bits. For example, I can't imagine Chinese phone makers going into the trouble of developing an alternative to Android. It is simply cheaper to use the Google product. If necessary, they just replace some of the Google advertising libraries by ones pointing to their servers. Note that some Chinese manufacturers do exactly that, playing some game of cat and mouse with Google (except that I am not sure who is the cat).

But this does not really change my opinion as what the future "menu" will look like. Whether it is Google, Apple or any other player, the objective is the same: maximise profits. And the means to attain that objective are the same for all players:
  • total knowledge of the customer (the end of privacy)
  • forcing end users to move to a subscription model and
  • forcing the user to create the kind of content which is needed for free

On the first item on that list, you may read the following study:
Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life

Report: How thousands of companies monitor, analyze, and influence the lives of billions. Who are the main players in today’s digital tracking? What can they infer from our purchases, phone calls, web searches, and Facebook likes? How do online platforms, tech companies, and data brokers collect, trade, and make use of personal data?
By Wolfie Christl, Cracked Labs, June 2017.
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Old January 20th, 2018, 12:40 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Jerome,

What you link to is what I sudpected, but hardly on the scale and with such focussed energy and accomplishment. It sounds grave!

Can we opt out at this stage?

Or does a child have to grow up, never using a computer or phone connected to the internet?
Are there any social movements to claim back out identities?

Asher
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  #23  
Old January 20th, 2018, 01:31 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Are there any social movements to claim back out identities?
Oh, yes! Many.

For example in the USA, there is the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In Europe, there is even legislation being developed by the European Commission.

Unfortunately, these movements are divided and go in different directions, while the advertising industry is more united. Not that there would be a conspiration, just that the players against privacy all have the same interest.
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Old January 21st, 2018, 10:53 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
Oh, yes! Many.

For example in the USA, there is the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In Europe, there is even legislation being developed by the European Commission.

Unfortunately, these movements are divided and go in different directions, while the advertising industry is more united. Not that there would be a conspiration, just that the players against privacy all have the same interest.
Thanks for these links. You are a valuable source of mind expanding revelations! My kinds will think I am really upon to date and knowledgeable!

Asher
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  #25  
Old January 22nd, 2018, 11:07 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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In the mean time, another article about Facebook: https://gizmodo.com/facebook-knows-h...our-1821030620

n 2014, Facebook filed a patent application for a technique that employs smartphone data to figure out if two people might know each other. The author, an engineering manager at Facebook named Ben Chen, wrote that it was not merely possible to detect that two smartphones were in the same place at the same time, but that by comparing the accelerometer and gyroscope readings of each phone, the data could identify when people were facing each other or walking together. That way, Facebook could suggest you friend the person you were talking to at a bar last night, and not all the other people there that you chose not to talk to.

(...)

Patents filed by Facebook that mention People You May Know show some ingenious methods that Facebook has devised for figuring out that seeming strangers on the network might know each other. One filed in 2015 describes a technique that would connect two people through the camera metadata associated with the photos they uploaded. It might assume two people knew each other if the images they uploaded looked like they were titled in the same series of photos—IMG_4605739.jpg and IMG_4605742, for example—or if lens scratches or dust were detectable in the same spots on the photos, revealing the photos were taken by the same camera.
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Old January 24th, 2018, 02:29 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Jerome,

Even George Orwell didn't conjure up such invasiveness in his famous fictional novel, "1984"!

Asher
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  #27  
Old January 24th, 2018, 12:59 PM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Even George Orwell didn't conjure up such invasiveness in his famous fictional novel, "1984"!
Maybe you should read We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. Full text in English here.

While the totalitarian state is the driving factor for surveillance in the novel (glass houses as an image of the panopticon which is clearly in the making for other purposes now as has been described above) the extend exceeds Orwell's vision.

Best regards
Michael
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  #28  
Old March 31st, 2018, 08:11 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Bump to take into account the recent scandals implying Facebook ubiquitous surveillance...
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  #29  
Old March 31st, 2018, 08:54 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
Bump to take into account the recent scandals implying Facebook ubiquitous surveillance...
Jerome,

It’s not just that they know our private lives but, in the end they also know far more of our character traits than we do ourselves. This could become a recognized metric in getting employment or entering a college of one’s choice! If they aggregate data, they can deduce when we are first interested in something and when it develops into a habit or necessity and results in a purchase!

Most folk look at Facebook’s feedback to us as considerate and courteous. I feel flattered that someone who left OPF now wants to be my “friend” on Facebook or Linked in! I am appreciative that A company reminds me that the electronics I spent 20 minutes perusing, remain in the “shopping cart” and are as yet not on their way to me. It appears they are all attending to my personal whims and interests. Mostly, that’s what I believe a lot of fold feel on most good days.

The companies have skill in measuring to what extent to bother us. If I friend folk then they tend to keep that supply chain full. If I don’t react, then I get few new people to check out! They seem to be aware of social cues to not irritate us too much so we would turn them off completely!

But by every answer or non-answer I make some choice and they can sculpt a better image of my preferences!

I wonder when such online-persona attitude and preference personality profiles will be used as evidence in a court of law?

Asher
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  #30  
Old March 31st, 2018, 11:12 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Old, but nonetheless timely...

A final year medical resident was interested in specializing. His chosen field..psychiatry. Attends an interview...

Prof: excellent references Mr. Fahim. And your medical field preference?
Fahim: Psychiatry.
Prof: hmmmm. Excellent field. But I don’t see any psychiatric majors/ rotations/ symposiums/ talks..
Fahim: Prof, I was on Facebook for 5 years.

Prof: More than good enough for me, and this research institute.
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