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Real Life Debugged » How To

Archive for the Category ◊ How To ◊

My What a Lovely, Yet Worthless, Picture
Thursday, October 14th, 2010 | Author: lisaksimone

I recently joined the Visual Analytics group on LinkedIn as I drag my many ad-hoc and homemade visualization techniques into the 21st century.  Representing data without bias, but with clarity and with usefulness is hard.

Years ago, one of my favorite data mining profs intoned, “If tortured enough, the data will confess.” - Lyle Unger, UPENN.  Whether good or bad depends purely on intent.

One discussion in LinkedIn focused on an odd graphic from the Wall Street Journal article “Broader U-6 Jobless Rate up to 17.1%: Why the Jump?”

What the heck does this picture mean?!?   It’s got some red stuff on it, should I be worried?

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Simple task - a job application requires the abstract of my PhD dissertation.  So I find the file, double click, and … ERROR.

Huh?

(Yes, I hear you cry!  I knew where the files were!)

You see, about 5 years ago I spent a couple days pulling stuff off boxes of floppies before the data puddled into magnetic goo.  Surrounded by mostly 3 1/2’s and many 5 1/4’s (and several disk backup tapes), I found my dissertation and with mixed memories (yes, the terror does fade with time), I tried to open the files.

Back then, Microsoft presented me with a different, although more frightening message when I attempted to open the files.  Something about not being able to read the old Word file format at all (Yikes!).

Had the ghost returned?

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The folks at ReclaimPrivacy created a simple little tool that scans your Facebook privacy settings and gives you a nice summary.  It highlights where you are sharing information with the world, and points you to where you should reassess your settings.

Mashable’s review article with a sample view.

The Tool at ReclaimPrivacy.

Yes, some tech savvy folks have said, “Well, searching through all the settings really isn’t that hard.”  But with most folks NOT being savvy, and NOT really understanding what info is so public, this is a nice tool for everyone.

Category: How To |  Tags: , | Leave a Comment

Really folks, I’m not usually someone who posts rabid tirades against companies.  Well, I did work very hard to debug the 1969 bug (and several subsequent bugs) for BitDefender, who did not appreciate the publicity despite my best intentions.

But my forays into these arenas are the exception.

However, this whole Facebook Privacy Issue really has me going (see previous posts Eroding Privacy, Info are now Connections and your friends are sharing your info).

I found another privacy issue with Facebook I’ve not seen addressed elsewhere about the information it saves, but I’m guessing on a hack to address it.  The We Save Information Forever issue.

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This short post has 2.5 parts.

1) Concise summary history of eroding Facebook privacy, and

2) another privacy thing you need to do that’s OUTSIDE your account and your own privacy settings.  And…

2.5) YOU have to keep checking when Facebook secretly adds new apps to your account.

Bet you didn’t know about the last two.  Let me address them in somewhat reverse order.

This, and my previous post - Rant about Facebook’s New Strong-Arm Anti-Privacy Upgrade, are part rant but mostly instructions to help you protect your privacy.

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