What I’m looking at on the internet

Facebook is now offering anti-virus software from McAfee, Norton and Microsoft to its users via the Facebook AV Marketplace. Photo credit: PC Mag

My how time flys by! It’s hard to believe that I’ve been blogging for an entire semester now.

Seeing how this will be my last ‘official’ blog, I thought it would be fun to share some interesting things I’ve found on the web the past few days to give you an idea of what my browsing habits are like.

Here we go!

This really awesome concept video from 1994 shows a tablet computer that can read newspapers just like an iPad, but no one had any idea what an iPad was back then.

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Watch out for this: New bill called CISPA, just like SOPA and PIPA, but worse

A new bill called 'CISPA' is the next version of SOPA/PIPA. It's got much more power behind it though - Internet companies like Facebook, Verizon and Microsoft support it. Photo credit: Digital Trends

A new U.S. centered bill has been proposed that would give law enforcement officials the power to push aside the legal barriers that prevent internet companies from handing your information over to the government.

Sound familiar?

Remember SOPA and PIPA, those failed bills that wanted to give the government the power to police the internet for pirated content?

While they may have failed, another new bill has been proposed that has been flying under the radar in comparison to SOPA and PIPA.

The bill is called CISPA, which stands for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (PDF) which is also known as H.R. 3523.

But this bill is worse than SOPA and PIPA because it has the approval of 28 companies like Facebook, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Verizon, Oracle and Symantec.

Yikes!

So what differentiates CISPA from SOPA and PIPA?

Not much.

The only major difference is that CISPA is about cyber security and SOPA/PIPA were about intellectual property.

But the authors of CISPA, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), want you to think that CISPA is “nothing like SOPA.”

Don’t believe it!

It’s still an overreach of governmental power just like with SOPA. But since the outcry over SOPA and PIPA has died down, the Congressmen think that people have put their guard down.

CNET does a good job explaining what CISPA is all about in this quote:

CISPA is primarily a surveillance bill. With CISPA, a company like Google, Facebook, Twitter, or AT&T could intercept your e-mails and text messages, send copies to one another and to the government, and keep it from being sent if it fits into a plan to stop “cybersecurity” threats.

There has also been a revision to CISPA, but they didn’t change much and it’s still a scary piece of legislation.

What are your thoughts about bills like CISPA, SOPA and PIPA?

Is it an overreach of government power?

If you’re not sure what to think, the video below from RT America helps to explain in more detail what CISPA is all about.

Careerbuilder study shows how employers are looking at your Facebook

A survey conducted by Careerbuilder in 2009 looked at how employers are using social media sites to screen job candidates. This infographic shows which sites were the most popular for employers to check out. Photo credit: Huffingtonpost

In 2009, a survey done by CareerBuilder looked at how employers are using social media to look for information about job candidates.

Overall, 45% of the employers admitted that they screen social media for information about job candidates.

What else did they find?

Facebook, rather than LinkedIn, is the most popular website that employers use to look up information about job candidates.

29% of employers admitted that they use Facebook to screen job candidates.

Here are some other fun facts about the way that employers look at your social media profiles:

  • 18% of employers found information that influenced them to hire a candidate
  • 50% got a good feel for the candidate’s personality from social media sites
  • 35% found information that caused them to NOT hire someone
  • 53% found provocative/inappropriate photographs or other information

So what can we make of all this information? Well, here are five things to avoid doing on social media sites, according to the survey:

  1. Avoid leaving around “digital dirt”: those questionable photos about last night’s party, for example.
  2. Terrible troll:  don’t leave huge amounts of pointless, stupid comments with excessive amounts of swear words.
  3. Don’t have a big mouth about your employer: this should go without saying, but don’t rant about your employer on social media sites. It looks REALLY BAD to other employers.
  4. Huge amounts of contacts and comments: don’t add sketchy people as friends because they may leave comments on your profile that look bad on you.
  5. Don’t be negative: keep a positive attitude on social media sites – if everything you say is a rant or a complaint, it looks like you’re a consistently negative person.

Do you try to keep your social media profiles family friendly and clear of these things?

If there are any other pieces of advice you can think of, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Facebook is buying Instagram for $1 billion

Facebook acquired the popular photo sharing app Instagram today for a price of $1 billion. Photo credit: CBS news.com

1 billion dollars – that’s how much Facebook announced today that it’s going to shell out to buy Instagram, the free photo sharing application for mobile devices.

If you’re not familiar, Instagram is a really cool program that allows users to create some awesome looking photos without much effort.

You just launch the app, take a photo, and apply one of the frames/filters to the photo – that’s it. I’ve seen some really great looking photos on Instagram.

Here’s an example of what a photo looks like after applying one of the filters using Instagram:

A photo I took using Instagram of my family's cat, preacher.

Another thing that makes Facebook’s acquisition very interesting is that Instagram recently launched on the Android platform – it was previously only available to Apple device owners.

Instagram has been seeing huge growth lately, gaining around 30 million users this year alone, especially since they launched the Android variant of their app.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, all 13 employees at Instagram will be joining Facebook, but Instagram will continue to be an independent entity. That puts the employees’ individual value at about $77 million per person, in case you were wondering.

Zuckerberg also mentioned that a much easier way to share photos with Facebook from within Instagram is in the works for the future.

What are your thoughts about Facebook buying Instagram? Will they make it better?

KONY 2012 is the most viral video ever

KONY 2012 is the most viral video ever, getting 100 million views in six days, according to research by Visible Measures. Photo credit: The Washington Times

The controversial video KONY 2012, which is a 30 minute documentary which seeks the arrest of the Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony, has become the most viral video of all time.

The video was viewed over 100 million times in just six days between both YouTube and Vimeo, and it has only been online for about a month.

The video ran rampant through Facebook and Twitter last week because of people in the 18 to 29 year-old demographic, according to research by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

I have not watched the whole documentary yet, but I remember going to class last week and it seemed like everyone was either talking about KONY 2012 or watching it on their computers, tablets or phones everywhere I went.

The sudden spotlight on the director of the film, Jason Russell, caused him to have a bit of a mental breakdown last week. There has also been a lot of criticism of the group behind the film, Invisible Children.

It seems like all of the news that came out of the film’s release is a reminder of the power of the internet and social media.

Here’s a video from Mashable that explains more about the social media phenomena that lead to KONY 2012 going viral:

Top 3 free (for the most part) online music streaming services

Streaming music services are a great, inexpensive alternative to downloading music. Photo credit: Nutshelltek

I love music. It’s one of my favorite things.

But what do you do if, like me, you don’t have the money to pay to download music from iTunes or Amazon?

Well, there are some great services that you can stream music from for free.

Here are my top 3 favorite services.

  1. Grooveshark
  • Hands down, my favorite service to listen to music on.
  • Making an account is free, or you can connect with Facebook/Twitter.
  • Truly unlimited music streaming. No limits to how much you can listen.
  • The only limitations are:

2.   MOG

  • Streams very high quality music
  • Can create an account, or use Facebook to sign up
  • Much more limited than Grooveshark. You are given a limit on how many songs you can listen to for free. You can either pay to access more music, or you can add playlists/recommend it to friends to get more free plays.

3.   Spotify

  • Huge library of music on Spotify, if you like it, they probably have it.
  • Free to create an account, or can use Facebook to connect.
  • Spotify is also much more limited than Grooveshark. It’s only available as downloadable software for your computer or mobile device, and to get the most out of it, you have to pay a monthly subscription. The free service is still great though!

If you’d like more information, here’s an infographic that explains more about the services.

Next week is Purdue’s spring break, so this is my last post until Monday, March 19.

Have a great week everyone!

PAL 3.0 boosts Wi-Fi performance on Purdue’s campus. Finally!

Student made meme expressing frustration with PAL 2.0. Credit: Purdue University Memes' Facebook fan page. Note: Edited for explicit language.

Have you ever had trouble connecting to Purdue Air Link (PAL) 2.0 on Purdue’s campus?

Let’s be honest.

I’m sure at one point or another, most of Purdue’s students have wanted to pull their hair out because of the dropped signals, slow performance and general inconsistency of PAL 2.0.

Those “dead” spots on campus, where you are in the middle of a building, but you can’t get a PAL Wi-Fi signal sure can be annoying.

But don’t worry yourself too much, because ITaP has been rolling out its newest generation of Wi-Fi across campus in the form of PAL 3.0!

Some students, (including myself) have been seeing a big improvement in wireless speeds on PAL 3.0:

But, it seems others don’t know about the new wireless technology at their disposal:

So what’s the difference between PAL 2.0 and PAL 3.0?

PAL 3.0 uses newer technology based on the 802.11 n wireless standard.

Huh?

What that means (translated from nerd language) is PAL 3.0 will be:

  • faster
  • more reliable
  • more secure
  • available at longer ranges than PAL 2.0
  • easier to connect to from mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers

A news release from ITaP’s website reported that around 50 percent of Purdue’s on campus buildings have been converted to the new wireless technology.

The rest of campus buildings are expected to be converted by the end of 2012.

A list of buildings that already offer PAL 3.0 can be found in this Purdue Gold Answers article.

[Update: If you get the log-in credentials page on either of these links, you should be able to bypass it by clicking log in as guest!]

There is another article on Gold Answers that should answer many questions that many of you might have about PAL 3.0.

In an interesting move, the ITaP article also said that PAL 2.0 will continue to operate alongside PAL 3.0 during and after the upgrade.

What are your thoughts about the new wireless coverage?

Have you used PAL 3.0 and seen a significant difference?

Do you think the University is moving fast enough to roll out the new technology?