Teenagers are leaving Facebook. Why? Because their parents are on it. [The Guardian]

by Rob Beschizza.

This brief article is interesting because it analyzes a new trend between 16-18 years old EU citizens who prefer alternative social media to Facebook. Moreover, the article describes a new “mood” between young European who “feel embarrassed to even be associated with” Facebook because it is considerate a conservative choice strictly related to their parents relational behaviour. Something to reflect on over the new year!… Tempus fugit!  AddThis

Creativeness vs. Big Data analytics: improvement or delay for human evolution?

ImageAfter more than one month of silence I would like to end this year with a simple thought about the interaction between technology and our society. I know that usually this blog has principally developed topics about Linux and Freeware but the “Christmas season” could be the right occasion for something different.

A recent post by Matthew Yglesias on Slate, focused my attention on the possibility that big data and “new” technologies could influence our society and personal creativeness in a strange, utilitaristic way.

In the above mentioned post, Matthew Yglesias describes some new possibilities, offered by big data, of deeply analyze the readers behaviour when they use e-readers. Some Yglesias’ examples let us know not only what kind of literature is the most popular today but also detailed analytics about the best number of pages that readers want when they read a certain type of book (e.g. biography or fiction).

These squeezed information drive to the possible next step: a writer could prefer to write a new book on the basis of quantitative marketing data instead of creativity.

In few words, we are potentially slowing the evolution of our knowledge curve because writers could prefer to pander “customers” behaviour and maximize earnings instead of spreading new ideas and theories that could be (sic! are) initially less profitable.

The Darwin “evolution by mistake” will be soon replaced by an utilitarian and transitive “involution by big data marketing analytics”?

It’s impossible to predict but, on the other hand, my hope is that big data marketing analytics will be used just as a tool to maximize and speed new ideas through readers than a mere earning factor to tame buyers. AddThis

SliTaz GNU/Linux: The Extremity of Lightweight

Galigio:

SliTaz Linux: a minimalist but effective Linux Distro

Originally posted on The Dubious Disc:

My old desktop was just lying around, and I decided to equip it with a minimalist distro — something just enough to run a web browser. I wanted to use that machine because its screen and keyboard are positioned at just the right elevation.

View original 641 more words

GrooveDown vs. GrooveOff: my personal experience using Grooveshark

Grooveshark is an online music service, very well-known and common especially in Europe. The quality of its mp3, offered just for listening is higher than what you find on YouTube and some programs were developed to allow listeners to search and listen songs without visiting the Grooveshark website.  Some of these software let you save sample of songs for a later listening but this habit doesn’t complain with the copyright laws in many countries so we discourage this kind of practice.

Today we would like to just endorse the ability of a single developer (www.caleta.fm) who was able to modify one of these programs, GrooveDown, and adapt it to the new website requisites.

This developer, using wireshark, was able to identify the misconfiguration between GrooveDown and the Grooveshark’s server and to positively update the data (client version and password) exchanged.

More in general I think that GrooveDown is the best client to listen to Grooveshark also because it is more powerful, fast and easy to use than its competitors. In particular, during some tests I did, I was positively impressed by the results I obtained using GrooveDown because I received better and more complete search results than using, for example, GrooveOff which is too a good software but, for my personal experience, gave back less impressive results.

Last but not least I want to underline that the caleta.fm development of GrooveDown is really stable and it was developed in two different versions just to be used with Java6 or Java7 platform. Recommended!

Once again about cookies, supercookies and Flash cookies… How to better protect Firefox, your Linux OS and.. you!

In a previous post I already suggested to use HTTPS Everywhere and HTTPS Finder to better protect your privacy on the web. Today I would like to focus your attention on the privacy risks caused by cookies.

Some of them can track your internet activity also when you have logged off from the websites that created them. In few words, some cookies can actively support the creation of a quite punctual profile of your interests and share these information with third parties without you know if your data will be anonymised and correctly stored.

Internet tracking is actual and silent and antivirus software are not the best solution to manage them because every day new types of apparently harmless cookies and supercookies are created and spread into our computers. Cookies usually don’t directly affect your internet browsing but they are a real risk if you want to protect your privacy. A good VPN service (e.g. one that does not link your payment to your “new” assigned VPN IP) could be the best solution but flash cookies, evercookies (a particular type of zombie cookies which are able to geometrically clone themselves outside the original folder where they were stored) could reveal your IP and your habits, just after you disconnect your OS from the VPN shield.

To improve your privacy you can start to combine your VPN with some particular Firefox add-on as Self-Destructing Cookies (for the regular cookies) and BetterPrivacy which has been developed to “search and destroy” Flash cookies.

To improve your privacy, never forget that  you can tune your Firefox Privacy settings also using  Secure Sanitizer which wipe the browser cache in a stronger way than Firefox itself.

Last but not least, don’t forget to “waste” some minutes of your time and use BleachBit after every internet session or every time you shutdown your computer. Better to be slow than sorry! 

How to obtain a free digital signing service for your personal documents

Sooner or later you need to digitally sign a document. If you have never done it before it’s only a matter of time, you will need a digital signing service sooner than you can imagine. The problem is represented to be ready without being obliged to spend money for it.

You will find different offers online and many trusty companies will try to convince you that their offer its the best but many of them limit your possibility to freely sign documents when you really need.

During my tests I tried a bunch of them and, for my experience, just few worth any attention.

In particular I was positively impressed by hellosign and Adobe Echo Sign. They are both interesting but hellosign offers something more. I mean you have not to spend a cent for both but Abobe limits the number of documents you can free sign to just 5 documents each month. If you are not used to digitally sign your docs this limitation doesn’t represent a problem but, trust me, when you will begin you soon need more than 5 free signatures a month.

HelloSign also allows you to upload an image file with your handwritten (and, of course, scanned) signature or create a new one choosing between some different fonts. You have no limits for signing documents but you can send only three signature requests a month (enough for my present necessities). Moreover, you can browse into the hellosign Documents folder and find all the  documents you have signed before.

On the other hand, Adobe Echo Sign request more personal information when you sign-up for the service and, as we already underlined, it limits your experience to just 5 activities a month.

Try them and let us know if you have already found a better, free, online service to digitally sign your documents. Good luck!  AddThis