Giving Up The Internet For A Year

The title says it all really. We use the Internet every single day and most of us depend on it for the majority of our professional and social interaction. Email, instant messenger, Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn, even text messaging are services that we take for granted every day with the knowledge that they are just available. How do you get your news? How do you communicate with friends and family far away? How do you watch TV? How do you read books? The Internet delivers our lives to us on a place that is only a few taps, swipes, or keystrokes away. What would you do if you stopped using the Internet and Internet based services for a year?
 

 
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Travelling To Cuba? Better Let The U.S. Know All About It

Just in case you needed some additional confirmation that Team America is indeed the World Police you now have to submit your advanced passenger information to the US government when you travel from the UK to 6 Canadian airports, Mexico, and of course America’s favorite neighbor, Cuba. The new regulation now requires you to provide your full name, date of birth, and gender at least 72 hours before you travel over US airspace (wait… does a trip from the UK to Canada go over the US? No? You must provide information anyway!). The best part about this new regulation is that you will not know that you have been rejected from flying until you are streaming tears and pepper spray down the front of your shirt you terrorist… but seriously, you won’t know until you pick up your boarding pass. Just some additional red tape to make your international travel experience a little more pleasant and safe. Happy travels.
 

 
via (the Independent)

The Future Of Banking

Growing up in the 80s and learning about saving, investing, and banking in the 90s taught me the ropes and formed the base knowledge for what I do in my day job. Learning what a savings account was, how to endorse and write checks, and basic investing through bank offered products was actually part of the standard curriculum at Cupertino High School. I used the knowledge gained in class for about three years before it was mostly obsolete, especially on the retail banking side. I cannot even remember the last time I wrote a paper check… hell I can’t remember the last time I ordered checks. E*Trade completely changed the way I invested and it took me completely away from traditional bank offered products like savings accounts and certificates of deposit into corporate fixed income, exchange traded funds, and stocks and options.
 
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Potential Employer Likes Your Post

If you have read any of the posts on Burnetteweb that deal with social networking, then you have a pretty good idea how I feel about Facebook. While I am consistently impressed by the way my generation invents new and technoligically impressive ways to communicate (including Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp, Google+, and Instagram), I am terrified and disgusted with the amount of personal information people are willing to share with the world. In reading this Blog one would struggle to guess my age or even what I look like had they not met me in person. While I do share personal opinions on a variety of topics it is pretty hard to see the pictures of me on a night out and the comments of my friends after. Moreover, the personal relationships and “friends of friends” that I have is impossible to glean from anything published online.

 
Now I say all this because Philip Berne of Slashgear presents a fictitious account of one of my most dreaded situations… the social network charged interview. I do not doubt that potential employers scour the web for information on potential hires especially when someone progresses to the later interview stages. Heck, you can even see who has been looking at your information on LinkedIn in most cases. What I fear is how potential employers will use that information during the interview process. Is a raging party animal not the best candidate for a quantitative analysis job? Will a girlfriend recovering from cancer treatment prove a distraction for a senior consultant? These are but two of the myriad considerations that can be taken with the social information you share about yourself online. Case and point the Philip Berne Interview…
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The Perfect Product For Kanye

If ever a product was made specifically for one individual this is it. If you have ever been visually victimized by reading anything that Kanye West puts on twitter you need to invest in a roll or two immediately. Startup Sh*tter so appropriately takes any twitter feed and prints it out as a roll of toilet paper. Now I know that the startup says “any” twitter feed, but we all know there is only enough paper in the world to print out the drivel that oozes out of Kanye’s mind grapes. Please do stock me up on a few dozen rolls of Shia LeBouf’s thoughts and dreams if there is any paper left in the world after Kay Dub’s memoirs are printed on quilted roll. I have contributed my entire savings to this project and I look forward to finally using the words of professor West as nature intended (and Shia LeBouf of course). **gulps another refreshing mouthful of lemon-lime haterade**
 

 

(via Slashgear)

Welcome To The Uncanny Valley

For those of you not nerdy enough to have heard of the “uncanny valley”, let me crack an egg of knowledge all over your head. The “uncanny valley” is the point at which animation becomes just lifelike enough to be creepy as hell. We have seen this recently in movies such as “Avatar”, and in “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” before that. The special effects and fully animated characters in those films were to the point of near realism, but still just that little bit creepy. Well you can take comfort in the fact that the post production rendering power used to create those films only a few years back is contained within the latest generation of game consoles, those of course being the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) and Microsoft Xbox 360.
 

Final Fantasy Character: Look familiar?

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Data Mining The Social Network

Nobody will argue against the fact that Facebook is a treasure trove of valuable information for advertizers. Specific demographics, website visits, games, product interests, and interaction trends are but a few of the minutiae that are gathered about its members (and non-members apparently). The ability to anonymize and distribute metrics about 700+ million individuals is an absolute treasure chest of information for people trying to sell you stuff which allows the book of face to make it’s millions.


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Google Launches Nelson Mandella Digital Archives

As one of the most influential civil rights and arguably human rights advocates in recent history, Nelson Mandela stands high. Following its own $1.25 million grant to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg, Google has unveiled a digital archive of Mandela’s life, speeches, and correspondence. Of much interest to me personally are the digitized versions of letters that Mandela wrote during his prison years.

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