Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Big Joggers, Deadly Data

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Happy Monday.

If you’re looking for a Grammy’s update, didn’t watch them this year, can’t tell you anything.

What I can tell you about was the big New York Times expose over the weekend about the rise and rise of automated Twitter bots, and the pay-to-play marketplace that has risen up around them, particularly by celebrities, YouTube stars, and other luminaries looking to raise their online profiles.

Kind of reminded me back in dot com bubble when Media Metrix numbers were used to support the insane valuations of emerging Internet companies.

More interesting to me is a report by The Guardian about how sensitive information about the location and staffing of U.S. military bases and outposts around the world have been revealed by a fitness tracking company.

Remember when the U.S. military cracked down on the kinds of things soldiers could post on social media?

Get ready for the great fitness data crackdown.

Here’s how The Guardian told it:

Sensitive information about the location and staffing of military bases and spy outposts around the world has been revealed by a fitness tracking company. The details were released by Strava in a data visualisation map that shows all the activity tracked by users of its app, which allows people to record their exercise and share it with others. Strava suggests military users ‘opt out’ of heatmap as row deepens Read more The map, released in November 2017, shows every single activity ever uploaded to Strava – more than 3 trillion individual GPS data points, according to the company. The app can be used on various devices including smartphones and fitness trackers like Fitbit to see popular running routes in major cities, or spot individuals in more remote areas who have unusual exercise patterns. However, over the weekend military analysts noticed that the map is also detailed enough that it potentially gives away extremely sensitive information about a subset of Strava users: military personnel on active service.
– via the Guardian

To bring it closer to home, “If soldiers use the app like normal people do, by turning on tracking when they go to do exercise, it could be especially dangerous…because it “looks a lot like a regular jogging route.”

Soldiers, vary your jogging routes and stop being so predictable…that’s an order! Better yet, leave that Fitbit in your locker.

Finally on this glorious Monday, if you’re interested in the emerging area of quantum computing (including the headwinds), check out this piece from Quanta Magazine, “The Era of Quantum Computing is here. Outlook: Cloudy.”

Written by turbotodd

January 29, 2018 at 10:17 am

Posted in 2018, quantum computing

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