Things of note for the week ending Sunday August 28th, 2016.
It’s 07:45am on Sunday August 28th as I sit down to begin this week’s edition. Work has changed recently (for the better – more soon) and finding time to even open WordPress just once throughout the week is proving difficult.
Note: this is a good thing.
An output of this increased workload however, is that FToF will arrive more and more frequently on a Sunday. While I’m sure this isn’t too much of a problem for many of you (I mean, can you imagine? ‘What’s that Whatters? This amazing weekly newsletter of quasi-interesting stuff that you do for me completely for free is MOVING its publishing date!!! Screw You!!’ – ha!) I’m fairly sure that if you had an issue with this you’d just stop reading.
PS. There’s a LOT to get through this week. So sit back, relax, and PUT THINGS IN YOUR EYES.
1. THE LOTTERY OF INDECENCY
The only good thing to say about the horrendous burkini stuff happening in the news cycle over the past week or two is that there might finally be a light at the end of the [very dark] tunnel.
2. USE WHATSAPP? READ THIS.
This has been pretty much everywhere this week BUT I figured I should share it all the same.
What data? So far the list includes:
- Your WhatsApp Phone Number
- Your ‘Last Seen’ data
- What OS you’re using (eg: Android 6.0 or iOS9 etc)
- Country code
- Carrier info
- Device info
Crucially, there’s no message data being shared. You may recall earlier this year when WhatsApp switched on end-to-end encryption. In short: WhatsApp couldn’t read your messages even if it wanted to.
So when it comes to this, it comes down to personal choice:
Do you care enough to keep your data hidden? Or do you genuinely want ‘better’ advertising and will therefore allow aforementioned data to be shared?
The good thing is: you have a choice.
When the new terms pop up, scroll to ‘read more’ and then untick the box. If you’ve already just hit ‘OK’, don’t panic, you still have 30 days to opt-out. (details via the Independent).
Additional things to be aware of (that will not doubt be circulating in the trades for a little while yet):
First, 2014. Jan Koum, co-founder of Whatsapp, said this on the WhatsApp blog:
“Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible: You don’t have to give us your name and we don’t ask for your email address. We don’t know your birthday. We don’t know your home address. We don’t know where you work. We don’t know your likes, what you search for on the internet or collect your GPS location. None of that data has ever been collected and stored by WhatsApp, and we really have no plans to change that.
If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn’t have done it. Instead, we are forming a partnership that would allow us to continue operating independently and autonomously. Our fundamental values and beliefs will not change. Our principles will not change. Everything that has made WhatsApp the leader in personal messaging will still be in place. Speculation to the contrary isn’t just baseless and unfounded, it’s irresponsible. It has the effect of scaring people into thinking we’re suddenly collecting all kinds of new data. That’s just not true, and it’s important to us that you know that.”
So there’s that.
This one could go and go…
3. BEHIND THE SCENES
I used to work in TV. Long time ago. The vision mixer / director is the person that chooses what you get to see during a live TV broadcast. At one point this was something I really wanted to do (I used to sit behind the people at GMTV and watch them do it – I even completed a couple of training courses on it).
This four minute video, looking at the behind the scenes of perhaps one of the largest vision mixing responsibilities in the world, The Oscars, focuses in on the 1997 awards and, well, it’s really really worth a watch.
4. A QUANTUM LEAP, BUT FOR REALS
This week, China launched the world’s first quantum satellite. That’s right, China is actually going to try and teleport information outside of the known barriers of space and time.
I think we need to let that settle in for a minute.
Now go and read an expert’s take on it.
Truly potentially world-changing stuff.
5. SHARING A GIF? CAREFUL NOW.
Four days ago, sports writer, Jim Weber, wrote about how he had his Twitter account permanently deleted simply for SHARING A GIF. I know what you’re thinking…
But don’t worry too much. Well. Maybe. Said GIF was from that world-leading and uber-progressive social media content event, THE OLYMPICS.
You can already tell how this is going to play out:
Over to Jim:
It all started when I saw a GIF of her sublime first pass on the floor routine two weeks ago on the front page of Reddit. Wanting to share what an awesome moment this was, I downloaded the GIF and uploaded it to Twitter with these four words: “Aly Raisman: She’s good.”
I had read that the IOC was banning the press from using GIFs but I didn’t see how that applied to me. Sure, I didn’t have the rights to any footage at the Olympics — just like countless blogs and users don’t have rights to the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA footage that they create GIFs out of and profit from every day.
But I figured the worst thing that would happen is the GIF would be deleted from my account, as Twitter often does in these situations.
Boy was I wrong.
Hello Gif, goodbye Twitter account!
The IOC sucks at social media. We know this.
Turns out Twitter decided to play hardball too…
Bonuses this week are plenty –
- Here’s a rare interview with Rick Moranis from last year. I think I missed this first time around. Ignore the dated-Ghostbusters-remake-bashing headline and enjoy an insight into where Moranis has (and has not) been hiding himself since Spaceballs.
- Images, Snapchat and Mobile.
- Push and Pull.
- Creatures of the Deep.
- Our nearest habitable planet has been in the news this week; here’s why.
- The First Lady Bake-Off.
- Top tips for taking selfies.
Right, it’s 10:30 (there were pauses to play Lego) and we’re done.
Until next time, my friends. Hope you don’t mind the casual shift to the occasional Sunday.
Oh, and enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend!!!