Archive of ‘Digital literacy’ category

corporate surveillance

Behind the One-Way Mirror: A Deep Dive Into the Technology of Corporate Surveillance
BY BENNETT CYPHERS DECEMBER 2, 2019

https://www.eff.org/wp/behind-the-one-way-mirror

Corporations have built a hall of one-way mirrors: from the inside, you can see only apps, web pages, ads, and yourself reflected by social media. But in the shadows behind the glass, trackers quietly take notes on nearly everything you do. These trackers are not omniscient, but they are widespread and indiscriminate. The data they collect and derive is not perfect, but it is nevertheless extremely sensitive.

A data-snorting company can just make low bids to ensure it never wins while pocketing your data for nothing. This is a flaw in the implied deal where you trade data for benefits.

You can limit what you give away by blocking tracking cookies. Unfortunately, you can still be tracked by other techniques. These include web beaconsbrowser fingerprinting and behavioural data such as mouse movements, pauses and clicks, or sweeps and taps.

The EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was a baby step in the right direction. BOWM also mentions Vermont’s data privacy law, the Illinois Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA) and next year’s California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Tor, the original anti-surveillance browser, is based on an old, heavily modified version of Firefox.

Most other browsers are now, like Chrome, based on Google’s open source Chromium. Once enough web developers started coding for Chrome instead of for open standards, it became arduous and expensive to sustain alternative browser engines. Chromium-based browsers now include Opera, Vivaldi, Brave, the Epic Privacy Browser and next year’s new Microsoft Edge.

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more on surveillance in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=surveillance

mental health gen z millennials

Half of millennials and 75% of Gen Zers have left their job for mental health reasons

PUBLISHED FRI, OCT 11 201910:43 AM EDTUPDATED TUE, OCT 15 201911:24 AM EDT
Todd Wasserman

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/11/mental-health-issues-cause-record-numbers-of-gen-x-z-to-leave-jobs.html

Cases of burnout have been increasing at an alarming rate in recent years among millennials and Gen Zers. It’s a growing problem in today’s workplace because of trends like rising workloads, limited staff and resources and long hours.

recent study by Mind Share Partners, Qualtrics and SAP reveals that half of millennials and 75% of Gen Zers have left a job for mental health reasons.

Another recent study, by the American Psychological Association, found the percentage of young adults experiencing certain types of mental health disorders has increased significantly in the past decade. In particular, the percentage of people dealing with suicidal thoughts increased 47 percent from 2008 to 2017.

Jean Twenge, author of iGen, a book about the effect technology has on this generation, says that “the rise of the smartphone and social media have at least something to do with it.”

But Peter Gray, a research professor at Boston College, said that it’s not social media or young people’s fractured attention spans that are causing their anxiety; it is school itself.

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more on mental health in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=mental+health

Virtual Reality and artists

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-10-31-virtual-reality-experiences-can-be-violent-and-intrusive-they-need-an-artist-s-touch

Blended Reality, a cross-curricular applied research program through which they create interactive experiences using virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D printing tools. Yale is one of about 20 colleges participating in the HP/Educause Campus of the Future project investigating the use of this technology in higher education.

Interdisciplinary student and professor teams at Yale have developed projects that include using motion capture and artificial intelligence to generate dance choreography, converting museum exhibits into detailed digital replicas, and making an app that uses augmented reality to simulate injuries on the mannequins medical students use for training.

The perspectives and skills of art and humanities students have been critical to the success of these efforts, says Justin Berry, faculty member at the Yale Center for Collaborative Arts and Media and principal investigator for the HP Blended Reality grant.

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more on VR in this iMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=virtual+reality

McMindfulness

McMindfulness: how capitalism hijacked the Buddhist teaching of mindfulness

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/tapestry/mcmindfulness-and-the-case-for-small-talk-1.5369984/mcmindfulness-how-capitalism-hijacked-the-buddhist-teaching-of-mindfulness-1.5369991

On McMindfulness

dthic

quote the former Buddhist monk Clark Strand here. This was in a review of your work. “None of us dreamed that mindfulness would become so popular or even lucrative, much less that it would be used as a way to keep millions of us sleeping soundly through some of the worst cultural excesses in human history, all while fooling us into thinking we were awake and quiet.”

corporate mindfulness programs are now quite popular. And as we all know, most employees these days are extremely stressed out. The Gallup poll that came out about four or five years ago said that corporations — and this is in the U.S. — are losing approximately 300 billion dollars a year from stress-related absences and seven out of ten employees report being disengaged from their work.

The remedy has now become mindfulness, where employees are then trained individually to learn how to cope and adjust to these toxic corporate conditions rather than launching kind of a diagnosis of the systemic causes of stress not only in corporations but in our society at large. That sort of dialogue, that sort of inquiry, is not happening.

An integrity bubble is where there is a small oasis within a corporation –  for example let’s take Google because that’s a great example of it.

You have a small group of engineers who are getting individual level benefits from corporate mindfulness training. They’re learning how to de-stress. Google engineers [are] working 60-70 hours a week – very stressful. So they’re getting individual level benefits while not questioning the digital distraction technologies [that] Google engineers are actually trying to work on. Those issues are not taken into account in a kind of mindful way.

So you become mindful, to become more productive, to produce technologies of mass distraction, which is quite an irony in many ways. A sad irony actually.

mindfulness could be revolutionized in a way that does not denigrate the therapeutic benefits of self-care, but it becomes interdependent with these causes and conditions of suffering which go beyond just individuals.

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more on mindfulness in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=mindfulness

VR and community service

https://www.npr.org/2019/11/24/779136094/climate-planners-turn-to-virtual-reality-and-hope-seeing-is-believing

Virtual reality is an immersive experience that can trick the human brain into thinking it’s real. But tricking people is not the goal of the sea level rise simulation being used at Turner Station, says Juliano Calil, one of the program’s developers.

The goal, he says, “is to start a conversation and help folks visualize the impacts [of climate change] and the solutions, and also discuss the trade-offs between them.”

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more on VR in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=virtual+reality

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