Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend round up...

It's amazing that the stock market's fortunes are tied to Italian elections but that seems to be lead story this morning.  The initial thought that a market friendly fresh face was going to sweep the elections but then the numbers actually started coming in and it was Berlusconi once again.  It will take some time to shake out the details but the Italian market was up 4% this morning and it's now in the red. 

So a butterfly flapped it's wings in China and that must explain the 40 cent jump in gas prices, right?  I offered up a couple of possible explanations last week but admittedly the standard excuses (Brent/west texas spread, refinery shutdowns, weak dollar) are all pretty lame.  Here's a new one though - Oil rigs in the Gulf are being shutdown by malware that has infected their computers.  Is this some new front in a global cyberwar?  Are the Chinese shutting down our oil rigs to damage our economy?  While this would make a great episode of "Homeland" it's not quite as sinister as that.  Many of these rigs are isolated from the traditional internet so workers tend bring their own USB drives.  Unfortunately, many of these workers tend to make some poor choices when it comes to web browsing and they download pirated music, tv shows, movies and other "items".  When they plug in their USB on rig - bam - the malware infects the main computers.  To date it sounds like the malware has just been a nuisance, but if someone puts two and two together there could be the potential to cause real damage one day.  See the gizmodo article here...

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Stats of the day: If current trends hold, within a few years less than half the U.S. adult population will be married.  In 1960, nearly three-fourths of adults 18 and older were married. By 2010, that number had plummeted to a bare majority, 51 percent.

In 1960, the most- and least-educated adults were equally likely to be married. Now, nearly two-thirds of college graduates are married, compared to less than half of those with a high school diploma or less.

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I'm admittedly out of the loop on Facebook.  I spurned it as a some kind of "People Magazine" filled with photos of people you once knew.  Then, I watched the demographics shift - Facebook was becoming full of older people - and I saw the writing on the wall.  Unfortunately, it is a powerful tool for marketing a local business so I'm on there again (see www.facebook.com/nnymath).

However, if you've ever wondered why people in the know despise Facebook, just look at the hoops you have to jump through to protect yourself.

1. Protecting your future posts


"A quick note on tagging. When you tag any of your friends in a photo, check-in, update or any other activity, they can then see that content irrespective of the audience selector setting. By default, their friends can see it too, which is why people you don't know may sometimes comment on your status or one of your pictures. You can disable this behavior using the "Custom" option from the audience selector."

2. Protecting your past posts


"Click the cog icon on the toolbar (at the top of every Facebook screen), then choose "Privacy Settings." On the next screen select "Limit Past Posts." Read the confirmation message and select "Limit Old Posts" to restrict everything you've ever posted to friends only.

 3. Protecting yourself from your friends


Of course, your own updates are only half the story on Facebook. There's all the stuff your friends are posting on your Timeline and tagging you in, from embarrassing events to incriminating photos. All these updates and pictures belong to your friends, which means they control the audience—and who can find them on Graph Search. Still, you're not totally powerless. You can prevent these posts from appearing on your own Timeline, and restrict the ways in which you can be tagged. This in turn limits your exposure on Graph Search.

Open your "Account Settings" page from the cog icon drop-down menu at the top of any Facebook page, then choose "Timeline and Tagging." From here you can set up a "review posts" feature that lets you approve or block any attempts to tag you. You can also specify who is able to see posts you're tagged in, and posts on your own Timeline.

Good luck navigating this minefield.  No wonder everyone under 21 is snapchatting instead.

Cheers!

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