How iPhone and Android Phones Spy On You

This is a short video from The Guardian about how the latest smartphone technology is used to track the people who use them. Considering it is a rare thing these days to not have a smartphone, this is done fairly easily for most people. In this video it is mentioned that not only do Apple and Google know your location at this moment, but they also have all the data on where you have been in the past year even.

Not only are the people who make these phones tracking where people go, apps are now asking to use location services and are tracking peoples locations as well. Apps such as Snapchat and an app called Brightest Flashlight are among those that have been accused of this. Apps also try to gain access to other parts of peoples phones as well such as the camera and microphone to sell more targeted ads.

This video explains what people with iPhones can do to protect their privacy and keep their personal information safe, but unfortunately there is not much that can be done to do the same for android phones. This is because Apple and Google both have different types of data they wish to collect on consumers.


Edward Snowden

A.k.a. the love of my life (sorry Ryan).


From the time I first heard about Edward Snowden and what he revealed about the NSA, I was blown away. Mostly because growing up I had always been exposed to the idea that this sort of thing possibly existed, so to see it confirmed as actually existing was insane. But also because of the fact that someone did what he did in a culture where people rarely step up and put themselves at risk for what is morally right, just amazes me.

So I really respect Edward Snowden to say the least.

He acted in a way and continues to act in a way that I truly believe people should. Revealing the truth should never be regarded as such a terrible and treasonous thing and a government that so strongly opposes that should be questioned, not the person to reveal the truth. Especially in America where truth, liberty and freedom are (or maybe… were?) at the supposed core of what the country stands for. So to see the government treat him the way they have been treating him is really… interesting.

This Ted’s Talk with Edward Snowden (via robot) is what made me respect Edward Snowden on a whole new level because before I didn’t really know a lot about why he was doing what he was doing before watching it.

One of the things he mentions in the video that really hit home to me was something I had believed before watching this. I always thought that if you aren’t doing anything incredibly suspicious on the internet you have no reason to fear the surveillance. But at the end of the video he mentions that “individuals are born behind closed doors” and that applies to the internet as well. People need that space to be allowed to freely be themselves to authentically grow as people. I never thought before of how damaging that would be to people and how much privacy does matter to individual growth, and how people and their governments should be fighting to protect that right. Not doing anything they desire to invade it.

First Post! Assignment One

Being a long time reader, subscriber and lover of blogs I am actually kind of surprised that the first blogs that I have ever created myself have been the blogs I have had to make this semester for a few different classes. Needless to say, blogs are something I appreciate and enjoy and I am looking forward to being able to create a blog myself for a class (this one- nat108) that I genuinely am interested in!

WordPress has been incredibly easy to use for creating this blog, easier than I ever really expected it to be. That’s part of the reason I never have really tried to create a blog myself, I thought I was completely incapable of making one, or at least a half decent one. But the simplicity of WordPress has really made me realize that I have been avoiding the whole experience for no reason at all. There are two features of WordPress that I have noticed really help make everything that much simpler. One is the fact that you can manage multiple blogs from one main account without needing to sign in and out between accounts and the second is how accessible everything on WordPress is by smartphone. It has been nice to be able to work on homework assignments, such as this one, when I am out of the house but do have a spare moment to work on something. The only negative thing I would have to say about WordPress so far would be that a lot of the good themes cost money, but I do understand the necessity of it.

The reason I am excited to work on this blog specifically for this class is because of the kind of things we have learned and are going to be learning this semester. Learning about robotics and artificial intelligence in the first few weeks of the semester has already opened up my eyes to a lot of things I had not realized, and has left me with more questions than I ever thought I would have about robotics in my life. Questions like, will they be able to create robots with genuine senses of humour and wit, will robots be able to develop friendships with other robots and possibly even form communities with other robots, are things I never thought I would be asking myself, but it is interesting to ask and think about these sorts of things in ways things like I never have before.