Archive | September, 2015

“Like” and “Share”

24 Sep

Everyone knows the profits of having Facebook, like finding old friends or making new friends and expanding your network. But Facebook itself also wants to gain profit out of it. On average, people spend 40 minutes on the site, but Facebook wants to increase the time people spend on their site. By using algorithms (a finite set of instructions that will lead to a certain goal starting from a certain position) they show you the exact videos and stories you want to see. They gain this information by looking through your Facebook click history, but also by tracking the websites you’ve visited. fb 2

In 2009, the “Like” and “Share” buttons appeared for the first time. In 2010, developers were allowed to add these buttons to their own websites, apps and blogs. After only 2 years, 25% of the internet had the buttons installed on their site. So, whenever you visit a site that has a “Like” or “Share” button, you can be sure that they’re sending your browsing behavior to Facebook. So, you might think that it’s just a ‘nice thing’ from Facebook to show you what you want to see, actually it’s a strategic method to increase Facebook’s popularity and the time people visit the site. But, the scary part is that, according to an MIT Technology Review report, Facebook is only weeks away from actually using the data it collects.

If you’re using a Mac, iPhone or iPad, you can thank the always-competitive Apple with its response to Facebook. Apple rolled out ‘Content Blockers’, which allows users to install 3rd-party ad-blocking apps that let you block unwanted social widgets by social media sites. This includes blocking social widgets such as Facebook’s “Like” and “Share” buttons. BlockBear and 1Blocker are the blockers who’ve gained popularity since the release of iOs9 last Tuesday. This probably is a strategic move by Apple to step up with Facebook. However, we can thank them for keeping our web browsing experience a secret from Facebook.

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On one hand, I think it’s a good thing form Facebook to follow our social behavior, so when we’re looking for something specific, we can easily find it. This improves the Quality of Life, because it does make life easier. But on the other hand, I can imagine that people think it’s annoying to get advertisements they don’t even want to see. And it’s also kind of creepy that Facebook can track everything you do online. I even think this con is bigger than the pro, so Apple’s ‘Content Blockers’ are a great solution to exclude Facebook from your online activities. The big question that’s left is; when will Facebook block the ‘Content blockers’ and will our information be abused?



Your midnight Companion

24 Sep

Imagine, you went to a great party on a Saturday night, but it is already 3 am and you have to go to work the next morning. It’s really time to go home, but none of your friends live near you. That means you have to go home all by yourself..

Usually when you split up with your friends after a night out, you make sure everyone sends a message to the rest of the group when they got home safely. But, when you don’t get a message from one of your friends, you might worry a bit, even though you know she might just fell right asleep.

Now, five students of the University of Michigan noticed that their fellow students didn’t like to go home by themselves in the middle of the night. That’s why they created the Companion app.

How does it work?

You enter your route in the app, but also a few names of your friends who can follow your walk home on their phone. When something weird happens, like, for example, you start running, your friends get a signal and they can ask if you’re ‘OK’. When you don’t send them an answer within 15 seconds, an alarm on your phone goes off to scare any assailants (if there are any). In America you can also call the police with the app, but in The Netherlands it doesn’t work yet.

I think this app improves the Quality of Life, because people will feel much safer knowing there is something/someone who protects them on their way home at night. I think it’s even more the feeling that IF something might happen, they can be sure that someone will know. For myself, I would feel much more reassured knowing at least someone would know where am and waits till I get home safely.


Color your stress away

8 Sep

I don’t know why, but some people seem to be stressed out all the time. I think it is a part of growing up and have an adult job. I mean, I have stress too, but I can let go after a certain time. But, luckily for the stressed out adults, there is a color book to color your stress away! The Creative therapy anti-stress color book is created by Hanna Davies, Jo Taylor and Richard Merritt. The book exists of 61 detailed line drawings in black and white. It are like mathematical patterns or complicated drawings of animals, where, sometimes, a part of the background is already colored. This gives you a visual proposal for a color combination, which is a tactic to stimulate the brain.

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The book also has room to doodle. These simple illustrations are an inspiration for people to start to draw free drawings. The creators assure you it is a great way to relax.

It is a little similar to the color book your parents gave you when you were young, when you went on a holiday. This book for adults is for sale for 15 dollar. It is a real investment for yourself, your partner or neighbor to be assured of a nice, relaxed, stress-free moment.

I really think this color book for adults improves their quality of life, because, nowadays you see more and more people getting ill on a physical disease like stress or a burnout. To prevent the expanding of stress, a color book like this is a great remedy to go back to your inner child and to let go of your stress. You don’t have to think about work and you can just focus on the drawings. Just color the stress away!