The Internet’s Power As Ubiquitous Surveillance

The Internet’s Power As Ubiquitous SurveillanceWhether we know it or know, whether we like it or not, and whether we admit it or not, we have now arrived at a time when the Internet is so ubiquitous that it has achieved the status of being a Silent Stalker — a perfectly detailed surveillance tool.

‘Ubiquitous surveillance’

Google and Facebook now tracks us. Apple tracks our iGadgets. And now, even what we do offline is linked with the known online data about us. Everything we do now involves the use of computers. All our information are being saved, stored, analyzed and correlated with our spending habits, lifestyle, personalities, and health.

Yes, we are now being subjected to ubiquitous surveillance. All of us are being monitored by the watchful eye of the Internet. We can take a few measures to prevent or just limit this, we can cover up our tracks by deleting cookies, or we can use bogus names on social networks and emails. But being followed is simply not something we can opt out of. We have no choice regarding this matter.


‘Freedom and privacy’

Online, privacy is scarce. One wrong click and your data is stored forever in the most hidden corners of the Web. And today, the government and business companies are working together to maintain the scarcity of online privacy because both of them benefit from it.

So, we are doomed. No more private conversations — email, text, private messages on social networking sites — forget it; it’s not private anymore. This is a world where everything you do on your computer or cellphone is being saved, used, stored, and passed around with out your consent. This is a world where all of us are held under ubiquitous surveillance without our knowledge. And to begin with, we were awestruck with this treasure trove of knowledge that we once worshiped.  Truly, we are paying a big price for the advancement of technology — a price that involves our freedom and privacy.

Anybody else here misses old-school snail mail and post-it messages?

 

Image: Psy Blog

And The Happiest States In The U.S. Are…

And The Happiest States In The U.S. Are...If you’re sick of cheerful, happy people, it might be wise to avoid Hawaii or Napa, California. They were found to be the United States’ happiest state and city, respectively, in a recent study of geotagged tweets.

‘Fondness for profanity’

Researchers at the University of Vermont sifted through more than 10 million geotagged tweets from 2011 to map out the moods of Americans in urban areas. They ranked the locations based on frequency of positive and negative words using the Mechanical Turk Language Assessment word list.

Maine, Nevada, Utah and Vermont round-out the top five happiest states list, following rainbow and beach-filled Hawaii. Louisiana was found to be the saddest state, followed by Mississippi, Maryland, Michigan and Delaware. One reason for Louisiana’s low cheeriness ranking (they must not have measured during Mardi Gras) is its inhabitants’ fondness for profanity.

‘Coastal areas were more chipper’

The study, which was broken down by The Atlantic, also looked at the results for 373 urban areas to rank the happiest and least-happy cities. Vacation destination Napa, California, was determined to be one of the happiest cities along with Longmont, Colorado; San Clemente, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Santa Cruz, California.

The five most bummed-out cities according to average word choices were Beaumont, Texas; Albany, Georgia; Texas City, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Monroe, Louisiana. Again, researchers found liberal use of swear words to be a key factor in a city’s overall happiness score. Coastal areas were more chipper than landlocked areas, and the cities with a higher density of tweets tended to be less happy.

The research shows that social networks have a lot of promise for these types of surveys, and also that there are still some major limitations. Researchers point out that only 15% of online adults are using Twitter, and those users don’t accurately represent the demographics of the United States.

Do you agree with the results of this study? Tell us what makes you happy and what makes you sad.

Source: Heather Kelly, CNN

Image: The Telegraph