200 Ideas – samples of technological trends

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Recently in Geneva, Laurent Haug (creator of the liftconference) organized a very interesting conference presenting the 200 latest ideas in technology. Some of the highlights included:

Education: there are increasing numbers of networks offering online courses from most renowned universities such as Harvard, MIT, Berkley, and others. Also, the first completely online university is called Udacity and offers project-based online classes with cases built by tech leaders like Google, AT&T, and Intuit. Newspapers such as the NYT are also engaging in education, creating networks placing their contents at the disposal of potential students.

Interactive services: interactive sports sessions on line with a virtual spinning class and virtual bank tellers you can speak to on Skype.

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NCR APTRA Interactive Teller enables banks to offer their customers the benefits of both self-service video banking and the branch experience in one solution.

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Behavioural Tracking

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Have you ever worried about who is collecting your personal data when you use the web? Did you know that there are numerous sites secretly creating a shadow web of connections between sites you go to and trackers you probably never heard of. There is no regulation for this “lurking industry”.

Now you can use a programme called Collusion developed by Mozilla.  The programme graphs the spread of your data from sites to trackers, in real time, to expose and potentially break the hidden connections. You can watch a demo here. Originally only available for Firefox, you can now use it with Google Chrome, Safari and others.

Watch the TED talk with a demonstration.


Social media – controversial privacy issues in the US

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Finally the issue of government invasion of privacy linked to social media is being addressed. The Justice Department and other U.S. agencies are bein sued by the Electronic Frontier Foundation over their policies for using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter in investigations, data collection and surveillance.

The EFF is a civil rights group which filed a complaint in San Francisco claiming that the government has used social-networking sites in conducting investigations and hasn’t clarified the scope of that use or whether there are any restrictions or oversight to prevent abuses. 

It is seeking the information to “help inform Congress and the public about the effect of such uses and purposes on citizens’ privacy rights and associated legal protections.” Bloomberg reports that it cited news articles that reported police searching Facebook photos for evidence of underage drinking and an FBI search of an individual’s home after the person sent messages on Twitter during the G-20 Summit notifying protesters of police movements.

The lawsuit seeks a court order for the government to process the requests and produce documents.

via Bloomberg