IT

At Amazon people bend over backwards to make sure their employees feel taken care of and their needs are met. When it comes to the treatment of their employees the same courtesy is not always extended. In fact it never really is and its actually pretty bad. In fact some people are calling them out right horrible and there is long hours for less pay and it is really bad. Although despite all these discrepancies between the two and increased scrutiny into Amazon’s work environment, the online retailer, has also been named. Although the Reputation Institute (RI), a global reputation management consulting firm with the America HQ in Whats more according to a ranking that this concerning the headquarters in Cambridge. 

“We tracked their reputation during that whole (public relations) crisis when the New York Times article came out about their work place practices. Then toward the holiday season, Amazon recovered really quickly. But they haven’t fully recovered and really the driving factor behind their bounce back is how strong they are in products and services innovation and financial performance.”

The three dimensions of a work place that people usually consider when they are looking at these kinds of metrics are workplace culture citizenship and governance and transparency. These heavily influenced the reputation in America’s tech industry for this years. But what are you to do there are so few options today that we have actually moved into a monopolistic society and there really doesn’t seem to be any sigh of there being anything really different. Consider the following point is that lets say you wanted to order something online from a retailer like Amazon and have it shipped to your house, who would you call? are you drawing a blank, good because there is no one. When we consider what we are going to do in the future it is scary considering that the consolidation of power will only get more and more pronounced.

Prior to the bruising workplace conditions for white collar workers at amazon became a frond page news in the New York times what were Amazons workers are saying some pretty scathing things about their employers. Since the story appeared, there has been a huge backlash of reactions which include more than 4000 comments on nytimes.com many of them by Amazon workers. This is all regarding their white collar workers, when we consider the situation of the blue collar workers the conditions have been seen to be down right deplorable. Glassdoor has more than 8 million reviews and a rating of 400 thousand companies. which includes 5 thousand revise. what they are saying about this was not so good even before the controversy came to the fore. When asked someone said, “would you recommend the company to a friend?” as a possible employer, and “do you approve of the CEO” the responses where an almost resounding no across the board. Although for their in house surveys they have a lot better responses, why you might ask is because people do not trust their submissions are going to be given anonymity.

If you snoop around any tech circle there is probably nothing more coveted and valued than a nice purse of bitcoin. Flip the bill and ask your parents or grandparents what a Bitcoin even is and they will probably scratch their head, or think its a kind of new toy. But for law makers and people in the know this is some of the biggest grey areas in our society going forward and a large question as to how we should value and regulate this thing that for all intensive purposes doesn’t exist like our current financial systems. For a judge in Miami-Dade Country, the virtual money is nothing more than shadow currency. On last Monday Judge Teresa Mary Pooler completely discarded charges charges that were brought forth to the tune of felony against website  designer Michell Espinoza, who had been accused of transmitting and “laundering” 15 hundred dollars equivalent in bitcoin. This was an impossible case to even go to trial because for the sure fact that Bitcoin is not a tangible wealth. that be be hidden under a mattress like case or gold bars.

in the paper that explains how the Florida law forbids exchanging money for what they refer to as illicit activity, such as credit card fraud or out right theft.

Now this is where things get interesting because it does not seem as if the inability of a Florida Judge to understand or comprehend the tangibility and value of the currency is not beyond the scope of possibility as the end all be all for how we should consider this with our society. In this case the stakes were pretty small is we consider them in the grand scheme of the economy, but even the scope of what the bitcoin has done in the past. For instance today there are so many cases within the context of the world and ransoms paid it has very recently been the case that they are paid with bitcoins. Now are we to say that there is no legal baring or grounding we can refer to in this regard? In my opinion it seems to be the case that if more cases like this come to pass then it could go one of 2 ways. In the first case, it becomes regulated and it becomes encapsulated within our current economy and all will be well in the new world order and nothing changes. But if we take a step back and consider what could happen if in fact this stays on the fridge of our society and instructions yet still affects them what is going to happen. This is probably going to not every come to pass because if we are looking at it from the perspective of how they are looking in the context of the world market they are loosing favor, and fast. Another way we could see this going is that we are left to wonder where in the world the monetary system is going to go after the Trump presidency and the total collapse of the U.S. economy and possibly the human race.

IT just got incredibly personal. The controversial app “Peeple” invites users to recommend and rate others professionally, personally, and even as a date. It’s set to launch in Canada and the United States starting this Monday, March 7th.

There was an uproar regarding the idea, as the app was set to allow for people to be added and rated without their consent. The criticism sent developers back to the drawing board. Now this latest version will only allow for members who have signed up to be visible on the site.

The original app was also going to utilize a “five star” rating system similar to that of Yelp. This idea has also been dropped, likely because of its dehumanizing nature and philosophical and ethical issues regarding quantifying the value of a human being.

Instead, judgments will take the form of “recommendations.”

peeple2Co-founder Julia Cordray explained that app users will be able to control which recommendations appear on their profiles, making the site less likely to be a hub of cyberbullying and a magnet for the ugliness of the internet. Not that it will help all that much.

Especially when you take into consideration that, in April, Peeple will unleash a premium service called the “Truth License” that will enable those who pay to upgrade to view all comments made regarding the members, whether those members have chosen to share the comments or not.

Upgrades are likely to cost about $1 a month according to Cordray.

“We are going to hold everybody accountable to what they say about others,” she explained. How likely the couple is to hold itself accountable for the monstrous platform for public and personal criticism is exemplified by the fact that the company is still pushing to release the app despite the mountains of backlash that its concept has received.

The firm behind Peeple was apparently shocked by the outrage that greeted its first unveiling of the app. Web users stated that the concept ranged from “creepy” to “terrifying.”

“We could never have predicted the backlash to the concept,” stated Cordray. “But it was a positive thing because we ended up being able to give the people what they wanted.” She was quick to add that despite any storm of criticism that may have greeted the app at first, 10,000 people did volunteer to beta-test the app.

The following changes have been made to the original concept: Peeple users will be able to control what goes live on their profiles, no one can add others to the app without their consent, profiles can be de-activated, and the star rating system will be replaced with a public view of the total number of recommendations received.

Users will also be able to grey-out the “dating” category so that they neither make nor receive recommendations in the field.

Peeple, an app under development and co-founded by an Orange County woman, came under Internet fire for its purpose to give people a star rating, much like Yelp. The founders have shifted gears and are now pitching the app as a positivity network.

To use the app, members must use their Facebook log-ins. They can be blocked or reported if they break rules, and activation involves a entering a pin code sent to a user’s mobile phone.

University of East Anglia law professor and privacy advocate Paul Bernal still believes the app is worrying: “It has solved some of the problems, but very significant problems remain,” he stated. “The fact that you can no longer rate people who aren’t on it is probably the best thing they have done but it also means it’s unlikely to succeed as it will be much more limited for the people who do join it.”

“The idea of de-activating your profile is illusionary because the data is still there and vulnerable,” he added. “The Truth License overrides almost all of their safeguards- if people say bad stuff about you that stuff could get out… I actually think calling it the Truth License is unbelievably creepy.”

Facebook’s Free Basics internet access app has been controversial since the get-go. Zuckerberg’s initiative to “connect the world” by offering free internet service to selective sites (including Facebook) for people who otherwise would have no internet service at all has been seen by some as “internet colonialism” more than an effort fueled by altruistic values.

On Monday, India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority made its opinion clear; it ruled in favor of Net neutrality and banned Free Basics.

“This is a very important decision for the future of the internet in India,” commented Barbara van Schewick, the director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. The Telecom Regulatory Authority actually quoted her in its decision for its ruling.

“[The TRA decided] ISPs should not pick winners and losers online,” she continued. “The internet is a level playing field where users, not ISPs, decide what they want to do online.”

TRAIFacebook spokesperson Derick Mains disagrees with this characterization of the Free Basics initiative: “Our goal with FreeBasics is to bring more people online with an open, nonexclusive and free platform… While disappointed with the outcome, we will continue our efforts to eliminate barriers and give the unconnected an easier path to the internet and the opportunity it brings.”

The TRA claims that while differential tariffs such as those set down by Free Basics may make overall internet access more affordable, which then expands and accelerates internet access, differential tariffs also classify subscribers based on the content they want to access.

The regulatory agency believes that this classification “may potentially go against the principle of non-discriminatory tariff” and put small content providers at a disadvantage. It also allows telecom service providers (TSPs) to promote their own websites, apps, or services by offering lower rates to access them.

The TRA also states that the Free Basics idea creates issues that either ignore or exploit confusing variables that occur only in the context of the internet. For example, unlike traditional markets where producers and consumers are distinct, internet users are also content producers.

epa02951514 Indian students try out a low cost $35 (Rs 1,700) tablet computer at its launch in New Delhi, India on 05 October 2011. The tablet computer called 'Aakash' was developed by British-based company Datawind and a team of technologists from IIT Rajasthan.  EPA/STR ** Usable by LA Only **

Another confusing aspect? Every service provider is dependent on other networks, meaning no TSP controls the entire internet infrastructure. If a provider can then occupy “one edge of the internet” and then “charge differentially for data that it does not alone process, [this] could compromise the entire architecture of the internet itself.” In fact, it could make the internet less open, instead of more, meaning Free Basics may actually creating the opposite of its desired affects.

“In India, given that a majority of the population are yet to be connected to the internet, allowing service providers to define the nature of access would be (the) equivalent of letting TSPs shape the users’ internet experience,” the TRA continues. “[This] can continue to be risky.”

The TRA believes that letting TSPs charge differential rates on a case-by-case basis “creates substantial social cost.” Therefore, it ruled that offering or charging discriminatory tariffs for data services based on content is prohibited.

“If ISPs really want to get more people online, they can, for example, offer 500 MB of bandwidth to everyone at 2G speeds, but what people do with that bandwidth is their choice,” explained van Schewick.

Internet cookies are commonly discussed, but most people are pretty ill-informed in terms of what a cookie actually is and what affect it can have on you and your device. Here’s a quick rundown on everything you need to know to make the right cookie decisions for you.

Internet cookies can be broken down into pieces of text that a Web server can store on a user’s hard disk. Websites use cookies to store information on the devices that access the website and retrieve it later. This information is typically stored in the form of name-value pairs (implying that a website stores ID numbers on each user’s machine).

delete cookiesMicrosoft’s Internet Explorer allows you to view all of the cookies stored on your machine. They generally reside in a directory called c:windowscookies. You may find hundreds of files there, each a text file from a web site that has affixed my machine with name-value pairs.

The file name tells you what website stored what cookie on your device. To open it, click on the file. You’ll see anything from a UserID and a website URL to a list of session ID times. This is simply data and cannot do anything on your machine other than be present.

When you return to a website that left cookie data on your machine, that website can access that data again, but cannot access data stored on another website’s cookie. When you enter a targeted URL into your browser, it sends a web page request to the web server for that website. When your browser does this, it will also send along the cookie data that was left by that website (if a cookie was left at all). The website then can use that data or, if it generally dolls out cookies but did not receive any data back this time because you have never visited the website, it will send you your first name-value pair. It can then change name-value pairs or add more whenever you visit the site.

Along with this pair, websites may send expiration dates or path histories.

shopping cartThis all sounds kind of strange and snoopy, so if you don’t want cookies to be saved on your computer or sent out to websites you can always set an option in your browser that informs you every time a sit sends name-value pairs to you. You can then accept or deny the values.

But why do websites even do this? Cookies help websites to store state information on your machine, meaning a website can then remember what state your browser was in the last time you visited. This can be helpful in a variety of ways; websites can then detect how many people are visiting the site (as opposed to how many times a site has been viewed). They can also store user preferences so that different visitors see slightly different versions of the sites, either based on the preferences that the user consciously chose or the preferences that the website has guessed from the information it received. Cookies also allow for users on ecommerce sites to have sustained shopping carts and quick check out options.