Thanks to Chris and all the other attending members for letting me drone on about building a Raspberry Pi web server. Aa promised, I’ve attached a copy of the presentation here.
If you’re interested in Python and live or work in the area, this is a good meetup group to attend.Read More
I’m initiating a project on residential energy optimization, tracking a bear in the back yard, working with a Raspberry Pi to develop a Big Data development cluster, and getting ready for a couple of upcoming talksRead More
While working on the Facebook Privacy Informer App, I had to tackle the issue of “Scope of Distribution” of your personal information. Actually, this should be more properly named as “Scope of (Intended) Distribution”. Facebook privacy controls allow you to set the distribution of various aspects of your Facebook profile. In general, the controls allow you to set distribution to: (The inappropriately named) “Only Me” A subset of your friends, Your friends Groups that you belong to The general public Why does Facebook say “Only Me” when you share information with Facebook? Shouldn’t the setting be labeled, “Only Facebook (and whoever they decide to share it with)?”. Even when you spend the time to tune those controls, there will certainly be leakage of your information beyond your intended settings. Facebook has enough money that you would think your biggest issues would be their intended privacy violations (sales of tracking ads) and your own privacy control lapses (friending people you don’t personally know). Unfortunately that’s not really true. There is a 1 in 4 chance that your account will be hacked this year. Given the information that Facebook acknowledges it holds about you, and other information it won’t tell you about, that’s somewhat alarming. With all that information, and many examples of leaky security, what happens when the almost inevitable major breach occurs? Still… Facebook is a very useful and entertaining service for many of us. So the issue is not how fast we run away from it, but how we control our risk to value ratio. The Privacy Informer Apps is intended to provide feedback on your risk and strategies for reducing that risk. The Privacy Informer for Facebook app is currently in development and has had limited demos. One of the issues I had to incorporate into the risk scoring strategy was Facebook’s distribution scope controls. Once I added that factor to the scoring model, I saw that it could also be used to incorporate security and reputation risks into the scoring. An example of a security issue is when Facebook says that it will only share information with your friends, but then one of your friend’s account gets hacked. A reputation issue is when Facebook gives you control over some information, but then hides other information about you that it intends to monetize. In both cases, there is an expansion of scope beyond the limit your settings indicated. In this model, if you set that level to be “Friends”, I adjust the risk value calculation to include some leakage to the public. That adjustment begs the question, how does one know how much to tweak the value? That’s where some interesting tools and data sources can provide...Read More
For the last few weeks, I’ve been helping improve the web presence of a local business organization that promotes the independent businesses of Hunterdon County, NJ. Check it out at HunterdonFirst.org. An interesting aspect of the website is that each business has the ability to edit their own page. A couple of businesses have taken advantage of this opportunity, and I’ll be working with more to build their own content and strategy. The website uses WordPress as its core tool, which I extended with a child theme for Presswork, and several useful plugins including: Folding Category List Visual Form Builder Ninja Page Categories and Tags Superfish Dropdown Menu Shortcode Exec PHP Modifications were made to several of the plugins to get them to work the way I wanted them to, but all provided a great starting point and I’m very thankful to their creators. I’ll be taking some of what I did for Hunterdon First and updating this website...Read More
Use the Haversine equation to compute a latitude and longitude bounding box a given distance from a centerpoint. This function includes a solution for the normal boundary conditions occurring at the poles and 0 and 180 meridiansRead More