Category: Sport & exercise

Facebook “We’re not listening.” Overreach?

Facebook are currently disputing the idea that they listen in on real-world conversations through over-reaching it’s permissions to access the microphone. Yes – users want the apps to access the microphone when actively recording video or using audio – but not when having a private conversation with someone in the ‘real world’ – with the phone off.

The biggest issue I have with this is the denial. They explicitly denied listening via the core Facebook app; and also their messenger app. However, we’re all using a variety of additional apps curated and managed by Facebook.

  • Facebook.
  • Messenger.
  • Whatsapp. (need microphone for audio/video calls)
  • Instagram. (needs microphone for video)

It’s not practicable to manage access or revoke access based on individual use. What’s required here is for iOS/Android to provide better UX around which apps are accessing which features each time they’re accessed. In the same way we have the battery monitor, the OS providers should be providing an audit log of what exactly your phone has been doing.

I’m not sure what privacy campaigners are calling it yet – I need to have a read up and familiarise myself.  I’d call it overreach. We should be protected from such overreach; and the OS creators need to provide better tools by default, rather than requiring rooting and/or technological expertise to understand what a device that you’re paying for and is with you for practically 24 hours a day is doing with your data.

Running again

Those eagle-eyed views of this site will have noticed that I’ve not been so good at my running recently.

Instead of waiting for the ‘right’ time to start, I’ve already started, and I intend to continue my 5k every other day.

I don’t particularly like it at the moment, but I imagine that’s because I’m not running fit – and as I get fitter I anticipate I’ll like it more.

It’s a hard slog getting back into it, but hopefully we’ll start to see the positives.

Back in the running game

Today I managed to get out for a run, the first one since my half-ironman at the end of August. A major part of the decision was due to signing up to the Brighton half-marathon 2017. Last year it was easy to focus on the training because the London Marathon was such a famous event – but I need to remember the Brighton marathon is just as far!

So – I need to take it more serious than last year and get more regular and planned training activity in over the winter. A trip to Australia/NZ over new year should help give me lots of opportunities for running.

Will put my runs back on Strava – please give me abuse if you don’t see me training! (Unless I get injured again!)

Reaction to the referendum

I think one of the hardest thing to process right now is probably this:

The vast majority of my network supported ‪#‎remain‬, I could only influence people who already shared my views.

In reacting to the vote, you may be ashamed and confused about how anyone you know could vote the opposite way. Don’t cut them off, don’t cut them out.

We need to understand why they’ve made these decisions, and equip ourselves with knowledge to challenge and convince them, not build walls and claim intellectual superiority because we think we are right and they are wrong.

Leaving the EU is a huge decision, with indirect ramifications that are truly ugly. To pick an example from across the pond. No one ever thought Trump would get popular support for his “Deport all Muslims” policy, but here we are a few months later with him dangerously close to the American Presidency.

As disappointed as i feel about the EU result, should Farage and his right wing pals want to seek a mandate to support Trump with another referendum; I don’t want to be going to sleep that night with the thought of feeling as disappointed as I did on the 24th June 2016.

Politics isn’t just about voting. It’s not a choice for us to engage once a year, it’s about selecting people we admire and respect to represent our ideals, to let them make decisions on our behalf and to watch them be a shining example for our beliefs.

Go back out to your communities; love not hate. This one may be lost, but we now have to better make our case.