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+ - How to Respond to Internet Rage->

reifman writes: So, you’ve been attacked by trolls? Here’s what to expect: Your phone will vibrate incessantly with Twitter mentions. You’ll receive angry, obscenity filled emails and anonymous comments on your blog. Bloggers will take you out of context (a columnist at The Guardian compared me to a mass murderer—seriously). And maybe, you’ll receive an inappropriate package at your home, as I did. If you choose to respond, here's how to proceed.
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+ - Anatomy of Some Slashdottings->

reifman writes: I've shared traffic data from some of my posts that have been published at Slashdot over the past decade which has varied from as little as 1,500 page views to upwards of 40,000. Definitely the most surprising response was to Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds — who knew Slashdot readers were so health conscious?
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+ - Stellar: An Open Source, Nonprofit Infrastructure for Financial Transactions->

reifman writes: Stellar is not just a BitCoin alternative, it's a nonprofit, foundation-supported, public infrastructure for money. It's one of the most interesting platforms I've profiled and may provide the ingredients to break the 3% drain on the economy of credit card networks. Stellar's designed to securely, fluidly and affordably support online transactions between different people with different currencies, and to provide an open source platform for developers to build payment solutions into applications of all kinds. Stellar's Advisors include MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito and WordPress Founder Matt Mullenweg. Its diverse team notably includes nearly 50% women, unusual in most technology startups.
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+ - The Challenge of Web Hosting Once You're Dead->

reifman writes: Hosting a website (even WordPress) after your death has a variety of unexpected complexities, from renewing your domain name, to hosting, security, monitoring, troubleshooting and more. It's a gaping hole that we as technologists should start thinking more about — especially because all of us are going to die, some of us unexpectedly sooner than we'd like or planned for. The only real solution I found was to share credentials and designate funds to descendants — you've done this, right?
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+ - A Woman Demystifies the "Dickonomics" of Tinder->

reifman writes: If I want to feel badly about myself, Tinder is the go-to app. In fact, it's hard for me to imagine a greater contrast to the experience of disempowerment I shared in 'Peepless in Seattle' than smart, funny, sex-positive writer Alana Massey's 'The Dickonomics of Tinder' who says she's 'grown increasingly skilled at selecting for only the most exceptional sex with every swipe.' Certainly, the rise of smartphones and dating apps have enabled a marketplace where her mantra 'dick is abundant and low value' is true. Massey says considerate, sexually responsible men that use proper punctuation are more likely to get the girl. My experience is that it's a lot more complicated than that but I do wish that we lived in a culture that encouraged sex positivity for all genders and a lot less misogyny. For the record, being a semi-vegan cat lover never seemed to work for me with anyone.
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+ - Dropbox Moves Accounts Outside N. America to Ireland

monkeyzoo writes: Similar to a previous announcement by Twitter, Dropbox has changed its Terms of Service for users outside of North America (USA/Canada/Mexico) such that services will now be provided out of Ireland. Will other companies follow this trend and leave the USA (and the jurisdiction of the NSA)? Note, the announcement states that North American users are not able to opt into the Irish Terms of Service.

+ - A Visual Walk Through Amazon's Impact on One Seattle Neighborhood->

reifman writes: If you live in Seattle, it's easy to see Amazon.com's impact on downtown construction and growth but not everyone sees what's happening in neighborhoods like formerly sleepy Ballard. One by one, traditional Seattle homes are being razed and replaced by 3 1/2 story behemoths without regard for aesthetics of any kind. The new townhomes offer 12 foot wide living spaces for Amazon's brogrammer class. Take a walk with me down my friend's street to see what it's like to live amongst the returns of e-commerce success. Ballard is also home of the late octogenarian Edith Macefield who refused to sell her house to developers as construction went up around her.
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+ - Preparing for Your Digital Afterlife-> 1 1

reifman writes: By 2065, there will be more dead people on Facebook than living ones. What happens to your digital assets when you die or are incapacitated? While good tools for this remain scarce, Preparing Digital Assets for Your Eventual Death reviews what you can do to provide family members with necessary credentials should the need arise. Part one of this series reviewed the difficulty of hosting your website after your death. These topics were just interesting to me when I first wrote about them but became more real after learning of my own brain tumor diagnosis. It's a good idea to organize your digital life before you need to.
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+ - Ancestery.com caught sharing DNA database with government->

SonicSpike writes: In 1996, a young woman named Angie Dodge was murdered in her apartment in a small town in Idaho. Although the police collected DNA from semen left at the crime scene, they haven’t been able to match the DNA to existing profiles in any criminal database, and the murder has never been solved.

Fast forward to 2014. The Idaho police sent the semen sample to a private lab to extract a DNA profile that included YSTR and mtDNA—the two genetic markers used to determine patrilineal and matrilineal relationships (it’s unclear why they reopened the case after nearly 20 years). These markers would allow investigators to search some existing databases to try to find a match between the sample and genetic relatives.

The cops chose to use a lab linked to a private collection of genetic genealogical data called the Sorenson Database (now owned by Ancestry.com), which claims it’s “the foremost collection of genetic genealogy data in the world.” The reason the Sorenson Database can make such an audacious claim is because it has obtained its more than 100,000 DNA samples and documented multi-generational family histories from “volunteers in more than 100 countries around the world.”

Sorenson promised volunteers their genetic data would only be used for “genealogical services, including the determination of family migration patterns and geographic origins” and would not be shared outside Sorenson.

Despite this promise, Sorenson shared its vast collection of data with the Idaho police. Without a warrant or court order, investigators asked the lab to run the crime scene DNA against Sorenson’s private genealogical DNA database. Sorenson found 41 potential familial matches, one of which matched on 34 out of 35 alleles—a very close match that would generally indicate a close familial relationship. The cops then asked, not only for the “protected” name associated with that profile, but also for all “all information including full names, date of births, date and other information pertaining to the original donor to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy project.”

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+ - Two Programmers Expose Dysfunction and Abuse in the Seattle Police Department->

reifman writes: Programmers Eric Rachner and Phil Mocek are now the closest thing Seattle has to a civilian police-oversight board. Through shrewd use of Washington's Public Records Act, the two have acquired hundreds of reports, videos, and 911 calls related to the Seattle Police Department's internal investigations of officer misconduct. Among some of Rachner and Mocek's findings: a total of 1,028 SPD employees (including civilian employees) were investigated between 2010 and 2013. (The current number of total SPD staff is 1,820.) Of the 11 most-investigated employees—one was investigated 18 times during the three-year period—every single one of them is still on the force, according to SPD. In 569 allegations of excessive or inappropriate use of force (arising from 363 incidents), only seven were sustained—meaning 99 percent of cases were dismissed. Exoneration rates were only slightly smaller when looking at all the cases — of the total 2,232 allegations, 284 were sustained. This is partly why the Seattle PD is under a federal consent decree for retraining and oversight. You can check out some of the typically excellent Twitter coverage by Mocek from his #MayDaySea coverage.
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+ - Locating Witnesses and Muckraking with Social Media APIs->

reifman writes: In February, Congressman Aaron Schock was revealed to have used taxpayer and campaign funds for elaborate travel. He was exposed by his Instagram account — here he is in Patagonia. His account is now private. In Using Social Media to Locate Eyewitnesses, I explore using the Instagram API to go back in time to find attendees to Macklemore's public video shoot in Seattle. Instagram allows you to look back as far as you wish. The current Twitter API only seven days.
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+ - Hosting Your Website After Death->

reifman writes: What are the technical challenges of hosting your website forever? In Hosting Your Website After Death, I explore the unexpected complexity of this question. I didn't know when I pitched and wrote this series on planning your digital afterlife that I would soon be diagnosed with a brain tumor making the topic unsettlingly important for me.
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+ - What We Can Learn From My Brain Tumor->

reifman writes: About a week after Slashdot posted my article Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds, I was diagnosed with a likely benign, operable brain tumor. I'm pretty determined not to become your cliched excuse for remaining unfit — you know, the guy who lives on a calorie restricted diet for nine months, loses 36 pounds and then dies of a brain tumor. Here's a bit of what I've learned over the past few weeks and what I think my brain tumor has to teach you.
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+ - Peepless in Seattle, Fleeing My Breaking City->

reifman writes: Straight or gay, male or female, if Amazon offers you a job in Seattle, think twice. For me, aging, demographics, online dating and the Seattle Freeze have gotten the best of me after 20 years here. But Seattle is breaking under the weight of Amazon's growth, which has acquired enough real estate to double or triple its headcount. There are 51 cranes on the skyline and more on the way, but transportation investments are lagging — one tunneling machine's been stalled for a year. Dubbed "gridlockapocalypse", traffic is a complete mess. Rents are skyrocketing and the wealth gap's expanding. Tech's white male gentrification is driving a culture clash and a rash of hate crimes in the traditionally gay Capitol Hill neighborhood. There's even a boom in prostitution and sex trafficking. And, it could be a bubble.
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Beware the new TTY code!