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See everything that Facebook and Google know about you
Not very long ago, Facebook has, once again, ended up in the middle of controversy related to personal data of its users. Although many people were outraged, nobody was surprised. After all, it wasn't the first time a global tech giant compromised privacy of those who entrusted their data to it.
But if you do use Facebook, how would you know what the company knows about you? Quite conveniently, the company itself has provided its users with tools that will enable them to do exactly that. So did another tech giant, Google.
Want to know everything that Facebook and Google know about you? If you do, read on. Here is the set of links that will allow you to view or download all of your data. You will probably be surprised.
How society conditions you for mediocrity
Why, despite a strong economy and virtually unlimited opportunities, only a small number of people in developed countries live the life that they are fully satisfied with? There are many reasons for this and, sometimes, there are individual circumstances beyond people's control that get in people's way. However, there is one key reason why most of the people are not achieving what they personally would define as success: the society deliberately conditions people for mediocrity.
This is not just another conspiracy theory. As you will see, there are plenty of observable and demonstrable facts which suggest that the society indeed conditions people for mediocrity, or is at least trying to. There are many things going on in the society which are widespread and socially acceptable that either provide no benefit to people who do them or even make their lives worse. Likewise, there are things that, despite not causing any harm to anyone, aren't considered to be socially acceptable, despite the fact that practicing those can have a great positive effect on one's life.
Before I continue, I need to make an important statement: there is, actually, nothing wrong with being mediocre. If you are living an ordinary life and are fully satisfied with it, there is no need to change anything in your life. This article is not aimed at you, although you may still want to read it out of interest. However, if you, just like me, have a nagging feeling that you are not living up to your full potential, read on.
Why you shouldn't always trust scientists
Science is, without a doubt, the best methodology available to humankind to figure out how the world works. Every piece of research done within the framework of modern scientific method goes through several rounds of reviews by other specialists in a given field to ensure that all of the work has been done in objective manner and no bias has been introduced. Researchers who don't follow the rules dictated by the modern scientific method quickly lose their reputation and become unemployable within their fields.
This, however, doesn't mean that every scientific research is completely objective from everybody's perspective. And I am not even talking about outright scientific fraud, such as debunked research that concluded that vaccines cause Autism. There are instances where researchers follow all the prescribed rules, but what they present to the public is not how things are in reality. At best, such manipulations of scientific principles does not help anyone outside of the team that did the research and, at worst, it can actually reinforce unhelpful beliefs in the society and reduce quality of many people's lives.
Let's now go into the details to see how such misdeeds happen. I hope that, after reading this, you will know what to look out for and will not be easily manipulated into trusting somebody with perceived objectivity credentials when they are trying to impose some sort of hidden agenda.
Dark side of software development
I would say without a doubt that software developer is a great profession. As I wrote previously, it is a career that pays above average and has some other perks associated with it. I do enjoy it and can't imagine myself doing anything else as a vocation. However, there are certain negative aspects of the job that make it an unsuitable career choice for many people.
Just as there are many young guys out there who think it would be cool to join armed special forced, but only very few would be willing to go through a tough physical and mental training to achieve this goal, so there are many people who chose a career of a software developer, only to abandon it shortly afterwards and tell everyone how much it sucks. Because of this, I have outlined 10 of the most prominent negative aspects of a software development career that anyone who enters the profession is very likely to encounter. If you can cope with those, then a software development career is something you should probably consider.
I cannot wait for AI to take over
Recently, we have experienced a significant heat wave in England. The temperature soared well above what is normal for June and air stood still for several days. England is not a country where many residential dwellings have any inbuilt air conditioning, so buying a portable fan or an air conditioner was the only option for those who wanted to be comfortable in the scorching heat. The problem was, however, that most of the shops have completely ran out of these appliances in a matter of days. When the stock was finally replenished and prices were put up, the heatwave was over and shops ended up with piles of cooling appliances that nobody wanted to buy any longer.
Remember that selfishness can be healthy and ethical
When I was studying at university, I wanted to become a part of something that would make the world a better place. I didn't want to be yet another cog in a corporate profit-earning machine. This is why I have chosen Environmental Biology as my bachelor's degree and have later chosen Environmental Informatics as masters degree. I wanted to be as altruistic as possible and I despised self-interested people. I was also a practicing Christian. However, since then, I gained more insight into how capitalist economic system actually works and realised that self-interest can be good, depending on the circumstances. Moreover, I am still a Christian and I don't see any conflicts between my believe that selfishness can be good and my Christian beliefs.
How to prevent your phone from spying on you
Nowadays, more and more people are worried about their personal data getting in wrong hands. People see personalised ads in their mobile apps and the web browser and they wonder how the heck did the advertisers find out what to advertise to them personally. Snowden's revelations about the spying practices of the secret services uncovered much more sinister reasons to worry. Based on the information that he has revealed, even your mobile games can be used as access points to your personal data. So, is it true that you should be worried about that humble smartphone spying on you? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, the device can reveal your personal data to third parties; however you can prevent it. This is how.
Why software developers earn more than average
The great global economic recession is over and the global economy has bounced back. However, reports on the news about people being dissatisfied with their salaries became very frequent.
There are many professions that have been gradually declining in value for various reasons, for example increasing adoption of automation and new technologies. However there are some professions where salaries have historically been high which shows no sign of change in pattern. Software engineer is one of them.
Ethical side of tax avoidance
From time to time, news headlines tell us about one of big corporations avoiding a large proportion of its tax liability. More often than not, this applies to tech giants. As Google and Facebook were featured in the headlines for a long time, the tax liability that is avoided by corporations is often referred to as "Google tax".
However, tax avoidance is almost never illegal and often isn't immoral. The key difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance is that tax evasion is strictly illegal and involves deliberate failure to declare some of the income, while tax avoidance work by reducing tax liability via completely legal means. Major companies almost never participate in tax evasion. Also, more often than not, it is not a simple greed that motivates the companies to reduce their tax liabilities, but rather responsibility before the shareholders.
What prompted me to develop Pocket Spy Sound Recorder app for Android
We use MobileTechTracker as a platform to release our apps and we specialise in those kind of apps that would help ordinary citizens to protect themselves from people with bad intentions. Mostly, we achieve that by turning users' Android device in a powerful undetectable surveillance tool. The most recent of such apps is Pocket Spy Sound Recorder. However, the question that we often receive is "Why are you so obsessed with spy and security apps?". The reason for it is because in the past, I myself have been in situations, or had one of my friends in a situation, where having such app would have been extremely useful.
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