We start with how wrong I was last week, with two huge mistakes. I posted a teaser video about a Monosnap screencast I did for ScreenCasts Online, and how I was on Daily Tech News Show #3248 where we talked about whether the announcements from Apple will help them get back in the game with education. Then I’ll walk you through the harrowing tale of how awful both iBooks Author and Pages are at creating ebooks. Then Bart joins us to give a follow up on the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook kerfuffle, he’ll tell us about two new laws in the US called SESTA/FOSTA and the CLOUD act, and he’ll tell us about the very clever fix Apple came up with for the HSTS vulnerability that’s plaguing all browsers.
Hi, this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Apple Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Apple bias. Today is Sunday, April 1, 2018, and this is show number 673.
I’ve mentioned a few times how happy I am that I started making individual blog posts for each subject of the upcoming NosillaCast. Amongst the many reasons that it’s awesome, I like it specifically because it gives those who read rather than listen a chance to find huge mistakes and tell me about them before i say these dumb things on the podcast. It’s much easier to write corrections on a blog post than it is to change audio after it gets into your podcatchers.
That all works great, until you do a back and forth two-person discussion like in Security Bits. Alert listeners Harvey Simon and Doug Ingram were the first to notice two BIG mistakes by me in talking to Bart about Cambridge Analytica on NosillaCast #672. They were both very polite and explained corrected me. I’d like to quote Doug’s email because he gives a lot of detail.
Bart had mentioned that CA may have gotten access to the Facebook info of up to 50 million American users. At 56:46 you said “Now, let me ask you a question here. 50 million sounds like a big number. There are billions of people in the United States, so this isn’t actually a large percentage of the voters, right?”
The population of the US is (according to the always-correct Wikipedia 😉) estimated to be 327,270,267. That’s less than a third of a billion, so there aren’t billions of people in the US. According to this article there were just over 200 million Americans registered to vote for the 2016 Presidential election. This piece cites voter turnout as being over 128 million at 10th November 2016, based on ballots counted at that point. Now, we don’t know how many of the affected Facebook users were registered voters, nor how many of them actually voted, and we can’t know how many would have been influenced by the campaigns mounted by Cambridge Analytica. Still, with a potential 50 million out of 128 million voters in the clutches of Cambridge Analytica, that is a HUGE percentage of the voters.
So, yeah, I got it just a wee bit wrong and missed the entire point of how useful this data was as a result!
Harvey went on to point out the second mistake I made. Not quite as egregious. He pointed out that I said that Social Security Numbers are matters of public record. They categorically are not. In this case I wasn’t misinformed, I misspoke. I was on a roll about driver’s license numbers and didn’t think through what I was saying. In reality, with the data breach at Equifax and the Office of Personnel Management, our Social Security Numbers are publicly available, but that’s not quite the same thing.
I do want to thank both of these fine gentlemen for telling me so quickly about my dumb statements. Never hesitate to (politely) tell me when I’m wrong, ok? Because they told me so quickly I was able to notify NosillaCastaways through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, the Podfeet Press and for the first time I even used Patreon to notify folks there.
If you don’t know about the Podfeet Press, that’s a mostly automated newsletter that announces when the NosillaCast and Chit Chat Across the Pond get published, but I can make out-of-band notices too. I think it’s an invaluable tool for me to reach you if something goes horribly wrong. If you want to be on distribution, the simple sign up is in the menu bar of every podfeet.com page and post entitled Podfeet Press Signup. The best part about it is you can opt back out if it turns out to not add value to you.
Anyway, I blame these mistakes on jet lag.
Chit Chat Across the Pond
Next week we’re going to have Joe Dugandzic of Smarter Home Life on the show again and part of it is going to be him answering your questions. If you’ve got a question about home automation that you’d like to hear Joe answer, send me an email (quickly, we’re recording on Tuesday April 3rd!) at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see how he does.
I’m thrilled that Darren Lai decided to slap down some of his hard-earned money to support the NosillaCast this week. He evidently finds value out of the show and decided that he’d give a little value back. For as little as a dollar an episode you too can become a patron of the arts! This money goes towards offsetting the cost of hosting fees, as well as gear and software to record the shows. Seeing Darren’s pledge made me doubly happy because he also is a patron of Bart’s Let’s Talk series of podcasts. I don’t know which makes me happier, that he’s helping the NosillaCast or that he’s helping Bart! I think I’ll go with both. If you too want to give a little value back to the shows, head over to podfeet.com/patreon.
That’s going to wind this up for this week. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at email@example.com, follow me on twitter @podfeet. Remember, everything good starts with podfeet.com/. podfeet.com/patreon, podfeet.com/facebook, podfeet.com/googleplus, podfeet.com/chat, podfeet.com/amazon! And if you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.