How To Download And View The Massive Amount Of Information Facebook Stores About You

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tanuha2001 / Shutterstock.com

With the recent Cambridge Analytica data scandal surrounding Facebook, people are more concerned than ever with how much and exactly what data the social media behemoth has been storing about them and how it’s being used.

And now with news that Facebook has been collecting detailed call histories and text messaging data from Android for years and the FTC investigating, the #deletefacebook movement is starting to become a real thing.

On Monday, we shared the steps you need to take to view which apps have access to your Facebook data, and how to stop them.

Today we’ll cover the five simple steps you can take to download the complete archive of personal information Facebook says it has been compiling about you.

Step 1: Click this link once you are logged in to Facebook. It should take you to facebook.com/settings.

Step 2: Underneath the list of General Account Settings you should see a link that reads “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” It will ask you to re-enter your password then you should shortly receive an email (don’t forget to check your spam folder) with a zip drive of your data.

How To Download All Information Facebook Stores

Facebook

Step 3: Check your email for the subject line “Your Facebook download is ready” and click the link which will take you back to Facebook. The email should look something like this…

How To Download All Information Facebook Stores On You

Step 4: Click the “Download Archive” button and a .zip file will be downloaded to your device.

How To Download All Information Facebook Stores About You

Facebook

Step 5: Open the.zip file and you will see several folders with names such as html, messages, and photos, as well as a file named index. Click on any of those and be taken to various data points.

For example, inside the folder named html, this is what I saw…

How To Download All Information Facebook Stores You

Now you can view things like a monstrous list of your Facebook activity, the Facebook pages and groups you are a fan of or joined, the dates you became friends with your contacts, conversations you had with people, how many and which advertisers have your contact information, as well as all of your photos, videos, events, and even pokes! Never forget the pokes.

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Floating calcium ‘sun shield’ could protect the Great Barrier Reef

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Scientists in Australia are testing a new technology that may help protect the endangered Great Barrier Reef from environmental degradation. An ultra-fine biodegradable film, 50,000 times thinner than a human hair, could be used as a floating "sun shield" to protect the reef from the effects of coral bleaching.

The film, made from calcium carbonate, is designed to sit on the surface of the water above the corals. Trials on seven different types of coral so far have found that the shield decreased bleaching in most cases, cutting off sunlight by up to 30 percent.

The reef measures 216,000 square miles, so it’s unlikely the shield could be deployed across the entire World Heritage site, but managing director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Anna Marsden, says it could play an important role nonetheless: "It could be deployed on a smaller, local level to protect high-value or high-risk areas of reef."

She added that the concept needs more testing before it gets to that stage, "but it’s an exciting development at a time when we need to explore all possible options to ensure we have a Great Barrier Reef for future generations."

Source: phys.org

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The Linux Foundation launches a deep learning foundation

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The Linux Foundation launches a deep learning foundation

Despite its name, the Linux Foundation has long been about more than just Linux. These days, it’s a foundation that provides support to other open source foundations and projects like Cloud Foundry, the Automotive Grade Linux initiative and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Today, the Linux Foundation is adding yet another foundation to its stable: the LF Deep Learning Foundation.

The idea behind the LF Deep Learning Foundation is to “support and sustain open source innovation in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning while striving to make these critical new technologies available to developers and data scientists everywhere.”

The founding members of the new foundation include Amdocs, AT&T, B.Yond, Baidu, Huawei, Nokia, Tech Mahindra, Tencent, Univa and ZTE. Others will likely join in the future.

“We are excited to offer a deep learning foundation that can drive long-term strategy and support for a host of projects in the AI, machine learning, and deep learning ecosystems,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation.

The foundation’s first official project is the Acumos AI Project, a collaboration between AT&T and Tech Mahindra that was already hosted by the Linux Foundation. Acumos AI is a platform for developing, discovering and sharing AI models and workflows.

Like similar Linux Foundation-based organizations, the LF Deep Learning Foundation will offer different membership levels for companies that want to support the project, as well as a membership level for non-profits. All LF Deep Learning members have to be Linux Foundation members, too.

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Your phone is killing your ability to focus at work — even if you think it isn’t

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woman listen phone technology work office

  • Your phone is probably hurting your ability to focus at work, according to new scientific research.
  • In fact, people generally don’t realize how their phone is affecting their behavior.
  • The best solution is to plan to keep your phone in another room at certain times.

I could start this article with a quip about how my phone is sitting right next to me as I’m writing about the dangers of having your phone sitting next to you at work. (#irony!) But that wouldn’t be especially interesting.

Now, if I started this article by saying that my phone was somewhere else — say, in my purse or in another room in the office — that would be truly horrifying.

In fact, it’s a horror story that hundreds of people recently lived through.

The people were participants in a study published in the journal The Consumer in a Connected World, and described in The Harvard Business Review. The conclusion is that having your phone nearby — even if it’s not buzzing or ringing, and even if the power is off — can hurt your performance.

The creepiest part? You may not even realize just how distracting your phone can be.

For the study, the researchers asked hundreds of people to work on two different cognitive tasks. Sometimes people were asked to leave their phones on the desk; sometimes in their pocket or bag; sometimes in another room. In all cases, sounds and vibrations were turned off.

Results showed that people performed best on the tasks when their phones were in another room. Even when participants were asked to turn their phones’ power off, they still performed better when their phones were out of sight.

Yet when the researchers asked participants later whether the location of their phone had affected their performance, most said it hadn’t. That suggests our phones are influencing our behavior in ways we might not even be consciously aware of.

The researchers also found that certain people were more susceptible to their phone’s negative influence. Participants who agreed with statements like, "I would have trouble getting through a normal day without my cellphone" were most strongly affected.

Consider planning to keep your phone in another room while you’re working

This research builds on a similar study, published 2015 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. That study found hearing your phone buzz or ring, even if you don’t interact with it, can hurt your performance on cognitive tasks.

Based on their findings, the researchers behind the new study say people should consider keeping their phones in another room so they don’t interfere with their work. But it’s probably best to plan ahead of time when you’ll leave your phone behind and for how long.

The researchers cite a 2014 study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, that found people became increasingly anxious when they were unexpectedly separated from their phones and forced to hear them ring.

Bottom line: Even if you think you’re functioning perfectly fine, thank you very much, with your phone sitting next to you, you’re probably not.

Consider designating some phone-free time blocks to improve your concentration. If the thought of doing that makes you anxious, consider telling friends and family so you’re less worried about missing something important.

SEE ALSO: Why doing nothing can be the most productive choice you make all week

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A cybersecurity expert showed us how hackers can tap into an office phone and listen to everything you’re saying

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A California man who believes the Earth is flat launched himself almost 2,000 feet in the air in a homemade rocket

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mike hughes rocket

  • "Mad" Mike Hughes, a self-described rocket scientist, launched himself almost 2,000 feet in the air in a homemade rocket over the weekend.
  • He landed hard, and his rocket got dinged, but he is otherwise fine.
  • Hughes said he wanted to see for himself whether the Earth was shaped like "a Frisbee" by going into space.

A man who believes the Earth is flat launched himself almost 2,000 feet into the air in a homemade rocket over the weekend.

"Mad" Mike Hughes, 61, ascended 1,875 feet in his crowdfunded rocket on Saturday before crashing back to Earth in the Mojave Desert outside Amboy, California.

"I’m tired of people saying I chickened out and didn’t build a rocket — I’m tired of that stuff," Hughes told The Associated Press after landing. "I manned up and did it."

Apart from a sore back and dinged-up rocket, Hughes told the AP he was fine.

Hughes has generated controversy over his scientifically unsupported belief that the Earth is flat and shaped "like a Frisbee," as he describes it.

In a video posted on his Facebook page, he said his goal for the launch was to see the Earth’s shape.

"Do I believe the Earth is shaped like a Frisbee? I believe it is," Hughes said. "Do I know for sure? No. That’s why I want to go up in space."

Hughes’ rocket hit estimated speeds of 350 mph before he pulled his parachute. He had to deploy a second parachute to keep from hitting the ground too hard.

"This thing wants to kill you 10 different ways," Hughes told the AP of his rocket.

But he added that he was glad he pulled off the launch.

"I’ll feel it in the morning — I won’t be able to get out of bed," Hughes told the AP. "At least I can go home and have dinner and see my cats tonight."

Hughes built the rocket in his garage over months, but his launch date, initially set for November, was repeatedly scrubbed because of mechanical issues and conflicts with the Bureau of Land Management.

Once the rocket was finally ready to launch, Hughes and his team jury-rigged a mobile-home trailer into a launch ramp.

Noize TV livestreamed footage of the launch.

mad mike hughes

There are, however, much easier ways to prove the Earth isn’t flat without launching yourself into the atmosphere. For instance, as the author Stuart Clark told Business Insider, you can easily perceive the planet’s curvature by watching ships leave a harbor and disappear over the horizon.

But Hughes says he still isn’t satisfied by what he saw from a height of nearly 2,000 feet. Next, he wants to build a rocket carried into the upper atmosphere by a balloon and then launched — something he calls a "rockoon." Hughes said such a craft would take him 68 miles above the Earth’s surface.

"My story really is incredible," Hughes told the AP. "It’s got a bunch of storylines — the garage-built thing. I’m an older guy. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, plus the flat Earth. The problem is it brings out all the nuts also, people questioning everything. It’s the downside of all this."

Besides investigating whether the Earth is flat by launching himself into space, Hughes wants to run for governor of California.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Here’s the full video of the launch from Noize TV:

SEE ALSO: The mystery of a tiny skeleton that many people thought was an alien has finally been solved

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here’s what happens in your body when you swallow gum

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How Did The Rajneesh Get Their Money? Here’s One Theory After Watching ‘Wild Wild Country’ On Netflix

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Like most of America this weekend, I binge-watched Netflix’s Wild Wild Country from beginning to end, hypnotized by the malignant power of the Rajneesh in the ’80s. I don’t want to spoil the documentary for anyone who hasn’t finished, but it’s impossible to talk about the documentary without noting Sheela’s – um… batshit insane? – tendencies as the spokesperson for the Rajneesh.

After watching Netflix’s Wild Wild Country, I had the same question a lot of people had about the cult: How did the Rajneesh get their money to move into a 60,000-acre ranch near the Oregon town of Antelope and build out a city of devoted followers? How does a self-sufficient sex commune pay for the Osho’s fleet of private planes and Rolls Royces, along with a massive private militia? Private donations like any religion? A massive trust fund? The money-trail was noticeably absent from the Duplass Brothers documentary.

This article does a pretty good job answering those lingering questions. They were basically a massive multinational corporation selling “spiritual healing”, with meditation centers and communes all over the world. And Bhagwan was all about it, noting to an INS officer in 1982 that he was all about chasing the almighty dollar as a part of enhancing lives with spiritual growth: “All the religions have commanded and praised poverty, and I condemn all those religions. Because of their praise of poverty, poverty has persisted in the world. I don’t condemn wealth. Wealth is a perfect means which can enhance people in every way… So I am a materialist spiritualist.”

More or less, the Rajneesh generated it’s revenue the same way any global brand would generate it’s revenue. Two years ago the Indian magazine The Wire published a deep-dive about the business of Bhagwan and the Rajneesh. Here’s the key two paragraphs answering my questions about how theRajneesh made money:

In a remarkably short time, a great deal of money began to flow into and through the Oregon commune. Some of this came from sannyasins, including many who were willing to sell their possessions to support the ranch (such as one who recalls selling his Porsche for $20,000 to donate to the cause). A great deal of revenue also came from the many courses offered at the ranch, which ranged from the “Rajneesh Fresh Beginning Course” ($2,500) and “Rajneesh Movement Therapy” ($2,100) to the “Rajneesh DeHypnotherapy Basic Course” ($5,500) and “Rajneesh Rebalancing Course” ($7,500). And finally, a huge amount of money flowed in during the annual World Festival, which began in the summer of 1982. Admission for the seven-day festival was $509 for a place in a four-person tent or $1,804 for a room in the hotel, while the cost of the therapy groups, food and drink in the restaurant, and souvenirs, was extra. During the 1984 festival, the 15,000 people attending spent over $10 million. Overall, between 1981 and 1985, an estimated $130 million poured into the ranch. As Hugh Milne recalls, “Bhagwan said that in the new commune we would grow money on trees… Bhagwan was quite open about the fact that the primary object was to make money.”

Yet as a charismatic multinational corporation, the operations of the Rajneesh movement were by no means limited to the United States. On the contrary, the Oregon community was very much interrelated with and dependent upon a vast global network of Rajneesh centers. These included not only meditation centers and spiritual institutions but also seemingly “secular” enterprises, such as discotheques and restaurants. In all, some twenty corporations were created worldwide with twenty-eight bank accounts, including twelve in Switzerland.

Go read the article in full over at India’s The Wire… It’s the perfect follow-up to watching Wild Wild Country on Netflix.

As you can see in the interview with Sheela above, there were other predominate theories about the finances of the Rajneesh in ’80s, however. Some speculated that it was a massive prostitution ring, with people selling themselves . Sheela didn’t like that theory very much, as you can see above.

“…Good luck to you and your PIMPS!”

Sheela always going straight for the jugular.

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Learn how to publish your own e-book

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Learn how to publish your own e-book

Time to get e-published.
Time to get e-published.

Image: pixabay

In On Writing, Stephen King describes the moment when every writer reads something that’s been published and realizes it’s total garbage. And if that garbage was good enough to go in a book, surely their garbage can survive out there in the wild, with real readers and everything.

These days, it’s the easiest it’s ever been to self-publish, assuming you’re willing to do the work. But how do you even get started? This set of online courses is dedicated to self-publishing e-books. It’s a straightforward way to get expert guidance, and it’s only $25 for all seven courses. Here’s what’s included:

Kindle publishing

Amazon is the world’s biggest marketplace for e-books, so if you want to get your book in the hands of your soon-to-be-loyal fans, you’re going to want to make sure it’s available on that platform. This Kindle publishing guide helps you through marketing, researching competitors, and deciding if you want to go exclusive. It includes 32 lectures, and one hour of content, available to you for life (in case your grand book plans get put on hold).

Kindle e-book formatting

Writing the book is only 90% of the battle. And a big part of that last 10% is formatting. Nobody is going to want to read your masterpiece if all the text is jumbled or the margins don’t work. This course will help you format your book with Scrivener, guaranteeing a solid reading experience.

So you want to self-publish your e-book?

Not sure if self-publishing is right for you? This is the course to help you figure out the answer. The included 17 lectures and an hour of content will answer all your essential questions, and introduce self-publishing concepts like perma-free books and lead magnets. It’ll also identify the four key financial investments that all self-publishing authors should make.

Scrivener simplified

If you want to learn how to use this leading book-writing software, what better way than by watching a successfully published author use it? These 26 lectures and two hours of content will teach you the skills you need to learn this incredibly powerful and complex program.

Kindle e-book cover design

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but we know that everybody does. At least a little bit. And that’s why this program is so helpful; it’ll help you design and format an eye-catching cover for your book that will stand the test of time.

Writing productivity habits

Every writer knows the constant battle with productivity. Luckily, this program features some neat tips and tricks that’ll help you get writing, and keep writing, until your project is done. Thirty-one lectures and two hours of content will drive all these habits home and turn you into one of those people who pumps out a couple thousand words a day, easy.

All these courses are a $175 value, but you can get them on sale for just $25.

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The largest protests in American history are happening now. Expect them to get bigger.

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Size matters — at least when it comes to the size of our protests.

Though final count is still being tabulated, researchers Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Pressman of the Crowd Counting Consortium estimate that over 1.25 million people across the United States participated in Saturday’s March for Our Lives protest, making it one of the largest youth-led protests in American history, at least since the Vietnam War. 

Beyond youth-led protests, March for Our Lives is also poised to become one of the biggest protests, period, in American history, surpassed only by the Women’s March in 2017, where an estimated 4.15 million people participated, and the Women’s March in 2018, where anywhere from 1.6 to 2.5 million people participated domestically. 

These numbers aren’t an accident. A combustible array of variables, including the rise in authoritarianism and anti-authoritarianism worldwide and technology that makes it easier to organize sibling marches, have contributed to historic turnouts. 

The counts are already huge. Now get ready for them to explode. 

It’s important to emphasize that measuring protest size is an imprecise art. Estimates of Saturday’s Washington D.C. protest have ranged anywhere from 202,000 from Digital Design and Imaging Service, which uses drones to collect aerial data, to over 800,000 from organizers themselves, who collect RSVPs and data about public transportation usage. While the public tends to distrust data that comes from organizers, Chenoweth cautions that organizers are often more transparent about their data collection methods. 

“I actually think the conservative estimate here is really quite conservative,” Chenoweth says. “The drones are doing snapshots at given moments in time, but they’re limited by their bird’s-eye view of buildings, or different obstructions, especially when people are moving.” 

To arrive at their estimate (which is still being updated), Pressman and Chenoweth take a 10 percent deduction of the highest estimated count, provide a 10 percent boost to the lowest estimate, and then average the two. Using this method, their best guess for Saturday’s turnout in D.C. hovers around 471,000.

Researchers estimate that around 471,000 people attended Saturday's March for Our Lives protest in Washington, D.C.

Researchers estimate that around 471,000 people attended Saturday’s March for Our Lives protest in Washington, D.C.

Image: zach gibson/Getty Images

Even with such a wide range, these estimates are jaw-dropping — and reflect our current political moment. Of the top five largest protests in American history, four have taken place in the last two years — the two Women’s Marches, the March for Our Lives, and the March for Science, estimated to have a turnout of around 1 million. Only the 1993 March for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation  and the 1982 Nuclear Weapon March in New York City, which both had turnouts in the 800,000 to 1 million person range, come close. Anti-Vietnam War protests were more numerous and over a much longer period of time, with the largest one on record attracting over 500,000 people.  

The March for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation in 1993.

The March for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation in 1993.

Image: porter gifford/liason/Getty Images

According to Chenoweth and Pressman, there were 521 March for Our Lives events nationally though just 27 internationally, significantly less than the Women’s March, who had 261 international marches their first year. To be fair, the United States has some of the least restrictive gun control in the Western world — see here for a depressing comparison.

The Trump effect

Turnouts have been so historic partially because of the depth of anti-Trump despair. Trump’s popularity rating after his first year in office was the lowest for any president in modern American history. The legislative branch that is supposed to provide a check and balance to his power has only amplified it. At Crowd Counting, Chenoweth and Pressman group recent protests into three categories, pro-Trump, anti-Trump, and neither. Chenoweth estimates that the “overwhelming majority of protests in this country, 80 percent, have been anti-Trump.”

There is probably no better organizer in this country than Donald Trump, even if it’s just organizing people against him.

Facebook’s role

Trump can’t take all the credit. Other factors contributed to the exponential growth in protest size, including an increasing reliance on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools that make mass organizing both desirable and easily replicable. 

Researchers have found that organic protest movements are able to rise out of Facebook and Twitter without much assistance from television or traditional news networks. Facebook makes it easier for connections to form, especially temporary political relationships. 

It’s part of the reason why many organizers have been hesitant to leave the platform, despite serious privacy concerns and the company’s role in helping spread anti-Rohingya Muslim propaganda in Myanmar, where the persecuted group faces ethnic cleansing.

The protest toolkit

Still, technology explains the mechanics of viral social movements, not their ethics or their origin stories. Facebook and Twitter can’t create a social movement out of thin air. The companies can’t teach young activists to be good, impactful intersectional activists. That has to come from history, including recent social movements.

“There’s a lot of increased capacity for organizing because of the experiences of the past ten years,” Chenoweth says. “Black Lives Matter itself gave young people a lesson on how you do this. Before Black Lives Matter there was Occupy, since then we’ve had the Dreamers, the Women’s March, and Muslim Ban protests in airports … My guess is these kids did their first activism with their moms. It’s a quicker learning curve for kids.”

With each march, it’s as if organizers are compiling a social protest toolkit or bible, which the next march leaders can tap. Increasingly, for example, organizers have focused on making their marches intersectional, putting women, people of color, young people, and people from diverse religious backgrounds at the front and center of their speaker lineups and leadership. The official platform for the Women’s March on Washington placed not just women’s rights, but Native American rights and Black Lives Matter at the front and center of the platform.

Parkland survivor and activist David Hogg has implored fellow organizers to use their white privilege to make sure all people affected by gun violence — especially people of color — are heard. This principle isn’t exactly new to social movement organizing, but as anyone who participated in the largely white Occupy protests remembers, not consistently practiced historically.

Perhaps protests have included so many people in the past two years because — get ready for it — they’ve made inclusion a central operating principle.

Worldwide trend

The feeling isn’t just mutual. It’s global. As Chenoweth notes, both authoritarianism and anti-authoritarian protests have been on the rise in recent years. Researchers have noted a substantive global increase in authoritarian populist candidates in the West in the past two decades. Citizens in 94 countries now live in non-democratic regimes, including 53 percent of the world’s people, according to the Human Rights Foundation. Authoritarianism has arrived in Turkey as well as Venezuela, and its continued its slow, not-quite-unprecedented crawl in the States.

A Russian protester at the March for Free Internet in central Moscow on July 23, 2017.

A Russian protester at the March for Free Internet in central Moscow on July 23, 2017.

Image: mladen antonovaAFP/Getty Images

As dictatorships have solidified their hold, so, too, have resistance movements globally.

“What we’re seeing in the United States is symptomatic of what we see around the world,” Chenoweth, who also collects data about mass movements worldwide, notes. “[Between] resistance against authoritarianism, colonial and foreign and military occupation … we’ve had more mass movements in this decade in any decade since 1900.”

That’s a spectacular, life-affirming fact. And something that should give organizers, living off leaks of the Russian investigation, special elections and Stormy Daniels’ Twitter feed — something worth holding onto.

Trump isn’t going away anytime soon, and Trumpism won’t end after he finally leaves office. Better to keep building, day by day, viral video after viral video, one explosive protest at a time.

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