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5 Terrific (and Unusual) Pinterest Boards you Should Follow Now

I recently saw a tweet from Tragically Ally, a popular champion on Twitter. And it made me laugh. It also made me think:

Turns out funeral pins are a thing. Just search for funeral pins in Twitter – some tweets are in jest, sure, but not all. I didn’t get swept away in thoughts of my own funeral. I did, however, begin to think of other Pinterest boards that might exist. Here are some eye-catching Pinterest boards. They're work safe.

1. Alternative Disney

https://www.pinterest.com/banderbear/alternative-disney/ Mashups rock, don’t they? Take a look at what characters such as Ariel and Pocahontas would look like if they were in The Walking Dead. Check out a real-life, man-sized Buzz Lightyear. And check out impressive Disney poster GIFS like this one:
disney-pin

2. Cartographic Curiosities

https://www.pinterest.com/brainpicker/cartographic-curiosities/ This board boasts more than 12,000 followers. It includes a book lover’s map of literary geography, circa 1933. It features cartographic works of art that originated in Boston and Cambridge. See a historic atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. And have a look at this visual history of mapping the universe:

3. Funeral ideas

https://www.pinterest.com/explore/funeral-ideas/ It’s not all about how folks hope to peace out of this world. Pins include balloons printed with “You are loved, you are missed, you are remembered.” Find ideas for how to display a favorite quote at the service. And peruse the collection of poems, such as this one:
funeral-pin

4. Humor fingers (dedicated to the art of finger people)

https://www.pinterest.com/dollzbyelectra/humor-fingers/ With this board I’d need both hands and feet to count my favorites. You have to hand it to people who can be so clever. Lots of people have nailed it on this board. Others kind of toe the line. Here’s a favorite of mine:
finger-pin

5. Too PRETTY to EAT!

https://www.pinterest.com/andrejcick/too-pretty-to-eat/ This board takes dessert to a sweet, creative level. Check out a detailed ruffle cake, in deep purple. There’s a jaw-dropping wedding cake that looks like it’s part of an enormous carnation. I loved this one, of Alice in Wonderland, even though I’m not sure whether to eat or pour tea from:

Security

Security Concerns in Facebook – and how to Remedy Them

I don’t even know my Facebook password anymore. I’m one of among 1.51 billion Facebook users active each month on the Facebook app. Why log out and log in on a laptop or desktop computer, when you have the app at a swipe’s notice? Facebook, though, as with other social-media sites, has security concerns that everyday users often ignore. Our open-login nature presents a problem if our mobile device falls into the wrong hands. Not only is your Facebook data at risk, but also your banking, home security or email access, depending on what apps you have open and active on your device. Those concerns can be addressed by simply adding a pass code to a device. Beyond that, there are other security concerns Facebook users face every day. Here are two common issues on Facebook that could also impact other social media outlets. With any platform that reveals personal information, it’s important to take precautions, especially on mobile devices, which could fall into the wrong hands.

Facebook’s telling strangers where you are

Know the People You May Know section on your Facebook page? It suggests, sometimes eerily, connecting with people you might have emailed or interacted with on other social media channels. Internet news and commentary site Fusion says Facebook uses mobile location to suggest friends. In some ways, this could be a plus: If you’ve attended a networking event and can’t remember the name of someone you met, they could wind up in your People You May Know suggestions. However, that creepy guy who semi-stalked you in the frozen food section at the market? Not exactly a contact you want to make. As the debate rages on, here’s what you can do.

How to fix it

Unless you don’t mind suggestions possibly being made based on your location, you can turn off the site’s access to your location data. Through Location Settings on your mobile device, opt out of access to location data. Keep in mind you won’t be able to get coupons and other location-based incentives available on other apps.

Cross-site Scripting is a problem

Facebook’s Facial Recognition Technology suggests that friends tag you in pictures. This is great when you want to be part of the share for a concert last weekend or family reunion. It’s not so great when scammers send you messages that ask Why are you tagged in this video? or offer access to a fake new feature, such as the Dislike Button. Once the bait works and you click on the link, you’re encouraged to paste JavaScript code in your browser to remedy the situation. That code can contain malware that puts your personal data at risk, or sends messages in your name to your contacts, connected to – you guessed it – more malicious code.

How to fix it

Take precautions regarding what photos you allow yourself to be tagged in. Be wary of messages that offer access to new Facebook features, or help in removing yourself from tagging. The best way to remove yourself: Change your Privacy Settings in Facebook. The Settings menu can be found in the top right corner of your Facebook page.  Select Timeline and Tagging in the left column. Turn off tagging suggestions. This will remove your contacts’ ability to tag you in photos of people who look like you. Friends will still be able to tag you in photos, though. The very features that make Facebook such a popular social-media site also present opportunities for scammers to strike. With these and other threats, caution is the best remedy. Don’t add friends you don’t really know. Review all posts you’re tagged in, and keep an eye on your timeline for any posts you don’t want there.

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Social Media

Selfie Side-Effects

Admit it: you’ve done it. Maybe it was in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, maybe it was with some baby animals at the petting zoo, or maybe it was with Justin Bieber. You probably put a nice filter on it, made sure the backlighting was perfect and then posted it on social media to watch the likes roll in. Don’t worry, it’s normal. According to Lifehacker there are 93 million selfies taken every day. Some might say it’s become an all-out epidemic. Teens spend almost 7 full days a year taking selfies. And while there hasn’t been a true mental health disorder identified when it comes to selfie addictions, there have been extreme cases like Danny Bowman who attempted suicide when he was unable, in his words, to get the perfect selfie. Bowman reportedly spent 10 hours a day taking photos of himself. For many teens, and even some adults, selfies can create unhealthy body image, depression and anxiety. According to Psychology Today, “Preoccupation with selfies can be a visible indicator of a young person with a lack of confidence or sense of self that might make him or her a victim of other problems as well… Just like with other forms of risky or socially confrontational behavior, the attention generated is likely not the kind of attention a young person really needs. This behavior can be an unconscious cry for help.” A selfie obsession could point to a deeper mental health issue. The National Alliance on Mental Illness notes that 1 in 5 American have a diagnosable mental disorder and the selfie/social media culture can fuel some of those disorders in negative ways or fuel narcissistic tendencies. Lifehacker has listed a few things that people with narcissistic social media tendencies do, including: constantly updating your profile picture, posting provocative selfies, obsessively checking social media feeds for comments, self-promotion and bragging, over-sharing and friending people just for their attention and likes. They may find it difficult to go throughout the day without taking a selfie. Ohio State University recently conducted a study where people who post a high number of selfies scored higher on personality tests for traits of narcissism and psychopathy. Getting likes and garnering interest in posts is also fueling a rise in “dangerous selfies.” Selfies in which the subject is standing too close to the edge of cliffs or climbing on top of buildings. You could actually die from taking these kinds of selfies. Since 2014 there have already been 49 selfie related deaths, two of which involved a hand grenade. Yes, you heard that right. Most selfie injuries and deaths come from drowning, train related incidents and heights. Not necessarily in that order. It sounds crazy, but many people put themselves in dangerous situations without even thinking just to get the “perfect” selfie. So much so, that U.S. National Parks have issued warnings to people about getting too close to wildlife or attempting selfies close to cliffs or waterfalls. At Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, 5 people were gored by bison last year during selfie attempts. While there are great and appropriate reasons for selfies, such as raising awareness for causes or showing off new babies, they present problems when they’re taken excessively. There’s evidence they cause us to lose awareness for our surroundings. They also fuel an unhealthy need for validation and attention that keeps us from enjoying the moments we are experiencing. Next time you’re contemplating taking one, ask yourself if you’re doing it for the right reasons, and for heaven’s sake, be sure to stay away from trains and bridges.  


http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2016/02/do-your-selfies-make-you-a-narcissist-infographic/ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/positively-media/201307/selfie-use-abuse-or-balance http://www.cbsnews.com/news/death-by-selfie/ http://priceonomics.com/the-tragic-data-behind-selfie-fatalities/

News

Everything You Need to Know About Internet Hoaxes

There’s a lot of great content on the Web. There are movies, music and TV. News, sports, blogs, and politics. In fact, there are more than 38 trillion individual webpages on the Internet.

With numbers like that, there’s bound to be some misinformation out there. One of the most prevalent — and most enduring — kinds? Internet hoaxes. Whether they’re lighthearted pranks or malicious scams, hoaxes have been fooling unsuspecting Internet users for years.

Here’s everything you need to know about Internet hoaxes, and what you can do to steer clear of them.

What kinds of Internet hoaxes are there?

Internet hoaxes can come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. Some are just for fun, like this year’s half-cat hoax. Others try to trick you out of money or information, like the poverty blogger who turned out not to be so poor.

The just-for-fun hoaxes aren’t all that harmful. The worst thing that’ll happen if you get tricked? You’ll look a little silly in front of your more Internet-savvy friends and coworkers. Some of the most well-known hoaxes of this year were actually pretty funny. There was Jimmy Kimmel’s ”Twerk Fail”, the man-eating python in India and dozens of YouTube pranks.

Some, of course, weren’t quite so funny — like college football star Manti Te’o’s fake-deceased girlfriend, or the viral videos of the “Knockout Game”. And other hoaxes had more serious consequences. Blogger Linda Walther Tirado received criticism when unsuspecting Internet users gave her more than $60,000 after reading her maybe-not-entirely-true article on living in poverty. Waitress Dayna Morales started a similar scandal when she faked a bad tip and subsequently received thousands of dollars in donations.

How can you tell if something is a hoax?

So – how do you avoid hoaxes that attempt to tug at your heartstrings in exchange for your money or your personal information? Don’t be so quick to trust everything you read online, and do a little research.

There are plenty of websites devoted to debunking Internet hoaxes, including Snopes.com and HoaxBusters.org. If you think something you find online might be a hoax, try to find it on one of those sites. They’ll likely have information about the accuracy of the story, how it got started and whether or not it’s harmful. The sites also contain information on phishing scams, viruses and other kinds of malware.

Simple Internet searches can also help you find out more about potential Internet hoaxes — especially if you’re not exactly sure what you’re dealing with. Hoaxes are usually covered by mainstream media, so just searching some key terms on Google may lead you to more information.

One thing to keep in mind? It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you’re concerned that a story you read online may not be true, it’s better to be skeptical and do your research — whether it’s your money, your personal information or just your pride on the line. Never give money or information online unless you can verify that the source is legitimate, and be careful when opening emails and clicking links from unknown sources.

Social Media

Online Gun Safety

It’s the best line of one of the most famous Christmas movies of all time: “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” A Christmas Story’s Ralphie doesn’t end up shooting his eye out with his Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle, of course. But the warning he gets? It isn’t bad advice. Whether you’re planning on gifting a gun this holiday season or not, gun safety is incredibly important. The good news? It’s easy to get educated. And there are tons of online resources — including safety courses, videos, e-books, quizzes and more — to help. Get started with these online resources for gun and shooting safety:

The National Shooting Sports Foundation

The National Shooting Sports Foundation offers a series of PDFs and online videos on gun safety for any audience. Children kindergarten through 6th grade can learn about gun safety from cartoon figure McGuff the Crime Dog, and there are more advanced lessons for kids grades 6-9. Adults can watch videos on their role in gun safety and learn about etiquette and safety at the shooting range. There are also discussion topics and questions to follow up the video lessons.

International Hunter Education Association

If you’re more concerned with hunting and shooting safety than handgun safety, the International Hunter Education Association is a valuable resource. The site offers a hunting-specific online gun safety course that covers everything from an introduction to hunting to wildlife conservation. There are more than 15 free online lessons, and there’s even a firearm safety quiz to round out the course.

Your State’s Department of Natural Resources

A great — and reliable — resource for online gun safety? Your state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR). In fact, since gun laws vary so much by state, your home state’s website might be the best place for online gun safety resources. Some sites offer general guidelines and information on shooting safety laws. Some have in-depth courses. Some provide links to other online resources. Search “online gun safety in [your state]” or head to your state’s DNR website to find out what your state has to offer.

Online certification courses

Tons of websites offer online courses for certification, whether it’s for hunting licenses or concealed carry permits. The only catch? Online courses are currently accepted in just a few states, including Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Oregon, Virginia and Minnesota. <p?Check your state’s gun laws to see if online courses are accepted there. And even if they’re not, online courses can be a great way to supplement or brush up on gun safety education. If you’re looking for an online gun safety course, try these out:
  • The Carry Academy offers an easy, quick online course for carry permits. All you have to do? Watch a 30-minute video on handgun safety, and then take a 20-question test. The course is permissible in most states that accept online courses.
  • HunterCourse.com doesn’t host an online shooting safety course of its own. Rather, it’s a comprehensive database of online gun safety courses in all the states that offer them. Start here to be sure that the course you take is accepted in your state.
Check out this resources for online gun safety, during the holiday season and year-round!

News

Find your Niche with New Social Networks

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great for staying in touch with — well, pretty much everyone. Your college roommate. Your best friend from elementary school. Your grandparents.

But big, popular sites like Facebook and Twitter might not be the best place for people who want to connect with others with similar interests. That’s where niche social networks come in.

They’re popping up everywhere on the Web: social networks that bring online communities together over specific interests. There are social networks for books, crafts, animals, comics, sports and more, and they have thousands — sometimes even millions — of users.

What do the best niche social media sites have in common? According to PandoDaily, they provide both an interactive community of peers and reliable, relevant information on a topic. Here are a few you should know about:

Book Group Online

Book Group Online is exactly what it sounds like — an online book group. But unlike your neighborhood book group, Book Group Online (or BGO, as it’s known to members) has thousands of members and covers dozens of topics. Users can find discussion groups by time period (21st-century fiction, 20th-century fiction, pre-1900 fiction and more) and genre (Crime, Thrillers and Mystery, Fantasy and Myth, Historical and Romance, Horror, and Science Fiction). There are also sections for non-fiction and children’s literature, and members can vote on and discuss a group read each month.

Looking for other online book groups? Try Goodreads Groups or BookTalk.org.

Dogster

If you’ve ever felt tempted to make a Facebook or Twitter page for your dog, this social network is for you. Dogster is both an online magazine and a community for dog-lovers.

There are up-to-the-minute articles about canine health, dog news, breeds, training techniques and more. There are galleries full of puppy pictures and a database of dogs up for adoption, searchable by ZIP. And there’s an online forum where you can ask questions, get advice, communicate with other dog-lovers and even make a profile for your dog.

If you’re more into networking with feline friends, check out Catster, Dogster’s sister site.

Map My Run

Map My Run is the perfect social network for anyone interested in exercise, whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or just starting to get in shape. The site and mobile app allow users to map out routes for runs or bike rides, track data from workouts and even log and analyze the foods they eat.

But what sets Map My Run apart from all the other workout apps on the market? It also allows you to share your exercise routine with friends, so you can see what others are up to, cheer on their progress and even motivate yourself a little extra. You can find fitness events, join local running or cycling groups and even link to your Facebook account.

CafeMom

The Internet is full of advice about parenting, both good and bad. But CafeMom is one of the best sources for parenting information out there — and it’s a popular social network, too.

Moms (and dads) can create a CafeMom account to access informational articles about childcare and parenting as well as videos, games and forums on everything from current events to love and marriage. Parents can use the “Groups and Conversation” function to find nearby parents with same-aged children or similar interests, or to get advice and hear personal stories.

Whether you’re looking for online book groups or people who love dogs as much as you do, you can find a social network for nearly anything you can think of. Niche social networks are a great way to find friends across the globe with similar interests — and a great way to ask questions, get advice, and share what’s important to you.

News

Have You Heard about Amazon Prime Air?

With more and more people using the Internet to shop, online delivery service has improved in recent years. Instead of waiting weeks, shoppers can have their packages at their doorsteps in just one or two days — or even overnight, if they’re willing to pay a little extra.

Online delivery isn’t bad. But according to Jeff Bezos, it’s about to get a lot better.

The Amazon CEO made an appearance on Sunday night’s 60 Minutes to announce his company’s newest venture: Amazon Prime Air. The innovative service will use unmanned aerial drones to deliver Amazon Prime orders to customers.

The idea? To have packages delivered just 30 minutes after a customer hits “buy” on Amazon.com.

How does it work?

After the reveal, Amazon posted a video demonstrating the idea. The 80-second clip, which already has nearly 7 million YouTube views, shows a customer making an order on Amazon and selecting “Prime Air 30 Minute Delivery.” Then, it cuts to an Amazon warehouse, where the customer’s order is packaged and picked up by a tiny aircraft, which quickly drop the order off at the customer’s doorstep.

It’s as easy as that. Make an order, select Amazon Prime Air as your delivery option, and receive your package via futuristic robot drone in just half an hour. Bezos even unveiled the kind of aircraft Amazon plans to use: an 8-rotor “octocopter” that has the power to carry heavy packages over long distances.

The limitations

The technology needed to make Amazon Prime Air possible already exists — but Bezos predicts that the service won’t go live for several years. That’s because, technology aside, there are some limitations.

First, there’s the legal. Currently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bans the use of unmanned commercial aircrafts in the U.S. — that includes the drones Amazon intends to use. The FAA is likely to reverse that ban eventually, but Amazon will have to wait for the administration to set regulations for commercial drones. For now, the FAA is working under a September 2015 deadline.

Then, there’s the logistical. How well would unmanned drone delivery really work? Critics have expressed concern about the possibility (or even probability) of lost drones, misplaced deliveries, and collisions with buildings, people or animals. The drones will have to be smart enough to respond to both environmental factors and system errors to prevent mishap.

Not just possible, but inevitable

Limitations aside, Amazon Prime Air is a real possibility. In fact, it’s likely that something like this is inevitable — and undeniably attractive to consumers. Sophisticated GPS technology can reduce the possibility of lost deliveries, and electronic beacon systems can ensure that packages get exactly where they need to go on a property.

Amazon’s not even the first to try something like this. Earlier this year, Domino’s Pizza debuted the “DomiCopter,” a drone that delivered pizza by air. And in 2012, the infamous Tacocopter aimed to deliver taco orders via unmanned drone. The only difference? Those were mostly marketing stunts, while Bezos promises that Amazon Prime Air is a serious program.

The bottom line? The technology’s there — the law just needs to catch up. Once it does, you could be getting Amazon orders delivered to your home in just a matter of minutes.

News

Cyber Monday: Casting a Shadow on Black Friday

Have you ever woken up at the crack of dawn to get a head start on holiday shopping on Black Friday? The post-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza is practically as big a tradition as the turkey itself. All across the country, people bundle up in the dark to be the first in line for great deals on hot-ticket items. The newest gaming consoles. The biggest TVs. The most popular toys. Black Friday is one way to get the upper hand on holiday deals. But it can be messy and stressful, and it takes time out of already-busy holiday schedules. No one wants to spend the day after Thanksgiving fighting crowds at the mall, when they could be spending time with friends and family (and chowing down on leftovers, of course). But it’s not all bad news. If you want the deals without having to brave hordes of holiday shoppers, you have another option. It’s called Cyber Monday.

What is Cyber Monday?

It’s simple: Cyber Monday is the Internet’s answer to Black Friday. Occurring the Monday after Thanksgiving, it’s a day when retailers promote online shopping with deals that rival those of Black Friday. Shoppers can tackle their holiday lists while still saving money – without ever leaving the comfort of their homes (or their sweatpants). It makes sense. More and more people are choosing online shopping over brick-and-mortar stores. 65% of consumers will browse products online this holiday season, and nearly half will actually purchase items on the web. Online retailers are capitalizing on increased traffic and drawing more shoppers by offering deals comparable to (or even better than) those offered in-store. And the deals aren’t just for one day — many retailers have been offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals all month, and will continue to throughout the holidays.

How to make the most of Cyber Monday

  • Grab your favorite device. PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone — it’s your choice. If you’re going mobile, make sure you download retailers’ apps – some brands are offering added discounts and coupons for mobile shoppers.
  • Check your Internet connection. If you’re doing online shopping this holiday season, you need an Internet connection that’s fast and secure. Cyber-safety experts recommend online shopping only on protected Wi-Fi networks — that means you should avoid public Wi-Fi and cellular data, and try to shop only from home. And faster speeds mean you’ll be able to access more deals before they sell out.
  • Sign up for email or text alerts from your favorite brands. You can stay informed about always-changing deals and offers right in your inbox, so you can take advantage of them fast. Some retailers, like Amazon.com, even promote new deals and gift ideas every 10 minutes.
  • Get comfortable. The very best part about online shopping? You don’t have to leave the house. So put on some comfortable clothes, find a cozy spot and grab your favorite holiday treat — and then get ready to cruise through your holiday shopping list.

News

Home Internet Service Providers

You probably have Internet access at your workplace. You might even be able to get online at your local library, school or coffee shop. And that’s great – but nothing beats Internet access at home.

Why do you need Internet at home? It’s a matter of staying connected. When you can get online at home, you’re connected to a world of possibilities. Research. Education. Entertainment. Organization. For work and play, home Internet access just can’t be beat.

Are you thinking about setting up an Internet network at your home? The first thing you need to do is check out home Internet service providers and decide which one is best for you.

What’s available in your area?

The home Internet service providers available to you will depend on your location. Different providers use different kinds of technology, and they all have different coverage areas.

Do you live in a small town or remote area? DSL, dial-up and satellite are all great options for rural home Internet service providers. DSL and dial-up are available anywhere with access to a telephone line, and satellite only requires a clear view of the southern sky.

If you live in a big city or highly populated area, you’ll likely have more options for home Internet service providers. Fiber-optic and cable Internet use newer technology — while they’re not usually available in rural areas, they’re often offered in larger cities.

How to find the best ISP for your home

Depending on where you live, you’ll probably have at least a few Internet service providers to choose between — and you’ll definitely have your choice of plan. How do you know which one is right for you?

Find the best ISP for your home by considering what you need from your Internet service. Will a lot of people use your network, or just a few? Are you online all day, every day or only occasionally? Do you do a lot of high-bandwidth activities like streaming and gaming, or are you more of a casual browser? The more you do online, the more speed and power you’ll need from your Internet plan.

What can you do with home Internet?

Your options are practically unlimited with home Internet service providers.

Research. With home Internet access, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips. You can use online resources to look up everything from the professional to the personal. Projects for work. Medical advice. Health and beauty tips. Home services.

Education. Whether you’re taking classes, your kids are in school, or you just love to learn, home Internet service providers can help. You can find answers to just about any question, as well as how-to guides and tutorials for any skill, online.

Entertainment. No matter what you like to do for fun, you can find it online with home Internet service providers. Movies. Music. TV. Books. Photographs. Magazines. And if your choice of entertainment isn’t online, the Internet can help you find it — you can explore activities near and far, plan trips and more.

Organization. Whether you have a huge family or you live alone, staying organized is a big help. With home Internet access, you can make plans and to-do lists, sync your schedule across all your devices and make appointments.