<span class='p-name'>Too Long; Didn’t Read #181</span>

Too Long; Didn’t Read #181

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Building your best self
TL;DR #181 – 1/19/2019

Hi all, welcome to TL;DR. My name is Ian O’Byrne. I research, teach, & write about technology in our lives. In TLDR, I try to synthesize what happened this week in tech…so you can be the expert as well. Enjoy. 🙂

This week I posted the following:


Netflix says Fortnite is Bigger Competitor than HBO (5:53)

In a quarterly report released this week, Netflix claimed that it competes for screen time with Fortnite more than it does HBO.

“We earn consumer screen time, both mobile and television, away from a very broad set of competitors.”

Think about that for a minute, and consider the growing place of gaming in our lives as screens fight for our attention.


Facebook’s “10 year challenge” is just a harmless meme – right?

If you use social media, this week you’ve probably noticed a trend across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter of people posting their then-and-now profile pictures, mostly from 10 years ago and this year.

Kate O’Neill in Wired expands on a question about whether all of this data could be mined to train facial recognition algorithms on age progression & age recognition.

I’m torn between two possibilities on this debate.

One, Facebook (and other companies) is getting us to share/label photos for learning possibilities. I think this could definitely be used to help the machines learn.

Second, Facebook (and other companies) are getting us to play “remember when” as user (and employee) attitudes are changing about the social network. They’re hoping to have users emote and connect to strengthen bonds as they’re fraying.

I think these two possibilities could exist contemporaneously. I don’t think it’s random. Nothing is in these spaces.

Monster 773 million-record breach list contains plaintext passwords

As users of the Internet and communication technologies, we need to understand that security breaches are going to happen. Your accounts, passwords, and other identifying data will get out there online.

According to Have I Been Pwned founder Troy Hunt in a post published Wednesday, a monster list of login credentials is available online.

Here’s what you need to do. First, go to Have I Been Pwned and enter your email address to see if your data is out there. If it is…change your passwords for those accounts.

Social connectedness: Measurement, determinants, & effects

A new study by researchers at Facebook, Harvard, Princeton and New York University takes every county in the United States and measures how many friend connections Facebook users in that county have to users in every other county in the United States, normalized by total population of each county.

The resulting maps paint a fascinating and powerful portrait of the enduring influence geography has even in the digital era that was supposed to erase its impact and bridge communities & cultures across the world.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s tips on using social media are the lesson we all need

Regardless of your viewpoint on Ocasio-Cortez and her ideological stance, her use of social media is viewed as fresh and authentic. Some of her guidance:
On being yourself:

  • “Don’t try to be anybody who you’re not.”
  • “If you’re an older woman, talk like an older woman talks.”

On internet etiquette and literacy:

  • “If you don’t know what a meme is, don’t post a meme.”
  • “Sometimes the culture here is to fit in and keep your heads low.” But “we don’t want to separate ourselves” from constituents on social media.
  • “Mute people but try not to block them.”

On acting like a human, not a robot:

  • “Social media is not a press release. It’s not a press conference.”
  • “It’s not the kitchen that’s popular, or the cooking that’s popular, it’s that I’m engaging people doing something I’m already doing.”

Squad is the new screen-sharing chat app everyone will copy

I do a lot of screensharing & screencasting from my computer, but primarily for teaching/writing purposes. I’ve noticed that my Wife frequently grabs screencaptures from Instagram, Pinterest, and elsewhere to share them with friends on social media. I’ve always thought this was a bit odd, but it appears that Squad (and other copycat apps) are jumping on this behavior.


Remove image backgrounds for free

Richard Byrne pointed out Remove.BG, a site that can be used to remove backgrounds on photos for free. He suggests this is a great opportunity to play with digital images, and place yourself anywhere.

This is a great tool that you should have in your back pocket.

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You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.

George Lorimer


TL;DR is a summary of all the great stuff from the Internet this week in technology, education, & literacy. Please subscribe to make sure this comes to your inbox each week. You can review archives of the newsletter here.

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