by Sam Glover on November 30th, 2016
Growing up, I absorbed the Sunday school lesson that “when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” ((Matthew 6:3.)) In other words, charitable giving doesn’t count in your favor if you seek recognition for it. Don’t brag and don’t be smug.
Fair point. Nobody likes a braggart, and I don’t intend to suggest that you ought to become one.
by Sam Glover on November 14th, 2016
On this weekend’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver explains that for many Americans, Facebook is their primary source of news. Then he puts this image on the screen:
That stopped me in my tracks. Of course. Of course your views about the candidates lined up with the headlines you saw every day. Your news diet is just like a regular diet. If you eat lots of junk food, you will probably get fat.
And yes, before you retort that it’s the same as liberals getting their news from the Daily Show and Last Week Tonight, I agree. It’s the same thing (except funnier).
Conservative or liberal, we all need to put some thought into our news diet. For most of us that means adding some balance to the news sources we see in our Facebook or Twitter feeds. And we all need to add a healthy dose of skepticism to our news diets.
by Sam Glover on October 16th, 2015
Credit scores are, in theory, a measure of how likely it is that you will pay your debts instead of defaulting or declaring bankruptcy. They are extremely flawed, but it’s all the banks have got. In a search for ways to refine credit scores, FICO (the company that developed the most popular credit score) is considering using social media in its equation.
Fico [is] increasingly looking at data on a spectrum: with credit card repayment history at one end – the most reliable guide to creditworthiness – and at the other, information volunteered on social media platforms such as Facebook.
In short, posting dumb things to your public social media profiles may soon make your life more expensive.
by Sam Glover on March 3rd, 2013
Last words are automatically interesting, but not automatically significant. This goes double or triple for last tweets, since tweeting is rarely the last thing anyone would think to do before expiring. All the same, The Tweet Hereafter archives last tweets of famous people, just in case they are significant, like the last tweet of Oscar Pistorius’s girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, the day before he killed her:
What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay
by Sam Glover on October 12th, 2011
by Randall Ryder on November 30th, 2010
Facebook can be a wonderful way to keep in touch with old friends that live in faraway places. The danger, of course, is that if your privacy settings are not correct, all kinds of people can track down and view your digital identify—including debt collectors.
In Florida, a consumer recently filed suit after a debt collector allegedly used Facebook to contact a debtor’s relatives in an attempt to collect on a debt.
by Sam Glover on November 4th, 2010
We found out earlier this year that debt collectors are using social networks to find and harass debtors, but now at least one collections training center is offering a class on using social media in collections, to “maintain a good customer base, keep good paying customers on track, and find and collect from past due customers.” (Debt collectors like to call consumers their “customers” or “clients,” even though they have no business relationship.)
Debt collectors can use social networks to find and communicate with consumers, as long as they make the appropriate disclosures and comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. But that doesn’t mean you have to make it easy for them.
by Randall Ryder on July 28th, 2010
The information is almost certainly out of date, and I do not plan to update it.
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