Earth is dying one credit card transaction at a time. We’ve all read the articles, watched the documentaries — we know our consumption habits are killing dear Mother.
For decades, we’ve band-aided our planet’s wounds with recycling programs and slightly greener technologies. We need a better strategy like shifting to sustainable economy.
But will we have to sacrifice our privacy to save the planet?
Our current economy is (mostly) linear. We take goods from the earth to make products. We use the products for a while before disposing of them, creating pollution throughout the product lifecycle. …
A somber call turned light
The scan revealed a life changed,
her doctor doubtless.
Her tingling feet sway,
each step provoking demons.
Pleads flow to the Gods,
bartering with acts of treason.
The darkness holds a brush
painting the world gray.
Self-loss a constant torment,
the emotion she cannot convey.
Committed to recover joy,
she battled an internal war.
Light now shines brighter,
she lives a life to adore.
Thank you to Francine Fallara at Blue Insights for this cultural prompt: “Learning to tame your grays between the dark and the fake…”
A Minimalist’s Guide to Shopping for Your Minimalist Loved One
Minimalists ruin Christmas, birthdays, and every other gift-giving occasion. We block your love language by asking you to refrain from buying that scarf that screams our name at you when you pass it. We steal the magic of birthday wishes by underlining “no gifts” on the invitation.
At least, that’s the surface-level perception of a minimalist lifestyle.
The reality is minimalists love receiving gifts just as much as the next person. We have a different relationship with things than most people, which changes the gifts we’ll fully appreciate.
Thousands of perfect gifts already exist for your minimalist loved one. When shopping for minimalist this holiday season, remember these three words: consumables, experiences, and replacements. …
If you could be any animal, what would you choose? Five years ago, I’d answer a house cat. Embodying a cat would melt my stress away, allowing for lazy days basking in the sun beaming through my owner’s windows.
Now, I want to be a flatworm. (Yes, insects are animals).
My day-to-day would be weird, sure. But flatworms have pluripotent stem cells. These particular stem cells give flatworms regenerative abilities, allowing them to regrow any part of their body, even their heads. This power would change my life.
Instead of the scarred neurons littered throughout my brain and spinal cord, I would have a fully functional central nervous system. Nerves that send and receive appropriate messages, ones that feel normal sensations and remind me that sugar, not sriracha, goes into my Irish breakfast tea. …
As a UX professional, it’s your responsibility to meet your users’ privacy needs, values, and expectations when designing products that collect or process personal information. Privacy experts advocate that adhering to Privacy by Design (PbD) principles ensures your embedding privacy into the technology.
But as a designer, you need more than guiding concepts to consider when designing your product. You need a tool to quickly identify the users’ privacy and turn the PbD principles into specific features.
A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is one tool that will help you operationalize Privacy by Design.
A PIA is a privacy risk assessment tool that guides teams to identify the privacy risks present in new technologies or uses of personal information to implement controls to mitigate risks to individuals. At a high level, it…
No one warned me that my doctorate would kidnap every ounce of my self-confidence and only return it to me once I successfully defended my dissertation. Your advisors warn you that it’s stressful and time-consuming, that you need to set expectations with your friends and family because they won’t see you much for years. But the emotional toll you’ll experience isn’t in your welcome packet.
By the time you make it to the dissertation phase, you’ve missed years of memories with your loved ones and added another $30K+ to your growing student loan debt. Your sacrifice was pointless unless you write an adequate dissertation manuscript by your deadline. Finding another publisher or self-publishing your manuscript aren’t options in this writing journey. …
Lawmakers are slowly trying to balance privacy rights with a company’s right to sell data. In California, lawmakers have granted their consumers the right to opt-out of the sale of their data under the California Consumer Protection Act.
The consumer’s right to opt-out is excellent in theory, but it’s flawed in practice because users have to contact each company they interact with and ask that they don’t sell their data. They have to visit the company website, find the Do Not Sell My Data Link, and follow the instructions to send their request.
Without automated tools, granting users these privacy rights creates a privacy self-management nightmare in practice. …
Silicon Valley entrepreneurs had beautiful intentions to create a utopian future through technology. They gave us tools to connect with long lost friends and relatives, find support groups for our rare medical conditions, and adapt to an isolated world as we navigate life with COVID.
But many of these Silicon Valley entrepreneurs made a critical, unintentional mistake in their efforts to achieve this utopian future. They monetized your attention by using an advertising model to grow their businesses.
Social media companies must capture your time to achieve their business goals because your time means an opportunity to advertise to you. They collect mass quantities of information about you to serve you the best-fit ads, and use techniques — such as personalized content, notifications, and dark patterns — to keep you engaged longer. …
Unless you’re a smartphone expert like Marques Brownlee, you probably won’t notice much difference between the processing speeds, screen clarity, or the camera specs of the most popular smartphones on the market today. But, you’ll undoubtedly notice the significant difference between the privacy controls an iPhone gives you over its direct competitors.
Apple has long made privacy one of its competitive advantages. Still, this year they’ve stepped up their game with new iOS 14 privacy features and are crushing their competition by using privacy to advertise the iPhone in a humorous commercial.
The new privacy features are essential to include in your evaluation when looking for a reason to choose iOS over Android or if you need help deciding whether upgrading to iOS 14 is worth it. …
Your finger hesitates over the enter button, the question your doctor told you not to Google typed in the search bar. You know you shouldn’t look it up — the toxic forums and tragic stories will add lava to the magma chamber that was once your heart. But you can’t help it. You have to know what your future might hold. With a single button press, you begin the dark journey into the depths of the Internet.
I’ve taken this journey. The Internet is full of information that will both terrify and calm you when you are diagnosed with a chronic disease. When I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I sought the expect knowledge of random Internet users and experts alike. I wanted to know the likelihood that a wheelchair purchase was in my near future, what types of jobs people living with MS held, and my new life expectancy. I spent many hours reading studies, news articles, and forums trying to understand and prepare for my potential future. The devastating stories I found, like of people whose spouses left them because of their diagnosis, were quickly shoved into a Do Not Open folder in my subconscious, but I held on to the hope many other stories offered. …