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Welcome to Technology Bytes, the section for enabling technologies and other things that cheer and frustrate us.

Issue: March, 2016

Do You Know Where Your Data Is?

Your Data on Your Devices

Personal Information Management Across Devices

In this series of features we are looking a solutions for a particular combination of technology that you might use for home and/or work. The first part is sharing what was originally called Personal Information, which is basically the information that one might use ON one's desk - calendar, to-do list, address book, notes and so on. The next two major technology features planned are notetaking and syncing across devices and platforms, and archiving and backing up and accessing PIM data.

For our purposes we have started with each of us having the following: Windows notebook (Ali, Windows 7; Richard, Windows 10) Android tablet, and Android phone.


Yahoo Goes Password-Free

Do you hate all those passwords you have to remember? Using one password for everything is a security risk, and often impossible as different systems have different criteria. Number of characters, type of characters, combination of characters, closeness to a 'real' word, there seems to be a never-ending combination of security criteria.

Yahoo is offering a system for their Yahoo Mail (/productivity apps), that is password-free. It assumes that your mobile phone is always with you and always charged.

According to Yahoo: "With Yahoo Account Key, when you sign in on either desktop or mobile, we will send a push notification to your mobile device for you to approve. Simply open the notification to sign in immediately. You'll no longer have to memorize a difficult password!"

Targetted by YouTube (who are Google)

Festivale's video of White Night Banned

I received this e-mail from YouTube only minutes after I put up a video promoting a Melbourne, Australia event.

Hi Festivale Online Magazine,
The YouTube community flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. After reviewing the content, we've determined that the videos violate our Community Guidelines. As a result, we removed the following videos from YouTube:
"Festivale celebrates White Night 2016 Melbourne, Australia" (https://youtu.be/8-336R8qpn0)

Is it time to replace YouTube (Google)? Who will step up? I uploaded my first video to YouTube (a shot of the State Library of Victoria at night during White Night), and before I could put up the page with a link to it, YouTube told me that a complaint had been made against me, and the video had been reviewed and taken down.

WHAT FOR? WHAT COMPLAINT? Was it a credible person? Who reviewed it? What were their reasons for deciding it violated community guidelines. It is not inflammatory. It is not sexual. It does not violate copyright. The only thing I can think of is that some people think my name sounds "Muslim". Is YouTube racial profiling?

According to The Verge:

Once the complaint is lodged, the venues for litigating it can be maddeningly opaque. "Anyone has the power to falsely flag videos, and there is no punishment for doing so, so ultimately the content creators are penalized," said Alex, who runs the popular I Hate Everything channel and declined to give his last name. "At this point a complete overhaul is necessary."

This is all it takes:

From YouTube (Google) support site

Flagging content

We rely on YouTube community members to flag content that they find inappropriate.
YouTube staff review flagged videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and videos that violate our Community Guidelines are removed from YouTube. Videos that may not be appropriate for all younger audiences are age-restricted.
Flagged videos are not automatically taken down by the flagging system. If a video doesn't violate our guidelines, no amount of flagging will change that, and the video will stay on the site.
How to flag a video:
Below the video player, click on the "More" button
Highlight and click the "Report" button in the drop-down menu
Click on the reason for flagging that best fits the violation within the video.
Provide any additional details that may help the review team make their decision.

Reporting is anonymous, by logged-in persons. According to some sources on the web, there is also a robot that YouTube uses to vet uploads.

If there is a reason for the takedown, why not be courteous enough to let the person/organisation know?

I have hundreds of links to YouTube on Festivale. This is my first experience as an uploader. I think it's rude. Bring on a competitor.

See the video on Facebook

Update: 24 hours and a few twitter and facebook posts later, YouTube notified us that the video had been restored after our complaint. Here's an interesting thing: I found my YouTube account set to the default "Afghanistan", and my name "Ali Kayn" is sometimes thought to be Muslim (it's not). Was it racial profiling?

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