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February 29, 2016

The Public Access Weekly: This chain reaction

by John_A

Today isn’t just the day that you get a brand, spankin’ new Public Access Weekly — it’s also Johnny Cash’s birthday so put on something black, press play on the YouTube video below and get updated on everything that’s going down at Public Access.

There are few things better than the Man in Black singing a song written by Shel Silverstein. But back to business — Here are a few more questions that I’ve recently answered about Public Access:

Public Access posts are not indexed, which means they will not show up as results in Google search. Why, you ask? It’s something we had to do a while back, due to a post going up with blatant falsehoods printed in it which really isn’t cool at all. It turns out what your mom told you was true: One bad apple really does spoil the bunch for everyone. It’s possible that at some point we’ll be able to index Public Access posts again, but in the meantime, a direct URL is the best way to share the stories you post here.

If you ever find yourself wondering how well your story is doing on Public Access, then take a moment and navigate down the Public Access home page to the Top 5 box. It displays the five most viewed stories of the previous week and gets updated every Friday, so if you see your story there, kudos! Your post is doing really well!

Also, I’m working on getting a video upload option added to the CMS so Public Access members can embed and upload videos into their stories — which means soon you’ll be able to write a story on a new gadget and include a video of your first-hand experience, share an unboxing, or upload video of your recent Twitch session. In the meantime…

Looking for something to read? Check out:

The Death of the Smart Home: Public Access member Robert Blake examines the failings of today’s smart home through the lens of a Ray Bradbury short story.

Nicole Lee tried out Eero’s smart home WiFi solution, and liked it. The commenters on this story disagreed with her, and some are posting some very thoughtful responses.

IBM’s Watson technology will be used in an upcoming VR game of popular anime Sword Art Online; a Tokyo-based event next month should provide additional details.

Looking for something to write about? Mull over:

The Internet Ruined My Life is a show that will premiere on SyFy next month to tell the stories of people who have been harassed, followed, doxxed, swatted, fired or worse due to a social media post gone awry. While the format of the show seems to be overly salacious, with dramatic reenactments, there has been an increasing attention to the darker side of social media. Have you ever had a negative outcome due to a social media post? (And if so, how did you resolve it?) Do you feel that these people should stop complaining and just watch what they post? And is it weird to anyone else to watch a TV show about internet activity?

If you’ve ever watched a horror movie and thought “Well, just don’t go down into the catacombs if you don’t want to be terrorized and eaten by mutants,” then you know how I feel about the reporter who recently challenged two hackers to ruin his life. During the penetration testing experiment (phrasing!), hackers were able to access everything from the reporter’s webcam to his Amex account. Would you ever permit someone to perform such a text on your own accounts? What security measures do you take to make yourself less attractive to hacking? And can you ever really protect your online life from being hacked?

Internet outages — What the hell do you do with yourself when the internet goes out? Read a book? Drunken Jenga? Cry until it comes back on? We’re just curious.

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