Fun Friday Links: Tracking Trackers, the Consquences of DWT, and 13 Facts About Halloween
Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
Firefox Lightbeam Shows You Who’s Watching You Online
One of the many joys the internet has blessed us with: go to Amazon and search for a pair of shoes, and chances are those very boots will show up in an ad the next time you visit Facebook. It’s a little creepy when you consider what kind of other info you might be leaving behind on various websites, but the average internet user isn’t super concerned about this type of cookie tracking. Then there are people who don’t like that so much.
Turn the tables on your company web-stalkers with Firefox Lightbeam, which lets you see which companies are monitoring your online activity. Using visualizations and graphs, you can map and track connections between the sites you visit and the agencies who find out about it. It won’t necessarily stop it from happening, but knowledge is power, right?
New Punishments for Driving Under the Influence (of Your Phone)
Arguably the biggest downside of today’s tech gadgets is their ability to distract us from pretty much whatever we’re up to. At best, it negatively impacts our productivity; but at worst, it can be extremely dangerous. With heart-wrenching films about driving-and-texting fatalities and an uptick of apps and add-ons to help save us from the temptation to type, it’s no small wonder that the law is getting involved in the fight against DWT.
While some U.S. states set the bar pretty low if you get caught messaging while merging (Californians get off with just a $20 slap on the wrist), others will hit you with fines of up to $10,000. This map from Mother Jones shows all of the penalties and fines state-by-state. Wherever you live, though, texting while behind the wheel is simply not worth the consequences — especially if it’s not you who has to face them.
13 Weird Halloween Tidbits
Halloween is already one of the world’s “weirdest” holidays, at least in terms of things we let slide, things we celebrate, and things we let our kids do — but it’s made that much weirder by some of the legends and origins associated with it. Things like how Hollywood hates silly string, the role that turnips play in Hallow’s Eve history, and where this whole “dressing up like stuff” idea came from.