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On the things you track and the things that track you…


Two interesting products that I’ve been using lately. The first is an application for your phone (android in the play store, Apple in the iTunes store) called Sweatcoins.  First, Sweatcoins tracks your steps. It also gives you coins when you walk outside. I had enough Steps that I was able to trade them for a pair of Pixel computer glasses. They (Pixel) are designed to reduce the strain on your eyes from working with the computer. Overall they are very nice. Now, would I have spent money on them? No probably not, there are many things in this world that are interesting, but neither wants or needs. However, now that I have them (I am wearing them right now) I do feel like they are helping me. Eight hours in front of my laptop every day and 3 or so hours on the weekends makes my eyes tired.

Now Sweatcoins is interesting. First off, I do not know if that is a US only application, but I suspect it is currently. My apologies to my friends outside the US. The pedometer tracks your walking, an nd as I said you get credit for walking outside. I have turned my forced daily march (the Labs demand a daily walk) into a free pair of glasses!

Like most applications like this, they rely on advertising. I hope they will last, but advertising is fickle.

I did spend some time this morning thinking about the following. What else would you track? The funny thing about GPS’s on our phone is that everywhere we go in theory we are tracked. The same is true for the number of minutes, the amount of data we use and so on. What would other things beyond steps be useful for you? For example what if, you could use special glass and the phone could track how much water you drank, today? There is a Bluetooth spoon already that tracks how much and how fast you eat. It is an interesting thing for me to think about. The reality of the Internet of Things is that well, you are going to have more and more things around you that track you.

Excuse my phone is tell ing me it is time to go upstairs and get more coffee!

  • Is something watching you?

    • Yes
    • No


What do you think?

11 points

Written by DocAndersen

One fan, One team and a long time dream Go Cubs!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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  1. Incredibly interesting article!!! Also would like to try Pixel computer glasses. As for the phone could track how much water you drank today, heard about App which calculates calorie content of your food and recommends to escape something or add something useful. So cool!!!

  2. There was a fitness app that would mine cryptocurrencies using the phone GPU, but the users didn’t know. It was also available in my country, but I don’t remember its name.
    It didn’t have ads, it was fishy they could pay users with no ways to get revenue.
    I don’t care having everything tracked, but I don’t mind either.
    I’m aware I’m not able to keep my secrets, and I’m not paranoiac enough to say they’re spying on us, though I believe they do… but I wouldn’t say that. ? Wait, did I just say so? ?

  3. Quite often apart from some people the things that track me and keep me in their sights are 2 , one being a certain cat hoping for cat food, even though it is not my cat
    2nd, stray birds on my door step hoping to get the cat food that the cat did not eat. and often they turn up to let me know they want cat food

    • I won’t argue with that Alex. I would, however, point out, that your power company has probably or will soon replace your meter with the new connected digital power meter. Yes, Cellphones are not secure, but frankly, if someone wants to hack you, you are likely to get hacked.

        • That is the problem netted out, but dealing with security people all the time, many of them are not qualified either.

          The reality is the goal.

          I was talking to a CISO the other day. We were talking about the reality of get things done, versus get things done correctly and then finally the one he didn’t like getting things done security.

          His argument was that all three were the same. I just smiled and walked away. With every layer of security applied, people look for loopholes.

          • What do we mean when we say security? Are we talking about programming best practices? Network protocols? Challenge/response? Hardware firewalls? Software IDS?

            Also, what kind of nimrod thinks getting things done is the same as getting things done correctly? Sounds like some cowboy manager who doesn’t manage the project, just the schedule…

        • A budget-crunched CISO is an answer.

          I suspect the easy answer to your question is we believe security is first, an afterthought, and second the job of the security team.

          It is no wonder there are so many security holes.

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