Posts Tagged "safety"


How many times has a post like this ended up in your news feed?

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And then let’s say you share it. If you’re like me or my Facebook friends, by default, your shares and posts are set to “Friends Only.” That means this teacher will never see that you shared it.

What if you share one that was someone else’s share? The teacher might not see that if she’s just looking at how many shares her original post received. What if you pressed like on your friend’s share of it? The teacher won’t see that either.

Those students are not going to get the right info or data about how far this post really went.

Here’s How To Do This Right

Step 1: Write your message. Make sure you mention elementary age school kids, sexting, security, or safety. Could be middle school or high school. I saw one where the teacher had written that her school kids thought it was OK to post pictures of themselves in their bras and underwear.

Step 2: Come up with a probably-unique hashtag like #apr2015internetsafety. Ask people who share it to tag the picture with that hash tag. Side note: in case some freako uses that hashtag for NSFW stuff, teachers, make sure you are checking these things before showing them in class to students.

Step 3. Ask people who share it to make sure that their Facebook share is a PUBLIC post. The kids can only see public posts. They can’t see posts I made just to my Facebook friends. Shares have to be public.

Step 4: If the goal is really to see WHERE this post ends up geographically, ask people when sharing to post their location (generally) like city and state.

Step 5: If you want to teach kids how many people could see a post, have the people who share it also say how many Facebook friends and followers they have.

That means someone sharing it might create a public post that says, “San Francisco, CA. 300 friends, 60 followers. #apr2015internetsafety” The teacher can see how many likes and shares that got, and follow everything like a neural network.

Now you’re cooking with gas. Everything else just seems is a sharing black hole since the original teacher will have no real way to track it all down later. But if she can go to Facebook and look for her hashtag, then she can now collect some good/better data.

https://www.facebook.com/search/results/?q=%23apr2015internetsafety

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I’m asking you seriously. Would you drive more safely if you knew that one or more cameras was recording everything you did (along with your license plate)?

Because I’m going to start doing that. And I might even post videos of people nearly killing me while I commute. Those videos might include your license plate.

Once a week, someone nearly kills me because of one simple reason. They didn’t look before they abruptly changed lanes. This normally happens in nearly stopped traffic where some nervous people think that if they jump to the lane next to them, they will get to work WAY faster than if they stayed in that other lane. Heck, they are now 4 feet closer!

The impatience is amazing.

If people used their rear view and side mirrors, they would see me coming on my motorcycle. And they would wait for me to pass. You don’t always hear a moto until it’s next to you, so you have to be looking. And you can’t make an assumption that the coast is clear.

I’m thinking about video recording my commutes and editing the videos down to the near collisions so I can show people what they’re doing wrong. You’re not driving more safely just KNOWING there are humans on motorcycles and scooters. Maybe you’ve told yourself that anybody riding one of those has a “deathwish.” Well, we don’t. We have a lifewish. We don’t want to die. If I wanted to die, I would be dead by now rather than blogging asking you to make the road safer for all of us.

If you would drive more safety if everybody on a motorcycle or scooter were shooting video of you, then start driving more safely. Lives depend on it. If you crash into me on a freeway because the next lane over had 4 feet of space in it, will you be glad you did that? Will it all have been worth it? Or will you have no idea how to live with yourself the rest of your life?

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How To Change Lanes When Driving


Posted By on Jun 25, 2014

Here’s how NOT to change lanes when driving. Don’t suddenly veer into the tiny open space you just noticed in the lane next to you without signalling and without looking. Because you will probably nearly kill someone on a motorcycle or scooter.

Also don’t ignore me beeping at you and nearly run me over so you can veer into that open space, especially that open space behind the other lane of cars also not moving. I’m beeping at YOU.

Here’s how to change lanes.

Use your directional indicator to signal where you plan to go. Left or right. Pick ONE. Turn it on.

Check all the mirrors your vehicle has. Is anybody moving into that open space before you?

More importantly, is a motorcycle or scooter coming up behind you? This is especially important in California where motos don’t sit in traffic. We are allowed to “split lanes” and drive between cars. Before you jump into that open spot, check the rear view to see if a moto is coming up fast.

If the space is open and there’s no moto in your rear view or side mirrors, move into that open space.

If you smash into someone on a moto, will you be glad you saved one or two seconds by not signalling and not looking? Will it have been worth it?

I’m saving up for a GoPro rig to start filming my commutes.

I want to make sure I can document who is nearly killing me. If I am hurt, I’ll have a video of the whole thing. If I’m not hurt, I’ll have a video I can post here to hopefully shame some of you into being better at watching and listening for motos.

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I commute on a scooter, and now that I’ve been doing that for over 1000 commuting miles, I would like to give everybody advice on how to drive… especially when someone on a two-wheeled motorised vehicle is in front of, behind, or next to you.

I’m Not Slow

Some scooters are tiny and go putt-putt. So you assume they don’t go fast and you can cut in front. Don’t assume anything.

You may not know by quickly glancing at something how powerful or not powerful it is. Some of us are on VERY powerful machines. If you are merging, and we’re already driving, let us pass. If you’re in the lane next to me, don’t cut in front of me.

My scooter has a top speed of 95, so I’m probably going with the flow of traffic. If you see me coming, don’t assume slow. You will eat my dust at the next light. 🙂

Splitting Lanes Is Legal In California. Know What That Means And Be Prepared.

“Splitting lanes” is where a moto or scooter driver can basically make his or her own lane between two lanes of cars. You’ll see this most often when cars or stopped or nearly stopped, and a rider will try to move to the front. Riders are supposed to only do this when it’s safe, and unlikely that drivers will change lanes right on them.

When we get to the front of the lane, we plan to explode forward when that light turns green. And we plan to end up in front of you on the road. So don’t inch up, try to go around us, or try to claim your territory. We are way faster than you are, so you might as well let us go in front of you.

You can actually help us here. When stopping at a light, a stop sign, or for traffic, stop as middle in the lane as you can. That way, riders have a shot at splitting the lane and passing you. If you are far over to one side, we can’t get through. And we’re generally faster than you, so you shouldn’t feel too badly that we are passing you… especially while you’re stopped behind other cars and can’t go anywhere.

So check your side mirrors, rear view mirror, and turn your head and look before changing lanes or merging. We might be right there. We need you to see us.

Use The Directional

Are you going to turn? Do you plan to pull over? Are you changing lanes? USE THE DIRECTIONAL. I need as much warning as possible about what you’re doing to do. You might be doing that right in front of me. Or on top of me.

The last thing a moto or scooter rider needs is a driver doing something that takes us by surprise. Help us out by signalling good and early.

Going Really Really Slow Is Not The Best For Us

I’ve noticed some people go bizarrely slow up to a red light or stop sign. If things get slow enough, I have to put my feet down. That’s annoying. If you don’t have to go stupid slow, please don’t. Speaking of which…

Pot and Driving Don’t Mix. Despite What You Think.

I can’t tell you how many people in San Francisco I drive behind whose car smells like a mobile cloud of weed. Sometimes I can see the people in the car passing the joint around. These are the slowest drivers on the road. Slower than Granny. Slower than any stereotype of any bad driver.

And more distracted. These people slow down or stop for seemingly no reason despite the flow of traffic in their lanes.

You guys are incredibly dangerous to yourselves and others, but especially to someone on a scooter or motorcycle. We can’t exactly “slam on our brakes” (without flying over our handlebars) because you want to slow down to read a billboard you decided was hilarious.

Cell Phones And Driving Don’t Mix. Despite What You Think.

I was behind a guy the other day. He was swerving. And then he was going insanely slowly. Then he’d speed up but then slow way down again. I could see that he had his phone on a holder above his dashboard, and it looked like he was messing with maps or something.

Pull over, mess with maps, and then drive. Do NOT mess with your phone if your car is moving.

If Something You Do While Driving Causes An Injury To Me, Will You Be Glad You Made That Choice?

It’s simple. Consider the possible outcomes. If I ram into the back of your car and fly over your car and greatly injure myself because you are stoned/playing with your phone and you slammed on your brakes, will you be glad you did that? If you merge into my lane right on top of me, will you be glad you didn’t take the half second to look?

Just imagine that every moto rider is someone you love. Your spouse. Your best friend. Your child. I’m someone’s child. Be good to people on scooters and motorcycles, and spread the word. Because you won’t be glad you made that crappy driving decision when you hurt somebody. And you’ll have NO excuse for what you did. Don’t take the risk. Please drive more safely and more mindfully.

I'm in a bright helmet and jacket, hoping you'll see me!

I’m in a bright helmet and jacket, hoping you’ll see me!

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Did You Pack Your Own Bags?


Posted By on Jan 28, 2013

I was flying recently, and I remembered how you always used to get asked if you packed your own bags. And then they stopped asking that. I’m guessing that didn’t work. But I want to know who THOUGHT it would work.

Who thought that we could ask people if they packed their own bags and then catch terrorists by detaining the ones who said, “Nope, someone else was sticking stuff in my bags, and I have no idea what it is.”

Once upon a time, the TSA COULD have stopped me and didn’t. I was going through security. Even though it was a domestic flight (New York back to my beloved Arizona), the guy checking driver’s licenses asked me if I had anything to declare. I did. I confidently told him I “fucking HATED New York.” And I quote. And I do. I grew up there, and just didn’t like it. You’re welcome to like New York.

Now, given how tippy toes everybody is about airport security, they could have said that was some sort of threat I was making, and detained me. And he didn’t.

And how much C4 can fit in a shoe anyway?

Ugh, I hate security theatre. Let’s just take a page from El Al here, and improve our system.

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Lyft is showing me heaps of Facebook ads. First, it told me I could make $18/hr driving my car around the city. A few weeks later, it told me I could make $20+/hr driving around the city. Hmmmmm. Maybe not much response to $18?

Lyft and other collaborative consumption services are super on my radar because of my startup. My startup is about personal safety, and getting people help without requiring them to hit a panic button. So when I think about TaskRabbit or Lyft or many of these other services popping up in San Francisco and other places, I think about how one or often BOTH people in that transaction are potentially unsafe. I have NO idea who my Lyft drive is and he/she has NO idea who he’s picking up and driving around… and to where? Seems easily not so safe. My startup hopes companies like that will license our platform, and build in our unique approach to proactive personal safety.

So now you know why I care. And you’ll also know why I semi-flipped out when I clicked on the Facebook ad just to see what applying to be a Lyft driver looks like. It looked like this:

Basically, they want to know how to reach you, what you drive, and why you’d want to drive other people in it. Do you feel like that’s missing something? That’s not a “Next” button at the bottom bringing you to more questions. That’s “Apply,” as in that’s the whole application. Hopefully this is stage one of a multi-stage process, but it still seems to be missing a LOT.

Maybe Lyft can’t do a background check right away, which would certainly involve asking you deeper personal questions and possibly getting your social security number. But they COULD ask questions that would make some people self-filter. For example, why not ask right there…

  • Have you ever been arrested for a violent crime?
  • Have you ever been arrested for a DUI
  • Have you ever received more than one speeding ticket in a year?
  • Have you ever been convicted of ANY misdemeanor or felony?
  • Do you agree to be submitted to random drug tests?
  • Have you ever had a driver’s license suspended or revoked?

If I were Lyft, I’d be MUCH more concerned about who these people are than what they are driving. Yes, I don’t know what the rest of the application process looks like. But I can’t imagine that you would want to get applications from people convicted of crimes. If I were doing UX for a pseudo-taxi service, I’d want to not bog down the company with applications from people who have had DUIs or suspended licenses before. The process should weed out obvious unacceptable applicants right away.

I was surprised it didn’t. And I’m still surprised that these collaborative consumption services aren’t more focused on the safety of the provider or the recipient.

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I have a saved Twitter search for “personal safety” just to see what’s going on that might be relevant to my startup. This one popped into my stream since it matched the search terms. But my oh my, this is not an issue my startup will be dealing with.

I couldn’t help but be curious. Who is publicly tweeting at an account called @pornlaw, looking for help? One might think that you contact them privately. I followed things back to the author of the above tweet. According to her bio, she’s a porn star. According to her Twitter background graphic, she believes that if you have a bikini, you only need to wear the top. This doesn’t strike me as someone overly concerned about keeping things from being revealed.

But if nothing else, it’s a reminder that everything you post to Twitter is public and searchable unless your account is locked, or your tweet is a direct message (DM) to someone who is following you. And even then, someone could screen shot it, and make it public. You’re not really guaranteed privacy, so consider that when tweeting. Assume anybody and everybody could see it… including the person who is compromising your safety and revealing your personal info.

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Password Safety


Posted By on Mar 18, 2011

If you’ve read articles on password safety and how easy certain types of passwords are to hack, then you may have seen this image:

I bring this up because I just got off the phone with a bank. I won’t say which one. But they told me that my password was NOT case sensitive… even though I threw in a capital letter to try to make it harder to hack.

So if a customer has an 8-character password, and it’s all seen as lowercase, it could be hacked in under 3 days. Throw a capital letter in there, and now it’s over 210 YEARS to hack the same password.

Why would a bank risk a customer’s experience by making their password easier to hack?

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