Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016: Technology’s Best Year Ever?

Maybe 2016 wasn’t the best year ever in technology? It didn’t have any extreme improvements with an iPhone or iPad product. It didn’t offer any new protection against identity theft and security breaches (because criminal attack rates were as high as 48% of all causes this year). We didn’t see any new products that took the Internet to a whole new level. Instead, it may have been the year of things we couldn’t see: bot-nets, self-driving cars, Internet of Things (Iot), license agreements, version upgrades, OS upgrades, countless new apps for smartphones and tablets—all the inside parts that make up the whole of technology. This year, programmers and hackers were the award winners.

By the law of averages, good years are usually followed by bad ones. Could 2017 be the year of sagging computer sales, more security breaches, more fake computer support services, fewer free programs from the Internet, and modest subscription charges for using social media outlets? It seems that the Internet is getting a bad rap, especially from the year-end, super-duper mammoth story of Yahoo being breached, affecting more than one billion Yahoo accounts—that’s every single user that has an account with them. Maybe there is hope in a breached world?

But all of us in cyberland have hope. We hope that things can turn around. We hope that the world can sustain the failures of data breaches and malware attacks on businesses and people. Not only do we carry a small candle for religious and political conflicts, our personal hope carries into the world of technology. This deep-seeded passion keeps us using the very products and services that make it all worthwhile: ease-of-use applications, immediate results to all inquiries, good levels of communication and commerce, and even plain and simple curiosity that keeps many users of technology accepting whatever improvements are ahead for 2017.

As stated before in prior articles, technology keeps moving forward, regardless of the outcome. Human beings tend to recover from failure, especially in the world of technical advancement. Each failure in this business is followed by something extraordinary, something vibrant, something noteworthy, and something earth-shattering. Users of technology are hungry for a vast change in the Visual Department. We want to see, to touch, and to experience new forms of technology every year—and it seems this theory follows right in line with how computer speeds double each year (Moore’s Law). Because 2016 wasn’t a year of mind-bending new experiences, we can believe that people are wanting and desiring a proud mix of technology to enhance their pampered lives.

That pampering has included some incredible technology inventions over the years. This year’s award-winning technology developments hardly put a dent into the past inventions of our times. Here’s just a few to note:

  • Microwave oven. Developed in the 1940s, this invention has forever changed the food industry, making meals more convenient and easier to prepare for all age levels.

  • GPS. Originally developed for the U.S. Military in 1978, this invention helps avoid the confusion of road maps, because half of all Americans carrying a smartphone will have GPS apps leading the way.

  • Computer mouse. Invented by Douglas Engelbart in 1964, this one invention is easily overlooked and hardly ever mentioned in today’s rapid-fire, fast-paced digital world.

  • The Internet. First available to the public in the 1990s, this invention has arguably changed the world in ways beyond any other invention.

  • Cellphones. Martin Cooper makes the first cellphone call on April 3, 1973. Ten years later, the mobile phone industry grabs the interest of the public, motivating people to communicate wirelessly over a network of cell towers.

It’ll be difficult to match the awe-inspiring nature of these legendary inventions. But this year still made huge advances under the hood of electronic appliances, phone support bots, self-driving automobiles, and smarter apps. Each advancement saw a change in connecting these same devices to cloud services, giving them the ability to upgrade themselves without human intervention. That’s an amazing year—when you consider that people didn’t even know about these new services. Smarter, faster—these 2016 devices grew to be more self-smart, more self-reliant than ever.

That leaves only one question: Will 2017 be a tech-breaking year?

Author's Note: In the world of technology, 2016 will always be remembered for its data breaches, malware attacks, and product failures more than anything else. The newest developments happened without any fanfare or media attention. Self-driving cars and bot-nets were the overall winners of the year. You could even push the envelope and say that Windows 10 began to be accepted more by the public, although it still seemed under keen skepticism and resistance from technical experts. More than presidential races and political unrest, 2016 seemed to cement technology into the mindset and forefront of human life, a life that is now almost completely digital.
Need more advice? Little Black Book: Protecting Your Digital Life.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

True American Grit: Does It Exist Anymore?

With the rise and dominance of technology in the 21st century, it comes as no surprise that people are losing their edge, their sense of purpose, and their moral and ethical values—especially with youthful computer users. It’s true. There’s no denying it. It’s also self-evident when you think of all the difficult things in life that don’t require any physical and/or mental skills—people just Google everything and get answers. Simply put, living boils down to an act of point-and-click thinking with a mouse.

The lack of social skills and common-sense thinking ideals are on an upward swing. It’s easy to see this trait when most people who sit next to each other at a bar or a restaurant or even a park bench can’t communicate or relate to one another. Let’s face it: we live in a world of constant distraction; we live in a world built with perfection and perfect timing; we live in a world where one can live out their fantasies without ever leaving their home; and we live in a world where we can separate ourselves from all the world’s problems and pretend they don’t exist.

And in this generational transition, true American grit is being lost every day.

By coddling our youth with technology, we may be harming them at levels that tap into that potential grit-side of their character. This constant “tech” coddling is preventing some children from actually learning how to deal with loss and failure—which is an inevitable part of life. Name something on the Internet that fails? Nothing fails. It keeps expanding; it is revised; it is upgraded; it reshapes into something new; it rebuilds itself. It gets to a slanted view that nothing ever fails, nothing ever dies, nothing ever struggles, nothing ever disappoints, and nothing ever is wrong.

That leaves us with one simple question: True American Grit: Does it exist anymore? Ask anyone. They probably would end up using Google to figure out what it meant. But that’s beside the point. Most people don’t know that society, in general, has lost a bit of its edge, its purpose, and its morals due to the spontaneous combustion of the digital era. This digital era has disconnected many from the things that other older generations had built and managed for decades—the gritty lifestyle of working hard, playing hard, and giving of yourself to help others.

Grit is obviously on the rise—with millions and millions of computer users. They are the trendsetters and innovators of a whole-new generation of people that work by “thinking,” not by doing. Their grit is not as noticeable as with past generations. By using technology, today’s users are dealing with viruses and malware and hackers that test both their mental and physical well-being, along with their incredible thirst and hunger for raw information while using Google.

But Google is a way of life for billions of people on this planet. Consider it today’s version of digital grit. Just announce the word Google on the streets or at a meeting in any city or town, and some people will pull out their smartphones and look things up in an instant. They will read, with passion and excitement, raw information (whether anyone listens or not). It’s a true obsession; it’s a true high. It’s become a mainstay for people to show off their computer skills at looking things up in a precise and controlled manner. They realize that everything is available to them at any given moment of the day—and they are proud, for some reason or another, of this strange fact. Many people claim that if it can’t be found in the real world, it can be found on Google.

Is there any grit in that? That’s easy to answer: Google doesn’t require any thought processes. It doesn’t require concentration. It doesn’t require sweat or ambition. It doesn’t require a special set of skills. It doesn’t require insight or critical thinking. It doesn’t ask anything of you. It doesn’t allow you to fail. It doesn’t challenge you. In a strange sense, Google is like a book you find at the library and share with all your friends. Then again, it’s something you share openly and honestly, whether it’s real or fake—that of which you may never really know. You take Google—and its trusting answers—at its word.

And in that simple digital exchange, another piece of true American grit is lost forever.

Author's Note: This may be the best topic to finish the 2016 year. It's a long, overdue fact that true American grit is gone. It's been lost to the Golden Digital Age of Technology; it's been robbed from the younger generation's grasp. There's a sense of it gone by just walking down the street, sitting around strangers (although they never look at you), and there's a sense of it found in any town, any city, any place you can name. Self-centered tendencies have become the spotlight to another generation, highlighted by these main features: it's now the Google Generation; it's now the Entitlement Generation; it's now the Non-Volunteer Generation. The future doesn't seem to have much grit, does it?
Add this unforeseen problem to the downfall of true American grit: Little Black Book: Protecting Your Digital Life.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Panic Attack: 1 Billion Yahoo Accounts in Jeopardy

Talk about panic attack: Yahoo announces one of the world’s largest and most disturbing attacks on its twenty-one-year-old email service on December 14, 2016. Once the dust settles and the numbers come in and the media gets exclusive interviews with corporate insiders, here’s what hackers stole: 1 billion Yahoo accounts. That’s an amazing amount of information to be stolen from a corporate-level business. Unknowingly (and without any fanfare), hackers were able to defy the odds and steal an entire database worth of usernames, passwords, security questions and answers, back-up email addresses, and other private and secure information. They stole it. They were successful in their timely quest to hack a popular and trusted corporate leader in technology. In turn, they are trying to sell this information on the black market (referred to as the dark side of the Internet)—in places that the common user will never see or even visit in a lifetime of computer web experience.

One billion Yahoo accounts—that’s more than one tenth of the 7 billion people on the planet that have an email address. People from all around the world will feel the pain and anxiety and discomfort that comes from losing something so precious and so intimate. Talk about trust issues with Yahoo; they are trust issues that would take another article to explain. Regardless, that’s a serious corporate take-down; that’s a flaw in basic security and mismanagement of people’s private information; that’s a way to destroy a reputable company in one night; and that’s almost the start of World War III without firing a single bullet.

In this crazy, mixed up world, anything is game. Data breaches. Digital loss. Identity theft. Ransomware. Viruses. Malware. Are we really not seeing the potential of data theft? Do we need to think like hackers to gain that edge, that certain perspective to imagine the next attack? We live a world where everything is at risk, where everything is vulnerable. Believe me, this modern philosophy is turning into a mainstream threat.

Yahoo’s problems are about to start. The real problem isn’t about the loss of private information with its millions and millions of users; it’s really the huge wave of anger and resentment to their loss of trust. That same trust has been put to the test with weak phone support, prior technical breaches, and a feeling of overall disappointment in Yahoo’s product. Many will finally leave Yahoo for this particular data breach. Many will head to social media and degrade the company’s moral fiber. Many will protest and write letters to Yahoo’s security department. Many will attack the CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, on an intimate and personal level, holding her completely responsible for the debacle. Imagine the fallout. Imagine the embarrassment felt around the world about Yahoo.

Don’t miss the subtitle to this article: it’s a new era of digital threats by hackers.

But, honestly, who’s next? Gmail? AOL? Hotmail? Something’s in the works. You can’t deny it’s bound to happen to one of these giants. None of these corporate technology companies are out of the loop. Hackers are in the works to hack these giants and bring them to their knees. There’s many sleepless nights ahead for security and quality control departments for each of these companies. Believe me, in an industry where a single click could destroy millions of accounts, anything can happen—and it’s bound to happen sooner than later.

The connection to this data breach may be explainable, may have its reasons, and may be justifiable by hackers. In the plight of a political landscape, the soon-to-be-elected presidential candidate is nearing his peak in controlling the most powerful country on Earth. With political awkwardness at a high intensity, this data breach is easy to understand. Hackers are setting an example to the United States government, including technology companies and other world leaders, that nothing is safe in a technical world. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be. We all knew that putting time-sensitive data on someone else’s server isn’t the safest and most logical method. Once data is put out there, it’s a trust game. It’s taken Yahoo twenty-one years to build a trust factor with its clients. All that trust is gone in a single night.

That’s a panic attack put into high gear—1 billion times over the limit. It’s faster than a speeding bullet, yet no superhero can save us from the untimely loss of our own digital footprint. Perhaps in the months and years ahead, Yahoo can reflect upon its company missing out on an historical and most-disturbing attack that may have simply defied human reasoning, but delve into the likes of gritty imagination to leave the world in digital jeopardy.

Author's Note: The cat is out of the bag. Yahoo has made a major mistake, a global mistake, a mistake for the ages. By not keeping up with the right security measures, Yahoo has put themselves in a very vulnerable position. Things don't add up in this breach. I mean, the idea that 1 billion Yahoo accounts are in jeopardy. Who's responsible for this mess? Management? Staff? Programmers? Or is this an inside job? And what about the timing of it? Political aspirations? Is Yahoo falling into desperate times? You can see a hundred reasons why this happened. Hopefully, never again.
All the more reason to work on your digital book. Here's a good thought to all of this  madness: Little Black Book: Protecting Your Digital Life.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Digital Footprints: Little Black Book Contents

Every user faces the inevitable question: What’s your password? It’s amazing to think, with the availability of all this immediate and flawless technology at your fingertips, that most users can’t answer this basic question. The main reason is the slew of passwords one has to memorize to get into any account, which turns into a long laundry list of passwords over the course of a lifetime.

To help organize this potential mess, the Little Black Book comes into play. This book is your off-line, go-to guide about your digital life. You need to get this book in order. It needs to be offline and in a safe, locked place. Cloud storage for this kind of information is not recommended, for it’s not a safe haven by any means. Remember, the contents of this book could ruin you and your family if it were to get into the wrong hands. Guard it with your life.

Change is inevitable. That’s why nothing could be more important than updating your usernames and passwords for all your online business dealings. Your private information is at the heart of today’s threats. By changing your passwords for different websites, you play hardball with the hackers and spammers of the world, ones that would love to get a hold of your private information and commit identity theft and financial fraud while using your name.

Little Black Book—this is a private booklet that contains pages of digital content and time-sensitive information like:
  • Usernames and passwords for websites, including any recent changes in the past year. Most website companies require yearly password changes.
  • Lists all security questions and answers.
  • Indicates the date when you first activated the account.
  • Reveals the entire website address.
  • Indicates phone numbers and email addresses for contact information.
  • Lists computer passwords and smartphone log-in numbers.

Benefits to the Little Black Book

The fundamental benefits of having a Little Black Book are clear. There’s one thing you don’t ever consider: What happens when you die?  What happens to all this private data about yourself? You realize that the Internet isn’t going to stop working and that websites aren’t going to close shop when you die. This means your private information continues to live on with or without you. Is that clear? Your digital life is stored in the vastness of the world’s largest database, and you need to realize that your accounts could be compromised without you here to defend them.

Your main benefit is protection. With any legacy, protecting it from harm and embarrassment should be a concern. Your words, pictures and thoughts will live forever in a digital world. To prevent this harm, a loved one—or a trusted computer expert—can cancel out and remove your dead accounts from the Internet, thus protecting your legacy for future generations long after your death. 

Yearly Changes to Passwords / Security Questions

By the end of this year, it’s probable that you’ll be forced to change your password for one of your main accounts—most likely a banking or financial website. It’s common for these institutions to promote a change for various security and safety reasons.

Should you change your passwords more often? Some of your most-used accounts—the ones that you spend the most time on—should be changed every year. Period. It makes sense to keep them up-to-date with the latest and most secure phrases. Thirteen characters is recommended, broken between letters, numbers, and odd symbols. Developing unique sayings (house$by$theriver) helps you remember these passwords in a passive manner.

Should you change your security questions? Some of the biggest online companies are demanding that you pick a different security question/answer every year. It’s obvious that these sayings are hackable and vulnerable, leaving your identity and data at risk. It’s a good idea to review these security questions, then pick new ones to raise the bar on protecting yourself and secure your privacy.

“It’s time to protect your digital footprints. Take action today. Not tomorrow.”

—Brian W. Maki, Computer Consultant, Author

Author's Note: This is one of the tools you need for today's digital world: a Little Black Book. Keeping track of digital information is a must, and this is something you need to get into your hands today, not tomorrow. Every minute you wait, the more chances are that it will never be documented and/or recorded. You hold this vast amount of digital data deep inside your brain; let it out. It'll make it easier for someone else when you aren't here anymore.
I should know. I've written the book about this topic way before it became an issue:
Little Black Book: Protecting Your Digital Life.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Advertisements: Technology’s Ongoing Irritation

You can summarize advertising and technology into one sentence: Advertisements dominate the online experience. And with dominance and control in one industry (which is a true monopoly), the smallest levels of irritation and frustration begin to grow. People all around this world are growing tired of an industry built to persuade and influence products and services they don’t want. That irritation is growing into a complete denial to see or acknowledge how advertising influences their own decision-making powers when it comes time to purchase.

The power of advertising is right in line with the accelerated growth of technology, the desire for digital information, the need to be connected and informed, and the evolution of social media.

Like real human relationships, advertisements are a big part of daily living. Technology only helps fuel the fire of their creativity and means to get their products across the Internet and into your life. Think of the bombardment of advertising you live with (and truly ignore) on any given day. It gets to a point where you don’t even look to the right-hand part of the screen or at the bottom of your email message in fear of seeing another ad about clothing, drugs, dating, colognes, new products, and a wide range of subjects that literally have nothing to do with you or your interests.

But ads go way beyond online experiences.
They extend into offline items like your apparel, brand labels on food containers, logos on cars and trucks, stickers on bumpers and windows, household appliances, gardening tools—and that’s all before you leave the house! If you add billboards, buses, taxi cabs, delivery vehicles, airplanes, and even highway signs, the experience expands to new heights.
Technology’s ongoing irritation is real—and it’s infinite. Each day the average person is subjected to 3,000-4,000 ads per day, according to some digital marketing studies done in 2015. If you consider the idea of radio, online commerce, social media, smartphones, emails, tablets, and even gas station pumps, that would be one every 11 seconds of the day (that’s if you did the math). And since some millennials in our world enjoy 8 hours or more a day with their electronic pride-and-joy devices, this number is almost bullet proof. With this amount of ads being presented to the average human being, the irritation level is understandable and relative and absolute and off the charts. Don’t expect anything less.

But maybe it’s not an irritation at all? You could look at all of this as a sensational, world-wide success story. The power of these ads reach cultures beyond their initial targeted audience. You’ve got third world countries wearing the products that Americans are wearing (and vice-versa); you’ve got digital products being sold all over the world; you’ve got a young culture obsessed with the latest smartphones and digital equipment; you’ve got people promoting products through social media; you’ve got a world trusting ads and their overall potential; you’ve got a world allowing ads to be broadcast to every person on the planet. No matter how you debate this, ads are the undisputed success story of our time.

Yet, many people out there desire an ad-free world. They really do. But at this moment in our nation’s history, living in a perfect world, with limitless amounts of digital data available, requires ads and technology to belong together, in one harmonious marriage ritual, with the likes of other well-known relationships like coffee and milk, bread and butter, pen and paper, soup and salad, socks and shoes, food and water, needles and pins, and knowledge and power. When you get right down to it, the genetic make-up of your next born child would be as relevant as the long-standing marriage of ads and technology, which is dooming itself upon the very core of your existence.

The meaning is clear: ads are not going away, ever. You can almost hear the next commercial on the radio, see a new ad posted next to your email message, feel the pulse of an advertising call on your smartphone, smell the gas and rubber of another racecar driver covered in ads, and touch the fiber of an advertising label on your shirt. Believe me, you are trapped in an ad-filled world.  Ads will continue to be as limitless and creative and overpowering with every online and offline experience, and you’ll have no way to avoid the power of their message and their complete influence in everything you do.

The dream is over: so much for an ad-free world.

Author's Note: This topic is not touched upon or talked about often enough in any media outlet. Ads are not taught to students in middle or high school. Not one thing is mentioned about it in their technology classes (other than to click them off). But what about the message they send? What about the impact they make? No proper insights are leading a misinformed culture that doesn't know how to deal with the impact advertisements have upon their lives, upon their behaviors, upon their development, and upon their decision-making ways. These same students are controlled by each and every product that comes to market. They are trapped. Everyone is trapped. There is no escaping this on-going, live, infinite life experience.
Use this book as your ad-free-world escape: Forgotten Roads: A Secret Journey

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Computer Standards? The Future of Future-Proof

In some literal sense, time—the basic function of a computer’s existence—controls technology’s output and its overall lifespan. All forms of electronics, data storage, and communication systems depend on “time” to be exact and precise. You should consider it an important foundation of how digital devices work. Without the exact precision of the time function, all of these devices would turn obsolete in a matter of seconds.

Let’s give an example of this failure in action. You will have a moment when your internal battery fails in a device (like the picture on the right). This can turn the system’s clock backwards to a prior year, which could read 2004, 2002, 1980, 1970, or, even worse, 1900. What’s most interesting about a date or time change is that the computer system doesn’t have a command to change it back; it has to be reset manually. The longer it stays put, the more probability that Internet functions will not work right. Even simple requests to open websites are denied; sharing with cloud services fail; banking sites don’t open; and logging in to check your email may lead to many failed password attempts. You see, the “time” element in any computer system is key, because the basic heartbeat of any digital device is determined by time.

When the time function fails, nothing works right. Nothing goes forward. Everything stops. Everything ceases. Disaster looms. Destruction awaits. Dark days move closer. There’s nothing more potent than a hacker or spammer solving the world’s greatest question: How do you cripple the world’s economy with one keystroke? Answer: Corrupt time.

Enter in the latest term to defend against imminent disaster: future-proof. In simple terms, future-proof “refers to the ability of something to continue to be of value into the distant future; that the item does not become obsolete.” In other words, it’s the latest attempt at a common computer standard in the computer industry. With an industry that currently lacks standards, forces change upon users whenever it wants, and offers no service after the sale, this comes as a big surprise. Let’s be honest here: everything’s made to become obsolete, isn’t it? It’s almost a given with any computer-made piece of equipment, isn’t it? Just look at the number of recycling centers for digital equipment. This reveals how obsolete our values have become.

Obsolete is the common computer standard set in place by today’s industry. It’s common practice these days to research and develop something, then abandon it right after it gains popularity (exercise equipment reigns as king in that category). In the past decade, the obsolete list grew to include: palm pilots, dial-up, film development, movie rentals, maps, newspaper classifieds, dot-matrix printers, exercise tapes, landline phones, long-distance charges, public pay phones, VCRs, fax machines, phone books, dictionaries, CDs, floppies, receiving bills by regular mail, and even record stores. The list keeps growing as digital technology takes over another need of society.

Since the Y2K issue in 2000, many companies have been working hard to keep the Internet going without interruption. These companies realize that another problem is looming in about 20 years: Y2038. The Y2038 problem is often referred to as the “Unix Millennium Bug.” The scope of the problem is based on a 32-bit time integer, which concludes on Tuesday, January 19, 2038. It will then wrap around and turn into a negative number, returning a date of December 13, 1901. This would set the world into a tailspin, with mathematical calculations being erroneous and false.
At this time, there’s no universal solution to the Y2038 problem.

Knowing that this time problem is looming, it would make total sense right now to put in place some common computer standards. That’s where future-proofing brings in better ideals and structure to reduce obsolete methods. The idea of future-proofing technology includes the following methods: better overall documentation, extending the service life of all equipment, reducing the likelihood of obsolescence, allowing plug-ins and extensions to change and alter software, increasing durability and redundancy in all products, stimulating flexibility and adaptability to change, and hiring creative thinkers and dreamers who build systems without limits.

Doesn’t this all sound similar to turn-of-the-century principles that built the foundation of this country? Building things to last. Service after the sale. Craftsmanship and quality. And now future-proofing.

Author's Note: The entire world depends upon time. This Y2K issue, which frightened many businesses, seems to be on target to repeat itself in 2038. After twenty years of research, all we can do is hope that intellectual minds and scientific theories will solve and resolve this universal issue. Until then, common computer standards need to be at the forefront of all future developments.
Here's something that's future-proof: Forgotten Roads: A Secret Journey

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Draining the Swamp: Social Media Dominates Presidential Race

In a presidential race like no other in the history of our nation, social media played a determining factor in winning the top position of the world, President of the United States. Thousands of real-time “tweets” helped people connect with any of the candidates at any time during the election process. There was no scientific study done that proved exactly how many people read all the candidates’ posts, but based on the number of followers, someone was analyzing their opinions. These same tweets were also posted on various CNN and MSNBC talk shows. Even during heated-debate topics and finger-pointing arguments, the public, made up of centennials, millennials, Generation Xers, traditionalists and baby boomers, could turn to the Internet and get real-time reactions, unlike anything ever seen or read of before.
Even though “draining the swamp” became the theme to the presidential race of 2016, it was technology that connected the dots. It’s almost as if technology drove the campaigns to their final outcomes, fueled by the millions upon millions of people who followed every waking minute of the year-long event using Twitter or Facebook.
But it has been more than 10 years that Twitter, with more than 25 offices around the world, began to make a 140-character message called a “tweet” a most enduring legacy. In fact, ordinary people are able to address a nation with little effort and with little marketing ability. Celebrities can update their fans about their lives and their opinions on all relevant topics. Government can make public announcements to the masses. Politicians can share their own views and positions without fanfare. Even the President can sprinkle the Internet with opinion and commentary way after the day is through.
The more practical use for Twitter has been as a communication system for breaking news to the public. Before the news becomes news, someone tweets the storyline and leaves everyone wanting more (because a tweet can only hold 140 characters). Although the system wasn’t designed for high performance information and details, it has been used with ongoing media events like the Boston Marathon bombing and the Westgate Shopping Mall attack, including the 2016 presidential race of the United States.
It’s true to say that social media is now taken seriously. Once thought of as a self-righteous, self-centered, narcissistic tool, social media (including Facebook) is beginning to formulate into a valid voice, a pivotal connection to a large following of hungry consumers in desperate need of raw, readable information. People want information like they crave love, nicotine and alcohol—because, for some reason or another, it’s bold, tasteful and fine. There’s plenty of information out there to satisfy the millions of voices projecting a million more new ideas each night—and that doesn’t even include the final two candidates of the election. Even so, let’s not forget how many tweets and Facebook postings they left for you to review (forever and ever) after the debates and elections are finished. What’s interesting about social media postings is that they never go away. When someone takes a position and voices it, that passage lives on in cyberland forever. 
And let’s not forget this fact, either: old routines are dying off fast due to social media’s consistent growth and popularity in society. For example, reading a news article or watching a rerun of the debate the day after the event doesn’t work anymore; that’s not fast enough; that’s not instant enough. We live in a world of instant gratification, instant replay, instant coffee, instant fame, instant rewards, and instant messaging. Then it should come as no surprise how technology plays a key role in the presidential race, causing the exit polls to be way off their mark. Think about this: the number of monthly active users on Twitter is way over 317 million (as of mid-2016). That’s 317 million votes. That’s 317 million active accounts. That’s power; and that’s a determining factor if a presidential race ends up being close or not—similar to the one that just concluded.
Strangely enough, in a twist of fate and good luck, three states determined the final outcome: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania—with 112,158 voters giving us a new president. You see, social media does influence people on every level possible—even the underlying working-class, blue-collar worker who desires a change of heart in the pool of political correctness and digital connectedness. The world didn’t consider their vote.

Author's Note: The presidential race of 2016 is in the books. We have a new president. We have a change of power in government. This entire election process has been moderated and dictated through the use of technology, thought the use of social media, and through the Internet's long-withstanding power. Let's face it: the impact of technology on the political arena has been massive during this presidential race, if not even more enduring than any other race in the history of the nation. You can almost envision technology connecting the dots in the next race.
Want to "drain the swap" on your computer? How about this: Monthly Computer Maintenance Guidebook.