"Entrepreneurship is the last refuge of the trouble making individual." -- Natalie Clifford Barney

We are Shades of Chrome

Shades of Chrome controls websites, news sites, internet stations and social media accounts that have well over 1,000,000 (one million) likes, followers and readers all over the world. Flying under the radar for many years, they acquired grandfathered domains, failing and forgotten sites and other prized internet belongings for it's extensive portfolio.

Their niche market is based around the Motorcycle, Music and Kustom Kulture, but have generously assisted many small startups with launching social media platforms. All generated profits are donated to various local non for profit organizations, they keep nothing for themselves. You can learn more about what they do and how they operate in the About section.

Facebook removing verified badges from pages

Badlands of Indiana (October 17, 2019) — Facebook is removing the gray verified badges meant to show Page authenticity starting October 29. Page owners will begin seeing notices via their Page this week. The decision was based on feedback from users who were unclear what the gray badge represented, Facebook said.

Gray verified badges on Facebook business pages will be removed

This update will only apply to gray verified Page badges on the platform. Facebook’s blue verified badge for public figures, media companies and brands will remain.

“Based on feedback, we’re removing the gray badge and focusing on other ways for businesses to show their authenticity on Facebook,” said a Facebook spokesperson.

The grey badges, which were gained via an application process, were primarily used by SMBs to prove their Page’s legitimacy.

Page owners will see this notice on the top of their pages

Why we should care
Facebook’s gray verified pages offered small businesses an easy way to verify their Page actually belonged — and was being managed — by the company, same as Facebook’s blue verified badges work for public figures, media companies and brands. Now that the badges are being removed from the platform, marketers will need to put forth extra effort to prove their Page’s authenticity — and keep an eye out for any other Pages claiming to be connected to their company.

To prove Page authenticity going forward, Facebook recommends Page Admins make sure their Page profile is complete with up-to-date information, a profile picture and correct contact information. It also encourages Page owners post regularly since an active Page shows the company is still in business.

The gray badges, which were available to all Page owners, were first introduced in 2015.

InBiz partnership with Greenwood launched

Greenwood, Indiana (September 19, 2018) — The City of Greenwood is the first municipality to partner with INBiz and has launched new services through the portal that are now available for Greenwood business owners.

INBiz is the state’s one-stop resource for Hoosiers to register and manage their business using a streamlined and expedited process for conducting business transactions with the state. The INBiz portal offers services from the Indiana Secretary of State, Department of Workforce Development, Department of Revenue, Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, the Office of the Attorney General, and now the City of Greenwood.

Since its launch in April 2016, over 400,000 Hoosiers have signed up to do business through Indiana’s one-stop business portal.

“This new municipal partnership with the City of Greenwood further supports that we are a business-focused state,” said Secretary of State Connie Lawson. “We are excited for what this new partnership will do for economic growth in Greenwood and are looking forward to partnering with even more municipalities in the future.”

RELATED | Greenwood Mayor Details INBiz Partnership

Greenwood business owners can now access and manage their commercial building permits, commercial site plan permits and commercial addition permits on INBiz. Like other Hoosiers who utilize INBiz, they will also be able to transact other state business on the site to ensure their compliance with state laws and regulations.

“The launch of these new services through INBiz confirms to our business owners that we are committed to their success,” said Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers. “This new partnership will not only simplify transactions for Greenwood’s current and future business owners, it will encourage new growth as we continue to attract new businesses.”

With INBiz, Greenwood business owners will be able to access an online permit application and submit it to the Greenwood Cityworks system. After being redirected to Cityworks, users can complete the application, upload the requested documentation and submit the associated fees. This process offers an alternative to manually completing an application and submitting it to the Greenwood municipal engineering office.

Greenwood’s planning division will work with local business owners and the INBiz team to determine other resources that could be available on INBiz over the course of the next year.

Visit www.inbiz.in.gov today to learn more about how INBiz can serve your business needs.

About INBiz

INBiz is the state of Indiana’s one-stop resource for registering and managing your business and ensuring existing businesses are compliant with state laws and regulations. It is a best-in-class portal that provides a streamlined and expedited process for your business needs. INBiz utilizes state-of-the-art security features so businesses can feel safe about inputting business information into the system. The locally hosted INBiz call center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., to answer questions and help new users develop their profiles.


Tech boom hits Broad Ripple

Indianapolis, Indiana (July 26, 2019) — Long known as a hot spot for nightlife, Broad Ripple is fast becoming a home of choice for tech companies.

In the last 18 months, more than a half-dozen tech companies—including Encamp and Olio, along with venture fund Allos Ventures—have opened up shop in the village or decided to do so. In addition, Innovatemap, Boardable and PactSafe all have expanded their Broad Ripple offices in the last year.

Though there’s no official head count, 10 or more tech companies operate in Broad Ripple, tech insiders said. “The number of tech companies in Broad Ripple has tripled in just the last year,” said Mike Reynolds, CEO of Innovatemap, a digital products development agency in 5,000 square feet at 1002 Broad Ripple Ave. “It’s just exploded.”

Broad Ripple Village - Photo courtesy of Indy Aerial Views LLC

While there appears to be no organized effort to make Broad Ripple a tech hub, Colleen Fanning, the city-county councilor representing the area as well as the executive director of the Broad Ripple Village Association, called the growth “exciting and good for Broad Ripple.”

Much of the tech presence is in Broad Ripple proper, but a handful of tech companies or tech not-for-profits are south of Kessler Boulevard in South Broad Ripple, or SoBro. Those include DeveloperTown, The Speak Easy and TechPoint Foundation for Youth.

Reynolds credited several factors for the Broad Ripple influx.

Besides benefiting from the synergy of the growing number of tech neighbors, he said he appreciates the village’s arts offerings and its “urban vibe with a neighborhood feel.”

“My employees like it here so much, 13 out of 21 of them live in Broad Ripple. The cultural assets of your place of employment are just so important today. These are the criteria the next generation of employees are really starting to value.

“I believe in Broad Ripple as a place for tech companies to do business so much, that I’ve become a bit of an ambassador,” Reynolds added.

The growing tech sector in Broad Ripple  

This month, he hosted a gathering of about 150 tech-related guests at Innovatemap’s Broad Ripple office, which occupies two floors and has a rooftop party area. “A lot of people in tech I’ve talked to said, ‘I never thought of Broad Ripple.’ But when you get them thinking about this area, it makes a lot of sense for them,” he said.

Of course, the bars, restaurants and coffee houses are big attractions, Reynolds said, “but there’s a lot more to it.”

Ben Forrest, CEO of Olio, said his firm was drawn to Broad Ripple in part because of the Monon Trail and compact nature of the village. The company opted to buy an old church at 6202 Carrollton Ave. It’s now building out the space and will move in in October.

“The walkability was a big factor for us,” Forrest said. “We wanted to be able to step out the door and have that feel of connectivity.”

Olio, whose software helps health care providers communicate, had been in downtown Carmel since its founding in late 2017.

When Forrest was planning for his company’s long-term future, he asked his employees where they would like to have the company located. “We took a straw poll,” Forrest said. “Overwhelmingly, Broad Ripple was the choice. Broad Ripple really fit the bill as the best destination for us for a number of reasons.”

Forrest wasn’t concerned just about pleasing his current 16 employees. Olio aims to double its workforce within a year, and Forrest is convinced being in Broad Ripple will help his company attract top talent.

The former church has space to accommodate 80 workers. “I wouldn’t be moving to Broad Ripple if I didn’t think this move would help me recruit the absolute best talent for this company,” said Forrest, 40. “The culture here, plus the physical location, is key.”

Staying true to the neighborhood motto "we're open if you are," numerous Broad Ripple bars and restaurants remain open as late as 3 A.M. – often on weekdays as well as weekends.

For years, downtown has been a tech hotbed, for many of the same reasons tech firms have begun flocking to Broad Ripple, including walkability and a wealth of dining and entertainment options.

However, Reynolds and Forrest believe Broad Ripple beats downtown from a convenience standpoint, since it is within about a 20-minute drive of downtown and 20 minutes from north-side locales such as Fishers and Carmel. “Broad Ripple is as good as it gets for bringing everyone together in one spot,” Forrest said.

It’s also convenient to have so many other tech firms close by, he said. “I have channel partners, product partners and even our legal counsel right here in Broad Ripple,” Forrest said. “This new location really represents where we want to go.”

A shortage of quality office space and parking are concerns, however. “If there’s a call to action, it’s that we need more authentic office space,” Reynolds said.

Converting the former Broad Ripple High School into a tech-minded co-working space would be “a great idea,” he said, like The Union 525—at the old Wood High School—on the south side of downtown. “I think the demand for that would be very strong and would spur a lot of growth here,” Reynolds said. “And while Broad Ripple has a lot of weekend and nighttime activity, this would be a big boost to businesses in the 9-to-5 time frame.”

Reynolds has begun bringing together Broad Ripple tech leaders for informal gatherings and collaboration sessions. “Tech companies want to be around other tech companies,” he said. “It’s a wild ride running a tech company, and the connections, exchange of ideas and camaraderie are so very important.”

Olio’s Forrest agreed. “The proximity to a growing number of tech companies in this area is certainly a big added benefit to being here,” he said. “We’re really hopeful this trend continues because, as that tide rises, we think it will help all boats harbored here to rise.”

SOURCE: Indianapolis Business Journal 

Spyware creators deny marketing to stalkers

Badlands of Indiana (July 11, 2019) — Two companies that sell digital spyware are refuting claims made by a leading digital watchdog group that they market their products as tools for stalkers in domestic-abuse cases.

But the self-described customer service manager for one of the firms acknowledged that at least some customers say they want to buy the software to secretly monitor a spouse or intimate partner. When that happens, he said he explains how to install the app on a "target device."

"It can be your kid, it can be your partner, it can be your boyfriend, girlfriend, depends," a man who answered Mobistealth's customer service line and identified himself only as Fahad. "Obviously, you don't need permission from that person, because it's a hidden application, basically," he said.

In a report recently released, The Citizen Lab, a research center at the University of Toronto, describes how abusers can easily purchase so-called stalkerware applications and download them to their victims' mobile devices without their knowledge.

With the app installed, a user can remotely monitor the target's every move, including phone calls, text messages, emails, online activity and location. In some cases, the user can also turn on the phone's microphone or take pictures.

The report concludes that stalkerware users are likely violating a host of criminal and civil laws, including criminal harassment and privacy laws. It said manufacturers that knowingly sell the apps for the purpose of facilitating illegal behavior could also be charged.

In the report, titled The Predator in Your Pocket, researchers at The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy examined eight popular spyware apps sold as tools to keep track of children or employees. It found that many apps are also openly marketed as a good way to monitor intimate partners.

An unsigned email message from customer support at Flexispy said their software is intended for parents and employers, and that it's "completely unacceptable" for anyone to use it to stalk or harass a partner. The writer said that "certain sensational media outlets" have reported that the apps are used for stalking.

"We have never had anyone contact us with an actual case," the email read.

The email also included a software-licence agreement in which purchasers agree that the Flexispy app is designed for legal use, that it will not be installed without permission, nor be used to "harass, abuse, stalk, threaten, defame or otherwise infringe or violate the rights of any other person."

Fahad at Mobistealth also said its spyware app is intended for use by parents and employers.

He said the company is not breaking any laws.

"We know we are not doing anything wrong. We are just trying to help the peoples," he said.

But the Citizen Lab report clearly documents instances in which both companies have marketed their apps as stalkerware, report co-author Christopher Parsons said.

Parsons also said a user agreement does not get companies off the hook if they know software is used illegally.

"When you sell a product and you know that product can be used for illegal behaviour, you can't just contract your way out of it," he said.

Motorcyclist Magazine To Cease Publication

Irvine, California (May 26, 2019) — Motorcyclist magazine has reached the end of the road. After more than 100 years in print, Bonnier Corporation has announced that the July/August 2019 issue of Motorcyclist will be the last.

“Like other enthusiast-content segments, motorcycle readership has evolved to a truly digital audience,” said Andy Leisner, SVP Managing Director of the Bonnier Motorcycle Group. “There have been substantial shifts in consumer content preferences as well as advertisers’ desire to reach motorcycle consumers on these growing digital platforms.”

It was a different world in July 1912, when the first issue of what was then known as Pacific Motorcycling came out. This was the year New Mexico and Arizona became states and just three months after the sinking of the Titanic. Before the internet, radio broadcasts, and World Wars, newspapers and magazines were the primary way people got information. Fast forward 107 years, and we have up to the minute news in the palms of our hands anytime we want it through our smartphones and tablets.

Traditional print publications, with production schedules measured in months rather than hours, have struggled to maintain their popularity. Many have either slowed down publication, like Cycle World switching to a quarterly schedule rather than monthly, or ceased publication entirely as Motorcyclist has now done.

Regarding the switch to online-only publication, Motorcyclist contributor Ken Condon posted on Facebook, "Being 'published' on the internet isn’t the same. But, if it’s what the people want, then okay." He makes a good point. These days anyone can toss up a website and put their content out there for all to see. Getting published in a print publication is often seen as a higher bar than web publication. In the end, though, it's all about what the readers want and, just as importantly, what advertisers are willing to pay for. Today, the advertising opportunities of the printed page can't compare to the targeted advertising possible online.

Now, for something completely different. I’ve been in print every issue but one in my 14 years writing for Motorcycle...
Posted by Ken Condon on Friday, May 24, 2019

Fortunately, no one on the Motorcyclist staff will find themselves out of a job. All of the magazine's staff will be reassigned to the publication's online presence, which has been growing by leaps and bounds. We wish them the very best of luck.

Space for lease

Beech Grove, Indiana (April 29, 2019) — We are leasing out the checkered floor along with our shop window area starting May 1st, 2019. Our office is located in the heart of Beech Grove on Main Street. Both window areas have electric.

The previous tenant, a veterans non-profit called Bikersinc temporarily suspended operations here and are now operating in Lawrence, Indiana. Our location is zoned C-4 that is perfect for a variety of uses. Interested parties send me an inquiry about guide lines and pricing. The inquire deadline is Tuesday, April 30th at midnight.

Facebook did not securely store passwords

Badlands of Indiana (March 21, 2019) —  Facebook continues to be hounded by privacy issues, this time acknowledging Thursday it’s been storing millions of user passwords in a format plainly readable to thousands of its engineers and employees in violation of the basic standards of computer privacy.

The social media network said the passwords were never accessible to anyone outside the company, but cyber security experts say passwords should be encrypted to prevent the potential for abuse.

“To be clear, these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook and we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them,” Facebook said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

The storage of passwords in plain text instead of encrypted form meant they were plainly visible to thousands of Facebook employees dating back several years, by some accounts to 2012.

“The silver lining on the cloud is that Facebook hasn’t seen any evidence that any employees have abused access to the password data – but frankly, how would they know for sure?” wrote cybersecurity expert Graham Cluley on Thursday.

The story was first reported by independent journalist Brian Krebs who talked to an anonymous security professional at Facebook who said employees built applications that logged password data but failed to properly encrypt them. 

Facebook said it will notify users potentially affected by the security oversight.

“We have fixed these issues and as a precaution we will be notifying everyone whose passwords we have found were stored in this way,” Facebook said. “We estimate that we will notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users.”

While it remains unclear if the oversight has directly affected any of the 2.2 billion worldwide users of the social media platform, it marks yet another setback for the company.

Last week, federal prosecutors were scrutinizing several large deals Facebook made with other technology companies as part of a criminal investigation into the company’s data privacy practices.

Also this month, Facebook came under fire for another security blunder: Making phone numbers, which are often used in two-factor authentication processes, visible and allowing people to search for friends via phone numbers.

Facebook is not requiring users to change their passwords, but you should do it anyway.

There are many methods for setting strong passwords — for example, do not use the same password across multiple sites, and do not use your Social Security number as a username or a password. You can set up security features such as two-step verification as well.

There are a few other steps to take. I recommend also setting up your Facebook account to receive alerts in the event that an unrecognized device logs in to the account. To do so, go to your Facebook app settings, tap Security and Login, and then tap Get alerts about unrecognized logins. From here, you can choose to receive the alerts via messages, email or notifications.

An audit of devices that are logged in to your account may also be in order, so that you know what laptops, phones and other gadgets are already accessing your account. On Facebook’s Security and Login page, under the tab labeled “Where You’re Logged In,” you can see a list of devices that are signed in to your account, as well as their locations.

If you see an unfamiliar gadget or a device signed in from an odd location, you can click the “Remove” button to boot the device out of your account.

Facebook has attempted to distance itself from security oversights in recent weeks while charting a course away from a business model that requires it to use the data gathered about its users in targeted advertising and other consumer-related enterprises.

Last week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new “privacy-focused vision” for the company that prizes private communication through its applications over public sharing.

“There is nothing more important to us than protecting people’s information, and we will continue making improvements as part of our ongoing security efforts at Facebook,” the company said on Thursday.

Facebook Moments App Shutting Down

Badlands of Indiana (January 28, 2019) — Facebook announced it is shutting down Moments, the standalone mobile app designed to let users privately share photos and videos.

The app was first introduced in 2015 as a way for people to share photos with friends without having to upload them to Facebook publicly. Since its launch, however, it’s failed to make waves: the app was downloaded by 87 million users in the past three and a half years. Compared to the more than 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook overall, this isn’t much.

Facebook moments shuts down February 25, 2019

Before Moments is officially shuttered on February 25th, users will have the chance to export their photos to their computer or camera roll via a website Facebook created. The photos can also be compiled in a Facebook album, which will be set to private by default.

The photos and videos can be exported from the Moments website through May 2019. Users who create private Facebook albums will see a link next to each moment that can be viewed as an album on the social network.

And users who download the file will have to enter their Facebook password. After selecting the quality size, users will receive an emailed link to download the files. The app’s closure isn’t a huge hit for the massive social media company. Moments raised less than $5,000 for the company last month, according to mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower.

In 2015, Facebook closed an entire division dedicated to independent app startups. The loss of Creative Labs was the end of other ventures like Slingshot, Riff, and Rooms—experimental social apps for video sharing or messaging.

Facebook is offering two ways to export photos and videos from the Moments app before February 25. Either you can create private albums on your Facebook profile or you can download the photos and videos to your device


Facebook launches its next battlefield

Badlands of Indiana (January 21, 2019) — Facebook is launching a News Feed petition feature called Community Actions, which will basically let users request local authorities, national officials, government agencies to take action on requests from their local community provided there is enough traction or support for these demands.

 According to a report by TechCrunch, the feature will initially be rolling out only to the US users. However, considering the feature was tested in a couple of markets, it is expected to also launch in other countries soon. With this feature, per the report, users will be able to add a title, description and image to their Community Action, and tag relevant government agencies and officials to whom it concerns.

The idea behind the feature naturally is to allow people to register demands on the platform, which other people can see, share and "Support" (which will apparently be a dedicated button). If it sounds a lot like Change.org, then yes that definitely seems to be an inspiration.

Additionally, the Community Actions will reportedly have its own discussion feed where users will be able to leave comments, create fundraisers and organise Facebook Events.

Against the Community Actions, users will also be able to see how many people are supporting the petition, however, the only names that will be visible to you are of those people who you are friends with and public figures. While the feature seems rooted from a noble intention, can you see how easily this feature can be subverted for polarisation and misinformation?

For instance, just to cause mischief someone can create a ridiculous community action request and knowing how Facebook has been used by miscreants in the past, it may just garner enough support to come to the notice of the community influencers.

 The feature is not rolling out any time soon in India. But, we have reached out to Facebook to understand how it intends to safeguard the tool against misuse. We have also asked if and when this feature will make it to India. We will update this space as soon as we hear from them.

SOURCE: TechCrunch