"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.

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.


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

SOURCE: CNET

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

Google’s plan to control computers with gestures

Badlands of Indiana (January 2, 2019) — The Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group is responsible for experimental initiatives inside Google. With Project Soli, the company set out to create a radar-based input method that provides the tactile feedback of interacting with your fingers. The FCC on Monday approved a waiver, thus allowing Google to continue Soli as intended.


Project Soli was announced at Google I/O 2015 along a slew of other ATAP projects, like Jacquard. This new interaction method does not require a touchscreen — or fabric — and works in virtual space thanks to radar sensing the motion of your fingers. A radar beam is emitted from a chip-sized object with Soli capable of capturing and processing that fine movement as an input method.


For example, users can bring together their thumb and forefinger finger to tap a button or replicate the gesture of turning a knob. Other possible actions include sliding your thumb along an extended forefinger as if where a volume slider, or curling that finger so it becomes a somewhat flat surface for your thumb to pan around.


Back in March, Google filed a waiver asking the FCC to allow Soli to operate at a higher frequency band than permitted by the U.S. regulatory agency. ATAP cited how the requested power levels were in line with standards from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

The FCC’s restricted guidelines might have contributed to the long delay behind this ATAP project. At these limited power levels, Soli is not as accurate and “missed motions,” resulting in a bad user experience.

Google argued that the power levels in existing Commission’s rules are too restrictive to adequately enable Soli’s intended functions – resulting in user dissatisfaction due to missed motions and fewer effective interactions.

Facebook and others raised concerns with the FCC that the higher power levels might interfere with existing technologies. However, the two companies came to an agreement in September. Google toned down its power request to the U.S. regulatory agency, while Facebook agreed that operation at higher levels would not cause interference.

The FCC granted Google’s waiver “to operate at higher power levels than currently allowed” on December 31st (via Reuters), noting that Soli poses “minimal potential of causing harmful interference” and how it is in the “public interest.”

We further find that grant of the waiver will serve the public interest by providing for innovative device control features using touchless hand gesture technology.

Scene from the 2002 film called Minority Report

 This FCC order permits the “certification and marketing” of Project Soli by Google, with usage on aircraft also allowed. It’s not yet clear how this translates to a commercial product, with ATAP in 2015 stating how it’s interested in releasing kits to the developer community.

Soli could particularly benefit smartwatches, by allowing for greater interaction on devices that historically have a very small input surface. Meanwhile, on the accessibility front, Google touts how Soli can “benefit users with mobility, speech and tactile impairments.”

SOURCE: 9to5Google

Creating Facebook business pages

Badlands of Indiana (December 11, 2018) — Today we can see a huge trend of growing up a business in the social media. In our case, it`s Facebook and today we have more than 50 million of business accounts there. People advertise their services, sell goods, create personal blogs and advertise other products.

However, if you have a business and want to advertise it through Facebook, you must create your own Facebook business page. Sometimes people don`t understand why they need it and what advantages they can get from it. In this article, we will tell you about basic steps in creating your personal business page.



Why we need Facebook business page?
Many developers who have just started their Facebook activity don`t care about business profiles, so they advertise their products through the personal accounts. It`s not very good because you need to create posts about your business and posts about your everyday life (where you were on the last weekend, what are you thinking about right now etc.). It`s hard to mix such things in one account, so it will be easier for you to have an extra profile dedicated to your business.

So, now let`s go through all important points of creating a Facebook business page.

Select your business category
There are six main business categories that could be chosen for your business profile:

1. Local business or place
2. Company, organization or institution
3. Brand or product
4. Artist, brand or public figure (if you are a blogger, you should choose this category).
5. Entertainment
6. Cause or community

It`s important to choose the right category for your business, because each of them has a list of specific features, which may help you during your work.

For example, if you choose “Local business or place”, you will be able to collect Facebook reviews from customers. At this time, if your priority is to get check-ins, it`s better to choose “Company, Institution or Organization”.

Fill in all information about your business
Here we must give our customers detailed information about things that they could get from us. 

We should add some facts about the business (it is stabilized, successful and have already reached some core milestones). 

You should also have your own customized URL. With it, user don`t have problems with finding and entering your account. 

There also should be a link to your business page (website or blog). Don`t forget about your location. With this information, customers will know that your business is not fake.


Select the right images
In the next step our task is to decorate our business page. When people open the profile, the first thing they see is a company`s logo. Of course, it should have a perfect look, so your task is to optimize image to normal size and get good background photo. If you can do a photo on your own, it`s much better than searching for an optimal image in the Internet.

Choose right call-to-action
This point depends on your business targets and objectives, so you can choose the most optimal variant. There are main call-to-action examples:

1. Book now
2. Call now
3. Contact us
4. Send message
5. Download an app
6. Sign up
7. Send an email

Choose your target audience
You should know who you will be working with, so you should control your audience. With the help of Facebook analysis, you will be able to check you overall profile activity (number of likes, shares and comments that people made. Then look through all page visitors and choose the most active of them. This is your target audience, and starting from this moment you should orientate on them.

Conclusion
So, there you go. These are some basic tips for creating a workable Facebook business page. We hope you enjoyed the information. 

eCommerce: Amazon Storefronts

Indianapolis, IN (October, 2018) -- Amazon recently launched a new section of its site called Amazon Storefronts, a space that looks almost identical to the handmade e-commerce giant Etsy and offers customers access to “over 1 million products” from 20,000 “small and medium-sized” US businesses.

Amazon Storefront Logo

Storefronts features “Curated Collections” including seasonal-themed sections like back-to-school and Halloween and very generic sections like home, kitchen, jewelry, pet supplies, and electronics. There’s also a “Meet the Business Owners” section which features shops owned by “artisans,” families, women, and “innovator makers.” It’s a move to position Amazon as a friendly corporate giant, one which encourages entrepreneurship and the revitalization of small businesses.

How Amazon defines a small business

Earlier this year, the company published a Small Business Impact Report, which is three slides long and says that “small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon have created more than 900,000 jobs.” The Storefront homepage banners says “small and medium-sized” businesses make half of all of the products sold on Amazon.

A representative from Amazon says that “small” and “medium” businesses are defined by the number of employees a business has and the amount of revenue it brings in: small businesses have fewer than 100 employees and less than $50 million in yearly revenue, medium-sized businesses have fewer than 1,000 employees and less than $1 billion in yearly revenue.

Storefronts will be marketed with a colloquial understanding of what a small business is, but function using a definition that includes basically anything less than a publicly-traded global brand.