Please Attack Me

The Air Force doesn’t want service members logging into Foursquare or Facebook Places. Earlier this month it circulated a message saying that the use of geolocation services—which keep track where users are—”can have devastating operations security and privacy implications.” If service members check in to these sites like these with GPS-enabled phones, they could give enemy forces a way to track troop movements.

As Caroline McCarthy points out, the military has cautioned troops about the use of social media before. The Defense Department even considered banning the use of social networking sites entirely. That would be hard to do, since they are increasingly valuable communication tools. But while social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter typically require users to opt-in to geolocation services, they make also have started to put users under increasing pressure to provide their locations. The truth is that it would be easy for a someone to carelessly give away their location without intending to.

The issue is the same for military personnel as it is for civilians, although the stakes are higher. While it may seem harmless enough to tell people where we are, broadcasting that information makes it available to people who might want to exploit it. That point was made by the controversial website Please Rob Me, which reposted geolocation information from sites like Foursquare while letting users know they had just informed potential burglars they weren’t home. For military personnel, logging on to some social networking services is tantamount to saying, “Please attack me.”

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less