I just found this video, which contains an audio clip with Ira Glass talking about creativity, and it’s probably the single most important piece of advice any person doing creative work can ever receive. Check it out!
So, for the last few years two things has really annoyed me when it comes to coffee; nobody seems to know how to make coffee properly, and the abysmal taste of most coffee here in Finland. Now don’t get me wrong, we really like our coffee in a quantitative sense here in Finland (we consume 12 kg of coffee per capita and year here), and most brewed coffee is very drinkable, but it’s nothing to write home about.
And most people doesn’t either know how to make coffee, or does it all wrong for various reasons. The “doing it wrong” is what really bothers me, or more precisely, people who are doing things wrong, and in their own mind have perfectly good reasons for doing so.
And here I come, with my little post trying to set the record straight. I’ll go through some common ideas and try to teach what I consider reasonably good technique, i.e. the bare minimum you need to do to get good coffee. There are ways to further improve these methods by additional steps and tricks, but they might be a tad too fussy for most people. And if you’re going to muck about a lot, why not use a press pot instead, the reason for using an automatic drip brewer (aka the garden variety coffee maker) is convenience, not necessarily quality.
I also want to note that although I’m going to present these methods as set-in-stone rules, in a very bombastic manner, there are probably other ways and better ways of doing things, but I’m not going to go into them. This is what works for me and there’s no point in confusing people with 57 different methods for making drip coffee. But, if you have ideas on how to do this better, or easier, do pop it into the comments below! Same thing with questions, chuck ‘em in there and I’ll answer them as fast as possible.
A final note, as the title says, these steps work on most drip brewers, but since a) I have a Technivorm and b) the Technivorm is quite complex, I’ll add some stuff that’s specific to the Technivorm in-line with the rest of the guide.
The stuff you need to make good coffee is quite simple really, all you need is coffee, water, a way to grind the coffee and a way to a) heat the water and b) introduce it to the ground beans. But, due to the fact that coffee is a really complex substance, this is all but trivial.
First, you need good fresh coffee. This means that no more than a month should have passed since the coffee was roasted, preferably, less than two weeks. This has to do with the fact that coffee contains carbon dioxide which starts to evaporate after roasting. For whole beans, this process takes about a month, after which they’ll be considered “stale”. But, the real kicker is that after you grind them, this happens in less then 15 minutes. This basically mean that anything that you can buy pre-ground is going to give you a bad brew. And if you’re lucky enough to find whole beans, most of them will be stale. Some companies, like Illy for example, try to get around this by packaging the coffee in nitrogen purged cans or something similar, but that means that you have a very short time to use the beans before they go bad, a couple of hours at most. So, local and fresh is the best way to go. In the picture above, I’m using Kaffa Roastery Christmas Blend, which is local to me here in Helsinki (very nice coffee as well).
The second most important factor is the grinder. Because of the reasons I mentioned above, you need to grind the beans just before you start brewing. And you can’t really use any kind of grinder either, it needs to be a so called burr grinder, which is a grinder with toothed millstones that crush the bean between them. This produces a uniform particle size, which is crucial for even extraction. The other kind of grinders, the blade grinders (which look like a scaled down blender), just makes a mess of the whole thing, and you can’t reproduce the same grind size two times in a row. Just avoid them altogether. The price of proper burr grinders have also dropped a lot in the last few years, so they aren’t even that more expensive to buy. Above you see a picture of my new and shiny Wilfa grinder, which has proper conical burrs and is generally really nice. It also costs less than 100€ which really boggles the mind. I’ll post a review at some point when I get around to it. Below is a picture of the aforementioned burrs, a tad small for any serious use (i.e. espresso, what’s what the Macap M7 next to it is for) but works fine for home use.
You might notice that I put the machine last in this list of things that you need to make good coffee, and that’s because it actually matters the least bit. Different machines give you different end products, and some might even give you bad coffee no matter what you feed them, but without proper coffee and a proper grinder, all machines will give you bad coffee. For this guide we’re going to use a drip brewer, a Moccamaster to be exact.
These are quite nice machines, and one of the few automatic drip brewers out there to be certified by the SCAA, which is quite an achievement (there are about 4 other brewers that the SCAA see fit to make a cup of coffee). They are also hand made in the Netherlands and very robust, but that also makes them quite pricey. Anyhow, good but expensive brewer, let’s move on.
First, we’re going to prepare the materials and the machine, and after that we’ll grind the beans and finally brew the coffee. Since the coffee starts to loose carbon dioxide as soon as we grind it at a tremendous rate, we’ll leave that step to just before we start brewing.
First, we need to measure the right amount of coffee. The rule is 6,5% coffee by weight, compared to the amount of water you have. That equates to 65 grams of coffee for every liter of water. This is a starting point, and some people may want a tad bit more or less for a specific coffee. The key point though is that you do not want to deviate from this more than 10 grams per liter either way. If you want your coffee stronger or lighter, choose a different roast level (darker bean equal stronger coffee), do not just add more coffee to make up for a too light roast, or vice versa. I’m going to brew a liter, and therefore I’m going to use 60-ish grams of coffee. And since the only way to know how much coffee you have is to weigh it, we’re going to use a scale.
The reason I say 60-ish grams is because I took so long to take this picture that my scale had ample time to change it’s mind from 60 grams to 58 grams. But that kind of precision doesn’t really matter, and my scales are rubbish anyhow. What matters more is that you get a ballpark figure so you know where you’re at and where to go if you want to change anything. This also makes it easier to hit the same sweet spot later if you brew turns out perfect.
Next, we’re going to do the same thing with the water, again measuring it on the scale (which in my case turned out to be completely unnecessary, but we’ll get to that). One gram equals one milliliter, so you can just read the grams as milliliters. Some scales allow you to change between milliliters and grams, but that’s rubbish in my point of view.
The reason why this was a bit of a futile exercise in my case is because of the bloody Technivorm, which since it’s quite nicely made, the scale on the reservoir actually correlates to reality, so if you fill its 1,25 liter reservoir to 8 out of 10 cups, you’ll actually have exactly 80% out of 1250 ml, i.e. one liter. The sodding bastards that made it even put a helpful 1/1 liter mark there to tell you this fact if you’d bothered to look closely enough.
After you get over the existentialism of the water tank and stop sobbing in the corner, we’ll move on to the filter assembly. Drip makers use all sorts of filters, but since this is supposed to be the bare minimum tutorial that it is, we’ll stick to the paper ones. First, you’ll need to get a good quality filter, I use Melitta, but I’ll let you figure out what’s best in your local area. With better filters you get less nasty stuff in the paper itself, and somebody probably spent at least 5 minutes thinking about how coffee passes through it. Don’t ask me about the differences between unbleached or bleached, I really couldn’t tell you. Unbleached is probably more eco-friendly, but if you’re a proper treehugger, you wouldn’t even bother with paper and go straight for the reusable mesh filters (which probably gives you a better tasting cup, but also a bit of health problems according to some studies). Paper filters are however compostable, so the impact on the environment, your health and your karma shouldn’t be that great any which way you choose to go.
When you manage to get the filter out of the package (another home exercise), you’re going to do what your mother or father should have, but probably didn’t, teach you as a kid, which is to fold the corners of the filter, as such:
As you see, you fold the side seam to one side, and then the bottom seam to the other side. Very easy, and not a whole lot of extra work. The idea behind this is to seat the filter properly in the holder, as can be seen in the following picture:
Next, we’re going to rinse the filter with hot water, to remove some of the nasty paper taste that some inferior filters might give off, and also to make it strain the finished brew more uniformly. You have two options here, either you just run some water through you machine and dump it out, which has the added benefit of heating the whole machine up to brewing temperature, or you just rinse it through with boiling water from a kettle or something. The first option is probably better, but the kettle method is what I used here since it’s quite a bit faster.
Now we’re ready to chuck the aforementioned beans in the grinder, and grind them to a proper coarseness. The easiest way to get this right is to either look at some store bought pre-ground coffee (the only use for it in my opinion), or be luckily enough to have a grinder with set points for drip coffee. Anyhow, in a vain attempt to describe it, the correct coarseness is a tad coarser than granulated sugar.
There we go, chuck that in the filter holder, and assemble the whole shebang. Now we have everything in the machine and are ready to go. But, before that, the second and final thing specific to Technivorm brewers. Notice that on the side of the machine there are two switches. One starts the machine, but the other, the pac-man / no pac-man, is not as self-explanatory. This is the hot plate setting, and basically it’s either hot or very hot. This button should never be on anything else than the hot setting, i.e. pac-man mode! The reason is that the hot plate already slowly destroys your coffee as it sits there slowly stewing, but on the very hot setting it will cook the living daylight out of it before it’s done brewing. To really push this fact home, here’s a picture of the switches in the only allowed mode while brewing! The very hot setting might do as a stove for frying eggs in a pinch.
After that, hit the ON button, and watch the coffee brew!
You should aim to drink the coffee as soon as possible, and if you need to save it, transfer it to a thermos jug (or get the Moccamaster with the thermos instead of the glass jug). Also, technically, these upscale brewers work best at max capacity, so you should aim for that as often as possible. If it’s better to brew a small quantity and drink it immediately or brew a lot and have it sitting in a thermos all day is something I really can’t tell you, but you’re welcome to try it out and post your findings in the comments below.
That’s all folks, and as I said the coffee and the grind matters the most, so try it out on your own machine before running for the shops in search for a better brewer. That said, if you have a really horrible brewer that spews piping hot boiling water right at the grounds, you might have some problems getting the most out of the coffee. Experiment and see where it gets you.
There are also more tricks you can use to further improve the quality of your coffee, like stirring the coffee in the filter while it extracts, but in my opinion you might then just as well move on to another method, like the french press or a manual pour-over cone, since that level of fussing defeats the point of the machine altogether, and it’s easier to stir in a more accessible pour-over cone anyhow.
Most of you have at some point or another encountered the term “lean” in relation to business processes or management. One of the ideas in lean management is that you should focus on flow efficiency (how efficiently something moves through your process) instead of resource efficiency (how much time a person spends actually doing something instead of twiddling their thumbs in a given work day). The idea behind this reasoning is that resource efficiency oriented processes will generate a lot of unnecessary work by their very nature, and due to how they quantify “efficiency”, these processes can’t even tell that they are doing pointless work instead of productive work. I’ll not go into the details of why this is so, but the reasoning behind this argument is very good.
Another law in lean management is called Kingman’s equation, which states that as resource efficiency grows, the process completion time grows exponentially. This means that as you approach 100% efficiency (I.e. no thumb-twiddling whatsoever), the time it takes for an task to be completed goes through the roof. This sounds quite insane, but it’s exactly what happens. The reasons why are a bit too complex and therefore outside the scope of this article (all this lean talk is just to give people a short primer before I jump to my main point), but if you’d like to see a future article about it, tell me in the comments below!
So, what has this got to do with Google’s ideas on HR policy? As most of you probably know, Google is sort of famous for allowing their employees to spend a large chunk of their workday on pet projects, i.e. stuff that interests the individual employee but might be a complete waste of time in the eyes of the employer. The common argument given for this strange concept is that the pet projects might turn into a major product for the employer at some point, and the unorthodox practice basically creates mini-skunkworks that can operate small projects without managerial interference. PostIt notes are actually a very good example for such a hobby-project-turned-major-product.
Another argument is that it allows employees to take a break from routine work while still doing something productive, and thus keeping their brains in the right headspace to easily continue with “real” work when the break is over.
And these reasons are very legitimate in my opinion, and are probably some of the core ideas behind Google’s move in this direction. But I’d like to argue that there’s another reason behind this that might not be very obvious, until you look at the concept from a lean perspective.
Remember Kingman’s equation that I talked about earlier? The one that stated that if you always have stuff to do, you’ll get nothing done? Well, some clever boffin at Google might have thought about this, and decided that if you by design only demand 80% of your employees, this problem becomes an impossibility! But hold on, won’t that just lower the maximum efficiency point to 80% and you’d have all the same problems but even less is getting done (how you calculate 80% of nothing will be left as an home exercise in futility)?
Well, that would be a reality if all your workers were perfect and did exactly what you told them, but luckily, humans are wonderfully bad at doing anything exactly. What do you guys think happens, if a worker at Google starts to feel overworked? Do you actually think that she would take a 2 hour break to play with a new cool micro controller when she has a lot of stuff she needs to get done before that big meeting tomorrow? Of course not! So what Google has designed is basically an overflow buffer to make sure that sudden peaks in demand doesn’t cripple their workforce until somebody higher up can be arsed to get some more warm bodies to the department, while formatting it in such a way that they a) get their employees to see it as a perk, b) get additional exotic skill sets to spontaneously materialize inside the company at no extra cost and finally c) get a long shot at somebody developing something truly revolutionary that they can late sell for huge profits!
This is nothing short of pure brilliance when it comes to HR management, and in my opinion it also sounds a bit too good to be just happy chance. But then again, that wouldn’t be the first, or even the 57th, time that Google did something that people thought was completely bonkers that later turned out to be extremely smart.
What a shame that Google wasn’t the first to think of this. At least not the underlaying concept. Kenneth E. Knight introduced the term “bootlegging” in 1967, which in business administration means projects that your boss might not actually know about. The practice is quite old infact, the Germans did this already 100 years ago, and even have a term for it, U-Boot-Forschung (which translates to “submarine research”). But it was first in the states during the ’60s that Hewlett-Packard and 3M started the concept of “permitted bootlegging”, with clear cut policy that you could spend x percent of your workday on said bootleg projects. Google just took if further with allotting a whooping 20% to bootlegging, as long as it has something to do with the company’s interests.
But nowhere can I find any reference to how this idea makes your employees more efficient. This might be due to the fact that bootlegging is an age old concept, while lean management is an 90′s idea.
So, there you have it, the conclusion is that Germans are a lot smarter than the rest of the world combined, and we should just do as they say all the time. If you have any ideas for new articles, or think that I’m completely off my rocker, put it in the comments below!
(I’ll be adding pictures and links and all sorts of other goodies soon, so watch this space)
Check out this very accurate guide on the subject of pencil sharpening, a truly necessary skill in modern life.
(Though our resident master of blade sharpening and other frustrating pursuits notes that the technique demonstrated in the video for turning the blade on the leather strop is faulty, the blade should be turned on its spine to minimize the risk for cutting the leather, and the stropping should last at least 2 minutes to have any considerable effect on the keenness of the edge)
Thanks to the laughingsquid.com for posting about this gem!
So, if you’ve missed it, Yahoo has recently revamped their Yahoo Mail interface, and while some like it, and some don’t, Yahoo’s senior management seems to think that now everybody at Yahoo should start using it. To get the point across properly, they did what most companies do, i.e. release an memo. While this story isn’t very interesting at this point, and wouldn’t have evolved from there in almost any other company, Yahoo’s managers decided that they’d make the whole thing a lot more interesting to read by using puns and, oh yes, cultural references. And not only that, but something that can only be described as a “layered pun”. Here’s a fun little example;
…a time when NT Server terrorized the data center landscape with the confidence of a T-Rex born to yuppie dinosaur parents who fully bought into the illusion of their son’s utter uniqueness because the big-mouthed, tiny-armed monster infant could mimic the gestures of The Itsy-Bitsy Pterodactyl.
If that’s not a layered pun, I don’t know what is. And to have come from someone in senior management (the memo is signed by Jeff Bonforte, SVP Communications Products and Randy Roumillat, CIO), in a company wide memo, is something I find utterly ridiculous. I’m not of course familiar with Yahoo’s corporate culture, and some companies might have a quite loose and casual way of handling internal communication, but this is a completely different ballpark, if not a different game entirely. And adding to the fact that they basically plead to their employees to use their own web mail instead of Outlook for corporate email out of solidarity is laughable as well. I mean, come on, either you dictate it company wide policy or let people choose what they want to use. After that it just gets sad when they start to talk about some of the missing features and the fact that no mobile device ever made supports it.
Anyhow, read the original article for more poking fun at Yahoo’s use of language, or read the memo down below, reproduced, probably verbatim, for your reading pleasure. And if this turns out to be a clever “leak” to discredit Yahoo’s management, remember that you read it here first and the rest of the article was just a test.
Earlier this year we asked you to move to Yahoo Mail for your corporate email account. 25% of you made the switch (thank you). But even if we used the most generous of grading curves (say, the one from organic chemistry), we have clearly failed in our goal to move our co-workers to Yahoo Mail.
It’s time for the remaining 75% to make the switch. Beyond the practical benefits of giving feedback to your colleagues on the Mail team, as a company it’s a matter of principle to use the products we make. (BTW, same for Search.)
For some reading this email, you are saying, “Jeff, shut up, you had me at hello.” *hug* Jump over to yo/dogfood, click “Corp Mail/Cal/ Messenger” and you are ready to join our brave new world at yo/corpmail or https://mail.yahoo-inc.com.
For others, you might now be running in your head to a well worn path of justified resistance, phoning up the ol’ gang, circling the hippocampian wagons of amygdalian resistance. Hold on a sec, pilgrim.
First, it doesn’t feel like we are asking you to abandon some glorious place of communications nirvana. At this point in your life, Outlook may be familiar, which we can often confuse with productive or well designed. Certainly, we can admire the application for its survival, an anachronism of the now defunct 90s PC era, a pre-web program written at a time when NT Server terrorized the data center landscape with the confidence of a T-Rex born to yuppie dinosaur parents who fully bought into the illusion of their son’s utter uniqueness because the big-mouthed, tiny-armed monster infant could mimic the gestures of The Itsy-Bitsy Pterodactyl. There was a similar outcry when we moved away from Outlook’s suite-mates in the Microsoft Office dreadnaught. But whether it’s familiarity, laziness or simple stubbornness dressed in a cloak of Ayn Randian Objectivism, the time has come to move on, commrade.
Using corp mail from the Y Mail web interface is remarkably feature rich. It supports booking conference rooms, folders, calendar, filters and global address book. Plus, you get built-in Messenger, smart conversation threading, powerful keyboard shortcuts, the new quick actions, attachment preview and our beautiful new rich themes. In the rare case you do need Outlook, like adding a delegate for your calendar, you can still fire up Outlook for 30 seconds.
But wait there’s more. By using corporate Mail, you’ll automatically get to dogfood our new features first. I’m especially excited about a new feature premiering in just a few more days: smart auto-suggest, powered by a platform from the still-have-that-new-acquisition-smell Xobni team. We have been testing this feature with select users in and out of the company and the response has been fantastic: “Whoa!”, “Amazing”, “Already in love with it. Woot!” and, my favorite, “So nicely integrated that it appears as if it’s always been there. I already can’t imagine it not being there again.”
Feeling that little tingle? Take a deep breath, you can do this. We want you on board, sailor!
Please note, on the mobile side, corp mail is not yet supported in our Mail app for Android or iOS, but that will change (PB&J!). And, like all dogfood offerings, there is a feedback link in the product. Use it generously so we can make the improvements to make Yahoo Mail the unquestioned inbox champion of the world. I pitty [sic] the fool who resists.
Thanks for your support. It really does matter and we appreciate it.
Jeff Bonforte, SVP Communications Products
Randy Roumillat, CIO
Here’s a short tutorial on how to behave on trams in Helsinki, watch, learn, obey.
(And for those that didn’t quite get it, this is a video done by a Finnish radio show, and they are somewhere between ironic and 100% correct with this.)
How do you guys like the new look? I’ve been thinking about doing something to the design and layout of the site, and this new theme is a lot clearer than the previous one in my opinion. Also, I at least think it’s a lot more readable, and since my posts tend to be quite lengthy, that’s always a nice thing. Tell me what you think in the comments below!
So, a lot of you have probably read my earlier post on some of the cool, but sadly not very widely heard of, stuff that F-Secure is doing besides their bread-and-butter anti-virus software. If you haven’t, check out A bunch of apps from F-Secure that you really need to know about
One of the apps I talked about in that article is younited by F-Secure, a cloud storage app very similar to Dropbox and Google Drive. Today I’m going to write a bit about what it does, how you set it up, and some of the neat features that makes is similar and at the same time different from the more mainstream alternatives.
First of all, younited is in an “early access” stage, i.e. you need to submit your email, and if you’re cool enough, they’ll let you in. It took like half a day for me to get my invite, and I suspect it’ll be similar for everybody else (after all, I’m very far from being consider “special audience”).
So, after you submit your email address, you’ll get an access code. After that, all you need to do is download the app, and log in with your email address and the access code as your password. After that, you’ll be required to change your password, and F-Secure has been kind enough to put in a little password strength meter in the app itself (I mean, they are in the computer security business after all).
After that, the app asks you to name your current device, because unlike all other cloud storage apps I’ve seen, younited has the added feature of sorting your stuff by source, which I find very handy indeed. It also asks you what kind of content you want to auto-sync to younited, your options are photos, videos, contacts and messages. The last two options are very interesting indeed, since I’m unaware of any app that does that natively, usually that part is handled by Exchange, iCloud or GMail these days, and I don’t think this app will in any way compete with these when it comes to primary storage, but it’s nice to have a backup/alternative (if you’ve ever used Microsoft Exchange to sync your text messages to your email, you know how cumbersome some of the alternatives can be).
After that, younited starts to look through your phone for the content you’ve selected for upload, and starts syncing it to the cloud. You’ll be presented with a small progress bar in the roll-down menu (at least on Android), and younited will return you to the primary UI.
Sadly, my life is so boring that I don’t have any really juicy pictures to involuntarily share with you, except for maybe that picture of some guys dancing shirtless behind a bar to YMCA. Go on, have that one on the house.
And there you have it, quite a normal user interface for a cloud storage application. The menu is also very neat and organized, and here you can also see the “sources”-tab I talked earlier about.
So, what makes this application different than for example Dropbox or Google Drive, except the contacts and message sync, and the sources tab. I mean, nobody would considering moving over to a new app just for those features if they already have all their stuff somewhere else?
Well, this is where the going gets interesting. As most of you know, F-Secure is a Finnish company, and they are pretty tough on privacy (watch their CRO talk about the NSA and cloud services here). So it might not come as a great surprise that younited stores all your stuff in datacenters in Finland. F-Secure also states that they will not share your stuff with anybody (i.e. advertisers, governments etc.), which, as I wrote earlier, should make your stuff quite a bit harder to get to for the NSA. Of course, this is no guarantee, but it better than definitely knowing the NSA and other government agencies has access to your stuff, which is the case with, for example, Google (that article also clearly shows that the NSA needs a Powerpoint Guru ASAP).
On top of all this, younited gives 10 gigabytes of storage for free to anyone that signs up before the end of 2013, without any attached strings like having you tweet about the app to earn another 50 megabytes of storage. This I think should be one of the better offers around, compared to the major alternatives at least. Also, younited is ad free.
younited seems to support all the major devices and platforms, currently the list is;
- iOS (iPhone & iPad)
- Windows Phone
Okay, so this is a neat cloud service, and it also packs quite a punch compared to the bigger kids on the block, but will it survive? Will people actually consider using it?
Actually, I’m not quite sure about that yet. I’m not going to switch over to younited completely, but I’ll definitely start using it for more private stuff, like my tax returns and other goodies. The main problem I see is not with its feature set (which is impressive indeed), but with the sharing aspect. I mean, most people already use either Dropbox or Google Drive to share folders and files with other people, and that feature is completely absent from younited at the time of writing this. That being said, the service is still “early access”, and I’ve seen talk about Dropbox integration on several sites, so that might be addressed in a future update.
So, my conclusion is; already really great service, and if F-Secure can pull off the Dropbox/Google Drive integration, we’re going to see a real winner here!
I would also like to add that I have no affiliation with F-Secure in any way, and I wrote this article without receiving any form of compensation from anybody.
Okay, so I spent a big chunk of my evening browsing posts at the F-Secure Labs blog, and I noticed that they have a lot of amazing apps and other cool stuff that I’ve never heard about. And even better, most of them are free! So here they are; the apps from F-Secure that you really need to know about in no particular order:
F-Secure App Permissions
F-Secure App Permissions does exactly what it says on the box, it manages app permissions under Android. But what’s really great about it is that it does is in a clear-cut, no-bullshit manner; it doesn’t tell you that this and that app has access to some part of your phones messaging system, instead it tells you things like “Can cost me money” or “Can impact battery”. And best of all, it’s free!
younited by F-Secure
younited by F-Secure is a cloud storage app, like Dropbox or Google Drive, but with a nice twist; it’s secure. F-Secure does the hosting, in Finland I might add, so you can be sure that you stuff stays secure, at the very least it will make your things a bit harder to get to for the NSA. The service boasts interoperability with Dropbox, Picasa, Twitter and Facebook, and even has built-in malware scanning. And best of all, you get 10 GB of free storage if you sign up before the end of 2013!
F-Secure Lokki is maybe a bit creepier then the others so far, at least when you start looking at it for the first time. I mean, they talk about tracking your kids, or checking what your wife is up to. But it’s more like Google Latitude, but for your closest friends and family. You basically add your family and friends to the app, and then you can check where they are in real time. You can specify places like “Home” or “Work” and get real-time updates about where they are. So far so good, a bit like Google Latitude, a bit like FourSquare, but what’s the difference?
Well, this is where Lokki really takes off, it has a heap of privacy settings. You can for example separate your friends and family into different groups, and customize what the different groups sees. It also has an undercover mode, which does what it says on the box, it stops sharing you GPS location. And best of all, again; it free!
F-Secure Safe Profile
This one I really like, it’s a privacy scanner for Facebook! In the video they start off by telling you to open up Internet Security, but you actually don’t need that, you can get to the tool by just going to the same webpage, https://safeprofile-tp.sp.f-secure.com/
What it then does is scan through your profile, and gives you a nice little “privacy score” along with helpful hints on what you could improve.
These the ones I found this time, but there are probably more of them out there. Also, if you don’t mind paying for your protection, the Internet Security and Mobile Security products are really nice as well. And no, I am not affiliated with F-Secure in any way, and I didn’t get anything for free for making this post (Hey, guys at F-Secure, send me a t-shirt at least!), I just happen to really like their products.
I’ve also not had a huge amount of time yet to play with all these apps, so keep watching for more posts with more in-depth info! And I know these are mostly for Android at the moment, I’ll check if I can find them for any other platforms and update accordingly.
I recently saw this speech live in Helsinki, and now I’m very thrilled to find it online, and in English even, so I can share this with the rest of the world. Mikko Hyppönen is the Chief Research Officer at F-Secure, and if you ever get the chance to listen to one of his speeches live, I suggest to take that chance, he’s even better live!