Skip to main content

University of Michigan School of Information


Fun Size for 10/5/21: 3 ways to protect your privacy online

Crypto-trading hamster 

He’s cuddly, cute and beating Berkshire Hathaway when it comes to cryptocurrency investing. From his “office,” furnished with a dollhouse-sized desk, running wheel and tunnels marked Buy and Sell, Mr. Goxx has racked up a lifetime performance of 20%, better than many professional investors, reports BBC News.

See Mr. Goxx in action on the trading floor.

Protection easy as 1-2-3

You know it’s important to protect your privacy online, but where to start? The Washington Post Help Desk has helpfully compiled a privacy setting guide for some major players: Google, Amazon, Facebook and Venmo. They’ve broken it down into three stages: “If you do only one thing,” “If you’re still concerned,” and “If you’re super cautious.” So, please, at least do that one thing.

Kiddie Lit 

It’s no surprise that Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales is the most popular children’s book in Denmark; ditto for Harry Potter in the UK and Anne of Green Gables in Canada. But for anyone interested in expanding their children’s literary horizons (or their own), BookRiot has created a colorful list of the most popular children’s books around the world. One surprise: #1 in the U.S. is R.J. Palacio’s Wonder.

Right to repair

If your car has a mechanical problem, you can take it to your trusty local mechanic. Not so with Apple computers, as the company restricts outside access to parts, diagnostics and schematics. Watch this video as a Wall Street Journal tech reporter takes two wounded laptops to an Apple Store and two independent shops to demonstrate just what the Right to Repair is all about.

Tech-savvy seniors 

While older Boomers might not be the techno-dinosaurs some claim, they could have special needs based on physical limitations. explores some of the elder-friendly technology being developed to assist aging users, from the Jitterbug phone to companion robots, and wonders how much is really necessary.

Flying the unfriendly skies 

Australia has temporarily halted some deliveries around Canberra where territorial ravens have been attacking delivery drones, the Canberra Times reports. It’s spring nesting season in Australia, and these birds are not about to let an interloper into their airspace. The article includes a video that shows why you don’t want to mess with a mad dad-to-be.

Not so fast, Facebook

Responding to criticism from lawmakers and parents, Facebook is pausing plans to roll out an Instagram for kids. High on the list of reasons why people feel this site is a bad idea: a Wall Street Journal report on the percentage of teens reporting thoughts of suicide traced to Instagram, says

Elsewhere, a Michigan Daily columnist says members of Gen Z have segmented their accounts into smaller, tailored accounts known as finstas (for fake Instagram) to share information that might not be to everyone’s taste. He explains why he’s ready to post his messy real life on his rinsta.

¿Qué pasó hoy en la historia latina? 

In honor of Black History Month, Google added a Today in Black History feature to its Google Assistant. Now, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15-Oct 15), it’s added a complementary feature, curated by Arizona State University and the US-Mexico Foundation. Just ask Google, “What happened today in Latino history?” to get a quick lesson.

Too many tabs 

We’ve all been there - with 20 tabs open in a browser, trying to find our way back to the place we need by scanning tiny favicons and three letters of the page title. PCWorld to the rescue, with four killer tab searches you can use in Chrome and Microsoft Edge. No more opening a new, unnecessary tab or trying to find one you just closed.

One cute bot

We would be remiss if we failed to mention Amazon’s media event to showcase several new products, including a digital whiteboard, a new Ring security device and a video chat portal for kids. But really, we just wanted to show off Amazon’s new robot, Astro, which one reporter described as looking like the offspring of WALL-E and EVE. This Wall Street Journal article has a paywall, but you can still see the little guy in action.