Are you le­git? Smart­phone app helps users check peo­ple met on­line

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

There are an es­ti­mated 220 mil­lion fake peo­ple on Face­book. So how can you tell who’s who?

Fake iden­ti­ties are the third most com­mon com­plaint, ac­cord­ing to the Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion, so we tried a free app, Le­gi­t­ifi, that tries to find out if the per­son you’re about to hire or date is who he says he is. It’s touted for check­ing out baby sit­ters, dates, handy­men, care­givers, and could be used even for ride ser­vices and air­line pas­sen­gers.

Le­gi­t­ifi’s iden­tity-check­ing al­go­rithm does some ob­vi­ous things, like check­ing whether the same per­son posts un­der more than one name on Face­book, LinkedIn and other sites. The only dat­ing site they check is Tin­der.com. If a so­cial me­dia pro­file is too new, that also raises a flag.

There’s a big catch to all this: The per­son you want to check has to agree to in­stall Le­gi­t­ifi first. We sup­pose it’s a red flag if the per­son re­fuses to in­stall the app, but it could also be em­bar­rass­ing to ask new friends and neigh­bors to be Le­gi­t­i­fied. Once they’ve in­stalled the app, they can have oth­ers vouch for them. You’ll see a list of “vouch­ers” off to one side. We im­me­di­ately won­dered if crim­i­nals would vouch for each other. Seems likely, but you can check their rat­ings too. If some­one is a regis­tered sex of­fender, you’ll get a mes­sage as “pos­si­bly dan­ger­ous, may in­clude crim­i­nal con­vic­tions,” even if they’ve never in­stalled the app. NOTE: You can also do this by ask­ing Google for a list of sex of­fend­ers in your neigh­bor­hood, county or ZIP code.

SO JUST RE­MEM­BER THIS

Joy is al­ways for­get­ting where she put her phone, her keys and other items. Bob only for­gets when she doesn’t for­get, so as to com­plete the cir­cle and cre­ate har­mony in the uni­verse. Now she can tell Google Home, the lit­tle de­vice with the dig­i­tal as­sis­tant in­side, to re­mem­ber it for her.

She starts by say­ing “Hey, Google: Re­mem­ber that …” and then fills in the three dots with what­ever she wants: “Hey Google,” she says: “Re­mem­ber that my phone is usu­ally on the kitchen ta­ble,” and Google an­swers that she’ll re­mem­ber that. Should you for­get what your Google Home re­mem­bers, you can just ask: “Hey Google, what

did I ask you to re­mem­ber?” It could be a long list, with old birth­days and things to do. To clear it out, just say “Hey Google, for­get what I asked you to re­mem­ber.”

Ama­zon’s com­pet­ing de­vice, Alexa, can do the same. If you en­able the “Re­mind Me” skill, you sim­ply say “Alexa, re­mind me about Veron­ica’s birth­day.” (Of course you may not know any­body named Veron­ica, and she may not play the har­mon­ica, on the beach at Santa Mon­ica, but should it ever come up that’s how you would do it.)

INTERNUTS

“If You Spend Most of Your Day Sit­ting Down, Be Aware of This Weird Health Risk.” Google that to find in­for­ma­tion about the con­se­quences of sit­ting too much. Amer­i­cans sit more than the Swedish, Ger­mans, Ja­panese and the peo­ple of ev­ery other in­dus­tri­al­ized coun­try. What hap­pens from pro­longed sit­ting? Your butt mus­cles refuse to fire, re­sult­ing in what they call “dead butt syn­drome.” (Don’t let this hap­pen to you.)

“Eight Coolest TED Talks on Psy­chol­ogy.” TED Talks are found at Ted.com. But there are so many, it’s hard to sep­a­rate the good stuff from the kinda point­less. By Googling this phrase, you can find some of the all­time win­ners, such as Re­becca Saxe, talk­ing about mind read­ing. This has been viewed over 2.8 mil­lion times. (You’d think they would just get the mes­sage tele­path­i­cally.)

“Ten Pod­casts That Will Make You Smarter.” Google that phrase to find Inc. Magazine’s list of the most-cited on­line ra­dio shows. No. 1 is by a guy named Tim Feriss, who writes books like The Four-Hour Work

Week and The Four-Hour Body, both of which have a num­ber of ridicu­lous self-help sug­ges­tions. No. 2 is James Al­tucher, who we heard in per­son sev­eral years ago at an in­vestor’s con­fer­ence. He said “You can’t go wrong buy­ing Ap­ple.” (Well, he was right and wrong, as it bounced around.)

APP HAPPY

“Door­man” lets you sched­ule your pack­ages for de­liv­ery be­tween 6 p.m. and mid­night, us­ing their own staff to do so. If you’re trav­el­ing, you can put them on hold for up to 30 days. The ser­vice costs $19 a month. Works for U.S. Mail, FedEx and UPS. (Door­man is not yet avail­able in the Lit­tle Rock area.)

“Audi­ble Chan­nels” are free for Ama­zon Prime mem­bers. You can lis­ten to pro­grams and lec­tures on your way to work, ex­er­cis­ing or try­ing to nap. Joy is cur­rently hooked on in­ter­views with re­cip­i­ents of the MacArthur “Ge­nius” award. Google the phrase “Audi­ble Chan­nels” for more info.

ADDING A PASS­WORD TO WIN­DOWS XP

A reader won­dered how to add a “lock screen” to her Win­dows XP com­puter. “Lock screen” is a func­tion that pre­vents any­one from us­ing your com­puter with­out a pass­word.

Win­dows XP is a lit­tle be­hind in this area; Win­dows 10,

Win­dows 8 and the Mac all make you sign on with a pass­word be­fore you can get to work. Here’s how to set that up in Win­dows XP: Click “Start” then “Con­trol Panel.” Click “User Ac­counts.” (If you’re in “list view,” look to the end of the list, since it’s al­pha­bet­i­cal.) Now look for “Pick the Ac­count You Want to Change,” and click your user name. Then click “Cre­ate Pass­word.”

TOO MANY TEXT MES­SAGES

If text mes­sages are fill­ing up your phone, here’s how to man­age them with­out hav­ing to delete them one by one:

On an iPhone, go to “Set­tings” and click “Mes­sages.” Un­der “Keep Mes­sages,” change the “For­ever” set­ting to ei­ther one year or 30 days. On an An­droid phone, click “Set­tings,” then click “All Apps.” From there, click the mes­sage app you use. In ei­ther “Mes­sages,” or “Mes­sen­ger,” click “Stor­age” then “Clear Data.”

THE NUM­BERS RE­PORT

Here are some Face­book facts, ac­cord­ing to Zepho­ria, a mar­ket re­search firm:

Face­book has 1.94 bil­lion ac­tive monthly users.

The most com­mon age bracket is 25 to 34 — about 30 per­cent of all users.

Five new pro­files are cre­ated ev­ery sec­ond.

Seventy six per­cent of women use Face­book; 66 per­cent of men do.

Three hun­dred mil­lion pho­tos are up­loaded to Face­book ev­ery day.

Ev­ery 60 sec­onds, 510,000 com­ments are posted.

BOB AND JOY SCHWABACH

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