What to Do About TikTok

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Don’t ban TikTok. Restrain it. And then apply those self same restraints to the American web powers, too.

That’s what Kevin Roose, a New York Times expertise columnist, wrote in his newest column about TikTok, the app owned by an web big primarily based in Beijing. Some U.S. officers fear that the app may let China’s authorities spy on Americans or unfold propaganda.

I talked with Kevin about his proposed repair to make TikTok — and American web corporations, too — extra open and fewer data-hogging, and the way to sniff out the legitimate considerations concerning the video app from the much less reputable ones.

Shira: Let’s begin with TikTok. What are the affordable considerations about it?

Kevin: Because TikTok is owned by a Chinese firm, ByteDance, it could possibly be compelled to give the info it collects on folks watching movies to the Chinese authorities and abide by its censorship legal guidelines.

Brian X. Chen, a personal technology writer for The Times, wants us all to consider an alternative to cloud computing services like iCloud and Dropbox.

Let me tell you why it’s worth considering the odd sounding N.A.S.

It stands for network-attached storage — awful jargon for what is essentially a mini computer data center in your home. Setting one up isn’t easy, but it gives us a more private, potentially less expensive way to save and access our digital files, photos and videos from anywhere.

A N.A.S. is a device containing one or more hard drives that you plug into your home internet service. It creates something like a personal cloud service — similar to Google Drive or Dropbox, but you don’t have to pay a subscription fee to those companies. And because all the data is stored on your own equipment, no company can see the information you’ve saved there.

I have a Synology N.A.S. with a pair of one-terabyte hard drives that I use instead of Apple’s iCloud to back up the data on my Mac. When my smartphone and tablets begin running out of storage space, I move large video files and photos to the N.A.S. and delete the files from my devices.

If I’ve lost you by now, I get it. N.A.S. servers are designed for people with above-average levels of tech proficiency. And they’re not cheap to set up. A decent N.A.S. server, including hard drives, will cost upward of $500.

But it’s worth considering if you have the interest and time to study up. Read Techradar’s guide on picking a N.A.S. Then check out tutorials from Synology on using a N.A.S. to back up your Windows or Mac computer. You can also research other things you might want to do with a personal cloud, like streaming movies or creating a virtual private network to protect your information when using a hotel’s insecure Wi-Fi connection, for example.

Setting up a N.A.S. can be difficult and frustrating, but the potential payoff is huge.

This 20-year-old college student made a stunning TikTok video that shows him transforming into superheros using special effects he created himself. And he’s getting attention for it from Hollywood.

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