Appeals Court says Blogs are Not Only Media…


Blog Machine

Blog Machine (Photo credit: digitalrob70)

they’re also an important source of news and commentary

A recent legal decision that helps support the idea that bloggers are entitled to and whether they should be the same as those given to professional journalists, was handed down in a Florida court case involving accusations of defamation:

‘Under state law, anyone who wants to pursue a defamation case has to notify the media outlet in question five days before filing. But Christopher Comins argued he didn’t have to do so in the case of a blog post from university student Matthew VanVoorhis, because blogs aren’t a traditional form of media and therefore aren’t entitled to notice.

‘As Techdirt notes, Comins’s argument was thrown out by the original court, but he appealed. Now, an appeals court has upheld that decision — and in the course of doing so, the judges in question chose to provide some great commentary on the importance of blogging as a form of media. The decision says:

Using a Fake Account to Commit Libel
Those are 2 different crimes
Fake Peoria mayor Twitter account prompts real raid of West Bluff house

‘Police searched a West Bluff house Tuesday and seized phones and computers in an effort to unmask the author of a parody Twitter account that purported to be Mayor Jim Ardis.

‘The account — known as @Peoriamayor on the popular social media service that limits entries to 140 characters — already had been suspended for several weeks when up to seven plainclothes police officers executed a search warrant about 5:20 p.m. at 1220 N. University St.

‘Three people at the home were taken to the Peoria Police Department for questioning. Two other residents were picked up at their places of employment and taken to the station, as well…’
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Auto-Text Your Friends If You Don’t Make It Home
Whether you’re meeting up with a stranger or just taking a midnight stroll, give Kitestring a heads up. We’ll check up on you with a simple text message. Reply to let us know you’re okay. If you don’t check in, we’ll send your emergency contacts a customizable alert message.
kitestring

A ‘Legal’ Search Engine for Illicit Searches
New ‘Google’ for the Dark Web Makes Buying Dope and Guns Easy
The dark web just got a little less dark with the launch of a new search engine that lets you easily find illicit drugs and other contraband online.

Grams, which launched last week and is patterned after Google, is accessible only through the Tor anonymizing browser (the address for Grams is: grams7enufi7jmdl.onion) but fills a niche for anyone seeking quick access to sites selling drugs, guns, stolen credit card numbers, counterfeit cash and fake IDs — sites that previously only could be found by users who knew the exact URL for the site.
grams

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Posted in computer apps and gadgets, law, media, mobile apps and gadgets, social media, social networking | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Progress in World’s Longest Experiment [Video]


English: The pitch drop experiment, a long-ter...
Drop of pitch falls after 13 years of waiting
‘After a wait of more than 13 years, the ninth drop of pitch collided ever so slowly with the eighth drop in the bottom of the beaker.

‘The experiment was set up in 1927 to demonstrate that solid materials—pitch shatters if hit with a hammer—can flow like liquids.

‘Pitch Drop custodian Professor Andrew White said seven drops had fallen between 1930, when the experiment began, and 1988, at an average of one drop every eight years…’
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NOT SCIENCE FICTION
The Terrifyingly Real Science Of ‘Transcendence’
‘Over the years, the biggest proponent of the singularity has been noted author, scientist, and futurist Ray Kurzweil, who freely acknowledges that, “Science fiction is the great opportunity to speculate on what could happen.” Although a notorious eccentric, Kurzweil’s thinking has led to numerous technological innovations over the last few decades. Recently, he partnered with Google (yes, Google) in their efforts towards “using techniques of deep learning to produce an artificial brain.”

‘Ray Kurzweil’s most famous work, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, defines the singularity as, “the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our own creations.” It goes on from there:…’
dailydot

5 Strange Facts About Memory
‘Memory can be a playful thing. It collects minute details from childhood events, yet leaves us wondering where we left our keys.

‘There are several types of memories, and the brain has a unique way of forgetting each kind. Psychologists have classified various ways by which we forget, and biologists have studied forgetting mechanisms at the cellular level.

‘They’ve found that forgetting is normal, and actually vital to how the brain works. Here is a look at the strange facts about how people forget things…’
more

How Dissociative Identity Disorder Works
‘Dissociative Identity Disorder was known as multiple personality disorder until a case of mass hysteria brought on by the movie-mad public and unscrupulous psychiatrists led to a stigma over the term. Now psychiatry has gotten serious about the condition…’
podcast

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Americans Nervous of Futuristic Science, Tech


Science fiction museum
‘Americans are generally excited about the new technology they expect to see in their lifetimes. But when confronted with some advances that already appear possible — from skies filled with drones to meat made in a lab — they get nervous.

‘Nearly two out of three Americans think it would make things worse if U.S. airspace is opened up to personal drones. A similar number dislike the idea of robots being used to care for the sick and elderly, and of parents being able to alter the DNA of their unborn children.

‘Those are the findings in a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center, which sought to gauge public opinion about our rapidly changing world of science and tech…’
slideshow

Is Science Fiction the Wrong Model for Imagining the Future?
Robinson Meyer thinks so
‘A lot of people might read that line and think: Wow, cool, Google is trying to make the future!

‘But “science fiction” provides but a tiny porthole onto the vast strangeness of the future. When we imagine a “science fiction”-like future, I think we tend to picture completed worlds, flying cars, the shiny, floating towers of midcentury dreams.

‘We tend, in other words, to imagine future technological systems as readymade, holistic products that people will choose to adopt, rather than as the assembled work of countless different actors, which they’ve always really been. The futurist Scott Smith calls these ‘flat-pack futures,’ and they infect “science fictional” thinking.

‘Science fiction, too, can underestimate the importance and role of social change…’
more

Who Really Birthed the Scientific Method?
If you answered Isaac Newton, Galileo, or Aristotle, you’re wrong
‘In 1011, Ibn al-Haytham was placed under house arrest by a powerful caliph in Cairo. Though unwelcome, the seclusion was just what he needed to explore the nature of light. Over the next decade, Ibn al-Haytham proved that light only travels in straight lines, explained how mirrors work, and argued that light rays can bend when moving through different mediums, like water, for example.

‘Little is known about Ibn al-Haytham’s life, but historians believe he was born around the year 965, during a period marked as the Golden Age of Arabic science. His father was a civil servant, so the young Ibn al-Haytham received a strong education, which assuredly seeded his passion for science. He was also a devout Muslim, believing that an endless quest for truth about the natural world brought him closer to God. Sometime around the dawn of the 11th Century, he moved to Cairo in Egypt. It was here that he would complete his most influential work…’
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Foreseeing Future Faces is Now Easy


English: A collage of an image modified with 1...

English: A collage of an image modified with 16 different Instagram filters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now you can see accurately what your children will look like as adults
‘If you’re a parent wondering what your child will look like as an adult, now you don’t need to wonder anymore. Researchers at the University of Washington claim to have developed software that can accurately predict what a child will look like as an adult, up to the age of 80. The technique can even work from poorly lit photos, and could prove a big help in missing persons cases…’
gizmag

Should the dead have publicity rights?
What would you do if you find your photo on an obit?
Confusion over dead celebrities on social media, as Twitter suspends James Dean
‘Twitter’s finished being a rebel, at least when it comes to standing up for a James Dean fan who is being sued by a celebrity licensing company that wants to claim the fan’s @jamesdean account.

‘Despite Twitter’s earlier claims that the account, which consisted of quotes and photos of the late Hollywood bad boy, did not violate its trademark policy, the company quietly suspended the account sometime in the last few weeks.

‘The dispute came to light in February on reports that Indiana-based CMG Worldwide was suing Twitter to learn the identity of @JamesDean, who had been tweeting tributes like the one below since 2009:…’
gigaom

How to Stop Instagram from Posting Your Likes On Facebook
‘While you’re browsing through Instagram you might find a photo that you think is cool, so you “Like” it. By default though, Instagram will post your Likes to your timeline. But is you don’t want that to happen, it’s easy to disable.

‘We’ve shown you how to stop Facebook apps from posting on your behalf. And you can turn off Instagram that way, or directly from the app itself…’
how to

How cryptocurrencies can curb unsustainable growth in government power
‘It’s fair to say that such virtual currencies have soared in recent times, with Bitcoin very much the poster child of the fledgling peer-to-peer digital payment system. But what exactly does this new-fangled currency system mean for everyone? Is it a fad, or can it revolutionize an industry that’s become synonymous with wealth, power and greed?

‘Meet Stefan Molyneux, the podcaster, broadcaster, philosopher and host of Freedomain Radio. Molyneux is one of the speakers at the TNW Europe Conference in Amsterdam next week, where he’ll discuss the shifting sands of Western political power over the centuries, the rise of centralized banking, government-controlled currency, and the recent surge in cryptocurrencies…’
more

Posted in computer apps and gadgets, cybercrime, economy, social media, social networking, TECHNOLOGY | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blood Moon 2014


Originally posted on WP Writers Group:

nasa moon shot-photo.htm photo by NASA

Imagine if the moon is that close to us and which we can travel to in one day.

View original

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How Big Business Targets Children


Cover of "The Corporation: The Pathologic...

Cover via Amazon

“Corporate behavior is very similar to that of a psychopath.”
The diagnostic criteria for psychopathy is:
1. Unable to be concerned for others
2. Only advances their own self interest
3. Has trouble obeying the law and social conventions

Bakan wrote the book “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power” in 2004. This book for the basis of the film “The Corporation.” Here he directs his attention at corporations and children.
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Even After Doctors Are Sanctioned or Arrested, Medicare Keeps Paying
‘”Health care fraud steals funds from programs designed to benefit patients, and we all pay for it,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a press release at the time of the arrests. “We hope that the strength of our efforts will have a deterrent effect.”

‘But the indictment and Medicaid suspensions didn’t deter Medicare from continuing to allow the doctors to treat elderly and disabled patients — and billing taxpayers for their services.

‘In 2012, Medicare paid Greenbain more than $862,000, according to newly released data on Medicare payments to physicians. Tran received $155,000…’
propublica

Environmental Activists Now an Endangered Species
Study Finds Global Surge in Murders of Environmental Activists

‘A new reports finds the killings of environmental and land rights activists worldwide has tripled over the past decade. The group Global Witness documented 147 activists who were killed in 2012, compared to 51 in 2002. The death rate is now an average of two per week. Almost none of the killers have faced charges. We air interviews with some of the late activists featured in the report, including José da Silva, a Brazilian conservationist and environmentalist who campaigned against logging and clearcutting of trees in the Amazon rainforest. In 2011, José and his wife, Maria, were murdered by masked gunmen. “This could be the tip of the iceberg in terms of the scale of the real problem,” says Global Witness campaigner Oliver Courtney, who says details about the murders were nearly impossible to locate…’
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

How the U.S. Government is Paying to Undermine Internet Security, Not Fix It
‘Dan Kaminsky, a security researcher who saved the Internet from a similarly fundamental flaw back in 2008, says that Heartbleed shows that it’s time to get “serious about figuring out what software has become Critical Infrastructure to the global economy, and dedicating genuine resources to supporting that code.”

‘The Obama Administration has said it is doing just that with its national cybersecurity initiative, which establishes guidelines for strengthening the defense of our technological infrastructure — but it does not provide funding for the implementation of those guidelines.

‘Instead, the National Security Agency, which has responsibility to protect U.S. infrastructure, has worked to weaken encryption standards. And so private websites — such as Facebook and Google, which were affected by Heartbleed — often use open-source tools such as OpenSSL, where the code is publicly available and can be verified to be free of NSA backdoors…’
propublica

Posted in activism, business and commerce, conspiracies, government, health | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ever Heard of a Double Hero?


Purple Heart
Man Saves Neighbor— on Way to Get War Honor
James Yates rescues woman from pinned car before ceremony at football game
‘Yates lives every day on pain pills because of damage to his spinal cord. He received a Purple Heart for his injuries and Saturday night was honored before the Iowa Barnstormers game with two other Purple Heart recipients.

‘”Everybody gave us a standing ovation and it was pretty loud and we were walking off and you could hear people saying thank you, and saluting us and stuff like that and it was pretty cool,” said Yates.

‘But no one in the crowd at the area knew what Yates had done just hours before.

‘Sgt. Yates said he would expect anybody to do the same thing he did in that situation. Courtney said she plans on calling Yates to thank him very soon…’
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Dumb
Smuggler Walks Awkwardly, Gets Arrested
Police say they found heroin in man’s underwear at JFK Airport
‘Bernard Charles stepped off Caribbean Airlines flight No. 520 on April Fool’s Day and immediately caught the attention of Customs and Border Protection officers, according to a complaint filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

‘Charles, 42, was detained for an enforcement examination and appeared “visibly nervous” and “avoided eye contact” while the officers examined his suitcase, according to U.S. Homeland Security special agent Sean Gabay.

‘Focusing on Charles’ awkward gait, the officers patted him down and discovered a “hard object in the defendant’s groin area,” Gabay stated in the complaint…’
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Dumber
Couple Steals Car … to Get to Court
‘That’s what authorities say a couple did, stealing a 2001 Mitsubishi from an auto dealership in Redding. The dealership called police in Sonora at 2:20 p.m. Friday, reporting that a GPS tracking device on a car that had been stolen was indicating the vehicle was parked in front of the Tuolumne County Courthouse.

‘Officers responded and found the car with different license plates on it. A woman, later identified as Teresa Castillo, 45, approached the car. Police said she told them her husband had bought the car for $200 earlier in the day so they could drive to Sonora for his court appearance…’
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