A woman was jailed for nearly two years after she set up numerous fake Facebook accounts that led to the arrest of her stepmother.
The woman, 24-year-old Michelle Chapman, claimed to local police officials that she was being sexually harassed and trolled online by her father Roy Jackson and her stepmother Louise Steen. After an investigation by forensic internet experts determined that the social media accounts had actually been set up at Chapman’s home, the woman herself was arrested.
According to the Mirror News, Chapman was subsequently jailed for 20 months.
This Is Cornwall reports that Chapman made eight written statements to law enforcement officials between February and October of 2011 regarding the abusive messages she was allegedly receiving from her father and stepmother, which she claimed were of a “very unpleasant sexual nature.”
In response to Chapman’s complaint, her stepmother Steen was arrested and questioned. The mix-up was eventually detected, and Chapman herself was sentenced for forging evidence.
Law enforcement official Philip Lee claimed that Chapman’s actions were intended as a sort of revenge against her father.
“She said that she wanted revenge on her father for matters in the past ... she wanted to make their life hell,” Lee said.
Martin Pearce, Chapman’s attorney, had a different reasoning behind his client’s actions, claiming that she has suffered from mental health issues.
“She says she wishes she had not done it and she says she understands the impact on the victims,” Pearce said.
Chapman’s husband Glyn claimed that he understands his wife needs mental help.
“She is the victim, she has mental health issues and it was a cry for help. She has not had the help she needs. This is what you do when you’re in desperate, desperate need of help - you scream out,” Glyn said.
More and more tech companies are pushing users to store their content in "cloud" services, which are basically online depositories.
Originally made popular by Dropbox.com, these cloud services offer a certain amount of storage space for free, but then start charging users for extra files.
Cloud services are offered by Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft and other big (and small) players on the web. iPhones and Android phones are also getting in on cloud services, which were originally a convenient option.
However, Scientific American notes that some large tech companies are slowly eliminating the option for users not to use cloud storage.
Apple's new operating system Mavericks does not allow to users to sync their computer’s calendar or address book with an iPhone or tablet. Now, you can only sync your content via an Apple iCloud account.
With Windows 8 and 8.1, you can log on to your PC with either a local account on your computer or an online Microsoft account.
But without an online Microsoft account, you can't access SkyDrive or download apps from the Windows store.
What the web giants don't tell you is that cloud users are at the mercy of these corporations to access their own content. If a cloud site goes down, so does access to your content.
There is also the issue of privacy. Amazon landed a $600 million contract to create a private cloud for the CIA in 2013, reports InformationWeek.com. But will this new relationship compromise the security and privacy of other Amazon cloud users?
Apple, Google and Microsoft are also in possession of user's cloud content, which could be secretly accessed by the (National Security Agency) NSA. The agency's covert, mass spying activities have all cloud companies concerned about losing business, according to CRN.com.
The Independent reported in 2013, "All personal information stored by British internet users on major 'cloud' computing services including Google Drive can be spied upon routinely without their knowledge by US authorities under newly-approved legislation."
Google’s San Francisco “mystery barge” is being kicked off the island. The much-discussed floating data center/showroom/party boat will have to find a new home, a state agency ordered, due to a number of complaints.
"It needs to move," Larry Goldzband, executive director of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, told the Associated Press Monday.
Google doesn’t have the proper permits for the four-story construction, Goldzband said. Both the Treasure Island Development Authority and the City of San Francisco could face fines, too, for failing to enforce the rules.
The story of the “mystery barge” first broke in late October, when CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman found “Google’s fingerprints all over” the floating barge off the coast of Treasure Island, a former Navy base in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Though Google didn’t own up at the time, the reporter found that the structure matched that of a water-based data center, which Google had received a patent for in 2009.
Later the executive director at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Corporation (BCDC) confirmed that Google was the force behind the barge. KPIX 5 reported that the space would be a VIP showroom and party deck, personally overseen by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
But whatever it is, the mystery barge has to go, according to BCDC authorities. Google can move the barge to a permitted construction facility.
Environmental activists are happy with the agency’s no-nonsense enforcement. Jason Flanders, program director at San Francisco Baykeeper, a nonprofit pollution watchdog, said that regulation was essential for the bay’s wellbeing.
"Obviously, the bay is a valuable resource to everybody," Flanders said. "Requiring people and companies large and small to pass all environmental regulations before using the bay is essential."
We all heard about Amazon’s plan to one day deliver purchases to your doorstep using drones. The futuristic idea sparked the interest of other business owners around the country, because Amazon isn’t the only company with drone delivery plans for the future. Minnesota brewing company Lakemaid Beer has an idea of their own.
It’s cold up at the Great Lakes. But the frigid temperatures don’t stop locals from taking part in one of the area's favorite pastimes: ice fishing. Every year, hundreds of residents set up small ice fishing houses on the frozen waters of Minnesota’s Lake Mille Lacs and dig in for some frigid fishing. What’s the perfect complement to cold weather and fishing? Beer, of course.
Lakemaid Beer president Jack Supple and his colleagues recently thought of a genius way to deliver brews to ice fishers out on the lake: drones. The fishers would simply call in their order to a Lakemaid store, and then, using GPS coordinates, a drone would deliver the beer right to their door.
Check out this video showing the idea in action:
Seem too good to be true? It is. For now at least. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) struck down the idea. The FAA is still figuring out how drones should be incorporated into the modern world. Until they get an idea of how to regulate their use, commercial drone use is not permitted. Though Lakemaid fans loved the idea, Supple said he understands the FAA’s decision.
“I see what they’re talking about,” he said. “When you think of all of the people who are going to come up with ways to use these, the regulation of it is going to be important, so they’re learning as fast as we are.”
But, he added, Lakemaid would still love to use the idea in the future.
“Our Facebook page went wild because our fans loved the idea,” he said.
Sorry, beer thirsty ice fishers of the world. Looks like this one will have to wait.
The Seattle-based real estate startup Estately conducted an experiment using Bing’s autocomplete to create a map of what each U.S. state “is.”
They used the first declarative statement sentence according to Bing autocomplete, and got rid of anything in question form. What did they find in their search? “There are large pockets of racists, northern states like to praise themselves, Texas is emo, nobody likes California or New York, and Hawaii is filled with liars,” notes the employees of Estately, who say that the results below do not reflect their views or beliefs.
Only 38 U.S. states have one-of-a-kind autocomplete descriptions, as of January 2014. Results for the search query “[State] is…” are as follows:
Arkansas: a $#!*hole
Connecticut: anti gun
Delaware: workers comp exclusive remedy
District of Columbia: a foreign corporation
Florida: for nurses
Georgia: a right to work state
Hawaii: no paradise
Idaho: the most corrupt state
Iowa: boring Yahoo
Kansas: being poisoned
Kentucky: a state Family Guy
Louisiana: a weird state
Maryland: a southern state
Massachusetts: a coffin
Minnesota: more corrupt than acknowledged
Montana: for badasses
Nevada: the most mountainous state
New Jersey: ilanlari
New Mexico: horrible
New York: a dump
North Carolina: my home
North Dakota: not a state
Oklahoma: suing the Obama administration
Oregon: faster Nike
Pennsylvania: a nice place to visit
Rhode Island: famous for you
South Carolina: too small to be a republic
South Dakota: K2 illegal
Texas: the reason
Utah: on track to end homelessness
Virginia: for lovers 14k
Washington: the best
Wyoming: the cowboy state
This is not the first time autocomplete was used to define the U.S. map. Mashable conducted a similar experiment, this time using Google’s autocomplete to create a map of what each state “wants.” For example, Wyoming wants “an aircraft carrier,” while Florida simply wants “to know.”
When people with smartphones try to update their Facebook app, they are asked by the app if they want it to "read your text messages (SMS or MMS)."
This question has brought some alarm to Facebook users, but the social media site says not to worry (as usual), notes Fast Company.
Facebook states on its website, "If you add a phone number to your account, this allows us to confirm your phone number automatically by finding the confirmation code that we send via text message."
Apparently, this feature is for smartphone users who may not be smart enough to find a confirmation number sent via text by Facebook.
The Angry Birds app asked the same invasive question in 2011, reports Fast Company.
Recently disclosed NSA documents by whistleblower Edward Snowden state that the NSA has been spying on people via the Angry Birds app.
In more government hacking news, Wired reports that the FBI has seized the entire e-mail database of TorMail.
That news recently came to light in court papers when prosecutors indicted a man for allegedly selling counterfeit credit cards on the web. Apparently, orders for forged credit cards were being sent to his TorMail address.
Unlike the NSA, the FBI did have a search warrant for TorMail, but they copied the entire TorMail database.
The NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ are able to use some of the most popular smartphone apps in the world to obtain personal user information, suggests recently leaked documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Of particular note is the mention of the popular smartphone game Angry Birds. The game, which has been downloaded 1.7 billion times worldwide, is dubbed a “leaky app” by the agencies. Such apps, especially if running on the popular Android operating system, are able to provide US and British officials with information including the phone’s settings, which websites the phone had visited and which documents it had downloaded.
The documents also included a 14 page slideshow developed by NSA officials. The slideshow mentioned popular apps that link to social networking site Facebook and the photo upload site Flickr. Photos uploaded to these sites could allow the two agencies to mine mobile devices for information including sexual orientation and political alignment as well as location data of where the photo was taken.
Such information is often scrubbed from uploads before final publication. Depending on where the information is removed during the upload process it may still be acquired by the NSA or GCHQ.
Angry Birds publisher Rovio has denied any cooperation with the government agencies.
"Rovio doesn't have any previous knowledge of this matter, and have not been aware of such activity in 3rd party advertising networks," said Saara Bergstrom, Rovio's VP of marketing and communications.
Aother revelation of the leak is the vast amount of information available concerning users who use the ubiquitous Google Maps. Monitoring of information from that app "effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system," one 2008 document from the British eavesdropping agency is quoted as saying.
The Obama administration is seeking to alleviate concerns of US citizens amidst the new revelations.
"As the president said in his Jan. 17 speech, to the extent data is collected by the NSA, through whatever means, we are not interested in the communications of people who are not valid foreign intelligence targets and we are not after the information of ordinary Americans,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney at a Monday press conference.
A Japanese lingerie company claims their new bra will unlock only when it detects “true love.”
Ravijour’s “True Love Tester Bra” is a high-tech chastity belt for women’s chests that supposedly senses when a woman’s emotional state becomes “truly amorous.”
“Until now, the bra was a piece of clothing to remove, but now it is an instrument to test for true love,” a woman says in a video promo.
The bra contains a hidden sensor that syncs up via Bluetooth to an app on the owner’s phone. The app analyzes the wearer’s heart rate, and when the wearer’s heart rate hits a certain point, the bra unhooks on its own.
The bra is designed to “save women” from certain types of guys, such as the touchy-feely “animal,” “the flashy guy” who uses money to pick up women, and “the technician,” who tries to pick up on multiple women at once.
The “True Love Tester” may be here to “save women,” but it’s not the first piece of clothing to make this claim. A New York company announced it was developing “AR Wear,” Anti-Rape Wear, in November, underwear that is difficult to remove forcefully from a woman’s body.
Perhaps the biggest surprise about this seeming chastity bra is the fact that it was designed by men.
While people can’t buy the bra directly, they can win a chance to try it out by spending more than $50 on the company’s website, according to the New York Daily News.
No word yet on how, or if at all, women can unclasp the bra if they don’t find “true love.”
Sources: Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, New York Daily News
The National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK government's spy agency GCHQ are hacking into various smartphone apps, including the game "Angry Birds" and Google Maps, to get users' private information.
The Guardian reports that top secret documents, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, show that some apps may share such private information as sexual orientation.
However, most smartphone owners are unaware that this private info is being shared across web by the NSA and GCHQ.
Rovio, the company that created Angry Birds, denied knowing that the NSA or GCHQ were hacking its apps.
"Rovio doesn't have any previous knowledge of this matter, and have not been aware of such activity in 3rd party advertising networks," Saara Bergstrom, Rovio's VP of marketing and communications, told The Guardian. "Nor do we have any involvement with the organizations you mentioned [NSA and GCHQ]."
Pro-Publica.org notes that one NSA document from May 2010 is titled "Golden Nugget!" and states "Target uploading photo to a social media site taken with a mobile device. What can we get?"
The NSA answers its own question by listing: image, email, phone, buddy lists, home country, age, gender, zip code, martial status, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education level, and number of children.
An user's global location can be found by the NSA and GCHQ by intercepting Google Maps queries made on cell phones.
In response to the story, the NSA released a statement to The New York Times:
NSA does not profile everyday Americans as it carries out its foreign intelligence mission. Because some data of U.S. persons may at times be incidentally collected in NSA's lawful foreign intelligence mission, privacy protections for U.S. persons exist across the entire process.
Sources: The New York Times, Pro-Publica.org, The Guardian