Apr 16, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon


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11Wisconsin Man Banned From The Internet After Sending Sex-Seeking Men To Neighbor's House

Wisconsin man Jason Willis has been banned from the Internet after playing a twisted practical joke on his neighbor.

Willis posted an ad on Craigslist pretending to be his female neighbor Dawn. The ad asked men to show up at Dawn’s house for sex. Willis used his neighbor’s name, address, and contact information in the ad.

Sure enough, men started showing up at Dawn’s house. One eager responder showed up in nothing but a trench coat.

“[Willis’] idea of a joke is much different to other peoples’ idea of a joke,” Dawn said.

“He had my full name," Dawn said of the man who showed up to her home in a trench coat. "He knew my address. And he said, ‘Oh, I got it off of Craigslist. You put an ad on there.’”

Dawn reported the incident to detectives. Some quick research found Willis posted numerous ads across the web asking men to come to Dawn's house for sex. They tracked the IP address behind the ads to Willis’ home.

On Tuesday, Willis accepted a plea deal for the charges. He will be disallowed access to the Internet for 30 days and will be on probation for 30 months. 

Presiding Judge Allan Torhorst compared Willis’ dangerous use of the Internet to a drunk driver’s use of a car.

“If you want to drive drunk, you’re not allowed to drive,” Torhorst said. “To me, a public availability of the Internet—to use it the way he did—is unconscionable. Everybody knows it’s wrong. He knew it was wrong. He admitted it.”

Sources: JRN, Metro

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11Facebook Adds 56 New Gender Identity Options

Facebook introduced a list of 56 new gender identity terms on Thursday, allowing users to enter up to 10 options to customize their profile.

The change also allows users to choose a preferred pronoun: him, her or them.

Facebook stated that the changes allow its 159 million U.S. users more choices in describing themselves.

The company added that it also allows users worldwide to keep their gender identity private.

"It was simple: Not allowing people to express something so fundamental is not really cool so we did something," Alex Schultz, Facebook's director of growth, said.

GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBT media advocacy organization, praised Facebook for developing the new options.

"Once again, Facebook is on the forefront of ensuring that the platform is safe and accessible to all of its LGBT users,” GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said.

The updated list of options are as follow:

  • Agender
  • Androgyne
  • Androgynous
  • Bigender
  • Cis
  • Cis Female
  • Cis Male
  • Cis Man
  • Cis Woman
  • Cisgender
  • Cisgender Female
  • Cisgender Male
  • Cisgender Man
  • Cisgender Woman
  • Female to Male
  • FTM
  • Gender Fluid
  • Gender Nonconforming
  • Gender Questioning
  • Gender Variant
  • Genderqueer
  • Intersex
  • Male to Female
  • MTF
  • Neither
  • Neutrois
  • Non-binary
  • Other
  • Pangender
  • Trans
  • Trans Female
  • Trans Male
  • Trans Man
  • Trans Person
  • Trans Woman
  • Trans*
  • Trans* Female
  • Trans* Male
  • Trans* Man
  • Trans* Person
  • Trans* Woman
  • Transfeminine
  • Transgender
  • Transgender Female
  • Transgender Male
  • Transgender Man
  • Transgender Person
  • Transgender Woman
  • Transmasculine
  • Transsexual
  • Transsexual Female
  • Transsexual Male
  • Transsexual Man
  • Transsexual Person
  • Transsexual Woman
  • Two-spirit

Sources: The Denver Post, Slate Magazine

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11Facebook Announces 50 Gender Choices for Users

Facebook is trying to accommodate people who self-identify their gender with 50 new terms.

Many of these new Facebook gender choices don't exist in medical textbooks, but include, "cisgender, intersex and gender fluid."

For those who do not want to identify their gender, Facebook will still allow them to keep it private, notes CNN.

“There’s going to be a lot of people for whom this is going to mean nothing, but for the few it does impact, it means the world,” Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison, who is undergoing a gender transformation from male to female, told the Associated Press.

“All too often transgender people like myself and other gender nonconforming people are given this binary option, do you want to be male or female? What is your gender? And it’s kind of disheartening because none of those let us tell others who we really are,” added Harrison. “This really changes that, and for the first time I get to go to the site and specify to all the people I know what my gender is.”

Facebook users can also choose the pronoun they want to be referred to publicly: he/his, she/her, or they/their.

Facebook states on its Diversity page, "When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organizations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self."

Sources: Facebook, Associated Press, CNN

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11iPhone 6 Photos Leak on Twitter? (Photo)

A mysterious Twitter user posted photos of the alleged iPhone 6 casing, which displayed a wider screen and a curved design.

The new set of photos is one in a series claiming to be the actual iPhone 6 design.

The user, mornray866, has not revealed the source of the images or explained why many of the phones are shown in plastic bags.

Apple has refused to comment on the details of the upcoming phone, though there are plenty of rumors to supplement its silence.

Some speculate that there will be three different models of the iPhone 6. The first will be a 4 inch 1136x640 (326 ppi) display for the cheapest iPhone. The second will be a 4.7 inch 1920x1080 (440ppi) display called the iPhone Air. The third will be a 5.5 inch 2272x1280 (510 ppi) display called the iPhone Pro.

The new iPhone will allegedly include a new camera module from Sony to improve the quality of pictures taken from its front facing camera.

The new phones are expected to be revealed at Apple’s annual developer conference in June, where the firm typically makes new product announcements.

If announced, the iPhone 6 is expected to go on sale within weeks of the conference.

Sources: Daily Mail, Business Insider

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11High School Student Suspended for "Favoriting" Offensive Twitter Page

A South Carolina high school student has been suspended for five days for “favoriting” several tweets on a Twitter page called HSConfessionsSC.

Demi Grant, a senior at Hartsville High School, said she clicked the “favorite” button on the tweets, not because they were true, but, as she explained, “because I thought they were funny.”

Allegedly, one of the tweets in question makes a reference to a Hartsville student, who was killed in a 2012 car crash; it was her liking this particular tweet that apparently enraged school officials.

Ironically, Grant has previous expressed frustration over someone creating a false social media account in the name of the girl who died in the 2012 crash.

According to Audrey Childers, a spokeswoman for the Darlington County school district, the tweets on the HSConfessionsSC page were “distasteful and untrue.”

The school has punished some 30 students for visiting the HSConfessionsSC Twitter account, referring to their support of the page as “cyber-bullying.” Grant, however, is the only one who has been suspended.

Grant said that when Principal Charlie Burry, Jr. called the students in to his office, he “looked at all of us and he said that we made him sick.”

Grant’s mother, Stephanie Grant, has expressed thorough disappointment with the high school administration.

“Five days suspension for favoriting a tweet? Wasn’t her words. It was no name in the tweet. She was bullying according to the school district, but I don’t know who she bullied,” the enraged mother stated.

It is unclear if Grant favorited the offensive tweets during school or on school property.

“There’s nothing really your children can do at school or outside of school that the district can’t punish them for,” the suspended girl’s mother added.

Demi and Stephanie tried to appeal the suspension, but apparently were met with no success; they have expressed concern that missing four days of school will “eventually catch up to Demi academically.”

Childers has suggested that the school district’s detectives “are actively investigating the situation and have asked for law enforcement’s help.”

Although both mother and daughter might have protested that the punishment seemed overly harsh and that it singled Demi out from a large group of students, both have admitted that they have come away from it with a lesson.

“If I see something like that, just leave alone because in the long run it could come back and get involved with the school and then this will happen again. It’s just not worth it,” Demi said.

Sources:  Daily Caller, WBTW

Photo Source: Buzz Chomp

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11A $26 Hacking Device Can Take Over Your Car (Video)

A new device that costs only $26 to build can take over your car if it is physically plugged into your vehicle's Controller Area Network (CAN) bus.

Your CAN bus allows computerized devices inside your car to communicate without a host computer, and this new device, called the CAN Hacking Tool or CHT, can control your CAN bus.

The CHT recently made its debut at the DefCon 21 Hacking Conference (video below).

According to Jalopnik.com, once installed in your car, the CHT is controlled via wireless Bluetooth, which would give anyone with a cell phone control over your vehicle.

The developers of the CHT, Alberto Garcia Illera and Javier Vazquez Vidal, claimed they wanted to play with the settings of their cars to get better gas mileage.

The CHT uses a protocol designed for cars manufactured before 2010, but Vidal and Illera said the CHT could be configured for newer protocols and cars.

While the CHT creators do not have any criminal intent, it is possible that car thieves could use the CHT to control your car's headlights, steering, brakes, locks and alarms, noted the Daily Mail.

“It can take five minutes or less to hook it up and then walk away,” Vidal told Forbes. “We could wait one minute or one year, and then trigger it to do whatever we have programmed it to do.”

Sources: Forbes, Daily Mail, Jalopnik.com

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11U.S. Uses Cell Phone Locations for Drone Attacks, Kills Innocent People

U.S. Military personnel and CIA operatives in Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan are using their targets' cell phone locations based on metadata from the National Security Agency (NSA) to launch drone attacks, which leads to the deaths of innocent civilians, says a new report.

According to The Intercept, NSA documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden and statements by a former drone operator say the NSA uses "geolocation," which locks onto the SIM card of a cell phone of a suspected terrorist.

The NSA's "Geo Cell" program does not verify whether the carrier of the cell phone is actually the suspected terrorist. Instead of confirming a target with human intelligence on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a drone strike based on the activity and location of the cell phone.

“They might have been terrorists,” said the former drone operator. “Or they could have been family members who have nothing to do with the target’s activities.”

“Once the bomb lands or a night raid happens, you know that phone is there, but we don’t know who’s behind it, who’s holding it. It’s of course assumed that the phone belongs to a human being who is nefarious and considered an ‘unlawful enemy combatant,’" the former drone operator adds. "This is where it gets very shady.”

Based on his experience, the former drone operator believes that drone attacks are basically death sentences based on unreliable metadata.

Lest anyone accuse Snowden of informing the terrorists of U.S. secrets, they already know how the drone attack system works.

Some Taliban leaders intentionally distribute SIM cards among their units in order to elude the United States.

“They would do things like go to meetings, take all their SIM cards out, put them in a bag, mix them up, and everybody gets a different SIM card when they leave,” the former drone operator said. “That’s how they confuse us.”

Some unaware terrorist suspects may loan their cell phones to friends and family, who get killed by drones instead.

“It’s really like we’re targeting a cell phone," Brandon Bryant, another former drone sensor operator with the U.S. Air Force, told The Intercept. "We’re not going after people, we’re going after their phones, in the hopes that the person on the other end of that missile is the bad guy."

RT.com notes that this new information contradicts claims by the Obama administration, which has said that drone strikes are conducted with precision accuracy to minimize civilian casualties.

"Before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured,” President Barack Obama said in 2013.

According to a 2012 study by Stanford Law School and New York University's School of Law, U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan alone have killed far more people than the United States will admit, reported CNN.

Sources: The Intercept, RT.com, CNN

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11California Introduces Smartphone Kill Switch Bill

It seems like a problem ripe for science-fiction: whether or not to mandate a permanent “kill switch” in mobile devices to stop the statistically high number of smartphone thefts in California. A bill was finally unveiled by State Sen. Mark Leno and District Attorney George Gascon of San Francisco that, if passed, will require all phones sold in California to have the ability by 2015.

According to RT.com, thefts of mobile phones “account for almost one in three U.S. robberies” and the instances are even higher in California. The proposed law would require the installation of a mechanism that could permanently disable the device, ending all potential for the phone to be reactivated in America or abroad.

Given that Americans currently spend about $7.8 billion in phone insurance, San Francisco Chief of Police Greg Suhr told the Associated Press, “I can’t imagine someone would vote against” this proposed law. However, CTIA, a trade group for wireless providers, disputes the assertion that phone insurance is its only worry.

The main concern about a permanent kill switch embedded in smartphones is that, like any device connected to the internet, it is susceptible to hacking. A recent NBC News report about hacking in Sochi, Russia is but one example of how vulnerable our data really can be. Government officials or public profile individuals who use smartphones could face an extra risk of attack from hackers looking to exploit the kill switch.

Phone insurance is both aggressively pushed by wireless providers and not a terrible idea for consumers who are purchasing very expensive pieces of technology. Shattered screens, broken buttons, and myriad other problems that can affect the phone make the insurance a product consumers want. It seems as if California lawmakers are treating a side-effect and not the disease. There are other ways to reduce this specific criminal problem than by placing restrictions on citizens and private companies.

Source: Associated Press, NBC News

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11AOL CEO Sorry For 'Distressed Babies' Remark, Reverses Policy Change

Employee outcry over AOL’s changed 401k policy was so strong that CEO Tim Armstrong announced Friday that the company would scrap the overhaul.

The change would have switched 401k matching contributions by AOL from payments distributed per paycheck to an annual lump sum. The change would have affected both past employees who left the company mid-year and current employees who would no longer see the same compounding benefits in their retirement accounts.

When asked why the company originally made the switch, Armstrong cited “distressed babies” as examples of healthcare liabilities the company had to pay for in recent months. Armstrong told the story of two women covered by AOL’s employee healthcare benefits who needed roughly $1 million each during recent pregnancy complications.  He said the costs incurred by AOL were “above and beyond” what was necessary.

Armstrong’s comment didn’t help his case. A number of employees lashed back at Armstrong for referring to the children of employees as financial liabilities. One of the formerly pregnant women Armstrong referenced wrote a column for Slate in which she called the CEO out.

“When I saw the headlines, it was sort of impossible to process he was talking about my daughter,” Deanna Fei said. “It [was] a violation – for singling us out for using the health plan we paid for.”

“I take issue with how he reduced my daughter to a 'distressed baby' who cost the company too much money,” Fei wrote in her scathing criticism of Armstrong’s comments. “How he blamed the saving of her life for his decision to scale back employee benefits … the implication from Armstrong that the saving of her life was an extravagant option, an oversize burden on the company bottom line, feels like a cruel violation, no less brutal for the ludicrousness of his contention.”

On Friday, Armstrong announced that AOL decided not to change their 401k policy after all.  He glossed over the company’s attempted move in an email to employees.

"The leadership team and I listened to your feedback over the last week. We heard you on this topic,” Armstrong wrote. “And as we discussed the matter over several days, with management and employees, we have decided to change the policy back to a per-pay-period matching contribution."

Sources: Mail Online, Business Insider

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11Flappy Bird Creator Pulls Game From Online Stores

Flappy Bird, a popular game for mobile devices, was removed from online stores Sunday after its developer complained the fame had ruined his simple life.

In several tweets, creator Dong Nyugen noted that the game’s removal had nothing to do with a legal dispute, despite Forbes’ claims that he could soon be sued for intellectual property theft. Rather, apparently Nyugen was making $50,000 a day from the game’s advertising revenue, and that proved to be overwhelming.

"I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users," Nyugen tweeted on Saturday. "I cannot take this anymore."

Despite its simple graphics, Flappy Bird was a popular game because of its difficulty. Many users could not continuously tap the screen to keep the bird in flight and avoid hitting obstacles.

When Nyugen finally removed the game from online stores, many users tweeted him with hashtags like #RIPFlappyBird. Other fans expressed their relief that the game was gone, noting that it was the best for cracked phone screens everywhere.

Sources: BBC, CNN, Forbes

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