Apr 16, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon


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11Virginia Teen Charged With Child Porn After Tweeting Nude Selfies

A Virginia teen is facing child pornography charges after she allegedly tweeted nude photographs of herself.

The James City County Police Department says it received an anonymous tip about nude pictures posted by a 16-year-old girl on or around Jan. 30.

Department spokeswoman Stephanie Williams-Ortery told WAVY that the photos were also sent to some boys.

The girl and her mother were contacted by a school resource officer. Her phone was confiscated and she was charged with one count of distribution of child pornography.

The teen and her parents may be ordered by juvenile court to attend a sexting education program.

Local parents were surprised at the severe charge.

“I don’t think she should be charged with child pornography, because she is a child herself, but if she was 18 or older of course,” parent Emily Altman told WAVY.

“That is distributing, child pornography?” said parent Dometre Mobley. “She is a child, I don’t know what to think of that really.”

Williams-Ortery hopes that this case will make more teens aware of what they share on social media.

“It’s not just friends that see what they post but also strangers and everyone else out there,” she said. “You have no idea who’s out there watching. You never know who’s going to see what you post.”

Kids can get into trouble even if they didn’t take the photo.

“I would hope that they would not then forward it on to their friends because then they become guilty also of distribution of child pornography, whether they know that or not,” she added.

Sources: My Fox 8, WAVY.com

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11Americans Prefer Smartphones Over Sex, Says Poll

A new poll shows that Americans prefer their smartphones, Internet access, cars, laptops and TV over sex.

The new study by Harris Interactive shows that while 20 percent of Americans say they can't live without sex, but 26 percent couldn’t live without using their smartphones.

Sex also got beat by the Internet, automobiles, laptop computers and televisions, notes the Daily Mail.

The poll also found that almost three quarters of adults say technology enriches their lives, almost half believe it helps their relationships and close to 40 percent claim that technology makes them happier.

But food topped technology and everything else with 73 percent of the vote.

Sex was able to beat computer tablets, social networking sites and GPS devices (navigation).

Even with all this love for technology, 69 percent did admit that gadgets were too distracting.

Sources: Harris Interactive and Daily Mail

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11Alabama High School Student Posts Selfie With Dead Body On Instagram

An Alabama high school senior faces suspension after she posted a selfie on Instagram with a dead body while on a field trip to a university medical center.

According to WHNT News 19, a senior at Clements High School in Limestone County, Ala., took a photo of herself using her cellphone, smiling next to a cadaver as she and her classmates learned about the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s anatomical donation program. Sheets are not supposed to be removed from donated cadavers and use of cellphones was not allowed during the tour.

Before the student had a chance to delete the post from her Instagram account, a classmate took a screenshot of it and contacted school officials.

“We were notified via email this morning from a parent that this incident had occurred,” Karen Tucker, director of public relations and technology for Limestone County schools, told WHNT.

“We are speaking to the University of Alabama Birmingham, they are understandably upset with this incident and we want to preserve our relationship with the university,” Tucker added. “Therefore we are speaking to them and wanting to know how we can mend this process and keep our relationship with them, and we are in the process of deciding on the discipline that will occur.”

Clements High School principal Keith Hairrell would not disclose whether or not the student was suspended.

The university released a statement to WAFF about the incident:

"Tours of our facilities to introduce students – primarily high school seniors – to the teaching and research we do, play an important role in educating future scientists and doctors. Our policies require discretion and respect in our human anatomy facilities. No phones are allowed, no photos are to be taken, and faces of cadavers are covered. A student was made explicitly aware of these policies and breached them. This kind of disrespect is unacceptable and very disappointing. We will review our processes to ensure this does not happen again."

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11AOL Cuts Back on 401(K) for Employees, Blames Obamacare (Video)

The Internet giant AOL is changing how it funds its employees' 401(k) retirement accounts.

Normally, companies match employee contributions monthly, but AOL is going to make one lump-sum matching payment at the end of the year.

Mother Jones reports that this trick helps AOL financially by not having to match 401(k) plans for employees who leave or are fired in the middle of the year (video below).

AOL employees will also get shorted because AOL's matching funds won't gain interest for them during the entire year.

Amazingly, AOL's CEO Tim Armstrong is blaming these choices on Obamacare.

According to The Washington Free Beacon, Armstrong recently told CNBC, "Obamacare is an additional $7.1 million expense for us as a company... As a CEO and Management Team, we had to decide, 'Do we pass the $7.1 million of Obamacare costs to our employees or do we try to eat as much of that as possible and cut other benefits?'"

Sources: Mother Jones and The Washington Free Beacon

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11New Google Glass App 'NameTag' Gives You A Person's Bio When You Look At Them

Just a few months after Google banned Tits and Glass, an app that let users film point-of-view pornography using their Google Glasses, a new company has developed an app that lets Glass wearers identify strangers just by looking at their face.

The app is called NameTag and uses real-time facial recognition software to match a stranger’s face to his or her social media profile. Once a match is made, NameTag will display all available information about the person being viewed, including age, marital status, career, and interests.

As if we should all be excited about this, NameTag brags that it "can detect a face using the Google Glass camera, send it wirelessly to a server, compare it to millions of records, and in seconds return a match complete with a name, additional photos and social media profiles."

Kevin Alan Tussy, the app’s primary creator, spoke to The Independent about his creation.

"It's not about invading anyone's privacy," NameTag's creator claimed. "It's about connecting people that want to be connected. We will even allow users to have one profile that is seen during business hours and another that is seen in social situations. NameTag can make the big, anonymous world we live in as friendly as a small town."

But is the app really about connecting people who want to be connected?

Rather than asking users to opt-in to allow their information to be used on NameTag, the company automatically uses publicly available information unless people specifically opt out. They assume consent unless explicitly told otherwise. That’s a dangerous precedent to set.

Facial recognition software remains banned on Glass for now. But as Independant writer James Vincent points out, Glasses can be jailbroken -- that is, freed from manufacturer restrictions -- just like a mobile phone.

You don't see many people walking around with Google Glass on yet. With apps like NameTag being developed, that's probably a good thing.

Sources: E-Online, The Independent 

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11Woman Jailed For Creating Fake Facebook Accounts That Led To Arrest Of Father, Stepmother

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. 

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11Cloud Services Slowly Being Forced on Consumers

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."

Sources: InformationWeek.com, Scientific American, The Independent, CRN.com

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11Google's San Francisco Bay 'Mystery Barge' Must Go, Authorities Say

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."

Sources: Associated Press, CNET, KPIX 5

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11Drone-Delivered Beer Looks As Cool As It Sounds (Video)

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. 

Sources: Star Tribune, YouTube

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11Bing Autocomplete Search Creates Map Of What Each U.S. State ‘Is’

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:

Alaska: cold

Arkansas: a $#!*hole

Colorado: legal

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

Illinois: broke

Iowa: boring Yahoo

Kansas: being poisoned

Kentucky: a state Family Guy

Louisiana: a weird state

Maine: beautiful

Maryland: a southern state

Massachusetts: a coffin

Michigan: vendor

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.”

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