At the beginning of February 1, 3.3 million Americans had signed up for Obamacare.
That number doesn't include an additional 6 million low income uninsured Americans who are now covered by the expansion of Medicaid via Obamacare.
The Congressional Budget Office originally predicted that 6 million would sign up for health insurance via Obamacare, but there were website problems when Obamacare first launched, notes CNN.
In an effort to encourage Americans to sign up for health care coverage before the March 31 deadline, comedian Will Ferrell recently posted a picture of himself on Facebook with the caption, "Still not covered? Get healthcare now! And put some clothes on. #GetCovered."
However, that posting yesterday incited anger among thousands of Facebook users who hate Obamacare.
Many of the anti-Obamacare posters linked articles to the right wing website Townhall and the conspiracy "birther" website World Net Daily, notes Ad Age.
Many of the anti-Obamcare Facebook comments were laced with profanity, cursing the actor for advocating health care.
Some of the tamer posts included:
I always new you were a talentless idiot. Now I also know you have a room temperature iq.
You suck in your attempts at lame humor and you suck as a political mouthpiece.
Now is will really this dumb or did the government give him a dollar amount he could not refuse?
Mozilla recently angered many of its users by announcing that it would start placing ads on its popular Internet browser, Firefox.
According to TechDirt.com, the nonprofit organization kept banging away on that sour note by announcing its new "Directory Tiles" that will feature ads and recommended or popular websites on a new tabs page on Firefox (sample pictured).
"Directory Tiles will instead suggest pre-packaged content for first-time users," Mozilla's VP Darren Herman said in a statement. "Some of these tile placements will be from the Mozilla ecosystem, some will be popular websites in a given geographic location, and some will be sponsored content from hand-picked partners to help support Mozilla’s pursuit of our mission. The sponsored tiles will be clearly labeled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy."
While speaking to AdAge.com, Herman even slammed the present Firefox, which users have loved for years, as being a "dumb window."
"Mozilla is moving from a dumb window to the internet to a smart agent on behalf of the user, putting the user first," said Herman.
Mozilla's general counsel and head of the business affairs group Denelle Dixon-Thayer also slammed Firefox for being a "window into the web."
"We wanted to get away from being this window into the web that doesn't bring value," Dixon-Thayer told CNET. "We looked at it from the perspective of how much value are we bringing to the user? We're not focused on bringing the most revenue into Mozilla."
Sources: CNET, AdAge.com, Mozilla.org, TechDirt.com
While Comcast plans to buy Time-Warner Cable and takeover the cable/Internet market, the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) has its own plan: to provide free Internet for the whole planet.
MDIF hopes to launch hundreds of low-cost miniature satellites into low Earth orbit (pictured), notes the Daily Mail.
MDIF is going to use datacasting, which sends data via radio waves and will theoretically broadcast the web around the world in what they call the "Outernet."
But MDIF first needs to raise tens of millions of dollars in donations, which they accept on their website.
"We have a very solid understand of the costs involved, as well as experience working on numerous spacecraft," MDIF's Syed Karim stated on the social media site Reddit.
"There isn't a lot of raw research that is being done here; much of what is being described has already been proven by other small satellite programs and experiments. There's really nothing that is technically impossible to this," added Karim.
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."
An unidentified 16-year-old girl in James City County, Va. has been charged with distribution of child pornography for allegedly taking pictures of herself (“selfies”) and posting them on Twitter.
“It’s not just friends that see what they post but also strangers and everyone else out there,” Stephanie Williams-Ortery, a spokesperson for the James City County Police Department, told WAVY. “You have no idea who’s out there watching. You never know who’s going to see what you post.”
Originally, a school resource officer was told by an unidentified source about the nude pictures. Police then confiscated the teen's cell phone and arrested her.
Local residents were shocked that the teen was being charged for posting pictures of herself, but the ACLU reported this type of prosecution has been going on since 2009 when three teen girls were charged, but a judge threw the case out, noted Tech Dirt.
Some legal experts say this teen will likely have to take a Sexting Education program, reports CBS Washington D.C.
The teen is not the only person who could be charged, so could her friends or anyone else who forwards the pictures.
“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,” added Williams-Ortery.
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.
Moms Demand Action, a nationwide gun control group, is calling on Facebook and Instagram to ban gun sales on their popular social media websites.
According to TalkingPointsMemo.com, Moms Demand Action released a video (below) that shows how Facebook is an online marketplace for gun buying and trading, usually without a background check.
Some of the gun sales ads have a disturbing ring:
enough mags to take out a few presidents # xD
I'm also not running a background check ;)
Moms Demand Action is asking people to sign a petition calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom to ban gun sales on their sites.
According to a press release, the petition already has more than 30,000 signatures.
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."
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
Prince has always fought for control of his music, even against record companies that he's had contracts with.
He has also fiercely cracked down on any unauthorized uploading and downloading of his tunes on the web.
According to Tech Dirt, Prince has sued websites, sent legal letters to fan sites that used his photos, sued musicians for a tribute album, ordered takedowns for as little as 6 seconds of his songs and has now filed lawsuits against 22 fans for one million dollars each.
The 22 fans reportedly posted links to bootleg recordings of Prince concerts, reports Antiquiet.
According to Tech Dirt, Prince's lawyer Rhonda Trotter is suing for direct copyright infringement, but the lawsuit doesn't describe any actual direct copyright infringement.
Linking to a website that holds bootleg tunes might be considered "indirect copyright infringement," but there is also what is called a "safe haven" for websites that link to unauthorized content.
Tech Dirt also notes that Prince's lawsuit is asking a court for "actual damages" and "statutory damages," but legally he can only sue for one or the other, not both.
For the "actual damages," Prince is claiming the bootleg songs are worth $1 million, but since they have not been released that may be hard to prove.