Tuesday, September 29, 2015
A years-old Facebook hoax is making the rounds again, giving users false hope that a simple status update will lock down their accounts and protect the photos and videos they share.
The status contains a sentence that intends to prevent Facebook from using your content. According to the message, pasting the message on your wall prevents the social media company from using your photos or anything else on your profile.
The problem? It doesn't work.
Here's the status:
As of (date), I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement atleast once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates.
According to Facebook’s terms and conditions, your photos and videos are fair game — sometimes.
“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it,” the site’s terms read.
That means Facebook does not own users’ content, but the site does have permission to use any photos, videos or statuses that are posted publicly.
However, there’s hope for social savvy users who don’t want to broadcast their lives beyond their close friends and family, and don’t want the site to have access to their content. Those who don’t want their photos or videos shared by other entities can simply tighten the security settings on their account, making some or all posts private.
The hoax dates as far back as November 2012, when Facebook noticed that status becoming so widespread, the social networking site released a statement seeking to clarify.
“There is a rumor circulating that Facebook is making a change related to ownership of users’ information or the content they post to the site. This is false. Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. They control how that content and information is shared. That is our policy, and it always has been,” the company said at the time.
Snopes addressed the hoax status back in 2011. The message seems to appear at least once a year -- and every year, thousands of people are tricked into sharing the message on their page.
Here's an excerpt from the Snopes article:
"Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their accounts, nor can they unilaterally alter or contradict any new privacy or copyright terms instituted by Facebook, simply by posting a contrary legal notice on their Facebook walls. Moreover, the fact that Facebook is now a publicly traded company (i.e., a company that has issued stocks which are traded on the open market) or an "open capital entity" has nothing to do with copyright protection or privacy rights. Any copyright or privacy agreements users of Facebook have entered into with that company prior to its becoming a publicly traded company or changing its policies remain in effect: they are neither diminished nor enhanced by Facebook's public status."
Users can read the site’s full terms of service, here. If they find something they don’t like, users can lobby for a change through Facebook’s Site Governance section.
NEWS SEP 29 2015, 7:44 AM ET MTV Extreme Sports Star Erik Roner Dies After Hitting Tree During Skydive
More than 100 people watched in horror as MTV star and extreme sports athlete Erik Roner was killed when hitting a tree while skydiving in California.
The 39-year-old was part of a three-man parachute team performing at a charity golf tournament in Olympic Valley, near Lake Tahoe, on Monday morning.
Witnesses said he was off-target on his descent, according to a statement from Nitro Circus, the extreme sports company and eponymous MTV show for which Roner was a performer.
"He hit a tree ... he hit a tree so hard. I don't know what happened from there," eyewitness Roy Tuscany told extreme sports media company Teton Gravity Research.
Tuscany, founder of non-profit sports injury group the High Fives Foundation, was among 120 eyewitnesses at the golf tournament, Teton Gravity Research reported.
After the impact, Roner became entangled in the tree "high above the ground," and although rescue personnel were able to retrieve his body he was pronounced dead at the scene, the Placer County Sheriff said.
Roner was performing at the 4th Annual Squaw Valley Institute Celebrity Golf Classic, "an organization to which Erik regularly dedicated his time," the institute said in a statement.
He is survived by "a beautiful wife and [two] amazing kids that will miss him dearly," the Nitro Circus statement said.
Canadian BASE jumper and skier Ian McIntosh was one of several extreme sportsmen and women to pay tribute to Roner on social media. "You will live on in my heart forever buddy," he said on Facebook.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Facebook was briefly, widely reported to be down on Thursday afternoon after experiencing technical difficulties, the second time in two weeks for the social media platform. The cause of the outage was not immediately available.
The company's mobile application was also reportedly operating with some interruptions.
Shares of Facebook stock are down 0.68 percent in midday trading, on a day that the market is broadly lower.
At least 717 people were killed and 863 injured in a stampede near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday morning.
The deaths — at an intersection in Mina, about six miles east of the city — occurred around 9 a.m. on the first day of Eid al-Adha, one of the holiest days in the Muslim calendar, as millions of Muslims were making their pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca.
It appeared to be the deadliest accident during the hajj since 1990, when 1,426 pilgrims perished in a stampede in a tunnel linking Mecca and Mina. And it occurred less than two weeks after a large construction crane toppled and crashed into the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing at least 111 people and injuring 394 others.
Thursday’s stampede is likely to intensify fears that Saudi Arabia does not have the transportation and public safety infrastructure to channel and protect one of the world’s largest regular human migrations.
In a statement, the Saudi health minister, Khalid al-Falih, said the stampede may have been “caused by the movement of some pilgrims who didn’t follow the guidelines and instructions issued by the responsible authorities.”
But the high death toll is likely to embarrass the Saudi government, which considers itself the leader of the Muslim world and takes great pride in hosting the millions of pilgrims who visit the holy cities of Mecca and Medina each year. One of the titles of the Saudi monarch is “custodian of the two holy mosques,” referring to his personal duty to protect the sites and the pilgrims.
The Saudi civil defense directorate reported the deaths on Twitter and said that two medical centers had been opened in Mina to treat the injured. More than 4,000 emergency workers were sent to the scene, and hundreds of people were taken to four hospitals.
The stampede, witnesses reported on social media, occurred around the area where pilgrims go to perform a ritual — the Stoning of the Devil, a re-enactment of a story from the Quran involving the Prophet Abraham — that takes place during the hajj.
In Iran, officials already angered by the crane collapse complained bitterly about the Saudi government’s role in the disaster, which claimed the lives of at least 89 Iranians.
“Unfortunately, they have not been attending to our injured individuals in their hospitals the way they should,” Qazi Askar, the representative of Iran’s supreme leader for hajj affairs, said in an emotional interview with state television on Thursday. “The point which makes one wonder is that they do not even let our rescue relief teams visit the site and attend to them, or go to hospitals to identify our injured ones. I don’t know what kind of service this is for pilgrims.”
Cellphones and cameras are prohibited from the main sanctuaries, but cameras may be used in the surrounding areas, and videos shared on social media showed scores of lifeless bodies in the street, many covered with the simple white garments pilgrims wear during the hajj.One video showed a heap of men lying atop one another as workers in fluorescent yellow vests worked to separate the living from the dead and to rescue any survivors.
With tens of thousands of air-conditioned tents, Mina provides temporary accommodations for many of the more than two million pilgrims who make the hajj to circle the Kaaba, which sits at the center of the Grand Mosque.
In 2006, a stampede there claimed more than 360 lives on the eve of the hajj, and a day earlier, an eight-story building near the Grand Mosque collapsed, killing at least 73 people.
In 2001, a stampede in Mina killed around 35 people; in 1998, about 180 pilgrims were trampled there after several of them fell off an overpass during the stoning ritual; in 1997, at least 340 pilgrims were killed in a fire in Mina set off by high winds; and in 1994, about 270 were killed in a stampede there.
Irfan al-Alawi, the executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation and a critic of how the Saudi government has developed Mecca and Medina, said by telephone from Mecca that the stampede had been a result of “poor management” by the government, given the number of past disasters.
Madawi al-Rasheed, an anthropologist and visiting professor at the London School of Economics, said: “There is no accountability. It’s shocking that almost every year there is some kind of death toll.”
The Saudi government began a construction boom around Mecca around a decade ago, at the start of the reign of King Abdullah, who died in January.
“The renovation and expansion are done under the pretext of creating more space for Muslim pilgrims, but it masks land grabs and vast amounts of money being made by the princes and by other Saudis,” Professor Rasheed said.
After the crane collapse, the Saudi government punished the Saudi Binladin Group, a construction conglomerate working on the mosque expansion, by denying it future contracts and banning travel for some of its executives.
The expansion has transformed Mecca. Whole neighborhoods — mostly populated by migrant workers from Yemen, Egypt and other countries — are being bulldozed for new roads and hotels. The topography of the city itself is being altered, as hills are leveled to make way for construction and cranes rise in their place. The most coveted real estate, abutting the grand mosque, is occupied by a cluster of luxury hotels where rooms cost hundreds of dollars a night, even in the off-season.
To ease the crowds, the Saudi authorities have expanded upward, building pedestrian bridges around the holy sites, some of them close to the camp where Thursday’s stampede occurred. A train line linking Jidda, Mecca and Medina is being planned to ease road congestion but has been hampered by delays.
Even before Thursday’s stampede, this year’s pilgrimage season had been marred by mishaps. Last Thursday, about 1,000 pilgrims from Asia had to leave their hotel because of a fire, which injured two Indonesians. This week, about 1,500 pilgrims were evacuated from a 15-story hotel in Mecca when a fire broke out on the 11th floor. Four pilgrims from Yemen were hurt.
A vast majority of pilgrims are not from Saudi Arabia and have not been able to exert pressure on the government to improve crowd control or public safety around the hajj. Professor Rasheed said that officials in the kingdom had avoided responsibility in part by citing the Islamic doctrine that anyone who dies during the pilgrimage — one of the five pillars of Islam, and a duty for all able-bodied Muslims with the means to make the trip — goes to heaven.
On Thursday, the Saudi civil defense directorate said on Twitter, “We ask God to grant the martyrs his mercy.”
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Looks like WGN has some serious atoning to do today ... because for some reason, the network used infamous NAZI imagery for a news story about Yom Kippur.
Check out the graphic used during a segment about the Jewish high holiday on Tuesday night. That yellow star look familar???
Yeah, it's because it's the same yellow badge the Nazis forced the Jews to wear during the 1940s.
A Chicago lawyer took notice and called out WGN -- writing, "Holy crap, @WGNNews, this is your stock photo for a Jewish holiday?? Nobody thought that's a bad choice of photo?"
WGN responded, "We are truly sorry for inadvertently using an offensive image in our story. We apologize and deeply regret the error."
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
The Indianapolis Colts look like a team that’s about to implode.
Indianapolis followed up Week 1’s disappointing loss to the Buffalo Bills with a disastrous 20-7 defeat at home Monday night against the New York Jets. And it wasn’t just that the Colts lost. It was how they looked doing it.
Careless turnovers, pointless penalties and blown assignments plagued Indianapolis (0-2), and the mistakes could be another signal of more trouble to come.
Reports are hovering above the franchise, suggesting general manager Ryan Grigsonand coach Chuck Pagano are at odds.
“We’re just like anybody else,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said earlier this week when asked about reports of discord among team management. “It’s Week 2 in the National Football League. It’s a 17-week season. It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. When you win, everybody writes great things about you and when you lose, they come from all corners. You’re going to get a barrage from everywhere.”
That barrage is about to get much stronger.
Jets head coach Todd Bowles dialed up blitz after blitz in the first half. The Colts had no answer. Simply put, they have not gotten better since last season and look lost.
Not only that, but the Jets repeatedly failed to capitalize on Indianapolis’ mistakes and failed to deliver the knockout blow until receiver Brandon Marshall dragged two Indy defenders for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Given multiple second chances, the Colts failed to close the gap. Quarterback Andrew Luck was just as much at fault for his team’s struggles Monday night as the several receivers who dropped passes. Luck completed just 18 of his 34 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown to go with three interceptions. He also lost one fumble.
Including their AFC Championship Game loss to the New England Patriots to end last season, the Colts have been outscored by a margin of 92-28 in their last three outings.
Disastrous performances to open the season aside — the Colts should still win the AFC South. As long as Indianapolis can handle the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans — the Colts are 12-0 within the division since 2013 – they should make the playoffs.
But, for right now at least, they don’t look like a team that’s even close to being capable of challenging AFC heavyweights or fulfilling their preseason hype as a trendy Super Bowl pick.