Tagged: Facebook

Vatican rents out the Sistine Chapel to Porsche

Sistine Chapel parking

Pope Francis has revealed that the Vatican will rent out the Sistine Chapel for a corporate event for the first time in its 600-year history.

Porsche will hire the revered chapel, which is covered in Michelangelo’s stunning frescoes, and put on a private concert for 40 lucky – and high paying – guests. The concert, which takes place on Saturday, will be one stop on an exclusive tour of Rome organised by the car brand.

The Vatican has not divulged how much it will earn from the event, but the five-day tour of Italy’s capital, arranged by the Porsche Travel Club, costs up to €5,000 a head, meaning an overall intake of €200,000, reported…

The concert will be performed by a choir from the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, which traces its origins back to the 16th century. Participants will then sit down to a meal in the midst of the Vatican Museum, “surrounded by masterpieces by world-famous artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael”…

Proceeds from the event will go to charities working with the poor and homeless…

The Sistine Chapel’s…primary function is to be the site of the Papal conclave, the process by which a new Pope is selected.

Why not carry the logic a step or two further? Just imagine the annual revenue from the Facebook Chapel?

Thanks, Ursarodinia

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Super-centenarian lies about her age because of mediocre Facebook code

Anna Stoehr
Click to enlarge

When silver surfer Anna Stoehr decided to join Facebook on the eve of her 114th birthday, she came across an oversight which Mark Zuckerberg and pals may not have anticipated.

Anna noticed 1900, the year she was born, was not listed as an option when she registered her date of birth to the site – that only stretches as far back as 1905.

So she was forced to do what countless other youngsters do every day to join the site, and lie about her her age…She got around the problem by knocking 15 years off her age and becoming, in the eyes of Facebook at least, a sprightly 99-year-old.

The supercentenarian’s interest in technology was piqued when she befriended Joseph Ramireza, a sales rep who had sold a phone to Anna’s 85-year-old son Harlan.

What followed was an unlikely friendship which saw Joseph visit Anna at her residential home in Minnesota, and teach her about the internet…Now a tech-savvy whizz, Anna can be found whiling her time away FaceTiming friends and family from her new iPad and connecting with friends on the social networking site.

With the help of Joseph, she has also drawn the problem to the attention of Mr Zuckerberg, writing a letter to the Facebook founder (on a typewriter) in which she says: ‘I’m still here.’

Seems like a reasonable goal to me. Facetime rocks! Too bad Facebook hasn’t a clue about age.

Thanks, Mike

Dumb crook of the day

dumb selfie

An Illinois woman who allegedly stole a dress from a West Frankfort store was arrested after she posted a selfie of herself wearing the pilfered garment on Facebook.

Danielle Saxton allegedly swiped a leopard-print dress from Mortie’s Boutique and then posted four photos of herself wearing the ill-gotten garb just hours later. Saxton even made one of the snaps her profile picture.

People who had also seen the store post about the theft were able to connect the dots and alert police. “Not two hours and our stolen dress has shown up on Facebook,” Mortie’s posted. “Gotta love it.”

“We just had a description and a direction of travel, but when the social media aspect played into it, we were able to identify who it was. And by looking at the background of the photograph we were able to pinpoint where she was at,” said Police Chief Shawn Talluto.

When police arrived to arrest the 27-year-old suspect, she was holding the dress and other stolen clothes.

The store previously used its surveillance cameras and social media to catch three other…shoplifters.

Same as it ever was. You don’t set off on a day’s worth of stealing because you’re extra bright.

Facebook experiments with lab rats user base.

legit lab rat

Unbeknownst to the world, Facebook data scientists, in collaboration with Cornell University and the University of California, ran an experiment in 2012 to test how emotions can be transmitted through social media. They did this by manipulating the newsfeed of 689,003 English-speaking Facebook users, so it would show low numbers of positive or negative posts, and observed how this influenced their posts.

The results of the study were published late last week and have since gone viral. They concluded that emotional states could be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness.

Reaction was negative and swift, with people predictably angry to find out Facebook had tweaked user feeds without permission. Critics questioned the ethics of the study; the researchers were criticised for not seeking consent; and the social networking giant was deemed creepy by angry users.

Adam Kramer, a Facebook employee and one of the authors of the study, apologised for the emotional contagion, saying, in hindsight, the research benefits of the paper may not have justified all the anxiety caused…

Facebook may have been concerned about users’ exposure to negativity, but it is unlikely it thought about how users would feel after discovering they were lab rats for the social network.

Either way, the study once again highlights Facebook’s unclear boundaries with its membership.

That’s putting it pleasantly.

Poisonally – unlike Google which tried at first to maintain a facade of caring for consumers and customers as associates in a journey through the InterWebitubes – I feel Facebook has always seemed to be peering down its patrician nose at us common folk.

Now, they’re neck-and-neck spewing disingenuous bullshit about caring for anything more than their balance sheet.

Thanks, Mike

Dumb crook of the day

Minnesota police arrested a burglary suspect who apparently forgot to log out of Facebook after checking his profile during a break-in at a St. Paul home.

The homeowner came back to his house and found that credit cards, cash and a watch were missing. The thief had also left behind a pair of Nike tennis shoes, jeans and a belt that he apparently discarded because it had been raining outside.

He also left behind his information on James Wood’s computer.

“World’s dumbest criminal,” Wood told CBS Minnesota. “I don’t know. I started to panic, but then I noticed he had pulled up his Facebook profile.”

Wood began posting on Nicholas Wig’s profile and the 26-year-old eventually texted him. After they made a plan to meet up later to exchange items, Wood went for a walk. He then spotted Wig on the street and called police…

When Wig was arrested, he was wearing Wood’s watch.

Har.

Women in Iran taking off the hijab

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Click to visit “My Stealthy Freedom”

Women across Iran are posting photos of themselves without the hijab to a dedicated Facebook page called “My Stealthy Freedom”…The Facebook page was set up just over a week ago, and already has 130,000 “likes”. Almost all are from people in Iran, both men and women.

So far the page has around 150 photos. They show women on the beach, on the street, in the countryside, alone, with friends or their partners – but crucially – all without the headscarf. Most include a few words, for example: “I loathe the hijab. I too like the feel of the sun and the wind on my hair. Is this a big sin?”

Ever since the Islamic Revolution 35 years ago, it has been illegal for a woman to leave the house without wearing a headscarf. The punishment ranges from a fine to imprisonment. “My hair was like a hostage to the government,” says Masih Alinejad, an Iranian political journalist who lives in the UK and who set up the Facebook page. “The government still has a lot of hostages,” she adds.

Alinejad got the idea after she posted some photos of herself without the hijab to her own Facebook page. The images were liked thousands of times. So many women began to send her their own pictures that she decided to set up a dedicated page. Though she’s well-known for being critical of the government in Iran, she insists the page is not political. “These are not women activists, but just ordinary women talking from their hearts…”

The hijab is a controversial issue in Iran. A recent billboard campaign reminding women to cover themselves up, was mocked on social media for comparing women to chocolates in a wrapper. But many support the wearing of the hijab, arguing it’s an important part of Islamic law – there was a demonstration in Tehran last week, with protesters calling for a more strict implementation of the rules.

Letting religion order your clothing, your nutrition – or lack thereof – is absurd. I can’t say much more than that because this is the kind of question I sorted out well before I left my teens. That was a very long time ago.

So, folks who get hung up into deep discussions about the flavors that differentiate religion really aren’t getting a whole boatload of commentary from me. Difficult enough restraining my native crankiness. :)

Thanks #BBCtrending

Oklahoma state employees made over 2 million visits to Facebook in 3 months

Oklahoma’s Cyber Command Security Operations Center said state employees on the state computer network made 2,008,092 visits to Facebook in a three month span.

The agency, which is aimed at protecting the state computer system from cyber attacks, said its tracking of the state computer network found state employees made 2,008,092 visits to Facebook between July and September, but officials said the number may be inflated as Facebook registers a page view every time a website is brought up that includes an embedded Facebook widget…

The operations center said Google registered 1,074,684 page views during the same time period and Twitter and YouTube had 272,661 and 225,228 page views, respectively.

Preston Doerflinger, director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, which oversees the Cyber Command Security Operations Center, is implementing a policy to block state employees from using their work computers to access Facebook unless they can demonstrate a legitimate need to access the site as part of their jobs, an agency spokesman said.

What constitutes a legitimate need to access Facebook as part of your job? Unless you’re paid to be a snoop.

Facebook and Microsoft funding rightwing lobbyists

Some of America’s largest technology and telecoms companies, including Facebook, Microsoft and AT&T, are backing a network of self-styled “free-market thinktanks” promoting a radical rightwing agenda in states across the nation, according to a new report by a lobbying watchdog.

The Center for Media and Democracy asserts that the State Policy Network (SPN), an umbrella group of 64 thinktanks based in each of the 50 states, is acting as a largely beneath-the-radar lobbying machine for major corporations and rightwing donors.

Its policies include cutting taxes, opposing climate change regulations, advocating reductions in labour protections and the minimum wage, privatising education, restricting voter rights and lobbying for the tobacco industry.

The network’s $83.2m annual warchest comes from major donors. These include the Koch brothers, the energy tycoons who are a mainstay of Tea Party groups and climate change sceptics; the tobacco company Philip Morris and its parent company Altria Group; the food giant Kraft; and the multinational drugs company GlaxoSmithKline.

More surprisingly, backers also include Facebook and Microsoft, as well as the telecoms giants AT&T, Time Warner Cable and Verizon…

Continue reading

Our government opposes request to reveal spying demands

The U.S. Justice Department has told a secret surveillance court that it opposes a request from technology companies to reveal more about the demands they receive for user information, according to court papers released on Wednesday.

Negotiations between the federal government and companies such as Google have gone on for months, and while U.S. spy agencies said they plan to be more transparent, they have opposed company requests to disclose more detailed data…

Microsoft, Yahoo!, LinkedIn and Facebook are among the companies seeking permission to publish statistics about the extent of the demands placed on them.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper and the Washington Post, using former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden as a source, reported beginning in June the companies’ deep involvement with U.S. surveillance efforts.

The companies said some of the reporting was erroneous, so they want to reveal, for example, how many of their users are encompassed in surveillance demands and the total number of compulsory requests under specific laws.

The Justice Department said in its response: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!

The surveillance court has not yet ruled publicly on the companies’ request.

RTFA if you honestly feel you need to read the crap the DOJ released as an answer to the questions raised in this confrontation.

Frankly, I think the average 6th grader has heard sufficient phony-baloney press releases read on the evening news by TV talking heads to be capable of coming pretty close to reproducing the excuses offered by any group of American politicians.

Dumb crook of the day

johnniegooden

Texas police said they were holding a suspect who allegedly tried to withdraw money from a bank in Bryan while claiming to be Michelle Obama’s adopted son.

Johnnie Gooden, 29, College Station, told a bank teller he had been adopted recently by the first lady, whom he claimed he had met on Facebook and had asked him to take some money out of her account at the Chase Bank branch.

Bank employees said Gooden refused to leave after being told the first lady did not have an account at the bank, so they contacted the authorities.

The Houston Chronicle said police found a bag of marijuana in Gooden’s pocket and learned he had a rap sheet and outstanding warrants for resisting arrest and assaulting a public servant. He was taken away on the warrants and a new arrest for pot possession.

Dude has got to quit smoking the seeds.