The Pope will be pissed when he learn hustlers are selling tickets to Ciudad Juarez mass

Click to enlargeStreet vendors during Pope’s visit to Philippines

The local Mexican governments in Chiapas and Chihuahua have been accused of wrongfully profiting from Pope Francis’ visit by selling tickets to the masses he will be holding in both locations for as much as US$200…

“The Nunciature of Chihuahua handed over thousands of tickets to the local government in Ciudad Juarez and the state government of Chihuahua to pay for the altar for the pope’s mass which cost 20 million pesos (US$1.1 million),” economist, journalist and writer Marco Torres told teleSUR…

The Mexican Catholic Church’s office in charge of the pope’s visit has refused to respond to messages and phone calls by teleSUR asking about the sale of tickets and for the list of people who will be occupying the front rows at the Basilica…

According to the Ciudad Juarez municipal government spokesman, Carlos Castaño, there will be 20,000 seats for about 200,000 people who are expected to attend the mass on Feb. 17, the last day of the pope’s visit to Mexico which is to begin Feb. 12…

Chihuahuan journalist Alejandro Fernandez provided teleSUR with an advert announcing the sale of tickets to the pope’s event in Tuxtla, Chiapas.

teleSUR called Farmacias del Ahorro in Tuxtla and a person who identified herself as Tatiana Vazquez said that initially they were told they would be selling tickets to Pope Francis’ event in that city, but that they were later told the sale of passes would be handled by other companies.

Vazquez was unable to say where the tickets were available for purchase, but according to their advert, tickets were to cost over US$200 in the Diamond Zone. The ad also announces VIP tickets for about US$150, and US$110 for tickets to a general area…

Recently, however, the Catholic church and Mexican officials denounced that there were scammers who were selling fake tickets to see the pope and warned people against purchasing them.

Sounds more and more like a rock concert every day. The quest for scarce goods.

One “data intelligence” firm tracked Iowa caucusgoers through their cellphones

cellphone watching you

…In an interview with the CEO of “a big data intelligence company” called Dstillery…The CEO told public radio program Marketplace something astounding: his company had sucked up the mobile device ID’s from the phones of Iowa caucus-goers to match them with their online profiles.

“We watched each of the caucus locations for each party and we collected mobile device ID’s,” Dstillery CEO Tom Phillips said. “It’s a combination of data from the phone and data from other digital devices…”

What really happened is that Dstillery gets information from people’s phones via ad networks. When you open an app or look at a browser page, there’s a very fast auction that happens where different advertisers bid to get to show you an ad. Their bid is based on how valuable they think you are, and to decide that, your phone sends them information about you, including, in many cases, an identifying code (that they’ve built a profile around) and your location information, down to your latitude and longitude.

Yes, for the vast majority of people, ad networks are doing far more information collection about them than the NSA – but they don’t explicitly link it to their names…

So on the night of the Iowa caucus, Dstillery flagged all the auctions that took place on phones in latitudes and longitudes near caucus locations. It wound up spotting 16,000 devices on caucus night, as those people had granted location privileges to the apps or devices that served them ads. It captured those mobile ID’s and then looked up the characteristics associated with those IDs in order to make observations about the kind of people that went to Republican caucus locations (young parents) versus Democrat caucus locations. It drilled down farther (e.g., ‘people who like NASCAR voted for Trump and Clinton’) by looking at which candidate won at a particular caucus location…

❝One thing that isn’t in the data is personal identifiable information. The data and system are completely anonymous. We have no idea, for example, what your name is. All we see are behaviors and everything we do is based on analyzing those behaviors writ-large…

I guess that makes me feel a little better. Erm.

❝Dstillery: This application is an extension of what we do every day in our core business. Our entire mission as a company is to find the right consumer at the right time with the right message. We had to do some special setup and analysis due to the caucus dynamics, but this sort of experiment – seeing things in the data that no one else has before – is our bread and butter.

Warms the cockles of your heart, right? American entrepreneurs showing the way for the NSA.

If you’re using an iPad or iPhone, iOS operating system, go to SETTINGS > PRIVACY > ADVERTISING > turn on LIMIT AD TRACKING if it’s off.

Every little bit helps. We dump all cookies every day to start the day. We have location tracking turned off for just about everything – and specify that it’s on only when the app is in use. Only apps like MAPS, WEATHER.

Texas attorney general told county clerks to ignore Supreme Court — may be disbarred

Delightfully smarmy booking photo courtesy of Reuters

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is being probed for ethics violations for telling county clerks that they could deny marriage licenses to same sex-couples, another potential setback for the state’s top lawyer, who is already facing felony charges.

The Texas Bar Association ordered its Board of Disciplinary Appeals this week to look into Paxton and his office, Houston attorney Eddie Rodriguez said on Thursday. If Paxton is found to have an ethics violation, he could be disbarred, which means he could no longer serve as attorney general…

Paxton’s office said in a statement:Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”

In a separate case, Paxton, a Tea Party Republican, is facing three felony charges relating to securities fraud. If convicted of the most serious charge, he could face up to 99 years in prison.

Gotta love law’n order candidates who don’t care a rat’s ass about the law part.