Tuesday, May 31, 2011
A go to http://current.com/shows/countdown
B follow the instructions in the video below.
Friday, May 27, 2011
This is for all of my followers in Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and LinkedIn. You know who you are.
I have often wondered what would happen if we could not check off our charitable contributions off our income taxes.
People would stop giving, you dummy.
Of course. The problem is, we'd reveal how uncharitable we are. As Rainn Wilson's new book, "SoulPancake" reads, "Perhaps real generosity is actually the act of ANONYMOUS giving." So with that, I'd like to do a little experiment that I found in the book.
First, do not make me the target of this. I'd appreciate it, but that is not the point. Also do it only if you can, but if you have at least 10 of these, you can probably spare one.
The experiment is called REVERSE PICKPOCKET:
- Pull out the biggest bill in your wallet (unless it is earmarked for a bill or emergency)
- Stash the cash in an envelope labled "YOU HAVE BEEN TAGGED BY A POLYBI REVERSE PICKPOCKET!"
- Slip the loot into the bag of a stranger. If you are feeling bold, aim for the back pocket.
- Don't get caught. Might get awkward.
Then what I want you to do is report your findings here. I'd like to know how it went. You can do that anytime this Memorial Day weekend.
Of coourse, if I get no response, I guess that means no one reads me (no big whoop), or it tells me how giving you are.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Omer Ninham argued his sentence for killing Zong Vang, 13, in 1998 violated U.S. and Wisconsin constitutional prohibitions on cruel and unusual punishment. He called the sentence "unduly harsh and excessive" and sought the possibility of parole.
"There is no question that Ninham's punishment is severe, but it is not disproportionately so," Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler wrote for the court. "The manner in which Ninham took Vang's life was horrific and senseless."
Ninham and four other teens accosted Vang near dusk in September 1998 while he toted a bag of tomatoes home from a grocery store in Green Bay, the opinion states. They taunted Vang, snatching his bicycle and threw the bag to the ground.
Ninham punched Vang and the group chased him to the top of a five-story hospital parking ramp nearby where he was punched, pinned to a wall and then Ninham and another teen, Richard Crapeau, swung Vang back-and-forth over the ramp's wall before letting go.
Vang landed on his head and trunk on the paved exit lane below and could not be revived.
Crapeau, who was 13 at the time of Vang's murder, was also convicted of murder and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 50 years.
Pre-sentence reports found Ninham's family to be extremely dysfunctional with substance abuse and domestic violence and that the teen himself was a "serious substance abuser."
"The terror experienced by the victim and the hurt suffered by his family and friends is, in a word, unimaginable," Ziegler wrote.
(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Greg McCune)
The question is not whether Mr. Ninham should be punished for his crime. The question is, why do you treat someone as an adult for somethings and not for others. It would be simple is we just said this is the age that you are an adult for ALL things (and make it a realistic age...18 or 21 is not).
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Online photography isn’t all cats and double rainbows. A hideous subset of humanity uses the extensive array of digital photography and Internet distribution channels now available to pass around the worst-of-the-worst: child pornography. And now that Facebook has become the largest photo-sharing site on the Internet, it is taking new, robust steps to combat this scourge.
Starting this week, Facebook will become the first company to adopt a newly released Microsoft software called PhotoDNA, which was developed solely for the purpose of busting the swath of child abusers and child-pornography consumers who peddle their filth online.
Created by Microsoft Research and further developed by Dartmouth College digital-imaging expert Hany Farid, PhotoDNA can automatically identify infringing images, and has the ability to chug through massive amounts of data so quickly and accurately that it can effectively filter even the largest caches of online photos, reports The New York Times.
The need for such a technology has only increased as the Internet has expanded. In the 1980s, it was widely believed that the problem of child pornography distribution had all but disappeared. But then came the Internet, and with it a new era for child abusers and purveyors of child porn.
“Twenty years ago we thought this problem was virtually gone,” says Ernie Allen, president and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). “As wonderful and powerful as the Internet is, it has created an opportunity for people to network with others of like interest, and to access content in the privacy of their own homes that would have formerly put them at risk to acquire.”
Microsoft donated PhotoDNA to NCMEC, which currently sorts through 250,000 images per week to determine which pictures are illegal, and which are not. Allen says PhotoDNA will help filter out the bad images far more quickly, and help put an end to this particularly disturbing black market.
“Our goal is to stop that victimization,” says Allen. “Using PhotoDNA, we will be able to match those images, working with online service providers around the country, so we can stop the redistribution of the photos.”
PhotoDNA is based upon a technology called “robust hashing,” which is able to analyze and record the unique characteristics of each digital image, similar to fingerprint technology for humans. Once identified, each images is then assigned a unique “hash,” or code. It can even identify images after they have been cropped or otherwise altered. The information can then be used to sort out child pornography, specifically images that feature children under 12-years-old, from perfectly-legal adult pornography.
Currently, Facbook relies upon users to alert the company to illegal images on the site. With the implementation of PhotoDNA, however, such tagging will no longer be necessary. Facebook will announce its adoption of PhotoDNA later Thursday, and hold an event on Friday to further explain the initiative. The hope is that other technology companies will see the benefits of PhotoDNA, and get on board.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Bacause of a major debt that must be paid this month, I will be without ANY funds until at least June 6th. Any. That includes food.
There have been those who have helped in the past. Thank you. There are those who are helping me now. Thank you...you know who you are. If you can help with $20 or $40, thank you very much.
Two ways you can help: If you are in Southern California, I can do some work for you on the telephone or in your office. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have great credentials and references. The other way would be a donation of $20 and up to my PayPal account. Just go to http://www.paypal.com/ and send it to email@example.com.
This is a major emergency for me right now, and if you can help, I really would appreciate it. Thanks to all.