Tag Archives: Google

Google Employees Discussed Manipulation of Search Results After Trump Travel Ban

Shocker, not.

DCG

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Media blackout: Email shows Google tried to help elect Clinton

I saw this Monday night. And as predicted, the DNC-loving media are not reporting on Tucker’s story.

And who are the ones colluding?

DCG

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Vogue magazine asks, "Should we still let children play with toy guns?"


It’s the “Classic Mother BB Gun Block.”
Pro-tip for the women cited in this article: We have THOUSANDS of strict gun laws already on the books. The problem is enforcement and those darn criminals who don’t obey them.
And if you’re interested in teaching your child about proper firearm safety instead of an irrational fear, there are LOTS of resources available. For example, see here, here, here, here, here and here.
From Yahoo (originally from Vogue): Over the weekend, on a party supplies run at Flying Tiger, the charming Danish discount store, my 4-year-old daughter’s eyes sparkled at the sight of a neon-color water gun. “Can I have that?” she asked—the same question she’d repeated at the sight of the modeling clay and princess crowns and silly straws.
I wavered for a beat. I’d come of age in the late ’80s and ’90s—the height of the backyard Super Soaker battle. And before that water gun became the hottest ticket at Toys “R” Us, my brother and I had wielded tiny green plastic water pistols filled and refilled with rudimentary plugs, sneakily shooting each other in the eyes. I remember all of this as pure, absurd fun.
“No,” I told my daughter, and briskly steered her on.
I offered no explanation in the moment—and I hadn’t really turned the question over in my head before—but my gut gave me my answer: that I didn’t want to introduce her to this or any other gun in a world that already seemed to be teeming with them in movies and video games, on TV and, most of all, on the news. Her fleeting interest in the toy gun was innocent, but, sadly, my view of it no longer was.
The water gun fights my brother and I used to have in the summer were from another era, maybe even another world—before Columbine and Parkland; Orlando and Sutherland Springs; and before these much-covered mass shootings rightfully reminded the public of the regularly occurring violence in lower socioeconomic and minority communities.
Back then, guns might have been just toys; now, it’s impossible for me not to see them as charged with the trauma of recent events.
I considered that same question again today—should we let our children play with toy guns at a time when the U.S. is grappling with the impact of gun violence?—when I saw the pictures of Prince George holding a rather realistic-looking black toy gun at an English polo match over the weekend. Part of the debate over toy guns has hinged on distinguishing them, clearly, as toys—so as never to be mistaken for the real thing. There are state laws, including one in New York, requiring toy guns be brightly colored, as opposed to black, aluminum, or silver. Perhaps for this reason, the photos stood out: to some eyes, the prince’s looked eerily like a real pistol.
“I gasped when I saw the photos,” an American friend said on Facebook.
And she has a reason to: America has a gun violence homicide rate that is 25 times higher than that of other developed countries, according to Everytown for Gun Safety; we outrank all other countries in the number of mass shootings that occur here; we own an estimated half of all civilian guns worldwide. A child wielding a toy gun in the U.K., where firearms are much harder to obtain, arouses a different sense of shock or unease than they might in America, though no less alarming—remember the brouhaha when Pippa Middleton’s friend pointed a firearm out of their convertible at a paparazzi?
There’s also the matter of who’s holding the toy gun. “The photo of Prince George juxtaposed with the story of Tamir Rice, a young black boy killed by police in Ohio because he had a toy gun in hand is an important part of the racial and white supremacy dynamics at play here,” Erika Soto Lamb, the founding and former head of communications for Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety and a mother of two sons, ages 5 and 7, told Vogue. “It’s not safe for a black child in America to play with toy guns.”
Soto Lamb is a Texas native who was raised around real guns; she grew up playing cops and robbers and revering A Christmas Story—the irreverent classic in which mischievous young Ralphie Parker dreams of his very own BB gun. But she does not allow her two sons to play with toy guns of any kind. While at Everytown and Moms Demand Action, “when my life was a daily deluge of news stories about gun violence in America, and working with mothers whose children had been killed, it was simply untenable to come home and hand my children guns to play with,” Soto Lamb said.
When I began asking other parents today about kids and toy guns, many echoed her uneasiness. “My daughter is just 3, but I don’t think a gun can be an innocent toy in this day and age,” Anna Davies, a fellow writer in Jersey City, New Jersey, told me. “It’s much easier to just not have them in our lives.”
Another friend said she was “uncomfortable” when her 5-year-old daughter recently received a toy water gun in a birthday party goodie bag. One mother stealthily returned a “machine-gun” toy loaded with foam pellets that her son received at his own birthday party. “It was designed to look like the real deal,” she said. “I was so horrified, I immediately stashed it away while he was busy tearing into his other gifts.”
I can hear the other side now: that parents denying their kids toy guns are overthinking this. That a toy is still just a toy. But if Barbies arguably possess the power to body shame little girls, and princesses can mess with their sense of independence, then can’t guns, even if just subliminally, sanction violence? “I believe we have a cultural problem with guns in this country, and I don’t want to normalize the use of them,” Kathy Healy Champion, a mother of three in Connecticut, said. She doesn’t allow her children to play with toy guns. “I see it as a step in the right direction.”
After Sandy Hook, Soto Lamb says she began to view A Christmas Story through a different lens: “I realized that America’s problem with gun violence goes deeper than any laws, there is a cultural shift that needs to happen,” she said. “We give them blocks to inspire them to be builders, we give them paint to inspire artistic expression . . . what are we feeding our children, in the metaphorical sense, when we hand them toy guys to play with?
It doesn’t have to be a real gun to spark debate: According to Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter, even emoji guns carry a certain charge that doesn’t necessarily belong in our texts or tweets: all of those companies scrapped their original gun emojis in favor of “water guns.” The TSA—Transportation Security Administration—recommends toy guns be packed with checked baggage; it bans “squirt guns, Nerf guns, toy swords, or other items that resemble realistic firearms or weapons.”
For some parents, the question of how to handle toy guns is ongoing—some allow just water guns and only of the bright-colored variety. Others have nuanced rules—that toy guns should never be pointed at people or used to pretend-kill someone. (But, then again, that’s usually the point of a gun, whether real or fake.) Some parents say the decision isn’t easy—one mother reluctantly allows her sons to partake in paintball gunning, so as not to make them feel left out among friends. The hardest part for Soto Lamb is banning water guns. “Water guns are really so fun, but let’s be honest, Super Soakers are basically assault weapon–style water guns,” she said. “We make do with water blasters”—long tubes with no trigger—“and water balloons.”
Several parents told me their concerns about toy guns tend to get dwarfed by their worry over real gun violence. Responding to some online backlash about Prince George’s toy gun, Davies said, “I wish the outrage would continue to be directed at the NRA, not Prince George and the royal family. Maybe if we lived in a society that had strict gun laws, our toddlers could also play with pretend guns. I think it’s actually something to aspire to—let’s become a society where guns are just as fantastical as lightsabers.”
DCG

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Facebook Gives Staff Green Light to Join May 1 Political Protests

From Bloomberg: Facebook Inc. said it won’t punish employees who take time off to join pro-immigrant protests on May 1. And, in a nod to security staff, janitors, shuttle-bus drivers and others who work for Facebook contractors on campus, the company also said it will investigate if any of its vendors illegally crack down on their employees’ protest rights.
“At Facebook, we’re committed to fostering an inclusive workplace where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and speaking up,” a spokesman wrote in an emailed statement. “We support our people in recognizing International Workers’ Day and other efforts to raise awareness for safe and equitable employment conditions.”
Facebook notified employees of its policy in a posting on an internal forum April 14. A spokesman said it applies regardless of whether workers notify the company ahead of time. The Menlo Park, California, company also said it would re-evaluate its ties to any vendor if it breaks the law that protects workers’ rights to organize and protect themselves.
“It’s important not just to the engineers and H-1B holders that are traditionally thought of as the immigrants in tech but also to folks who are subcontracted but work side-by-side on those campuses,” said Derecka Mehrens, co-founder of Silicon Valley Rising, a union-backed coalition. “Immigrants play a critical role in the tech sector — both as engineers and coders but also in keeping tech campuses running smoothly.”
Many tech companies have been vocal in their opposition to aspects of Trump’s agenda. Facebook has criticized Trump’s immigration moves. At a rally in January at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, CEO Sundar Pichai and co-founder Sergey Brin spoke against Trump’s executive order that closed U.S. borders to people from several majority-Muslim nations. Both companies, along with Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp., are among more than 120 firms that signed a February court filing opposing the travel ban.
Read the rest of the story here.
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PepsiCo CEO asks North Carolina governor to repeal new law

Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi

Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi


Via Fox News: The CEO of PepsiCo, Inc., has joined the growing list of company heads and municipal officials voicing opposing to North Carolina’s new law that prevents specific anti-discrimination rules for LGBT people for public accommodations and restroom use.
The Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina released Friday the names of another 10 company executives that have signed on to a letter criticizing the law and seeking its repeal, bringing the number of names to more than 120. New executives include those from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Qualcomm and EMC Corp.
Gov. Pat McCrory

Gov. Pat McCrory


The law, approved by the Republican legislature and GOP Gov. Pat McCrory, responded to a Charlotte City Council ordinance approved in February that would have extended protections to gays and lesbians as well as bisexual and transgender people while at hotels, restaurants and stores. Charlotte also would have allowed transgender people to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity.
Also on Friday, Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi sent a letter to McCrory calling on him to consider repealing the measure when the General Assembly convenes in Raleigh later this month.
Nooyi said she was taken aback by the law as well as McCrory’s decision to sign it so quickly. She said the measure is “completely inconsistent” with the way her company treats its workers, and that it undermines efforts to advance North Carolina’s long-term interests.
Pepsi-Cola traces its roots to North Carolina, where it was created in the late 1890s by New Bern pharmacist Caleb Bradham. PepsiCo’s annual shareholder meetings have been held in New Bern in the past several years.
Separately Friday, the venture capital arm of Google’s parent corporation confirmed it won’t invest in North Carolina startup businesses while the law is in place. GV spokeswoman Jodi Olson cited written comments by CEO Bill Maris in which he asked his firm’s partners to flag possible North Carolina investments because he’s “not comfortable deploying dollars into startups there until the voters there fix this.” The move was first reported by Re/code, a tech-focused news site.
The new law blocked Charlotte’s rules and prevented other local governments from approving similar ordinances. And government agencies of all kinds must now require people who use multi-stall public restrooms to use the one that corresponds with their biological sex.
NCAA President Mark Emmert says he has spoken to North Carolina’s governor about the state’s new law excluding LGBT people from antidiscrimination protections, making clear if it remains in place it will affect the state’s chances to host major college athletic events.
A rally was held early Friday night in front of the Legislative Building to support transgender people and to oppose the law. Supporters of the new law held prayer vigils Thursday night in multiple locations in eastern North Carolina. One was held across from the Executive Mansion, where McCrory lives.
Supporters of the law say hundreds of businesses support the law and have signed on to their own letter praising McCrory and the legislature. McCrory and a key lawmaker this week suggested some changes are possible to the law. But Senate leader Phil Berger, has no appetite for them because “an overwhelming majority of North Carolinians we’ve heard from support” the law, spokeswoman Shelly Carver said in a release. The General Assembly reconvenes April 25.
Read the whole story here.
DCG

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Protestors soon to be unemployed: Super-cool robots are taking over jobs

Pretty soon the “Fight for $15” crowd will be fighting just to find a job.

Domino's new trial pizza delivery robot in New Zealand is just under a metre (three foot) high and contains a heated compartment that can hold up to 10 pizzas. (AFP Photo/)

Domino’s new trial pizza delivery robot in New Zealand is just under a metre (three foot) high and contains a heated compartment that can hold up to 10 pizzas. (AFP Photo/)


Via SF Gate: Domino’s announced last Friday it’s testing a pizza deliveryman robot in New Zealand with a four-wheeled, short and squat droid who looks like a cross between a Wall-E and an R2D2. At the same time, Carl’s Jr. CEO Andy Pudzer told Business Insider this week he wants to build a fully-automated restaurant.
What’s more, Google is in the news  for sending a letter to U.S. transportation officials saying it should be legal to market and sell self-driving cars if they can pass standardized federal safety tests. Once this all gets sorted out, Uber, Lyft and taxi car drivers will be out of jobs.
A robot is any machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions and typically programmable by a computer—and we’re increasingly seeing these high-tech machines replacing jobs once performed by humans. At the airport ticket counter, at the grocery store checkout line and at the bridge tool booth, we’re less frequently looking a human in the eye when we hand over our money. Instead, we’re dealing with a computer.
At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., in February, Professor Moshe Vardi said robots will take over most jobs in 30 years, the British Telegraph reported. “We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task,” said Vardi, a professor in computational engineering at Rice University.
He added: “Robots are doing more and more jobs that people used to do. Pharmacists, prison guards, boning chicken, bartending, more and more jobs we’re able to mechanize them.”
The high-tech world is even finding ways to use computers to do jobs that seem as if they’d require a human mind. The LA Times uses what’s known as QuakeBot to quickly write and publish news about recent earthquakes.
Businesses are turning to robots because they can save money.  Carl’s Jr.’s Pudzer said he’s investing in the automated restaurants because minimum wages continue to go up across the country.
“With government driving up the cost of labor, it’s driving down the number of jobs,” he told Business Insider. “You’re going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants.”
But as technology advances and swallows up an increasing number of jobs, some question whether the bottom line should only be about money. What about the loss of jobs? And the overall loss of human connection? Research shows that people benefit from social interactions and can happen at the grocery store, at the bank, at the library when there’s an actual person behind the counter or at the cash register.
At the Advancement of Science conference Professor Vardi posted a profound question: “Does the technology we are developing ultimately benefit mankind?”
See the gallery of some super-high-tech robots replacing jobs at the SF Gate web site here.
DCG

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FCC won’t force Google and Facebook to stop tracking you

I quite Facebook over a year ago and don’t miss it one bit. And I stay far, far away from Google.
facebook
NY Post: US regulators rejected an effort on Friday to force Google, Facebook and other popular websites to honor “Do Not Track” requests from users, in a setback for digital privacy advocates. The FCC dismissed a petition that would have required Internet giants to let consumers opt out of having their online activity tracked.
The FCC said it “has been unequivocal in declaring that it has no intent to regulate edge providers,” or companies that provide content and services over the Internet. Yet you have to wonder what their (the government’s) true intentions are given that they must be aware of Facebook’s policy which allows third parties (themselves) like the CIA, FBI, NSA etc. to collect information from your computer, phones and other devices where you access Facebook.
You would think that you could submit a “Do Not Track” request to tell a website not to collect information and some web sites do honor “Do Not Track” requests, but doing so is largely voluntary.
The Consumer Watchdog group is on top of this fight.  “It’s outrageous that users of Google and Facebook, which has a billion users, won’t have the same online privacy protections as AT&T and Verizon,” Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, told Reuters. Court said his group may file for reconsideration before the FCC, and that it would continue to seek Do Not Track legislation in Congress.

Two peas in a pod...

Two peas in a pod…


As the government’s top consumer protection body, you’d think the FCC would protect consumer rights. Yet it’s apparent that Facebook and Google are working with the government to massively spy on American and foreign citizens.
See also:

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5M Gmail accounts hacked. Change your password *now*!

 
Fidel Martinez for Fusion.net, Sept. 10, 2014:
Time to change your password again. A database containing nearly 5 million Gmail user accounts and passwords was leaked on Bitcoin Security, a popular Russian website devoted to the cryptocurrency.
The text file was published on Tuesday night by user tvskit, according to CNews, the Russian news outlet that first broke the story. The leaker claimed that the majority of the accounts belong to users who speak English, Russian, or Spanish, and that approximately 60 percent are active. The passwords not only give access to Gmail, but a slew of other Google services such as Drive and the mobile payment system Google Wallet.
Svetlana Anurova, a Google representative, told CNews that the tech giant is aware of the breach and encouraged users to select a stronger password and enable two-step verification, a security measure where users are required to provide a passcode sent to their mobile devices before any changes can be made to their account.
The Gmail leak comes on the heels of two other major security breaches leaked on the same Bitcoin forum, which targeted Russian email service prodiver Mail.ru and search engine Yandex. Those two breaches affected nearly 6 million Internet users.
Find out if your account was compromised
You can verify whether your account was affected by clicking here and entering your gmail address. It’s that simple. You can also enable Google’s 2-step verification by following the company’s easy steps.
UPDATE 3:01 PM Google issued the following statement to Fusion:
“The security of our users’ information is a top priority for us. We have no evidence that our systems have been compromised, but whenever we become aware that accounts may have been, we take steps to help those users secure their accounts.”

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Screw The NSA, New Search Engine Claims To Have The Solution.

before we get any further, let me just say there is no way at the moment you will be able to access the web site. It’s been OVERLOADed all day. Or under attack.  LOL


NEW SEARCH ENGINE PROTECTS YOU FROM NSA

No data collected, so nothing to give feds if they ask

 

WND EXCLUSIVE        BOB UNRUH

 

Zeekly

Zeekly


Trust Google? The National Security Agency, which routinely collects its data, does.
After all, it’s one of the companies from which Washington apparently routinely pulls data about what Americans are reading, doing, seeing, researching, hunting and contemplating.
So an entrepreneur says he has started an alternative service, which offers encryption services to keep your details, well, your details. Out of Google’s files. And away from the NSA.
The website is called Zeekly.com and founder Jeffrey Sisk explains it doesn’t retain search history, and also runs on 2048-bit SSL encryption to keep private what Internet users don’t want public.
On his blog, he explains that there are a number of steps a consumer can take to make the options for the government to access personal information a lot harder.
One of those is an encrypted search function.
“Like millions of Americans, I was frustrated when The Guardian broke the story on June 6th that the NSA has a top secret program called Prism that collects personal data on American citizens from all of the most well known and trusted technology companies. This included tech giants such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft/Bing, Facebook, Youtube & Twitter,” he said.
“What made this story especially heinous as it unfolded is that each of these companies is prevented by the actual FISA court orders they were served from disclosing to the public their information is being intercepted by the government. These trusted companies all have privacy policies and tell their users ‘we take privacy matters seriously,’ yet we now find out millions of records are being secretly turned over to the NSA every single day. From the documents leaked to The Guardian by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the government literally has unfettered ‘back door access’ to these vast databases.”
He said Americans now depend on the Internet.
“We find information, solve problems, pursue our interests, read news, make purchase[s], and socially connect with like minded people around the world. Granting access to American spy agencies to this level of information on American citizens is the most egregious assault on our constitutional rights regarding illegal search and seizure in the history of our country. As one of the original authors of the Patriot Act recently put it, they never intended the law to be used to snarf up mass amounts of data on unsuspecting American citizens. I think most of us already knew this was going on to some extent, but clearly this has far exceeded the original boundaries set forth by Congress.”
He continued, “I don’t think companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook or Yahoo are inherently bad. They collect this data to provide a higher level of targeted advertising and services for their users. Unfortunately, because of minimal oversight, the government is bending the rules to secretly obtain their data.”
And that’s the genesis for his Zeekly.com project.
It pulls information from all major search engines, but doesn’t store a users personal data, he said.
“This means that even if a court order [to obtain information] was presented, there’s no data.”
He said there are other steps that consumers also can take.
“Currently there are four main browsers that are popular in the market: Internet Explorer (owned by Microsoft), Chrome (owned by Google), Safari (owned by Apple), Firefox (open source owned by Mozilla).”
“Of these four browsers, the first three are owned by companies who are listed in the leaked NSA documents to be under FISA court order to turn over your search data. The last one Firefox seems to be exempt. This is because Firefox is an open source project (any software engineer/programmer from around the world can write code to improve the browser and then Mozilla coordinates what makes it into each new version of the software). Surely it is not impossible, but it is highly unlikely that Firefox has a mechanism to record your Internet searches. To me, this makes it currently the best choice,” he explained.
( I’ll Be resetting To Mozilla)
He also recommended the use of a Virtual Private Network. They are easy to install, he explained, and “it basically acts as your proxy when you are on the Internet. In other words, to the websites you are visiting, your requests are coming from the VPN’s server…. not your personal computer or cellphone/tablet.”
~Steve~
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/new-search-engine-protects-you-from-nsa/#PmxOT0cKyWK45b0p.99
 
 
 

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