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Recent Society articles from Daily Dot

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    International affairs publication PornMD (I know, right?) released the most important infographic of our time today: a geographic breakdown of the 10 most searched porn terms divided by country.

    The lubricious—and mostly safe-for-work—graphic culls data from the last six months of search terms. "Ever wonder which states or countries are into what when it comes to what goes on behind closed doors?" the intro asks, even though we're not sure who was wondering that.

    Here are five things we learned about the world's porn habits that we discovered without even having to apply for a Fulbright fellowship.

    1) Canada loves Asians! Our welcoming, multinational northern neighbor has an Asian fetish. That was the most-searched-for term, following "teen," "milf," whatever "compilation" means, and "massage." 

    2) Only gay guys trawl for porn in Peru. All 10 of the top terms were labeled "gay" and included peruano (twinky little Peruvian men), casero (homemade porn), cacheros (roughly translates to tops, or pitchers, if you will), and something called "just bieber" that we'll leave to your imagination.

    3) Obviously, Russia's most-searched term is "russian." In Soviet Russia, porn watches you, or it's probably some Putin-mandated rule to increase nationalism. Interestingly, "Sasha Grey" was the country's fifth-most-searched term.

    4) Half of Iran's most-searched terms are very gay. The notoriously homophobic country still manages to be a hub for horny gay guys looking for butt. Searches ranked four through eight are as follows: "daddy love," "hairy," "hotel businessman," "Iranian," and "shower." ("Pussy" was the No. 1 most-searched term—your civilization isn't totally on the brink of collapsing, Ahmadinejad.)

    5) USA: Home of the free, land of the MILF. Hot moms were our top term, followed by "teen," "college," "creampie" (fattening?), and "massage." There's even a special state-by-state breakdown, which saw several Southern states featuring "ebony" as its top choice—so yay for civil rights!

    Photo via fashion_dreams/Hashgram


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    Finding difficulty using that iPad or Kindle? Don't worry, ladies. There's finally an easy-to-use tablet just for us.

    It's called the ePad Femme, and the Middle East–based Eurostar Group, who developed the product, are describing it as the "world's first tablet made exclusively for women." It's already going over about as well as the Bic "Cristal for Her" Ball Pen on Amazon.

    The eight-inch tablet comes preloaded with a pink background and a number of apps (so we don't have to stress over the difficulty of doing it ourselves) that revolve around yoga, grocery shopping, weight loss, and cooking. If a 5-year-old can figure it out, we probably can too, right?

    It's also Wi-Fi-accessible, runs on Android 4.0, and has 16GB of internal storage. But if we can't download our own apps, we certainly don't need to know what those numbers mean for the tablet or what we're able to do with an SD card slot.

    The ePad Femme was first announced in October, but it was touted as a Valentine's Day gift idea. 

    "The Tablet comes preloaded with applications so you can just turn it on and log in to cooking recipes or yoga," Mani Nair, Associate Vice President for Marketing at Eurostar Group, told the Jerusalem Post. "It makes a perfect gadget for a woman who might find difficulties in terms of downloading these applications and it is a quick reference."

    Nair insists that the ePad Femme isn't sexist and explained that Eurostar Group is focusing on pre-loaded applications for many of their products.

    However, Eman Al Nafjan, a Saudi feminist blogger, feels that this is just another way to give women information targeted at pleasing their husband. She explained that many women are tech-savvy, and in countries like Saudi Arabia, women spend a lot of time online since they are not allowed to drive or travel without a male relative.

    "Whoever made this tablet doesn't understand us very well," Al Nafjan said. "We are home all the time and we are extremely tech-savvy."

    The ePad Femme is going for about $190, and EUROSTAR had only sold about 7,000 units as of mid-February.

    Whether people want to go with an ePad or another tablet, there are plenty of other non-gender-specific options available that are a lot less polarizing.

    I'm sure we can figure it out on our own.

    Photo via EUROSTAR Group/Facebook


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    Facebook has a teen problem, or so we're told.

    A parade of recent reports warns kids are leaving behind the world's biggest social network for shinier, sexier things like Tumblr and Snapchat and Instagram.

    The latest article to ring the alarm bells is from Time's Victor Luckerson, who mimicked the premise and sources of a much-cited Verge article before adding in his own anecdotal evidence to reach a resounding conclusion: "Facebook Losing its Cool Cachet Among Teenagers."

    In a survey of 40 students Luckerson conducted at an Birmingham, Ala., high school, only eight said Facebook was their most-used social network. In the same breath, he admitted his survey was not scientific. Kind of an important fact. "Unscientific" is statistical codespeak for "ignore any conclusions I draw from this data." How do we know these 40 kids from Birmingham can tell us anything about worldwide Facebook usage trends?

    The Verge's Ellis Hamburger likewise collected a series of anecdotal case-studies: "I find it boring, and I don’t really care about knowing all my friends’ details anymore," Hamburger's 15-year-old cousin told him. He also cited the case of Branch cofounder Josh Miller's 15-year-old sister—she really doesn't like Facebook, either.

    If you're counting, that's 42 kids whose tastes and choices apparently represent teenagers around the world.

    According to The Verge and Time, these teens are headed to snazzier social outlets, especially Tumblr. Both articles cite a January survey, conducted via startup Survata, that suggested more teens use Tumblr than Facebook—61 percent versus 55 percent.

    In a conversation with the Daily Dot, Survata cofounder Aaron Wenger suggested results from that survey shouldn't necessarily be used to draw conclusions about the entire U.S. population. Survata conducts surveys via participating websites that it handpicks for quality. Perhaps the teens using Survata's client sites are different from teens at large—maybe they come from better economic backgrounds, maybe they skew white, maybe they skew male. The company uses various tricks and tools to account for biases like these, but Wenger suggested the survey's findings would be more conclusive if it were repeated a few more times.

    "I don't think Mark Zuckerberg is losing sleep" over this one survey, Wenger said.

    The only real meat to these portentous warnings of Facebook's supposed teenage doom is a statement from Facebook itself. In the "risks" section of its 10-K annual report published earlier this year, the company wrote:

    We believe that some of our users, particularly our younger users, are aware of and actively engaging with other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook. For example, we believe that some of our users have reduced their engagement with Facebook in favor of increased engagement with other products and services such as Instagram.

    That doesn't sound good, but is hardly a tacit admission of a Great Teen Exodus. And keep in mind, the report reads "younger" users not "teen"—these could be 20-somethings who are jumping ship, not teens.

    Overall, Facebook's user base has grown 25 percent over the past year. It now has more than 1 billion users, whose population patterns are fluid. There are thousands of people no doubt migrating from Facebook to another service every month, while thousands of others migrate to Facebook from somewhere else.

    The Daily Dot reached out to Facebook for specific data on its teen userbase, but the company wasn't helpful. (A spokesman sent us the same statement Facebook gave to Time: "We are gratified that more than 1 billion people, including enormous numbers of young people, are using  Facebook to connect and share.")

    We do have some data, however, that hints The Verge and Time may not be telling the whole story. Independent analytics site PageData tracks the most-talked-about pages on Facebook every day. The "people talking about this" (PTAT) metric is probably the most meaningful measure of engagement and reach on Facebook. A high PTAT score means subscribers are ravenously sharing, commenting, and liking your posts.

    Looking at PageData's top 30 list, only one trend pops out: Teens absolutely dominate the most-engaged pages on Facebook. Nine out of the top 30 pages on Facebook are teen-centric.

    Here's the list:

    Teens of Swag: 8.5 million talking about
    Teens Only: 6 million talking about
    Teens Onlyღ: 5.6 million talking about
    Awkward Teens: 4.7 million talking about
    WeAreTeensღ 4.7 million talking about
    Wtf Teen: 4.3 million talking about
    Totally Teen Quotes. :] 3.4 million talking about
    Certified Teens: 3.3 million talking about
    Bitch Please? Imma Teen: 3.2 million talking about

    All told, somewhere around 43.7 million people are talking about these teen pages every day on Facebook. And these are only statistics from the top 30 pages. There may be thousands of other teen-oriented pages outside the top 30, with millions more talking about them at any given time.

    These numbers could have some overlap (one person may subscribe to more than one page) and you don't necessarily have to be a teen to subscribe, so we're not about to leap to any broad conclusions about this data. We will say this, however: The growing media narrative about Facebook and teens isn't entirely accurate. Some teens may be leaving, but others remain behind, engaging content with a rabid voracity.

    How many of your grown-up friends are sharing from "Bitch Please? Imma teen"?

    Photo via Teens Only ღ/Facebook


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    Are you really surprised to hear that there’s a correlation between the things you like on Facebook and what sort of person you are? Researchers from the University of Cambridge published a study titled “Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behavior.”
     
    The study's abstract claims "easily accessible digital records of behavior, Facebook Likes, can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes including: sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental separation, age, and gender."

    At first glance, this sounds like an update from the desk of Captain Obvious. After all, anyone who “likes” Rick Santorum is clearly less likely to support gay rights than a fan of Dan Savage, just as anyone with a tampon subscription is more likely to be female than someone from a prostate cancer support group.

    Though such obvious correlations are mentioned in the study, other trends and correlations were far more subtle. In a section called “Predictive power of likes,” the study noted:

    [T]he best predictors of high intelligence include “Thunderstorms,” “The Colbert Report,” “Science,” and “Curly Fries,” whereas low intelligence was indicated by “Sephora,” “I Love Being A Mom,” “Harley Davidson,” and “Lady Antebellum.” Good predictors of male homosexuality included “No H8 Campaign,” “Mac Cosmetics,” and “Wicked The Musical,” whereas strong predictors of male heterosexuality included “Wu-Tang Clan,” “Shaq,” and “Being Confused After Waking Up From Naps.”

    The study went on to note that, despite the high correlation between homosexuality and the No H8 campaign, “less than 5% of users labeled as gay were connected with explicitly gay groups […] Consequently, predictions rely on less informative but more popular likes, such as ‘Britney Spears’ or ‘Desperate Housewives’ (both moderately indicative of being gay).” Other less-obvious connections mentioned in the study include an apparent correlation between Democratic political leanings and fans of the “Hello Kitty” brand.

    What possible real-world uses might this study have? The conclusion notes that, on the positive side, such information could improve products and services offered to consumers, with the very huge potential downside that "commercial companies, governmental institutions, or even one’s Facebook friends could use software to infer attributes such as intelligence, sexual orientation, or political views that an individual may not have intended to share.”

    If you’re curious about how accurately your own Facebook activity reflects your perceived personality, the end of the study includes a link to YouAreWhatYouLike.com, a “one-click personality test” that analyzes your own Facebook activity.

    On the “How does it work” page, YouAreWhatYouLike explains that "If most of the things you like are liked by liberal people [...] it is quite likely that you are also liberal."

    But "quite likely" is not synonymous with "guaranteed," which is why it also reminds everyone that "no test is 100% accurate."

    In other words: don’t assume all 8.1 million people who like Lady Antebellum on Facebook are stupid, nor that the nearly 1 million fans of Curly Fries are all geniuses. Especially not now that this study has been released and it looks like some Facebookers are trying to game the system to enhance their own perceived intelligence. The number of people who “like” the Curly Fries page has increased exponentially since the release of this study linking intelligence and curly-fry fandom. Before that, the most recent update on the Curly Fries page was on April 7, 2010, and said this:

    “Curly fries curly fries I love u more then curly fries if I had a choice between curly fries and u I would pick u lol Robert benfer”.

    Any correlation between that statement and high intelligence is far too subtle for us to detect, at least not without a University of Cambridge research grant.

    Photo via Infrogmation

     


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    A man was kicked off his doctor's patient list after lashing out at hospital staff on Twitter.

    Mathew Cochrane was removed from the list at a surgery in Penarth, near Cardiff, Wales, over the following tweet.

    His Friday tweet led to a letter from the office telling him to find another doctor:

    Cochrane, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, had contacted the practice to make an appointment. He was worried there was a serious problem, given that he normally only deals with a specialist consultant, though the receptionist told him the next available appointment was three weeks off.

    He claimed he argued with the receptionist about the procedures and was told curtly that he needed to make his complaint in writing. To an extent, he did.

    “The tweet was certainly in the heat of moment and in no way did I suspect it would see me struck off as a patient,” he told the Telegraph. He added that he didn't receive a warning before getting the letter.

    Cochrane, 26, later tweeted a link to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's page on unfair removal from patient lists. It states that National Health Service "contracts require [General Practitioners] to give patients a warning before they remove them, except where this would pose a risk to health or safety or where it would be unreasonable or impractical to do so." It also points out the British Medical Association’s guidelines noting patients should not be taken off a list for making a complaint.

    Granted, it could be argued that Cochrane's tweet was more an attack than a complaint, though he claims that he did not receive a warning from the practice before getting the letter.

    More troubling is that Cochrane, a driving instructor, does not use his full name on his Twitter account. The practice was still able to link his tweet to his confidential medical records and true identity. 

    “They made no inquiry to verify I am the same person as the tweeter,” he said.

    The health board covering the practice told Cochrane that while practices are independent businesses, they are beholden to rules on delisting patients.

    The question of whether Cochrane's freedom of expression was violated is muddied by U.K. laws governing "offensive" communications.

    ThousandsofTwitterandFacebookusers have been arrested over the last few years under the Communications Act 2003. Under section 127 of the Act, it is illegal to send via "a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character." 

    Many of us can empathize with Cochrane, frustrated after dealing with an unhelpful person on the other end of the phone. The issues of privacy and lack of warning raised by this incident might have a broader impact than the tweet itself.

    Photo via @mat711/Twitter


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    Get ready to switch off your Internet for life and return to the welcoming bosom of the analog life.

    Remote administration tools (RAT), also known as remote access software, allow a user to drop a long-distance controller onto your computer and manipulate it from afar. They can record via your mic and webcam, they can pilfer your stored media, and they can share it all with each other. They can broadcast to the computer they’ve taken over, and they can change the desktop layout.

    And they do.

    It’s not just the sheer creepiness of RAT use that has brought the issue up in the mix of the Internet’s background noise. It’s also the fact that those targeted are primarily young women, many of whom are, or appear, underage. Those who engage in this base-level hacking often get together online in groups on sites like Hackforum, groups that resemble nothing so much as child pornography rings, and share the dirty pictures they’ve stolen.

    With real hacking in the news, from Chinese cyber espionage to American and Israeli targeting of Iranian nuclear development to Anonymous’ protest hacking, this sort of activity muddies the waters.

    RAT users call the women whose computers they infect “slaves,” and they post the videos of their furtive little escapades on services like YouTube (which seems to be acting to remove them).

    RATs are usually delivered in a Trojan horse virus, as the viral payload, and unpack onto the target computer. As Nate Anderson noted on Ars Technica, “This is commonly done by seeding file-sharing networks with infected files and naming them after popular songs or movies.”

    These rigs are easy enough to assemble online and are “user friendly,” equipped with dashboard controls. Putting together and using a RAT suite requires more of a desire to fumble around in strange girls’ bedrooms than to “hack” in any meaningful way.

    In case you’re wondering if this is illegal, the answer is yes: It’s illegal both on a state and on a federal level. It’s illegal to break into other people’s computers. It’s illegal to steal things, including intellectual property, from other people. If you recall, the late Aaron Swartz broke into MIT’s computers to post JSTOR papers online for all to use. Arguably, Swartz’s actions were, if illegal, for a purpose partaking of both altruism and protest. The actions of a RAT operator are neither.

    But don’t forget, the laws and the law enforcement entities that were brought to bear against Swartz are powered by, and pressured by, huge industries: publishing, music and film. The same amount of money, power, and pressure hasn’t been brought to bear against RAT-wielding voyeurs.

    Photo by IRRI Images/Flickr


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    A Seattle-area mother spent the weekend in jail after a video surfaced on YouTube that appeared to show the woman's 22-month-old son smoking marijuana out of a water bong. 

    Rachelle Braaten, 24, was arrested Friday after police in the Seattle suburb of Centralia came across the incriminating video, which finds Braaten's youngest child sticking his mouth up to the opening of a bong and appearing to inhale. 

    The original video has since been deleted, but news reports and mirror copies are currently available. 

    Police found more than 40 marijuana plants inside of her home, which she shares with her fiancé Tyler Lee and her two children, a 5-year-old and the 22-month-old, and took her into custody. Braaten faces charges of manufacturing marijuana and delivering a controlled substance to a minor. 

    Her fiancé, who was not in the house at the time, was also arrested and charged with three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, according to Q13Fox. Seattle's KOMO reported that Lee also confessed to selling marijuana to a medical marijuana dispensary. Lee was released from prison Monday.

    Probed by detectives about the video this weekend, Braaten said that she felt "horrible" about the situation and that it wasn't at all calculated or effectively considered.

    "He's 2 and he shouldn't have done that," Braaten told police. "He shouldn't have that in his body."

    She said that her child came into contact with the bong while a number of friends were over at her house smoking from the bong.

    "You can't see it in the camera, but the person taking it, and then there was like a group of people there. And I guess it was a joke and stupid mistake that wasn't really funny."

    Certainly not. Bratten remains in custody on $5,000 bond.

    As for her two kids, they've been taken by child services and placed in protective care. Hopefully nobody in there tried to smuggle in any weed—we hear that stuff's a gateway drug.


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    A faucet that dispenses chocolate milk, a wall made of ant farms, and an aquarium full of sharks are just some of the things featured in a mockup of Reddit's dream house.

    The blueprint was created by real estate blog Movoto from a three-month-old Reddit post that asked the community, "If money wasn't an issue, what would you make sure to have in your dream house?"

    "A tower, I always wanted a house with tall tower," Bananus_magnus commented. "Ideally with a glass dome on top, so you can see stars at night. The glass dome would be openable like the domes on telescopes."

    Movoto has taken some of these suggestions and fashioned them into the following infographic. But as is often the case with buildings, there's not enough space for everything.

    "As we’ve all learned, anything is possible, so we wanted to highlight some of the more practical aspects of the Reddit dream home," Movoto's Nick Johnson told the Daily Dot. "Actually, if we had taken all of them into account, the Reddit dream home be quite huge. But it would have to be, because I bet word would spread and several million Redditors would want to live there! Overall, I bet some home designers might have been a little inspired by that thread!"

    While the concept might seem like a long shot, it's not as impractical as it seems. Last year a homebuilder in Central Texas started incorporating popular Pinterest items into all of its model homes. 

    Photos via Movoto


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    Keep your grandparents away from Facebook. Ageism is rampant on the world's largest social network. A new study has found that the vast majority of Facebook groups dedicated to the elderly either vilified them, infantilized them, or advocated banning them from public activities entirely.

    "Facebook has the potential to break down barriers between generations," the study authors write. "In practice, it may have erected new ones."

    Led by professor Becca Levy, the director of the social and behavioral sciences division at Yale's School of Public Health, the study examined 20 pages randomly selected from a dataset of every page the researchers dug up by searching for pages containing words like "elderly," "old," "aged," and any synonym thereof. Almost every single group the study examined (98 percent, to be exact) contained negative age stereotypes. Unsurprisingly, the page's creators were young, with most aged between 20 and 29.

    One group the study authors discovered was called "im more terrified of elderly drivers than terrorists." Another suggested that anyone “over the age of 69 should immediately face a firing squad.” Even groups ostensibly created to support the elderly inadvertently create a hostile environment. One, called "Help Stop Elder Abuse" condenses a fascinatingly robust array of infantilizing language into a single paragraph:

    Abusing an elderly person is like the bullying of a smaller, younger child on the playground. The older person who cannot stand up for themselves verbally or physically is an easy target. The elder, just like the young child, may not know how to stop the abuse and will therefore have to suffer relentlessly.

    Did that analogy stick yet?

    Part of the problem is that Facebook's hate speech rules are incomplete. The site bans content that "attacks people based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or disease."  In other words, hate speech that targets age is A-OK.

    A Facebook rep told the Huffington Post the company wasn't yet aware of the study's findings and pointed out that a third of Internet users over the age of 68 use sites like Facebook every day. But rather than disprove the study's findings, that statistic shows just how urgently Facebook needs to create a more inclusive hate speech policy.

    The paper, which was coauthored with researchers from University of California in Berkeley, Hopkins School in New Haven, and Hunter College in New York, appeared in the February issue of the Gerontologist.

    Photo by xavi talleda/Flickr


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    Is Out of Order free speech and protest within legal limits, or is it out of bounds? 

    Big banks. Big corporations. Big mines. Big environmental damage. That's what it takes to inspire a big movement, springing off of Facebook and onto ATMs and vending machines throughout Australia. 

    As the Daily Dot reported last week, Anonymous adopted the cause of the Out of Order movement, encouraging people to place Out of Order signs on Coke vending machines as a protest against Coca-Cola's successful lawsuit against new recycling laws in the Northern Territory. That's when one of the organizers from Out of Order reached out via email with more information on the movement, which has been going on for quite some time Down Under.

    OoO member Katso wanted to clarify that it was a separate movement that was promoted by hacker collective Anonymous, rather than an Anon Op. "We're not anonymous or Greenpeace. We've had help from Generation Alpha. But Anonymous sounds heaps cooler, so maybe just leave it at that!" Their Facebook group, begun only a couple of months ago, has 4,558 members, and Generation Alpha, a group to encourage people to make the world a better place, has 33,167 Likes.

    Katso explained, "We started Out Of Order as a direct, peaceful action in January 13 to fight ANZ bank in solidarity with Jonathan Moylan, who created the Whitehaven Hoax." The Whitehaven Hoax was a fake press release Moylan disseminated which claimed ANZ banks were withdrawing a huge investment from a mining company, on ethical grounds. Share prices flip-flopped, executives screamed, and the press came out solidly on the side of the spunky little guy; it is Australia, after all. "ANZ are funding many but one particularly unethical coal mine in NSW, Australia, which threatens a population of endangered Koalas as well as guarantees to give climate change a huge boost if the coal is burnt." 

    He continues:

    For this action, approximately 40 of us across Australia used OoO notices to covertly disable over 110 ANZ ATMs in a matter of hours without being noticed and then ran a viral campaign on FB with the symbolic images of OoO ATMs to create awareness about the mine. Since then we've targeted HSBC [the world's largest bank] with a smaller campaign for environmental irresponsibility but with the same strategy and that has created more international interest from groups like OWS and Anon. We haven't finished with HSBC or ANZ though. Not until they become ethical and responsible.

    It might sound crazy but I think we're really on to something. We want corporates to know who we are and that we're capable of affecting their bottom line if we feel the need.

    They are a non-funded organization that relies on individual supporters to download and deploy their Out of Order signs (with a QR code that leads to the Facebook group) as they see fit. It's exactly the kind of decentralized action that digital technologists predicted back in the '80s; the question they forgot to ask is, how will the law treat it? As vandalism? As fraud and tortious interference? As terrorism? The Whitehaven Hoax reportedly cost one investor "$180 million dollars in two minutes." The legal penalty for interfering with business in this fashion was recently increased by 20 times, putting the hoaxer at risk of 10 years in prison, although it seems Moylan has not yet been charged. Public opinion is largely on his side, particularly in light of the quick recovery of the share price.

    "The Out of Order campaign involves mass civil disobedience," says Katso, explaining why Greenpeace and other official organizations haven't officially adopted the action, though they too target Coke and the big banks. "Placing an OoO notice on a machine is considered vandalism in most places so can't be supported by actual organisations even though it's so effective."

    Not stated, but implicit, is the important fact that if someone is caught falsely flagging a vending machine as Out of Order, the jail time for interfering with a couple of dozen units of $2 product is likely to be significantly less than that faced by $380 million man Jonathan Moylan.

    Photo from Out of Order/Facebook


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    Did a Washington middle school overstep its boundaries by demanding access to one of its students' Facebook profiles as part of a cyberbullying investigation?

    Samantha Negrete, 14, said she was called into the vice principal's office at an Everett middle school and was asked to log into her Facebook account so they could see an inappropriate picture her friend had posted. 

    The eighth grader told MyNorthwest that she felt like she had no other option but to comply.

    "I felt like I had to do it because if I didn't, I was worried he would get mad at me and yell," said Negrete, adding that she wasn't aware of the picture, and if she had been, she would've told her friend not to post it. The student who posted the picture has been suspended. 

    And now things are getting worse for Negrete. Her fellow classmates are calling her a snitch and she's the one being bullied at North Middle School. The vice principal didn't log out of her Facebook account when they brought in the culprit, which gave students the impression that Negrete ratted the girl out.

    "I'm getting bullied and harassed by a lot of people," she said. "It's hard to be at school when all this is happening."

    Negrete's mother, Connie Becerra, is understandably outraged that the school would violate her daughter's privacy. The vice principal supposedly told her to keep the meeting a secret; Becerra was never notified by the school.

    "It's taken a toll on her. They were investigating bullying but somehow this ended up with her being bullied, even though it had nothing to do with her," said Becerra. She has contacted the American Civil Liberties Union to look into the situation. 

    Linda Mangel, an attorney with the ACLU, slammed the school, explaining that state and federal laws protect Negrete from unwarranted searches. 

    Mangel said there's a lower standard for schools for conducting these searches since they had a reasonable suspicion that a rule or law was being violated and the search would result to evidence about the discretion. 

    But, Mangel said, since the vice principal forced her to open the Facebook page without presenting her options (for example, going to the culprit initially), the school might find itself in trouble.

    "It was done in the most intrusive way possible, instead of the least intrusive way," Mangel said. 

    Fearing blowback, the school district has now hired an outside investigator and is reviewing its policies regarding if or when educational officials can gain access to their student's social media accounts. They also haven't yet decided if the vice principal took the right actions.

    However, the whole situation has left honors student Negrete shaken. She says she can't trust school officials, who are there to protect her, anymore. 

    "All the respect and everything I had for them, it's totally gone now," she said.

    Photo via KIRO-TV


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    While her husband was off with his "floozie," a scorned wife sold off just about everything he owned in a Craigslist-powered weekend yard sale. And to be more precise, it wasn't a "yard sale," it was actually a LYING CHEATING SALE. This is how to rage-quit a marriage, folks. 

    LAST MINUTE SPONTANEOUS ESTATE SALE. HUSBAND LEFT US FOR A PIECE OF TRASH. SELLING EVERYTHING WHILE HE IS GONE THIS WEEKEND WITH HIS FLOOZIE.

    Feel free to imagine the woman's fingers shattering the keyboard with each stroke. 

    Visitors to the LYING CHEATING SALE, held at the (former) couple's home in Vancouver, were welcome to the man's ART, FURNITURE, BOOKSHELVES, STORAGE CABINETS, HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES,and pretty much everything else. Highlights, however, include his leather theater sofas (which were his "FAVORITE,") a never-installed BRAND NEW SLIDING GLASS DOOR, as well as a LAWNMOWER.

    There were also "LOTS OF TOOLS WHICH HE DIDN'T HAVE A CLUE HOW TO USE."

    Clothes, however, were off-limits. Those were reserved for a special bonfire held the night before. Visitors were welcome to look at the pile of ash in the driveway free of charge.

    The woman's only request was that visitors not to come too early ("LIKE HE DID") because "I WILL BE THOUROUGHLY ENJOYING SOME WINE WITH MY GIRLFRIENDS THIS EVENING AS WE CLEAN OUT ALL THIS STUFF AND LIKELY BE NURSING HANGOVERS IN THE MORNING. SO PLEASE SPEAK SOFTLY TO THE LADIES WEARING THE SUNGLASSES: )

    "This has to be a hoax, right?" every cheating man is whispering to himself right now as the early symptoms of hyperventilation set in. Nope. 

    A reporter from The Province newspaper actually visited the site and confirmed that "sure enough, bargain-hunters were sifting through the goods which included office chairs, camping gear and other offerings." The theater seating must have already been sold by that time.

    One wrinkle in this story of holy revenge: The reporter reached out to an estate lawyer, who told her the woman probably won't get to keep all the proceeds from the sale. A divorce court usually requires both sides to account for what they have, then decides how to divvy it up. So a portion of whatever she made would probably still go to the husband.

    Somehow, we don't think she really cares either way. She concluded her ad/opus:

    "LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO WASTE TIME. GOD PUT MY EYES IN THE FRONT OF MY HEAD FOR A REASON. I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO MOVING FORWARD!"

    H/T Gawker Photo by Justin and Jenae/Flickr


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    Let's face it: Pope Benedict XVI wasn't very good at Twitter.

    Oh sure, he had more than 1 million followers on his English account, @Pontifex, but that's easily achievable if you're the head of a religion with more than 1 billion devotees. His tweets were usually boring missives like "What does Sunday, the day of the Lord, mean for us? It is a day for rest and for family, but first of all a day for Him." Nothing exactly groundbreaking.

    He quit as pontiff, and the Vatican scrubbed @Pontifex of all trace of Benedict's tweets. That paved the way for Pope Francis, elected by cardinals Wednesday, to stake his claim as an actually interesting person to follow.

    As a Twitter newbie—the now-suspended @JMBergoglio did not belong to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio—Francis has much to learn about how this newfangled thingamajig works. His predecessor believed social media is the future of evangelism, but couldn't get a handle on it himself (perhaps that's the real reason he quit?).

    Francis's first tweet on @Pontifex 2.0 was akin to someone crashing a karaoke party, grabbing the mic, and yelling, "Yo, I am here!" The all-caps Latin text, which translates to "We have Pope Francis," was pretty bombastic.

    If Francis wants to really make a splash, here are four lessons he can learn from the Dalai Lama, a religious leader who's actually good at Twitter. 

    1) Share photos of you meeting rock stars.

    Many religions are battling to keep youngsters hooked in an age of many distractions. What better way to show how hip you are than by shaking hands with a super cool rock st—ah, never mind. It's Dave Matthews.

    2) Never chat with followers.

    Talking with followers, a fundamental of Social Media Marketing™, is something the 77-year-old has neglected to do in his three years on Twitter. It hasn't hurt his follower numbers, however: He has more than 6.5 million of them. Maybe they're all waiting to be the first to break through.

    We'll leave this one up to you, Francis.

    3) Be positive.

    These are among the Dalai Lama's most retweeted posts:

    4) Tweet out news articles trumpeting your early Twitter success.

    Modest.

    Photo via AssociatedPress/YouTube


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    A young man in Spain predicted Benedict's resignation and Francis's election in a dream. And there's proof on Twitter. 

    On the morning of Feb. 11, the girlfriend of 22-year-old Madrid resident Alejandro Rodriguezsent a tweet about her partner's dream:

    In English, through the power of Google Translate, that reads:

    Yolanda De Mena sent that tweet at 6:06am ET, just as news was breaking of Benedict's resignation from the papacy. It is the other fact, Rodriguez's premonition of the new pope's name, which struck a chord with Twitter users.

    De Mena's tweet, which one person dubbed"the biggest spoiler in the history of mankind" has been retweeted more than 58,000 times, with her boyfriend surprised to see it receiving attention from outlets in Chile, Colombia, and Spain. He was also interviewed by an Argentine radio show. Meanwhile, De Mena's follower count has jumped from around 100 to more than 9,400.

    While some suggested that De Mena had somehow faked the date on the tweet, it's there as clear as day. Of course, she could have been fibbing about the Benedict part of the dream given the time it was posted, but there's no way to have altered the tweet to add Francis's name. It was either a lucky guess, or a prophetic dream about the new pope.

    Photo via @Ardecabo/Twitter


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    Hey, Justin Bieber, there's this thing called blogging. You might want to look into that.

    Oh sure, you might have 7.3 million Instagram followers who gave you more than 32,300 comments and 286,000 likes while you were  defending yourself against the press. But when you really need to rant, there are better places to do that.

    I mean, how on earth are your legions of beliebers ever going to see your shirtless photos when your 315-word storms almost completely cover your pics?

    Instagram's about photos, not your diatribe against the press, however wrong some reporters might be.

    That's a pretty honest photo caption, dude. It comes from the heart, we can tell, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Fair play to you, Justin, but please, next time, for the love of all things overalls, get yourself a blog and write anything longer than a tweet-length rant there instead.

    You're killing blogging, man, and it's just not right.

    Photo via @justinbieber/Instagram


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    If you live in America, rejoice, for today is March 14—numerically spelled 3.14, which makes it Pi Day! 

    Pi (π), or 3.14159, etc., is the number you get whenever you calculate the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It is also an “irrational” number, whose digits go on forever without repeating. (This makes irrational numbers the exact opposite of irrational people, who do like to repeat themselves. A lot.)

    Not all math fans celebrate Pi Day. Some mathematicians say pi is overrated and should be replaced by tau, or 2π, because if you’re a science or engineering type whose job requires you to calculate circles, tau is more useful than pi. Tau Day falls in June, on 6/28. 

    Vi Hart, the “professional mathemusician at Khan Academy,” is a staunch tau proponent, popular on YouTube for her math videos, especially the pro-tau video “Pi Is Still Wrong.” Still, Hart celebrated this year's Pi Day with a “Singing Pi Gram,” an a cappella rendition of pi’s first several dozen digits.

    (For people in Europe, today is 14 March, or 14.3, which is nothing special. With only 12 months in a year, Europeans can never experience the joy that is Pi Day unless they get a green card and immigrate to America, Land of Opportunity™.)  

    Maybe tau does make math and engineering easier, but it also makes delicious puns harder because Tau Day, unlike Pi Day, doesn’t give English speakers the excuse to make, eat, and share scrumptious pies.

    And the Internet knows that Pi Day, like every day, is a wonderful day for pie:

    Photo via pauladamsmith/Flickr


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    According to the Dart Center for Journalism and Violence, 1 in 3 indigenous women will be raped in their lifetime. That's why Patricia Stein founded Arming Sisters, an organization that hopes to teach compact self defense courses to Native American women across 20 of the most populated reservations in North America.

    The nonprofit is modeled after the Tahrir Body Guard, a group that Stein taught for that's dedicated to ending sexual harassment in Egypt.

    We’re being targeted," Stein notes in her group's introductory page. "Targeted to flawed laws, racism, and deep rooted corruption in the institutions set up to protect and serve the public."

    To make this possible, Stein— a member of the Lakota people— is hoping to raise $25,000 via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

    That money will be used to cover the cost of transportation, accommodation, and any running and operational costs that might arise. Stein's plan is to teach 6-hour classes over the course of 2 days at each of the 20 locations that will teach indigenous women how to protect themselves.

    "Of course no one's going to become Bruce Lee in 2 days," she says in her YouTube pitch video,"but they can walk away with 10 basic moves that could save their lives."

    As of this writing, the Indiegogo campaign has raised $390.

    Photo via Patricia Stein/YouTube


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    If being able to buy pizza, electronics, and blogging features using Bitcoins wasn't enough to convince you that the digital currency had finally hit its stride, Reddit's Bitcointip bot may be enough to win you over.

    The bot allows reddit users to tip others for quality content using a comment or personal message. The bot was created by reddittor NerdfighterSean and is supported by more than 120 subreddits—including larger ones like r/starcraft, r/conspiracy, and r/MaleFashionAdvice.

    NerdfighterSean was inspired to create the bot as answer to Reddit's karma mechanism, a way of rewarding or punishing people for posts and comments. Because a redditor can upvote a comment or post only once per account, dedicated users, like NerdfighterSean, have yearned for a way to better recognize Reddit's best content.

    "It's easy to leave a tip at a restaurant or buy your buddy a Coke, why can't it be as easy online?" NerdfighterSean told the Daily Dot. "It frustrated me that all the online payment solutions charged fees that were too high, had too long of a delay, or had some other barrier to entry. When I found Bitcoin and realized that it was an open source solution to all of those problems, I started thinking about how to bring microtransactions to my favorite website Reddit."

    It took months for NerdfighterSean to build the Bitcointip bot before launching it last fall. Although the bot is in still in beta, the general process for giving a tip is pretty much nailed down.

    To use the bot, redditors must create an account by messaging user Bitcointip, which is actually just the bot controlled by NerdfighterSean's code. After your account is setup, you can load Bitcoins into it and dole them out as tips by using a Reddit user’s profile name. If the redditor you are tipping does not have a Bitcointip account, one will be created for them. If the user doesn't accept the tip within 21 days, the transaction will be reversed and you'll get your bitcoins back.

    Your name, credit card number, banking information, date of birth, social security number, or email address are not required to use the Bitcointip bot. Each transaction currently costs users .0005 Bitcoins (which, according to current conversion rates, is about $.02).

    To date, more than $1,000 worth of Bitcoins have been tipped using NerdfighterSean's bot. That translates into 1,542 transactions, with the average tip being $.65.

    "The minimum tip is 10 cents USD, but there's not a maximum," NerdfighterSean added. "If a joke makes you laugh, a story moved you, or the answer to a question taught you something, you could tip the author a little bit to show appreciation."

    Pseudonymous developer "Satoshi Nakamoto" launched Bitcoin in January 2009. Since then, the currency has been released in blocks by to a self-replicating computer program that regulates the worldwide Bitcoin supply. The currency has long been used to hide illegal activities like drug dealing,  but has recently grown in legitimacy. On Feb. 22 the currency surpassed an exchange rate of $30 per Bitcoin for the second time in history. It is currently trading at about $47 per coin.

    On Wednesday, the Bitcointip bot hit a milestone after one random Reddit user tipped former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson .1 Bitcoin (which is currently valued at $4.72) for a comment he made during his AMA about how he plans on learning more about Bitcoins.

    "I am so amazed, I can't move further down in the AMA," wellyesofcourse commented. "That's how amazed I am at this."

    Other high profile redditors who have been tipped include Bill Gates and and Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Swedish Pirate Party. NerdfighterSean hopes such publicity helps more and more people embrace the digital currency.

    "This goes to show that you don't have to be a Bitcoin nerd to start receiving Bitcoins," he said. "I think part of it is that Bitcoin is becoming easier to use. It takes time to develop software that interacts with the Bitcoin network, and we're starting to see some of those solutions coming out."

    For more information on how the Bitcointip bot works, check out this infographic.

    Illustration by Jason Reed


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    Heads up to any trolls needing to brush up on your skills before sounding off against Anita Sarkeesian or her ilk: Now you can do it with a choose-your-own-sexist-adventure game! Misogyny Island is a new satirical web game that lets players don the role of contestant in a reality TV show where the winner gets to be the Uber Misogynist.

    As the game explains, the winner gains "the right to stay on Misogyny Island forever so that you never have to engage in a meaningful interaction with a woman!" And the host? None other than rape-jokes-are-funny comedian Daniel Tosh.

    The game, which debuted March 9, seems written to coincide with the release of Sarkeesian's Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series. From the first scenario:

    xXxSniperKill420xXx says, "Hey, that feminazi chick released her first video about 'sexist' tropes in video games. She’s complaining about 'damsels in distress.' If feminism is about protecting women, why does she hate it so much when games encourage you to protect women? Totally illogical!"

    You ponder his thoughtful comment and respond by saying (select one):

    A1 "Yeah, bro, f**k that c**t."

    A2 "Yeah, I’m not sure that's exactly what 'feminism' means but I agree that she is pretty dumb."

    A3 "Actually, there are some differences in context here. Feminism is a movement in which women advocate for their own rights and freedoms, making concrete political gains that make the world a safer and more equitable place for other women. Media representation is an entirely different issue. The (typically male) player is encouraged to feel a paternalistic sense of ownership over the female characters that he protects. While everyone needs to be rescued at some point regardless of their gender, this persistent trope highlights the ways in which women are perceived to lack agency and control over their own lives."

    It's easy to see which answer is the "right" one. The "wrong" answer gets you immediately voted off the island, because you "confessed to having once talked with a female gamer on Xbox Live as if she were a human rather than an animal." (The middle answer just causes the other contestants to suspect you might be gay.)

    In the guise of letting the "contestants" become Twitter trolls, the game castigates the online behavior of self-identified "Men's Rights Activists" and other groups such as the ones that have harassed Sarkeesian to the point where comments on her TED talk as well as her own videos had to be disabled.

    The authors of Misogyny Island are Fred McCoy, Kat Haché, and Samantha Allen. McCoy is a photographer/designer and the owner of design magazine Creative Fluff. Allen is a graduate student in gender and sexuality studies. And Haché is a self-described "tranarchaqueer feminist" and artist.

    The content of the game seems heavy on sarcasm and light on substance. At one point, two contestants return because they "were voted 'Dude’s Choice' in an Xbox Live poll sponsored by Axe Body Spray." Since the answers are predictable and the non-asshole answer gets you immediately kicked off the island and the game, there's nothing really educational about the process that the game takes you through--especially since the actual misogynists who might need the game's message the most will probably quit at the word "misogyny."

    For those who soldier on, however, there may, perhaps, be some glimmers of enlightenment:

    You feel self-doubt creeping in. What if women are in fact human beings? You shudder and remove the thought from your mind.

    Or maybe not.

    H/T Borderhouse Blog / Photo via Misogyny Island


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    St. Patrick's Day isn't just about beer and the color green.

    The March 17 holiday commemorates the life of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who brought Christianity to the country.

    As both a religious and cultural occasion, the Irish traditionally attended church and came together for a meal, and the eating and drinking restrictions of Lent were lifted for one day.

    Think of it as a sort of a culturally acceptable Lenten cheat day.

    With a growth in celebration over the years—while St. Patrick died on Mar. 17, 461, he was celebrated for centuries before the day became a national holiday in Ireland in 1903—millions around the world celebrate Irish culture every year.

    As we've previously done for Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, we've brainstormed a few possible suggestions for meals you put together for you and your friends and family before (and while) you pop open some Jameson or Guinness.

    By no means is this a complete list of what a typical St. Patrick's Day meal should look like. But whether or not you have any Irish blood in you, the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin sums up their view on the holiday on a single steel beam.


     

    1) Irish Soda Bread

    Has the thought of baking bread terrified you? Look no further because Irish Soda Bread, along from being an Irish tradition, is one of the simpler breads to make. Brought to YouTube by Irish chef Diane Stopford (one of many videos on the site), it only takes a few simple ingredients to make your own warm loaf of bread fresh out of the oven. The San Diego News Network website no longer exists, but I managed to pull up an archived version of Stopford's recipe by using the Wayback Machine so you get your measurements right.


     

    2) Colcannon Potatoes

    This traditional dish didn't just get the "green eggs and ham" treatment with some food dye. This recipe from Chef John Once you set up quartered potatoes to boil, blend kale leaves, leeks, and green onions and cook them to a boil before pureeing them with butter. Take a potato masher to mix your potatoes with the greens, add some spices and green onions on top (or milk if you choose), and enjoy!


     

    3) Corned Beef and Cabbage

    Corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day is more of an American tradition after Irish-Americans brought it into the mix while searching for comfort food to remind them of home, but nowadays it's on many tables. Just pour water over the corned beef, add your spices in, and cook it slowly while you mix the other vegetables together.


     

    4) Lamb Stew

    When you think St. Patrick's Day you might not initially think lamb, but paired off with Colcannon (video and recipe above), lamb stew makes for a fairly simple recipe. Using a bottom dutch oven, add the lamb until it's cooked. Remove the lamb and cook the onions, carrots, and leeks, and add the lamb back in once that's finished so it can simmer.


     

    5) Chocolate Guinness Cake

    You might not have much room after dinner, but even if you're not a huge fan of Guinness, try to make a little bit for this cake from Adam Crowe. With a mixer, melt the butter with the beer over a stove until it's melted, and then add sugar and cocoa. While you're waiting for that, mix the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla together and add the mixture after it's off the heat. Mix the rest of the ingredients together, pour the batter into a cake pan, and you can whip up the frosting while you wait.


     

    6) Irish Coffee

    Irish coffee originated in Ireland in the 1940s but it got its big push in San Francisco about a decade later. This simple drink is good after dinner, and all you need is a fresh cup of coffee, brown sugar, your choice of Irish Whiskey, and lightly-whipped heavy cream in order to create this drink in your own kitchen.

    Photo via SDNN/YouTube

     


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