#AceSecurityNews – BRAZIL – March 26 – Brazil has scored big for net neutrality after its lower house of Congress approved a ground-breaking post-Snowden bill that protects its users’ privacy rights, albeit with some sacrifices.
The measure did not go as smoothly as could have. To ensure success, President Dilma Rousseff had to let it through at the cost of allowing companies such as Google and Facebook to store user information outside Brazil’s servers.
The real truth is that as before all your GMail and Private Data is still stored on Servers outside these countries and as in the case of Google and Facebook free to be used albeit, they will say with restrictions says Ace News Services.
However, other provisions, which ensured that internet providers gave equal privileges to all web traffic, were left in place. This went ahead despite contrary pleas by big local phone carriers who wanted to continue charging users higher prices for separate content, such as video streaming or Skype-like services.RT
In return for allowing Google and Facebook the freedom not to be bound by Brazilian servers, where local user information was concerned, the bill gets to strengthen legal oversight and punishment for companies not respecting local laws when storing Brazilian user data internationally.
If any transgressions are detected, or data is not made available to law enforcement on request, a company would have to pay a fine equal to 10 percent of its annual earnings from the year before.
#AceWorldNews – Google has declined Turkey’s requests to remove YouTube videos that allege government corruption, sources told The Wall Street Journal.
Amid a corruption scandal, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has asked Google in recent weeks to block certain videos from its site in Turkey.
However, Google has reportedly refused to comply given it believes the requests are legally invalid. Turkey blocked the social media site Twitter on Thursday, and the government has threatened to do the same with YouTube and Facebook, as the sites have been prime conduits for corruption allegations.
Related News: Extract – March – 09.02 GMT – #AceWorldNews – Turkey has blocked Twitter hours after embattled Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan threatened to close it down ahead of a key election. It comes after audio recordings purportedly demonstrating corruption among his associates were posted on the site.http://wp.me/p165ui-4rt
The Intercept has published a handful of leaked screenshots taken from an internal NSA message board where one spy agency specialist spoke extensively about compromising not the computers of specific targets, but rather the machines of the system administrators who control entire networks.
Journalist Ryan Gallagher reported that Edward Snowden, a former sys admin for NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, provided The Intercept with the internal documents, including one from 2012 that’s bluntly titled “I hunt sys admins.”
According to the posts — some labeled “top secret” — NSA staffers should not shy away from hacking sys admins: a successful offensive mission waged against an IT professional with extensive access to a privileged network could provide the NSA with unfettered capabilities, the analyst acknowledged.
“Who better to target than the person that already has the ‘keys to the kingdom’?” one of the posts reads.
Along with owning the largest stockpile of photos in the world, Facebook has announced it now plans to unleash facial recognition technology with a new program that promises to identify the subject of an untagged image with nearly unparalleled accuracy.
Researchers at the social media giant claim that humans who look at two faces can identify if they are the same person with a 97.53 percent accuracy.
They promise that the company’s new “DeepFace” program will be able to do the same with 97.25 percent accuracy.
Facebook users may have already noticed that the site is able to suggest friends to tag when a new picture is uploaded.
It does so by analyzing the distance between an individual’s eyes and nose in both profile pictures and already tagged images.
The new DeepFace program will be much more intensive, using software to correct the angle of a face in an image, then comparing that to a 3D model of an average face. It then simulates what has been called a neural network to find a numerical description of the face. If there are enough similarities, Facebook will know if the faces are in fact the same.
DeepFace was developed by Facebook artificial intelligence (AI) analysts Yaniv Taigman, Ming Yang, and Marc’ Aurelioa Ranzato, along with Lior Wolf, a faculty member at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Their research paper was first published last week in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s Technology Review.
#AceWorldNews Egypt has brokered a ceasefire aimed at ending a two-day flare-up between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, an Islamic Jihad leader said Thursday.
“Following intensive Egyptian contacts and efforts, the agreement for calm has been restored in accordance with understandings reached in 2012 in Cairo,” Reuters quoted Khaled al-Batsh.
In a statement on Facebook, he referred to a truce that ended an eight-day Gaza war two years ago.
There has been no confirmation from Israel, but a senior Defence Ministry official said earlier he expected the fighting to die down soon.
#AceWorldNews Police searched and secured the headquarters of social media giant Facebook on Tuesday evening after receiving a threat against the company, Reuters reported.
San Francisco-area authorities said the threat turned out to be “totally not credible.” Facebook personnel held employees at the campus until officers were on scene, and police officers allowed Facebook staff to leave at about 8:30pm (03:30 GMT).
#AceWorldNews says – Day Five – Pretoria as an ex-girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius testified Friday that the Paralympian star sprinter often carried a gun with him and once fired at a traffic light after a confrontation with police.
An emotional Samantha Taylor, who met Pistorius in 2010 when she was 17 years old, tearfully described the sprinter as someone familiar with guns, prone to fits of anger and an unfaithful boyfriend.
Taylor took to the stand, testifying that in 2010 on the way back from a day trip to a popular city getaway Pistorius was in a car that was pulled over by the police for speeding.
When a police officer inspected Pistorius’s weapon, left on a seat when he exited the car, Pistorius became angry, “Oscar shouted at the policeman and said he shouldn’t touch his gun,” said Taylor.
He later shot at a traffic light, “out of spite after being stopped.”
“He was angry at the police after being stopped, thereafter when they wanted to fire a shot they found it funny,” she said, referring to Pistorius and a friend who was with him at the time.
The firing of the weapon is one of three firearms charges Pistorius faces in addition to a charge of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.
Frequently breaking down in tears Taylor recounted the history of the pair’s troubled relationship.
Taylor said they met at a rugby match and later “he added me on Facebook.”
Their relationship ended in 2011, Taylor claimed, because “he cheated on me with Reeva Steenkamp.”
Day One: http://wp.me/p165ui-420
Day Two: http://wp.me/p165ui-43s
Day Four :http://wp.me/p165ui-46F
Day Five: http://wp.me/p165ui-47O
AFP – AP – Reuters – BBC
#AceWorldNews says that Niger has turned over a son of the late dictator Moamer Kadhafi to Libyan authorities, Tripoli said Thursday, as a government-allied militia released pictures of him in captivity.
The government said Saadi Kadhafi, who fled across the Sahara desert to Niger during the 2011 uprising that saw rebels capture and kill his father, ending his four-decade dictatorship, was in Libyan custody.
The Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade, a militia made up of former rebels, released five pictures on Facebook of a disconsolate-looking Saadi in a blue jumpsuit getting his head and beard shaved.
He knelt on the floor as his hair was removed by a man wielding an electic razor.
Libya’s government said he would be held in accordance with “international standards regarding the treatment of prisoners”.
Saadi Kadhafi was best known as the head of Libya’s football federation and a player who paid his way into Italy’s top division.
#AceSocialNews says that Facebook is reportedly in talks to take over an American-based aerospace company, and if so the social networking site could soon have its fleet of drones delivering the internet to currently unconnected people across the world.
TechCrunch was the first website to report this week on rumors that Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook is interesting in acquiring Titan Aerospace — a deal that is believed to be worth as much as $60 million.
But while that hefty sum is not exactly chump change, it’s just a fraction of what Facebook has spent on other acquisitions recently: Facebook bought mobile photo app Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock in 2012, and only weeks ago forked over nineteen-times that to acquire the rights to the WhatsApp program.
This time, however, Facebook could be getting its hands on some drones, and ideally harnessing the abilities of those unmanned aerial vehicles to bring the internet to the estimated 2.7 billion people currently without access.
Titan Aerospace is responsible for making near-orbital, solar-powered drones, and TechCrunch says Facebook could be spending millions of dollars to acquire the company and get around 11,000 of those small UAVs in return.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook’s new arsenal would be composed of Titan’s “Solara 60” UAVs, an aircraft that can carry a payload of 250 pounds apiece.
On the Titan website, the company explains that these drones can be used for anything from weather monitoring to disaster recovery to earth imaging, and provides customers with “easy access to real-time high-resolution images of the earth, voice and data services, and other atmospheric-based sensor systems.”
RT – TechCrunch – #ASN2014
#AceWorldNews says that the police in `Montenegro’ fired stun grenades and tear gas at anti-government protesters on Saturday.
Some 20 people were detained as over 300 people marched on the government headquarters in Podgorica, the capital, according to AP.
Those rallying were demanding that the government of the tiny Adriatic Sea state step down, while chanting, “thieves”, and “we demand retirement”.
“Tens of thousands of unemployed, hungry and robbed people should take justice into their own hands!” organizers wrote on their Facebook page.
Protests were allegedly held in solidarity with those which took place in Bosnia earlier this month.
The hackers first claimed to subvert Facebook.com in a tweet published at approximately 6:30 EST. A cursory search of the WHOIS domain registrar indicated that the email address tied to Facebook had indeed been changed to a Syrian Gmail account.
— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) February 5, 2014
The SEA claimed it can change Facebook’s servers but the process had to be abandoned because it was “taking too much time.” The alleged hack did not impact Facebook’s operations.
Half an hour after the SEA tweet, the domain name returned to firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating that Facebook and MarkMonitor – a domain management firm – had rectified the error and prevented any serious impact.
— SyrianElectronicArmy (@Official_SEA16) February 5, 2014
In August 2013, amid US consideration that it would join the ongoing Syrian civil war and attempt to remove Assad from power, the SEA hacked The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and other news entities the hackers perceived to be hostile towards Assad.
The Obama administration announced Monday it had come to an agreement with Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft to allow the companies to disclose some details about the surveillance requests targeting their customers.
Apple released its own transparency report last week.
US Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a joint statement that the tech companies are now authorized to disclose the “number of national security orders and requests issued to communication providers, the number of customer accounts targeted under those orders and requests and the underlying legal authorities.”
The companies have spent months fighting for such a deal after complaining that the National Security Agency dragnet exposed last year had hurt business.
“We filed our lawsuits because we believe that the public has a right to know about the volume and types of national security requests we receive,” the five companies said in a joint statement Monday. “We’re pleased the Department of Justice has agreed that we and other providers can disclose this information. While this is a very positive step we’ll continue to encourage Congress to take additional steps to address all of the reforms we believe are needed.”
Reports indicate that, when the first of the Edward Snowden leaks were publicized in June, the White House was reluctant to make any deals with Silicon Valley. But with media pressure mounting and shifting polls proving that a sizable number of Americans are skeptical about the NSA surveillance, administration officials told Politico the time to negotiate had come.
“While this aggregate data was properly classified until today, the office of the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with other departments and agencies, has determined that the public interest in disclosing this information now outweighs the national security concerns that require its classification,” stated Holder and Clapper.
Facebook’s transparency report for the latter half of 2012 and the first six months of 2013 noted that only a “small fraction” of one percent of its users were the target of any surveillance requests.
LinkedIn received “between 0 and 249” national security-related requests in the first six months of 2013. Over the same time period, Microsoft said it was sent under 1,000 national security letters pertaining to fewer than 1,000 accounts.
However, the government still prohibits companies from disclosing surveillance details about a new product until two years after it was launched, a condition that has irked civil liberties advocates calling for wider change.
Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and the company’s executive vice president for legal and corporate affairs, has said the government agreed to let the companies disclose requests “in bands of a thousand” and only six months after a request was made.
“Asking the public and policymakers to try to judge the appropriateness of the government’s surveillance practices based on a single, combined, rounded number is like asking a doctor to diagnose a patient’s shadow: only the grossest and most obvious problem, if even that, will be ever evident,” Kevin Bankston, policy director at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, told Politico.
British intelligence officials can infiltrate the very cables that transfer information across the internet, as well as monitor users in real-time on sites like Facebook without the company’s consent, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden.
The internal documents reveal that British analysts gave instruction to members of the National Security Agency in 2012, showing them how to spy on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in real-time and collect the computer addresses of billions of the sites’ up-loaders.
The leaked documents are from a #GCHQ publication titled ‘Psychology: A New Kind of SIGDEV’ (Signals Development). Published by NBC News on Monday, the papers detail a program dubbed ‘Squeaky Dolphin,’ which was developed for analysts working in “broad real-time monitoring of online activity.”
Sources told NBC that the British have proven their ability to both directly monitor the world’s web traffic cable and use a third-party to view the data stream and extract information from it.
Representatives from the companies in question said they have not provided any data to the government of the United Kingdom under this program, either voluntarily or involuntarily. One person who wished to remain anonymous said that Google, the company that owns YouTube, was “shocked” to discover the UK may have been “grabbing” data for years.
Previously published disclosures have made it clear that the US and UK are sharing intelligence tactics. The Washington Post reported in October 2013 that the #NSA and #GCHQ collaborated on a program known as MUSCULAR, which the agencies used to record “entire data flows” from Yahoo and Google.
Security officials have consistently maintained that the programs are authorized under the laws of their respective nation and that the surveillance is designed only as a tool for preventing terrorism. Still, the lack of transparency has left civil liberties advocates searching for more answers.
“Governments have no business knowing which YouTube videos everyone in the world is watching,” Chris Soghoian, chief technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union, told NBC. “It’s one thing to spy on a particular person who has done something to warrant a government investigation but governments have no business monitoring the Facebook likes or YouTube views of hundreds of millions of people.”
When members of GCHQ delivered the presentation to NSA officials, they showed the Americans how to carry out the surveillance by extracting information from YouTube, Facebook, and Google’s Blogger service on February 13, 2012 – one day before anti-government protests were to begin in Bahrain.
According to the documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the presenters were careful to mention that the intelligence gathering was not designed to monitor specific targets. “Not interested in individuals just broad trends!” one note reads.
Jason Healey, a former White House official under President George W. Bush, told NBC such activity not only sends a shiver through the public but has also become an impediment for Silicon Valley executives and the thriving social media industry.
“We want our security services to be out there and keeping us safe,” he said, “but we can also look for balance, we can look for limits, especially if we’re putting at risk this most transformative technology since Gutenberg.”
Mikaeel Kular’s family x
Thank you, nearly 2,000 shares of this video on Facebook
When a child of 3-year-old goes missing we all fear the worst, all over the world. This doesn’t happen in Scotland, we don’t have to deal with this. Today we do. But we do together and as one. Same as any community would. I couldn’t go search but my son did. All I could do was sit and type. Now we know the Mother killed her own, what should have been her precious child “Praying4TheDay” Anger comes and we ask God to take Mikaeel and to make sure he is ok. We ask why but we will ever know why Rosdeep Kular did what she did. She will go to Cornton Vale women’s prison till the trial.
In the meantime our thought turn to Mikaeel. His pain is over, he won’t be in pain again, he is in a better place. But I thought all day about doing something but couldn’t as I couldn’t walk. I was one of a few people who put a reward out for information, and I would again. We wanted a headline like “Kid found in Uncles house alive” We never.
The latest protest of the kind led to a shutdown of one of the Rio de Janeiro’s upmarket malls.
Nine thousand people joined the Facebook page of the flash mob. According to the report by local media outlet Terra, the social network deleted the event when it had over 500 people confirmed.
However, only a few dozen took part in the flash mob. The participants held a barbecue outside the mall, set up speakers and danced to the music. One of the protesters was dressed as Batman, and another one as the Joker.
Shopping Leblon, the mall that was shut down, is a center that consists of 200 luxurious boutiques, restaurants and cinemas.
The owners tried to ban the event, fearing violence, but failed. Instead, they closed the mall and left notices on the doors of the mall in Portuguese and English that read, “To ensure the safety and wellbeing of all customers, tenants and employees, Shopping Leblon informs that the center will be exceptionally closed today, 19 January.”
“Looks like we’re bums who want to break the mall,” Fábio Fleck, one of the organizers, told Terra TV. “It is disappointing that we have more police than protesters. We’re not even a movement, just a group of people who met through Facebook.”
President Dilma Rousseff actually organized a meeting of top aides to form a response to the flash mob activity.
It’s not by any means the first time a mall has been targeted. Over the past months, almost a dozen shopping centers were chosen as the place for rolezhinhos. The main features of the activity is that black, poor youths gather in the place that’s usually considered a place for rich, white customers.
The first rolezinho happened at Shopping Itaquera in the suburbs of São Paulo last month. It was staged by fans of Funk Ostentação, a music style that appeared in poor favelas that is about showing off one’s money, flashy cars and expensive drinks.
The phenomenon has many sides to it. On one hand, the teenagers do what normal youths would in a huge shopping center: they hang out and have fun. On the other, the activity has been boosted by police presence, social media coverage. In one case, there were 6,000 people participating.
Plus, despite Brazilians being able to purchase more and more goods and becoming better-off, the country’s general population remains angry at the inequality.
“People in favelas usually only enter malls to work in the shops. The customers are almost all rich, white people,” Hanier Ferrer, a 23-year-old student, told The Guardian.
“The people from the favelas and the periphery want to prove they are just like everyone else. They want a rethink of social relations.”
A man wears a horse mask as he waits outside Leblon shopping mall, where a massive gathering called “rolezinho” was called, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on January 19, 2014 (AFP Photo / Yasuyshi Chiba)
#AceWorldNews says the Indian home affairs minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that the government was planning to put a check on social media sites. He backed the move by alleging “misuse” of social media and hinted they incited riots between Hindu and Muslim communities in Uttar Pradesh in August last year.
The minister made his comments while addressing the launch of a Hindi newspaper in Patna in the north of India, and also said that newspapers face a challenge to uphold honest journalism.
The Federal Customs Service starts implementing tough new rules relating to parcel deliveries – much to the dismay of on-line shoppers; IT experts raise the alarm over a new virus that’s apparently on a mission from God – beginning its cyber attack by demanding money in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Victims may feel the urge to pray if their computers are hit by the malware, which claims to be acting “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” More specifically, the Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Dapato.dggc virus claims to be moved by the last of the three aspects of the Trinity to lock up user’s files.
Recovery is promised in return for a donation, which is allegedly to be spent on church restoration, the Kaspersky Lab antivirus company reported on its corporate blog.
A similar trick is often employed in the non-virtual world by Russian beggars, who dress up as priests and pretend to collect money for church needs.
The Russian-language Trojan is distributed as a .zip archive containing unspecified court documents allegedly intended for the user, Kaspersky Lab said on the blog on Monday.
The hackers behind the spiritual computer sabotage have not been identified. The Russian Orthodox Church has not commented on the allegedly pious malware at the time of publication.
Russia is undergoing an alleged religious revival, with numbers of believers – though not churchgoers – skyrocketing in recent years, according to polls.
Separately, Russia outranked the United States, Germany, China and Poland for the number of cyber-attacks on computers in 2013, Kaspersky Lab reported in December.
#AceMedaiNews says according to #MediaSources the question being asked is ……… did Facebook user Anthony Ditirro like the USA Today Facebook page, or didn’t he? Perhaps the answer will emerge during court proceedings, as the Colorado resident filed a lawsuit against the social network, seeking class-action status, and claiming that Facebook falsified likes for advertising purposes, CNET reported. According to the suit, as reported by CNET, Ditirro appeared in at least one sponsored story, brought to his attention by one of his friends.
#AceFoodNews says this latest post using the unlike button on Facebook can raise awareness according to the post:
by Aaron Taube on Jan 9, 2014, 10:51 AM
For all the time brands spend begging social media users to like and share their latest topical jokes about the weather or the latest television show, marketers themselves are still figuring out how to measure the actual value of these interactions to their companies.
After all, just because I "liked" IHOP’s Facebook post wishing me "A Merry Little Breakfast" doesn’t mean I’m about to ditch out on Christmas morning to grab a Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity combo.
In a refreshing bit a of self-awareness, Burger King’s Norway division made light of the frivolousness of some of these interactions with a campaign that actually encouraged people to "unlike" the brand’s Facebook page.
After discovering that many of its 38,000 Facebook "fans" were posting derogatory messages about its brand or praising arch rival McDonald’s, Burger King Norway chose to weed out these fly-by-night followers.
To do so, it asked Facebook users to choose one of two options: "like" the new Facebook page and declare yourself a "true fan" or accept a coupon for a free Big Mac and be banned from Burger King’s Facebook page forever.
Here’s what happened next, as told by DIST Creative, the Oslo ad agency that created the "Whopper Sell-Out" campaign:
Burger King Norway gave away all 1,000 of its Big Macs within a week and lost about 30,000 Facebook fans from the stunt.
However, DIST Creative reports that the new Facebook page wound up with 8,481 loyal followers, who engage with the brand five times as much as users did on the old page. And Burger King got additional free advertising every time someone accepted the Big Mac and declared themselves a "Whopper Sell-Out" on their Facebook page.
And yet, for all of the creativity of its Norwegian brethren, Burger King’s U.S. page continues to go about engaging its disloyal "fans" the same way it always has.
Speaking of Burger King’s Facebook pages: Remember the time it started calling itself "Fries King"?
This transmission is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain sensitive or protectively marked material up to RESTRICTED and should be handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it to anyone else. If you have received this transmission in error please notify the sender immediately.
#AceSocialNews says “Absolutely agree with your post and l was told years ago – nobody does something for nothing ” In social media circles never a truer word has been spoken #facebook
Originally posted on Fellowship of the Minds:
We’ve all heard the saying. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” As a follower of Christ, I don’t take such a dark view. But it stands to reason that something as huge as Facebook or Google might be attracting capital from people with less than altruistic motives. And then, when they “go public”, they are pressured more openly to show a strategy of monetization. It’s at that moment that such warm and fuzzy organizations are forced to take their masks…
View original 1 more word
Originally posted on Peace and Freedom:
Image from beta.syriadeeply.org
Syrian computer hacker conglomerate, the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), has kicked off the New Year with a number of cyber-attacks, compromising Skype’s Twitter, Facebook accounts, and its official blog.
Social media accounts belonging to Skype, Microsoft’s voice-over-IP service, were hacked around 19:30 GMT. SEA posted on Skype’s Twitter account a rogue message saying “Stop spying on people! via Syrian Electronic Army.” The hacker group also urged people not to use Microsoft accounts because the company is “selling the data to the governments.”
SEA later re-tweeted the message using its own twitter page.
A similar message was posted on Skype’s Facebook page, but was quickly deleted, according to TheNextWeb. The link to it, which the SEA posted on its Twitter account, leads to a removed page.
Attacks were also generated on Skype’s official blog with posts calling on the US to…
View original 437 more words
With attacks being on the rise, Facebook is often targeted by hackers for the information it possesses. Users rely on Facebook to maintain their privacy to the best of Facebook’s ability.
FB responded that: “If you don’t have friends on Facebook and send a friend request to someone who’s chosen to hide their complete friend list from their timeline, you may see some friend suggestions that are also friends of theirs. But you have no way of knowing if the suggestions you see represent someone’s complete friend list.” However, research of this issue has shown that most of the friends list, often hundreds of friends, is available to the attacker. In any case, even a partial friends list is a violation of user-chosen privacy controls.
Since this vulnerability renders the privacy control to hide friend’s lists from other users irrelevant, we hope Facebook will change its mind and this flaw will be addressed.
Thanks goes to Irene Abezgauz, VP Product Management at Quotium and Seeker Research Centre Leader who is credited with the discovery of this vulnerability.
#AceNewsServices says according Nicholas Carson of Business Insider It has been a less profitable holiday season for many on-line retailers thanks to a small change Facebook made to how the site works.
On December 2, Facebook published a post on its official blog announcing that it had made a small change to the algorithm that determines what users see on the News Feed — that center column of status updates, news stories, and photos you see when you go to Facebook.com or open a Facebook app.
In the blog post, Facebook said it was tweaking the algorithm to favor more "high quality" news stories — articles that surveyed Facebook users say they prefer over funny photos and the like.
At first, Facebook-watchers took the company at its word, and assumed the tweak would only harm meme-oriented publications like Viral Nova and Upworthy get from the News Feed.
And maybe Viral Nova and Upworthy have been hosed by the change.
But, if so, they aren’t the only big losers.
So are a whole class of retailers.
Over the past five years, retail companies big and small spent a lot of time and money over building up their visibility on Facebook. They built up "Brand Pages" on Facebook, and attracted attention to them with a constant stream of posts. They put on contests. They hired "social media marketing" firms. Some companies began selling products directly through these Facebook posts.
These on-line retailers did all this with the full support and encouragement of Facebook, which was eager to show the world Facebook.com and Facebook apps are a place where consumers want to shop.
Facebook allowed these brands to set up their pages and reach out to the Facebook users who "liked" them for free. And, by November 2013, many of them had the Facebook News Feed into a source of actual, high-margin revenues.
Then came December 2, 2013, the day Facebook made its change to the News Feed. Suddenly, all that work went for naught.
It turns out the News Feed tweak did more than just highlight "high quality" news stories. It also totally buried posts from retailers on Facebook.
A source from one retailer told us that her company’s "reach" on Facebook declined 40% to 50% after the change. Another source from a different online retailer said that since Facebook’s change, her company’s posts are getting seen by an 80% smaller audience.
We asked several sources close to e-commerce companies about this trend, and almost all said they’d seen the same pattern.
(These companies asked us not to reveal their names because they have working relationships with Facebook, and don’t want to reveal internal metrics.)
All the retailers we spoke to emphasized that their actual sales have not declined since Facebook made the change. But each said they’ve only been able to maintain sales by increasing the amount of money they spend on Facebook ads.
One source at a retailer said: "Our overall traffic from FB is up due to our paid activity, while our "organic" traffic from Facebook has been consistently going down."
Retailers aren’t the only ones getting hosed by Facebook’s change. Pretty much all corporate Facebook Fan Pages are getting less play in the News Feed since the change. That means lots of social media marketing agencies that manage how big brands present themselves on social media now have to explain to their clients why their bills are going up.
On some level, you have to admire what Facebook has done here. It spent years making itself a free and easy place for business to market themselves or sell actual products. Then, as soon as these businesses grew addicted to Facebook’s users, Facebook began charging for access to them.
This transmission is intended for the named addressee(s) only and may contain sensitive or protectively marked material up to RESTRICTED and should be handled accordingly. Unless you are the named addressee (or authorised to receive it for the addressee) you may not copy or use it, or disclose it to anyone else. If you have received this transmission in error please notify the sender immediately.
#AceSecurityNews says with all the recent news about Prism and as this video by “Info-Wars” confirms the data we though we once owned, our personal private data has now become the most prized possession ever! Once called the “Word of God” prior to the fall of Adam and his mate ,then to be corrupted by man for generations, from lies to absolute corruption of our very lives! As with the advent of the “Worldwide Web“ we could shared everything, and spread our corruption to the very corners of the globe, eventually becoming like “God’s Knowing Good and Evil” – though we were only at the “Beginning of the End” there was still a lot more to come.
Though little was known about how such a simple and harmless act of sharing would one day lead ,to the advent of “Social Media” and this was the next step of the downfall of mankind. As everyone never saw it coming but was sucked into the web of sharing not knowing or even caring where their data ended up.
Seeing an “Eye to a Main Chance” or an eventual way to make money, it was then “Social Media” hit our lives and everyone was led down the path of having a “Facebook Page” and sharing their very lives, from their most intimate secrets to their likes and dislikes. We were told the data could be protected just by adding the word private in our settings, our emails would not be shared with anyone and all our photographs were still ours. Others saw the benefit of “Sharing“ but it was not the “Social Media” companies that were sharing anything ,it was us. Oh yes the
Facebook, Twitter and Google media site’s were indeed classed as “Free” but the meaning of “Free” was being distorted and altered. As upgrade, by upgrade until we were all sucked into the world of ” Thinking We Were Protected” but all the time “Data Mining Companies” such as “Prism and Palantir” waited in the wings, like a devil on horseback ready to ride in and claim our data as their “Right” all under the new name of “Protecting Our National Interest” and these companies with their massive mainframes bulging with all that data, we so easily shared ,archived and saved in our “Now” – Not So Personal Settings were being “Mined” for every tiny morsel of information about Who, we were and What we do and How we do it, passing these titbits for a few ” Silver Coins” like “Judas Iscariot” selling-out “Jesus”for 30 pieces of silver, to the Romans for his eventually crucifixion.
Though this time it was not his crucifixion we had to witness but it would eventually be ours ,our want to have everything, to pay for everything through companies such as PayPal who would sell us out to the highest bidder or better still to watch the CIA provide the “Venture Capital” to fund these “Data Mining Companies” now with the latest reason being renamed ” National Security” and so an agency was formed called the #NSA to collate and log all our data and strip it clean. This agency would become able to use our “Data” to find our everything ,from our shopping habits, to our preferences at the next election. Of course “Social Media” companies had allowed this to happen as their pay off their 30 pieces of silver would be they could increase their coffers, with ad revenue and increased ad revenue would mean more sales ,meaning more income and more income would mean bigger and bigger sites, able to mine more information.
No longer was our “Private Data” as the companies paid had given it away to “Security Companies” and had sold their “Souls To The Devil” all in the name of “Looking After Number One” and increasing their revenue by selling us out to the highest bidder.
#AceGuestNews says this was provided by a guest and colleague who sends items to us on a regular basis, and asks should we like to feature the post. So we are pleased to give him a platform to air his article across our network .Hope you enjoy and please comment. Thanks, Editor.
“A Good Patent is Good, a Great Lawyer is Even Better”
“It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.” – Bilbo, “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” New Line Cinema, 2001
A friend and his partners recently received the first of three patents after more than three years.
Maybe in the next 12 months they’ll get the other two.
It’s a great concept and I’d tell you more but then I’d have to ….
Patents are vital to keep innovation and competition moving forward.
If you didn’t have some protection – personal and/or company – why pour all the brainpower, time, effort, money into an idea just to have someone rip you off?
We get it!
When companies get strapped for money, they often sell their patents to other companies.
Kodak sold about thousand of their patents to a pool formed by Google, Facebook, Samsung and Apple for $527M.
Oh, also in on the deal were Intellectual ventures and RPX (remember these names).
Patents have always been used and abused as protection and clubs.
But things went wild when folks started getting software patents in the early ‘60s.
In the late ‘90s things took off.
Folks were getting patents for any concept or “what if” idea they could articulate in the filing – usually so broad you could drive a semi through sideways.
As Elrond commented, “I was there the day the strength of Men failed.”
Obviously, the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) didn’t have a clue about software (few normal people do!) so they signed off on almost anything.
While Al Gore said, “I took the initiative in creating the Internet,” he didn’t claim (as is widely asserted) he invented it and he didn’t try to patent it.
Tim Bernes-Lee is widely credited with inventing the Web, but a firm called Eolas owned a patent covering the “interactive Web.”
Eolas took millions from companies with the patent that was later invalidated.
Patents like that never should have been filed or granted because of prior art (evidence the key concepts were widely known before folks even filed).
The flow of vague patents created a new and very profitable ying/yang industry – patent licensing firms and patent assertion entities (PAEs).
The latter are more commonly known by their less attractive name, patent trolls.
As Gimli said, “Never trust an Elf!”
Trolling – People who manage patents or have purchased tons of software patents may not necessarily be Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) or more commonly known as patent trolls. However, if they spend most of their time sending out threat letters, being abusive on the phone (especially with a Texas drawl) then look out.
PAEs/trolls span the spectrum:
- Legal shell companies that shotgun letters to businesses claiming infringement, demanding payment
- Firms like Intellectual Ventures (remember the Kodak patent sale) which buy technology patents, assemble large portfolios and generate licensing payments that run into the millions of dollars
- Firms that license patents on behalf of others, hammering out reasonable agreements like talent agents
According to Eugene R. Quinn Jr., patent attorney with Zeis Widerman & Malek and founder of IP-Watchdog, the best business to be in is being a patent troll. The number of suits have doubled in recent years to 4,73l cases in 2012 from 2,304 in 2009 and the cost – to the firms and consumers who must ultimately pay the costs – has been tremendous.
Filing Growth – While even PAE lawsuits were down during the past recession, they recovered rapidly–faster than the national economy. But instead of quietly settling, a growing number of firms are joining forces to fight the frivolous suits.
The annual payouts for PAE lawsuits were estimated to be $29B in 2011. Only a fraction ($6B) went to the actual inventors.
Well yeah!! Lawyers and troll expenses including overhead, marketing, profits.
Most of the time, trolls go after small to medium-size businesses like in 2011, when a troll firm targeted coffee shops for setting up Wi-Fi networks for customers, “suggesting” they pay a licensing fee of $5-$20,000 (far less than going to court).
Hey, you’re guilty until you prove yourself innocent!!
Big Targets – PAEs with questionable software patents are not afraid of taking on industry giants, especially when the patents are so ambiguous about possibly have a touch of validity. In addition, if their claims are “small” enough — $10,000 to $50,000, many organizations justify the payments as being less than the cost of a long trial with judges and juries ill-equipped to address the issues.
Of course, they are equal opportunity suers, litigators.
After all, trolls can’t be sued for patent infringement because they don’t make anything … just lawsuits.
The PAEs usually have a complex shell company structure that is almost impossible to penetrate so it’s hard to figure out who’s doing what and where the money goes.
Apple is not only more popular than Coke, they (and unfortunately, their partners) are also popular with the trolls.
IPNav, for example – an ultra active PAE, has sued more than 1,600 companies in the United States.
Bilbo saw what IPNav had done and said, “Gracious, you have been productive.”
“Aggressive” – Some of the most aggressive PAEs are firms that if you’re fortunate you’ve never heard of – and we hope you never do. The software patents issued in the early ‘90s were so vague that they could cover web sites, the Internet and almost anything. The key for successful litigation is to find a friendly or unscrupulous judge and sue away.
The overachiever has lawsuits pending with almost everyone in the industry including, Google, Hitachi and Adobe.
Or take lowly little Lodsys that bought a patent in 2011 and went after iPhone app developers. Lodsys has sued about 200 end-users as well as developers and claims 500 firms have paid for its vague patents.
And Lodsys has a sweet deal down there in Marshall, Tx.
They can’t get US District Judge Leonard Davis since his son “Bo” Davis is Lodsys’ lawyer so the cases get redirected to the other Judge in the East Texas town … Gilstrap.
Those Californicator lawyers are not going to ’ slip anything past this boy!!!
Today, the Patent Office does a much better job of insisting software-patent applicants be specific.
However, between 500,000 and a million software patents have been granted – some valid, some questionable.
The legal system provides incentives’ for firms to pay the trolls to go away rather than prove the patents invalid.
Increasingly though, firms like Rackspace, Martha Stewart, Apple, many more (large and small) are returning fire.
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is taking a closer look at PAEs that spend most of their time in court, i.e., if they accounted for more than 60 percent of the 4,000 patent lawsuits filed in last year.
Bilbo explained the FTC’s objectives, “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
Highly successful patent trolls, Intellectual Ventures, insists their business model actually helps inventors and many of their clients who have received payments agree.
Adam Mossoff, law professor at George Mason University, says the PAEs are licensing firms practicing their property rights and their purpose isn’t to file lawsuits but license patents.
But even if someone can straighten out the U.S. patent system, there are new issues on the horizon because The EU is working on a unified patent court system.
Firms like Google, Apple, Microsoft and hordes of others that have spent millions defending themselves, have nightmares that Europe could become a similar battleground.
Kevin Mooney, British patent lawyer and chairman of the EU court system drafting committee, doesn’t see a major problem, “It would be nonsense if we allowed one court, Romania perhaps, to become the Eastern District of Texas.”
Thanks to Gilstrap; Marshal, Tx is known worldwide!!!!
End ‘Em All
Of course, there’s the other extreme that want to put an end to software patents. That’s tough to do because software, good software, does so much for us that the innovation and developer have to be protected/compensated.
As Boromir said, “I ask only for the strength to defend my people!”
With software there’s black, white and a thousand shades of grey.
If you get slapped with a suit – any large/small firm can – experts say to fight back, get support from others that have been targeted.
Oh yeah…stay outta’ Marshall, Texas!
#AceWorldNews says thanks for comment and have RB’d your post across my network, it will hit Facebook and 7 other Twitter Sites, hope that helps to spread awareness. Need any help in the future let me know, and you send me a guest post ,have also liked #SaveTheLittleAmbassador
Regards, Ian [Editor and Owner - Ace News Group]
Originally posted on Protect the Little Ambassador Ariana--Leilani:
Vienna, 20 November 2012 (UNODC) – On United Nations Universal Children’s Day the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for the Victims of Human Trafficking issued the following statement:
“The date, 20th November marks the day on which both the Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1959), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) were adopted by the General Assembly. In observance of the 23rd anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child of the United Nations, the trustees of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking, in particular women and children, would like to call for a targeted and immediate response to the plight of millions of children around the world who are still denied their fundamental rights and are prevented from…
View original 417 more words
This is a good friend of mine on Facebook who runs a group and l thought that people would be interested in this post and video. #Must-Watch
Finally found the whole documentary!!!
Readers: This is the first of my guest related news posts that will be added on a regular basis to our news site, this is not always our view of the news or opinion of the writers posts ,but we will be featuring various articles of interest as they are sent to our news-desk. Should you have anything of interest, please post it on an available link as this was and we will be pleased to feature them accordingly. Providing they comply with our “Terms and Conditions of Service” A copy of which will be supplied upon request!
Regards, Editor – Ace News Group
The NSA (National Security Agency) isn’t good enough to be that bad. You try to hire 10,000 +/- highly trained cyber trackers. About as easy as hiring 10,000 professional airport security folks. So don’t wring your hands over how much they know about you. It could be worse. They could know what they’re doing. They just need a better name, a better charter for existence, a better pitch. We came up with the solution to all the complaining. When it is done, they’ll be your BFF (Best Friend Forever).
Of course if you want to share this with others, GREAT!!!
NSA Just Needs a Better Name, New Service Offerings
“Okay, now your servers are down because of a power surge, a grid malfunction, or maybe even a bomb. Now, if the intruder tries to reboot your servers or access the data, he’ll always hit this screen.” – Max Peterson, “The Echelon Conspiracy,” Dark Castle Entertainment, 2009
They’re scrounging through all the information that just happens to pass their way to find something of interest, something useful.
Okay, they’re a little different because they don’t sell the information to the highest bidder. They store the stuff for later when they can figure out what to do with it.
Yes, they do have a broader area to search; but then, they aren’t in it just for the money.
For that matter, they aren’t doing much more than every government in every country is doing.
In London, it’s estimated that Brits are captured on photos and video 300 times a day by cameras mounted throughout the city. Their intelligence service even got so creative as to monitor dumpsters, but that came to an end.
It wasn’t because citizens promised to do a better job of recycling; someone just determined it was a really dumb idea.
Mossad, MI5, Italy’s P2, India’s IB, Russia’s RAW, Japan’s PSIA, China’s MSS and their brethren around the globe constantly monitor and analyze communications, internal and external.
Oh heck face it all of the governmental “legal” agencies are there to catch the bad guys/gals and keep you on the straight-and-narrow.
You, not them!
They usually follow Raymond Burke’s advice, “Don’t get caught.”
Weather Plus – Thousands of satellites circle the globe constantly to check the weather and other things like the volumes of communications that are being constantly sent by people through service providers and sites. They help minimize malware infection and other problems. The automated systems and their managers just hate it when you encrypt the files/communications.
If you think the U.S.’s anti-terrorism laws give agencies like the NSA too much freedom to search online files … think again.
In today’s environment, all of these protection organizations occasionally get carried away with their work.
It isn’t hard for them to repeat what Max Peterson said, “Relax, I’m a professional.”
Just remember, they went from zero to 10,000ish big data researchers/analysts in 3-6 months much like the TSA (Transportation Security Agency) went from zero to 10,000ish highly trained travel protection agents in 30-90 days.
On the other hand, it isn’t as though people make it very difficult for them.
iNet Minute – People love how online services enable them to communicate with folks around the world and, more importantly, talk about themselves on a growing number of social media sites. The web has become such a popular means of expression that it has become a fire hose of documents, data, information.
True, I’m really not that into your hourly Facebook posts/Likes/dislikes, daily Linked professional conquests, minute-by-minute Tweets or any of the other free-to-express-yourself social media activities that are available to all of us.
Police agencies have found some folks postings very interesting.
Divorce lawyers love it when the guy (or gal) brags about his/her “outside activity.”
In other words, some folks just can’t express themselves enough!
That’s what got agent Grant fired when he posted on his boss’ Facebook page, “I’m impressed. I always thought you were a little stupid.”
Share, Share Alike – Pre-teens, teens and Gen Yers who grew up on the iNet/web simply feel that sharing most or all of their information is just practical and logical. The open communications has spread to almost every generation and nationality.
It’s interesting that a number of social media research reports have found that a large number of people felt that what they posted on social media sites or put up in the soft, puffy cloud was not admissible in court and could not be used against them.
It can … it is!
Actually, the NSA and security folks don’t grab all of that stuff out of the clouds.
No, they go to where all that information rests – the data centers where it’s stored.
Knock on the door and …
Storage in the Cloud – While people always refer to storing their stuff in the cloud, they need to also understand that the cloud storage facility is a real building. These silos of documents, information, images/photos are where social media services and other organizations store and mine all the best possible data.
All those data centers poke into the cloud but are firmly planted on the ground around the globe.
They won’t tell you exactly where the cloud storage facility is located, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to find them.
Just look for places where there is ample, cheap power and favorable taxes and BAM!
The really big data centers need huge amounts of power to run the servers/storage and keep them cool.
All of the shared information creates a terrific strain on the computers, SSDs and hard drives to store and share your stuff.
None of that was something the NSA had expected or knew how to deal with.
Overblown – Like a tidal wave of dust sweeping across the plains, the NSA receives more information, more content, more stuff than any person, any machine could sift through and scrutinize. The best thing they can do is stream it to hard drives and store them deep in a mountain until they have a free moment. Until then, they glance at less than .00004 percent of the world’s iNet traffic.
Right now, they store the stuff on HDs and ship them to a mountain cave until they can figure out what to do with the stuff they might use … some day.
So what they really need is a better name, a better mission statement.
The new name? National Storage Agency (won’t have to change the initials on their coffee cups).
Then pitch themselves as the country’s corporate and personal storage service and add a service that will have people standing in line around the block – free, automatic backup of your devices/drives.
Most folks don’t backup their drives until it’s too late. Their new free service will automate/handle the job for you.
They could say they are only following Max Peterson’s guidance, “Oh yes, just in case.”
Then, they can contract with the social media and online storage companies to hold all the stuff for you … and them.
The NSA is no longer an electronic spying operation. And the cloud companies that do the best job of storing, finding, retrieving information about you will give them huge government contracts.
Everyone wins … problem solved!
All they have to do is remember what Max Peterson told them, “This is your BIOS-level password. Without it, nothing works in this room.”
Oh heck, put it on a Post-It on your monitor like everyone else!
Here’s the link (you may have to copy/strip in or ping us) – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SyZFTkqQGxHGPdAGshwc6g0aqlW_wNIJxi2E3UoQyA4/edit?usp=sharing
Use it as you want with or without attribution.
Just months after Edward Snowden controversially lifted the lid on digital surveillance being conducted by the U.S. and other governments, the issue of on-line privacy is back in the spotlight.
Earlier this month Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed concern that users’ trust in internet companies had been damaged by the revelations. Google’s Eric Schmidt also called for greater transparency from the U.S. government over surveillance.
Sang Mun’s response was more direct — the Korean designer has created four new fonts called ZXX that aim to disrupt the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems used by Google and others to analyze text.http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/30/tech/web/nsa-contractor-surveillance-proof-font/
Is he or is he not in this country or that! Well for the past few days l have been travelling here and there gathering as much information as possible, about my now virtual friend Edward, his real name!
As I for one admire anyone that stands up for what they believe, and what they really feel is right to say,print or in his case release to the populace! In this case of he told us he no longer could agree to keep quiet, as what he knew was that the US Government was quietly in the shadows,stealing our information and using it to spy on our activities!
Oh l know people deny this really matters and officials of the NSA say it is mostly all binned! But as numerous people say it is just not the 90% of the information on the internet that is dangerous, but it is the 1% that is truly evil!
So when we have innocently signed up to Facebook, Twitter or other sites and typed in our private information, did we truly know how it would be used, now or in the future?
Remember what we put on-line is a snapshot of our lives, like it or not one it is there is is there in some form or another, forever!
The Washington Post and The Guardian have revealed a US government mass Internet surveillance program code-named “PRISM”. They report that the NSA and the FBI have been tapping directly into the servers of nine US service providers, including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Yahoo, YouTube, AOL and Skype, and began this surveillance program at least seven years ago. (clarifying slides)
These revelations are shaking up an international debate.
Start Page has always been very outspoken when it comes to protecting people’s privacy and civil liberties. So it won’t surprise you that we are a strong opponent of overreaching, unaccountable spy programs like PRISM. In the past, even government surveillance programs that were begun with good intentions have become tools for abuse, for example tracking civil rights and anti-war protesters.
Programs like PRISM undermine our Privacy, disrupt faith in governments, and are a danger to the free Internet.
StartPage and its sister search engine Ixquick have in their 14-year history never provided a single byte of user data to the US government, or any other government or agency. Not under PRISM, nor under any other program in the US, nor under any program anywhere in the world. We are not like Yahoo, Facebook, Google, Apple, Skype, or the other US companies who got caught up in the web of PRISM surveillance.
Here’s how we are different:
StartPage does not store any user data. We make this perfectly clear to everyone, including any governmental agencies. We do not record the IP addresses of our users and we don’t use tracking cookies, so there is literally no data about you on our servers to access. Since we don’t even know who our customers are, we can’t share anything with Big Brother. In fact, we’ve never gotten even a single request from a governmental authority to supply user data in the fourteen years we’ve been in business.
StartPage uses encryption (HTTPS) by default. Encryption prevents snooping. Your searches are encrypted, so others can’t “tap” the Internet connection to snoop what you’re searching for. This combination of not storing data together with using strong encryption for the connections is key in protecting your Privacy.
Our company is based in The Netherlands, Europe. US jurisdiction does not apply to us, at least not directly. Any request or demand from ANY government (including the US) to deliver user data, will be thoroughly checked by our lawyers, and we will not comply unless the law which actually applies to us would undeniably require it from us. And even in that hypothetical situation, we refer to our first point; we don’t even have any user data to give. We will never cooperate with voluntary spying programs like PRISM.
StartPage cannot be forced to start spying. Given the strong protection of the Right to Privacy in Europe , European governments cannot just start forcing service providers like us to implement a blanket spying program on their users. And if that ever changed, we would fight this to the end.
It’s not just our policy – it’s our business.
Robert E.G. Beens
CEO StartPage.com and Ixquick.com