About My Blog.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Understanding The Cyberharassment Problem
Cyberstalking and cyberharassment are similar. Most people use them interchangeably, but there is a subtle distinction, typically relating to the perpetrator's intent and the original motivation for their behavior. While the two situations usually involve many of the same online tactics, cyberstalking is almost always characterized by the stalker relentlessly pursuing his or her victim online and is much more likely to include some form of offline attack, as well. This offline aspect makes it a more serious situation as it can easily lead to dangerous physical contact if the victim's location is known.
Cyberstalkers are often driven by revenge, hate, anger, jealousy, obsession, and mental illness. While a cyberharasser may be motivated by some of these same feelings, often the harassment is driven by the desire to frighten or embarrass the harassment victim. Sometimes the harasser intends to teach the victim a lesson in netiquette or political correctness (from the harasser's point of view). Often the cyberharassment victim is merely in the wrong place at the wrong time, or has made a comment or expressed an opinion that the cyberharasser dislikes. We've even seen cases where the victim is being targeted because they're the first ones the cyberharasser encounters when they are in a "bad mood."
The harasser may post comments intended to cause distress to the victim, or make them the subject of harassment by others. They may send a constant stream of E-mails and instant messages to their victims or a victim's co-workers, friends, or family. They may pose as the victim and post offensive comments or send offensive messages in their name. They may send hateful or provocative communications to the victim's boss, family, or significant other (in their own name or posing as the victim). Often the victim's computer is hacked or their E-mail accounts are broken-into by the cyberstalker or harasser and taken over entirely, or the password is changed and the victim locked out of their own accounts. The victim may be signed up for spam, porn sites, and questionable offers.
The laws tend to lump the two types of cybercrimes together. For the purposes of this guide, other than when there is a legal distinction, both cyberstalking and harassment are discussed under the heading cyberstalking. While at least 46 states in the United States have various types of cyberstalking or harassment laws on the books, there is no U.S. federal cyberstalking or harassment law (except when children under 16 are involved and being targeted for sexual harassment). Many Western European countries have cyberstalking or harassment laws, but they're the exception rather than the rule. Few Asian countries have cyberstalking or harassment laws.
Often the victims of cyberstalking and cyberharassment are limited to civil litigation (suing the stalker or harassment) or reporting the cyberstalker or harasser to their ISP and trying to get their accounts revoked, or Web sites shut down. (WiredSafety's WiredPatrol Cyberstalking and Harassment Team has been successful in having accounts revoked and Web sites shut down under these circumstances.)
Cyberstalking and harassment also frequently occur in the workplace, either because the perpetrator is unhappy with management or a fellow worker, or because they've been fired or not hired in the first place. Many cases occur when an employee feels they've been passed over for a promotion or raise, or denied a vacation, personal day, or other perk. We've also seen situations where a business or employees acting on its behalf (with or without approval) have targeted a competitor or its employees. These are typically treated as commercial crimes and are often the subject of litigation between the competitors. It may also become the basis for regulatory agency actions such as securities market regulators and trade or consumer commissions like the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, or state consumer protection agencies in the United States.
There are three different kinds of cyberstalking situations:
- Online cyberstalking and harassment that stays online;
- Online harassment and stalking that ventures offline or encourages offline actions; and
- Offline stalking or harassment that moves online.
Cyberstalking occurs more often with women as the victim, although that's gradually changing. Our most recent surveys at WiredSafety.org disclose that men are being cyberstalked and harassed more frequently by women than ever before.
Typically, the cyberharasser feels empowered by the perceived anonymity online. They feel they can hide behind their monitor. But most people leave a trail of cyberbreadcrumbs behind them online. Learning how to read an E-mail header is a good place to start stripping your stalker or harasser of their perceived anonymity. (WiredSafety.org's classes include one on reading a header, which can be found at WiredEd .)
Most cyberstalking victims know their stalkers in real life. They may be co-workers, former spouses, or frustrated suitors whose advances were ignored or rejected. They also could be fans or groupies, especially when a cyber-celebrity or well-known chat room or discussion board leader is involved. Cyberdating and online flirtations can be fertile grounds for cyberstalking, and are often a catalyst, especially when the relationship doesn't progress as anticipated by the stalker.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The iPod Is Dead. Long Live the iPod
Traditional versions of the iconic device are a thing of the past, but future iterations will have a long and vibrant future.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
I was recently cleaning out a closet and came across an interesting artifact: my first iPod.
It was nearly eight years ago that I was among the very first people in New York City to carry around the first-generation iPod. About the size of a pack of cigarettes, it was advertised with the tagline "A thousand songs in your pocket." I can even remember the song used in the first TV spot: Take California by The Propellerheads.
|More from BusinessWeek.com:|
• Apple Makes Nice With Music Labels
• Apple: Augur of Recovery?
• Best New iPhone Apps
Since then, I've upgraded to a 2007 model boasting a 160-gigabyte hard drive that makes holding a mere thousand songs seem quaint. Before long, I will no doubt be waxing nostalgic about this music player as well—one that, at not even half full, holds 5,231 songs, 141 videos, and 228 podcasts.
First Quarterly Drop in iPod Sales
The iPod as many of us have known it is on the wane and giving way to a more feature-rich family of devices that in time will bear little resemblance to the trailblazing digital music players that helped Apple capture 70% of the North American market. Evidence of the iPod's decline came July 21, when Apple disclosed its first quarterly decline in iPods sold. In the three months ended in June, Apple (AAPL) sold 10.2 million iPods, versus 11 million a year earlier.
Anticipation of the drop-off is "one of the original reasons" Apple developed the iPhone and the WiFi-enabled iPod touch, Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said on a July 21 conference call with analysts. Apple is prepared for lower sales of what it calls "pocket products:" the iPod shuffle, nano, and classic.
|More from Yahoo! Finance:|
• How Much Does Your iPhone, Xbox Really Cost?
• 8 Dumbest iPhone Apps
• Battle of the Netbooks
Visit the Family & Home Center
At the same time, the iPod business "will last for many, many years," Apple believes. The company has good reason to want to extend the life of a product line that's generated $38 billion on sales of 218 million units, catapulting Apple ahead of SanDisk (SNDK), Microsoft (MSFT), Toshiba (6502.T), and others.
Flash Memory Is Cheaper
What will iPod's next generation look like? Most of Apple's energy is going to be devoted to the iPod touch, the most advanced and versatile version of the iPod.
My prediction is that one of the first casualties of Apple's emphasis will be the hard drive-based iPod classic. Flash memory is cheaper, consumes less power, and resists abuse better than hard drives, so future high-capacity iPods will most likely be based on flash.
I'm also betting those high-capacity models will look more like the iPod touch, and less like my iPod classic. If history is any judge, Apple will revise its iPod lineup in September, as it has every year since 2005.
A Mic Would Broaden Appeal
Besides a refresh of the iPod nano (it's been revised every fall since its introduction), you can also expect a more advanced version of the iPod touch. The next touch will come with 64GB of flash memory.
And since it runs virtually all of the same applications that the iPhone does, then it stands to reason that the touch will starting taking on more hardware features to accommodate applications. Aside from music and video, it's now already marketed as a handheld gaming machine, a communications device, and a handheld Web device. In a limited way it can even be used for navigation.
Over time, the touch will do even more. Consider its appeal if Apple were to add a microphone that lets you make calls on Skype (EBAY) or other Internet-calling services, without the need for the awkward headset that's required for such calls now.
You could talk on it as if it were an iPhone, and the mic would put in double duty for simple audio recordings like meetings, lectures, and voice memos.
How About a Camera?
The touch should really have a camera, too. And is there any reason why that camera can't be better than the one in the iPhone? The latest iPhone 3GS sports a 3-megapixel camera sensor, while the latest phones from Nokia (NOK) have an 8-megapixel sensor. Apple could split the difference and give the touch a 5- or 6-megapixel sensor, giving it the ability to take really gorgeous pictures.
And if the touch has a camera, then it should support video. All that added memory leaves plenty of room for clips, and the Wi-Fi connection makes it easy to send them directly to YouTube (GOOG) and other video-sharing sites. And while Apple has resisted adding memory-card slots to its handhelds in the past, now that the Mac has a slot for SD memory cards, is there any reason the iPod touch (and for that matter a future model of the iPhone) can't have a slot for Mini-SD cards for added storage capacity?
While we're wish-listing, why should the iPhone be the only device in Apple's lineup that can help you get from one place to another? Why not add a GPS chipset, and let the iPod touch become a full-fledged personal navigation device? The touch's limited navigation features currently only work when Wi-Fi is present. This is fine when you're in a city, but no help when you're on the road. With excellent personal navigation devices from Garmin (GRMN) and TomTom (TOM2.AS) selling for as low as $120—more than $100 below the entry-level touch—why consider navigation a premium, iPhone-only feature?
However Apple answers that question, what's clear is that traditional versions of the device are a thing of the past—and future iterations will have a long and vibrant future.
Hesseldahl is a reporter for BusinessWeek.com.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
With over 250 million users, Facebook is a social networking behemoth. The site is host to thousands of celebrity fan pages and has been taking steps to make these more appealing to self-promoters.
On Saturday Bill Gates revealed that he’s not a Facebook user, and many other famous names are notably absent from the site. Which leads us to wonder…what might those pages look like? Fortunately, some of the web’s most creative minds had the exact same thought, and below we bring you the very best fake FacebookFacebook pages.
Click through to the sites to see the pages in full size and quality. (note from me: trust me, click on the images. It's worth seeing them in full!)
1. Barack Obama’s News Feed: First 100 Days (Slate)
In April, Slate came up with a highly original way to recap Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office: a parody Facebook feed marking the key events. For those who remember that far back, the creation offers a light-hearted take on the course of the Administration.
2. Hitler’s Facebook (Banterist)
This one goes way back…to a posting on a satire blog in December 2007. Banterist (aka humorist Brian Sack) imagined what it might have been like if Hitler had a news feed. Bizarrely, the concept of Hitler posting funny videos and playing Scrabulous is more amusing that the parody of real world events.
3. Steve Jobs’ Facebook (PC World)
From a taunt directed at Bill Gates to his friendship with “Every Celebrity in Hollywood”, PC World took a friendly poke at Apple’s Steve Jobs, with plenty of zingers thrown in.
4. The Facebook of Genesis (College Humor)
Back in November 2008, comedy site College Humor turned Genesis into a Facebook feed, with hilarious results. The re-telling of the creation story is good-naturedly irreverent and is sure to serve up a few chuckles.
5. Satan’s Facebook (PC World)
From a provocative friend’s list to the subtle use of “the number of the beast”, PC World outdid themselves with this fictional Facebook page for the Antichrist himself.
Recommended Facebook Fakers
Still not gotten your fill of Facebook fakes? There are many more great Facebook page parodies that didn’t make the list:
1. PC World’s “Facebook Pages We’d Like to See“ – You’ll notice two of the above images are from PC World. That’s because, as we discovered today, PC World created a set of 9 hilarious “fake Facebooks” for April Fools Day 2009. Those not highlighted here include Elvis, William Shakespeare and Andy Warhol.
2. Jesus’ Facebook Page – What if Jesus used Facebook? This irreverent parody – of unknown origin – attempts to imagine what might have been.
3. Facebook Passover – We’re unsure what to make of this, a retelling of the story of the Jews’ Exodus from Egypt….all in Facebook updates. Alas, we don’t know this creation’s origin either.
Are there any other faux Facebook pages we might have missed? Let us know in the comments!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Octomom Ready to Exploit Kids For Money
Hey, as depressing as it is that Nadya Suleman is getting a f*%king reality show, there are a couple of silver linings if you are willing to look hard enough:
- At least the drain on society will be making some money and paying taxes to the broke for the first time in memory.
- She can't possibly screw up and scar her children for life worse than Kate and Jon Gosselin already have. has officially been lowered!
Even better, Octomom's 14 children (yes, she had six prior to the octuplets) are going to be earning $250 a day for a total of $250,000 over three years.
The British production company handling the show will pay the kids each the same rate: $125,000 collectively for 36 days of shooting in the first year; $75,000 for 21 days in the second year; and $50,000 for 14 days the third year.
According to the Octomom reality show contract, 15 percent of the children's earnings will be placed in a trust account, as required by California law, that none of them will have access to until he or she is 18 or legally emancipated.
So as soon as they can speak and ask for a lawyer.
Octomom is ready to ruin her kids' lives even more than she already has. Although, on the flip side, how much worse can it get? [Photo: PacificCoastNewsOnline.com]
The as-yet untitled series, due to start shooting September 1, is said to be less of a day-to-day intrusion look at the huge, burdensome family's life and more of a documentary-style show focusing on milestones in the children's lives.
No word on how Gloria Allred feels about this. We just hope there are ample Crooked Houses plugs and that Nadya Suleman starts wearing a Bluetooth headset.
Welcome To Soap Box Included
My name is Brandon Mendelson, and I am …
1. The most followed non-celebrity / non-brand / non-media outlet on Twitter. You can follow me @BJMendelson.
2. President of Earth’s Temporary Solution. We are the production company behind the live social publishing documentary, A Million High Fives. Want to set a Guiness World Record and crowdfund A Million High Fives? All you have to do is purchase your card here.
4. A published columnist turned social publisher. Social publishing is how I describe: Status updates, micro-blogging, blogging, social networking, and emerging forms of creating content. You can learn more about my professional background on LinkedIn.
5. Often quoted by media outlets about social publishing, small business advice, and Generation Y. You can see my previous press appearances here.
6. I used to do consulting work, but I am not taking on any clients at this time; however, I love public speaking. If you would like to have me as a speaker at your company, event, conference, or other function, feel free to get in touch.
Speaking engagements scheduled during A Million High Fives are free.
-Call Me: (518) 832-9844
-Write: PO BOX 2294, Glens Falls, NY, 12801
This is just a repost of a humorous entry he posted today on his blog/website.
The Universal Break-Up Card
[Originally written during the Summer of 2003. Due to writer's block, here's what you're getting. But a quick lesson: Always revise the material you save. If it sucks, get rid of it, but if it was good, see what you can do to make it great. In this post, I found I used too many words, and it burys the joke.
Always make revisions. Even if you wrote the article yesterday.]
I saw the trailer for “View From The Top”, and one of the lines in it were, “You’re breaking up with me in a birthday card?” and the guy said, “Well, they don’t make break up cards.” So, to alleviate thatproblem, I proudly present to you “The Universal Break Up Card.”
____1) Its been fun, but I want to see other people.
____2) You suck in bed.
____3) I want to explore new things and meet new people.
____4) I’ve seen professional wrestlers more sensitive than you.
____5) You’re too sensitive, stop whining.
____ 7) You remind me of that guy / girl from (insert name of horror movie here).
_____8) I have to break up with you because I slept with your best friend/ dog/ sister/ neighbor.
_____9) It’s not you, it’s me. I’m a double agent and have to kill Dick Cheney.
_____10) I’m actually not straight / gay, fooled you!
_____ 11) We can’t have sex because I keep thinking about your mother/father/best friend/ cow/ neighbor.
_____ 12) Your refusal to flush the toilet / shave / kick helpless animals is too much to deal with.
_____13) I’m prejudiced against _________, so this isn’t going to work.
_____ 14) You were so awful in bed I’m quitting sex.
_____15) I now hate men / women because of you.
_____ 16) You told my parents we mate like orangutans.
_____17) You’re cheap, I don’t want much, but c’mon!
_____18) I have to leave, I pissed off the mob / government / terrorists / rap musicians.
_____19) You’re leaving for college / the military / prison, and I don’t feel like waiting.
_____20) I’ve been indicted for war crimes.
_____21) He / She is better looking than you.
_____22) This sleazy guy /girl convinced me you’re a waste of time. I’m going to hook up with them.
_____23) I’ve seen fourth graders smarter than your friends. At least the fourth graders can spell college. ___ 24) You’re from New Jersey, ’nuff said.
_____25) I love my cat / dog more than you.
_____26) I was blind when we started dating but now that my sight is back? Eeeeewwww.
_____27) I’m shallow and want a guy / girl with money.
_____28) I rather make out with a sock.
_____29) You’re standing in the way of my dream job: Professional Polar Bear Kick Boxer.
_____30) I’ve heard of sexual deviancy, but that’s too much.
A Million High Fives
A Million High Fives is a crowdfunded, social publishing project about empowering volunteers around the world to collect items for their local shelter and charities.
#AMHF Project Details:
- Official Website
- Project Details
- Great Wall Of Twitter (Crowdfunding Project)
- #AMHF in real-time
- Tour Route & Dates
- Mobile Audio Updates
- Small Grants, Big Dreams (Our Grant Program)
The Brandon Show is Earth’s Temporary Solution’s oldest project. Tracing it’s roots to the late 90’s, The Brandon Show has appeared across multimedia outlets large and small, eventually evolving into what is now A Million High Fives.
Progress: Most video from the cancer awareness project are being used in conjunction with #AMHF footage and will air online together at a future date.
TBS Partners Included:
Sprint. Sprint is a proud sponsor of The Brandon Show’s Micro-Update series, which documented where Brandon and Amanda traveled across America to promote the early detection and prevention of cancer.
The 1 in 8 Foundation. The Brandon Show tour was operated under the 1 in 8 Foundation. The first tour’s mission was to educate students at colleges across America about the importance of early detection, particularly in fighting breast cancer. The catch phrase, “Check Early And Check Often” is still used in every video to remind our viewers of the importance of early detection.
Pictured is Amanda Mendelson taking a photo of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, with her Samsung Rant. Brandon Mendelson took the photo with a Samsung Instinct.
Earth's Temporary Solution, PO BOX 2294, Glens Falls, New York, 12801
Phone: (585) 598 9018
Email: Brandon[at] brandonmendelson[dot]com