President Obama was the butt of derision by Tunisians last week, when they launched thousands of comments mocking him in an all-out assault on Obama’s Facebook page. The comments made fun of the U.S. president and expressed support of the “Occupy” protests erupting across the country.

Al Arabiya reported, “The Facebook users described it as a ‘virtual surprise attack.’ Many of the recent entries on his 2012 presidential campaign page were bombarded with as many as 20,000 comments each.”

Many of the comments latched on to photos of alleged police brutality against “Occupy Wall Street” protesters released on social media sites.

“To overthrow any corrupt system in the world, please contact the Tunisian people,” one comment read.

And while we’re on the subject …

Facebook’s rules set a minimum age of 13 for those using its service, in order to comply with federal laws that shield children’s online privacy. But millions of kids 13 or younger are already using Facebook. How?

Their parents helped them get around the restriction by lying about their age. According to a published report in the Los Angeles Times, in a new survey from Microsoft and university researchers it was revealed that “more than half of all parents with 12-year-olds and 1 in 5 parents of 10-year-olds knew their kids were using Facebook. Nearly 7 in 10 parents admitted they helped their kids set up the accounts. Consumer Reports had previously reported that 7 million underage users were on Facebook.”

Why are the parents enabling their kids to sign onto Facebook? So they can connect with friends and family members.

Did you know that Facebook comments will be indexed in Google Search results?

Hands off my website!

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Nov. 16 on the controversial “Rogue website” bill.

Last week, three technology industry groups urged Congress to oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA measure, being proposed in the U.S. House. Touted as a copyright protection bill, SOPA would give the feds more tools to shut down what it deems “rogue websites” accused of movie, TV, music piracy and sales of counterfeit goods.

Hollywood and the music industry is backing SOPA, but free speech and digital rights groups are pushing against it – among them, the Consumer Electronics Association, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and NetCoalition (including Google and Yahoo!).

You may recall that a year ago, U.S. authorities shut down 82 websites for selling mostly Chinese-made counterfeit goods, such as Disney movies, and other items.

If you see something …

The Department of Homeland Security is kicking it up a notch, mindful of the increase in civil unrest over the past year. “Big Sis” Janet Napolitano and DHS are stepping up its monitoring of social networking sites, including Twitter, “to pre-empt any sign of social dislocation within the United States.”

It’s been revealed that the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Institute issued a report in November 2008 titled “Known Unknowns: Unconventional Strategic Shocks in Defense Strategy Development,” to prepare for possible riots here in our country.

The report lays out the strategy for how authorities would respond to “purposeful domestic resistance,” wherein U.S. troops would be deployed domestically to counter civil unrest, according to an article at

And did you know the CIA is following tweets? Could any of them be yours?

The power of one on the Internet

What started as a Facebook event page last Tuesday by one woman has evolved into a national movement.

Saturday, Nov. 5, was Bank Transfer Day, a date that Kristin Christian set to transfer funds from for-profit banking institutions into not-for-profit credit unions closer to home. The protest was not affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Christian’s Bank Transfer Day Facebook page attracted more than 81,900 RSVPs for the event since she posted it on Nov. 1.

Christian wrote on the Bank Transfer Day Facebook page’s FAQ: “I started this because I felt like many of you do. I was tired – tired of the fee increases, tired of not being able to access my money when I need to, tired of them using what little money I have to oppress my brothers and sisters. So I stood up. I’ve been shocked at how many people have stood up alongside me. With each person who RSVPs to this event, my heart swells. Me closing my account all on my lonesome wouldn’t have made a difference to these fat cats. But each of YOU standing up with me … they can’t drown out the noise we’ll make.”

According to the Credit Union National Association, “at least 650,000 consumers across the nation have joined credit unions in the past four weeks.”

Google stumbles

It wasn’t a good week for Google. According to a published report, “Google+, the company’s effort to compete with Facebook, has seen its traffic plunge. Other Google products, from Google Offers to Google Latitude, never became break-out successes. And that’s not to mention Google Wave, Google Buzz and Google Health, which the company killed.”

And that doesn’t include the release of an app for Google’s Android (and iPhone) and other smart phone apps that are “buggy.”

Google also released a new look for Gmail. Touted as cleaner and more modern looking, Google says users will be automatically upgraded to the new look soon. If you don’t want to wait, you can switch to it now by logging into Gmail and clicking Switch to acquire the new look.

I use Gmail, and though it’s true that the page is cleaner and the functions easy to maneuver through, the themes, with their high resolution colors make the page much too cluttered and busy, sometimes obliterating the sidebar type. In its attempt to evolve Gmail into a “clean and modern” look, I wonder why Gmail engineers would offer background themes that add a lot of visual noise to the page?

Exit question: Did you know that Google changed its search algorithm?

End of Microsoft IE reign

After more than ten years as of October, Internet Explorer no longer commands more than half of the web’s traffic.

The reason: the Safari browser has captured 62.17 percent of all mobile traffic, according to Mobile and tablet usage now makes up six percent of Internet traffic, an area IE hasn’t ventured into. The result: a diminished share for IE – 49.6 percent – of the total browser realm.

Firefox is now the second most popular web browser, followed by Google Chrome and Safari.

Who’s blogging and are they blogging for bucks?

A study done by Technorati “State of the Blogosphere 2011 shows that more women and fewer men are blogging. The study, which was released last week at the BlogWorld & New Media Expo in Los Angeles, revealed that though there are more male bloggers – 59 percent – that’s down from 64 percent last year.

“It cannot be stressed enough that blogs are still the center of the social-media universe,” said Rick Calvert, co-founder and CEO of the expo.

Four percent of all bloggers polled say online writing is their primary source of income. And of those who write fulltime, only 37 percent say blogging is their primary income.

“As for being on a payroll, only 14 percent of bloggers receive a salary for blogging, with the average pay being $24,000 a year, the study said. The highest reported salary was $140,000.”

Most of those bloggers who do receive compensation for each post receive less than $50 per posting. Only 6 percent of professional bloggers get more than $250 per post.

Advertising wherever you are

Imagine you’re walking past a bookstore and your smart phone sends you a message about a sale inside. It’s called mobile marketing, new media’s next great leap.

Smart phones can scan images called a QR code – a square graphic that looks like a jigsaw puzzle – that contains details about the sale.

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, more than 80 percent of U.S. adults own a cell phone of any kind, but only 35 percent own a smart phone, so mobile marketing has a long way to go, and grow.

A web of diamonds

Like a diamond-studded spider web, Felix Pharand-Deschenes has created global snapshots depicting a delicate network of power lines, roads and air traffic corridors around the globe.

He uses data that show air traffic routes, underwater cables that carry the Internet, road and rail networks and electricity transmission lines, all superimposed over satellite images of a rotating Earth at night. Quite a show!

Apple’s Steve Jobs revisited

For a short time, you can view an hour-long feature about Apple’s Steve Jobs titled “Steve Jobs: One Last Thing.” Presented by PBS, the video is an inside look at the man and the major influences that helped shape his life and career. Find it at

Also available for online viewing: “NOVA: An interview with Steve Jobs”; an interview with Steve Jobs’ authorized biographer Walter Isaacson “Isaacson: Jobs broke the Rules, but Linked Artistry to Engineering”; and “Nightly Business Report: Apple After Steve Jobs.”

Will Apple still be Apple without Steve Jobs?

“Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview,” is a new film that will be shown in Landmark Theatres on Nov. 16 and 17 in 19 select cities.

The movie, a 70-minute unedited interview with Steve Jobs by tech journalist and former Apple Inc. employee Robert X. Cringely, was conducted in 1995 when Jobs was still CEO of NeXT Computer and Pixar.

The interview was originally taped for the PBS documentary “Triumph of the Nerds,” but “less than 10 minutes were used” in the film “and the other 59 minutes were lost forever when the master tapes disappeared in shipping,” according to Cringely.

Incidentally, the renovation of the Fifth Avenue New York Apple store’s glass cube is completed and was revealed for the first time last week. Here’s what makes it distinctive.

Speaking of Apple, the company is releasing a software update to its new iPhone 4S iOS 5 operating system to beef up the device’s battery life.

Bits & Bytes

Top companies urging new Internet trade rules

Wristband allows iPhone to track activity, movement and sleep

Cloud-powered facial recognition is scary stuff

Imagine an application that can take a photo of a total stranger and track down their identity in a few minutes. Now imagine the possibilities that has for misuse.

Developed by Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, facial recognition software has been developed that will do just that. It’s called PittPatt, and the software system is faster, more efficient and more thorough than any other system ever used because it’s powered by the cloud (the Internet), with its wealth of data.

If you read anything, be sure to read this article. No one will be invisible, unless of course, you wear a mask.

Just be sure your boots don’t leave tracks and tell a tale on you.

Make it a USA-loyal Christmas

As we move closer into the Christmas season, we’re searching for gifts that will be meaningful without busting our budget.

One person suggested we give a gift produced by American hands and came up with a number of suggestions that keep the money flowing in our communities instead of outflowing to China: “This is about supporting your hometown Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.”

IBM Coremetrics Benchmark reports that “during this year’s November holiday season, an unprecedented 15 percent of people in the U.S. logging onto a retailer’s web site are expected to do so through a mobile device. All online sales in November will experience a growth of 12-15 percent over the same period in 2010.”

And it’s not be too soon to peruse the online offerings at WND’s bookstore. Books and DVDs are always an appreciated gift. Who wouldn’t like a copy of “The Secret Life of Barack Hussein Obama” by Mondo Frazier (who talked about the book on my radio show last week).

Or “Violated Online: How online slander can destroy your life and what you must do to protect yourself” by Steven Wyer. WND Books has an assortment of children’s titles too, including adventures and tales of historic figures. Be sure to check out the Wild Card Wednesdays page for savings of up to 60 percent off.

The Time Capsule

1885 – General George Smith Patton, Jr., born in California

1918 – Billy Graham born in North Carolina

1954 – Veterans Day proclaimed

1954 – Ellis Island closes its doors after 62 years

1966 – Ronald Reagan elected governor of California

1989 – Berlin Wall comes down

2004 – Yasser Arafat dead at 75

Now playing at the Princess Theater, Urbana, Ill.

Congratulations to WND readers Duane Greene of Des Moines, Iowa, and Cheryl Littleton of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., who were among the first to correctly guess actor Walter Slezak in his portrayal of college professor Hans Neumann in the 1951 film “Bedtime for Bonzo.” The film starred former president Ronald Reagan during his acting career. Reagan played the part of Professor Peter Boyd.

From IMDB: “Professor Peter Boyd’s engagement to the dean’s daughter is upset by the revelation that his father was a habitual convict. To prove the dean’s genetic theory of inherited traits as wrong, Boyd starts a ‘secret’ experiment. He borrows the science department’s chimpanzee with the goal of showing that it is one’s environment that affects your reaction to right and wrong.”

The quote was: “Who expects a psychologist to think? Especially when you are so busy thinking what you think other people are thinking.”

The movie was tied to last week’s Surfin’ Safari Time Capsule item about the presidential election of 1980 when then-President Jimmy Carter was soundly defeated by Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan by an electoral tally of 489 to 49.

This week’s quote: “We’re gonna keep fighting. Is that CLEAR? We’re gonna attack all night, we’re gonna attack tomorrow morning. If we are not VICTORIOUS, let no man come back alive!”

Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Please be sure to add your town and state. Good luck!

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