Social media justice: A tale of two cities

When you open this page, you’ll see a photo of the city of Flint, Mich., where responsible folks are using social media for the good of the community, in the positive sense of “social justice.”

Contrast that with the negativity of “social justice” in Sanford, Fla., where Hollywood celeb Spike Lee is retweeting calls for violence against the shooter of Trayvon Martin, a black youth. Reaction to Spike Lee’s retweet of shooter George Zimmerman’s home address and telephone number from Twitter followers:

“Trying to think of a reason @spikelee would tweet Zimmerman’s address that doesn’t involve violence/intimidation. Having a hard time.”

“Hi, @spikelee. Please explain to all your fans how tweeting the address of a private citizen WASN’T meant to facilitate bodily harm.”

“@SpikeLee why would you call for a lynch mob? perhaps you’d like us to return to that era. think about it. #TeamDueProcess”

“@SpikeLee is a real stand up guy, calling for vigilante justice and putting Zimmerman’s home address and phone on Twitter. #facitious”

“@SpikeLee must want a lynch mob to show up at Zimmerman’s house since he gave out his address on twitter. #reckless #inexcusable #shameless”

Meanwhile, TV personality Geraldo Rivera says Florida teen Trayvon Martin was killed in part because of his hoodie, a hooded sweatshirt. Huh? Think Zuckerberg, Facebook’s perennial hoodie wearer. Think there’s some stereotyping going on there, Geraldo?

Visit extremist websites, go to jail – Sarkozy proposes new law

Censorship, Sarkozy style. How about this – visit an “extremist” website, and you go to jail. Ah, quel douleur!

A tough measure proposed by France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy would treat those who browse extremist websites the same way as those who consume child pornography. The new law has journalists and legal experts alarmed.

Sacre bleu! Many things come to mind about this latest act of censorship. For example, what if you want to do research on something that leads you to a site considered to be “extremist”? And the “authorities” come knocking on your door? You have to assume one of the geniuses in the Obama administration might like to adapt this idea. This is nuts!

Back stateside, NSA denies ability to spy on Americans’ communications

In last week’s Surfin’ Safari we reported on a gigantic computer server farm being built by the National Security Agency in the Utah desert that will gather everything being written or spoken on the Internet.

I wrote: “Now coming to light is a report that the federal government’s National Security Agency is building a mega computer server farm in the heart of the Utah desert about to go online gathering everything on the Internet, including your email. It’s for your ‘cybersecurity,’ of course.”

Here’s the follow up: The NSA is now saying it doesn’t have the ability to collect all that data.

OK, how about we try this? If you believe the NSA doesn’t have the ability to scoop up your emails, cell phone calls, etc., who does?

Here’s a hint: Google.

And while the NSA is denying snoop capability, Newsmax reports CIA head David Petraeus has spoken out about “Internet of Things” that can be used to track you.

Petraeus says, “Technological advances have opened up a whole new field of spying opportunities by turning personal and household devices into what amounts to intelligence-gathering stations.”

Beware. They can turn that blender on your kitchen counter into an “intelligence gathering station” to spy on you. Petraeus said so.

Now, who ya’ gonna believe? The NSA or the CIA?

You just left creepy … next stop, The Twilight Zone

Cue the music: You are traveling through another dimension. … It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge … as Google senses your “environment to better target its ads”.

Today, your preferences. Tomorrow … Peaksville?

When it comes to watching movies, Internet wins, Hollywood loses

A tipping point for Hollywood, and one that’s not in its favor: Movie lovers will pay to watch more movies online this year than they will on video formats like DVD, according to the research firm IHS iSuppli. In a sign of the changing times, online views, or paid “transactions,” will hit 3.4 billion this year, compared with 2.4 billion for physical copies, according to IHS’s forecast.

Lots of Facebook friends, status updates equals narcissism

We all know folks like this.

“People who have a heightened need to feel good about themselves will often turn to Facebook as a way to do so,” asserts a study by Chris Carpenter of Western Illinois University. “Facebook gives those with narcissistic tendencies the opportunity to exploit the site to get the feedback they need and become the center of attention.”

I believe the same can be said for folks who tweet nonstop. It’s an alternate universe that gives the user instant gratification, a “cyber high,” especially when one’s tweet is retweeted.

Which electronic devices are safe to resell – identity theft expert explains

“Put it in the back of a closet, or put it in a vice and drill holes in the hard drive, or if you live in Texas take it out into a field and shoot it. You don’t want to sell your identity for 50 bucks” – so says a McAfee identity expert who recommends that if you’re thinking of selling your old Android smart phone or Windows XP computer, don’t. Here’s why.

Teaching seniors about tech devices and the Internet

I wish this was available everywhere. But if you live in Manhattan or Westchester, N.Y., your senior citizen loved one can learn how to use a computer, iPad or iPhone within 7 weeks of classes designed specifically for them. What a wonderful way to stay young and in touch!

Bits & Bytes


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