Thursday, March 29, 2012

“Virgin Boy Eggs” Are A Popular, Urine-Soaked Snack In China


Basins and buckets of boys' urine are collected from primary school toilets in Chinese city of Dongyang. It is the key ingredient in "virgin boy eggs," a local tradition of soaking and cooking eggs in the urine of young boys, preferably below the age of 10. There is no good explanation for why it has to be boys' urine, just that it has been so for centuries. Locals claim that the eggs have miraculous health properties.

A vendor pours a bucket of boys' urine into a pot of hard-boiled eggs at his stall. "If you eat this, you will not get heat stroke. These eggs cooked in urine are fragrant," said Ge Yaohua, 51, who owns one of the more popular "virgin boy eggs" stalls. "They are good for your health. Our family has them for every meal. In Dongyang, every family likes eating them."


Fake ID holders beware: facial recognition service can now detect your age


Facial-recognition platform could foil the plans of all those under-age kids looking to score some booze. Fake IDs might not fool anyone for much longer, because claims its new application programming interface (API) can be used to detect a person’s age by scanning a photo.
With its facial recognition system, has built two Facebook apps that can scan photos and tag them for you. The company also offers an API for developers to use its facial recognition technology in the apps they build.
Its latest update to the API can scan a photo and supposedly determine a person’s minimum age, maximum age, and estimated age. It might not be spot-on accurate, but it could get close enough to determine your age group.
“Instead of trying to define what makes a person young or old, we provide our algorithms with a ton of data and the system can reverse engineer what makes someone young or old,” chief executive Gil Hirsch stated in an interview. ”We use the general structure of a face to determine age. As humans, our features are either heighten or soften depending on the age. Kids have round, soft faces and as we age, we have elongated faces.”
The algorithms also take wrinkles, facial smoothness, and other telling age signs into account to place each scanned face into a general age group. The accuracy, Hirsch told me, is determined by how old a person looks, not necessarily how old they actually are. The API also provides a confidence level on how well it could determine the age, based on image quality and how the person looks in photo, i.e. if they are turned to one side or are making a strange face.
“Adults are much harder to figure out [their age], especially celebrities. On average, humans are much better at detecting ages than machines,” said Hirsch.
The hope is to build the technology into apps that restrict or tailor content based on age. For example the API could be built into a Netflix app, scan a child’s face when they open the app, determine they’re too young to watch The Hangover, and block it. Or — and this is where the tech could get futuristic and creepy — a display with a camera could scan someone’s face when they walk into a store and deliver ads based on their age.
In addition to the age-detection feature, says it has updated its API with 30 percent better facial recognition accuracy and new recognition algorithms. The updates were announced Thursday and the API is available for any developer to use.
One developer has already used the API to build app called Age Meter, which is available in the Apple App Store. On its iTunes page, the entertainment-purposes-only app shows pictures of Justin Bieber and Barack Obama with approximate ages above their photos.
Other companies in this space include Cognitec, with its FaceVACS software development kit, and Bayometric, which offers FaceIt Face Recognition. Google has also developed facial-recognition technology for Android 4.0 and Apple applied for a facial recognition patent last year.
The technology behind scanning someone’s picture, or even their face, to figure out their age still needs to be developed for complete accuracy. But, the day when bouncers and liquor store cashiers can use an app to scan a fake ID’s holder’s face, determine that they are younger than the legal drinking age, and refuse to sell them wine coolers may not be too far off.


YouTube's traffic still affected by the Reply Girls
It’s been two weeks since YouTube rewrote its related video algorithm to deal with the reply girls. Did it work?
Yes, and no. It not only affected the reply girls, it also impacted YouTubers who were not reply girls—for better, and for worse.
The Reply Girl phenomenon, involved roughly a dozen young women (along with automated robot accounts), that would reply mindlessly to popular or trending videos while wearing low-cut tops. They would use special tags in the videos as well. The results: they’d usurp the related videos sections, edging out the types of videos that usually would take up those spaces.
YouTubers (presumably men) would click on the videos to check out the cleavage. And the reply girls would profit as a result.
This continued for about eight months until February, when the YouTube community, fed up with the reply girl antics, raucously voiced their displeasure loudly enough to catch the attention of the media—and the Google-owned company.
YouTube eventually labeled the girls as spam, and rewrote the related videos algorithm.
When the new algorithm went into effect March 14, Alejandra Gaitan, aka TheReplyGirl and main reply girl provocateur, said she would test the new code for two weeks to see if the fix would indeed prevent her videos from being seen.
The new algorithm is only partially effective, she told the Daily Dot:
“I can do replies, and they still appear in the sidebar, but they don't last as long. Before they used to stay there for one or two days; Now, they stay in the related section for only one to five hours.”  
This shorter time period has definitely affected Gaitan’s traffic—and with it, her paycheck. Before the algorithm change she was getting hundreds of thousands of views; Now she is lucky if she can break four digits.
As a control to the experiment, Gaitan started a new channel for replies titled “TheRepyGirlForEver,” and the results are equally as bad.
“I have a good amount of money saved, but I am not sure what I am going to do” said Gaitan. For the time being, she is going to “keep doing YouTube” while she figures it out. Gaitan said she originally entered the reply girl business to get above the poverty line, and is now “comfortably middle class” because of it.
YouTubers are prohibited from discussing how much they make through the Partner Program, as specified in their contracts, but various sources have stated the reply girls were making anywhere from a few thousand to $10,000 a month from Google during the height of the reply girl era.
Gaitan doesn’t think YouTube was trying to shut her down, per se, with the new algorithm. Rather, she views the code change as “aiming to get rid of replies that have a lot of negative feedback.”
Gaitan’s videos were notorious for their negative feedback, as men, figuring out what it was they were watching, would click the dislike option once it became obvious Gaitan would not be stripping any time soon. (As Gawker pointed out though, disliking a video actually helps increase a video’s ranking, as YouTube factors the dislike as a comment.)
The traffic drop she is seeing, however,  isn’t confined to the reply girls; “I do know
for a good amount of people who had nothing to do with replies, they are losing traffic,” said Gaitan.  She cited her friend The Luchador, as an example.  “People are kind of mad, and maybe YouTube will have to change it back,” Gaitan added.
Kaleb Nation, a YouTuber currently working with Twilight producers on a soon-to-air TV reality show, said the reply girl algorithm change has led to a decrease in traffic for him of at least 15%.
“Almost every Partner I've spoken with has lost at least 20% normal views” said Nation via Twitter. “I can see the trajectory and it's not pretty,” tweeted Nation, despite admitting it is a little too early to make such a judgement call. “I'm afraid many creators will be out of a job soon,” he then added.
In a tweet today, Nation added the new algorithm has "forced" him to "make dramatic career changes."
Joe Penna, aka Mystery Guitar Man on YouTube, had the opposite happen to him; His traffic actually increased by 15% after the algorithm went into effect. Penna also said it’s too early to tell, after two weeks, if the traffic increase is a long term trend; the reason for the increase is not clear.  Penna could be the anomaly here.
Gaitan, when asked if she was flattered that the Google-owned company rewrote its algorithm because of her and the reply girl trend she started, laughed nervously.
But this time she had no reply, simply saying  “no comment.” 


Mass BitTorrent Lawsuits Return to the UK

Ben Dover

Speculative invoicing might be returning to the UK, thanks to a High Court judgment Monday. The practice, all but abandoned in the UK in the wake of the ACS:Law fiasco, has restarted but with conditions. Meanwhile, over 9,000 people could get letters from the plaintiff, Ben Dover.

Speculative invoicing – the practice of claiming people pirated files on BitTorrent, listing hundreds or thousands of people in one case to get details, then harassing them outside the courts for payment – was thought to be dead in the UK, after ACS:law collapsed last year.
The solicitor at the center of that lawfirm, Andrew Crossley, was both fined and suspended from practicing law, which seemed to put a hold on similar cases.
However, it didn’t dissuade everyone. Yesterday, the UK’s High Court approved a case involving UK pornographer Ben Dover (real name Stephen James Honey) and his company Golden Eye International. Now, ISP O2 will have to release the details of up to 9000+ subscribers listed in the document for Dover and Golden Eye. The precise number is unclear, as other companies that attempted to send letters through Golden Eye were denied the opportunity.
It’s success at last for the pornographer, as he’s had several similar cases thrown out in the past including a partnership with 170-year-old law firm Tilly Baily Irvine which ended in sanctions last year.
This claim process started 6 months ago, and with O2 stating they would not contest the case. Chief Master Weingarten, in response,  suggested that Consumer Focus (a government funded body looking after consumer rights) represent the IP addresses – the intended defendants – in court instead, a role Consumer Focus accepted.
Despite a strong defense, including pointing out all the issues with these kinds of actions, Weingarten approved the order, but with conditions. In perhaps a first for this sort of litigation, the court will be supervising the content of letters sent out to the alleged infringers, partly because of the ACS:law debacle.
In particular, the one-sided nature of the letters – only indicating the consequences should the alleged infringer lose – was not deemed appropriate, being indicative of bullying. Instead consequences should they successfully defend themselves should also be included.
Yet the most important part of the ruling is near the end, and might stop this practice once and for all; blanket fees to “make it all go away” are not acceptable.
137.   Fifthly, I think that Mr Becker’s response in his second witness statement to the point made by counsel for Consumer Focus referred to in sub-paragraph 60(v) above is telling:
“… it assumes that £700 will be successfully obtained from each of the 9000, when that is plainly wrong. In fact, it is likely that only a small proportion will result in a successfully obtained payment of any sum.”
This comes quite close to an admission that the figure of £700 has been selected so as to maximise the revenue obtained from the letters of claim, rather than as a realistic estimate of the damages recoverable by the relevant Claimant from each Intended Defendant. In any event, that is the inference I draw in the light of the matters discussed above and in the absence of any disclosure of the information referred to in paragraph 88 above.
138.   Accordingly, I do not consider that the Claimants are justified in sending letters of claim to every Intended Defendant demanding the payment of £700. What the Claimants ought to do is to proceed in the conventional manner, that is to say, to require the Intended Defendants who do not dispute liability to disclose such information as they are able to provide as to the extent to which they have engaged in P2P filesharing of the relevant Claimants’ copyright works. In my view it would be acceptable for the Claimants to indicate that they are prepared to accept a lump sum in settlement of their claims, including the request for disclosure, but not to specify a figure in the initial letter. The settlement sum should be individually negotiated with each Intended Defendant.
No more fee demands. Instead they can only state that they will accept a lump sum payment as settlement, to be negotiated if the accused accept liability. Otherwise, it will be down to the courts. It also seems that after many cases, Chief Master Weingarten has understood that these cases are about profits, not protecting rights. Very little money and a lot of grief was the prediction we highlighted earlier this month, and that seems to be the case.
Meanwhile, up to 9124 households are going to get a letter through their door talking about the porn they’ve allegedly downloaded. Let’s just hope that the tracking software, claimed to be ‘forensically accurate’ (huh?) does better than in times past, or there’s going to be a lot of needlessly embarrassed families, and unnecessary family strife when the postman calls.



mail: Anonymous launched Countdown


The Anonymous Internet activists and their offshoot AnonAustria Austria have for their first Publications announced in april "sensitive" material a countdown starts.

At the web address should be read in part: "Consequences will never be the same!" Anonymous.

Retention starts

On 1 April the much controversial data retention. Through them, the authorities can access six months later on communications data from fixed-line telephone, mobile phone, e-mail and the Internet.

Examples of data collection

Base is an EU directive, adopted in 2006 for fighting terrorism, and translate that Austria had long delinquent. The policy and its adoption into Austrian law are criticized heavily for a long time.


Top 3 Most Delicious Dog Foods…as Tasted by a Human


Every dog lover wants to ensure their canine companion stays healthy and strong, and this means putting them on the right diet. But with so many different kinds of dog food on the market, it may be difficult for owners to choose one that agrees with their dog’s physiology and palate.
We asked our resident dog-loving reporter, Yoshio, for his advice to fellow dog-owners on how to pick the best chow for their best friends.
“Small-breed dog food has a milder flavor than large-breed food, making it tastier and easy to eat. Similar to blue cheese, dog foods with a strong aroma are preferred by aficionados like myself, though laymen are often put off by the pungent odor,” remarked Yoshio.
He continued boastfully: “To the best of my knowledge, there are currently three products on the market that stand out above the rest, and they’re the three I often use as snacks to accompany a nice cold beer when crackers just don’t cut it.”
Erm, okay…
We figured digging any further into this would just be barking up the wrong tree, so we decided to throw Yoshio a bone and politely listen to the rest of his story.
Yoshio’s “Top 3 Most Delicious Dog Foods” follow below.

#3『Vita-One Combo Beef Chunks & Vegetable Blend
“The superior-quality beef, crispy small fish and moist vegetable cereal blend together for a superb ensemble. Couldn’t expect more from Japan’s leading pet food brand! Vita-One is surely the Ramen Jiro of dog food.”
#2『Royal Canin Size Health Mini Adult
“Royal Canin is an internationally-known brand with a wide rang of flavors, but ‘Mini Adult’ is the most delicious. Most notable is its intense, heavenly aroma, which can be likened to jamón ibérico de bellota, Spanish ham cured for 36 months and served raw.”

#1『Eukanuba Chiwawa
“Sure #3 and #2 are good, but neither holds a candle to the exquisite flavor of Eukanuba’s Chiwawa blend. Anyone looking to take a step into the world of dog food should definitely start here. I like to eat it without using my hands to experience the taste as a real Chiwawa would…”
Okay…someone call animal control.
We’re guessing this information won’t be of much help to most people, but if there’s anyone else out there who enjoys eating dog food, why not give one of the three a try? And maybe see a psychologist…or nutritionist? A vet?


Coffee Cup-size Puppy Meet Beyonce  World's Smallest Dog?


This tiny puppy dog, Beyone has been placed alongside a variety of small objects, inside a coffee cup, an iPhone, a business card and a tape measure to demonstrate just how tiny she really is.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sex toy survey: Germans come first


Germans top the unofficial kinky league table, a new survey on between-the-sheets behaviour revealed Tuesday. It demonstrated that nearly half of Germans like "tools and gadgets" - more than any other country.

But while 44 percent of Germans like "tools and gadgets that make it more fun" the interest in electric sex aids ends there, since only 16 percent are aroused by "sexy illuminating underwear." This was the joint lowest score, well below the international average of 23 percent.

By contrast, one in three Chinese people said lingerie that lights up does it for them every time.

Before they get the tools and gadgets out, Germans are not averse to a bit of mood-setting – 40 percent said they liked romantic music. But don't bother with your Beyoncé CDs if you want to seduce a German – only four percent like to bonk to R 'n' B.

What separates Germans from other countries, though, is the preference for keeping the lights on. As many as 53 percent of Germans like to see clearly what's going on, a figure topped only by the Spanish with 56 percent.

That figure is in stark contrast to the Brits, 65 percent of whom lived up to their nation's repressed stereotype and said they preferred to have sex in the dark – the largest proportion of all countries surveyed.

More illuminating than Germans' favourite underpants were the various answers to the question, "Why would you turn the light off when you are ready for fun?"

While the vast majority of people across the world answered either, "because it's sexier that way," or "I dare to do the naughty stuff," but some, including 19 percent of Germans, said, "I don't find myself that attractive."

The less charming responses "I don't find my partner that attractive" or "I prefer thinking about someone else" were given by five percent of brutally honest Germans.

The survey, carried out by Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg's underwear chain, surveyed over 1,700 18-30-year-olds in nine different countries across the globe.


Poo-Powered Rickshaw Unveiled At The Denver Zoo


Poop. Is there anything it can't do? On Wednesday, The Denver Zoo introduced what is believed to be the world's first poo-powered motorized tuk tuk showcasing The Denver Zoo's very own patent-pending gasification technology.
Called The Tour de Tuk Tuk, the rickshaw, which uses animal poop and human trash as fuel, leaves Denver Thursday and will stop at zoos in Colorado Springs, Albuqurque, N.M. and Phoenix, Ariz. before arriving at its final destination at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in Palm Desert, Calif. this Monday, March 27.
The tuk tuk was purchased from Thailand and then re-designed to run on gasified pellets made from animal droppings and waste generated by the zoo's staff and human visitors, according to The Denver Post. The poo-powered tuk tuk is the second prototype The Denver Zoo has put together to show off their sustainable energy system -- the first? A blender used to mix margaritas at a zoo event.
The zoo's sustainability manager, Jennifer Hale, pointed out to The Denver Post that this energy system has big potential, "This is not just a zoo thing. It can be applied on campuses, in communities and many other environments."
The zoo itself already has much bigger plans for the clean energy system. Fox31 reports that the gasification technology developed by The Denver Zoo staff will be used at the zoo's upcoming Toyota Elephant Passage, a 10-acre elephant exhibit scheduled to open in late spring of 2012. Once the gasification system is implemented, the zoo expects that it will be able to convert 90 percent of the zoo's waste into usable energy, eliminating 1.5 million pounds of trash that currently goes into landfills annually.
George Pond, vice president for planning and capital projects at the zoo, said this about the sustainable energy project in a press statement:
We wanted an innovative energy solution that would help us eliminate our landfill waste. We immediately considered ways to create energy from animal poop and human trash. The result is astounding - an energy solution that can create clean energy from trash.
The alternative energy system was designed by three full-time zoo staffers and will be the first to utilize such a diverse on-site waste stream as a form of energy. Throughout the development and design process, the zoo also worked with the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Boulder and several other organizations including Encana Oil & Gas, The Governor's Energy Office (Colorado) and Western Energy Alliance.


Spike Lee retweet threatens safety of elderly couple
A retweet from director Spike Lee has an elderly couple in Florida worried about staying safe in their own home, the Smoking Gun reported.
The tweet, sent to Lee on Friday afternoon by Marcus D. Higgins (@maccapone), contained the purported home address of George W. Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last month.
Lee has 240,000 followers on Twitter.
"EVERYBODY REPOST THIS," read the tweet, which Higgins sent at a spam-like rate to many of the people who tweeted about Martin's death last week. "George W. Zimmerman 159 Edgewater Circle Sanford, Florida 32773."
Higgins, however, failed to recognize that the George Zimmerman he referenced is not the same George W. Zimmerman who once held residence at 159 Edgewater Circle.
According to the home's residents, 72-year-old David McClain and his wife Elaine, 70, George W. Zimmerman has not lived at that address in the past seven years. (Elaine was previously married to a Zimmerman, and George W. is her son.)
When informed that Lee's retweet was the reason why so many individuals had come upon her address, Elaine McClain reportedly told the Smoking Gun, "Maybe we should get a lawyer and send a cease and desist letter to Spike Lee."
Lee has deleted Higgins's tweet from his timeline but remains one of the most outspoken voices in the fight for justice in Martin's death. On Sunday, Lee retweeted over 150 tweets related to the killing.


Here's How Law Enforcement Cracks Your iPhone's Security Code

As a standard security measure, Apple’s iPhone can be set to require a four-digit passcode  whenever the phone’s screen is powered on in order to prevent unauthorized access. With passcode security enabled, a user’s information is theoretically kept private if his or her device ever falls into the wrong hands. A recent Forbes report reveals that law enforcement agencies can bypass the iPhone’s passcode requirement in less than two minutes, however, gaining access to all of the private data stored on the devices. Read on for more.
Unlike various bugs that have been found within iOS to bypass the code, law enforcement agencies use a special program from Micro Systemation, a Sweden-based firm that sells tools to give law enforcement and military customers access to devices belonging to suspected criminals.
The software, called XRY, can quickly crack an iOS or Android phone’s passcode, dump its data to a PC, decrypt it, and display information such as the user’s GPS location history, files, call logs, contacts, messages and even a log of keystrokes in some cases. XRY doesn’t use “backdoor vulnerabilities,” but rather “seeks out security flaws in the phone’s software,” similar to jailbreak exploits that can gain unrestricted access to an iPhone.
Users who set longer passcodes can make a device far more difficult to crack according to the report, and in some cases it can take so long for software like XRY to work that officials give up. A video showcasing the software follows below.


Anonymous Supposedly Plans to "Kill" the Internet on March 31
Anonymous will reportedly try to shut down 
DNS servers worldwide at the end of the month.

Planned DDOS campaign against DNS is meant to highlight piracy legislation issues
Al Gore may have finally met his match.  While members of Anonymous aren't planning on inventing the internet, they are planning on destroying it -- supposedly.

The tricky thing about 
Anonymous is that they're Anonymous, so it's hard to differentiate fact from fictional prank, even if you want to.  But a Pastebin has been posted dubbed "Operation Global Blackout", which claims that the Anons are going to test the limits of their distributed denial of service attacking capabilities at the end of March.

The DDOS campaign is expected to target the world's 13
domain name servers (DNSs), that allow the public to use the internet by translating human legible text-string URLs into machine-readable IP addresses.  If the attack indeed materializes and if the DNS servers are all taken down, the Mayan apocalypse could come early -- the internet could blink offline.

The Pastebin describes:

By cutting these off the Internet, nobody will be able to perform a domain name lookup, thus, disabling the HTTP Internet, which is, after all, the most widely used function of the Web. Anybody entering "" or ANY other url, will get an error page, thus, they will think the Internet is down, which is, close enough. Remember, this is a protest, we are not trying to 'kill' the Internet, we are only temporarily shutting it down where it hurts the most.

In other words "we're not trying to kill the internet, but we're trying to kill it for a little bit," implies Anonymous.

The posting goes into the planned attack in explicit detail.  The tool use will be the Reflective DNS Amplification DDoS tool.  By spoofing the DNS server with small UDP packets which appear to have orginated from the DNS server itself, the attacker tricks the DNS server into sending messages to itself creating a cascade of failures.  The "amplified" part comes from the fact that the sent packets are small, but they trigger a large barrage of data.

So what's the point of this planned attack?  According to Anonymous:

To protest SOPA, Wallstreet, our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the world for their own selfish needs out of sheer sadistic fun, On March 31, anonymous will shut the Internet down.

Again, there's no confirmation this post is real -- it could simply be the work of a clever security researcher trying to scare the DNS servers into beefing up their security.  Also, given that the Anons have explained their reported attack vector, it may be easier to block.

It's a bit hard to believe that they could actually take down the internet.  
Past attacks on DNS servers have failed to accomplish the unthinkable -- worldwide internet outage.  And Anonymous's purported past claims -- such as a threat that Facebook would be taken down (a claim later denied by some members), an attack on the NYSE, and a DDOS attack on BART all failed to have the intended level of service disruption.  On the other hand Anonymous did help take down Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) digital properties as well as the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's public homepage.

Thus it's a bit premature to start panicking, but it couldn't hurt to grab a few IP addresses of your favorite sites, just in case things get anywhere close to as crazy as the post promises.


Hate spam on Twitter? Anonymous has a solution for you. 
In the war against Twitter spam, the world has a surprising new ally: Anonymous. Equally remarkably, the Anonymous attack is easy enough for anyone to use.
On March 24, an elegant and highly effective counter-spam measure appeared on the Tumblr of NasdaqEnema.
The strategy has ended one of the biggest spambot invasions Twitter has ever seen. Mentions of “Ipaddep” went from zero to 6,000 on March 23rd, and hardly lessened until the release of NasdaqEnema’s blog post. They dropped back to zero within one day.
The technique is being used successfully under #OpSpamHeadChop. Mentions of “DepWalmart” went from zero to 6,200 on the 23rd, and over 7,000 on the 24th. They’ve now gone down to zero. Late entry “@DisneyTickets_” is now being targeted. It’s up to 600 mentions in only a few hours, but as we’ve seen, the Op works.
How does it work?
Glad you asked.
In essence, it’s simply a case of kill the head. The body will fall. And anyone can do it.
You don’t need to know how to use an LOIC to run a DDOS attack—or even know what those things are. You don’t need to dox anyone (release their private information). You don’t need to be a hacker, hacktivist, or even own a Guy Fawkes mask. You even save yourself work!
Instead of reporting each and every throwaway spambot account the spam network is using, find the central account or website that they are all pointing to, and report that one. As NasdaqEnema said,
How many people turned their anti-spam efforts toward the root? All of the spam accounts mentioned a central account. Why not burn the money rather than try to stop every thief?
Don’t go after the spammer bots. Hack at the root.
If they point to a central Twitter account, all you have to do is block and report that account as a spammer. It will be suspended.
That account will, in its bio, have a website, which is where the spammers want to direct you. Check it out using something safe like Find out who hosts that website, and report it to the host; virtually all hosting agreements in North America include bans against spamming. The website is now subject to suspension. Turn and get a high-five from the person sitting nearest to you; you deserve it.
The spammer is toast. In the parlance of Anonymous, #TANGODOWN.


Landmark ruling legalizes Ontario brothels


Left to right sex worker advocate Terri-Jean Bedford raises her arms in victory during a press conference in Toronto, Ont. Monday, March 26, 2012. Ontario,ÄöaÑa¥s top court has legalized brothels in a ruling that came out today.

Ontario’s highest court has legalized brothels in a sweeping decision that condemned current prostitution laws for adding to the hazards of a highly dangerous profession.
The Ontario Court of Appeal allowed the Crown just one victory, ruling that communicating for the purposes of prostitution will remain illegal.
The landmark decision is binding on Ontario courts and sets up a final showdown at the Supreme Court of Canada next fall or in early 2013.
Ontario Attorney-General John Gerretsen said on Monday that he intends to discuss appealing the decision with his federal counterparts. “Our main concern is that people feel safe in their communities, feel safe in their homes, and this kind of issue may very well need legislative action,” he said.
The five-judge appellate panel said unanimously that prostitutes may set up brothels and hire staff to protect them. They said that it is senseless to have a law that compels prostitutes to work in dangerous isolation, given that prostitution itself is legal.
The judges also explicitly rejected a Crown argument that prostitutes make an informed decision to enter a dangerous trade, saying that prostitutes deserve as much protection as other citizens who work in “dangerous, but legal, enterprises.”
However, the court majority – Mr. Justice David Doherty, Mr. Justice Marc Rosenberg and Madam Justice Kathryn Feldman – salvaged the communication provision on the basis that it has kept neighbourhoods free of organized crime, drugs, noise and unwanted solicitations.
They played down arguments from prostitution activists that those it hurts most are marginalized street prostitutes who work in the shadows and must assess potential clients hastily.
Mr. Justice James MacPherson and Madame Justice Eleanore Cronk took sharp issue with the majority on the point, arguing that the communication provision significantly worsens the plight of street prostitutes.
“The violence faced by street prostitutes across Canada is, in a word, overwhelming,” they said. “One does not need to conjure up the face of Robert Pickton to know that this is true.”
The brothel ruling takes effect in a year. However, as of April 25, prostitutes can engage bodyguards. The court remodelled the pimping provision to target only those who live off the avails of prostitution “in circumstances of exploitation.”
The Sex Professionals of Canada immediately urged Ontario municipalities to begin discussing licensing provisions that will ensure health and safety of brothel workers and their clients.
Municipalities are expected to create a patchwork of regulation. Many, such as Niagara Falls, already license body-rub parlours. About 40 workers are employed in the city’s four licensed parlours. Toronto has 25 body-rub parlours and 482 licensed workers.
Eddie Francis, mayor of Windsor, Ont., said his planning staff are looking at zoning issues that isolate brothels from schools and family neighbourhoods without creating red-light districts.
Meanwhile, police forces are split on the logic and propriety of continuing “sweeps” of body-rub parlours in search of prostitutes and their clients.
“We stopped doing sweeps after the last decision and told our people that if there were problems, there are other laws they could use to deal with them,” said Toronto Police Service spokesman Mark Pugash. “We see little reason to change that.”
However, York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe said that his force “continues to be bound by the laws that exist today and our obligation is to uphold the law as it is now.”
Prostitution activists hailed Monday’s decision as a historic victory.
“Six out of six judges so far have concluded that the law does not work and is hurting people,” said York University law professor Alan Young, the lawyer for the women who launched the constitutional challenge.
Valerie Scott, one of the litigants, said that prostitutes have a sense of belonging for the first time. “I feel like a debutante,” she said. “I feel like a citizen.”
Ms. Scott said that brothels have always existed in the shadows. “There is a brothel on every block in every city, and there always has been,” she said.
Nikki Thomas, executive director of SPOC, told reporters that prostitutes will be normal citizens who file income taxes, purchase investments and quietly go about their work. “We are not going to have fire and brimstone and sex workers raining down from the sky,” she said.
The Court of Appeal noted on Monday that Parliament is not precluded from enacting new prostitution laws provided they do not heighten the danger to prostitutes. 


Saudi television network hit by Facebook hackers
Television news channel Al Arabiya has fallen victim to hackers on its English Facebook page.
In a statement posted on its website, the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya said the hackers changed the cover photo to the page’s banner and added posts in Arabic about unverified clashes within Syria, confusing readers expecting to see news about the Middle East in English.
“Posts on the page surrounding the conflict in Syria have provided our readers with false news on attacks in Syria and deceptive information on Saudi government orders.
“The posts included news about clashes between the Free Syria Army and the Syrian regime security forces, which Al Arabiya cannot verify. The news is being falsely attributed to Al Arabiya sources.”
The hackers accused Al Arabiya TV of being involved in “the destruction of Egypt and Libya” and of broadcasting “venomous, Brotherhood, Zionist, thoughts, in Egypt and the Arab World,” according to ZDNet.
The television network has managed to regain control of its page. While the organization did not speculate on where the attack came from, it noted that a statement was posted on Facebook by the hackers stating, “The Syrian electronic army” was here.
It’s hardly the first time Al Arabiya has fallen victim to attacks. The company has been subject to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks online, and its broadcast transmitting frequency has been jammed. The most recent of these attacks, which took place in February, led to Al Arabiya changing its frequencies on satellite operator Arabsat.


'Pink slime' beef production put on hold


A US company that makes a beef product often referred to as "pink slime" is suspending production at three of four plants amid concern about the product.
Beef Products Inc said it hopes business will return once fears about the product die down.
Officially known as "lean, finely textured beef", so-called "pink slime" is made from left-over cuts and is up to 97% beef, a spokesman said.
US schools have been allowed to stop serving the food at mealtimes.
"We feel like when people can start to understand the truth and reality then our business will come back," Beef Products spokesman Chris Letch said.
Federal regulators say the beef ingredient meets food safety standards, but critics say the food is unappetising and possibly unsafe.
The beef is heated and spun in a centrifuge to separate the meat from the fat, before the final product is treated with a puff of ammonium hydroxide gas to kill any bacteria.
Earlier this month a social media campaign against the use of the food was followed by an announcement by the US agriculture department that schools would be allowed to choose alternative beef supplies.
Some school districts and retailers have already chosen to stop using it.
The three Beef Products Inc plants being wound down are located in Amarillo, Texas; Garden City, Kansas; and Waterloo, Iowa. Together they produce about 900,000lb (408,000kg) of the beef product per day, the company says.
About 200 employees at each location will receive their full salary and benefits for 60 days while production is suspended, the company said.


High School Senior Expelled For Tweeting Profanity

Police were called to Garrett High School Friday after students there threatened to protest. This all comes after a senior was expelled for what he tweeted on his personal Twitter account.
"One of my tweets was, BEEP is one of those BEEP words you can BEEP put anywhere in a BEEP sentence and it still BEEP make sense,” said Austin Carroll, student.
Austin was expelled from Garrett High School after tweeting the F-word under his account. The school claims it was done from a school computer. Austin says he did it from home.
"If my account is on my own personal account, I don't think the school or anybody should be looking at it. Because it's my own personal stuff and it's none of their business,” said Carroll.
"I totally didn't agree with what Austin said but I didn't agree with an expulsion either. I mean if they suspended him for 3 days or something, I would be fine with that but to kick him out of school, his senior year, 3 months to go, wrong,” said Pam Smith, Austin’s mother.
The principal at Garrett High School claims their system tracks all the tweets on Twitter when a student logs in, meaning even if he did tweet it from home their system could have recognized it when he logged in again at school.
“I didn't post the thing at school but their computer is saying that I did post it, and I shouldn't be getting in trouble for stuff I did on my own time, on my own computer,” said Carroll.
Austin is going to an alternative school and will be able to graduate. But he says there is so much more he wishes he could be a part of.
"I just want to be able to go back to regular school, go to prom and go to everything that a regular senior would get to do in their senior year,” said Carroll.
Indiana's NewCenter reached out to the school's administration. The principal refused to comment on camera at the request of the school's attorney.




#OpLulzProm: Anonymous defends teen's porn-star prom date


When high-school superintendent Patty Phillips announced on Wednesday that one of her students could not bring a porn star to prom, high school tweeters accused the Oakdale, Minn. administrator of discrimination.
Now that same accusation is being made by the hacker group Anonymous, who “doxed”—or released the private information of—Phillips, the school board, and high-school administrators in retaliation.
Last week,  Mike Stone (@madmike42948), an 18-year-old high-school student, became an Internet phenomenon and Reddit hero after he used Twitter to land a porn star as a prom date. Adult film actress Megan Piper (@xMeganPiper), 19, agreed to attend and even landed a free trip from Los Angeles to Oakdale, Minn., for the occasion.
However, after the campaign garnered national attention, Phillips released a statement saying that Stone’s “prom date will not be allowed to attend the Tartan prom as her attendance would be prohibited under Tartan's standard prom procedures and would be inconsistent with two school district policies.”
That’s when Anonymous came to Stone’s defense. Using the hashtag #OpLulzProm, the hacktivist collective asked its members to contact Phillips and the school district to get them to change their minds. (So far, the hashtag has been used more than 400 times.) Anonymous further explained its position in a public Pastebin document.
“We believe had Mike Stone or any other Tartan High School student secured a locally-known celebrity as an escort/date, the school district would allow it with no problems. … #Anonymous opposes this blatant example of discrimination, and also believes the school district is reacting to the worldwide publicity this story has brought them, and wishes to distance themselves from bad publicity.”
The document contains the home addresses and phone numbers for Phillips, seven school board members, Tartan High School principal John Bezek, and the schools three vice principals. It has been viewed more than 2,300 times since Friday.
“What PATTY PHILLIPS and the district fail to recognise is the worldwide reach of #Anonymous,” the document states.
They are legion. And they want Mike Stone to have a good time.


Lil’ Miss Environmentally Friendly Can Wash Away All Your Unwanted Toilet Sounds


Let’s face it; using public toilets is never a pleasant experience.  Putting aside all the legendary messes you have encountered, even if the restroom is immaculate you still have to worry about yourself.  As stealthily ninja-like you try to be on the can it is virtually impossible to do it without making any embarrassing sounds.
This is especially true of the fairer sex who often do a courtesy flush but in these ecologically sensitive times it’s hardly a sensible use of a gallon of water.
Now, Eco Otome (roughly translates to Lil’ Miss Environmentally-Friendly) has come to the rescue.  About the size of a keychain, you can easily and discreetly carry it into the john.  Then when the ducks start quackin’ or while the tea is getting topped off, you just push the button and said noises are quickly washed away amid the device’s prerecorded water sounds.
This device has the potential to relax sphincters worldwide and usher in an age of relievedly relieving ourselves.  But before we all go rushing to the can, we conducted a trial run.  Unfortunately, the “water sounds” are more like a Nine Inch Nails Album than a babbling brook.  This doesn’t seem to fit the Otome (fair maiden) image they are going for.
It’s understandable given that the device sells in Japan for 100 yen (US$1.20).  A cheap device should be expected to have cheap sound quality.  So you’ll have to choose which is more embarrassing, your typical sounds or bizarre Dub-Stepesque noises coming from your stall.
It’d make a great gift and send a message to the person in your office who likes to drop some megaton bombs after their morning coffee!