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Google Deals With Racism

December 2, 2009 1 comment

Google is among the top search engines being used on the internet.  It has even been recently added to the dictionary as a verb, just “google” it.  With such get success comes many problems.  Google plays a role as a neutral tool for searching the web.  Many different images pop up when searched, some good and some bad.  There is a very complex method, which uses over 200 different factor, used to analyze which article or image is pulled up when searched.  A term “google bombing” is a n orchestrated effort by search engine users to force a specific result. 

More money more problems…Goole controls over 2/3 the market of search engines on the internet.  One problem they face today is racism.  A racist photo of Michelle Obama appeared among the top searches for “Michelle Obama”.  Because Google plays a neutral role they must keep the photo one the web but have taken step to prevent this kind of discrimination.  They have revised their algorithm to provide more relevant search results.  In recent years a new service has been developed for online companies to help manage their result on the web.  They attempt to exploit the good and hide the bad.  It is about to be 2010 and discrimination and racism is still an everyday problem faced in society(SAD).  Even though google can not physically remove any negative ads they do a great job of filtering the bad and promoting the good. 

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/12/02/google.search.obama/index.html

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Proposed Early Release For Inmates

December 2, 2009 2 comments

Oklahoma City budget cuts are putting pressure on the prisons.  Oklahoma’s prisons are at 98% capacity level but prison guards are becoming scarce.  A new proposal is the early release for non violent offenders which could potentially save millions.  Some non-violent crimes include burglary, theft, and drug charges.  You can see where an argument arises form this proposal.  Those in favor say that it would pose no threat to society because these offenders are non-violent.  Those opposed feel the safety of the state is a concern.  The article mentioned an alternative proposal that would remove Gov. Brad Henry form parole board involving non-violent offenders which would speed up the process time to get inmates released. 

The original proposal seems a little crazy.  In order to save money they would risk the safety of the town.  The offender that would possibly be released are non-violent but that doesnt mean their crimes did not affect anyone.  Those who are charged for burglary robbed someones home.  The victim of those crime are affected psychological as well as physical damage done to their personal property.  The second proposal sounds more permissable in regards to society’s safety.  By removing one person from a parole board would prevent the release of several criminals into society. 

http://www.koco.com/politics/21780830/detail.html

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Facebook Adds Some Privacy Settings

December 2, 2009 3 comments

In a recent article Facebook has decided to change it privacy settings for the individual users.  There are certain networking groups that the user can chose to join.  These groups included such categories as: high schools, colleges, work, non-profit organization, etc.  The users of the service will not be able to join network of friends who live in the same area but will be able to control who can view the information posted.  When someone creates a post everyone on their friends list gets an update message and can review the comment.  Facebook has decided to change that setting.  The new way is that when the post is created you can chose which group can view the comment or post.  There were over 18,000 responses to this change only within hours of its release with the majority of them being positive.

The new privacy setting allows the users the chance to choose who is able to view their personal information.  By being able to categorize the posting and who see them could be a plus for Facebook user to keep some things private.  My understanding of the new setting design should not give employers access to your Facebook if you see fit.  There is always a way for employers to find a way to view the employees account.  If employers were to pass some standard where they had to give the employer access to their Facebook accounts would that be violating the employees rights of privacy?  I think Facebook is doing a great job keeping user privacy rights in their business activities.  The 18,000 responses were an obvious result to this change being positive. 

 http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/12/02/facebook.networks.changes/index.html

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Billboard Warrants

December 1, 2009 1 comment

In Brown County the local sheriff’s office has devised a new way of trying to apprehend some wanted criminals.  They have recently posted arrest warrant ads on billboards. Brown County a billboard that is a little different from what you are probably used to, it displays ads with pictures of local criminals.  The billboard will display ten different criminals for the next two weeks.  The billboards were paid for by the Brown County Sheriff Foundation costing roughly $1,300.00.  Some of these criminals however are not all felony crimes .  The range of violations are from probation violation, assault and battery, and SPEEDING.  If you get caught speeding they might post your picture on the billboard.  This seemed a little odd.  I could understand if there were only felonies on the billboard but having your picture plastered on a public billboard for speeding seems outrageous.  I guess it is public knowledge and they are allowed to advertise that information if they choose.   

Just because its public knowledge it gives whoever the right to do with what they choose?  Who gets to decide who deserves the public scrutiny?  By the police force being in charge of these displays brings into question their balance of power.   The photos on the ads are of wanted criminals but what method is used to decide which criminal gets chosen.  The articles says that ten pictures will be shown in the following two weeks, so out of the many wanted criminals in Brown County which ten deserve to have the photo plaster all over the town? 

Maybe this town just has a low crime rate and speeding is at the top of the crime list. 

http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/brown-county-warrant-billboard

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Tigers Crazy Night

December 1, 2009 1 comment

All I hear about on the news is Tiger Woods car crash.  Reporter are anxious to get information regarding this situation.  In the early morning hours Woods left his driveway and struck a fire hydrant and a tree.  His wife heard the crash and ran out to find her husband unconscious.  She broke the glass out of the back windows to try and help Tiger out of the car?  He was sent to the hospital and released with minor injuries.  That should have been the end of it, but he is Tiger Woods the golf phenomenon and the news wouldn’t let that happen.  Reporters are harassing the Orlando County Sheriff Office trying to get leaked information about the case.  Tiger has not commented about anything involving what took place that night.  He is also postponing interviews with the sheriff office about the car accident.  He is required by law to show proper identification and information but he is not required to comment about the incident itself.  It seems as if there is an invasion of privacy by the public on Tiger Woods private life.  He is a celebrity and I guess that makes him fair game to have his private life made public?  Woods and his family has done a great job of keeping out of the public limelight but it seems his luck just ran out.  A negative public view can reunion some people.  There has been talk about Tiger indorsements being taking away because of this incident.  It happened to Micheal Phelps for pictures that arose of him smoking pot from a bong.  In that case there was physical evidence of him committing a crime.  In this case there is no evidence of Tiger Woods committing any crime.  Why would sponsors be considering dropping him?  Maybe because of public image.  If the public views him as a criminal or someone with bad behavior then no company would want to endorse them.  Tiger had to withdraw from a tournament earlier this week.  He has won that specific tournament four times and donates all of his winnings to his Tiger Woods Foundation Programs.      

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/11/28/tiger.woods/index.html

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Prejudice in Middle Schools

December 1, 2009 1 comment

A.E. Wright Middle School in L.A County, three children were arrested for suspicion of battery on school property by means of electronic communication known as “cyber bullying”.  The social networking service Facebook was at this base of this situation.  The students were involved in an activity they refer to as “Kick A Ginger Day” where they harass and assault other students.  The term “ginger” is a label that given to people with red hair, light skin, and freckles.  The idea came from an episode of “South Park” a television series.  There were eight children being considered suspects in the investigation, so far only three have been charged.  The children were sending messages on Facebook telling others to assault any “ginger”  on a certain day.  This is a clear case of prejudice discrimination.  One thing the really concerns me is that this is taking place in a middle school.  Children at such a young age engaging in behavior that should never be displayed or tolerated.  To learn that the students got an idea from a television show is another concern.  Children are acting out what they see on television to an extreme.  Anyone can be discriminated against and this case show that at any age also.  I heard about this situation in the news and had to read about it to get the clear facts.  Since the incident A.E Wright Middle School has given speeches on discrimination and made it clear that behavior of that nature is unacceptable. 

http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-ginger-beating,0,999291.story  

 

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Mortgage Crisis Blame falls on Who?

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

The mortgage crisis has been the topic of discussion on televisions for the past three years, but who is to blame for the mistakes?  The lenders for giving out loans to consumers who they knew weren’t capable of affording the payments?  The consumers for appling for the loans using stated income that was incorrect?  Rating companies for over rating securities backed by second mortgages?  Wall Street for packaging them(loans) up and selling them in an aggressive market?  The list goes on and on with parties involved and the roles the contributed to the mortgage bubble.  The article takes a look at rating companies for over rating securities backed by second mortgages.  The two compaines mentioned in the article are Moody’s and S&P rating agencies which together processed 2/3 of the issues backed by ultra risky second mortgages.  In the last year a new service has came to makret that ables you to value the mortgages backing the securities.  When rating agencies make rating mistake investors lose money.  Only after the money has been lost do the companies change the rating on the securities.  The rating agencies say they made a mistake and state they just stated an opinion that is protected under the first admendment.  Since the start of the crisis S&P has taken action to toughen its standards and completly elimanited securities backed by second mortgages.  It might not be clear to who is exactly responsible for the crisis.  It could be a number of people, compaines, or even countries that are to blame.  There has to be steps taken to assure that is event will never happen again and those who were responsible be punished for their actions. 

http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/30/real_estate/mortgage_lessons.fortune/index.htm?cnn=yes

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