An anonymous tip from a highly reliable source:

"There are checkpoints in Syria where your Facebook is checked for affiliation with the rebellious groups or individuals aligned with the rebellion. People are then disappeared or killed if they are found to be connected. Drivers are literally forced to load their Facebook/Twitter accounts and then they are riffled through. It’s happening daily, and has been for a year at least."

Anyone have any corroboration for this?

Okay, I know Silicon Valley and mass media is all about promoting how badass social networks are for mobilizing revolutions, but c’mon. I’m gonna call shenanigans on this.

Not to critique the IT Crowd of the U.S. State Dept. funded uprisings of the world, but—fuck it. Facebook and Twitter are not there to aid in the struggles of the masses. They’re corporations with motivations to collect, catalog, and sell user data for commercial purposes. These are the last resources I would use to motivate a movement.

We do a similar thing over here, by the way. Threaten a public official using a social network and see how long it takes to get caught. We automate the process and harbor a deep see something, say something mentality. Whereas Syrian stooges supposedly setup fucking highway checkpoints to have a would-be dissenter log into an account baddy authorities don’t even know a detainee has.

Easiest solution and best practices for self-radicalizing do-gooders: Don’t organize using insecure networks built for marketing surveillance and data mining. There’re are myriad of solutions that would work better, no one talks about them. Firechat comes to mind, delete the app if you’re pulled over. Problem solved.

Lastly, to play devil’s advocate. Sure, I see the utility in something with the ubiquity of Facebook, Twitter, etc. Smart hash-tagging and easily digested/passed-on coding allows people to organize without the exclusivity of prerequisite technical expertise. For most folks savvy in regards to digital and mobile, social networks represent the public forums they so desperately desire. That said, they’re placing a lot of trust in people who just don’t care, leaving a paper trail to kindle a fire to burn them at the stake.

“I don’t give a sh*t if two guys, two gals, guy-gal, whatever it is, I believe that any human being in America, or any human being in the goddamn world, that wants to be married, and if it’s same-sex, more power to ‘em,” he said.

Because Stone Cold says so, and that’s the bottom line.

Hit the link for the audio clip where Austin bashes bigots.

*My condolences if you’re on a mobile and the site loads with Onswipe. Hit the desktop button in the upper right to get back to something useful, at least so you can listen to the snippet of verbal smack down.

They both have Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processors and they were both beaten in many tests by the iPhone 5S in Anandtech’s benchmarks. If getting a phone with the highest performing specifications is a priority, you’re looking toward the wrong platform. To reiterate what Jason said, this is very much a tie between the two.

Speaking from experience, and with admitted bias, this is totally true. Android prioritizes obscure features, specs, and hardware choice over cohesive and applicable benefits for the end user.

Sure, Android’s come a long way. It’s miles ahead of WinPhone 8.1 as far as utility, but it still sucks compared to iOS. Why? It’s janky. Scrolling still blows, even fast phones have lag compared to an iPhone 5(c,s). The biggest plus of Android is screen size.

theatlantic
theatlantic:

General Mills: If You Clip This Coupon, You Can’t Sue Us

General Mills, the food mega-corporation that owns Betty Crocker, Nature Valley, and basically every sweet cereal you ate and served your kids, has a startling new legal policy making it illegal to sue the company after you:

- download or print a coupon;

- “join” an online communities (which online communities is in question, but possibly including Facebook);

- subscribe to an email newsletter;

- or redeem a promotion or participate in any “offering.”

In other words: It just became nearly impossible to get a deal on a General Mills product without forfeiting your rights to sue the company. Even if your kid with a peanut allergy eats a Fiber One bar with trace amounts of peanuts and gets sick. For this reason, the Times reports that the new terms could come under strict legal scrutiny.
This policy, known as “forced arbitration,” is becoming common among companies seeking ways to prevent users and customers from joining together and suing for millions of dollars for things like false advertising.
Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]


Don’t eat that shit, and you don’t have to worry about it—directly.

theatlantic:

General Mills: If You Clip This Coupon, You Can’t Sue Us

General Mills, the food mega-corporation that owns Betty Crocker, Nature Valley, and basically every sweet cereal you ate and served your kids, has a startling new legal policy making it illegal to sue the company after you:

- download or print a coupon;

- “join” an online communities (which online communities is in question, but possibly including Facebook);

- subscribe to an email newsletter;

- or redeem a promotion or participate in any “offering.”

In other words: It just became nearly impossible to get a deal on a General Mills product without forfeiting your rights to sue the company. Even if your kid with a peanut allergy eats a Fiber One bar with trace amounts of peanuts and gets sick. For this reason, the Times reports that the new terms could come under strict legal scrutiny.

This policy, known as “forced arbitration,” is becoming common among companies seeking ways to prevent users and customers from joining together and suing for millions of dollars for things like false advertising.

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

Don’t eat that shit, and you don’t have to worry about it—directly.

For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.

I’m not sure how reliable the writing on this site is, but should the study be accurately reported, the facts are alarming.

Sadly, I wouldn’t say unexpected. If figures like that are true, knowledge of such could put a real damper on voting. Literally, why bother?

Is our democracy nothing more than a tradition?

I’m going to have to get ahold of the entire study.

I’ve seen people try to order a beer at brunch, and the response from the wait staff is akin to telling a date your favorite movie is Triumph of the Will and you love ball torture. Let me order something cheap without my waiter throwing shade in my general direction.

Right on.

So what if I might prefer a reasonably priced Bourbon and Ale 8 (3 parts bourbon, 1 part soda) with my steak and eggs Benedict over the shitty, fancied-up concoction reminiscent of Tang and Zima.

If I am getting wrenched out of bed while still harboring a righteous hangover some Sunday afternoon to suffer through a bunch of 1st world chit-chat, baking under the sizzling sun, feigning interest in someone’s tiny tyrant of a dog, I deserve a real fucking drink.

Sure champagne has its time and place (New Year’s, weddings, yacht christening…douchey fucks). As a mixer, it’s bullshit. Maybe sipping on something barely stronger than cough syrup helps you feel sophisticated and chic, but to me it’s beside the point. Alcohol exists to do its job, why fight it.

Better yet, to hell with brunch altogether. Wake me up for dinner and drinks.