Facebook – “NEVER EVER AGAIN” – the scandal continues to grow 24 March

First, an apology from FB after a few days! This raises some crucial questions. Why so long? Doesn’t FB know what its own system is doing?? Or did they know, but had to figure out what their “optimal” response could and should be? Either which way,  it does not look too good at all IMHO whichever way you look at it, even with the best will in the world!

Should FB’s apology be accepted and/or should there be some strong and effectively punitive, financial penalties that encourage FB to understand that user rights and use of user data should not be abused and violated? In his statement MZ said “The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago”. Hardly confidence enhancing since if true, how come this has happened now?
Possibly financial sanctions should also be designed to ensure that if anything similar should ever happen again, FB knows what the outcome should, could,   and would be. And for that to happen, effective measures need to be taken now not at some indefinite time and place “tomorrow”.

Otherwise, repetitions will undoubtedly recur.Profits are too great for temptation to be resisted.

Just accepting a late and painless apology from FB does not seem to be a sufficient remedy. Substantial effort should be put into ensuring that FB plays by the rules such that income gained in any given country should be assessed for tax and paid as tax revenues in that country, and not merely be shifted to and declared in countries with the lowest possible corporate tax rates.
Real penalties are called for that could at least indirectly benefit users who have had their privacy violated in recent years.
In addition, if FB wishes to stay in business it should clarify and streamline its reporting systems so that users can monitor and “guide”  FB to do what is right. A couple of months ago I had to report a physically threatening post I received to FB, and received a cryptic response, without being able to get clarification from FB.
An apology alone is totally insufficient. It would mean we accept something like “We are terribly sorry we violated your privacy and did not follow our own terms and conditions. We did not mean to do this, we hope you will understand, our mission is to serve you to the best of our ability”. And not just to make enormous profits for our founders and shareholders. Or is FB, like some banks, too big to fail.
If it is close to that, then maybe that is all the more reason to make sanctions as punitive as possible.
So “NeverAgain” could be the buzz word to shout for a “call to effective action” before it is too late! And if this weakens FB, so be it, maybe it is worth the price even  though all some people may still think of FB as the world’s social media platform.

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Obtain a Home Equity Loan Or Credit Line

You’ve probably seen the ads for home-equity loans. They normally show a tanned and fit couple frolicking on the beach during their dream vacation or an all-American-looking family smiling in front of their gorgeous new van. Sometimes they show a blushing bride to be wearing an engagement ring with a diamond the size of a Volkswagen or a kid grinning ear to ear as he opens the best Christmas present of his life.

Home-equity loans and home-equity lines of credit can be very convenient. In fact, they can be lifesavers if you have unexpected expenses or expenses you just can not cover. This type of loans is taken, as the name follows, against the equity you’ve built up in your home. Your equity is used as collateral on the loan. Always remember, though, that there’s a big risk associated with home-equity loans. If you default on the loan, you lose your home.

What is a Home Equity Loan?

A home equity loan is simply a loan keyed to the equity in your home. The equity in your home is the value of your home less the balance of the mortgage you used to purchase the home and any other debt secured by the home, such as a tax lien, judgment lien, or second mortgage.

Using the equity buildup in a home to finance purchase is an alternative to refinancing. Home equity loans are of funds for homeowners to use for a variety of financial needs, including the following:

* To finance the purchase of expensive items.

* To consolidate existing install loans or credit card debt.

* To pay medical, education, home improvement, or other expenses.

Obtaining a home equity loan has advantages and disadvantages. If all of your debts are unsecured and your house is exempt from collection. It’s almost never a good idea to put your home into jeopardy by getting a second mortgage or home equity line of credit. If you’re behind your house payment, you’ll be better off negotiating a mortgage workout with your lender.

If you decide that you do want a home equity loan a mortgage workout or for some other reason, be sure you understand all the terms before you sign on the dotted line. It is extremely important that you find out how much the loan will cost you each month and determine whether you can afford it.

Consider the following pros and cons of home equity loans and credit lines.

Advantages of Home equity Loans and Credit Lines

You can barrow a fixed amount of money and repay it in equal monthly installments for a set period of time. Or, you can barrow as you need the money, drawing against the amount granted when you opened the account: you’ll pay off this type of loan as you would a credit Card bill.

The interest you pay may be fully deductible on your income tax return.

Disadvantages of Home Equity Loans

Some home equity loans are sold by predator lenders at very high rates. Predatory lenders target people in financial trouble or with past credit problems. Often, predator lenders count on the borrower not being able to make the loan payments and expect to forelose on the house when the borrower fails to make payments.

Teaser rates may make a home equity loan look more attractive than it is. Equity loans often have a variable interest rate that increases or falls with a particular interest rate index. But often, the rate for the first six months to three years is much lower. Once the initial period ends, the rate automatically jumps up to the regular variable rate, which can make your loan payments much higher.

Before you take out s home equity loan, be sure you can afford the monthly payment.

Source by Olimpio Zapanta

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A College’s Bait & Switch

Your child was accepted to a college which offered a financial aid package. And chances are good that the last paragraph of the award notice stated that the offer was good for all 4 years if a certain minimum GPA is maintained.

So far, so good. Everyone is clear on what is expected.

CAUTION: Some colleges do NOT write in this last paragraph for a reason: money. Their money. Money they don’t want to give away next year.

If your student’s award letter has no mention of maintaining a minimum GPA all four years of college, call the college and ask for the Director of Financial Aid. Ask if the award amount you received is guaranteed all 4 years. If the answer is “Yes,” but you don’t see it in the letter, it’s possible that it’s stated in the school’s financial aid policy statement. “Possible” means you’d better find out soon.

If you have access to the college’s policy statement on financial aid, but you see no mention of a guarantee for all 4 years based on a minimum GPA, ask for an email confirmation of the director’s “Yes” to be sent as soon as you conclude the conversation. If you don’t receive the confirmation within 5 days, call back the same person and discretely and gently ask for the email confirmation again. The email acts as a legal document in case you need it later.

I bet you see where this is going. Protect yourself against the possibility that the school is pulling a fast one. Most colleges don’t use this tactic, but if you don’t notice it, what will be your explanation to your child next year if there’s not enough financial aid coming from the school in the second year? What will be your recourse if the school says that they have a policy of not guaranteeing a similar aid package based on a minimum GPA, and that it isn’t their fault if you didn’t notice?

The devil is in the details.

Source by Paul Hemphill

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Introduction To Dance

Dance Dancing is generally considered an art because there are specific steps or foot movements that need to be observed and followed when one is dancing to a certain type of music. Grace as well as skill is essential for a professional dancer in their performances. Though not everyone is gifted with the elegance required in being a talented dancer, learning the basics in dancing is important since you never know when your terpsichorean competence is required. A number of people enjoy dancing as an outlet of releasing one’s tensions after a hard day’s work. There are individuals who go an extra mile in trying to learn a new dance step in order to be up-to-date with the latest dance crazes. Fortunately for those who want to learn, there are dance schools that offer formal as well as short courses in dancing. Everyday, new dance steps and choreography are being invented hence, the evolution of dancing continues.

Dancing can also be a form of exercise to burn unwanted fat away. Many exercise regimens today have incorporated dancing as part of their physical activities. The rationale behind such incorporation is that dancing utilizes almost all parts of the body leading to a healthy blood circulation within your body. By combining dancing with your daily exercise, you can enjoy yourself while keeping your body fit and trim.

Dance music refers to the musical compositions that accompany the performance of a dance. Music is an essential part of a dance as a dancer’s movement and steps are executed to suit the rhythm or tempo of the musical arrangement. Perfect harmony in dancing is achieved when the dancer flawlessly moves in synchronism to the music that is being played.

The dance music is normally monikered the dance for which it was named after. At present, you have the following dances – the bolero, the cancan, the cha-cha, the fox-trot, the jitterbug, the mambo, the meringue, the minuets, the polka, the tango, the salsa, the swing, the twist, the waltz, folk dances, rock and roll, modern dance, among others. Aside from the music that accompanies the dancer, each dance boasts of having their respective trademark steps and movements that symbolizes the particular dance. Thus, just by looking at the foot works and the hand movements, you can easily identify what type of dance is being performed.

Costumes are likewise essential parts of a dance especially if one is dancing as a profession or when one is engaged in a competition. One should comply in wearing the proper costumes since you would want to avoid an accident while dancing. For example, if you were the female dancer, you would not want to slip on your flowing dress when dancing the tango or the swing. Keep in mind that although your dress or costume accentuates your dancing, it is best to put on something that is comfortable and suitable. Shoes are another consideration when dancing. You must use appropriate shoes that ideally fits your feet and will not hamper your movements.

To dance is an expression of one’s individuality. There are many dance forms that you can try to your heart’s content.

Source by Michael Russell

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Bortsprungen katt i Sommarbo, Haninge 10 dagar – hjälp om du kan!

Min mening är att hjälåa en mycket god vän som  är ledsen därföratt hans katt har försvunnit 10 daga nu.

Vår katt Ginger försvann från Sommarbo 278 runt 15-tiden söndagen 18-07-08.
 
Han är en liten bondkatt med korthårig röd päls och är 8 år gammal.
 
Kan du vänligen kolla i ditt garage och förråd i fall han är instängd där.
 
Kontaktuppgifter:
 
Pat Plunkett
Sommarbo 278
tel: 073-922 9462
epost: pat.plunkett@outlook.com
 
Tack för hälp

Bilden av Ginger

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


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The Lib-Dems really do appreciate our support, and they need it, let’s give it ALL NOW. The last lap.

C

Brian – thank you so much!

We really appreciate your support for our campaign for an Exit from Brexit. This Government is a shambles – and they’re making an absolute hash of the Brexit negotiations.

That’s why we think you, the British people need the final say on any Brexit deal – and if it’s not right for you & your family, you should have the chance to reject it and stay in Europe.

Support is growing every minute for our campaign, but we can’t let up. Here are a few things you can do right now to help:

1 – Share the campaign on Facebook

Your friends and family are much more likely to join our campaign if you ask them – it only takes a few seconds and you can make a massive difference! Share the campaign on Facebook today:

Share on Facebook

2 – Share the campaign on Twitter

Twitter is a great place for our campaign to get noticed – and by sharing it on Twitter, you’ll help make sure we get more supporters – and better media coverage as well. Share the campaign on Twitter today:

Share on Twitter

3 – Donate and help us spread the word

We’re also running adverts online to make sure as many people as possible join our campaign and every £5 you donate will mean 12,000 people see our campaign online. Will you donate today?

Donate now

Thank you again Brian. Together, we will take the fight to this Conservative Brexit Government and we stand a real chance of exiting from Brexit.

Vince

Vince Cable
Leader of the Liberal Democrats & MP for Twickenham

PS: You can also help by forwarding this email to your friends and asking them to sign the petition. Your friends can do that here: libdems.org.uk/exit-brexit


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Facebook, Cambridge Analytics and Academic World

The academic at the centre of the Facebook data scandal has said the social network is in full-on “PR crisis mode”.

Aleksandr Kogan’s remarks came as he faced a grilling over his role from MPs.

The social network was fully aware that its platform “was being mined by thousands of others”, he said.

He also rubbished Cambridge Analytica boss Alexander Nix’s initial claims that it had not received data from him.

“That is a fabrication,” he said.

In a later clarification, Cambridge Analytica did admit that it had licensed data from the firm set up by Dr Kogan, although denied that the information was used in the US elections.

At a press conference held after Dr Kogan’s appearance before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Cambridge Analytica spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the company was “no Bond villain”.

“Data analysis is commonly used for better targeting and is perfectly legitimate. It is not some Bond-like brainwashing as has been portrayed by some.”

Money-making exercise?

Dr Kogan was questioned by MPs about his role in the data harvesting row.

He revealed that he had signed a non-disclosure agreement with Facebook, which prevented him from revealing some details about his relationship with the tech giant to the MPs.

The Cambridge academic has become a central figure in the debate over whether the personal information of millions of Facebook users was used in US elections without their consent.

During the committee hearing, he explained that he was approached by SCL – the parent firm of Cambridge Analytica – in spring 2014 about monetising an app he had developed at the University of Cambridge’s Psychology Department.

He set up a commercial entity – Global Science Research – and later developed the personality quiz My Digital Life for SCL, using a market research firm to recruit 200,000 people to take part.

At the time, the social network’s terms and conditions – which have since been changed – allowed developers to cull the details of all of these people’s friends as well.

“Initially the conversations with SCL were about consulting services, survey designs and the interest in Facebook data grew out of that,” he said.

MPs grilled him on the relationship with business partner Joseph Chancellor, with whom he set up GSR and who is now employed by Facebook.

“Facebook has called your company a scam and a fraud. Is it not odd that they employ someone who by their admission has violated the platform’s policies?” asked committee chairman Damian Collins.

“I don’t believe that they actually believe this. They know that their platform is being mined left and right by thousands of others,” Dr Kogan replied.

“It is convenient to point the finger at my firm and call it a rogue agency,” he added.

He was asked whether the firm had been set up as a money-making exercise and replied that it had only received £230,000 in total.

Initial payments of between £600,000 and £800,000 from SCL were used to pay those who agreed to take the quiz, he said.

In written evidence presented ahead of the committee, Dr Kogan pointed out that the personality scores provided to Cambridge Analytica’s parent firm SCL were “highly inaccurate”.

“We estimate that we were right about all five traits for about 1% of the people.”

He added that the data would not have been useful for micro-targeting ads on Facebook.

Not brainwashing

Alexander Nix
Image captionCambridge Analytica’s suspended chief executive Alexander Nix has postponed another appearance before the DCMS committee

Following his appearance, Cambridge Analytica broke its silence on the row with a press conference held in London.

Spokesman Clarence Mitchell agreed that the data Dr Kogan had provided to the company had been “virtually useless”.

“It was only just above random guessing in statistical terms,” he said.

He reiterated that the data had not been used in the US presidential campaign and that while Cambridge Analytica had pitched for work to both Vote Leave and Remain, it had undertaken no work for either side in the EU referendum campaign.

He said the results of an independent inquiry into the company were due imminently.

When questioned about the notable absence of currently suspended Cambridge Analytica chief executive Alexander Nix, Mr Mitchell said he was “not here to speak for him”.

But he defended Mr Nix’s decision to “postpone” an appearance in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

“He is keen and willing to speak to the DCMS committee but has been advised that he should not do so while an independent inquiry is ongoing.”

On Thursday, Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, will be questioned by the committee.

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Inspiration from Tobias “Still in the Bank” and “Looking for Sensation”

Had the very good fortune to meet Tobias a couple of years ago at an IT Investment exhibition. Only later did I discover the journey he had made,  why he was “Still in the bank”, the title of the collection is “Looking for Sensation” and was started as part of his rehabilitation after suffering a stroke. I found his story so inspiring that I asked him to share it with others. And this is it, truly mesmerising and wonderful! Both the songs and the story. I believe it is available through Spotify, and from his domain name  based on reversing his Christian name, Tobias=Saibot so we have http://www.saibotmusic.se.  Enjoy!

Tobias’s article is hosted on my web site https://gobaug.org where you will see some of the issues I have been concerned with. Unlike Tobias I can’t sing a note, had suffered a serious car accident that put me in a wheelchair, but when the UK Government made its Brexit referendum decision, I got so angry, almost jumped out of the wheelchair, and set about fighting Brexit and raising my issues, covering quite a diverse area. Pure self-indulgence but with a semi-serious purpose. (more…)

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Facebook – TIME TO STOP FB SCANDALS – enough is enough

First, an apology from FB after a few days! This raises crucial questions. Why so long? Doesn’t FB know what its own system is doing?? Or did they know, but had to figure out what their “optimal” response could and should be? Either which way, it does not look too good at all IMHO whichever way you look at it, even with the best will in the world!

Should FB’s apology be accepted and/or should there be some strong and effectively punitive, financial penalties that “encourage” FB to understand that user rights and use of user data should not be abused and violated? In his statement MZ said “The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago”. Hardly confidence enhancing since if true, how come this has happened right now? Hardly logical! Someone should go back to the school bench.

Possibly financial sanctions should also be designed to ensure that if anything similar ever happens again, FB knows what the outcome should, could, and would be. And for that to happen, effective measures need to be taken now rather than at some indefinite time and place in the world of “tomorrow”.

Otherwise, repetitions will undoubtedly recur. Profits are too great for FB to resist temptation.

Merely accepting a late and painless apology from FB does not per se seem to be a sufficient remedy. Substantial effort should be put into ensuring that FB plays by the rules (including its own) such that income gained in any given country should be assessed for tax and paid as tax revenues in that country, and not just be shifted to and declared in countries with the lowest possible corporate tax rates in or outside the EU.

Real penalties are called for that could at least indirectly benefit users who have had their privacy violated in recent years.
In addition, if FB wishes to stay in business, it should clarify and streamline its reporting systems so that users can monitor and “guide” FB to do what is right. A couple of months ago fearing some Brexiteer gangsters I had to report a physically threatening post I received to FB, and then received a typically cryptic FB response, and secondly worse still zero response to my request for clarification from FB.

An apology alone is totally insufficient. It would mean we accept from FB something like “We are terribly sorry we violated your privacy and did not follow our own terms and conditions. We did not mean to do this, we hope you will understand, our mission is to serve you to the best of our ability”. And not just to make enormous profits for our founders and shareholders. Or is FB, like some banks, too big to fail.
If it is close to that, then maybe that is all the more reason to make sanctions for the current failure as punitive as legally possible. So there would be little doubt about the applicability of future sanctions.
So “Never_Ever_Again” could be the buzz phrase to shout for a “call to effective action” before it is too late! And if this weakens FB, so be it, It is not undeserved. Maybe it is worth the price even though many may still think of FB as the world’s social media platform. God, China or Russia, please help us; if we can’t help ourselves!

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