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Dating Online? Your SAT Score May Determine Who You See On a Site

Interesting tidbit here, that some sites including the largest dating site, Match is using your educational data to manipulate who you see on the site, as well as who sees you. By collecting data such as your SAT Score, a test you likely took way back there in High School, a good analyst can determine a couple of things about you. First, people with the top 10% or so in SAT Scores tend to be College Graduates. Recent research has shown that that has no correlation to them being smarter, than say the next 25% – but being in the top 10% means you have a better chance of attending an elite school. One of the common characteristics of elite schools is a much higher graduation rate – typically over 90% for the very top schools vs 50-65% for State Schools. That also has some rather significant impact on potential income.

Along with the numerous personal tastes which drive selection of someone to date, liking tall women, or short men, redheads, or spiked hair and nose rings…

Is the correlation that relationships are based on shared experiences. There is a low likelihood that a woman whose job takes her around the world is going to chose a guy who is a construction worker. If I can’t dress her up and take her out with my friends and business associates without embarrassment…The relationship is very short lived. If a woman doesn’t want to date men with beards, then the fastest way to drive her off a dating site is to fill her potential matches box up with bearded guys.

Where the rub comes, is how they collect this information. And something I will call “disparate impact”, because black folks tend to have lower SAT Scores.

How Dating Sites, Thanks to Princeton Review, Know More About You Than You Do

When I was growing up, there were always three places that my parents said were great for meeting your future girlfriend, wife or significant other: church, work and, of course, school. Our church attendance had waned in my late high school years, and I worked at a bagel bakery—so college seemed the mostly likely option for me.

For me, living in the lily-white suburbs where dating options were fraught with complications (because racism), the idea that doing well on my SATs might put me in a college classroom next to my own personal Freddie Brooks, Monica Wright or Laila was enough incentive to put in those extra study hours.

Of course, it turns out that my parents were more prescient than they thought. Dating companies are starting to use college prep for matchmaking purposes, which causes some groups to worry about not only our education policies but our privacy, too.

At this point we’re all in the Matrix. Despite the extremes to which Edward Snowden went to show us how the government violates our privacy, most Americans give up terabytes of personal information every day for an extra 10 percent off at Target. Want this new free app? Give us access to all your phone contacts. Want to sign up for this new email account? We’ll scan your emails for potential advertising targets.

This kind of intrusive data mining is particularly important in the African-American community, where the majority of our Internet access comes through smartphones and our social media use, especially on places like Twitter, where our use is incredibly high. But what about when you don’t expect your personal information to be used?

Late in 2014, Match Group, the consortium that owns Match.com, OkCupid, Tinder and a ton of other dating apps and sites, decided that it wanted to improve its access to young, fresh, single people’s preferences and tendencies. So what did it do? It purchased the Princeton Review. That’s right, Princeton Review, the test-prep program most commonly used by African Americans across the country, now collects data on kids to improve the targeting, marketing and analysis of dating platforms.

Now, it’s not working all that well if you’re black and dating on OkCupid, but in general, the strategy was that all those random surveys you take in an SAT-prep class—like on yourcollege hopes and worries, what makes a good college, college-ranking surveys, etc.—are chock-full of data that can help dating sites down the road. The catch is that survey data that was ostensibly about education is now being used for purposes that the kids taking those surveys never intended.

As with other breaches of computer privacy, most Americans reacted with a yawn. What’s the big deal if scouring the academic insecurities of a bunch of teenagers helps an organization connect a neurotic grad student with a working-class Romeo a few years later? First, you’re not getting paid for it. Many public schools that are majority African American and subsidize SAT-prep programs to help kids get into college are essentially paying twice: once to get the test prep for students and then again by giving this company millions of dollars in free information that doesn’t come back to the school.

But the problem runs deeper than that. This aggregate collecting of big data without the knowledge of consumers leads to everything from increased insurance premiums to loan discrimination to identity theft. What if Match.com sells Princeton Review-survey information to corporations that use internal data to decide whether or not loans should go to certain communities? What if high school survey data is used to justify aggressive stop-and-frisk-type policies—providing a cheap shortcut for lazy police departments that don’t want to conduct their own research?

Or, quite simply, what about the preponderance of data breaches we’ve seen, from Sony to Target, that are made easier the more hands our personal data goes through without our knowledge? Several organizations, including Consumer Action out of California, have begun highlighting these problems, especially with the way consumer data is being extracted from minority communities withno regard for privacy, reimbursement or consumer protection. However, it wouldn’t hurt if some 2016 candidates talked about this issue, seeing as how just a few months ago, half the GOP field was willing to let the FBI just dig all around Apple’s data files….

 
 

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A Fun Illusion – Woman Disappears on Live TV!

Driving the Internet crazy – this one of a woman, seen standing on the left side of the video “disappearing” when another woman with a luggage cart walks by.

 

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2016 in Nawwwwww!

 

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Death of an Era

The fastest growing segment of the music industry is recordings on Vinyl. Yeah, it is antique by today’s standards – but the audio quality far surpasses anything on the digital medias. Turntables and Tube Amps are back – big time, as Vinyl sales are rising at 50% a year.

So the death of this Chicago institution has more to do with merchandising than product. The costs of maintaining a brick and mortar retail outlet versus warehousing and distribution through the Internet. What will be interesting to see is whether the internet model will work in an industry where impulse buying is integral to sales. Last count, I had about 600 Albums in my personal collection. Fully half of those were “impulse buys” while looking for something else, where in thumbing through the bins I saw something such as a particular musician or group of musicians doing studio on the recording. Such “Liner Note” information is seldom provided on Internet sites – making searching for a “find” particularly vexing on the net.

Chicago is a bit smaller today.

Jazz Record Mart closes

The Jazz Record Mart, which long billed itself as “The World’s Largest Jazz and Blues Record Store,” closed its doors at 11:30 a.m. Monday, 10 minutes after a deal was completed to sell the business, according to manager/buyer Kent Richmond.

Wolfgang’s Vault – a Reno, Nev., operation that buys and sells music, film and other cultural items – has acquired the store’s inventory and the Jazz Record Mart name and web site.

“We had a lot of people knocking on the doors this morning,” said Richmond. “We did open at 10 and did a fair amount of business for the short time we were open.

“Once the deal was finalized, that’s when we had to close the doors.”

Also sold in the deal were “record bins, all the art work and everything,” said Richmond. The inventory will be shipped to Nevada…More

For you youngsters who have never been in one of these – this is what the Old Skool Record stores looked like. It is sort of like the difference between a Kindle and a real book.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Shopper Beware

Any place thee is money – there will people there trying to steal it. Recently ran into two scams, one being based on the old Nigerian, “there is money left in your name, just send us money to get it to you” ruse, a second by a Internet employment board requesting $40 a month to access nonexistent executive level jobs. Most real companies have a Jobs board on their website. If they do not it is a red flag that something isn’t quite right. If the job isn’t listed on a company website, and is listed on an online one requiring you to pay membership fees…It 90% of the time is a scam. The most effective scams are based around playing on the victim’s greed and avarice.

Any website, that isn’t the US Government IRS or Social Security that asks you online for your SSN, or credit card number online…Is a Scam. Period.

In general – if it sounds to good to be true..It’s a scam.

Here’s a list of 12 scams from the Better Business Bureau and law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for as you hit the malls or shop online.

Fake shipping notifications: These can have attachments or links to sites that will download malware on your computer to steal your identity and your passwords. Don’t be fooled by a holiday phishing scam.

E-cards: Electronic holiday cards can be used to steal your data. Two red flags to watch out for are: the sender’s name is not apparent; you are required to share additional information to get the card.

Letters from Santa: Several trusted companies offer personalized letters from Santa, but scammers mimic them to get personal information from unsuspecting parents. Check with bbb.org to find out which ones are legitimate.

Temporary holiday jobs: Retailers and delivery services need extra help at the holidays, but beware of offers that require you to share personal information online or pay for a job lead. Apply in person or go to retailers’ main websites to find out who is hiring.

Unusual forms of payment: Be wary of anyone who asks you to pay for holiday purchases using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, third parties, etc. These payments cannot be traced and cannot be undone. Use a credit card on a secure website; look for https in the address (the extra “s” is for “secure”) and the lock symbol.

Social media gift exchange: It sounds like a great deal; buy one gift and get 36 in return. But it’s aa variation on a pyramid scheme and it’s illegal, says the BBB.

Deceptive Advertising — Just like fake websites, fake apps are built at this time of year to target people who prefer shopping from their phones. Be especially wary of phone shopping apps; even those marked with an Amazon or Ebay logo could be fake. And, dangerous links, phony contests on social media, and bogus gift cards allow scammers to steal your personal information, says McAfee.com. Watch out for URLs that use the names of well-known brands along with extra words.

Bogus Charities — The holidays prompt us to donate to charities, but scam artists take advantage of this by sending emails for fake charities or sharing viral promos. Before donating, do your homework. Groups such as the Better Business Bureau, Charity Watch and even the Internal Revenue Service have tips to safely donate to charities.

Promotional Emails —The International Business Times says to treat all promotional emails that aren’t coming from a trusted retailer as dangerous material. Even if you open the email, do not click on any links inside.

Gift Card Scams — The popular gifts can be an opportunity for thieves, who copy the numbers off cards in a store, then check online or call the 1-800 number to see if the card is activated. Once a card is active, the thieves spend its contents online, and the rightful card holder has no money, says the Better Business Bureau. And never buy discounted gift cards sold online; scammers will keep your cash, and use the gift cards.

Use a Credit Card — Using a credit card is safer than swiping your debit card when shopping. Credit cards have more security features than debit cards and credit companies are more willing to replace your stolen money than most banks, according to IBT.

Package Theft — The internet is full of videos of thieves stealing packages left by delivery services on doorsteps. Police believe the criminals follow delivery trucks into neighborhoods, say Annapolis Police. To thwart thieves, require a signature for all packages. If nobody will be home to accept a delivery, have the package held at the nearest service location for you to pick it up.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2015 in American Greed

 

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Tamir Rice – Racist Trolls Destroy Comments Section

Coordinated attacks by racist trolls on comments sections aren’t unusual anymore. Here, the Cleveland Newspaper discovers just how damaging to sensible discussion they are…

 

Cleveland paper nixes Tamir Rice comment section: ‘A small army’ couldn’t stop the ‘cesspool’ of racism

The Cleveland Plain Dealer explained this week that it had disabled comments on all of its stories about a 12-year-old black child who was shot by police because “a small army” of administrators could not delete the racist comments fast enough.

In a column on Monday, Chris Quinn, the Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Vice President of Content, said that the paper had hoped that articles about the shooting of Tamir Rice would be “an ideal subject for us to meet one of our chief goals at cleveland.com, hosting community conversations on topics of widespread interest.”

But he noted that comments had been disabled in October because “we don’t fancy our website as a place of hate, and the Tamir Rice story has been a magnet for haters.”

“We enlisted a small army on our staff to monitor the comments and delete any that violated our standards,” Quinn wrote. “The trouble was that we couldn’t keep up. Just about every piece we published about Tamir immediately became a cesspool of hateful, inflammatory or hostile comments.”

“Rather than discuss the facts of the case, many commenters debased the conversation with racist invective. Or they made absurd statements about the clothing and appearance of people involved in the story. Or they attacked each other for having contrasting viewpoints. In many cases, well over half of the comments on Tamir stories broke our rules and had to be deleted.”

Observing that the comments were “overrun as they were by wickedness,” the staff decided to shut down the comment section on stories about Rice.

Quinn pointed out that some had tried to move their “odious comments” to unrelated stories, and that those users’ accounts were deleted.

At the time of publication, Quinn’s column had nearly 1,500 comments, and a number of them had already been removed for violating the paper’s commenting policy.

 

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2015 in The Definition of Racism

 

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Death Threats Against Howard University Students

Well…the racist morons are coming out of the woodwork. What this has done is to fully validate the experiences as reported by black Mizzou students.

FBI Investigating Unconfirmed Death Threat Against Howard University Students

The FBI and local authorities are investigating an apparent death threat against students at Howard University, a spokesman for the school says. The unconfirmed threat appeared on Twitter early Thursday in the form of an anonymous, racist rant seeking to connect the recent upheaval at the University of Missouri with Howard, the nation’s oldest historically black college or university.

The rant appears to have originated Wednesday on an internet discussion site. In it, the author claims to have returned to Maryland from Columbia, Missouri, where earlier this week Missouri students upset with their school’s tepid reactions to a string of racially motivated incidents prompted the resignations of top university administrators.

“I left MU yesterday because I couldn’t put up with it anymore,” the post, which is riddled with profanities and racial slurs, reads. “I go home to MD and what do I see? The same old shit.”

The message then states that any black people “left at Howard University after 10 tomorrow will be the first to go. … Sure the po po will take me down, but I’ll go out a hero knowing I made the world better.” The screed also suggests people heading toward nearby Metro stations would also be targeted.

“We are aware of the online threat and have made appropriate notifications,”Andrew Ames, a spokesman for the FBI’s Washington field office, writes in an email. “We urge anyone who has information about the threat to contact the Metropolitan Police Department or the FBI.”

Classes and other functions at Howard are still ongoing, though the campus is under a state of heightened security, according to a school-wide email from the university’s president, Wayne Frederick.

“We are aware of the threat made against the university and its students and are working with campus, local, and federal law enforcement on this serious matter. This is an ongoing investigation,” he writes.

Police in Missouri yesterday arrested two college students for making death threats against black students in response to the events in Columbia.

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2015 in The Definition of Racism, The New Jim Crow

 

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Does The Internet Enable Hate Crimes and Mass Murder?

 Trolls and hate. The Internet was conceptualized as an open system across which to share ideas and scientific concepts. Unfortunately none of the founders, having grown up largely in the shielded world of academia had any concept of the nefarious uses to which the tool could be put by hate groups, criminals, and the mentally and socially imbalanced.

The Internet, besides enabling new types of crime, international crime, and deviant pornography such as kiddie porn has also enabled hate mongers through the anonymous nature of the system to spew their vile hatred and to recruit weak minded children like Dylaan Root, who got much of his racial animosity for the Council of Conservative Citizens Web site(s).

The killer in the recent Oregon Colleges mass shooting has been tied to antisocial hubs (4Chan), as well as white supremacist and chrisitian Identity hate groups on the conservative Web.

So it isn’t just the “white Sale” on guns driving the carnage – it is the commercial sale of, and manufacture of hate and disenfranchisement for political and power purposes.

We can stop this, but to do so requires a large group of people to first take down the entry point to the Hate Groups. That typically is the fact free and often racist world of conservative white identity politics. It includes going at sites like The National Review which publishes articles of racial hate mongering by such folks as Heather McDonald, and Michelle Malkin. Both of whom frequently are published or have contracts with VDare, a white supremacist site which uses conservative racist authors as a entre’ into the harcore racism of their staff. The American Spectator, the International Business Daily, the NRO, the Federalist, Townhall, and the Wall Street Journal all serve as entries into the world of hardore racism through the introduction to racist “theology”. Many of the sites actively ban liberal, or non-racist posters through cutting them off from posting to assure no level of sanity, or truth interferes with their incited hate fests. Indeed, many conservative sites run like rats when someone shines the light.

Got to hit them in their rat holes. If we can force the entry points to see the light – then it takes away the respectability of the supremacist sites and their ability to recruit little tow headed trolls and murders like Root.

De-legitimize hate.

Lone Wolves in the Age of the Internet: Do Hate Crimes Happen More Because of Broadband Internet Access?

In an ideal world, the Internet would be a place of inclusivity and democracy. Instead, it’s just the opposite.

A new research study led by Jason Chan, Ph.D., shows a positive relationship between broadband Internet access and incidence of hate crimes. Specifically,race-driven hate crimes committed by individuals, rather than those committed in groups, increased.

Chan, an Assistant Professor of Information and Decision Science for the Carson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, discovered the correlation using official FBI data on hate crime incidents, compared to that of broadband provider access taken from FCC documents. Between 2001 and 2008, access to just one broadband ISP showed a 20 percent rise in hate crimes, particularly in areas of high racial tension.

“We see this from two different perspectives,” Chan tells The Daily Beast, “the consumers of hate content, and the producers of it. Hate content refers to internet posts that bring about skewed ideologies and advocating for a supremacy of one race over other races.”

The first perspective has to do with selective exposure, wherein readers intentionally seek out information that galvanizes their fringe beliefs.

“When readers go online,” Chan says, “there is a specialization of interest. This magnifies or amplifies the messages posted on it. This is contrary to what we believe. We believe, instead of making things more narrow, the Internet should make things more inclusive and democratic. However, people tend to search out things relevant to existing interests, which amplifies such narrow thoughts.”

Chan says developing online recruitment techniques for hate peddlers contributes to this rise as well.

“Content providers,” Chan says, “have changed the way in which they have to execute their propaganda. They use a strategy known as leaderless resistance. Whenever they put up propaganda to have content to provide the motivation, encouragement, and justification to people on the edge. It gives them reason why they should be outside normal thought.”

After yet another mass shooting, this one leaving 10 people dead at Umpqua Community College last Thursday, digital traces of the lone gunman in the attack are again left to the examination of law enforcement officials and reporters. Just hours after the shooter, Chris Harper Mercer, was killed in a standoff with police, several online accounts tracing back to Mercer expressed hate for organized religion. What’s worse, one witness said Mercer forced his victims to state their beliefs before heartlessly killing them, specifically targeting Christians.

It’s a pattern becoming tragically more common: a mass shooting takes place, and we later discover how blatantly the perpetrators expressed hate for their victims online. In this case, clear connections emerge between recent shootings: Mercer referred, in one post, to Vester Flanagan, the man who killed two people on live television in Virginia in August. Flanagan himself made specific reference to Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who gunned down nine inside a Charleston, North Carolina church in June.

“In Dylann’s case,” Chan says, “he happened to chance upon one of these hate sites. And slowly but surely he was convinced. Through half truths and misrepresented facts, he believed individuals of his race should be doing something to serve justice back to the people. In some cases this hate content provides instructions. This type of grooming process takes time. But people see more, there are more opticals, one event tips them over and they commit the crime.”

The paper, titled “The Internet and Racial Hate Crime: Offline Spillovers from Online Access,” published in the forthcoming issue of MIS Quarterly, also offers solutions to combat this online surge. The paper suggests that, instead of engaging in a technological race with producers of hate content, policy should be implemented to educate youth on digital media, racial and social justice, stereotypical messages, and how to interpret multiple meanings.

Another plan of attack would increase the amount of anti- hate content on the net. But even an attempt to right the skewed beliefs presented across the web would be somewhat futile.

Between 2001 and 2008, access to just one broadband ISP showed a 20 percent rise in hate crimes, particularly in areas of high racial tension.

“The chance of such content being seen by the one who needs to see it are small,” says Chan. “And technological advances are moving so quickly we believe there could be newer assets in searching for digital traces of those who are likely, or at risk, of committing crimes. Such lone wolfs, before they do something, we can see some patterns.”

Unfortunately, Chan says, problems of free speech get wrapped up in who posts what online.

“This can reach a certain threshold. We’d need to tell apart those who intend to commit hate crimes and those who have those ideologies but stay within the law.”

 

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