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Breaking the Alt-Right’s Piggy Bank

Surprised by Alt-Right and White Supremacist content on YouTube and Other sites…With Advertising for Coke or Pepsi right beside it?

While the tech companies were fine with it, and did little to filter it out – the big companies who buy ads aren’t happy at all.

Smack-down for the racist enabling tech companies.

Image result for google in the crosshairs

Major companies pulling advertisements a sign that many doubt Google’s ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos

PepsiCo, Walmart and Starbucks on Friday confirmed that they have suspended their advertising on YouTube, joining a growing boycott in a sign that big companies doubt Google’s ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos.

The companies pulled their ads after the Wall Street Journal found that Google’s automated programs placed their brands on five videos containing racist content. AT&T, Verizon, Volkswagen and several other companies pulled ads earlier this week.

“The content with which we are being associated is appalling and completely against our company values,” Walmart said in a Friday statement.

Besides suspending their spending on YouTube, Walmart, Pepsi and several other companies have said they will stop buying ads that Google places on more than 2m other third-party websites.

The defections are continuing even after Google apologized for tainting brands and outlined steps to ensure ads don’t appear alongside unsavory videos.

If Google can’t lure back advertisers, it could result in a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Most analysts, though, doubt the ad boycott will seriously hurt Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet. Alphabet shares have fallen more than 3% since Monday, closing at $839.65 on Thursday.

Although they have been growing rapidly, YouTube’s ads still only represent a relatively small financial piece of Alphabet, whose revenue totaled $73.5bn last year after subtracting commissions paid to Google’s partners. YouTube accounted for $5.6bn, or nearly 8%, of that total, based on estimates from the research firm eMarketer.

Whether the recent events are a mere blip on the radar for Google or a harbinger of bigger problems to come may depend on whether the company can quickly improve its technical tools to give advertisers more control over where their ads appear.

YouTube has begun reviewing its advertising policies and will take steps to give advertisers more control, Philipp Schindler, Google’s chief business officer, wrote in a blogpost this week. Google also plans to hire more people for its review team and refine its artificial intelligence – a key step, since much of the ad-serving is handled by automation.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, acknowledged in a Fox News interview that ads appearing next to videos promoting hate speech or advocating violence had slipped through the digital cracks in Google’s elaborate ad-serving systems.

“We match ads and the content, but because we source the ads from everywhere, every once in a while somebody gets underneath the algorithm and they put in something that doesn’t match,” Schmidt said. “We’ve had to tighten our policies and actually increase our manual review time and so I think we’re going to be OK.”

But Google’s public statements have done little to assuage advertisers’ fears, said David Cohen, president, North America, for the media buying firm Magna Global.

Even before the most recent revelations about YouTube, control over online ad placement had become a hot-button topic for advertisers. Social networks and news aggregators came under fire during and after the US presidential election for spreading fake news reports, and advertisers have also sought to avoid having their brands appear beside content that they categorize as hate speech.

“Between non-human traffic and fraud, fake news and hate speech, brands are more concerned than ever,” said Marc Goldberg, CEO of Trust Metrics, a New York-based company that addresses ad fraud.

 

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Miller Lite – “Tap the Future”​ Competition – Daymon John, No Equity Angel Investment

Daymond gives some good advice here…

Miller Lite’s “Tap the Future” Contest is underway accepting applications through April 14th. The Contest participants (rules in link above) get $20,000 for being selected in the first round, and can get $100,000 if their idea is selected as an overall winner. As Daymon John points out above, the huge advantage in participation in the competition, is the money does not require giving up equity in the winning companies, giving the a massive leg up should their business move to the point of seeking secondary of tertiary investment. If you can get to the product prototype stage (or are already there) with $100,000, this is far better financially than pursuing “Angel” investors who will want 30-50% ownership. One of the most critical factors to success of a startup is keeping the investor/ownership group as small as possible. Winning this could mean the entrepreneur retaining majority ownership through at least the Venture Capital round.

Go for it!

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in General, The Post-Racial Life

 

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The Chumph’s Illicit Russian Campaign Money

This from Bloomberg…

What tyey are saying is the Chumph has been under investigation for illegal under the table campaign funds from Putin since last spring…

And there is a Paper Trail.

 

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Six Federal Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies Investigating Putin Financing Trumps Campaign

Follow the money!

Of course, to cover his tracks, the Chumph is going to nix all investigations and order the evidence destroyed.

Image result for shredding evidence

Report: 6 federal agencies investigating possible Kremlin financial support of Trump

But with Trump about to be sworn in, how long will they stay on the case?

On Wednesday, the McClatchy Washington Bureau, citing multiple unnamed sources, broke news that “the FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump.”

According to McClatchy, the involved agencies are the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, Justice Department, Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and representatives of the Director of National Intelligence.

The news is not altogether unexpected. During a hearing before a Senate panel last week, FBI director James Comey refused to answer questionsabout whether the bureau has investigated links between the Trump campaign and Russia. A day later, Trump himself dodged a reporter’s question about whether he or his campaign had any contact with Russia during the presidential campaign. And as far back as last September, news was circulating that federal agencies were looking into Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page’s meetings with high-ranking Russian officials.

Earlier this month, U.S. intelligence agencies released a declassified reportconcluding that “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”

“We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” the report continues. “Moscow’s influence campaign following a Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations — such as cyber activity — with overt effort by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or ‘trolls.’”

During the same presser where he dodged the question about alleged Russia ties, Trump acknowledged that Russia may have meddled in the election, but described an unverified dossier that alleged his campaign had colluded with the country as a “complete and total fabrication.”

The McClatchy report indicates that the Kremlin’s effort to help Trump may have gone further than hacking and anti-Clinton propaganda.

“Investigators are examining how money may have moved from the Kremlin to covertly help Trump win,” McClatchy reports. “One of the allegations involves whether a system for routinely paying thousands of Russian-American pensioners may have been used to pay some email hackers in the United States or to supply money to intermediaries who would then pay the hackers, the two sources said.”

That’s an explosive allegation. If true, it could implicate Trump officials in activities violating the Logan Act, which bars American citizens from interacting “with any foreign government” in an effort to manipulate U.S. foreign policy. But with Trump set to be sworn in on Friday, it’s unclear whether his administration will move forward with an investigation that could undermine the legitimacy of his presidency.

Trump hasn’t yet announced whether Comey will be retained as FBI director. During his confirmation hearing last week, Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, dodged a question about whether he accepts the intelligence community’s conclusions regarding Russia’s alleged meddling. That prompted Senate Judiciary Democrats to write Sessions a letter asking him to pledge to not interfere with investigations into the meddling if he’s confirmed.

Asked about the intelligence report during his confirmation hearing, Trump’s pick to run the CIA, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), went further than Sessions in affirming his faith in the intelligence community’s findings.

“Everything I’ve seen suggests to me that the report has an analytical product that is sound,” Pompeo said. “My obligation as director of CIA is to tell every policy maker the facts as best the intelligence agency has developed them.

But Trump’s pick for national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, reportedly wants to eliminate the Director of National Intelligence and instead have intelligence agencies report directly to him. And as we’ve previously detailed, Flynn has close ties to Putin and his regime.

 

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Chumph Nazis Can’t Crowdfund $125 Fee For March

Trumpazoid Nazi Types…Typical.

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Neo-Nazis couldn’t raise the $125 needed for a permit for their Montana march

Neo-Nazis and white supremacists have been planning an on-again, off again march in Whitefish, Montana after the mother of well-known white supremacist Richard Spencer began complaining she was being harassed in Spencer’s hometown. Now, it seems, the march is off again after rally organizers were unable to afford the price of the permit to hold the event.

According to The Flathead Beacon, the City of Whitefish received the application for a march on Second Street from Memorial Park to City Hall. The fee for the permit is $125, but the application had only a $65 money order attached to it. Parades are also required to have a certificate of insurance, which the organizers also did not include.

Andrew Anglin, publisher of “The Daily Stormer,” announced to his readers that the city has refused to issue him a permit and he is speaking with lawyers and the ACLU. While that might be accurate, the framing is a little disingenuous as the permits weren’t denied or refused based on who the participants are, rather an inability to pay the bill.

Anglin says that the march will probably have to be rescheduled for sometime in February.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2017 in Chumph Butt Kicking, Domestic terrorism

 

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From Rags to Riches…To Rags

Met Rodney the first time at a high-end luxury car dealership, where I was having the venerable sports car I owned at the time serviced. There are a group of guys living in the Va suburbs who love exotic sports cars, antique cars, and cars they have fixed up themselves from not so glorious names as Ferrari or McLaren, who uhhhh…kinda illegally race along some of the rural roads about 30 miles out from the City. On any Sunday morning you can find guys with anything from a new or aged Mustang up to a $3 million Bugatti raring to go down the curvy foothill roads.

I was looking at an Aston Martin DB9 (and looking is the operative word here,, as I couldn’t afford it, and two if I could I couldn’t see throwing that type of money on the floor for a car.) He was looking at a Mercedes McLaren – which got up in the million dollar range with markup. I knew of him from a cousin who raced a race prepped Lotus in that group. Rodney had made a lot of money on the Iraq War, supplying security personnel to guard Americans in the country. The most successful and infamous of the groups who did that was Blackhawk. Rodney’s company wasn’t too far behind.

He was there to buy a Mercedes McLaren SLS, which at that time was one of the 3 or 4 fastest cars  in the world at that time. In talking, it was fairly obvious he had no experience in that sort of car. He wanted to buy it basically to impress people. I suggested that driving that beast at anywhere near its capabilities took a driver with Formula One racing skills. At his request I went out on a test drive (the Dealership guy drove it, as I knew it was beyond my skills on any public street). The gearing in the car is set up for the track – not daily commuting. Coming out of second at 80 Mph with a top end over 200 Mph or better, with a 0-60 time in 3 seconds ain’t your mamma’s Honda. Suggested he buy the Mercedes SLS AMG, which is set up to operate on the streets and you could dial down the power. A  third to half of the price. About this time they brought out my aged toy from the early 70’s from service, and I left. No idea which he bought.

The neighborhood he built his house is in has several extremely wealthy luminaries. On is Steve Case, AOL founder. I grew up in the town the property is located in (a much, much poorer part). The property some years ago was part of the Bouvier estate (As in Jackie Kennedy).

Hunt is not in position anymore to pay either the mortgage (around $100,000 a month), or even the electric bill to keep this place lit.

Man who built a $24 million mansion along Potomac River loses battle to keep it

Rodney P. Hunt, a once-rich-but-now-bankrupt government contracting titan, is losing his beloved $24 million mansion turned party house on the banks of the Potomac River.

On Tuesday, an Arlington County judge granted possession of the home to a firm managed by Jeong Kim, a former president of Bell Labs and a co-owner of Verizon Center, the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals.

Kim’s company, 201 Chain Bridge LLC, bought the 20,000-square-foot property earlier this summer after it had been sold at a foreclosure auction. But Hunt, still in bankruptcy proceedings, resisted relinquishing his trophy home, claiming the foreclosure auction was illegitimate.

In a bizarre hearing at Arlington County General District Court, the former multimillionaire served as his own attorney. Hunt, 56, told Judge R. Frances O’Brien that another entity, Crown Properties LLC, was the real owner and agreed to lease the home back to him in May, a month before the house was auctioned. He said he was providing technology consulting to another firm, Legal Investment Group, which was paying his rent to Crown Properties.

Hunt’s sudden claims — he never discussed these companies in his pretrial defense filings or pretrial hearings — prompted Kim’s attorney, Leon Koutsouftikis, to question the authenticity of those firms.

“I think he’s committing a fraud in this court. It’s ridiculous,” Koutsouftikis told O’Brien.

“I have not committed a fraud in this court,” Hunt countered.

The judge was skeptical. “I think there are issues of credibility,” she said, before ruling in favor of Kim.

For years, Hunt has been beset by legal and financial problems. He founded RS Information Systems in 2003 and built it into one of the country’s most prominent black-owned government contracting firms. By 2006, he finished building his Mediterranean-style home, which boasts a basketball court, a 15-space underground parking garage and five bedrooms. It was once featured on “MTV Cribs” and was known on social media as #RHPmansion.

The home’s size and location — around the corner from tech entrepreneur Steve Case and down the street from the CIA — symbolized Hunt’s perch atop Washington’s hierarchy.

In 2007, the year he sold his IT contracting company to a California aerospace firm, Northern Virginia Magazine estimated his net worth at $265 million.

But soon, Hunt began piling up astronomical debts. By 2012, Bank of America said Hunt had defaulted on a $9.4 million loan on the mansion. Court records also showed that he racked up more than $10 million on unpaid loans and shoddy business deals.

Last year Hunt filed for bankruptcy, citing debts between $10 million and $50 million. One creditor, a Texas woman, alleges in his bankruptcy court documents that Hunt raped her in July 2009 at a Houston hotel and owes her more than $600,000 in court-ordered judgments stemming from a settlement in a civil suit she had filed against him. Hunt has denied the assault accusations in court, saying the woman was trying to extort money from him so that eventually he would settle to avoid tainting his reputation.

On June 16, Hunt’s mansion was sold in one of the largest foreclosure sales in the region’s history, for $7.3 million to an entity called GREI LLC, whose managing member is Alasgar Farhadov, a Realtor in Northern Virginia. Then, in July, Farhadov transferred his company’s interest in the house to 201 Chain Bridge LLC, the firm managed by Kim.

Hunt has been living on the property “on and off” since July, according to his close friend and business associate Danny Jones.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2016 in American Greed

 

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Casino Refuse to Pay Out to Winner

Never been much of a gambler. Other than the occasional lottery ticket when the jackpot hits $500 million – it just isn’t something I am attracted to.

However, being an engineer and tinkerer at heart, who loves learning how things work, I know a bit of how slot machines work, and how they are controlled by the Casino to regulate payouts to maintain the standard house cut. The odd in a casino are set in such a way that the house always maintains a  8-17% cut of all slot machine games. Penny Slots can be as high as 30% In other words the odds of winning are juggled electronically so the house “wins” a steady percentage of the money bet. Meaning about 85% of the money bet goes into “payouts” to the customers. Non-electronic games, Blackjack, Baccarat , Roulette have rules which favor the house winning. Generally if the payout is very high, the chance of winning is very low.

It is bad business not to pay out, as the sight of someone “winning” tends to drive customers to spend more.

So this one, and the “house rules” are definitely …”Bad Business”.

This woman hit a $42.9 million jackpot — but the casino refuses to pay

 

Katrina Bookman (Facebook)

A woman in New York who won nearly $43 million from a slot machine in August was sad to see her wins disappear before her eyes almost immediately, WABC reports.

Katrina Bookman hit the jackpot at the Resorts World Casino in August, but when she came back to collect her winnings the next day, a casino representative told her that she hadn’t actually won.

The machine apparently malfunctioned. While Bookman wasn’t able to walk away with the nearly $43 million, the Casino did offer her a steak dinner.

A notice on the slot machines states, “Malfunctions void all pays and plays.” However, Bookman and her attorney Alan Ripka both believe that she should be offered the maximum amount of money an individual can win on the Sphinx slot machine, which is $6,500.

“They win and the house doesn’t want to pay out. To me that’s unfair,” Ripka said. “The machine takes your money when you lose. It ought to pay it when you win.”

The New York State Gaming Commission says Bookman is only entitled to her winnings, or $2.25. Bookman plans to sue the casino.

The machine she used was reportedly removed, fixed, and then put back for use.

The question here is…If the slot is broken – does the Casino compensate those who have lost money on that broken machine?

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2016 in American Greed

 

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