Friday, December 19, 2014

After showing utter contempt for security agents and the feds, Snapchat now shows its complete contempt for innocent Windows Phone users – and it is disgusting


SnapChat has officially declared war on innocent people who refuse to conform to the IOS and Android mobile monopoly.

The screenshot above is what users of the Windows Phone client 6snap got in waves when they accessed their accounts earlier this week.  Not sure if this was taken at 2:36 or 14:36, but nonetheless, the message said:

“Oh no!  Your account has been locked for repeatedly using third-party applications.  For more information, of if you feel we've made a mistake, please visit snapchat.com/locked.”

Search around in the Windows Store on any Windows Phone – from the Microsoft Lumia 520 to the Verizon-exclusive Samsung Ativ SE – and you'll know that there is no official app from the lazy bums at SnapChat.

Also, Blackberry and Kindle are incompatible with SnapChat.

Not surprisingly, anyone who has a device that is not a part of the IOS and Android mobile monopoly has a problem complying with the request, which means that SnapChat is literally at war against everyone else.

And honestly, SnapChat brought all of these problems on themselves.  Fourteen months ago, they willfully and blatantly ignored warnings from security agents that their official app, as well as every third-party app on the IOS and Android devices, had security issues.  Earlier this year, they were hit with crippling fines from the federal government over the issues with the IOS and Android apps.

Conversely, the Windows Phone clients had no security problems whatsoever – and that's because Microsoft will not allow apps that have security issues of any kind into their Windows Store, no matter how good the app is.  That's the reason why the Windows Phone OS has never had a security issue of any kind since the OS's launch.  Not surprisingly, IOS and Android have had major security issues numerous times since 2011.

SnapChat had ample opportunity to show they cared about its customers.  Instead, with this move, they're showing they only care about saving their asses.  And Windows Phone users, quite rightfully, have had more than enough of the bullshit from SnapChat.

SnapChat has been deluged with angry tweets all week long on their official Twitter account and their support Twitter account.  They didn't hear the people then, they will hear us now.








Thursday, December 18, 2014

African-American woman from Richland County missing for four weeks

Vigil held Wednesday




COLUMBIA — A vigil was held Wednesday for a middle-aged, African-American Richland County woman missing for four weeks now.

The 52-year-old woman went missing just before Thanksgiving.  She has a medical condition, according to family and friends.

Those close to her say that they are concerned about her.

"That's not like her, for one thing," said friend Jean Watkins.  "She always had medicine and snacks in her purse or in her little lunch bag that she kept in her car or whatever, you know. It's just, it's wild."

The missing woman is 52 years old, drives a silver 2014 Kia Rio 4 door sedan with South Carolina tag KJV617.  She is described as a black female, 5' 5” tall, 196 pounds, with brown eyes, and black hair.

Although foul play is not suspected, call 911 if you see her.  We are not releasing her name until foul play is officially ruled out.

WIS News 10

Kurt Busch slams ex-girlfriend for ‘fabricated’ testimony


DOVER, Del. — Now, it was time for the former champion to speak.

Sadly, he did not behave like a champ in the courtroom on Wednesday.

Kurt Busch, the champion of the original and inaugural Chase, decided to employ a victim-blaming strategy.  He called allegations that he did his former girlfriend's head much like he did with his racecars for part of the season – that is, slam it into a wall – a ‘fabrication’ and he denied the domestic abuse charges under direct from the victim's lawyer.

Mr. Ku. Busch said that he dumped the victim after the second race in the Challenger round, at Loudon, N.H.  They did not speak until they ran into each other at Dover Downs International Speedway, the site of the domestic abuse allegation.  Between the time they did not speak, the victim texted Mr. Ku. Busch's mother and told the mother that she was concerned about Mr. Ku. Busch's alcohol problems.  Mr. Ku. Busch admits that he drinks a lot, but told the court that he has not had a drink during race weekends since 1999.

That night in Dover, Busch said he had been sleeping when the victim arrived unannounced at his motorhome with her nine-year-old son.  He says he told her repeatedly to leave, but she kept bringing her son in from another room, saying that Busch needed to tell the boy that the relationship was over.

Mr. Ku. Busch said he was naked during the entire encounter, and finally put his hands on either side of the victim's face.  "I took my hands and cupped her cheeks.  I looked her eye-to-eye. I said, 'You have to leave'.  I was defusing the situation," he told the courtroom.

"It needs to be described because of the fabrication we listened to yesterday," he later said of the details he shared in court after holding up his hands, showing how he held the victim's face.

Michael Doncheff, Mr. Ku. Busch's motorhome driver and personal assistant to the couple, testified Wednesday that the victim had instructed him during NASCAR Preseason Thunder to not bring any alcohol on the bus because Mr. Ku. Busch had a problem.  He was the first witness called by the driver's attorneys.

Mr. Doncheff also overheard the victim make subtle threats to Mr. Ku. Busch and his job one time: "NASCAR is nothing.  I take down foreign governments.  I own Washington," while venting about a dispute over sponsorship.  The victim heads the national charity, the Armed Forces Foundation.  She also runs her own defense contracting business, which will not be named here.

Throughout the hearing Busch's attorneys cast the victim as a jilted lover, an unbelievable storyteller, and a public relations professional who was hellbent on trying to destroy the driver's career.

The victim and Mr. Ku. Busch had a run in two years prior, at Mr. Ku. Busch's home.  It was not immediately known if the incident happened during the Long Pond, Pa. weekend, the weekend that NASCAR suspended Mr. Ku. Busch for after assaulting a news reporter at, you guessed it, Dover.

Not surprisingly, a big helping of victim-blaming from Mr. Ku. Busch and his whole legal team here.  Also, not surprisingly, the victim here is using her experience in a blatant attempt to destroy others as well.  I hope when January 12, 2015 gets here – the day Mr. Ku. Busch's lawyer is supposed to cross him, the judge will issue a restraining order against both of them and order neither of them to contact the other.

USA Today

Cortana is coming to Windows 10!



REDMOND, Wash. — A leaked build of Windows 10 preview last weekend has one big goodie from the mobile phones coming to desktops, notebooks and tablets that has the Windows operating system.

Cortana will be coming to the desktops, notebooks, netbooks and tablets.

Cortana was revealed via a leak of the consumer build 9901, which if installed, will not allow for automatic updates.

video demonstration leaked earlier this month, but the build itself shows how Cortana sits at the top of the search interface for Windows 10, responding to text and voice commands.  It’s all very similar to the Windows Phone 8.1 version, as you’d expect, with access to the notebook, reminders, and interests.  It's not entirely functional, but it’s a very early look at the digital assistant in Windows 10 so the final version will likely change significantly.

This is welcome news for those who, like myself, wanted the assistant to remain on all future versions of Windows.

Another change is to the Xbox app.  The app lets users view the Xbox Store, their achievements, friends list, and activity feeds.

And the final important change is to the Windows Store – music and videos (including television shows and specials) are now mixed in with apps.

The Verge
Windows Central

[image of Cortana on Windows 10 via The Verge]

Woman arrested for murdering boyfriend in Appling County domestic violence incident (UPDATED)


BAXLEY, Ga. — The Appling County Sheriff's Office has officially arrested a woman for murdering her boyfriend on Tuesday night.

Officers said that the girlfriend stabbed a 46-year-old man just after 23:00 Tuesday.  He was found dead.  On Wednesday morning, she became a person of interest, just before 9:45 today, she became the prime suspect in his slaying.

Rhonda Jo Crosby was arrested this morning by the Appling Sheriff's Office and charged with murder.

She is at the Appling County Jail.  In March, she was arrested and charged with domestic violence against a male after she abused the victim prior to Tuesday's murder.

UPDATE @ 11:33: Ms. Crosby has been charged with murder.  We have updated this post.

WTOC 11

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Way too late for Stinney's family

Conviction tossed for killing girls in 1944, now Stinney family can – and must – file a federal lawsuit against state for damages and get laws changed eliminating caps for unlawful deaths committed by state



MANNING — Way too late.

Seventy years after a wrongful conviction that led to a wrongful and unconstitutional murder by the state of South Carolina, George Stinney was exonerated in the murders of two white girls.  The families of the girls were outraged.

"I just wish my mama and daddy were here to see this day," said Amie Ruffner, Mr. Stinney's sister. "It was a wrongful killing. He was too young...they didn't give him a chance."

Had he been sentenced to life in prison, Mr. Stinney would have still died before today's ruling.  The average lifespan of an African-American man is roughly 68 years.

Instead, the 14 year old was murdered by the state in 1944.  He was the youngest person to be murdered by the state.

The trial resembled modern day China or North Korea with biased juries.  The jury at the time were comprised of all white men.  Women were barred by state law in 1944 from serving on juries, as were any person of color.

"This case, of course, is another example of South Carolina's love and liking to be first in everything that's last and last in everything's that's first," said Dr. Lonnie Randolph, president of the South Carolina NAACP.

And he is absolutely spot on in that comment.  Here is the 29-page decision.

WLTX News 19
WIS News 10

FCC and FTC slam Sprint with $105,000,000.00 fine


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — In October, the carrier with the most Windows Phones was hit with a nine-digit cramming fine.

Now, it's the carrier with the least Windows Phones turn.

On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission, in conjunction with the Federal Communications Commission, slammed Sprint with a $105,000,000.00 fine for cramming, the same exact amount in dollars that American Telephone and Telegraph had to fork over on October 14.

Cramming is a practice in which charges appeared on mobile phone bills – in this case, Sprint – but were from third-party companies for services people never asked to receive or were duped into subscribing to — things like horoscope texts, celebrity gossip or flirting tips.  The fees were usually around $9.99 a month and were very hard for consumers to spot on their bills.  The cramming practice affected customers on postpaid plans, which are better known as contracts.

Sprint is the second mobile carrier this year to be walloped with fines from the federal government.  As mentioned in the open, AT&T was also hit with the same amount in fines.

The FTC and FCC has filed a pending lawsuit against T-Mobile over the practice.

And if you are on Verizon Wireless (like I know a lot of you in my area are), don't laugh.  Big Red was the first to get served with a $105,000,000.00 fine from the feds on cramming charges – this was 33 months ago, as a matter of fact.

Known in the industry as “cramming,” extra unauthorized fees pop up on phone bills for voicemail, dating lines, ringtones, or 800 numbers many customers have no idea they even had. Almost all of the charges come from independent companies unaffiliated with Verizon. But critics charge phone companies have been ignoring abusive cramming practices, in part because they share a percentage of money billed and collected from customers.

Deceptive cramming charges are often hard to spot on phone bills replete with cleverly-named-to-be-obscure surcharges, taxes and fees. Many crammers deliberately keep descriptions about the services they are billing as vague as possible, sometimes appearing as “special services charge,” “voicemail access,” or even “monthly charge.” Many ratepayers assume it is all just a part of the cost of having phone service.

A class action lawsuit against Verizon accused the company of doing little to stop unauthorized third party fees, and many customers afflicted by them report getting them off their bills is not as easy at it should be.

“When I had a mysterious $14.95 monthly fee for ‘voicemail,’ a service I knew I didn’t have, Verizon required me to fight with some Bermuda-based company to get the charges reversed, and they just kept repeating I must have authorized the service because it was on my bill,” reports Stop the Cap! reader Kevin Sessly. “They wear you down until you just pay the bill.”

Sessly eventually won refunds after contacting his state’s public utility regulator.

As part of the settlement, Verizon customers will be entitled to full refunds of all unauthorized third party charges from April 27, 2005 through February 28, 2012.

Consumerist

[image of Sprint Store in Lexington via Google Maps]

Kurt Busch's former girlfriend appears in court, breaks down during testimony


DOVER, Del. — The former girlfriend of the 2004 Sprint Cup champion was in court on Tuesday and she described the details of the abuse she received at the hands of the driver after his disappointing qualifying run for the September 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Dover Downs International Speedway two days earlier.

"It scared me because he just snapped," said the victim, who later cried, leading a judge to declare a recess during the protective order hearing.

The victim alleged in court documents that after the September 26 qualifying session, Kurt Busch was "despondent after performing poorly".  He allegedly called her a "psycho" among other sexist and ableist slurs, and said he wished he had a gun so that he could kill himself, according to the documents.

The victim also alleged in court documents that the Las Vegas native had "smashed" her head three times against a bedroom wall in their motor coach after his official elimination from title contention after the 400-mile race at Dover International Speedway, which concluded the Challenger round of the Chase.

Mr. Ku. Busch is scheduled to be at the courthouse before the week ends, Dover attorney James Liguori, who is part of Mr. Ku. Busch's legal team, said Tuesday.

A previously scheduled hearing was postponed earlier this month because Mr. Ku. Busch was on his annual winter vacation and was not in the States.

Mr. Ku. Busch has accused the victim of "having spies everywhere and having a camera on the bus to watch him," according to the documents.

He has denied the allegations.

Last month, NASCAR chairman Brian France disappointedly said no disciplinary action would be taken against Mr. Ku. Busch while police investigate the matter.  Mr. France now has a golden opportunity to right that wrong by parking Mr. Ku. Busch for the start of the 2015 season should the matter remain unsettled when February 22, 2015 comes.

WMAZ 13

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Spelman jettisons Cosby professorship

All-women HBCU fights back after Cosby's condescending remarks about African-American media's coverage of allegations




ATLANTA — After 27 years, Fulton County's premier all-women HBCU has had enough of Bill Cosby.

Just after 23:30 on Sunday, Spelman College jettisoned an endowment professorship that they had in his name since 1987.  That chair was funded in part by a $20,000,000.00 donation to the school by the disgraced comedian that year.

“The William and Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Endowed Professorship was established to bring positive attention and accomplished visiting scholars to Spelman College in order to enhance our intellectual, cultural and creative life,” said an unidentified spokeswoman for Spelman.  “The current context prevents us from continuing to meet these objectives fully.  Consequently, we will suspend the program until such time that the original goals can again be met.”

The end came after Mr. Cosby said these condescending remarks to the New York Post, “Let me say this.  I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral mind.”

No word yet on whether Spelman's brother college, Morehouse, or any other HBCU, including the local South Carolina State and Paine College, ended their association with Mr. Cosby.

WTOC 11
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Barnwell YMCA to open on January 2, 2015


BARNWELL — The signs have been posted along JOEY ZORN BLVD.

The YMCA will be opening to begin the first official business day of the year 2015 – that's January 2 for those who have been so spoiled rotten getting Christmas off, that you have forgotten that New Year's Day is actually a more important holiday than Christmas Day, given that New Year's Day is the second-busiest travel day of any year (only the day before Thanksgiving, which is over ten months later is even busier), while Christmas Day doesn't even rank in the top 10.  (Jovan Note: the only businesses that should be closed on Christmas Day is gas stations, since there's not a whole lot of traffic on the highways on December 25 anyhow.)

This is the official announcement from the Family Y's Greater Augusta, Ga. chapter:

The Family YMCA of Greater Augusta will be adding a new member of our Y family in January, when we begin serving our tenth community at the Barnwell County Family YMCA! Check out the latest rendering of the Barnwell County Family YMCA! We’re now hiring for various positions for our new Barnwell branch – visit www.ziprecruiter.com/jobs and search “Barnwell County YMCA”. Like us on Facebook at “Barnwell County Family YMCA” and join the fast-growing Facebook family. The Barnwell County Family YMCA is expected to open in January 2015 – Welcome to our new friends in Barnwell County!

“We see the new YMCA as an opportunity and resource for all of our area,” said Lisa Fermender, current Chairperson of the Barnwell YMCA Steering Committee.  “Since we have never had a Y in our area, all of our citizens will now have the benefit of the life-changing programs that a Y offers, such as affordable after-school care, wellness programs and the opportunity to learn to swim.”

“In order for a new YMCA to be successful in a new community, its citizens need to rally with support,” said Jerry Creech, Barnwell County Council member and the originator of the YMCA Steering Committee.  “A few of the things the Y asks of the community are for volunteers, funding, and for the community to join the Y and participate in its programs.  Several community partners have already been instrumental in bringing the Y to Barnwell County, including Danny Black at the Southern Carolina Allianace and the Barnwell County Council.  God has blessed our community as we have come together on this effort.”

The Barnwell County YMCA will include a wellness center, group exercise rooms, community meeting space, childcare rooms, administrative offices and outdoor recreation spaces, which could include construction of an outdoor pool when funds are raised.  The Y hope to begin by offering after-school care in elementary schools, day camps for school-aged children, wellness and aquatics.

The YMCA will be located where the Ducane industrial plant used to be located at from 2001 until its closing in early 2006.  It will also serve Allendale County.

Family Y of Greater Augusta, Ga.

[image of the Barnwell County YMCA via The Family Y]

Monday, December 15, 2014

Woman arrested for ‘abuse of words’ wins $100,000.00 in lawsuit

Cobb County must pay up as Gold Dome mulls stiffening disorderly conduct statute after federal verdict



MARIETTA, Ga. — A federal judge has spoken and now, a suburban Atlanta county must now pay up.

A federal judge ruled that Amy Barnes (pictured) was unlawfully arrested for making obscene gestures at cops and for cursing at them.

The Cobb County Police Department alleged that on Sunday, April 8, 2012, Ms. Barnes flipped the bird at cops and then cursed at two of their deputies, all while she was on her bike.

“They came after me like it was some action movie,” said Ms. Barnes.

Ms. Barnes is hearing impaired and said that's the reason police gave her for putting her in solitary confinement for all but one hour of the day she was held on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.  She called it torture.

“Having no clock, no person to speak to, empty walls.  We need human contact,” she said.

A judge dropped the charges against her nearly 12 months later, then she filed a lawsuit against the cops after they violated her Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment and she also alleged that they violated her First Amendment rights that she alleged was infringed upon when she was arrested for cursing.

Her attorney, Cynthia Counts, said that her rights were clearly violated.

The Georgia State Legislature re-convenes next month and there is talk that a tougher disorderly conduct statute could be on the agenda.  Georgia's current disorderly conduct law makes it illegal for people to curse in public around anyone who is under the age of 14 – and since no one can become a cop in the state of Georgia unless he or she is at least 21 years old, that means that the current law does not apply to people who say “fuck the police” at cops.  A new proposal that could come up in the Gold Dome will likely look just like ones on the books in neighboring South Carolina and many other states that criminalizes the cursing in public in front of anyone, regardless of age or any other status.  Most federal courts in the past have upheld the disorderly conduct statutes like the one S.C. currently has, ruling that there is no First Amendment right to curse in public.

New York Daily News

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Four former Playboy Playmates accuse Cosby of raping them

One victim said she was 15 when incident happened




PHILADELPHIA — A bevy of former Playboy Playmates are among the latest to slam Bill Cosby with sexual assault allegations.

Victoria Valentino, Carla Ferrigno, Judy Huth, and P.J. Masten are the latest quartet to accuse the disgraced comedian of sexual assault.

Ms. Huth said that she was 15 years old back in the 1960s when Mr. Cosby raped her.  She filed a lawsuit against him in a federal court in Los Angeles due to the fact that the statute of limitations for filing charges as a child rape victim ended long ago.  (NOTE: The state with the longest statute of limitations for children who have been sexually abused is New York, which is 50 years from the date of alleged rape.  Many states used to have no statute of limitations for filing criminal rape charges, but all of those laws were modified in response to multiple Supreme Court rulings, including a ruling that bars double jeopardy.)

Ms. Ferrigno, now 65, said that Mr. Cosby sexually assaulted her at his Beverly Hills home during the Summer of Love, in 1967, after a friend introduced her to him.  The incident happened after Ms. Ferrigno's original date left the room.
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