Archive for September, 2011

Obama’s Twitter plan backfires

“Build it and they will come,” but they may also trash the place, is an accurate axiom for anything online, President Barack Obama is learning.

AttackWatch.com seems to do plenty of attacking itself.

AttackWatch.com seems to do plenty of attacking itself.

The president, whose campaign launched a website to track and rebuff anti-Obama attacks, encouraged his supporters to take it to the Tweets with an #attackwatch hashtag, but the Twitterverse is comprised of a much more politically diverse, and perhaps cruel, crowd than the last time he ran for office.

The hashtag has been taken over by comedians who seem content to mock and ridicule, says a Wall Street Journal blog.

Those with a conservative bent have been drawn to the hashtag as though it were a tax-and-spend flame:

@Drill_Thrawl Hey Kids, are mommy and daddy talking bad about Obama? Be sure to report them at #attackwatch #1984

@gregmcrc … check this=9% unemployment, no green jobs, 49 million uninsured, 1 in 6 Americans in poverty

#AttackWatch If you want to really upset a …

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Social network connects those whose hearts burn

Ever had a gut feeling about love?

The heart says yes, but this stomach microbe says no.

The heart says yes, but this stomach microbe says no.

I did, once, after eating at El Myr Burrito Lounge in Little 5 Points, but it turned out to be early onset diarrhea.

Fortunately for those who can’t find a special someone in church, bars or therapy groups, biochemist Peer Bork, whose name I did not just make up, had a more benign gut feeling and created a non-profit website — mymicrobes.eu — that serves as a social network, DNA database and a place for people to share gastrointestinal woes.

For $2,100 users can — after mailing a stool sample to Paris, France — have their intestinal bacteria DNA sequenced, which will allegedly “provide a bounty of data while helping volunteers connect with one another,” according to a Nature.com article.

An article on Mother Nature Network suggests the site can potentially help those with heartburn make a “special connection.”

The website indicates 132 people have registered their interest in the …

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Facebook to let friends become mere acquaintances

Is your Facebook friend list as bloated as a whale carcass on Georgia’s official marine mammal exhumation beach?

The best ideas are often stolen.

The best ideas are often stolen.

Well I’ve got some good news for you: You can demote all of those “friends” you barely care about to a new, less lofty “acquaintance” status.

Facebook, on its blog, released the joyous news Tuesday. The change will be rolling out to users “this week.”

Placing your distant cousin Geech on the acquaintance list means you will hear about his tick-related ailments less often.

If you put the almost-GF from college on the new “Close Friends” list you will see pictures of her children (or cats, depending on her reproductive choices) more frequently, says Facebook.

It’s a move that’s long overdue.

Also new are Smart Lists, which can automatically sort your friends according to the work, school, family and city information they provide.

Since most of my friends tend to fill their personal info page with random and wrong information, I’m not …

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Woman suing Toyota for ’stalker’ ad campaign

Reading, especially the “fine print,” has never been an American strong suit.

The "Your Other You" website was designed to appeal to "young men who love to play pranks on each other."

The "Your Other You" website was designed to appeal to "young men who love to play pranks on each other."

That trend continues in California, where a court is allowing a woman’s $10 million lawsuit to proceed against Toyota after she unwittingly agreed to take part in an elaborate online advertising hoax.

Wired Magazine reports Amanda Duick sued the carmaker in 2009 after she began receiving “frightening” e-mails from a stranger who appeared to know her personal details.

Duick was unknowingly signed up for Toyota’s bizarre advertising stunt by a friend, who selected one of five fictional characters to send her “stalker” emails.

She was sent a link to a “personality test” and agreed to the website’s terms and conditions, which stated she would receive emails for up to five days.

Shortly therafter, “Sebastian Bowler,” who claimed to be 25-year-old Englishman and soccer fanatic with a drinking problem, …

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‘Radioactive’ grave leads to arrest

A 77-year-old Winder man was arrested Monday after telling cemetery workers he’d placed radioactive material at a loved one’s grave site.

Barrow Memorial Gardens is not radioactive, officials say.

Barrow Memorial Gardens is not radioactive, officials say.

Thomas Donald Finch was allegedly upset that flowers he’d placed at a the grave were missing, according to a press release from the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office.

In the presence of several cemetery workers, Finch said he’d released a hazardous substance at Barrow Memorial Gardens to harm future thieves. Employees became concerned when Finch held up a pill bottle and said anyone that got near the grave would need the medicine.

Atlanta Highway was shut down for two hours while Barrow emergency services workers and Gwinnett hazardous material technicians inspected the area. Several side streets were closed for a shorter period.

No substances were found that posed a threat to the public.

Finch is charged with making terroristic threats.

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Lawsuit: White Castle violating civil rights of the fat

The civil rights of the rotund are being violated daily at a White Castle restaurant in upstate New York, says a stockbroker who’s well-fed up with not being able to squeeze his 290-pound frame into the svelte-sized tables.

I'll gladly sue you Tuesday for a free hamburger today. (from New York Post)

I'll gladly sue you Tuesday for a free hamburger today. (from New York Post)

Martin Kessman, 64, is suing the fast-food chain for chairs that can be moved a belly-distance from the tables and unspecified damages.

“I just want to sit down like a normal person,” Kessman said in a New York Post article.

Kessman says he’s complained about the lack of proper seating for creatures of his girth for more than two years, but all he’s gotten for his trouble is coupons for free hamburgers.

“Cheese was extra,” complained Kessman in the lawsuit filed in federal court.

Kessman, a fan of the No. 2 combo, says he’s suffered physical and emotional pain from his ordeal. His knee was injured from repeatedly slamming it into the unyielding steel table supports at the eatery. …

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Home crash kills 1, reveals pot farm

Life’s never easy for an ex-con that has a gun, a back-bedroom marijuana farm and a neighbor with a jammed accelerator.

It's never a good day when firemen visit your home.

It's never a good day when firemen visit your home. (from Chicago Sun-Times)

Consider the story of Thomas Micucci, 27, from the outskirts of Chicago, who was at home enjoying playing video games with his roommate when a woman trying to back her car down the driveway across the street brought his world, and walls, crashing down.

The roommate, 28-year-old Zachary Isenberg, died when the 1995 Mercury Marquis driven by Patricia Dolton ran him over in his living room, according to an article on WGNtv.com.

Micucci was hospitalized, and police searching the home for more victims found a locked room containing 13 marijuana plants.

In Isenberg’s room, police found half an ounce of cocaine and about $2,000 in cash.

They also found a gun in Micucci’s bedroom, something convicted felons aren’t supposed to have. He faces felony charges for marijuana production and illegal …

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FTC: iPhone app can’t cure acne

Smartphone apps are fun and some are even useful, but, according to the Federal Trade Commission, they can’t cure acne.

Advanced cases of acne can only be cured by eating brains, researchers say.

Advanced cases of acne can only be cured by eating brains, say mobile app developers.

Amazingly, 15,000 paying customers thought otherwise and coughed up real cash to download the programs “AcneApp” and “Acne Pwner” from iTunes and the Android Marketplace.

The settlements, announced Thursday, are the first cases the FTC has brought targeting health claims in mobile applications.

The programs’ developers have agreed to “stop making baseless claims” — specifically that red and  blue lights emitted by a smartphone screen can cure acne — to settle FTC charges.

Fines of about $16,000 were also levied, which means the government let these hacks make a profit off their digital snake oil.

Those stupid enough to fall for the scam are invited to submit comments to the FTC. (AcneApp | Acne Pwner)


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