Here in the hot, rugged Southwest, we don’t take too kindly to all y’all northern Yankee iPhone types… or at least that’s the narrative the folks at mobile ad firm Jumptap discovered in data about which smartphone OS is most popular by region. It shows that the Mason-Dixon line still serves as a pretty accurate geographical divider for our nation’s latest internal division–iOS fanbois vs. Android devotees.
The data (PDF) shows strong ties to Android in the South and Southwest, while those in the Midwest and Northeast lean toward iOS. Sunny California, Texas, and Florida are among the hot spots for Android use, while picturesque New England absolutely adores iOS.
Meanwhile, New Yorkers are still hanging on to their BlackBerrys, as are folks in the states surrounding the nation’s capitol, but the battle lines for the new war between North and South have clearly been drawn by the top two mobile OSes.
Despite its California roots, iOS has yet to heed the advice to “Go West, Young Man,” according to the data. The only state in the contiguous 48 west of Kansas City with a preference for Apple is Montana. Conversely, Android has tiptoed all the way across the Rust Belt to the Atlantic, dominating in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Not to be outdone, iOS has entrenched itself behind enemy lines in the prime vacation destination of Hawaii.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a vaguely worded anti-stalking law poses a serious threat to freedom of speech online. The EFF specifically cites a case involving the popular microblogging platform, Twitter:
EFF filed a friend-of-the-court brief today urging a federal court to block the government’s use of the federal anti-stalking law to prosecute a man for posting criticism of a public figure to Twitter.
At issue is a federal law originally enacted to criminalize traveling across state lines for the purpose of stalking. In 2005, the law was modified to make the “intentional infliction of emotional distress” by the use of “any interactive computer service” a crime. In this case, the government has presented the novel and dangerous theory that the use of a public communication service like Twitter to criticize a well-known individual can result in criminal liability based on the personal sensibilities of the person being criticized.
“Wielding the threat of criminal sanctions to punish the pointed, online criticism of public figures is not only bad policy, it is unconstitutional,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. “While true threats can and should be opposed, public speech about prominent people must be vigorously protected.”
For the full amicus brief in US v. Cassidy:
For more on this case:
Anti-stalking legislation in California is similarly vague and can restrict any “annoying, embarrassing communications” leveled against an individual. What’s more, across the country other legislation, such as this, is being drafted – at an alarmingly rapid rate. Those laws which can be viewed broadly can severely restrict the rights of those who seek to express themselves online.
Related Cases from The First Amendment Center’s Website
New cyberstalking law challenged over ‘annoy’ language
By David L. Hudson Jr. Arizona anonymous e-mail company contends little-noticed provision criminalizes much protected speech. 02.24.06
Mo. lawmakers vote to bar Internet harassment
Governor praises new cyberstalking law, a response to suicide of state teen who was teased online. 05.19.08
Mo. woman pleads not guilty to charges related to MySpace suicide
Experts say case could break new legal ground; statute used to indict Lori Drew usually applies to Internet hackers who illegally access accounts to get information. 06.17.08
Mo. governor signs anti-cyberbullying bill into law
Teen’s suicide prompts state to outlaw Internet harassment; girl’s mother says even more needs to be done to keep kids safe online. 07.01.08
E-mails sent to Va. Tech students were true threats
By David L. Hudson Jr. 4th Circuit panel says any ordinary, reasonable person would have understood Johnmarlo B. Napa’s messages as threats. 03.23.10
Anti-stalking legislation is not, by any means, the only threat to Internet free speech. Successful social networking site, Facebook and its new competitor, Google+ both require that users use their real names. Failure to comply can result in account deactivation.
Numerous reasons exist as to why some opt to use a pseudonym instead of a real name. Some of those reasons are detailed at Liberty Voice:
They may be concerned about threats to their lives or livelihoods, or they may risk political or economic retribution. They may wish to prevent discrimination or they may use a name that’s easier to pronounce or spell in a given culture.
Longtime online inhabitants may have handles that have spanned over twenty years.
As Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens put forth in deciding McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm’n 514 U.S. 334, 357 (1995),
“Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation—and their ideas from suppression—at the hand of an intolerant society. The right to remain anonymous may be abused when it shields fraudulent conduct. But political speech by its nature will sometimes have unpalatable consequences, and, in general, our society accords greater weight to the value of free speech than to the dangers of its misuse.”
-harassment, both online and offline
-discrimination in employment, provision of services, etc.
-actual physical danger of bullying, hate crime, etc.
-arrest, imprisonment, or execution in some jurisdictions
-economic harm such as job loss, loss of professional reputation, reduction of job opportunity, etc.
-social costs of not being able to interact with friends and colleagues
-possible (temporary) loss of access to their data if their account is suspended or terminated
Another addition to the menacing forces against free speech is the new legislation in Tennessee which bans images that may cause “emotional distress.” Indeed, according to The Washington Independent, “Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill into law that criminalizes ‘transmitting or displaying’ any image that under a ‘reasonable expectation’ might ‘frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress’ to anyone who sees it. This is not limited only to images posted on the internet, but also includes TV and any other “electronic communications service” currently in existence.
In a nutshell, the law allows anyone to go after anyone – journalists, bloggers, users of social media – who will potentially face jail for up to a year or a fine of up to $2,500, just for sharing a picture or other image.
Apparently, some people really can’t handle the truth…
Legal scholar, Eugene Volokh regards the law as “clearly unconstitutional.” He states:
So the law now applies not just to one-to-one communication, but to people’s posting images on their own Facebook pages, on their Web sites, and in other places if (1) they are acting “without legitimate purpose,” (2) they cause emotional distress, and (3) they intend to cause emotional distress or know or reasonably should know that their action will cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities. So,
-If you’re posting a picture of someone in an embarrassing situation — not at all limited to, say, sexually themed pictures or illegally taken pictures — you’re likely a criminal unless the prosecutor, judge, or jury concludes that you had a “legitimate purpose.”
-Likewise, if you post an image intended to distress some religious, political, ethnic, racial, etc. group, you too can be sent to jail if governments decisionmaker thinks your purpose wasn’t “legitimate.” Nothing in the law requires that the picture be of the “victim,” only that it be distressing to the “victim.”
-The same is true even if you didn’t intend to distress those people, but reasonably should have known that the material — say, pictures of Mohammed, or blasphemous jokes about Jesus Christ, or harsh cartoon insults of some political group — would “cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities.”
-And of course the same would apply if a newspaper or TV station posts embarrassing pictures or blasphemous images on its site.
In other censorship news, a blogger on Twitter found out first-hand what the erosion of free speech feels like. According to Jonathan Sangster, who goes by the name @TORARADICAL on Twitter, his account was suspended for several days without explanation. It was finally explained to him, by Twitter, that a government agency had requested they suspend his account so that it could be investigated for suspicious activity.
I have read content on Sangster’s blog – none of which would arouse suspicion from a clear thinking, lucid individual. Sangster was merely exercising a constitutional right. These incidents represent an obvious threat to one of our most precious civil liberties.
Fox News – LONDON – The group known as Anonymous said Saturday it has hacked into some 70 law enforcement websites across the southern and central United States in retaliation for arrests of its sympathizers in the U.S. and Britain.
The hacking group also claimed to have stolen 10 gigabytes of data, including emails, credit card details, and other information from local law enforcement bodies.
“We are releasing a massive amount of confidential information that is sure to [embarrass], discredit and incriminate police officers across the US,” the group said in a statement, adding that it hoped the leak would “demonstrate the inherently corrupt nature of law enforcement using their own words” and “disrupt and sabotage their ability to communicate and terrorize communities.”
Anonymous’ claims couldn’t all be immediately verified, but a review of the sites it claims to have targeted — mainly sheriffs’ offices in places such as Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Mississippi — showed that most were unavailable or had been wiped clean of content.
The group also posted five credit card numbers it said it used to make “involuntary donations.” At least four of the names and other personal details published to the Internet appeared genuine, although those contacted by The Associated Press said they did not know whether their financial information had been compromised.
Many calls to various sheriffs’ offices across the country went unanswered or weren’t returned Saturday, but at least two confirmed the cyber attack. More
Gizmodo – Happy Birthday, Interwebz! How far you’ve come. See, if the Internet drew its first breath in the fall of 1969, it took its first steps toward its potential on August 6, 1991. Took awhile there. But it was this first step that was just the beginning.
In the Beginning
The World Wide Web, or the internet that we now know and love, started off as project by British computer scientist and theorist Tim Berners-Lee while he worked at CERN. It was there that he built the first website on a NeXTSTEP computer—think a Mac, but really old and really ugly—running the very first browser, appropriately named WorldWideWeb. The site didn’t have any bells and whistles. No ads or banners. Just links, little nuggets of text that make a database approach to learning and sharing ideas—really, the meat of what anyone on the web does to this day—possible.
By ’92, Berners-Lee had uploaded the very first picture to the web (don’t they look charming?), but it was still pretty far from reaching critical mass. It was in 1993, when he and CERN officially announced that the web would be open to everyone, that the games really began. Over the next several years, people started flocking to browsers like Mosaic, Netscape Navigator, and Internet Explorer to start browsing all these new sites. Anyone with some HTML know-how could make a website about anything they wanted. Somewhere out in California, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were working on the first beta of Google. Meanwhile, more and more people started using services like Prodigy, Compuserve, and AOL to get online. Remember all those install disks? And dial-up?? Yeah, good times. More
Fox Small Business Center – When BlogHer was launched in 2005, its goal was to unite women bloggers all over the world to share their voices, advice and experiences. Today, the site has more than 25 million members who are doing more than just writing: they are innovators, nonprofit leaders and entrepreneurs.
Many of its members are not only women, but also men sharing tips, opinions and insight on everything from recipes, to family advice and career advancement, and more.
In honor of this year’s BlogHer conference in San Diego Aug. 4-6, which is bringing together more than 3,000 BlogHer community members, here’s a look at three contributors and their journeys with social media, technology and the site.
Esther Crawford, co-founder of GLMPS
Esther Crawford, a BlogHer devotee since 2004, used this year’s conference to launch GLMPS, an app for the iPhone. Crawford knew the BlogHer conference was the ideal location to harness the power of tech-savvy women bloggers after seeing the support BlogHer gave to other women innovators at their conference in March.
“That was a turning point for me,” she said. “I connected with people innovating in the technology space. We are the first mobile app to launch here, and it was a no-brainer. This is the premier event for social media savvy women… they are sharing their life through video anyway.” More
The sensor detects two popular date rape drugs but cannot yet point out Rohypnol, the “roofie” drug.
- The sensor can tell you in real time whether your cocktail has been spiked.
- Scientists are working to expand the device’s detection capacity to include Rohypnol, the “roofie” drug.
The days of having to cart your cocktail to the ladies room may be over: two Israeli scientists say they have developed a sensor that can accurately detect date-rape drugs in drinks 100 percent of the time.
Professor Fernando Patolsky and Doctor Michael Ioffe of Tel Aviv University’s school of chemistry say the sensor can tell you in real time whether your martini or your mocktail has been spiked with either of the two most common date-rape drugs.
“You just dip it into your drink, it might actually look like a stirrer in the final production, it’s tiny, very tiny,” Ioffe told AFP.
“And you don’t even have to hold it up to the light and the system will let you know whether there are drugs dissolved in your drink.”
The device sucks up a tiny drop of the suspect beverage and puts it in contact with the patented chemical formula devised by Patolsky and Ioffe.
“The drug itself is reacting with this chemical formulation and the previously clear formula becomes dirty and when the light shines it you can detect it,” Ioffe said. “You don’t have to do anything but dip it in your drink.”
The two scientists tested their device on a range of popular cocktails as well as soft drinks and other beverages and found it was able to correctly tell which had been spiked 100 percent of the time. More
There’s so much you can do with Android that it can seem impossible to experience all the operating system has to offer. With these tips, tricks, and guides, we show you how to go beyond the tip of the iceberg to unearth Android’s most awesome features. Whether you’re new to Android, considering making the switch, or looking for new ways to make the most of your powerful device, we’ve got you covered.
How to improve your Android app search
It’s all about the apps, of course, but there’s no need to waste time searching through thousands of possibilities. Narrow your search results with these simple steps.
How to easily share Android apps with friends and family
Once you’ve found the perfect app to record your workout or sync your music, it’s a snap to share it with the other Android users in your life. Learn how to show off your finds.
Adding accounts on Android in three easy steps
Just because your device asks you for only one Google account when you set it up doesn’t mean you can’t add more later. Learn how to quickly add multiple accounts.