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Who remembers Myspace?

A report today by Frank N. Magid Associates Inc. found that the portion of 13- to 17-year-old social-media users in the U.S. on Facebook slipped to 88 percent this year from 94 percent in 2013 and 95 percent in 2012. In the same period, Twitter Inc. and messaging applications rose in popularity in that age group, the study showed.

That's a fairly material drop, and it portends bad things.

Here's the thing -- what tends to happen with "social media" is that they appear to "plateau" in terms of daily active users but engagement falls -- and this is an easy metric to game for the company (thus they have every reason to do so.)

But the fade-to-black is in fact happening -- and is happening here too.  When you get into the single digits on "safe" or "trustworthy", well..... and Facebook has.

The happy face on people like Cramer who's spouting on CNBS this morning.... well, just remember his stellar record in the early part of 2000.

You have to look forward, and the reality of Facebook is that the lack of trust (earned by Zukerburglar, and justly so) will eventually blow up in his face.

It is simply a matter of time.

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Oh please....

Recent tragic incidents involving the New York City Police Department—including the death of Eric Garner, who was being arrested on Staten Island, and the death of Akai Gurley, shot accidentally by a young police officer in the dark stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project—have reinvigorated police critics. The criticism was especially pointed amid the broader national discussion about crime and race prompted by events in Ferguson, Mo.

The NYPD’s critics object, in particular, to the department’s long-standing practice of maintaining order in public spaces. This practice, referred to as Broken Windows or quality-of-life or order-maintenance policing, asserts that, in communities contending with high levels of disruption, maintaining order improves the quality of life for residents and reduces crime.

So let's look specifically at the Garner situation.

Exactly what window was he breaking at the time of his attempted arrest?

Remember, his "offense" was (allegedly) selling loose cigarettes -- and perhaps not even at the time he was "arrested"!

The article claims:

The majority of New Yorkers, including minorities, approve of police addressing disorderly illegal behavior, such as public drinking and drug use, fights, public urination and other acts considered to be minor offenses.

Public drinking and drug use harm nobody.  Notice the conflation here; public urination is an issue, provided you give people who are on the street (whether temporarily for an evening or permanent as homeless people) somewhere to take a***** without demanding they spend money first.  Fights are clearly a matter of disorderly conduct and are (unless conducted in a boxing ring) non-consensual for someoneand frequently involve the destruction of property (e.g. the barstool you crack over the other guy's head, or he cracks over yours.)

Now note that Garner's "offense" involved purely consensual conduct and that the purchase and possession of the item he sold is lawful.  That is, it's legal to purchase and own a cigarette.  The city simply declared it illegal for him to exchange one with you for something you possess (whether it be a dollar or a drink!) and then tried to deprive him of his freedom for exchanging a lawfully-acquired and owned thing with someone else.

This sort of thing is outrageous on it's face; it is this exact sort of law that is responsible for scorpion antivenom costing $30,000 a dose at the local hospital when 200 miles away you can buy it over the counter for $100!

And while Ferguson's supporters cite the fact that Brown apparently robbed a store of some cigarillos there was no want or warrant out for Brown at the time of the confrontation; that is, while the predicate offense had happened the reason for the confrontation was that he was "walking while black" outside the confines of a sidewalk.

Exactly who was being harmed by him doing so and how did that constitute a "broken window"?

There are many who claim that NY's "broken window" policing has contributed to or caused a decrease in crime.  Well, duh, but that's not the point and the reason is simple: If I search every single house every single day, and everyone in it, I can dramatically reduce gun violence by simply confiscating every gun I find, and I'll find a lot of them!  But we (correctly) identify this sort of unwarranted intrusion into the private lives of the citizens as irrational and unconstitutional.

I have no quarrel with enforcement of "broken window" laws where actual windows are broken.  That is, enforcement of laws against vandalism, public urination (provided there are lawful and reasonably-convenient places for anyone who happens to need to***** to do so), fighting, destruction of property and similar acts.  I note that the law against being drunk in public is usually cited as "drunk and disorderly" conduct -- note the and; it's not an "or" despite police protests to the contrary.

But Garner didn't break a window; he was in no way disorderly and the item he was alleged to have exchanged was lawful to both own and his acquisition of same facially appears to have been lawful (that is, he didn't steal the cigarettes.)

Bratton is not only wrong he's intentionally wrong, dissembling and ought to be held to a standard of conduct where such intentional deception -- that is, lying about the predicate of his department's actions, is not only unacceptable but should be considered felonious, as he is using it to attempt the justification of felony violations of your civil rights.

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As they say, "oops"....

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama's new plan to ease the threat of deportation for 4.7 million undocumented immigrants violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge found on Tuesday, handing down the first legal ruling against the plan.

The ruling has no immediate impact, with the government saying there was no reason for Judge Arthur Schwab of the Western District of Pennsylvania to address the issue in the case, which concerns 42-year-old Honduran immigrant Elionardo Juarez-Escobar.

Well that (whether the Judge had a reason to address the issue) is not up to the government, you see.  Apparently, he thought there was.  Of course the government will appeal and at the district level this ruling has no immediate impact, but....

As I've pointed out a few times there are a number of issues with Obama's actions in this regard, not the least of which is that they're executive actions rather than orders.  That is, they have no force of law at all, and the predicate is the claim that as the head of the Executive Obama can choose how to prioritize (always) limited resource.  It's an argument of "prosecutorial discretion", basically.

There's a problem with it however -- such discretion is generally lawful when exercised specific to circumstances of a particular case.  For example, a prosecutor can decline to bring a charge (or dismiss one, or enter into an agreement to not enter a judgment, having the effect of making a charge "disappear") because of the specifics of the case.  This is why it's legal for a prosecutor to do those sorts of things in exchange for some key piece of information he or she needs, if (in his or her judgment) it serves the public interest to do so.

But the law does not permit the same prosecutor to issue a blanket refusal to bring charges.

We know this happens all the time, however -- Eric (place) Holder has so-admitted with his "too big to jail" statements.  That was grounds for his immediate impeachment, as he has no such power under the law to make that decision.  That choice rests with the legislature, not with the Executive.

Of course neither political party had the stones to bring this up at the time.

It's a good thing "stare decisis" only has merit in the context of actual decisions by real courts or we'd be terminally screwed as a nation.  As it stands we're not quite there.


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I have to chuckle at what passes for journalism when it comes to tech these days.

Such as this "panning" review of the BlackBerry Classic.

Browsing the web is easier on the Classic than on previous models, but it is still a lousy experience when compared to the iPhone or Android devices. By far the biggest problem is still the chronic lack of apps. The range on offer from the Amazon and BlackBerry app stores is still incredibly poor. Want to check in for your Delta flight or work out how to get to your next meeting on public transport? Forget it.

Oh really?

Well, let's dispel a few stupids, particularly the above one.

Why do you want a "Delta" app?

You want one on your Android device because the browser sucks so badly that you can't just use their web site like you would at your desk.

But -- the BlackBerry 10 browser is excellent, including HTML5 compliance.  It therefore works just fine for that purpose, and what's better is that unlike the "Delta" app it works for all the airlines instead of just one!

Never mind not needing to clog up your device with a whole bunch of different apps (for the different carriers.)

But this misses the essential point, which is what BlackBerry has accomplished when it comes to travel, as just one example.

So let's say you do book a flight on your browser using the phone, or get a boarding pass (that's emailed to you, or you save as a PDF.)  BlackBerry Travel will automatically pick that up and start tracking it, showing you the gate the flight comes into on the other end (or where it's leaving from), sometimes more-quickly than the board changes in the airport itself!

Or let's say you're traveling by car.  You book a hotel.  Travel picks it up off the emailed confirmation all on its own and gives you one-touch routing via the mapping software in the handset; push a button and drive with it guiding you by voice.

Neither Android or IOS offers that sort of integration -- the sort that saves you time.

Oh sure, you can punch in the address of the hotel on any phone, but with the BB10 handsets you don't have to because the phone scans your email, finds anything travel related and populates it for you.  When it comes to hotels it will also look in the immediate surrounding area and suggest that you consider changing your reservation if a cheaper option exists across the street -- and it frequently does!

10.3.1, which is shipping with the Classic and will be officially available for the other BB10 devices shortly (it's already available if you're willing to handload it) continues to make major improvements over what originally showed up as "BB10."  Among other things Android app notifications now come through in the Hub and background operation is supported for them (and equally importantly you can choose to disable it on a per-app basis!)  One of the big complaints about Android apps that have a "background" component has always been that they chew up your battery at a ridiculous rate; only BB10 lets you choose to block execution when the app is in a tile rather than having focus -- and stop that.  With Android your only choice is to not have the app at all.

The key take-away to focus on is "why do I need an "app" for each hotel chain and airline when the browser is perfectly competent to handle it?"

I don't.

Or, if you prefer, "What would you say in response if Microsoft told you that you needed an 'app' for Delta to book a flight on your DESKTOP computer?"  I suspect your answer would be a one-finger salute.

What I do need in a PDA-cum-smartphone is a cross-company travel management package so that my flight, rental car and hotel data is all in one place irrespective of which company is providing each service to me on a trip and I get that with BlackBerry as it's built in and has been since the original BB10 launch.

99% of the time when I go somewhere I drive rather than fly, but the point is the same.  I just got back from a 3,000 mile driving trip about a week ago and when I booked each hotel BlackBerry Travel picked it up automatically, offering to route me there with the push of a button -- and when I asked it to do so the phone's nav system flawlessly delivered me to the front vestibule to check in.

Incidentally, this is not unique to the Classic or Passport.  It's been true since the Z10 launched.

Try that with the stock software that comes with your Android or Apple handset.

You can't -- and that's just one of the many examples where the FT article misses the mark.

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You can surrender to terrorists two ways:

1. After they attack you.

2. When they threaten to attack you.

Sony pictures, and the United Stateshave now done the latter.

When did we become spineless?  Was it when we failed to prosecute our conflict in Korea, or was it when we won the Tet Offensive and then walked off the field and effectively surrendered in Vietnam -- after winning, not losing?  Let us remember that it was our media that was, to a large degree, responsible for painting a very false image of what had happened there.

Or was it after 9/11, when we knew there existed ties to Saudi Arabia -- including almost-certainly the government of Saudi Arabia, within days after the attacks -- and yet we not only did nothing in response at the time we continued to ignore the evidence of their involvement since and have bought literal trillions worth of their oil over the next decade and a half?

Whenever our emasculation happened we had better think long and hard about this.  Canceling a movie because a tin-pot dictator over in North Korea got*****ed off and had his minions hack a company's computers (which, I might add, is a problem all on its own; gee, you don't think someone was more than a bit stupid to be leave themselves vulnerable to this, do you?) and then "threatened" attacks if mere speech occurred, that is, the showing of a movie, raises feelings of embarrassment for what is supposed to be a proud nation.

If we're going to be ball-less on a national level then I hope you're ready for the black flag of ISIS to fly over the White House -- and your house.

Let me remind you that cutting off heads is certainly more of a direct threat than anything Kim-Jun-Pig****er could actually pull off in response to not liking a movie that's made about his nation and the rat-bastard conduct it has engaged in over the years.

Got your prayer mat ready comrade?

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