Sunday, June 29, 2014

Facebook Conducts Psychological Experiments On Its Users, Manipulates News Feeds Without Their Knowledge

Over 600,000 Facebook users have taken part in a psychological experiment organized by the social media company, without their knowledge.

Facebook altered the tone of the users' news feed to highlight either positive or negative posts from their friends, which were seen on their news feed.  Facebook then monitored the users' responses, to see whether their friends' attitude had an impact on their own.   The results indicated that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influenced users' emotions, constituting experimental evidence for mass-scale contagion via social networks.

Facebook was able to carry out the experiment because all users must check a box agreeing to their terms and conditions in order to use Facebook. The mandatory terms allow Facebook to conduct "internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement."

The lead scientist on the project, Adam Kramer, admitted in an interview when he joined Facebook that he took the job because "Facebook . . . constitutes the largest field study in the history of the world."

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Widespread Blackouts In Venezuela

Large parts of Venezuela were blacked out last night, as a widespread power outage crept across the South American country. The outage affected homes, office buildings and even the presidential palace in the capital city of Caracas, as well as nine of Venezuela's 23 states.

Electricity Minister Jesse Chacon said a major line that connects the country's central and western parts had failed, causing the blackout in the early afternoon. Electricity still had not been fully restored as night fell.  Subway systems and train schedules were suspended around the country, stranding people trying to get home from work.  Cellular networks were jammed for hours as people tried to cope with the chaos.  In Caracas, the sidewalks were filled with pedestrians, forcing people to walk in the streets. While some middle class neighborhoods were without power after nightfall, the city's center experienced only intermittent outages. The problems extended to Maracaibo, Venezuela's second city, and the industrial center of Valencia.

In 2007, former socialist leader Hugo Chavez nationalized Venezuela's power sector as part of a broad wave of state takeovers. The socialist country suffered major blackouts in both 2012 and 2013 as well.  Current President Nicholas Maduro weathered three months of often violent opposition demonstrations earlier this year, demanding his resignation that were in part motivated by complaints over shoddy public services.  Experts attributed the latest outage to government incompetence and a deteriorating infrastructure, which has long been suffering from deferred maintenance.  The administration blamed the power outages on sabotage, promising a investigation.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Twerp In Twat Tweeted

This week, Anderson Cooper reported on an American exchange student in Germany who got stuck inside a giant vagina.  It took 22 firefighters and five emergency vehicle to extricate the young man from the giant vagina-shaped sculpture at Tubingen University in southwest Germany.

CNN's Cooper commented:
 “I’m certainly no expert on the topic of vaginas. I know enough to know you’re not supposed to go in feet first.”

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Blue Balls At The World Cup

Costa Rican soccer coach Jorge Luis Pinto said he doesn’t want girlfriends and wives flying around Brazil to be with the team during the World Cup, and noted that players will need to stay isolated and focused.  Added Pinto: “I can assure, with no doubts, they will be able to ‘enjoy themselves’ just as soon as they qualify for the next round.”

Although it’s often said that sex can be a distraction and exhaust players, no scientific studies support either claim. Still, teams like Mexico, Chile, Spain and Bosnia and Herzegovina have banned players from having sex during the tournament, according to this handy guide from Deadspin. Mexico coach Miguel Herrera justified the decision with this simple explanation: “Forty days of sexual abstinence is not going to hurt anyone.”

Italy reversed previous policies banning sex at the World Cup, while the French have said sex is fine as long as it’s not the only thing the team does to prepare for matches.  The United States coaching staff said they have more important issues to worry about than whether their players are "knocking cleats" with their chicas.

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