Facebook Amber Alert system launches in Canada

Facebook Amber Alert system launches in Canada

By Nicole Bogart, Global News

TORONTO – Facebook users in Canada will soon receive Amber Alert notifications to their timelines in an effort to help locate missing children in their area.

In collaboration with police forces across the country, the program will provide details about the missing child, along with a photo and all available details surrounding their possible abduction, on users’ mobile newsfeeds.newsfeeds.newsfeeds.

The notifications will only be delivered to users within the search area.

“When a child disappears, every second counts and statistics have shown that the rapid dissemination of information greatly increases the chances of locating a missing child, safe and sound,” Amanda Pick, CEO of the Missing Children’s Society of Canada, said in a press release.

“Facebook’s geo-targeted alerts will give Amber Alerts an expanded social media and Internet presence, thus greatly enhancing our abilities to quickly recover the child.”geo-targeted alerts will give Amber Alerts an expanded social media and Internet presence, thus greatly enhancing our abilities to quickly recover the child.”geo-targeted alerts will give Amber Alerts an expanded social media and Internet presence, thus greatly enhancing our abilities to quickly recover the child.”geo-targeted alerts will give Amber Alerts an expanded social media and Internet presence, thus greatly enhancing our abilities to quickly recover the child.”

According to the social network, the program has already helped locate at least one abducted child, thanks to the help of Facebook users.

How it works

According to Facebook, once an Amber Alert is issued, the information will be sent directly to Facebook and distributed to users within the search area.

Police in charge of the case will determine the range of the target area for each alert before Facebook shares it to user timelines – whether it be city wide, or province wide.

Users within the search area will be able to see information about the child – including a photograph – and any details surrounding their disappearance. Information about the suspected abductor and the description or licence plate of the vehicle involved will also be included.licence plate of the vehicle involved will also be included.

Users will also be able to share the alert to their timelines to spread the word.

The company is still trying to determine the best way to communicate that an alert has been cancelled. “Facebook is currently exploring the best way to follow up on the status of an Amber Alert and would ultimately like to be able to let people know when and if a child has been found,” a spokesperson for Facebook told Global News.

Social media has helped in recoveries before

Facebook has already proven extremely useful in spreading the word about missing children – especially in Canada.

Almost a year ago, a newborn baby was abducted from a hospital in Trois-Rivières, Quebec.

Just three hours after the baby went missing, authorities found the baby safe and sound.

Similarly, last March, a missing 11-year-old girl was found in a South Carolina motel room when a motel clerk called police after seeing an Amber Alert on Facebook.

“On behalf of the Harper Government, I applaud the launch of Facebook AMBER Alerts, a new tool that will mobilize the online community to help locate abducted Canadian children,” said Minister of public safety and emergency preparedness Steven Blaney in a statement.

This initiative complements our Government’s strong commitment to keep our streets and communities safe, particularly when it comes to the most vulnerable members of society – our children.”

Antitrust Case Ignites Debate Whether Google’s Search Tactics Help or Harm Consumers

The European Union’s escalating legal attack on Google is likely to ignite a debate about whether the Internet search leader makes life more convenient for consumers or abuses its power to squeeze out rivals who might have something better to offer.

The contrasting views of Google’s business practices came into sharper focus Wednesday after Europe’s antitrust regulators challenged the Mountain View, California, company on two different fronts.

Drawing upon a nearly five-year probe, the regulators filed a complaint alleging that Google has been improperly favouring its own shopping comparison service in its own search results. The charges could still be expanded to include other services highlighted in Google’s search results, such as travel recommendations and merchant reviews, mounting a challenge to the digital advertising system that generates most of the company’s revenue.

As if that blow wasn’t enough, Europe’s regulators also announced they are opening a separate inquiry into whether Google has been illegally using its popular Android software to bully smartphone and tablet makers to feature Google’s products on their mobile devices.

Google staunchly denied any wrongdoing, setting up a showdown that could still take years to resolve. The company has 10 weeks to respond to Wednesday’s complaint.

Here are a few things to know for now.

GOOD OR BAD FOR CONSUMERS?

For now at least, Europe’s case is focused on Google’s shopping comparison service, known as Google Shopping, which shows various products and prices when consumers make a search request indicating they are looking to buy something.

Google Shopping consistently ranks at the top of Google’s search results page to the detriment of competitors, including U.K.-based Foundem and Ciao, owned by Microsoft. Both those rivals are among the companies that spurred the EU’s investigation into Google.

Regulators allege Google elevates its shopping service even when other options might have better deals. They maintain that Google Shopping is getting favourable treatment because the company wants it to succeed, unlike an earlier version called “Froogle,” which wasn’t pushed to the top of the search rankings.

Google maintains that it is just trying to package its search results in a way that makes it easier for consumers to find what they want.

But Google’s shopping comparison service doesn’t include all products in any category. Google began locking out some merchants in late 2012 when it began requiring an upfront payment _ the equivalent of an ad _ to be included in the index of the shopping comparison service.

“People don’t realize there’s a pay-to-play element of Google Shopping,” said William Poundstone, author of “Are you Smart Enough to Work at Google?” People tend to assume it’s more of a level playing field than what it really is.”

POWER PLAY

The popularity of Google’s search engine is the main reason why European regulators are trying to force the company to change its ways. Google processes about 90 per cent of the searches in the EU, compared to 66 per cent in the U.S.

“Dominant companies have a responsibility not to abuse their powerful market position,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner. She contends Google is limiting the choices of European consumers and stifling innovation among smaller companies.

Google maintains people use its search engine because of its reputation for delivering the best results.

The company also points out that it is facing more completion than ever, including: other search engines such as Microsoft’s Bing and DuckDuckGo; e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com and eBay, where consumers go directly to compare products; mobile apps, where people increasingly spend their time online; and relatively new networking tools such as Pinterest that have unleashed new ways for people to discover intriguing ideas and products.

European regulators are taking a different tack than their U.S. counterparts. In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission settled an antitrust investigation into the market power that Google wields through its search engine without requiring the company to make any major changes.

That means whatever happens in Europe might not necessarily change the way that Google does things in the U.S., tough company critics such as the group Consumer Watchdog are urging the FTC or Justice Department to take another look.

ASSAULT ON ANDROID?

When Google began giving away its Android software in 2008, the company was just trying to counter the runaway success of Apple’s iPhone. Now, Android powers billions of mobile devices, largely because it doesn’t cost phone and tablet makers anything to use the software.

But Google isn’t giving away Android for altruistic reasons. The operating system is designed to feature Google’s search engine, maps, Gmail, YouTube video service and other products that give the company more opportunities to sell digital ads. Device makers don’t have to use Android as Google wants it to be, but European regulators are now looking into complaints that the company penalizes those that deviate, or “fork,” from its Google-centric design.

Apple also bundles many of its own services in the iPhone, but its software is only used on the devices that it makes – a distinction from Android.

Google, again, portrays its bundling as something most people appreciate. There is some evidence to support that thesis. For instance, when Apple dropped Google’s digital maps as the iPhone’s built-in navigation service in 2012, Google introduced a stand-alone version of its maps that quickly became one of the top apps that people wanted to install on their iPhones.

HIGH STAKES

If regulators can prove Google has been breaking the law in the European Union’s 28-country bloc, it could be costly even for a company as rich as Google.

The EU can impose fines of 10 per cent of annual revenue, or some $6 billion, and force the company to overhaul its system for recommending websites in Europe.

It seems unlikely that the fine will be that high, as long as Europe’s case remains limited to Google’s shopping comparison service, said Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente. The narrow focus so far “suggests maybe they didn’t have a strong enough case against the core search product and Android,” DiClemente said.

Investors certainly don’t seem concerned. Google’s stock gained $2.14 to close Wednesday at $542.55.

canada-press

 

Don’t make these stupid travel mistakes

By Katia Hetter  (CNN) — Threatening an airline on Twitter is a terrible idea.

An airline, such as American Airlines, which was attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001, and lost two planes filled with passengers and crew is likely to take your public threats seriously.

It might even get you arrested, as was the case of the 14-year-old Dutch girl who recently wrote, “@AmericanAir hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m gonna do something really big bye.” (The teen was arrested Monday afternoon.)

Teen arrested for tweeting airline terror threat

Foolishness at home or abroad rarely yield great results. So please stop doing stupid stuff while traveling. Just stop it.

You’re making the rest of us polite, culture-seeking, nature-loving and happy-to-practice-our-Spanish (or French or Arabic) tourists look bad. And you could end up in jail. Here are a few stupid examples of things you shouldn’t do:

Don’t knock over ancient rocks. Never mind that the Boy Scout leaders who knocked over rocks dating back millions of years in Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park should have known better. Our nation’s national and state parks are not anyone’s private playground.

Please respect them and leave the ancient wonders intact for everyone to enjoy. (In March, Utah resident Glenn Taylor pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and another Utah man, David Hall, pleaded guilty to attempted criminal mischief. Both men received a year of probation and fines.)

Don’t parade around naked in inappropriate places. Peruvian officials are getting annoyed by naked tourists converging on Machu Picchu.

“There are places in the world that people can get naked, but not all places are (appropriate) for getting undressed,” Alfredo Mormontoy Atayupanqui, director of archaeological resources for Peru’s Ministry of Culture, told CNN.

Perhaps a 15th century Inca treasure and World Heritage Site isn’t one of those places. Park rules printed on the back of your admission ticket warn against being nude in public, Mormontoy says. Security around the site is being increased, and we have the naked visitors to thank for it.

Please don’t disrobe, unless it’s allowed by local custom! (See Nice, France, for topless beaches.)

Don’t write on sacred monuments. Not all of the badly behaving travelers are Americans. Last year, a 15-year-old Chinese tourist defaced a stone sculpture in the 3,500-year-old Luxor Temple with graffiti. The teen carved “Ding Jinhao was here” in Chinese on a sculpture. The graffiti was photographed by another Chinese tourist and posted online.

When his graffiti went viral, and he was tracked down, his parents apologized in a China Daily report, promising they were taking responsibility for what their son had done.

Don’t climb them either. Visitors to the pyramids at Giza, Egypt, aren’t supposed to climb them. Russian photographer Vadim Makhorov and a group of his friends, in search of glorious photos, apparently didn’t think the rules applied to them.

While Makhorov apologized for climbing the pyramids,he’s made a habit of climbing tall structures. He’s since scaled the world’s second-tallest building, the unfinished Shanghai Tower in China.

Don’t pack guns in your carry on. If you’ve got one, remember to ask yourself: “Where’s my gun?” Some people actually forget where their guns are located until the Transportation Security Administration finds them. The TSA confiscated 1,813 guns at the airport last year, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport came in first place with 111 guns seized.

If you meant to have your gun in your carry-on bag, know there are legal ways to transport weapons — but not the way you did it. Many hunters do it properly all the time, and TSA and U.S. Customs officials know how to clear your weapons safely.

Source: CNN Travel

Have you ever witnessed fellow travelers making really horrendous mistakes while traveling? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Canada: Facebook Pages Should Be Treated Like Journals In Discovery

Canada: Facebook Pages Should Be Treated Like Journals In Discovery

Article by Jennifer L. Hunter

Facebook pages should not be immune from the rules governing discovery.  They should be treated like personal journals or diaries.  This does not mean that in every case a defendant will be entitled to read the plaintiff’s Facebook page.  That is not how the law operates.

Much like in the context of a diary, defendant’s counsel should use the opportunity of examinations for discovery to determine if it is likely that the plaintiff’s Facebook page contains relevant information.  Counsel should inquire whether the plaintiff posts status updates or photographs, how many ‘friends’ they have, and how often they access Facebook.  If plaintiff’s counsel has not reviewed their client’s Facebook page, it is appropriate to request an undertaking that they do so and that they produce an updated Affidavit of Documents disclosing any relevant information.

Facebook pages are best thought of like a box full of diverse documents that may or may not be relevant to the allegations in a claim.  Those that are relevant must be disclosed.  If a plaintiff makes a post or uploads a photo on Facebook that contradicts their evidence, it is important that the defendant be able to seek its production.

Unfortunately, there is a good deal of confusion when it comes to Facebook pages.  Some defence counsel seek production of the entire Facebook page and move before the court to compel  access to the page.  Naturally, the courts resist this sort of intrusion.

In its analysis, the court will consider the likelihood of relevant information on the page.  One example would be if there are photographs of the plaintiff engaging in activities that she says she is unable to perform as a result of her injuries.  In coming to a conclusion, the court will also consider the plaintiff’s expectation of privacy.  If the plaintiff has a large number of friends and intends that their posts be public, the court is more likely to allow production.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Source: Mondaq

Just how important is your online presence to your career?

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Plain and simple: You are going to be Googled. An estimated 75% of HR departments are required to Google candidates during the hiring process – and that’s in addition to your future colleagues, clients and business partners who will be looking you up. The info that shows up when they do search will set the tone for their first impression of who you are professionally and personally.

I talked with Patrick Ambron, cofounder and CEO of Brand Yourself, about what to look for when Googling yourself and the five most common results that can destroy your career:

“Think of the first page of your search results as a resume for your online presence. A first page filled with a beautiful personal website, active professional profiles and your most recent achievements & contributions to your industry will go a lot farther than a page with few to zero positive results about you. Worst case scenario? A first page with a negative result (or two). If you haven’t already, take a moment and Google your name to know what’s out there about you. Make sure to use incognito or private browsing to get the most accurate results.”

A good rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t want to show it to HR, then consider it negative. You don’t have to be a bad person or a hardened criminal to find yourself with a negative result or two showing up when people Google your name. There are 5 common types of negative results that anyone could find themselves dealing with:

1. A negative press mention or two – With so many local and industry-focused news sites, it’s easier than ever to find yourself garnering a little attention in the headlines. In the tech/startup industry, in particular, we’ve seen a few co-founders come under fire for things they have said or did in the past that resulted in some unwanted attention in the press.

2. Info about an arrest or legal mixup – If you ever had a run-in with the law or were involved in a law suit, your mugshot, arrest blotter, legal filings and any other type of public record can find its way into your search results. This means anything from a court proceeding that mentions your name to a police blotter from college for being at the wrong party at the wrong time.

3. Negative online reviews – Anonymous review sites like Yelp make it easy for anyone to vent their frustrations at you and your business (even if the reviews aren’t true). These types of sites are difficult because they include open forums you can’t control.

4. Backlash from a bad breakup – Breakups tend to bring out the worst in people and with emotions running high, you could easily find yourself dealing with some online backlash. Revenge porn is the most common, and most damaging, type of result.

5. Slanderous blog post or website – Whether you actually did something that got you on someone’s bad side or just had the misfortune to cross the wrong person, you could find yourself with a slanderous blog post or even an entire website dedicated to how you did the other person wrong.

Even if YOU have avoided any of the situations mentioned above, keep in mind that there is probably more than one person with your name in the world. If you’re not actively working to create a positive online presence, you leave yourself vulnerable to someone else creating an online reputation for you – good or bad. Take it from BrandYourself’s co-founder Pete who was confused for a criminal with the same name in search results.

Obviously, the first thing is to avoid doing or posting anything that will land you in a bad position. Keep your privacy settings in check & think twice about what you share with your friends and followers. Even if you know everyone on your list, you never know if that person is going to take something you post out of context and share it with someone else.

The only long-term & effective strategy for combating any unwanted results or preventing them in the future, is to build an active, positive online presence. This involves building a personal website, professional websites, a blog, etc. and then actively maintaining them.

Source: Entrepreneur

LinkedIn Influencer, Dave Kerpen, published this post originally on Linkedin

Photos You Should Never Use on Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn doesn’t play when it comes to professional profile pics and neither should you. If you upload a pic to your profile that isn’t actually of you or isn’t even a headshot, LinkedIn reserves the right to yank it. (Newsflash: There’s no way Hello Kitty’s your doppelganger, m’kay.) Seriously screw up your photo three times and — stee-rike! — you’re out. You’ll be banned from uploading your mug ever again. No joke.

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In my opinion, LinkedIn doesn’t ax awful profile pics enough. Sloppy, cheesy, awkward snaps. Egregiously immature, unprofessional lemme-take-a-selfie-style pics that cut it no problem on Instagram, Tinder or Facebook. Here’s a friendly reminder, particularly for the 39 million students and recent college grads lurking on LinkedIn: It’s not for Man Crush Monday, not for swiping right and not for stalking your 8th grade crush.

The 313 million-plus member site is for professional networking, specifically with past and present colleagues, hiring managers, potential clients and investors, and other hopefully business-related contacts. That said, your headshot should be professional. In other words, safe. Appealing to a wide audience. Even a little vanilla.

So, if you want to put your best professional game face forward on LinkedIn — and you do, don’t you? — don’t be guilty of committing these common (and often comical) profile pic sins:

1. The selfie in the mirror pic.

Just please, save your smug, snapped-in-the-bathroom mirror head-to-toe selfies for Facebook. They make you look like an amateur on LinkedIn, even if you look like a boss in your hipster Hugo Boss slim fit suit, or so you think. Come on, by now you should know that selfies of any kind are way too casual for LinkedIn. #wrongplatform

2. The freaky filter overkill pic.

Chill with the funky filters already. Actually, don’t use them at all, not on LinkedIn. Potential employers and clients want to size you up straight up, just as you are, not all uber-emo. In Instagram speak: The “Earlybird” that skips the “Sutro” is more likely to get the worm, dig?

3. The ‘I’m so serious I hate life pic.

Never post a profile pic that makes you look incredibly intense, Dwight Schrute-serious or, worst of all, pissed off. There are enough mug shot-worthy frowner-downers littering LinkedIn already. Instead, post a happy (but not too I-just-won-the-lottery happy) headshot that shows off what Richard Branson calls your “competitive advantage,” your smile. Go on, let your pearly whites shine.

With a nice, relaxed smile on your face, you generally come off as more approachable and trustworthy, someone a potential employer (or investor or business partner) might be more willing to give a chance. AsPsychology Today puts it, “there’s magic in your smile.” It’s scientifically proven. Use it to your advantage.

4. The beyond blurry pic.

No one should have to squint to make you out. Familiarize yourself with how to use Photoshop’s “Sharpening” tool. Or, if your headshot is too fuzzy or pixelated to fix, use a different, clearer pic. Focus, people. This is pretty basic stuff.

5. The full-body action pic.

I’m not going to name names (I’m not that mean), but a LinkedIn user I maybe, kind of, sort of might be connected with is half-squatting, half-lunging in her profile pic. In a baggy T-shirt and Spandex leggings. On a cracked cement driveway. Yep, like a cat-like Crossfit ninja warrior about to pounce…  just after this quick yoga pose, k? Granted she’s a black belt and a personal trainer (who, er, could easily choke me out tonight in karate class and just might if she reads this), but squatting? On LinkedIn? Really? Just no.

Let’s just stick with vanilla headshots, shall we? They’re more appropriate for the venue. Full body shots, awkwardly posed or not, pack too much weird factor, a vibe you probably don’t want to give off, at least not professionally. Not unless you’re an actual ninja.

6. The ‘Say hello to my kitty’ pic.

Here’s an easy rule to remember: Unless you’re a vet, please don’t pose with your pet. As much as you adore Count Fluffy McFlufferton, I’m sorry, he’s not LinkedIn profile material. You are. Just you. Save your furball’s whisker-licious glamour shots for Tag a Cat, the new Tinder for cats.

7. The ‘Oops, I cropped my shot’ pic.

Technically, you’re more than just a face. You’re a person. A whole person with brains in your head, feet in your shoes and you can post any LinkedIn profile pic you choose. That is, we hope, except for one that oddly crops off the top of your head or the bottom of your chin. Or your ears. You get the full picture. Show your face, your whole face and nothing but your face. Or so help you job, the one you could have gotten (or kept) because you looked the part on LinkedIn.

8. The default LinkedIn silhouette pic.

On top of looking a bit clueless — and like someone who lacks the confidence to back their good name with their face — you’ll miss out on a bunch of profile views if you choose not to upload a photo at all. If you do post a pic of yourself, LinkedIn says people are seven times more likely to click on your profile. So do yourself a solid and just say no to LinkedIn’s creepy two-tone, “male silhouette” default pic. Blech.

Source: Entrepreneur

 

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