On May 19, Reddit user branch455, posted this request on a thread about helping people cross things off their bucket lists: “I want to see my son graduate from high school. Don’t have the resources to travel the 300 miles. Graduates Friday May 30th.”

On May 19, Reddit user branch455, posted this request on a thread about helping people cross things off their bucket lists: "I want to see my son graduate from high school. Don't have the resources to travel the 300 miles. Graduates Friday May 30th."

Troy Branch said he didn’t have enough money to travel from Tallahassee to Eutis, Fla., to see his oldest son graduate. He said his finances were “stretched pretty thin as of late due to excessive medical bills.”

Reddit users kicked into action. They helped Branch secure a cheap round trip ticket via Megabus. One Redditor used his Holiday Inn points to get Branch a hotel room. Others offered to drive him from the bus stop in Orlando to his hotel.

Reddit users kicked into action. They helped Branch secure a cheap round trip ticket via Megabus. One Redditor used his Holiday Inn points to get Branch a hotel room. Others offered to drive him from the bus stop in Orlando to his hotel.

Branch posted his son’s reaction when he told him he could make it for his graduation.

“I’m glad to see you can make it down to see me graduate. It means a lot to me. With the time we have between now and then, I’m sure we can work out the details of where you’ll be staying and your mode of transportation. I look forward to seeing you Dad.”

On May 30, Branch crossed off one of his bucket list wishes: He got to see his oldest son graduate high school.

On May 30, Branch crossed off one of his bucket list wishes: He got to see his oldest son graduate high school.

The proud father posted pictures of the day he spent with both his sons.

The proud father posted pictures of the day he spent with both his sons.

Thanks to the Internet’s generosity, Branch said that he was able to take his sons to the movies and and the flea market which was one of their favorite things to do when they were younger.

Overwhelmed with all the help he got, Branch thanked the Redditors: “You have turned one s@#$tty week into something really special and heart warming.”

Overwhelmed with all the help he got, Branch thanked the Redditors: "You have turned one s@#$tty week into something really special and heart warming."

He promised to “pay it forward.”

Good job, internet.

The Internet Helped A Broke Father Watch His Oldest Son Graduate

1. You’re probably not addicted to the internet.

9 Things You Should Know About The Internet And Your Brain

Most of what’s described as “internet addiction” is actually other addictions – to gambling or video games – that just happen to take place online. While “problematic internet use” is a real thing, feeling addicted to the internet could just be your sense of a strong habit.

Subconscious cues – time of day, reaching the end of a work project, feeling stressed and wanting to relax – can trigger your internet habit, without your even realizing it. Then you find yourself refreshing Facebook or scrolling down Reddit without even really knowing why.

In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg describes habit loops as: trigger, habit, and reward: You feel lonely → you check Facebook → you get the reward of seeing what’s going on in your friends’ lives. You feel bored → you play 2048 on your phone → you numb yourself from boredom.

If your web habit is bothering you, pay attention to the cues that trigger your habit, and look for other things you can do – gchat a friend, go for a walk, pet your cat – that can give you the same nice feeling of reward.

2. Random rewards are really powerful.

9 Things You Should Know About The Internet And Your Brain

Here’s why your internet habit is so strong:

If you train a rat to expect a treat every time he pushes a button, he’ll get a few treats and wander off. But if the rat only gets a reward sometimes, at random intervals, he’ll become obsessed with pushing that button and trying to get that treat.

Okay. So now replace pushing the button with refreshing Twitter, replace the rat treats with replies or faves, and replace the rat with yourself.

This quirk of psychology is exploited by casinos and video game designers, and it governs how you relate to the internet and social media, too. Random rewards are everywhere on the internet – new email alerts, Facebook likes, reblogs on Tumblr, and even just finding a lower price on that 20lb bag of cat litter if you just check one more site. There could be something great at any time!

3. Your brain misses its downtime.

Your brain misses its downtime.

When you’ve always got your nose in a smartphone or screen, the constant stimulation doesn’t leave time or space for your mind to wander. Our quest to avoid boredom might be costing our brains vital processing and chilling-out time.

A brain at rest isn’t really at rest – it’s processing thoughts, reflecting on experiences, and filing away memories into long-term storage. Some researchers also speculate that a lack of time for introspection could be changing our very senses of self, causing us to focus more on the concrete and external than on the inner worlds of our minds.

4. Information overload is real.

9 Things You Should Know About The Internet And Your Brain

Wikipedia has plenty of space for its information, but your little brain can only hold a few thoughts at a time. When you try to stuff too much into your short-term – or “working” – memory, something has to go. The endless scrolling of Facebook or Twitter doesn’t give you a chance to process what you’ve seen – you read and read, but nothing sticks. In his book, The Shallows, What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, Nicholas Carr writes that this overload of working memory starves our “deep” memory, where new ideas and creative synthesis happen.

5. There’s no such thing as multitasking.

9 Things You Should Know About The Internet And Your Brain

Bouncing between browser windows, splitting attention between your TV, phone, and computer screens, you might feel like the queen of multitasking. But as far as cognitive psychology is concerned, there’s no such thing as multitasking. There is only task-switching. And if you’re very used to flitting from task to task – whether it’s twitter and tumblr or twitter and your job – you’re likely to have a lot of trouble focusing on one task at a time.

A 2009 study found that people who multitask between media have a harder time filtering information. Researcher Eyal Ophir told Stanford News, “High multitaskers are always drawing from all the information in front of them. They can’t keep things separate in their minds.” Every time you switch between tasks or projects, you lose focus in the transition and a little interference lingers from the thing you just left.

Multitasking within social media also trains you to give up control of your own attention. Going through life ready to drop everything for a Facebook notification or new email teaches your brain to take a hands-off approach to focus. If something new and exciting might pop up at any second, it becomes harder to decide to fully focus on the thing that’s in front of you now.

6. For good or for ill, your internet use can shape your brain.

9 Things You Should Know About The Internet And Your Brain

Your brain develops according to how you use it. And if you don’t use it, you lose it. (Not your whole brain, okay, but the parts you’re not using.)

There’s evidence that if you get your main social fix online instead of IRL, the parts of your brain responsible for processing speech and facial expressions may physically shrink. (A pdf of that study is here.) If you like to share a lot about yourself online, the regions of the brain that connect emotions to decision-making and that respond to rewards may be larger. Whether it’s nature or nurture, the chicken or the egg – the effect of your choices or a genetic predisposition – it shows up in the anatomy of your brain.

7. Googling keeps your brain on its toes.

Googling keeps your brain on its toes.

You’d think that when you get good at doing something, it becomes easier for you to do. And this is usually how it works – new tasks take lots of attention and brainpower, but mastery means you can coast.

But with Google, this doesn’t seem to be the case. A study compared internet novices to seasoned pros and found that when newbies Google, their brains look like they’re reading. But web-savvy searchers use more of their brain, including regions that control decision making and complex reasoning. The researchers think this suggests that “internet searching remains a novel and mentally stimulating process even after continued practice.”

8. Screen light keeps you awake.

Screen light keeps you awake.

Day=light, night=dark. Nothing crazy here. But it’s more than basic knowledge – it’s how your brain knows what to do. Bright light tells your brain to stay awake by suppressing the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep cycles. And research going as far back as 1958 shows that blue light – like what’s blasting out of your computer screen – has the strongest effect.

The bright light from your computer screen or e-reader could be costing you an hour of sleepy time a night. (If shutting down a few hours before bed feels like too big a sacrifice, install software like fl.ux that tints your screen red after sunset to diminish this effect.)

9. Selfies can boost your self-esteem.

9 Things You Should Know About The Internet And Your Brain

The hand-wringing about selfies has been endless. But research shows that posting pictures of yourself online, especially in a supportive community, can actually help you feel better about the way you look.

Viewing pictures of yourself and other fabulously real people can counter the impossible beauty standards set by the media. A study of NSFW selfie-blogging communities on Tumblr found that participants felt better about their appearances, more connected to their own bodies, and more generous and approving of others’ bodies as well. So put that crooked grin up on Instagram – you’re gorgeous.

Source.

Internet expert, Snowden opens up and reveals what he thinks of the web.

 (CNN) — Traitor or patriot?

Low-level systems analyst or highly trained spy?

Source CNN.- Slammed by top U.S. government officials and facing espionage charges in the United States, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden described how he sees himself during an interview with NBC “Nightly News” broadcast Wednesday. And he defended his decision to leak documents about classified U.S. government surveillance programs.

We’ve heard from Snowden a few times before, but the NBC interview with anchor Brian Williams inside a Moscow hotel was his first on an American television network.
Photos: NSA leaker Edward Snowden Photos: NSA leaker Edward Snowden

Here are 10 key points from the interview with the 30-year-old former NSA contractor:

1. Snowden thinks he’s a patriot.

“I think patriot is a word that’s thrown around so much that it can be devalued nowadays,” he said. “Being a patriot doesn’t mean prioritizing service to government above all else. Being a patriot means knowing when to protect your country, knowing when to protect your Constitution, knowing when to protect your countrymen, from the violations of and encroachments of adversaries. And those adversaries don’t have to be foreign countries.”

That assessment drew a sharp response from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who spoke with NBC earlier Wednesday.

“Patriots don’t go to Russia. They don’t seek asylum in Cuba. They don’t seek asylum in Venezuela. They fight their cause here,” Kerry said. “Edward Snowden is a coward. He is a traitor. And he has betrayed his country. And if he wants to come home tomorrow to face the music, he can do so.”

2. Snowden says he was trained as a spy.

U.S. President Barack Obama famously referred to Snowden as a hacker last year, and other officials have described him as a low-ranking analyst. That’s misleading, Snowden said.

“I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word — in that I lived and worked undercover, overseas, pretending to work in a job that I’m not — and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” Snowden said.

“Now, the government might deny these things. They might frame it in certain ways, and say, oh, well, you know, he’s a low-level analyst. But what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to use one position that I’ve had in a career, here or there, to distract from the totality of my experience.”

3. Russia isn’t where he expected to end up, but he’s managing.

“I personally am surprised that I ended up here,” Snowden said. “The reality is I never intended to end up in Russia. I had a flight booked to Cuba onwards to Latin America, and I was stopped because the United States government decided to revoke my passport and trap me in the Moscow airport.”

There’s a culture gap, and it’s been an adjustment.

“But even though I didn’t choose to be here, even though circumstances really trapped me here, I can adapt. I can live life as an American more or less. That’s the beauty of the Internet is that we’re no longer tied to our communities by physical connections,” he said.

4. Like a lot of us, he’s been spending his free time watching old episodes of “The Wire.”

“I’m really enjoying it,” he said, though he added that the second season is “not so great.”

5. He’s not happy about some things the Russian government is doing.

Snowden says he has no ties with the Russian government, and he isn’t happy with some of its policies.

“It’s really frustrating for someone who’s working so hard to expand the domain of our rights and our privacy to end up stuck in a place where those rights are being challenged in ways that I would consider deeply unfair,” he said.

There’s no good reason, for example, for a recent law requiring bloggers to register in Russia, he said.

“I can’t think of any basis for a law like that, not just in Russia, but any country,” he said. “The government shouldn’t regulate the operations of a free press.”

So why doesn’t he do something about it. “There’s so much that needs to be defended here in Russia, but I’m limited by my inability to speak Russian, and so on. It’s an isolating and frustrating thing.”

6. It only takes a cell phone for spy agencies in the United States and other countries to find out a lot about you if they want to.

And that’s even if you’re just Googling something simple, Snowden said, like a sports score (Williams told Snowden he’d recently searched for the score of a New York Rangers game).

“The NSA, the Russian intelligence service, the Chinese intelligence service, any intelligence service in the world that has significant funding and a real technological research team can own that phone the minute it connects to their network,” Snowden said.

They can turn on a phone remotely if it’s off, he said. And even a detail like a Google search for a sports score can reveal a lot about you.

“You probably speak English. You are probably an American. You are interested in this sport. They might know what your habits are,” Snowden said. ‘Where were you in the world when you checked the score? Do you check it when you travel? Do you check it when you’re at home? They could tell your pattern of life. Where are you doing these activities? When do you wake up? When do you go to sleep? What other phones are around you? Are you with someone who’s not your wife? Are you someplace that you shouldn’t be?”

7. He wants to return to the United States someday.

“If I could go anywhere in the world, that place would be home,” he said.

But he responded with a series of questions rather than specifics when asked what he missed about home.

“What don’t I miss? What would you miss? What wouldn’t you miss?” he said. “I miss my family. I miss my home. I miss my colleagues. I miss the work.”

8. So why doesn’t he come back to the United States to face charges? Snowden says that’s a fair question, but an ignorant one.

Because he was charged under the Espionage Act, Snowden says he has no chance to make a public defense of his case.

“You are not allowed to argue based on all the evidence in your favor because that evidence may be classified,” he said.

“When people say, ‘Why don’t you face the music?’ I say, ‘You have to understand the music is not an open court and a fair trial.’”

9. Why did Snowden leak classified documents? He says he had no choice.

“The reality is, the situation determined that this needed to be told to the public. The Constitution of the United States had been violated on a massive scale,” Snowden told Williams. “Now, had that not happened, had the government not gone too far and overreached, we wouldn’t be in a situation where whistleblowers were necessary.”

The U.S. government, Snowden said, is using the threat of terrorism “to justify programs that have never been shown to keep us safe but cost us liberties and freedoms that we don’t need to give up and our Constitution says we shouldn’t give up.”

10. He says he tried to go through official channels before leaking information but met dead ends.

Among the people he contacted, Snowden siad, was the NSA’s general counsel office.

“I reported that there were real problems with the way the NSA was interpreting its legal authorities,” Snowden said. “And the response, more or less, in bureaucratic language was, ‘you should stop asking questions.’”

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OpenSSL’s founder will announce a $50,000-per-year donation sponsorship from the Chinese IT company Huawei,

Luo Hongyao, Smartisan CEO, announces the launch of his company’s T1 cell phone earlier this month in Beijing. chinadaily.com.cn / Via China Daily

In the wake of last month’s massive Heartbleed security flaw, Chinese tech companies have stepped up and are now outspending their U.S. counterparts to secure the internet, including, as BuzzFeed has learned exclusively, a $50,000 per year sponsorship deal from the Chinese IT company Huawei.

Heartbleed, a critical flaw in the code of OpenSSL, the security toolkit used by many of the internet’s biggest sites, drew intense scrutiny to the work of OpenSSL’s Stephen Henson and Steve Marquess, who, as BuzzFeed revealed, along with a couple of other part-time developers, are working tirelessly to protect the internet on a shoestring budget.

Marquess, speaking to BuzzFeed for that article, explained that many big technology companies had approached him in the aftermath of the Heartbleed bug to begin negotiations around supporting the open-source project financially.

At the time, in an email to the OpenSSL development email group, Marquess wrote that “as appropriate funding becomes available, the OpenSSL team will expand to be bigger, better, and more effective.”

Stephen Henson affirmed in a subsequent email: “Changes are coming,” he wrote in late April, “big changes for the better.”

While money is coming in, it’s showing up from an unexpected region. Since the news of Heartbleed first broke, it has been Chinese companies who have run to ensure the future protection of the internet. “To date we’ve had only one outright donation from any U.S. company (not to diminish some significant funding via commercial contracts, of course),” Marquess tells BuzzFeed.

Of the companies that have donated, Globalsign, a web security certificate authority, has pledged an unspecified amount to the future development of OpenSSL. They join Acano Ltd, a United Kingdom-based firm, and Nokia, the Finnish cell phone company, both of whom have pledged an unspecified amount — but Nokia, at least, is listed on the OpenSSL website as a “platinum level” sponsor, meaning it has donated at least $50,000 per year to OpenSSL’s development.

However, the majority of the money directed to the OpenSSL project has come from Chinese private industry. A donation of 1 million renminbi ($160,000) was announced earlier this month by Smartisan Technology, a Chinese company run by Luo Yonghao, a 41-year-old former English teacher who taught himself the language.

“From initial contact to bank transfer took only 10 days,” explained Marquess, the founder of the OpenSSL Software Foundation, which received unsolicited interest from Smartisan and another Chinese company better known to the West: Huawei.

Huawei, based in Shenzhen, designs and builds tablets, cell phones, and routers for the consumer market, as well as numerous IT tools for industry and governments. In January it lost one high-profile customer, the U.K. government, when concerns were raised over the security of video conferencing software the government used made by the Chinese company.

Marquess confirmed exclusively to BuzzFeed that Huawei is currently in the process of signing a sponsorship deal with the OpenSSL Foundation, and will be bankrolling the development of the widely used security protocol to the tune of $50,000 a year. An official announcement is expected to be made later today.

These are “outright no-strings, no obligation, do-what-you-will-with-it donations,” stressed Marquess, who has long been adamant that OpenSSL will not be beholden to any vested interests. (He told BuzzFeed in late April, “It’s not even acceptable to me to rely entirely on funding from any one specific interest, whether they attach conditions or not. That would in and of itself be an undue influence.”)

Huawei’s signing of a sponsorship agreement with OpenSSL includes clauses that clarify sponsors cannot expect any quid pro quo or specialist treatment for their donation — something Marquess said he emphatically clarified, particularly given the language barrier.

“In the space of about a week suddenly the PRC [People’s Republic of China] is the source of the most no-strings donation/sponsorship funding that OpenSSL has ever received; either of those donations exceeds the sum total of every donation we’ve ever received in the past,” said Marquess. The cash may be enough, Marquess believes, to sustain a third full-time developer for OpenSSL for several years.

But the question of why Chinese companies and individuals — OpenSSL has received a flurry of private donations via PayPal, even though the payments website is not accessible on the Chinese mainland without using a virtual private network (VPN) — are backing OpenSSL is a curious one. The country is famed for its internet censorship, including its Great Firewall, which blocks information the ruling Communist Party views as unsuitable.

“Both Smartisan and Huawei noted that they use OpenSSL extensively, and that once they realized how under-resourced OpenSSL was they felt compelled to act,” Marquess told BuzzFeed. “I don’t see any reason to presume any less sincerity on their part that I would for any non-Chinese company.”

Far from funding Western-developed encryption, China has of late made the news for trying to break it. Five Chinese men, believed to be under the payroll of the Chinese government, last week were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly hacking into the IT systems of American businesses. Mandiant, a cyber security company, warned last year that a Chinese army unit, 61398, systematically probes Western computer security to steal secrets from IT systems. Of course, revelations made by Edward Snowden of United States government spying on online activities show most national governments engage in some form of espionage.

But for all the concerns surrounding Chinese sponsorship, perhaps an even more uncomfortable question is why U.S. companies — many of whom rely on the free tools OpenSSL developers maintain — have not stepped up to contribute the cash for what many realized last month was a vital part of our online infrastructure? And then there’s the issue of the curiously small size of the donations themselves. Why, in a year that has showed that U.S. tech giants won’t shy away from multibillion-dollar acquisitions, is the biggest donation to the outfit that protects many of the internet’s biggest website only $200,000?

Samsung’s biggest challenge isn’t deciding what to add to its new smartphones, but figuring out what to leave off.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S5, is still busy and scattered. But the Galaxy S5 shows that Samsung (SSNLF) is beginning to take a more cautious and thoughtful approach than with its Galaxy predecessors.

Flashy new features

Unfortunately, adding flashy, unnecessary features is required for marketing a smartphone these days. The Galaxy S5 has its share — some successful and some forgetful. The big new additions include an Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) iPhone-like fingerprint sensor, a heartbeat sensor, water resistance and a new focus on health tracking.

The fingerprint and heartbeat scanners don’t work as well as they should. The fingerprint sensor adds an optional level of security to the phone and certain files, and it could eventually be used for payments. Unfortunately, it’s tricky to master and requires clumsily moving your finger or thumb over the home button.

The heartbeat sensor also needs improvement. To use it you press and hold a finger on the back of the phone. It gave me an accurate reading every time but was repeatedly unable to detect any cardiac activity in my partner, who I now worry is one of the undead.

Related: The HTC One M8 is beautifully better

The most welcome addition is water resistance. Our poor, expensive gadgets are regularly subjected to a number of damp indignities. They’re dropped in toilets and pools, soaked by spilled drinks, and gnawed on by drooly babies and dogs. The people using them as fitness devices are probably adding some sweat to the mix.

The Galaxy S5 is water- and dust-resistant and can last up to 30 minutes submerged in a meter of water. Though it’s not guaranteed to be fully waterproof it might prevent a few early smartphone deaths.

Streamlining software, slowly

After taking into consideration customer feedback and usage statistics for its previous software features, Samsung cut down the number of pre-installed apps weighing down the phone. Realizing many of those apps should be optional, Samsung has stashed a list “Galaxy Essentials” apps in one spot so customers can decide which ones they’d like to download or ignore.

The result is an improvement over the Galaxy S4, but it’s far from perfect. At times, the interface can feel disjointed and busy instead of cohesive and intuitive, like it was designed by committee instead of a tight team of user interface designers. And, of course there are still the usual bloatware apps from carriers to contend with, nothing a few minutes of deleting can’t clear up.

It’s what’s inside that counts

For most customers, the fun add-ons and software are just window dressing. The true test of a phone is its core features such as speed, battery life and camera quality.

A new quad-core Qualcomm (QCOM, Fortune 500) processor inside the phone keeps everything speeding along. The battery is bigger, rated for up to 21 hours of talk time. When the juice is low and you’re nowhere near an outlet, the very handy ultra power-saving mode can drastically drag out the device’s life. The screen switches to a white-on-black display and only essential communications are supported. It’s pretty genius.

Related: Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy S5

A smartphone’s camera is a key feature for shoppers — so much so that Nokia (NOK) has made super-powerful cameras the primary selling point of its Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) Windows Phone devices. The Galaxy S5 camera is sharper than the S4 with more pixels packed in to the same-sized sensor, with some new software features.

Many of the software add-ons are the same types of filter and editing options you can get with third-party camera apps. Samsung says the focus time is faster, but the camera can still be a touch slow when image stabilization turned on. A nice addition is the real-time HDR feature, which combines two different exposures of the same scene in preview mode, so you don’t have to wait until after you snap a photo to see if it looks good. HDR also works for videos.

Samsung 5 Design

The physical design of the phone is, like its predecessor, inoffensive. It mixes plastic and a faux leather back for a look that’s nice enough on the eyes but feels a little cheap. On the bright side, phoning it in on materials keeps the increasingly large phone light.

Samsung doesn’t have Apple’s eye for high-end design details and materials, or the Moto X’s flare for fun customization and color. Instead the company put more attention into part of the phone that you’ll be staring at all day: the screen.

Samsung slightly inflated the Galaxy S5′s screen size from five inches to 5.1 inches, adding a nice but subtle amount of screen real estate. The AMOLED 1080p HD touchscreen display is outstanding and sharp with vivid colors.

A light upgrade

Many of these details will probably be beside the point for the Galaxy S5. It is one of the most popular smartphones in the world, particularly where Google’s (GOOG, Fortune 500) Android and Samsung fans are legion. For those who want a top-of-the line Android phone, most pick up the latest Galaxy S.

That popularity might be why the company is hesitant to make any radical changes to the device. Instead of reinventing the Galaxy S4, Samsung is refining it, honing in on what makes it a success and throwing in the types of features that are unlikely to win over customers who don’t already use Samsung products — but won’t alienate existing fans either. To top of page.

For more information about effective mobile marketing visit our social media store.

Facebook goes beyond ‘male’ and ‘female’ with new gender options

(CNN) — You don’t have to be strictly a man or a woman on Facebook anymore..

In a nod to the “it’s complicated” sexual identities of many of its users, the social network on Thursday added a third “custom” gender option for people’s profiles. In addition to Male or Female, Facebook now lets U.S. users choose among some 50 additional options such as “transgender,” “cisgender,” “gender fluid,” “intersex” and “neither.”

Users also now have the ability to choose the pronoun they’d like to be referred to publicly: he/his, she/her, or the gender-neutral they/their.

“When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organizations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self,” Facebook said in a post on its Diversity page.

“An important part of this is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just ‘male’ or ‘female,’ ” the post continued. “So today, we’re proud to offer a new custom gender option to help you better express your own identity on Facebook.”

Facebook said it worked with a group of leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organizations to come up with the new gender categories.

“Facebook users from across the country have been asking for the ability to reflect their gender accurately, and today Facebook showed they have been listening,” said Allison Palmer, a former GLAAD vice president, who worked on the project with Facebook.

To edit your gender status (or other personal information), Facebook offers these instructions:

Go to your Timeline (which we sometimes refer to as your profile).

Click Update Info at the bottom of your cover photo.

Click Edit in the top right of the section you’d like to change. (The new gender options are only accessible within an autocomplete drop-down menu, so you have to begin typing to see them appear.)

Enter your new info and click Save.

Among other new gender options identified on Facebook so far: Trans Female, Trans Male, Trans Person, Gender Variant, Gender Questioning, Bigender, Androgynous, Pangender and Transsexual.

Facebook also tweaked its privacy settings to let users control with whom they share their custom gender.

Reaction on social media Thursday was largely positive, although some people joked they would need a dictionary to look up many of the gender-identity terms.

The social network did not say Thursday when the new gender options might be available to users outside the U.S.

From CBSNews.com

How to find a Job online?

Clark Walker got a job through Instagram. Sarah Salbu got her job through Twitter. I got this job through blogging. Can you get a job through social media? Maybe. I’m going to be straight — it’s not the all-purpose job hunting solution that some of have made it out to be. But, you can definitely get a job through social media if you are willing to put yourself out there.

Mashable ran a list of helpful hints for using various forms of social media to get jobs. Their suggestions are great — things like, tweet often, follow the right people, check your privacy settings, and make sure your LinkedIn profile is compelling. These are great ideas, and well worth the read. But, is this something you should pursue? Here are some hints to help you decide if you should tackle the job hunt in the public eye through social media.

Your social media presence needs to be interesting to you. What are you going to be tweeting about? What will your Tumblr focus on? If you are just trying to come up with something so that you can have a social media presence, perhaps this isn’t the best idea for you. You need to be passionate about what you are talking about. If you’re not, your writing will seem dull, you’ll have to force yourself to do it, and you probably won’t keep things up to date.

Can you write well? A Tumblr that is filled with funny GIFs doesn’t require a great deal of writing. Neither does sharing interesting articles on LinkedIn or Twitter or even Facebook, but if you’re going to blog, or write unique Twitter posts, you’ll need to be a pretty good writer. Occasional typos are forgiven in the blogging world — although you’re likely to have grammar freaks find you and they will email you about each and every typo you make. I consider it free editing. But, if your mistakes are more than typos, it’s not the best idea for you.

Are you willing to devote time to social media? You don’t have to tweet regularly in order to find jobs on Twitter. But you do need to search out and follow people and companies you are interested in. You can, of course, locate jobs on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook or Tumblr and then apply by emailing your resume to the recruiter. This works. But it gives you no advantages over the person who found the job posting on the company’s webpage and applied that way. (Well, it does give you the advantage that not all companies post all jobs in all places.) But, the recruiter doesn’t know anything extra about you. If you want social media to work for you, you need to spend time with it. Daily. Like a friend.

Does your social media presence reflect what you want to do professionally? It doesn’t have to be focused on your professional career, but it needs to reflect who you are there. If you want an accounting job with a big named accounting firm, but your passion is dancing and you tweet and blog about dancing, that’s fine, as long as it’s not filled with foul language and inappropriate pictures. It’s part of your big picture, so you better make sure that picture is positive. If it’s not, make your social media presence either anonymous or locked down with privacy settings.

If it’s just to get a job, it’s probably not the best idea. Other than LinkedIn, if you’re just doing this to get a job, it’s probably not the place you should focus on. Social media works best with relationships that you build year after year. So, don’t start a Twitter account today with the idea that you’ll shut it down in three months after you land that new job. Just skip it altogether and use more traditional methods of finding a job.

Social media can be a great way to find a job if you decide you want to go that route. It doesn’t take the place of networking and traditional applications, of course, but it can open doors.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author.

Suzanne Lucas On Twitter»Suzanne Lucas spent 10 years in corporate Human Resources. She’s hired, fired, and analyzed the numbers for several major companies. She founded the Carnival of HR, a bi-weekly gathering of HR blogs, and her writings have been used in HR certification and management training courses across the country.

Posting porn on Twitter, possible?

(CNN) — Twitter has officially banned pornographic content on Vine, its year-old social-video service. The company announced the changes to its rules and terms of service on Thursday and will begin enforcing them immediately.

Just days after Vine’s official launch in January of last year, reports surfaced about the presence of porn on Vine, a service for sharing 6-second long videos on Twitter and with other Vine users. It quickly became a popular spot for short clips of sexually explicit content, some posted by well-known porn stars.

For the past year, there have been no official rules against pornographic videos, though the company worked to keep them out of the public eye by suppressing them in highly visible places like its Editor’s Picks and most popular lists. It did raise the minimum age for using Vine from 12 years old to 17 years old. The new rating in Apple’s App Store meant Vine carried a disclaimer that warned of “frequent/intense sexual content or nudity.”

After the initial flurry of concern, the dark corner of Vine was mostly forgotten about by people who weren’t actively seeking out salacious content, at least until last month, when a young man rose to temporary Internet fame when he filmed himself being intimate with a Pop Tart and then a Hot Pocket. He posted the videos to Vine, though they were quickly taken down.

The timing is likely a coincidence. Twitter said the change in policy is just a matter of the type of content that fits with the Vine community.

“As we’ve watched the community and your creativity grow and evolve, we’ve found that there’s a very small percentage of videos that are not a good fit for our community,” the company said in a post announcing the new rules.

The new rules forbid videos of sex acts, whether they’re alone, with other people or with objects. Sexually explicit animations and nudity are also forbidden. However, Twitter is not blocking all nudity. It makes exceptions for any nudity that is documentary, artistic or educational. For example, breastfeeding photos will still be allowed, as will shots of “nude protesters.” Sexually suggestive content is also still welcome, as long as it’s clothed.

Twitter is not assembling a full-time Vine porn enforcement task force. The content will largely be flagged by other Vine members using the “Report this post” option. Anyone who violates the new rules will have their account suspended until they delete the offending Vine. Repeat posters might have their account permanently suspended.

Twitter will contact the users who have already uploaded large volumes of naughty Vines and ask them to remove the old content.

“We’re notifying users who have posted explicit sexual content in the past that they have a period to either take down or download their existing content using a new tool we’ve created,” a Twitter spokesperson said. That tool is only available for past porn posters for now.

 Fan Pages VS Facebook Groups!

Nowadays every business should create some sort of decent Social media presence and Facebook out of any doubt is the place to go. That’s why I decided to write about this important Facebook related subject today.

Big majority of businesses use Fan Pages to represent their company on Facebook. In a few cases, however, creating a Facebook Group instead (or in addition) could be a smart move. The key distinction between Groups and Pages is that a Group is for a community of people with a common interest, while a Page represents a brand or business interacting with their customers or prospects identified as “fans.” Here are some of the KEY differences in functionality:

  • Please comment, what would suit your business or customers current strategy? Which one do your prefer use?
  • What is your current Facebook strategy if any?
  • Do you own a health Fan Page on Facebook, what did you do?
  • What do you prefer, Groups or Pages?

Awaiting for your ideas and comments! :)

Dave | Traffic Hero Founder

Facebook Groups

Facebook Pages

Overview Community of people with a common interest Represents a brand or entity of which there are “fans”
Messaging Members/Fans Message – emails members and sends to Facebook Inbox Update – shows up under Requests on user‟s homepage and sends to Facebook Inbox
Visibility on Profiles Shows up on members‟ profiles as a small text link Shows up on fans‟ profiles with an image and text link
Visibility in Public Search Groups are publicly indexed and searchable (single page only) Pages are publicly indexed and searchable (each Page‟s tab)Pages may show up in fans‟ public search listings
Distribution in News Feed When members join or engage with the group, action is distributed in News Feeds When users become a fan or engage with the Page, action is distributed in News FeedsUpdates / content shared by the page
Administrator Visibility Group admins listed on GroupWhen Group admins engage with the Group (send a message, respond to a discussion thread), it comes from the admin‟s personal Profile Admins are the behind-the-scenes managers of the PageWhen Page admins engage with the group (send an update, post content), it comes from the Page (business) – unless changed in settings
Applications Available Basic applications including Events, Discussions, Wall, Links, Photos, Videos Almost all applications (tens of thousands)

google secrets revealed

The Things that Google knows about you.

Prompted by some Customers questions and concerns about, Google privacy issues, here’s a short list of what Google knows about you:

  1. The web pages you visit: (AdSense & Doubleclick, Chrome)
  2. The pages you like: (+1)
  3. The blogs, newsletters and news sources you read: (Google Reader)
  4. Your banking information: (AdSense, Google Checkout)
  5. The popularity of your website, blog: (Google Analytics)
  6. Who and what you’re emailing: (Gmail)
  7. Your thoughts, passions, political affiliations, attitudes: (Blogger, Feedburner)
  8. Everything on your PC: (Google Desktop)
  9. Your documents, spreadsheet contents: (Google Docs and Spreadsheets)
  10. Your schedule: (Google Calendar)
  11. Your social network and interests: (Google+, Orkut, Facebook, Twitter, Digg etc.)
  12. The social competitions you have entered: (Wildfire)
  13. Where you and your friends are: (Google Latitude, Google Mobile, Google Mobile Maps)
  14. What you’re watching on YouTube: (YouTube)
  15. Your problems, interests: (Google Answers, Search)
  16. Your medical record: (Google Health)
  17. Your home address, what your house looks like: (Google Maps, Streetview, AdSense, Checkout)
  18. Your mobile number: (Google Mobile, Gmail, Google+)
  19. The sound of your voice: (Google Talk, Hangouts)
  20. What you, your friends and family look like: (Picasa, Google+)
  21. Your purchases, considerations: (Google Search)
  22. What your business is about: (AdWords Keywords)
  23. Your travel, past and planned: (Google Places, Google Flights)
  24. What matters to you: (Google Alerts)
  25. Your dining interests: (Zagat)

And that’s even before they start building intelligent and automated models that mix and match the data, correlate your information and left traces with other people’s data, and come to conclusions about the likelihood that you will behave in certain ways in response to specific circumstances. Oh, and they will provide your complete profile to anyone in law enforcement for around $25. -Delete cookies. Big Brother IS Watching.

Dave