28 February 2006

I Wonder Why...

I wonder why all the "controversy" on Myspace has dated back only back to November 2005?

According to the Wikipedia the popular open-source encyclopedia, Tom started Myspace in July 2003. A friend told me last week that Myspace established a 16-and-up restriction in the beginning. I looked at all my friends (16 and under) profiles, and i'm like, wow, he WAS right.

Check this out: on Monday, November 7, 2005, at Warren High School in San Antonio, TX, only 400 out of 3,000 students showed up to class due to a terrorstic threat for school shooting. Immediately, the students who posted the threats were identified and arrested. Note four words in the article: "popular teen web site". So i think around summer or fall 2005, the age limit was lowered to 14..nah never mind 13 because the COPPA protects you if you're 13 and using such sites as Myspace. (BUT THE ACTUAL TOS SAY 14) About a month after that, the principal of EVHS posted a message online regarding Myspace and the SJPD's concern over the site.

So Myspace isn't as new as i thought. It started out not very popular in summer 2003, used mostly by adults, older high schoolers, and college students. Since fall 2005, more and more of the 13-19 age group are using the site. The controversy over teens and Myspace started after Myspace allowed younger teens to use the site. Because back then if a  16-and-under person used the site he/she'd get kicked out.

21 February 2006

The evil continues...

ABC News (USA) - Parent Learns About MySpace - Feb. 21, 2006

I searched "Myspace" under Google News, this was result #1, and i just LAUGHED. The article points out that people put their address's on their Myspaces - however, read THIS from the MySpace T.O.S.:

"Your MySpace.com profile may not include the following items: telephone numbers, street addresses, last names, and any photographs posted by you may not contain nudity, violence, or offensive subject matter. Information provided by other MySpace.com Members (for instance, in their Profile) may contain inaccurate, inappropriate or offensive material, products or services and MySpace.com assumes no responsibility or liability for this material."

Phah, who cares about last names. Hundreds and thousands of peeps put up their last names (while setting their profile to private, most of the time). And ADDRESSES? Geez, I'm gonna complain to ABC NEws - it seems that they didn't even bother to read the "Terms of Srevice". And this is outrageus: Pope John XXIII High School in Sparta, N.J. (about 40 miles west of New York City) BANS Myspace/Xanga type of profiles for all of its students. I searched all over Myspace for PJ23 students - yeah, Myspace admins understood and doesn't include PJ23 in their school directory for New Jersey. (If you see any other students with "Pope John XXIII High School" on Myspace it's most likely among the OTHER PJ23 schools in the USA - remmeber there's lots and lots of schools in America named after Popes, presidents, etc.) Yes it's legal, says Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer Kurt Opsahl:

"'Students are protected by the First Amendment,' he [Opsahl] said. 'Though it is important to recognize that the First Amendment protects you against public school censorship, it protects you against the government. So activities by a private school come under a different scenario.'"

So if yo're in private school and can't use myspace/xanga according to it's rules, bummer. Either stay awy from the site and be safe or sign up and get in trouble - even if you didn't post anything "bad" in your space. I'm sorry; your principal said so. Heck, I've heard that even privates schools - notably in my hometown of San Jose, the girls-only Catholic school Presentation High - has had to deal with these sortsa problems. According to the San Jose Mercury News (remmber that blog entry?), PHS banned Myspace from their servers after its students posted pictures of themselves...yeah you know. They ARE listed under the California school's directory on Myspace, however, so doesn't look like they ban it's students from establishing profiles altogether.

And then the article goes on blab-blabbing about how people's privacy is broken in Myspace - but ends on a happy note, since News Corporation owns Myspace and Fox Television, they pointed out that fictional TV charcter's myspaces are being established by NC. So if you see a Family Guy profile, it was most liekly created by the folks over at Fox TV. And this spring: there's gonna be myspace mobile, where you can use your CELL PHONE's to blogin. Now for schools who block myspace on their computers it's gonna be ALOT harder for them to stop students from getting in trouble on Myspace.

The silly thing here is howerver that it points out people are posting stuff that even myspace clearly says you cannot - addresses, phone numbers, porno, etc. So far, all of my friends (with an execption to the Wild 94.9 page and any other pages run by radio stations) don't post their addresses or phone numbers. I even went as far as to use Google and search area codes in Myspace. 408 (San Jose/South Bay)? all of them were just gangsters who wanna represent. 504 (New Orleans)? There WAS a New Orleans phone number on Myspace but it was for a rapper living there - his page was even posted undre the "musician's" section. 415 (San Francisco)? A phone number from a 31-year-old used car seller. I guess people who want to post their number on Myspace sets their profiles to private - who knows?

And just to let you know, Kayla Reed case is STILL unsolved after about three week's silence.

20 February 2006

Straight Outta Yahoo News

McDonald's Sued Over Ingredients of Fries - This week, McDonald's faced about three lawsuits regarding it's not disclosing that it's french fries contain milk and wheat ingredient's. The parents of a 5-year-old girl in Jupiter, Fla. (suburb of Miami/Palm Beach area) claimed that their daughter got sick after eating McDonadl's fries becuase she has intolerance to gluten, a wheat ingredient. As of today, McDonald's has posted on their website that the fries do contain milk/wheat indgrdients. I find it just plain retarded that McDonald's could simply not say such a thing. I mean, other companies have put "allegry warning's" in their food label's and never faced no lawsuits against ill eaters. It's just plain retarded.

Bin Laden Vows Never To Be Captured Alive - Osama bin Laden vows never to be caputred alive and that he would soon launch an attack on America soil, according to an audiotape aired Jan. 19 on Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television. OMFG! It's been four years since we first tried to hunt that evil man down. At this rate, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

18 February 2006

Three things quick

1. EVHS on the WikiPedia, the Free Encyclopedia


2. Friday, the EVHS newspaper printed was released, called "The Prowler". Basically, it covered school events and student's opinions.

3. Last night, I was watching the movie "Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price", which shows all the evils of Walmart. Did you know that many of Walmart's employees were cheated out of millions of dollars, which is why you can get things cheap there? Aah! Also, there's so much more there, that I can't tell you or else I'll spoil it. The film is pretty hard to find, so go on Amazon.com and order it there, it's probalby the easiest way to get it, as it had very limited promotion and didn't even show in some aresas of the USA - it didn't even screen in theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area!

11 February 2006

And some more fun...


I was hecka shocked when I read this article on Friday morning before school. Read it and you'll find out yourself. In fact, it seems so ultra conservative and all that. It shows how kids can get in trouble on Myspace yet doesn't point out that there's settings where you can protect yourself. Here's a few excerpts from the article:

"Meet the new permanent record. Those cute and chatty Web pages kids create on MySpace, Xanga and similar sites often include revealing photos, chronicles of partying -- some real, some exaggerated -- and blog entries peppered with foul language. The sites, easily accessible by parents, principals and even predators, could do lasting damage to a teen's reputation, and now more parents and school officials are taking action."

Not always the permament record. Besides, you can change your settings so that you read your comments before they get published on your site. How? Easy.

1. Go to the myspace home page when logged in.

2. Click "Account Settings"

3. Click on the words "Change Settings" next to the section "Privacy Settings"

4. The second checkbox on that options page reads "Approve Comments Before Posting". Check that box. Click "Change Settings".

5. Now you must read the comments that your friends enter in your coments box before you publish them. It's your choice wheter or not you wanna take the time to read comments before publishing them. If you get about tens or hundres of comments per day or everytime you check Myspace, man, it's gonna be a hectic thing for you to do. It's your choice. Oh, on the other hand, if you've been getting harrased online, I definitely recommend you check this option. Better yet, SEE A PARENT OR SCHOOL COUNSELOR/ADMINSTRATOR IMMEDIATELY. I'm sure they can do somehting about it too.

5b. Oh yeah, I forgot. Blog entries and bulletin are also the forums of communication on Myspace where people can haras you if you block their comments. So if they harrass you there, cry uncle.

Now from that excerpt it also pointed out the nasty content that's peppered all over the site. I'm a liberal and absolutely hate those idiots like Jack Thompson and the right-wingers who blast the media for corrupting our kids, so I don't necesarly have a problem with that. And regarding the site being esily accessible, heck no. There are ways where you can edit your profile so that it's hidden to those who you don't know or who could be potential predators. Do Steps 1, 2, and 3 above, only you have to scroll down to the bottom of the "Privacy Settings" page. There are two options: "Anyone under 18 can view my profile", and "Only my friends can view my profile". The safest option is "Only my friends..." because you never know if an apparant child molester out there set his/her birthdate to be under 18. This option is available ONLY IF YOU SET YOUR BIRTHDATE SO THAT YOU'RE UNDER 18. Most people who even bother to read this are under 18, i'm sure, becuase the only peeps over 18 on my friends list are the Wild 94.9 staff. So please be honest wit yourself and show your true age. Oh yeah, faking your birthdate is against the Terms of Service at Myspace, and can get your account deleted and your email will be banned from registration. (And yeah, I do know other friends at high school who fake their birthdates and some middle schoolers who fake theirs too)

"Sonia's father, Daniel Chapiro, said he sat down his daughter after seeing her MySpace page and reminded her that what she posts online is public." Not all the time, if you take the steps mentioned above.

"MySpace doesn't track the number of parents using the site, though officials say 75 percent of its members are over 18." Please note that this is not a true representation of adults using the site, as there ARE lotsa kids who fake their birthdates so they're over 18.

And now THIS..."Gilroy Unified School District blocked the site in November after a South Valley Middle School student complained about being harassed through the site, said Rob van Herk, the district's information technology director." Silly, isn't it? I mean, most middle schoolers should NOT even BE using the site in the first place (Xanga has a 13-and-up age limit so that's an exception) so if a middle school gets complaints about Myspace they should just order the disabling of the pertrator's page because the student--most likely--is underage for legal use of the site. The only middle school students who should get punished for harasing another student over myspace should be the students over 14 (that usually is the 8th graders who rached their 14th birthdays...or really dumb 7th/8th graders who were held back. Hee hee) If they were under 14 and harassing the student online, because they were too young to be even using the site in the first place, both side's accounts should be deleted, no questions asked, because it's a violation of Myspace and FEDERAL LAW (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COPPA) TOO! You know what should be doen to prevent these problems? All schools/districts should ban Myspace so that thye won't have to deal with these sortsa problems this much. Maybe there should be a federal law stating that sites like these are illegal for access in educational institutions or something like that.

So in short, this news article (and all the other articles i mentioned on Tuesday's blog) are just right-wing bullsh*t propaganda against Myspace. I mean, it seems very very obvious that they didn't do enough research to backup their evidence that sites like these fail to guarantee security and safety for their users. BTW, I got sick at the family.org article, since it's one of those religious ultra-right-wing sites formed by a group of dumbazz ignorant soccer moms. I think I should write a "Letter to the Editor" about this obviously biased and wrong news article. You should too. Express yourself at letters [at] mercurynews [dot] com - your letter should be less tan 125 words. No attachments accepted.

Oakland rapper E-40 says that he uses myspace to promote his music, as do other independent/underground musicians like his bay area partner Keak Da Sneak, Christian rock band Building 429, punk rock band AFI, and numerous other musicians, independent, underground, mainstream, you name it. That should bring up some happiness in you after you've read this.

03 February 2006

Noticed something?

Well, if any of you didn't notice that the Feb. 2 post is missing, I deleted it. Yeah, because I was afraid of getting tons and tons of hatemail. I thought back, and I'm like, wow. It's the most swearing and obscenity i've EVER done on the internet, EVER. And to anyone who was offended...no sorry because I put a warning before that entry, that you WOULD be offended! It seems that it got 7 more hits on my blog last night. If anyone who's not the 7 people who read that obscenity wants to know, it's my rant on the "Battle of the Classes" I had in my high school. The theme was cartoons, unfortunately pretty much all the choices being kiddie cartoons like "Failry Odd Parents" and "Scooby-Doo", so I expressed my dissatisfaiment in an obscene way. Well, bascially it was all bout how I hate it how some high schoolers can't "grow up" and stuff like that.

And, read my review online for "Super Size Me".