Showing posts with label Communications. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Communications. Show all posts

November 17, 2017

Brand New Editor for Gay times Josh River Apologized-- Not Enough For His Offensive Tweets, He Was Fired

 Josh Rivers

The editor of the Gay Times has been fired just weeks after taking up the role after anti-Semitic and misogynistic tweets were uncovered. 
Josh Rivers sent a series of tweets between 2010 and 2015 which made offensive comments about women, Jewish people, Chinese people, lesbians, transgender people, and people he thought were overweight or ugly. 
The magazine said that all of his articles have now been removed from the website and he has been dismissed from his post.  
Among the offensive messages was one which said an actor cast as a Jewish person had a "f------- ridiculously larger honker of a nose" and another which tweeted approvingly a quote from US animation Family Guy:  “Jews are gross. It’s the only religion with ‘ew’ in it."Another said: "I’ve just seen a girl in the tightest white tank & lord help me if she’s not pregnant, she should be killed. #gross”
Another message read: "I hope that piece of machinery that asshole lesbian next door has been using since 8am cuts off her goddamn hand. 
Yet another message read:" I'm thankful for TFL (Transport for London) andrising bus fares. Let's keep homeless people on the streets  and off our buses" 

Mr. Rivers was appointed the editor of the magazine last month and would have been the UK's first non-white editor of a gay men's magazine. 
Announcing his appointment at the end of last month the magazine said choosing Mr. Rivers, a former marketing manager, was a “strategic move to best serve the magazine’s diverse and culturally inquisitive audience”.
The tweets were discovered by Buzzfeed News, which put them to Mr. Rivers in an interview to mark his appointment. 
In response, he apologized and said they showed "self-loathing, a complete unawareness of the world around me and a disregard for others that I find deeply upsetting". 
Mr. Rivers later posted a statement on the social network calling the tweets "abhorrent", "ugly" and "hateful". 
"I hope we can use this as an opportunity for growth, for healing, for moving forward," he added.

Gay Times announced on Wednesday that he had been suspended. In a statement, it said: "Josh Rivers' past tweets do not align with the values of Gay Times, or any of our employees, in any capacity. 
"Josh has been suspended with immediate effect while we investigate the facts. Appropriate action will be taken in due course."
On Thursday morning it said that "his employment has been suspended with immediate effect". 
"We sincerely apologize for the offense that has been caused, particularly to those members of our wider community to whom such inappropriate and unacceptable commentary was the focus," a spokesman said.
{Telegraph UK}

October 9, 2017

FCC Gives Google Ok To Use Balloons to Re-establish Puerto Rico's Internet and Cell Svces

The Federal Communications Commission has given Google approval to deploy its Project Loon balloon-based communications system to provide cellular connectivity in hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico.
An experimental product from the Google X laboratory, run by parent company Alphabet, Project Loon got an experimental license to help provide emergency cell service in the U.S. territory, FCC chairman Ajit Pai said Saturday.
“More than two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck, millions of Puerto Ricans are still without access to much-needed communications services,” Pai said in a statement. “That’s why we need to take innovative approaches to help restore connectivity on the island.  Project Loon is one such approach." 
Other approaches include Facebook's deployment of a "connectivity team" to help restore emergency telecommunications, an initiative CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook post-Sept. 27. AT&T and T-Mobile have each set up portable communications sites.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk talked Friday with Puerto Rico's Gov. Ricardo Rosselló about assisting in the repair of the island's power grid with solar-powered batteries. About 88% of the country is still without power.
Tesla has solar projects on smaller islands, and Musk thinks they should be scalable to larger ones like Puerto Rico. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico Sept. 20 bringing 150-mph winds and massive flooding. The U.S. death toll from Maria now stands at 34 there.

As of Saturday, 22 of Puerto Rico’s 78 municipalities had no functioning cell sites at all, according to the FCC. Throughout the U.S. territory, nearly 82% of cell sites were out of service, a slight improvement over 83% on Friday, the FCC says.
There's no official schedule for Project Loon's deployment in Puerto Rico. “We’re grateful for the support of the FCC and the Puerto Rican authorities as we work hard to see if it’s possible to use Loon balloons to bring emergency connectivity to the island during this time of need,” said Libby Leahy, a spokesman for the company’s X division.

The project's team also needs wireless companies on board. “To deliver the signal to people’s devices, Loon needs be integrated with a telco partner’s network — the balloons can't-do it alone,” Leahy said, adding that the company is “making solid progress on this next step.”

Project Loon's network of high-altitude balloons is meant to beam signals down from more than 12 miles above the earth as a way of connecting remote and rural residents. In addition to testing in New Zealand, Google parent company Alphabet has announced a test to bring the Internet to 100 million people in Indonesia.  
Deployment of the balloon system, "could help provide the people of Puerto Rico with access to cellular service to connect with loved ones and access life-saving information," Pai said, "I urge wireless carriers to cooperate with Project Loon to maximize this effort’s chances of success.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

July 15, 2017

Love Letters From TwoGay Soldiers Risking Being Shot, Still Love was Greater

While on military training during World War Two, Gilbert Bradley was in love. He exchanged hundreds of letters with his sweetheart - who merely signed with the initial "G". But more than 70 years later, it was discovered that G stood for Gordon, and Gilbert had been in love with a man.
At the time, not only was homosexuality illegal, but those in the armed forces could be shot for having gay sex. 
The letters, which emerged after Mr Bradley's death in 2008, are therefore unusual and shed an important light on homosexual relationships during the war.
What do we know about this forbidden love affair?

Wednesday January 24th 1939
My darling,
... I lie awake all night waiting for the postman in the early morning, and then when he does not bring anything from you I just exist, a mass of nerves...
All my love forever, 

Information gleaned from the letters indicate Mr Bradley was a reluctant soldier. He did not want to be in the Army, and even pretended to have epilepsy to avoid it. 
His ruse did not work, though, and in 1939 he was stationed at Park Hall Camp in Oswestry, Shropshire, to train as an anti-aircraft gunner.
He was already in love with Gordon Bowsher. The pair had met on a houseboat holiday in Devon in 1938 when Mr Bowsher was in a relationship with Mr Bradley's nephew.
Mr Bowsher was from a well-to-do family. His father ran a shipping company, and the Bowshers also owned tea plantations.
When war broke out a year later he trained as an infantryman and was stationed at locations across the country.

February 12 1940, Park Grange
My own darling boy,
There is nothing more than I desire in life but to have you with me constantly...
...I can see or I imagine I can see, what your mother and father's reaction would be... the rest of the world have no conception of what our love is - they do not know that it is love...

But life as a homosexual in the 1940s was incredibly difficult. Gay activity was a court-martial offence, jail sentences for so-called "gross indecency" were common, and much of society strongly disapproved of same-sex relationships.
It was not until the Sexual Offences Act 1967 that consenting men aged 21 and over were legally allowed to have gay relationships - and being openly gay in the armed services was not allowed until 2000.
The letters, which emerged after Mr Bradley's death in 2008, are rare because most homosexual couples would get rid of anything so incriminating, says gay rights activist Peter Roscoe. 
In one letter Mr Bowsher urges his lover to "do one thing for me in deadly seriousness. I want all my letters destroyed. Please darling do this for me. Til then and forever I worship you."
Mr Roscoe says the letters are inspiring in their positivity.
"There is a gay history and it isn't always negative and tearful," he says. "So many stories are about arrests - Oscar Wilde, Reading Gaol and all those awful, awful stories.
"But despite all the awful circumstances, gay men and lesbians managed to rise above it all and have fascinating and good lives despite everything."

February 1st, 1941 K . C. Gloucester Regiment, Priors Road, Cheltenham
My darling boy,
For years I had it drummed into me that no love could last for life...
I want you darling seriously to delve into your own mind, and to look for once in to the future.
Imagine the time when the war is over and we are living together... would it not be better to live on from now on the memory of our life together when it was at its most golden pitch.
Your own G.

envelopeImage copyrightOSWESTRY TOWN MUSEUM
lettersImage copyrightOSWESTRY TOWN MUSEUM

But was this a love story with a happy ending?
Probably not. At one point, Mr Bradley was sent to Scotland on a mission to defend the Forth Bridge. He met and fell in love with two other men. Rather surprisingly, he wrote and told Mr Bowsher all about his romances north of the border. Perhaps even more surprisingly, Mr Bowsher took it all in his stride, writing that he "understood why they fell in love with you. After all, so did I".
Although the couple wrote throughout the war, the letters stopped in 1945. 
However, both went on to enjoy interesting lives.
Mr Bowsher moved to California and became a well-known horse trainer. In a strange twist, he employed Sirhan Sirhan, who would go on to be convicted of assassinating Robert Kennedy.
Mr Bradley was briefly entangled with the MP Sir Paul Latham, who was imprisoned in 1941 following a court martial for "improper conduct" with three gunners and a civilian. Sir Paul was exposed after some "indiscreet letters" were discovered.
Mr Bradley moved to Brighton and died in 2008. A house clearance company found the letters and sold them to a dealer specialising in military mail.
The letters were finally bought by Oswestry Town Museum, when curator Mark Hignett was searching on eBay for items connected with the town. 
He bought just three at first, and says the content led him to believe a fond girlfriend or fiancé was the sender. There were queries about bed sheets, living conditions - and their dreams for their future life together.

Park Hall CampImage copyrightOSWESTRY TOWN MUSEUM
Image captionGilbert Bradley was stationed at Park Hall Camp in Oswestry in 1939

When he spotted there were more for sale, he snapped them up too - and on transcribing the letters for a display in the museum, Mr Hignett and his colleagues discovered the truth. The "girlfriend" was a boyfriend.
The revelation piqued Mr Hignett's interest - he describes his experience as being similar to reading a book and finding the last page ripped out: "I just had to keep buying the letters to find out what happened next."
Although he's spent "thousands of pounds" on the collection of more than 600 letters, he believes in terms of historical worth the correspondence is "invaluable". 
"Such letters are extremely rare because they were incriminating - gay men faced years in prison with or without hard labour," he says. "There was even the possibility that gay soldiers could have been shot."
Work on a book is already under way at the museum, where the letters will also go on display.
Perhaps most poignantly, one of the letters contains the lines: 
"Wouldn't it be wonderful if all our letters could be published in the future in a more enlightened time. Then all the world could see how in love we are."

April 1, 2017

Verizon to Install Spyware on New Androids

Who'd have thought that just days after the house rolled back privacy protections for internet users, ISPs would take advantage? The EFF did, pointing out that Verizon has already announced that it will install spyware, in the form of the launcher AppFlash, across its users' Android devices in the coming weeks. AppFlash, as TechCrunch reports, will embed itself to the left of your home screen, offering details on local restaurants, movies or apps that you can download.

But the EFF spent a little time staring at AppFlash's privacy policy, where it's revealed that the software will vacuum up any and all of your private data. For instance, it'll snag your cell number, device type, operating system and the apps or services that you use. More crucially, the app will also harvest the details of everything installed on your device, your location and the contact details of everyone in your phonebook.

Verizon admits that the information will be shared within "the Verizon family of companies," including that of (Engadget parent) Aol. From there, the data will be used to "provide more relevant advertising within the AppFlash experiences and in other places." The other places being a euphemism for banner and display advertising all across the web.

So, if you're trying for a baby and you've got a fertility app on your phone, it's reasonable to expect plenty of banner ads for diapers and formula feeding. If you're doing something more private, like making your first steps out of the closet or dealing with a substance abuse issue -- and you've got a relevant app -- then Verizon's gonna know about it.

To be fair, Verizon justifies its stance by saying that it'll need some of this data in order to make on-demand services work. How, after all, can it seamlessly tell you local movie times and call you an Uber to the cinema if it doesn't know where you are? Not to mention that Google already snatches most of this information for its own purposes.

But, as the EFF points out, most of the Android devices on Verizon's network will now have a common app that hackers will be probing for holes. Should a nefarious type find such a vulnerability, then you can be sure that same personal data will be sold off to the highest bidder.

Update: Verizon has since sent the following statement to Engadget: "As we said earlier this week, we are testing AppFlash to make app discovery better for consumers. The test is on a single phone –- LG K20 V –- and you have to opt-in to use the app. Or, you can easily disable the app. Nobody is required to use it. Verizon is committed to your privacy. Visit to view our Privacy Policy."

Update 2: Following Verizon's statement, the EFF has actually taken the step of withdrawing its prior accusation of the cellular network's motives. The privacy body has pledged to investigate the matter further, but it looks as if it may have been a lot of fuss over what amounts to very little.

Update 3: Verizon has also posted a brief explanation on privacy in light of Congress deciding to roll back the FCC's privacy laws this week. "We have two programs that use web browsing data -- and neither of these programs involves selling customers' personal web browsing history," chief privacy officer Karen Zacharia said. "The Verizon Selects advertising program makes marketing to customers more personalized and useful -- using de-identified information to determine which customers fit into groups that advertisers are trying to reach."

*Verizon owns AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.

December 23, 2014

Time Warner Held over 7000Docs Sooooo Merger Put on Hold by FCC

The FCC said Time Warner Cable improperly withheld more than 7,000 documents ‘based on an inappropriate claim of attorney-client privilege.ENLARGE
The FCC said Time Warner Cable improperly withheld more than 7,000 documents ‘based on an inappropriate claim of attorney-client privilege. MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS
Comcast Corp. ’s proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable Inc. has run into another delay, this time due to the failure of Time Warner Cable to produce necessary documents to the Federal Communications Commission in a timely manner.
In a Monday letter to the merging parties, FCC Media Bureau Chief William Lake said Time Warner Cable improperly withheld more than 7,000 documents “based on an inappropriate claim of attorney-client privilege,” something that came to the FCC’s attention this month. And last week, the FCC learned that TWC failed to send more than 31,000 documents to the commission due to a “vendor error.” 
Mr. Lake said Time Warner Cable had initially advised the FCC it would produce the documents by Dec. 30, but after the FCC expressed concern about the delays, the cable operator said it would produce all the items by Dec. 22. 
The result of the late disclosures is that the FCC’s review of the Comcast-TWC merger, and Comcast’s side deal with Charter Communications Inc., has been delayed, Mr. Lake said. Parts of the review that were complete now “must be reopened” to weigh the evidence in the additional documents. “The magnitude of errors, with respect to both the document production and the privilege log, is material and the delays in rectifying them were substantial,” Mr. Lake said.  “We already have provided the FCC more than five million pages of documents and we will continue to provide the FCC everything that they need to review this transaction,” Time Warner Cable said. 
The FCC said it is stopping its informal, 180-day shot clock for reviewing the deal until Jan. 12 to verify that the requested items have all arrived. The delay sets the merger review process back another three weeks. Already, the process was delayed by two months due to an unrelated standoff between the FCC and major TV channel owners over the confidentiality of their contracts with the cable operators. That matter is being litigated in a federal appellate court in D.C. 
In a statement, Comcast said it is “confident” that any outstanding items from Time Warner Cable will be sent to the FCC “in an expedited manner.” The cable company said it still expects for the transaction review to be concluded in early 2015. Reply comments from the merging parties and other public commenters are due Dec. 23. 
It isn’t uncommon for the FCC to pause its shot clock during a big merger review. During its review of Comcast’s deal to acquire control of NBCUniversal in 2010, the FCC also paused its review timeline due to deficiencies in the companies’ responses to information requests. 

October 30, 2014

FTC Sues ATT “ Unlimited means= Unlimited, Verizon Hiding behind the Grandfather who cheats


The Federal Trade Commission says AT&T's practice of slowing down the connection speeds of unlimited-data customers who tap excessive amounts of data is a failure to deliver on the promise of "unlimited."

logo de AT&T
The Federal Trade Commission says AT&T violated the FTC Act by changing the terms of its unlimited-data plan while customers were under contract, and failing to alert them. The carrier denies this.AT&T

As a result, the FTC on Tuesday filed a federal court complaint against AT&T, charging the wireless provider with misleading customers who signed up for an unlimited-data plan only to see their connection slowed in an industry process called "throttling."
"AT&T promised its customers 'unlimited' data, and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement. "The issue here is simple: 'unlimited' means unlimited."
AT&T denies the claims.
"The FTC's allegations are baseless and have nothing to do with the substance of our network management program," the company said in a statement. "It's baffling as to why the FTC would choose to take this action against a company that, like all major wireless providers, manages its network resources to provide the best possible service to all customers, and does it in a way that is fully transparent and consistent with the law and our contracts."
AT&T, like Verizon Wireless, has long claimed that its wireless network can't handle the small percentage of users with unlimited plans who consume excessive data, either by streaming video or music, or by gaming. In July 2011, AT&T took the unpopular step of placing speed limits on those unlimited plans, slowing them down from a high-speed LTE connection to a 2G connection, the speed of which is akin to that of a dial-up modem. At the time, it said it would limit only the top 5 percent of its heaviest users, but it later clarified that to say those who access 5 gigabytes of data in a billing period.
There are far fewer unlimited-data customers still on AT&T, the second-largest wireless provider in the US after Verizon, though there's no real way of telling the number. AT&T stopped offering unlimited-data plans in 2010, instead pushing consumers into various tiered plans with set amounts, or buckets, of data. The move was the result of the immense growth in data consumption from smartphones such as Apple's iPhone, which caused network quality issues for the carrier. Shortly after, Verizon followed suit with its own tiered plans. 
The FTC complaint claims AT&T emphasized "unlimited" in its marketing materials but then failed to inform customers of the throttling program. The FTC said the throttling results in an 80 percent to 90 percent reduction in network speeds. The commission believes AT&T violated the FTC Act by changing the terms of the plan while customers were under contract, and failing to alert them of the change. 
AT&T has throttled at least 3.5 million unique customers a total of more than 25 million times, according to the FTC.
 AT&T argues that it sent customers bill notices and that it also sent out a national press release alerting consumers of the changes.
"We have been completely transparent with customers since the very beginning," the company said. 
There's been a lot of controversy over wireless unlimited plans recently. In August, Verizon and the Federal Communications Commission traded barbs over Verizon's plans to slow down the connection speed of select heavy LTE data users, with the FCC firmly against the move. At the beginning of this month, Verizon backed off of its plans.
As with AT&T, there are few unlimited-data customers left on Verizon, all of them grandfathered in from older plans. Sprint and T-Mobile, which are far smaller than AT&T and Verizon, have attempted to set themselves apart by offering the option of unlimited data with no throttling. 
"The FCC has been actively investigating throttling practices since this summer, when Chairman [Tom] Wheeler sent letters to major nationwide wireless carriers about these practices," said an FCC spokesman. “We continue to work on this important issue, including with our partners at the FTC, and we encourage customers to contact the FCC if they are being throttled by AT&T or other cellular providers."

October 29, 2014

Time Warner is Doing Bad and HBO will Pay by firing 2400 Employees, more…


I am going to give you the reason of why TW is getting rid of 7% of their work force. Are they that bad off?  NO they are not that bad off. The reason for this is purely a down on the profit loss ledger.

They want to show profit, so instead of improving services, they have cut services, and up subscriber’s rates. They are also taking out a mass number of individuals from their payrolls, 2400 to start with.

I just received a letter from Time Warner and on the latter it said, ‘Take this and enjoy it We know you can use it’. It looked like a check. I only get Fast Internet connection from this company and only because of lack of choices where I live. I thought it was a check to get me to come back to TV cable.

On the letter it said I was enjoying a special rate (never heard of it before, I thought I was overpaying). Since the year is coming to a close for that ‘special’ they will bring it to the normal the normal rate 73.98 from 55.98. 

On the body of the letter they kept me guessing what are they going to do for me since so far they have taken away. “Because Im a good customer” they will slide me to another special for 65.98 so I can enjoy their discount. Can you imagine if I was a bad customer?

Incredible! I wonder what focus group they have used that told TW that their customers are all dumb and will see a raise as a discount. I thought those days of plain misrepresentations went out with Crazy Eddie.  Not for TW they believe in the past. 

They could have told me that the price of doing business is gone up so they are raising my rate $10.00 (which is not true for them paying more but the people that use them are paying more) but still it will be more human and more honest. Right there they have the main reason why they don’t show an increase big enough on the profit margin. “Non Existent Customer Satisfaction” Maybe they believe their own actors on the commercial they play.



(Warner Bros. will cut overhead by $200 million annually, the studio's chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara said during a presentation to Time Warner investors on Wednesday.)

Weeks after the conglom went public with job cuts at its Warner Bros. and Turner Broadcasting divisions, the HBO unit is expected to trim its own staff as well, according to sources. Approximately 7% of its 2,400 employees face pink slips as early as this week.
A rep for HBO declined comment.
An internal email from HBO CEO Richard Plepler that was leaked to Variety made clear his division would not emerge unscathed. The message, which was circulated last week to HBO employees the day of the Time Warner presentation, discloses that a small layoff was in the offing before the start of November.
“We reviewed 2015 budgets and staffing plans with this in mind and reduced cost and redundancy wherever possible to preserve our ability to invest in our future,” Plepler wrote (full memo below). “This will unfortunately include the elimination of some positions.”
While Time Warner made clear at a presentation to investors last week that its studio and basic cable units would lose as much as 10% of their ranks this year as a cost-cutting measure, no mention was made of HBO staff on the chopping block.
It’s unclear what areas of operation within HBO will be impacted by the layoff but the reductions will be contained entirely to the company’s domestic personnel.
HBO made headlines that day by announcing a long-anticipated standalone streaming servicewould launch sometime next year. Plepler also laid out plans to glean more in affiliate fees from subscribers who weren’t yielding revenue for the company.
Time Warner had indicated that “cost reduction programs” were going to affect every part of the company. But what’s unclear is whether conglom management deferred to the CEOs at each division as to whether they could decide how to achieve their respective cost cuts. Sources dispute whether HBO, for instance, could have conceivably opted to reduce its expenses in lieu of losing jobs, or whether Time Warner specifically ordered layoffs that HBO chiefs didn’t want to make.
The premium cabler has long been regarded the crown jewel of Time Warner, bringing in nearly $5 billion in revenue last year, as well as $1.7 billion in operating profit. With 127 million subscribers around the world, HBO was said to be a big part of why Rupert Murdoch made a bold play earlier this year to acquire Time Warner for 21st Century Fox. The bid was ultimately rejected, which in turn has put the company’s CEO, Jeff Bewkes, under pressure to boost earnings.
HBO in particular has come under scrutiny as being undervalued, which has kicked up speculation that Time Warner could move to spin off the division or convert it to a tracking stock. While the HBO channel itself added a record 2 million subscribers in the first half of 2014 according to SNL Kagan, an over-the-top digital extension was greeted with excitement by investors because of the prospect the company could open a new revenue stream.
Given the success of HBO over the lifetime of the organization, job cuts have been a rarity in its 42-year history. Last recorded reductions came just over a decade ago in its affiliate sales division, which shed about 20 employees in a restructuring of its operations.
Warner Bros. already indicated its intent to make $200 million worth of cuts to its annual overhead, which could amount to as many as 1,000 jobs, as Variety first reported.
Turner is expected to make even steeper cuts, removing 1,475 of the 14,000 positions across its organization worldwide.
Here’s Plepler’s memo in its entirety:
Given the recent press coverage regarding cost containment efforts across Time Warner, I wanted to let you know how this affects HBO.
We have a long history of tightly managing our overhead so that we’re able to maximize investment in the creation, distribution and marketing of content. We also shift resources when necessary toward areas with the greatest potential to drive revenue growth and to enhance our brand.  We reviewed 2015 budgets and staffing plans with this in mind and reduced cost and redundancy wherever possible to preserve our ability to invest in our future. This will unfortunately include the elimination of some positions.  Where relevant, your department head will share details with you in the weeks ahead.
I understand that the news of staff reductions is unsettling.  Rest assured that we will manage this difficult process with the fairness and respect you would expect from our company.
A hallmark of our long-sustained success has been the commitment to making very difficult decisions even during times of growth and optimism.  As I said at today’s event, this is the most exciting inflection point, domestically and internationally, in the modern history of HBO. It’s fair to say that by any metric: subscriber growth, content deals, the ever-extending reach of our brand or industry buzz; we are at the top of our game – and as I also made clear, we are just getting started.   All of this is possible for one simple reason, the talented people that make up this company.
All best,                                                  


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