Monday, August 26, 2013

Judge OKs $20m Facebook privacy settlement over targeted ads

A U.S. judge on Monday granted final approval to Facebook's $20 million settlement of a lawsuit over targeted advertising despite objections that the deal did not go far enough to protect children's privacy.

Five plaintiffs filed a class action against Facebook in 2011, saying the social networking giant's "Sponsored Stories" program shared users' "likes" of certain advertisers with friends without paying them or allowing them to opt out.

A "Sponsored Story" is an advertisement that appears on a member's Facebook page and generally consists of a friend's name, profile picture and an assertion that the person "likes" the advertiser.
The case has highlighted tension between privacy concerns and Facebook's drive to monetize user content.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Aftermath of war: Father, son found in Vietnam jungle after 40 years in isolation

Two men, father and son, who had lived in total isolation from society for 40 years in a remote jungle in central Vietnam were found yesterday.
According to Daily Mail UK, "Ho Van Thanh and his son Ho Van Lang apparently fled their home village 40 years ago after a bomb killed three members of their family. They were discovered by locals looking for firewood in deep forest in the Tay Tra district of Quang Ngai province.
"One day his wife and two of his sons were killed by a mine explosion, putting him in a state of shock.  He took his two-year-old son and fled into the jungle, thereafter never having any contact with anyone else," Daily Mail reports.
Local authorities yesterday confirmed that the men were Thanh, 82, and 42-year-old Lang who once lived in the Tay Tra District of Quang Ngai Province of Vietnam.
Due to being isolated from social contact for a long time, both father and son could only speak a little of the language of the Kor ethnic minority group.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The misguided logic of deporting fat people

After six years living in New Zealand, Albert Buitenhuis may have to go back to South Africa. The government decided he’s too heavy to stay.
Buitenhuis is now facing deportation after officials denied his request to renew his work visa. He and his wife claim to have had no previous trouble with their annual visa renewals.
New Zealand’s immigration ministry maintains that, at more than 280 pounds, Buitenhuis’s weight puts him at added risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Despite reports from Buitenhuis’s physician that he’s on track to correct a number of his health problems, the ministry remains concerned that weight-related issues will translate into hefty future costs. New Zealand claims that it is simply exercising its policy to hold immigrants to standards that minimize their burdens on the country’s health services. This year’s assessments included flagging and reviewing every immigrant with a body mass index greater than 35 (medically defined as “severely obese”), meaning Buitenhuis no longer meets those standards.

Read more: ObesityPost