Defendants How Much are Taxpayers Paying for Prosecutions Media Operation

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 29 Jan 2016 – Daily press releases. A website where their accusations are posted on a daily basis. A global media relations campaign. These are things that generally cost tens of thousands of dollars a month. And, it’s exactly what the prosecution is doing in support of their case. To that end, the defendants in the high profile TCI probe and trial are publicly presenting a few questions to the mystery group running this public affairs campaign on behalf of the prosecution.“I’d like to know how much this is costing, which taxpayers are paying for it and who is running this operation to make unproven allegations against the defendants in the press?” asked Michael Misick.“If we’re committed to a free and fair process, why are both sides not given an equal number of resources in which to pursue public relations? This, along with the fact that the defendants are denied a basic right to trial by jury are two examples of how the state is stacking the deck against the defense,” concluded Misick.McAllister “Piper” Hanchell concurs, “I’d also like to know who is running this website and if the tax dollars of Turks & Caicos Islanders are being used to finance a media smear campaign against the defendants? We all want a fair trial, but, when we don’t have access to a jury and the state uses taxpayer money to fund a PR blitz against us, you wonder if justice will really be served?” Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:McAllister “Piper” Hanchell, tax payerslast_img read more

Facebooks in the midst of an identity crisis and the Portal is

first_img CNET Smart Home CNET Smart Home See All Do we really care though?Perhaps most interestingly, this hasn’t stopped people from buying Portals — or Amazon smart speakers. CNET’s own Rick Broida isn’t bothered by Facebook’s privacy stuff:I’ll just say I’m fully aware that every company on the planet is already collecting and sharing data about me in order to try to sell me stuff. And for the most part I’m not bothered by it. That’s just me.Well, maybe not just me: The Portal has a 4.6-star average rating from over 400 Best Buy customers and a 4.4 average from over 300 Amazon customers. Seems as though people really like the product, Facebook issues notwithstanding.Another colleague, Ian Sherr, feels differently: Why can’t you [Facebook] fix all this stuff before trying to sell us a device that, at best, already faces an uphill battle in trying to convince people that putting yet another internet-connected doorway into their homes is a good idea?(Gut check: Am I the only one who thinks Facebook’s Portal is the wrong product at the wrong time? Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said Portal is “downright creepy” and wanted to ask, “How much pain are you willing to go through to see it succeed?”)Some people will always care more about privacy than others. And that’s all fine and good. But I can’t imagine anyone thinking the Portal and the Portal Plus were well-timed product releases in light of Facebook’s ongoing issues or that we’d all just line up and buy a bunch of these things. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network is in the midst of a serious identity crisis. “Hey Portal, flash your screen once if you need help.” Aug 31 • The best coffee grinders you can buy right now Facebook’s pricey Portal Plus brings loved ones closer • The Facebook Portal gets a huge price cut: $99 Facebook Portal is an excellent video chat device held back by Facebook’s trust problems Related links Aug 31 • Alexa can tell you if someone breaks into your house Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice 3:05 4 Aug 31 • Best smart light bulbs for 2019 (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more) Portal, interruptedThe Portal idea is sound in theory: Buy a Portal for yourself and give a friend or family member far away another Portal. Make dinner in your apartment while you video chat with your parents across the country. You can move around naturally within the Portal’s field of view, pulling cheese, milk and butter from the fridge. (We’re apparently making mac and cheese in this made-up scenario… and now I’m hungry.) You’re fishing for the stock pot in that hard-to-reach spot in the lower cabinet across the kitchen and grabbing pasta from the pantry — all within your parents’ view as you catch them up on your week. The Facebook Portal is a video-chatting system first and foremost. Admittedly, and perhaps annoyingly, Portal does this job really well. It also offers a limited dose of smart home functionality via a built-in Amazon Alexa speaker, select apps including Newsy, Pandora and Spotify (Premium only) and Facebook’s own “Hey Portal” voice assistant. Note: Facebook has temporarily dropped the price of the Portal to $99 and is offering it bundled with the Portal Plus for $200 off through May 12, just in time for Mother’s Day, all while reports of privacy breaches continue to trickle in. And other news surfaced this week that Facebook is working on new AI tech for the Portal, Oculus and other upcoming, as yet unannounced Facebook products. Could Facebook be working on a rival to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant in addition to its existing “Hey Portal” assistant?A spokesperson told me over email that Facebook hasn’t announced a new voice assistant, but rather that they “are working to develop voice and AI assistant technologies that may work across our family of AR/VR products including Portal, Oculus and future products.” Hm. facebook-portal-messenger-chat-2204Enlarge ImageThe Facebook Portal looks a lot like the Amazon Echo Show. It only works over Facebook Messenger, so you — and the people you want to chat with — have to have Facebook to use it. James Martin/CNET Portal privacy and youAnticipating our reticence to the Portal, Facebook detailed its smart display privacy policy on this support page. While Facebook says it doesn’t listen in on or “keep the contents” of your Portal chats, a spokesperson told us that Facebook does gather info about the calls you make to determine what ads to show. It won’t listen in on the calls, but it will log the length and other data. The company shared more details in an email to Recode: “Portal voice calling is built on the Messenger infrastructure, so when you make a video call on Portal, we collect the same types of information (i.e. usage data such as length of calls, frequency of calls) that we collect on other Messenger-enabled devices. We may use this information to inform the ads we show you across our platforms. Other general usage data, such as aggregate usage of apps, etc., may also feed into the information that we use to serve ads,” the Facebook spokesperson said. I wonder if Facebook execs ever discussed temporarily or permanently shelving Portal so its person-tracking camera didn’t launch during the same time people were deactivating their accounts in outrage? But the company instead went for the “Hey, it’s cool. You can totally trust us” vibe. That approach demonstrates a shocking level of tone deafness. (Again, I’ll refer you to this story outlining many of Facebook’s major privacy leaks and other serious issues the company’s faced lately.)Facebook isn’t the only media company scaring the crap out of us, though. Amazon employs, you know, human people, to listen to your Alexa recordings. Creepy doesn’t even come close to cutting it. Comments 18 Photos Tags Privacy Mark Zuckerberg Facebook Smart Speakers & Displays Media Streamers Wireless & Bluetooth Speakers Aug 30 • Battling bot vacs: iRobot Roomba S9+ vs Neato Botvac D7 Connected Enlarge ImageThe $199 Facebook Portal is currently on sale for $99 through May 12. James Martin/CNET Like many folks, I felt uneasy about the Facebook Portal from the jump.Having been an only intermittent Facebook user over the past several years made me an even less willing participant when it came time to test the smart display and the company’s pricier Portal Plus last fall. Did I have a Facebook account? Yes, technically. But it was as good as inactive save the odd toggle-share from Instagram that I rarely checked. Despite Instagram’s propensity toward over-curated fakery (#blessed) and the fact that it’s a Facebook company (irony abounds), it’s still largely considered the “good side” of social media. It’s the place guaranteed to have adorable puppies, drool-worthy food and far-flung travel destinations when you need a break from the more serious side of the internet. Facebook has a different reputation. It’s the underbelly of the ol’ world wide web, complete with awkward familial spats over political convictions, cryptic messages from college sweethearts and, worst of all — multiple, privacy-threatening data leaks. So it was surprising when Facebook announced the camera-equipped, Facebook-Messenger-dependent Portal ($199) and Portal Plus ($349) in 2018, amid regular breaking news stories about how Facebook misused user information and then tried to downplay it to the loyalists remaining on the platform once it was uncovered. What’s more, Portal cameras aren’t like most smart display cameras. They have particularly smart tech that differentiates between people and houseplants and can therefore follow you around a room — not exactly the device you want from a company cited for its privacy problems. reading • Facebook’s privacy crisis makes its Portal video device a tougher sell than ever Facebook’s video calling smart display connects you with friends and familylast_img read more

ATT makes it harder for spam callers to reach you

first_img AT&T 5G network has some of the fastest speeds we’ve… 7 13 Photos Now playing: Watch this: Samsung, LG, Motorola: How soon can we expect 5G phones? Tags Share your voicecenter_img AT&T FCC Comments 9:40 Mobile Save me from robocalls, please. Angela Lang/CNET AT&T is now making its Call Protect fraud caller blocking service a default for its new mobile customers.If you’re an existing customer, don’t worry: The company says it’ll make this feature the default for you, too, in the coming months.AT&T said Tuesday it was able to make this change thanks to a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission last month that lets US carriers “aggressively block” unwanted robocalls, allowing them to turn on blocking features by default instead of as an opt-in service.This work comes amid growing a uproar from the federal government and customers over spam calls. The FCC has said that frustration has made robocalls the No. 1 complaint it receives from consumers, amounting to hundreds of thousands of grievances filed every year. The number of unwanted robocalls skyrocketed 46% from 2017 to 2018, according to caller ID service Hiya.For any existing AT&T customers interested in using Call Protect now, you can download the service as an app or turn it on through your MyAT&T account. The company has already rolled out a suspected spam caller alert for existing customers, too, and says it plans to add more tools to fight robocalls in the coming months.last_img read more