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August 20, 2013

This town is literally exiling homeless people

South Carolina City Approves Plan To Exile Its Homeless | ThinkProgress
Many homeless people in Columbia, South Carolina are facing an arduous choice: vacate downtown or be arrested. That’s because last week, the Columbia City Council unanimously approved a new plan — the Emergency Homeless Response” — to remove homeless people from the downtown business district. Here’s how the initiative, which was spearheaded by Councilman Cameron Runyan (D), will work. Police officers will now be assigned to patrol the city center and keep homeless people out. They will also be instructed to strictly enforce the city’s “quality of life” laws, including bans on loitering, public urination, and other violations. And just to ensure that no one slips through, the city will set up a hotline so local businesses and residents can report the presence of a homeless person to police. In order to accommodate all the homeless people who will now be banned from downtown, the city will partner with a local charity to keep an emergency shelter on the outskirts of town open 24 hours a day. However, it’s unlikely the shelter, which can handle 240 guests, will be enough to handle the local homeless population, which numbers more than six times the available beds. . . .

August 19, 2013

Daycare workers fired after sharing mean photos of their charges on social media

Maybe if you want to keep our job at a daycare you shouldn't post instagrams calling the kids you watch "little bitches." WAVY - Daycare workers fired for Instagram pictures | WAVY.com | Newport News
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - Virginia's Department of Social Services is now investigating a Newport News daycare and two fired workers after pictures of children were posted on Instagram. When a mother saw a picture of her son with a mocking caption online, she was both heartbroken and furious. First, she called the daycare center, whose employees posted and commented on the picture, and then she called WAVY.com "I was concerned about my child, and I was hurt because I trusted them with Ethan," said Ethan's mother, Melissa Jordan on Thursday. Ethan Jordan is nearly three years old. He’s full of energy, loves to run, and is quick with a smile, which makes the pictures of a sad Ethan sitting in a highchair at the daycare very uncharacteristic. "I don't know why he is sitting in a highchair at three-years-old. I don't know how long he's been in the highchair. He looks so pathetic and miserable. He looks so defeated in that picture," Jordan said. The picture taken last week of Ethan at A Heavenly Haven Learning Center 2 in Newport News was posted on Instagram by employee Jena Ferrel. On Instagram, she was known as “mz_oneofakind" at the time the picture was posted. "I was disgusted, and my feelings were hurt because they are making fun of Ethan because he isn't able to talk. They are making a joke out of him," Jordan said. . . .

If you give something away for free you can't then sue people for stealing it

Prenda law is accused of uploading porn films to the Pirate Bay bittorrent tracker and then suing people who downloaded them. Except, of course, if they are the rights holder and they upload their own material to a sharing site, then it isn't really a crime to download it. They voluntarily shared it. Comcast Letter Indicates Porn Troll Lawyers Planted Material On Pirate Bay – Consumerist
Earlier this summer, Prenda was accused of operating a “honeypot” scheme, in which it deliberately listed content on The Pirate Bay, the world’s largest BitTorrent site, with the intent of trapping those who took the bait. People noticed that many of the shared files Prenda was using as the basis of its legal letters were linked to a single Pirate Bay user with the ID of Sharkmp4. It was believed that this user was just a front for Prenda, but that was mostly speculation. In July, lawyers in a lawsuit involving Prenda received a court order compelling Internet service providers to reveal the actual subscriber info behind the Sharkmp4 uploads. And last week, it was revealed in a response from Comcast that one of the IPs is actually for Steele’s office in Minneapolis. “The irony of the above is that Prenda is now being haunted by the IP-address subpoenas they first used to pressure accused file-sharers into paying thousands of dollars in settlement fees,” writes TorrentFreak.com. It’s worth noting that Comcast responded to the court order promptly and without protest. Compare this response to the cable giant’s previous fights against these sorts of requests from copyright trolls. In 2012, lawyers for Comcast referred to the types of legal actions taken by Prenda and others as “shakedowns,” and refused to provide user information.