Facebook A community like no other Should you leave it

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Sure. Take that quiz about which hair-metal band is your spirit animal. Share a few snaps of your toddler at the beach and watch the likes pile up. Comment on that pointed political opinion from the classmate you haven’t seen since the Reagan administration.Just remember that your familiar, comforting online neighbourhood — the people you care about most and those you only kinda like — exists entirely on a corporate planet that’s endlessly ravenous to know more about you and yours.On a day when our virtual friends wrung their virtual hands about whether to leave Facebook, a thoroughly 21st-century conundrum was hammered home: When your community is a big business, and when a company’s biggest business is your community, things can get very messy.You saw that all day Tuesday as users watched the saga of Cambridge Analytica unfold and contemplated whether the chance that they had been manipulated again — that their data might have been used to influence an election — was, finally, reason enough to bid Facebook goodbye.Not an easy choice. After all, how would Mom see photos of the kids?“Part of me wants Facebook to go down over the Cambridge Analytica scandal but the other part of me has no other way to know when any of my friends or family have a birthday,” Chicago Tribune humorist Rex Huppke tweeted Tuesday — and cross-posted on Facebook.Facebook, which began as a social network for college students and the academic community, has experienced exodus before, albeit usually more gradually.Young people have edged away from it in favour of other platforms such as Snapchat, WhatsApp and Instagram (the latter two are owned by Facebook now), and many maintain a presence but use it rarely. Internationally, while Facebook remains widespread, insurgent social networks built around messaging, such as Line in Japan and Thailand, WeChat in China and KakaoTalk in South Korea, have supplanted it.But as the granddaddy of the major social networks, Facebook boasts more than 2.2 billion users — nearly 30 per cent of the world’s population, a community vastly larger than any nation. That’s an irresistible target for advertisers and, it turns out, for people who want to do some sketchy things with data and even influence elections.And for users, anyplace brimming with lots and lots of interesting people is often — just by virtue of that fact — the place to be.But when you really think about it, what, precisely, IS that place?Most of us, as end users, interact with Facebook as the global equivalent of a neighbourhood or a town square — Mayberry meets Bedford Falls from “It’s A Wonderful Life,” but with the miles that separate so many of us compressed to mere inches.Friends stop by to chat and catch up. They show us some photos, catch up with our lives and move on. Sometimes you’ll overhear neighbours talking about something and you’ll wander over to chime in. You know some people better than others, some barely at all. Some are looking for approval. Some want to pick a fight. Some just want to play a game on the green and move on.Trouble is, what in the real world is legit social interaction with few strings attached becomes, in the virtual one, an intricate and heavily mediated transaction.Or, put another way, the community itself is authentic, but the town square is rigged with booby traps and there’s no mayor or police patrolling on our behalf.“When we go to, say, a party, the analog parameters that define the social space in which we’re celebrating the community are visible. You know who’s there and what the outcomes of your interactions are,” says John Drew, who teaches digital media at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York.Facebook, he says, “created a system that’s inherently social — your friends are there posting — but while you’re doing that posting and looking at other people’s posts, they have been building an advertising empire,” he says. “The people who are throwing the party — that’s Facebook. And they’re controlling the rules.”On Tuesday, angst was popping up all over as people discussed the virtues and drawbacks of leaving Facebooktown forever.One common response to people who said they might go: Don’t — how will I see your kids growing up? Other would-be exiters wondered how they’d keep track of THEIR kids if they quit. Still others expressed the perennial wish of Facebook users when confronted with contentious debate: Can’t we all just post nice things and stay away from politics?And finally, the payoff question: Will Facebook even LET me quit? (Yes, but they don’t make it particularly easy.)The doubt is entirely understandable.This is — in America, at least — an era where the pillars of community have crumbled. Polls show Americans trust institutions less and less. Membership in unions and civic organizations — longtime community glue — is also sharply down, and job transfers and increased mobility can cleave in-person friendships like never before.Is it any wonder, then, that so many people covet the bonds of community — even virtual community — and the reinforcement that accompanies them? Is it a surprise that people struggle about whether to give up this fixture of their lives that, yes, features some unpleasantly aggressive tentacles but also serves up the miniature dopamine rushes of approval from those we care about? Isn’t that, in essence, one of community’s key functions?“One of the reasons Facebook is so popular is that it feels to people like it’s free. They have no sense that they’re giving anything up, or what they’re giving up,” says George Loewenstein, a behavioural economist and the Herbert A. Simon professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University.“Generally, people detest the feeling of being a sucker. They detest the idea that someone else has taken advantage of them. But so far, it’s too intangible to people,” he says. “If we had a beer and someone took it away from us, we’d be very upset. But if it’s information, people get a whole lot less upset.”We’re only a quarter century into the internet, really. We may not yet be wired for the conditional communities that something like Facebook offers — a community like no other in history.The notion of being handed a multimedia pass to all your friends, wherever they might be, for free, holds immense appeal — even if “free” turns out to mean “we’re watching you and making money and maybe pulling some of your psychological chains to our own ends.”The question that faces all of us who contemplate our Facebook departures comes down to this in the end: Is rejecting this particular corporation important enough to you to reject the community that it serves up? How much are your “friends” worth?Also: Def Leppard is your spirit animal. Carry on.___Ted Anthony writes about American culture for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at @anthonyted.last_img read more

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Algeria blames Morocco for diplomatic impasse

first_imgALGIERS- Algeria’s foreign minister said Sunday that Morocco had caused a diplomatic impasse over the way it responded after his country’s flag was torn down from its consulate in Casablanca. “The Moroccan authorities know exactly what they need to do to get out of this impasse because they got themselves into the impasse,” said Ramtane Lamamra at a news conference in Algiers. On November 1, at a demonstration over Algeria’s stance on Sahara in front of Algiers’ mission, a young Moroccan tore the Algerian flag down. The incident sparked anger in Algiers, and Moroccan authorities said they had been “firm” with the perpetrator, but denied they had apologized.The protester was arrested, and is due to be tried for the incident on November 21, according to Moroccan weekly Tel Quel.But Lamamra said it was an “insult” that “this individual who committed this double crime is welcomed as a hero in certain circles”.Dozens of people had gathered outside the consulate in Morocco’s economic capital to protest comments by Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Western Sahara.In a speech read out in Bouteflika’s name at a meeting in Abuja, he said an “international mechanism to monitor human rights in Western Sahara was needed “more than ever”.Rabat in protest recalled its ambassador to Algiers.Morocco’s King Mohammed VI also reacted angrily to the comments, saying his country would not be lectured to, “particularly by those who systematically trample on human rights”, he said, in a clear allusion Bouteflika.Algiers has not responded to the comment, and on Sunday, Lamamra said: “In diplomacy, silence can be very eloquent”.The spat was the latest between the North African neighbors whose decades-old rivalry centers on the Sahara dispute since 1975.With AFPlast_img read more

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Ramid Death Penalty and Child Marriage Too Controversial for Moroccos Human

Rabat – According to Mustapha Ramid, the Minister in charge of Human Rights, Morocco is on its way to adopt a “referential” National Action Plan for Democracy and Human Rights (PANDDH), free of any “controversial issues,” namely the death penalty and family law.The minister is finally taking some time off from his legendary feud with former secretary general of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), Abdelilah Benkirane, to refocus somewhat on human rights issues in Morocco.During a meeting with the Supervisory Committee in charge of reviewing the PANDDH in Rabat this Wednesday, Ramid said that “everything related to human rights will be included in this plan, including civil, political, economic, social and other rights.” However, the committee has failed to reach consensus on some “controversial issues,” at least as seen by the Ministry of Human Rights.According to Ramid, the dispute remained stuck on the death penalty, between those who call for its abolition and those who defended  it, as well as other “contentious issues” related to the family law and Morocco’s accession to the Statute of the International Criminal Court.Child MarriageOne of the members of the committee, who chose to remain unnamed, told Morocco World News that in addition to the heated debate on the death penalty, child marriage was at the heart of this dispute.“Many saw the need to remove judge’s powers in reducing the legal age for marriage, fix a legal age for betrothals, and abolish customary marriage,” the source explained.Although the Moroccan Family Code sets the legal age of marriage at 18 years old, it still legislates child marriage through articles 20 and 21 by leaving to the discretion of the judge the power to reduce this age in justified cases. The Moudawana, however, sets no age limit to this reduction, nor does it describes the regulations of these exceptions.Another major legal loophole in the Moudawana is that there is no legal age for betrothal or engagement.For Ramid, who refused the recommendations filed by the United Nations Human Rights Council during Morocco’s 27th Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on child marriage back in May, setting up a legal framework to abolish child marriage “is useless.”“We need a real social, economic and cultural reform to be able to fight this issue,” the minister told Morocco World News. “Otherwise, people won’t really care about whether there is a legal framework or not.”Ramid explained that this phenomena is present in many other countries, who like Morocco, set up certain legal criteria to allow minor to marry. “If we don’t open this legislative window to ratify child marriage, we will be forced later on to legislate customary marriage and face its consequence, which most of the time we cannot bare.”Part of the society still uses customary marriage, practiced under the simple reading of the Fatiha. This marriage is a verbal contract. It must be pronounced in the presence of two witnesses but this ceremony does not require the presence of any Adoul or legal representative, and is particularly practiced in mountainous regions where the rate of illiteracy is very high.Customary marriages have no legal value. As a result, young women who are victims of such marriages and abandoned by their husbands do not have access to the legislative protection they would enjoy if they had been married legally. For example, filiation is not covered and no support payments are required.According to MWN’s source, none of these excuses are acceptable: “What Morocco is doing right now is legalizing pedophelia.”As child marriage number reached 40,000 in 2016, according to a study run by the Moroccan association Voice of Amazigh Women, the member of the committee insisted that “criminalizing this scourge is vital.”“The government is the one responsible of protecting its citizens, and mainly its children. We have to start somewhere to abolish [child marriage], and the first step is instoring laws,” he concluded. read more

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Cooperation from States vital for UN tribunals to finish work on time

Serge Brammertz, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), told an open meeting of the Security Council that the major development in the last six months was the arrest of two of the four fugitives – Radovan Karadžic and Stojan Zjuplanin.“Today the arrest of the two remaining fugitives is the highest priority of the Office,” he said, referring to Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadžicrs. He said that, in order to succeed in completing the trial and appeals programme, there would be heavy reliance on cooperation from the States of the former Yugoslavia and the support of the international community. Cooperation remained critical in the areas of access to archives, access to and protection of witnesses, and the arrest and transfer of the remaining fugitives.Speaking to reporters later, he noted that there are currently seven ongoing trials in relation to 27 accused. Five trials still have to start next year, which means that the completion strategy deadlines will not be met and the Tribunal will have trial activities ongoing in 2009 and 2010.Patrick Robinson, President of the ICTY, which is based in The Hague, told the Council that the international community should focus its efforts on securing the immediate arrest of the remaining fugitives as a matter of urgency. He added that there was cause for deep concern that, as its work drew towards its final stages, the Tribunal should remain sufficiently resourced to discharge its mandate. He appealed to the Council and the international community to give the Tribunal the support it needs to enable it to discharge its “historic role.”In response to this request, the Security Council today authorized the Secretary-General to appoint, as a temporary measure and within existing resources, additional ad litem, or temporary, judges to the Tribunal, in order to complete existing trials or conduct additional ones.The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which is aiming to finish first-instance trials by the end of 2009, is also working to address staffing needs and further develop tools for expediting proceedings, while fully respecting the right of the accused to a fair trial, said its President.“We want to achieve our goals, and the workload ahead makes it clear that ‘business as usual’ is not an option,” Dennis Byron told the Council. The Prosecutor of the ICTR, which is based in Arusha, Tanzania, added that the cases of all detainees were being prepared to ensure that their trials proceeded in 2009, in accordance with the trial schedule. The next six months would be a period of intense trial activity, Hassan B. Jallow said. “We are all committed to concluding the trials of the detainees currently at hand and to making referral a success to enable us deal with the cases of some detainees, as well as the fugitives.” Out of the close to 100 indictments that have been issued, the ICTR has finished the cases of 37 accused. It is still looking for 13 fugitives who are at large, and has 10 indictees currently in detention awaiting trial. The Tribunal plans to start those trials in January 2009 and finish them by September.A challenge for the court has been the transfer of cases to national jurisdictions, the Prosecutor noted. “We haven’t had many takers for our cases,” he said, adding that Rwanda has been the court’s main focus for the transferral of cases. “But there also we’ve had some setback in that the judges so far have declined to refer any case to Rwanda because of fears that the defence may not be able to operate effectively given the possible reluctance of defence witnesses to travel to Rwanda to testify. And also out of concerns for the possible safety of defence witnesses in Rwanda.” As a result, no transfers have taken place so far to Rwanda, but the Office of the Prosecutor and the Rwandan authorities have agreed to work together to make sure that “we can help them put in place the measures which would satisfy the judges, which would overcome some of these constraints.” He stressed the importance of making progress in this area because it will ease the workload on the Tribunal and enable it to finish the trial phase of its work by the end of next year.Mr. Brammertz voiced similar expectations regarding the work of his institution. “We strongly believe that the ultimate success of the ICTY as a tribunal will depend on our ability to transfer remaining case files to the region, and [are] hoping that the region will have the political support and also the logistical and operational support to conduct their own investigations.” 12 December 2008Top officials from the United Nations tribunals set up to try those responsible for atrocities committed during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s and the 1994 Rwandan genocide today stressed that cooperation from States, especially in arresting fugitives and accessing evidence, will enable the courts to meet the deadline set for completing their work. read more

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State of emergency extended by another month

The state of emergency was declared soon after the April 21st suicide attacks for a period of one month and has been extended since then.Parliament will now need to meet to approve or reject the extension. (Colombo Gazette) President Maithripala Sirisena has extended the state of emergency by another month with effect from today.A gazette notice was issued today announcing the extension of the state of emergency.

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Boat used by Sri Lankan migrants destroyed in Reunion fire

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the fire. (Colombo Gazette) The boat named “Roshan” with fishing equipment was docked at a port in Reunion island.However, on Thursday the boat caught fire and sank. A boat used by Sri Lankan migrants to reach Reunion island last year, has been destroyed in a fire.Media reports from Reunion island stated that the fishing boat had been used by Sri Lankan migrants to reach Reunion island on 26 December 2018.

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Ranil denies claims he declared himself candidate

However an official at the Prime Minister’s Office, today said that the Prime Minister had only asserted that the Working Committee of the UNP will decide on the candidate. Several senior UNP members had met Wickremesinghe yesterday to discuss the conflict in the UNP on the President candidate of the United National Front. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has denied claims he had declared himself as the Presidential candidate of the United National Party (UNP) during talks with a group of UNP seniors yesterday.A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said today that Wickremesinghe had only said that he will inform the UNP Working Committee of his position with regards to the candidate and let the Working Committee decide. There were reports that at the meeting Wickremesinghe had said he will definitely contest the election. read more

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HRCSL issues guidelines on application of hate speech law

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has issued guidelines to the Attorney General and the Police on the application of the hate speech law.In a letter to the Attorney General and the Police, the HRCSL noted that the enforcement of section 3 of the ICCPR Act has not been done in a consistent and an even-handed manner, and sees the need for greater clarity on the legal scope of the offence recognised by the said provision. The Commission is of the view that section 3 of the ICCPR Act is an important legal tool in combating hate speech. “As we are aware, hate speech has unfortunately become a common phenomenon in the country targeting various groups,” HRCSL Chairperson Deepika Udagama said. The Commission has recommended to the Police that the guidelines the HRCSL has issued are taken into consideration by the Police Department for the fair and effective enforcement of section 3 of the ICCPR Act.Udagama says the analysis and recommendations were finalised after consulting legal practitioners in the field of fundamental rights. The Commission urged the Attorney General to take into consideration the recommendations and ensure the necessary prosecutorial guidelines are formulated for the fair and effective application of section 3 of the ICCPR Act. read more

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Samples from alleged chemical attacks in Syria reveal evidence of sulfur mustard

“We must not allow ourselves to become inured to the ongoing allegations of the use of chemical weapons. This is an issue about which the United Nations cannot be neutral,” Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, said in her first briefing to the Security Council since her appointment. Citing initial findings from the fact-finding mission by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), she emphasized that the use of chemical weapons by any actor – whether Government forces, terrorist factions or armed opposition groups – could never be justified, regardless of provocation or circumstance.“Their re-emergence is indefensible and cannot be viewed as anything other than a violation of the most basic international law and a serious deviation from the internationally agreed broader path towards the goal of a world free of chemical weapons,” she said. “As such, this is not an issue to be politicized.” She said OPCW has deployed a fact-finding mission on two occasions following allegations of chemical weapons use on that date in the area of Um Hosh, in the Aleppo countryside. Members of the mission have conducted interviews, collected testimonies and reviewed documents, as well as information provided by the Syrian authorities, she added. While the prevailing security situation has prevented the team from visiting the site of the alleged incident, she continued, it has been able to review analyses of blood samples from two female casualties reported to have been involved in the attack.They were found to have suffered exposure to sulfur mustard, as was a mortar handed over to the team by the Russian Federation’s Chemical, Biological, Nuclear and Radiological Team.RELATED: As US responds militarily to chemical attack, UN urges restraint to avoid escalationRegarding the reported incident in Khan Shaykhoun on 4 April – she said that, after a preliminary assessment, a fact-finding mission was deployed to a neighbouring country, where it conducted interviews and witnessed the collection of biomedical samples from the alleged incident. The analysis of samples showed exposure to sarin or a sarin-like substance.It has also received biological-environmental samples from dead animals reported to have been close to the suspected impact point, attended the autopsies of three alleged victims, and witnessed the extraction of biomedical samples from their bodies. She, however, emphasized that all materials and information collected were currently being analyzed, thus not final. On the situation relating to the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons production facilities remained unchanged, she said that OPCW has verified the destruction of 24 of the 27 declared facilities, but the prevailing security situation continues to preclude safe access to the three remaining sites. read more

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University visits started in Grade 2 for FOSS Spirit of Brock winner

Grayson Wadsworth-Hayes was only seven years old when she started coming to Brock University’s summer camps. The 21-year-old St. Catharines native crossed the Convocation stage on Tuesday, June 11 to receive her degree in Child and Youth Studies (CHYS), and she returned to the stage to accept the Faculty of Social Sciences Spirit of Brock medal.Spirit of Brock medals are awarded to students in each Faculty who best exemplify the spirit of Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock, demonstrating leadership, courage, innovation, inspiration, and community involvement.After being a participant in Brock’s Youth University, Wadsworth-Hayes started volunteering with junior camps, developing crucial leadership skills. In the first year of her time as an undergraduate student at Brock, she was hired as a staff member, helping with field trips, enrichment programs and summer camps.Wadsworth-Hayes said the close-knit community and lifelong friends she made in her Youth University job helped her succeed as she progressed into the third and fourth years of her degree.“We shared many game nights, themed parties and camp shenanigans,” she said with a laugh.“Grayson’s influence impacts hundreds of elementary school-aged youth annually here at Brock,” said Michelle Leone, Program Manager of Youth Programs. “Her contagious energy and positive spirit inspires and motivates the young people around her to be their best selves.”Throughout her time in CHYS, Wadsworth-Hayes came to know and trust academic advisor, Alison Lahn.“I will be forever grateful for the impact Alison had on my success at Brock,” Wadsworth-Hayes said.This year, Wadsworth-Hayes served as Vice-President of the CHYS Association, an organization intended to help students make connections within the University and the Niagara community.“My teamwork and affiliation with this club allowed me to make countless connections with people both in my programs, as well as with the departmental staff,” she said. “All of that helped make my final year extremely positive.”Capping off the final year of her undergraduate degree, she contributed to a surprise victory for Brock’s Collegiate Leadership Competition Team.Grayson Wadsworth-Hayes with all of her Youth University T-shirts from over the years.“Community involvement is a big piece of life at Brock,” said Wadsworth-Hayes, a volunteer in the supervised visitation program at Pathstone Mental Health Services. The program provides families a safe space for their court appointed visits with their children.“Being a child of divorced parents, it is important to me to figure out my feelings surrounding the subject, and to help children who need the same help that I did,” she said. “It has been so rewarding for me personally and in my studies. It really got me interested in child mental health and, totally unexpectedly, children’s law.”Professor Richard Mitchell, who worked closely with Wadsworth-Hayes as her honours thesis supervisor, said students like Wadsworth-Hayes remind him why he enjoys teaching.“Through her numerous achievements in our department, on campus, and in the wider Niagara community, she epitomizes the Spirit of Brock Award’s key characteristics of inspired leadership, community-minded critical thinking, and global citizenship,” Mitchell said.Wadsworth-Hayes encourages other students to get involved in the extracurricular opportunities Brock offers.After spending some time living in England as a Brock ambassador, she said the opportunity was a pivotal moment in her life where she gained “friendships, self-confidence and a ton of self-discovery.”Wadsworth-Hayes will continue her time at Brock this Fall when she starts a master’s degree in Child and Youth Studies. read more

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Need for more work delays reopening of The Zone

A need for further preparation work to expand The Zone fitness centre means the facility will remain closed for a week longer than expected.The extended closure is the result of unexpected structural issues in the existing facility that must be remediated.Barring any further unforeseen circumstances, The Zone is now scheduled to reopen for normal operations on Monday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 am.In the meantime, Brock Recreation staff are working to relocate some of The Zone’s equipment to other available spaces so it can be accessed by students and members during the closure. Further updates on equipment and fitness class plans are available on the Brock Recreation social media channels.The Eleanor Misener Aquatic Centre, which has been closed for annual maintenance, will be reopening on Monday, Sept. 9.  The year-long construction project will triple the size of the Zone, transforming it into a state-of-the-art, two-level, 15,500-square-foot complex, up from its current 4,300 square feet.  Construction project updates will continue to be posted to brocku.ca/recreation/zone-expansion 1 read more

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GAME Students arrive in Silicon Valley to explore future of tech

When Gábor CSeh walked out of San Jose International Airport Tuesday afternoon, it marked the latest step in a remarkable journey that has taken him from being a child struggling to integrate in the Canadian school system to a successful Brock University student with a bright future ahead of him.Like the classmates he collaborated with to form Digital Details, a game design studio launched as part of their coursework in Brock’s hugely popular GAME program, Cseh was invited to San Jose this week to attend the virtual reality (VR) tech conference Oculus Connect 6.In the world of video games, VR is the future, and the leading brand behind the technology — the Facebook-owned Oculus — has paid for much of the six Brock students’ expenses to attend the conference because the game they designed in third year, known as Magehem, used gestural VR technology in a way that caught the attention of the California company. The students have been invited to participate in Oculus Start, a program designed to support new developers in the VR world.It’s a big accomplishment for all six students, but especially for the 31-year-old CSeh, who has come a long way since immigrating from Hungary at the age of eight.“Video games saved my life, literally,” says CSeh, who found integrating into his Canadian school and making friends difficult. Video games gave him something in common to talk about with other kids and helped him fit in.Games helped him later in life, too. Dealing with a difficult family situation and a stressful call centre job four years ago, CSeh found himself in an extremely dark place. Knowing a new installment of the popular Fallout video game series was coming out gave him hope.“There was so much hype around the exploration of the game, which is why I like to play games,” he says. “It’s about discovering a world that you can make. That’s a major draw about video games for a lot of people — you get immediate feedback. It’s nice to see that you can change the world, even if it is only a video game world.”When CSeh realized he needed to change careers, he applied to the new joint Brock University—Niagara College GAME design program. His goal now is to create the kind of games that might help someone like him get through a dark time in their lives.Through his own experiences, and those of his friends, CSeh sees the potential in video games to create accessible and welcoming communities.“I remember one guy I played World of Warcraft with,” says CSeh. “He was terminally ill in the hospital. One of the members of the community sent a card around the country for us all to sign and then sent it to him before he died. He was too sick to (compete) with us, but he hung out in the chat and talked with us all the time.”CSeh doesn’t want to see anyone left out of games and is interested in ways VR can create an inclusive community. He is looking forward to the Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality blending workshop Oculus is offering as part of the conference. His ultimate goal is to someday get the hardware that allows for a 100 per cent immersive experience.“VR has the potential to be one of the most inclusive platforms out there, especially when combined with other technologies that people are working on, like nerve sensing,” he says. “A fully immersive VR where you don’t need a controller isn’t that far away and it’s going to be huge.”In addition to having their conference fees and hotel paid for by Oculus, the Brock students are attending networking events and will have access to Oculus VR professionals for consultation over the coming year and one year of Unity pro, the game engine commonly used to create VR games.Joining CSeh at the event are classmates Adam Henderson, Robbie Jolley, Kyle Jones, Merhan Mansour Faizi and Mervin Hocson. Others on the Design Detail team but not in San Jose include Caldon Bowden, Nick Anger and Dylan Doyle.For Mansour Feizi, games are about creativity and learning.“Games are a good way to encourage one’s self to learn something,” he says, “It’s also a way to trigger your creativity to make something of your own. I really hope one day any game I make will inspire someone else to make their own game.”Jolley says sometimes people have misconceptions about what Brock’s GAME program is all about.“People from outside the program sometimes think it’s just us playing video games all day,” he says. “But it’s a blend between theory and practice about all the different aspects that go into making a game. I’m looking forward to understanding the ways technology is advancing and thinking about how my future can involve what I learn at Oculus Connect.” read more

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Stunned authorities find dozens of encrypted computers in alleged spys home

Close Pause Embed Facebook Playback Status: ready Link Asset: Undetermined Close Assigned test group: None Close Turn captions off How an alleged Canadian spy left investigators stunned Stop Events Log: Show/Refresh Events Turn captions on Video Pause Stop Share this Email Watch Play 01:29 Close Embed Code: Streaming URL: When authorities entered Cameron Ortis’s ByWard Market condo in Ottawa earlier this year, they were stunned to find dozens of computers and USB sticks, according to sources. (Shutterstock)381 commentsThe RCMP intelligence director who now stands accused of preparing to leak secrets to a foreign entity or terrorist group kept a large number of encrypted computers at his home, making the investigation harder to crack, CBC News has learned. When authorities entered Cameron Ortis’s ByWard Market condo in Ottawa earlier this year, they were stunned to find dozens of computers, said sources who have been briefed on the file. Those sources spoke to CBC on the condition of anonymity because they’re not authorized to speak about the ongoing court case. Most of the computers were encrypted — which is legal but creates potential barriers for the RCMP officers still investigating the case. Ortis, the 47-year-old director general of the RCMP’s national intelligence co-ordination centre, faces multiple charges under the Security of Information Act for allegedly preparing to share sensitive information with a foreign entity or terrorist organization. He’s also charged with sharing operational information back in 2015. Secrets in hands of alleged RCMP spy would cause ‘devastating’ damage to Canada, allies: documentsRCMP head says allies concerned, but supportive in wake of spy charges According to documents viewed by CBC, when officers covertly entered Ortis’s condo in August they found a piece of paper bearing the words “The Project”, handwritten and underlined, along with “John Lemon’s blog removing your pdf metadata.” Documents ‘sanitized’ That blog post walks users through the steps in clearing a PDF of its metadata, including the date on which it was created and the program used to make it. Officers scanned Ortis’s desktop files and determined that between Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 — days before his arrest — at least 25 documents “had been processed and sanitized to remove identifying information,” according to the documents seen by CBC. It’s not clear if investigators were able to recover that information. Cameron Ortis at his first court appearance in Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 13. The civilian employee with an RCMP intelligence team faces several charges under the Security of Information Act. (Sketch by Laurie Foster-MacLeod for CBC News)  “As our investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for us to comment,” said RCMP Sgt. Caroline Duval in an email to CBC.  Online data encryption, hailed by privacy advocates, has been a persistent thorn in the RCMP’s side. Former CSIS senior strategic analyst Jessica Davis, now president of Insight Threat Intelligence, said encryption often makes investigations harder, but not hopeless. “Getting access to the information to figure out what he was doing with those computers will be more challenging because of the encryption piece,” she said. “There are not always workarounds, but even when there are, it takes a long time to implement them.” RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki was warned about the RCMP’s inability to keep pace with encryption and organized crime online when she took the reins of the police service last year. “Increasingly, criminality is conducted on the internet and investigations are international in nature, yet investigative tools and RCMP capacity have not kept pace,” notes a memo prepared for Lucki and obtained through access to information.  Her predecessor, Bob Paulson, even lobbied the government for new powers to bypass digital roadblocks, including tools to get around encryption and warrantless access to internet subscriber information. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has maintained Canada has to strike a balance between privacy and the needs of law enforcement. Ortis had access to ‘highly protected’ information The documents shared with CBC say Ortis had material that, if released, would cause a “HIGH” degree of damage to Canada and its allies. “This type of information is among the most highly protected of national security assets, by any government standard, and goes to the heart of Canada’s sovereignty and security,” notes the report. The head of the RCMP said the national police force is working to limit security risks among Canada’s intelligence allies and is assessing potential operational damage in the wake of charges laid against one of its top intelligence officers. Ortis case linked to Vancouver firm that supplied secure cellphones to international criminalsRCMP surveying potential damage in wake of charges against top intelligence official Security services first got wind of Ortis through a separate probe of Phantom Secure Communications, a B.C.-based company under investigation for providing encrypted communication devices to international criminals, according to the documents. Ortis, who has been in custody since his arrest Sept. 12, is back in court in Ottawa Friday to set a bail hearing. The two other intelligence security agencies, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Communications Security Establishment, have so far deferred questions about the case to the RCMP. WATCH: From The National, How an alleged Canadian spy left investigators stunned: Restore player Twitter Identifier: mediaId 1610875971781 Bitrate: Undetermined Cameron Ortis’s career was all about secrets. Earlier this month he was accused of stealing them. 1:29 read more

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Football Former Ohio State defensive end Mike Kudla dead at 34

Former Ohio State defensive end Mike Kudla died Sunday at the age of 34, according to an announcement made by Highland Local Schools. Highland Local Schools Official Release on the Passing of Mike Kudla.Our prayers are with his family during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/T3EUtJnAc7— Nicholas A. Kovach (@TheKovach) July 16, 2018In his career, Kudla was a member of the 2002 Ohio State national championship team, winning two Big Ten championships in his collegiate career. He also is No. 14 in school history with 14.5 career sacks. During his senior season, Kudla was Ohio State’s defensive MVP, recording 41 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks during the 2005 season. He also was named a member of the first-team All-Big Ten after the season. In the final game of his collegiate career in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl between the Buckeyes and Notre Dame, the defensive lineman recorded a career-high three sacks and seven tackles against the Fighting Irish. After his career with the Buckeyes and a short professional stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kudla became the owner of Core Plex, where he developed medical facilities around the country. He also had been helping the NFL in finding ways to develop protocols in preventing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). read more

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Claims against Ohio State dropped in former diving club coach sexual abuse

Claims against the Ohio State Diving Club alleging the university did not take significant action to stop a former coach from sexually abusing a former athlete were dropped Wednesday, according to a report by the Associated Press.Former assistant diving coach William Bohonyi was accused of coercing a 16-year-old female athlete to engage in sex acts in July 2014, both on campus and during a competition in Maryland, in a lawsuit filed July 11 in Indianapolis federal district court. Bohonyi, the university’s diving club and USA Diving were named as defendants.Robert Allard, the attorney for one of the divers, said the dismissal “was based purely on procedural grounds” because the lawsuit was filed in Indiana. He said Ohio State said Indiana did not have proper jurisdiction over the university, and that he intends to file a new lawsuit in Ohio against Ohio State.As of Friday, no lawsuit has been filed against Ohio State in Ohio.“We continue to believe more than ever that there was a cover up of massive proportions and we intend to hold OSU fully accountable for its unconscionable conduct in failing to arrest and allowing a known predator to continue to molest children including our client,” Allard told The Lantern.Ohio State spokesman Ben Johnson had previously said the university immediately notified Franklin County Children’s Services, the Ohio State University Police Division, Maryland law enforcement and USA Diving about the abuse by Bohonyi when it first learned of the allegations in 2014.Johnson said on Friday that the university is pleased to be dismissed from the lawsuit.“We have always maintained that — fully consistent with our core value of protecting the safety and well-being of those we serve in our community — the university handled this matter appropriately,” Johnson said.The Lantern obtained records of Ohio State’s internal investigation and found conflicting accounts of the relationship between the club member and Bohonyi. Though investigators were not able to conclude, at the time, if sexual harassment claims were valid, the university found evidence to support a consensual romantic relationship between the two. Ohio State fired Bohonyi on Aug. 29, 2014 because the relationship violated university policy.The investigation conducted by Ohio State found the university first learned of the relationship on Aug. 10, 2014.According to the AP report, Bohonyi and USA Diving remain defendants in the lawsuit.The Lantern reached out for comment from Ohio State and Bohonyi, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.Updated at 11:16 p.m. on Friday to include the information from Robert Allard.Updated at 1:02 p.m. on Friday to include the statement from Ben Johnson. read more

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Football Ryan Day talks Urban Meyers return praises offensive line in Monday

Urban Meyer watches the 2018 Spring Game from the 50 yard line in Ohio Stadium on April 14. Credit: Nick Clarkson | Former Social Media EditorOhio State head coach Urban Meyer returned to his team in a coaching role for the first time since he was placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1. According to the ruling made by the Ohio State Board of Trustees, Meyer, despite his three-game suspension, is allowed to be with the team during the week leading up to the games until his suspension is complete. Acting head coach and offensive coordinator Ryan Day said in his press conference Monday that as soon as Meyer returned to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, everything went back to normal. “A lot of the coaches really hadn’t see him much, again, so a lot of embracing and ‘great to see you back,’” Day said. “But we got back to our meeting and we had our meeting and it was, kind of, business as usual.” Day said Meyer and the coaching staff debriefed Saturday’s 77-31 win against Oregon State and immediately started to set the game plan for Ohio State’s Big Ten season opener against Rutgers on Saturday. Despite not being allowed to communicate with the team, Meyer, according to Day, was “right in tune” with what had happened with the team during his absence.Meyer will be allowed to be around Ohio State until the start of Saturday and will be barred from communicating with the team in the 24-hour period. When Meyer is there, Day said the routine will stay the same, which he said is what the team did last week. Day said much of the game planning is done during the week. When it comes to the game on Saturday, he will just have to call predetermined plays from the sideline. “The decisions are almost made before we get there,” Day said.Meyer’s return to Ohio State is more of a “back to normal” feeling than anything, Day said. In terms of his reaction to the first game of the season, Day thought it was typical Meyer. “I think the comment that he made was, ‘You only had to punt once, huh?’” Day said. “‘That’s a pretty good day.’” Day gives credit to line for offensive success With Ohio State’s offense scoring 10 touchdowns and recording 721 yards of offense in Saturday’s win over Oregon State, Day complimented both the major contributors — redshirt junior running back Mike Weber and redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins — for their impact in the win. However, much like he described the coaching staff in Meyer’s absence, Day described the offensive success as a “collaborative effort” between the running backs, wide receivers, quarterbacks and the offensive line. “If there is a breakdown anywhere along the line that’s where, you know, you can disrupt a passing game,” Day said. “So we spend a lot of time talking about that and our offensive line and Coach Stud does a great job in protection. We have to block some really good guys on defense every day so that helps us in these situations. It is a collaborative effort.” Day also mentioned the offensive line creating holes to get running backs out into open space in the secondary, making safeties and corners miss with their speed. Haskins learns from interception against the Beavers Haskins came out of the locker room on Saturday focused on one aspect of his first collegiate start. It was not the 313 passing yards he threw, nor the five touchdowns he threw. It was the one throw he would have liked to have back. In the third quarter, Haskins threw a crossing route that was intercepted by Oregon State. With the lead already secure, Day said the throw was a learning experience for the first-time starting quarterback. “I think what happens is as you step up into the conference and some of the games get a little tighter, the decisions that you make become more and more consequential,” Day said. “So he needs to understand that. We all do.” Day said there was a bit of a breakdown by the offensive line in front of him, causing him to rush the throw on the crossing route. However, with the hustle after the play, Haskins forced a fumble that was recovered by the Beavers. Even though it was one of the only mistakes Haskins had on Saturday, Day considered the play remarkable just because of how Ohio State ended up stopping the Oregon State defender from scoring. “It was a crazy play, and the ball squirted out and two guys in particular if you go back and watch the film ended up getting him down was Binjimen Victor and Isaiah Prince and to see 59 running the length of the field to make that tackle was really amazing,” Day said. “It wasn’t a fun play to watch, it was a mess, but the effort on that play to get him down was remarkable.” read more

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Football Ohio State defensive line succeeding without need of Nick Bosa

Former defensive end Nick Bosa arrives at a practice at the StubHub Center on Dec. 28 in Carson, Calif. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorLOS ANGELES — For 10 games now, Ohio State has had to move on from junior defensive end Nick Bosa.Coming off a first-team All-Big Ten season, Bosa started the year strong with four sacks in the first 10 quarters of the season, forcing a fumble with two fumble recoveries before going down with a core muscle injury in the third quarter against TCU.Bosa then decided to drop out of school, focusing on the upcoming NFL Draft instead of returning to the Buckeyes.He has not been seen at anything associated with Ohio State since the decision on October 16. On Friday, Bosa returned to practice at the StubHub Center in Carson, California not in a jersey, but in street clothes, to a team that was preparing for the Rose Bowl, to a team that continued to play in his absence.With Bosa out, sophomore defensive end Chase Young became the next man up, taking over as the key weapon on the edge for the Buckeyes.“I think I had a pretty good year. I think I showed the country what I can do,” Young said. “It would have helped if Nick was here, but he wasn’t.”Young heads into the Rose Bowl with 32 tackles, 14.5 of which were for a loss, including 9.5 sacks. The tackles for loss and sacks were team highs, and good enough to earn him second-team All-Big Ten honors.Even with the uptick in stats, Young said having Bosa would have made a big impact on his capabilities.“If you have Nick on the other side, I think, with the first few games when we got double-teamed, he would have definitely given me a lot more one-on-ones,” Young said. “We could talk about what would happen if Nick could be here and stuff like that, but he wasn’t.”In the middle, redshirt junior defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones stepped up as well, coming into his final game as a Buckeye with 13 tackles for loss, including 8.5 sacks and first-team All-Big Ten honors.Jones announced he will forgo his final season of eligibility to join Bosa and enter the NFL Draft. He said his decision to return to Ohio State in 2018 did not revolve around playing alongside Bosa.“Nick has the name and popularity behind him, but I was happy to come back and play with [Jonathon Cooper] and Chase and [Davon Hamilton] and [Robert Landers] and the new freshmen coming in. It wasn’t about just Nick.”Without the star of the line, without the player expected to go as one of the first picks in the draft, Ohio State still finished No. 6, still finished as Big Ten champions and No. 2 in sacks per game in the Big Ten.Though the defensive line struggled at times to find an identity without a Bosa in the lineup for the first time in six years, by the time Bosa decided to come back and watch a practice, it was clear the team still went on and survived without him. read more

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Mens Volleyball Offensive struggles continue for Ohio State in straightset loss to

Redshirt sophomore Jake Hanes smacks the ground out of frustration after sending the ball out-of-bounds during Ohio State’s loss to George Mason on Jan. 18 at St. John Arena in Columbus. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Senior ReporterHoping to close out its nonconference schedule with a victory, the Ohio State men’s volleyball team struggled offensively against Penn State, falling in straight sets, 25-20, 25-18 and 25-23. The Buckeyes (7-15, 2-6 MIVA) totaled 10 fewer kills than Penn State (9-12, 6-2 EIVA) and were outplayed from the service stripe, bouncing three aces to the Nittany Lions’ eight.Sophomore opposite hitter Jake Hanes, Ohio State’s leading scorer with 202 kills on the season, managed nine kills and six errors on 22 attacks, good for a .136 hitting percentage. He added seven digs. Tuesday’s match marked just the second time this season Hanes has been held to single-digit kills, the first coming March 8 against UCLA, when he totaled seven.A kill by Hanes gave Ohio State a one-point margin over Penn State in the third set, but the Nittany Lions used three-straight points, including two Ohio State errors, to reclaim the 23-21 lead. A couple of attack errors by Penn State kept the Buckeyes’ spirits alive, but two service errors sunk any comeback opportunity for Ohio State, giving Penn State the 25-23 set victory 25-23 and seal the match. The final two Ohio State service errors of the match pushed the Buckeyes ahead of Penn State in the statistic, with Ohio State racking up 20 to the Nittany Lions’ 19. Yet the Buckeyes had just 11 attack errors compared to Penn State’s 13. With the second set tied at 12, Penn State used a kill by redshirt junior outside hitter Henrik Falck Lauten, an ace by freshman setter Cole Bogner and an Ohio State error to open up a 15-12 lead. The Nittany Lions continued to take advantage of errors by the Buckeyes, adding a kill by freshman outside hitter Brett Wildman and redshirt senior outside hitter Matthew McLaren to push their lead to 22-15. Two service errors and a kill by Hanes helped Ohio State keep pace, but kills by Bogner and redshirt junior middle blocker Jason Donorovich ensured a Penn State victory in the second set 25-18. Senior setter Sanil Thomas tallied seven of his 24 kills in the first set. Tuesday marked Thomas’ first start for the Buckeyes since Jan. 26 against Ball State. Along with his 24 assists, Thomas added two digs and an ace in his return to the starting rotation. Aces by Thomas and junior outside hitter Reese Devilbiss helped Ohio State tie Penn State at 17 in the first set, but kills by Falck Lauten and Donorovich re-established a Nittany Lion advantage. Two kills by freshman outside hitter Sean Ryan brought the Buckeyes back within three points of the Nittany Lions late in the set, but Penn State used a Buckeye attack error and a kill by freshman outside hitter Brett Wildman to close out the set, 25-20. Ohio State begins the second half of its conference schedule against Lindenwood at 7 p.m. Friday at St. John Arena. read more

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