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  • Geebo 9:29 am on April 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , selfies, voting   

    Off Topic Friday: Ballot Box Selfies 

    Voting_booths

    Love’ em or hate ‘em selfies are here to stay. They are a way of expression that almost an entire generation of young adults uses. A lot of these young adults are now registered voters and want to show their civic pride by taking a selfie in the voting booth or by the ballot box. While a number of states do allow these selfies many still do not. For example New York does allow the practice while neighboring New Jersey does not.  Many laws enacted to prevent photography in the polling place were made in order to discourage voter fraud but those were written decades ago. Do they still apply in today’s ‘photograph everything’ society?

    Mobile video sharing app Snapchat says no. Recently they filed a 28-page friend of the court brief in New Hampshire asking the Granite State to repeal their photography ban claiming it is a First Amendment right.

    What do you think? Are ballot box or voting booth selfies a protected form of expression or is it trivializing the voting process? Please leave your response.

     
  • Geebo 9:27 am on April 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Why you need a good resume 

    resume

    At Geebo we see a number of resumes submitted every day by people looking for employment. Unfortunately we also see a lot of resumes that would discourage an employer from looking at them. Too many times we see resumes that are severely lacking information or don’t have any information at all so we’d like to help our users in crafting a good resume.

    Google docs has a number of resume templates that are free to use. If you’re fortunate enough to own a copy of Microsoft Word there are resume templates there as well. If Word is out of your price range there are also a number of free alternatives to Word that are just as good. Or if you can afford it there are resume services that you can enlist. However, if you’d prefer to write one from scratch this article can help you get started.

    Lastly the best tip that can be given for writing a resume is to a use a professional sounding e-mail address in your contact information. It’s best to use some combination of your first and last name, After all you don’t want a potential employer to discard your resume after just seeing the e-mail address. Now go get that job.

     
  • Geebo 9:51 am on April 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gift cards, itunes, ,   

    New online scam uses iTunes gift cards 

    itunescard

    Police in Upstate New York are telling people to be aware of a new scam taking place on some online classifieds sites. According to authorities scam artists posing as online sellers of a vehicle are asking people to pay with iTunes gift cards. The ‘sellers’ instruct the buyers to call a toll-free number where they are then told to read off the serial numbers from the backs of the cards. The buyer is then out of their money and no vehicle is ever delivered.

    While this scam may only be localized to Upstate New York presently, it could certainly occur in any municipality. Scams like this also tend to ‘go on the road’ so to speak. When a scam is discovered by police in one area it could then easily move on to another. That is unfortunately the way in the digital world of today. The scam artists don’t even have to be in this country.  In too many cases people who have been swindled are often times left with no recourse. In the majority of instances in online commerce it’s often best to deal locally and with cash.

     
  • Geebo 10:35 am on April 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: mirror, reflection.,   

    Why you should be aware of your reflection when selling online 

    mirror

    There’s a very infamous piece of early internet lore where a man was trying to sell a tea kettle online. As the legend goes the man took a picture of the kettle but its well polished surface showed a reflection of the man who appeared to be in a state of undress.

    If you’re selling items online a reflection that results in some embarrassment could be the least of your concerns. Sometimes it only takes one piece of personal information for a skilled criminal to use it to their advantage for such crimes as identity theft or burglary.

    In order to avoid showing a reflection try using natural light instead of a flash or shooting the object from an angle instead of straight on. Not only will that keep you safer but it will also make the item look more appealing for sale.

     
  • Geebo 8:56 am on April 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: e.t., , Illinois, Lisle   

    Find of the Week: Full size E.T. replica 

    et

    Whether you’re a fan of science fiction or just movies in general you can now own a great piece of movie memorabilia. A Geebo seller out of Lisle, Illinois is offering a full size limited edition replica casting of E.T. from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial that was cast for the 10th Anniversary celebration. According to the seller it’s the last cast to directly come from Steven Spielberg’s warehouse and it’s said to be in excellent condition.

    No word on if it can be retrofitted with a walkie-talkie.

     
  • Geebo 11:53 am on April 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dodge, flagged ads, Minnesota, truck   

    ‘Mean mom’ sells daughter’s car online. Find out why. 

    1998DodgeRam

    A Minnesota woman calling herself ‘The World’s Meanest Mom’ recently sold her 15-year-old daughter’s truck online because she skipped class. Amy Adams of Almelund, Minnesota, put the 1998 Dodge Ram pick up truck for sale saying in the ad that her daughter has “decided that her grades don’t matter, that she can disrespect myself and her siblings on a daily basis, and that she has the right to skip school and run away from home.”

    However Ms. Adams’ daughter has not been without recourse. Exploiting a weakness in the website where the ad was placed, her daughter’s friends have been flagging the ad and have had it removed multiple times even though the ad is legitimate.

    With Geebo.com you don’t have to worry about your ad being flagged by pranksters and the like since Geebo ads are manually reviewed and approved by real people. At Geebo we not only strive to be safer that the competition but to provide a better service to our customers.

     
  • Greg Collier 2:43 pm on March 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cornell University, , New York University, , University of Maryland   

    Why Does Craigslist Make It Easy for Scammers to Find Victims? 

    Scams have long been – and probably always be – a part of our lives. From the smooth-talking snake oil salesmen of yesteryear to the Bernie Madoff schemes of a new generation, this criminal element has long preyed on the naive, the trusting types who buy into bargains that sound too good to be true because they are.

    Over the years, scammers have had to be quick on their feet, ready to run from a spurned customer looking for revenge or to skip town ahead of a sheriff with an arrest warrant. Today, the anonymity of the Internet allows scammers to not only avoid personal contact but also cast a wider net to a greater pool of victims under the guise of many different personas.

    It’s no surprise that thousands of those ads appear on craigslist. And it should also come as no surprise that craigslist does a poor job of identifying and removing those ads in a timely manner, leaving the door open for even more victims hours after ads are flagged.

    That’s according to a study jointly conducted at University of Maryland, New York University and Cornell University that closely examined the rental listings in 20 cities over a 141-day period to identify scams. In all, the researchers put together a series of formulas that was able to detect and identify about 29,000 scam listings, many of which followed patterns that made identifying them that much easier.

    That’s both good news and bad news. It’s good news because the researchers were able, in a short period of time, to produce a solution that could rid craigslist of many of these ads, saving some of its visitors from being exposed to them. The bad news is that a study of craigslist’s filtering and flagging systems for removing the ads was determined to be ineffective, with less than half of the ads identified by the research team actually being removed by craigslist during the test period.

    In a 18-page report, the research team explains that, while craigslist filtering system for taking down scam ads is largely inefficient, there are other ways that the site could take down and deter the scammers, including government fines for deceptive advertising or working with the credit card companies to stop them from collecting funds. Without the ability to collect money from unsuspecting victims, the scam itself is no longer worth the effort.

    But counting on craigslist to do the right thing, or to invest any real time or energy into making the site safer, is probably a long shot.

    At Geebo, we do our best to be proactive against scams, largely by partnering with many other sites so that we only post legitimate ads from known sources, whether home listings or cars for sale. Likewise, I have devoted a page on geebo.com to tips on how to avoid being a victim of a scam.

    At the end of the day, there will always be scammers and there will always be the types who fall for the scams, possibly because they’re naive or simply too trusting. One of the most important tips I provide my visitors is to follow their gut instincts – even if it means passing up a great deal or the perfect home. Your instinct will tell you that wiring thousands of dollars to a landlord who’s currently out of the country is probably a bad idea. Likewise, jumping through hoops to get an inside peek at an apartment should be a red flag.

    Neither I, nor craigslist, can offer a 100 percent guarantee that an ad isn’t a scam. Those types of criminals are creative and are always finding ways to get one over. But we can do our parts to make it harder for scammers to infiltrate our sites.

    Now that a team of university researchers have identified how to do that, we’ll see if craigslist takes action to make its site safer.

     
  • Greg Collier 3:32 pm on February 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Denver Broncos, , Peyton Manning, , scandal, sexual assault, , University of Tennessee, USA Today   

    Is Peyton Manning Benefitting from a news media’s double standard? 

    newsmediaIt’s tough to dislike Peyton Manning.

    In the NFL, Manning has been one of the types of players that make the league look good. On the field, he may be an aggressive and focused player but he’s also a good sport who rarely loses his cool. Off the field, he’s soft-spoken and mild-mannered, a poster child for the clean-cut All-American image that any sports team would happily put into the public spotlight and any sponsor would be comfortable with in a TV commercial.

    But now, as the Denver Broncos quarterback ponders retirement at the top of his professional game, an old story is surfacing about about a younger Peyton, a 20-year-old quarterback at the University of Tennessee who dropped his pants and pushed his genitals into the face of a female trainer who was examining his foot in a training room. He would later say that he was mooning another athlete — but the incident led to a settlement that kept the story quiet. After all, he was a star quarterback on the rise and his school or family didn’t want to see his image tarnished.

    In 2003, years before Twitter or Facebook would help stories spread across the Internet quickly, the incident surfaced again after Manning mentioned it in his and his father’s autobiography. USA Today picked up the details and published a story about it back then – but the story didn’t really gain any traction with any other news outlets.

    Now, just days after the Super Bowl, the incident came to light again when the New York Daily News published a story that declared that Manning’s “squeaky clean image was built on lies.” Granted, that’s a little sensationalistic – but you would think that, with a headline like that, the national sports media would dig into the story and bring it to light. You would think that people across Twitter and Facebook would be sharing this story and chiming in the way they did with Tom Brady’s Deflategate scandal or Ray Rice’s infamous elevator video.

    Instead, they’re talking about Donald Trump and leaving Peyton Manning alone.

    Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith recently chimed in to blame the news media for intentionally turning a blind eye on Peyton’s sexual scandal story. The media was all over Deflategate, as well as the Ray Rice video story. But national media has been slow to come out with their own versions of the story, even though the court documents that offer details of the incident are readily available.

    Personally, I’m torn about Peyton’s actions from 20 years ago, Part of me feels like the incident was an isolated one that involved poor judgement by a young athlete. Should we really be acting like judge and jury about an incident that occurred so long ago? Isn’t it better to move on and judge Peyton by the legacy he’s built during his NFL years?

    In some ways, it feels hypocritical to give Peyton Manning a free pass for something that happened years ago when we as a society are unforgiving of a man like Bill Cosby, who is facing serious allegations about sexual assaults that occurred many years ago. I realize that the allegations against Cosby were far more serious and were not limited to a single incident or person. But what’s the threshold for holding someone responsible for something that happened many years ago? Is it OK to give Peyton a pass when we’re not willing to do that for others?

    There’s no easy answer to this question but it feels like the news media is choosing to answer this question for us. By not reporting the story, by not digging deeper into the incident, by not putting Peyton on the hot seat to address it, the news media is telling the general public that this Peyton Manning scandal isn’t really that big of a deal.

    I’d rather see the news media invest some resources into this story – just as it would with other scandals – and let the public determine its worthiness. If the story resonates with the public, then maybe it’s worth digging in deeper. If the public doesn’t care or otherwise respond to the story, then news editors – who hold the power to determine what people know about and what they don’t – will have an answer to that question.

    Until the media does its job of reporting the news, the general public will never be able to make its own determination about whether Peyton’s squeaky clean image has been tarnished or whether an incident that occurred in the past should stay there.

     
    • sandrea Reynolds 8:50 pm on February 26, 2016 Permalink

      You know the media has to protect that squeaky clean image of that white boy spoiled degenerate.

  • Greg Collier 4:09 pm on November 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Donald Trump, , First Amendment, Press, University of Missouri   

    Freedom of the Press is Freedom for the People 

    The press has often been referred to as the Fourth Estate of government, a powerful entity that has long served as the eyes, ears and voice of the public, the watchdog charged with asking tough questions and revealing the truth, no matter how much some might not like it.

    With that said, it should come as no surprise that politicians are traditionally among those who most often battle with the press – especially in an election season. And this season, what with colorful candidates such as Donald Trump in the lineup, the press has frequently taken the blame when news stories put the candidates under a negative spotlight. So far this season, Trump has engaged in public battles with the New York Times, NBC, Fox News, Univision and even the Wall Street Journal – and the election is still almost a year away.

    Despite their battles with the press, politicians do have an understanding that freedom of the press is among the most sacred of rights that Americans have. Politicians may try to control the line of questioning or the focus of the story and even might play favorites among media outlets. But they understand that significance of the First Amendment and the right that the media have in chronicling the events of the day.

    That’s the most disturbing attack against the press this year didn’t actually occur on the campaign trail. Instead, it took place during the midst of an historic event at the University of Missouri. Senior university administrators resigned earlier this year after campus protests raised awareness about a series of racially charged incidents that the university was slow to respond to. The resignations were seen a huge victory for the protesters..

    But when journalists converged on a public area of the campus to chronicle the event, a large group of people blocked members of the press from the self-declared “safe zone” of campus and, in one video that went viral, verbally berated student journalists sent to the scene to cover the event. In particular, a professor was caught on camera trying to force a journalist out of the area, even calling out for “some muscle” to physically remove the journalist.

    In some scenarios, when journalists are chronicling an event where passions run deep and everyday citizens are caught up in the moment, it’s easy to understand that not everyone understands the type of rights that come with the First Amendment. But that should be no excuse for a college professor, a woman who holds multiple degrees and, in a ironic twist, actually teaches classes in communications? She should have known better than to try to physically remove a member of the press from any public event in any public location.

    Sure, it’s easy to understand why people have a lack of trust in the press. In today’s online world of news, the various outlets are all trying to get more clicks than their rivals and use baiting headlines and out-of-context soundbites to lure in more readers. The outlets are accused of having an agenda, of writing slanted stories and using selective information to tell the stories they want. Sometimes, it’s so blatant that it’s hard to defend the press.

    But it’s never an excuse for blatantly dismissing the First Amendment of the Constitution.

    The news media plays an important role in our society and, with the rise of the Internet and video-equipped smartphones, even everyday citizens are taking on the role of journalist. No where does it say in the Constitution that the First Amendment only applies to credentialed reporters and photographers.

    That’s why it’s so important to protect the First Amendment. It doesn’t just protect credentialed journalists. It protects everyone who witnesses and records an event – whether through words, photos or video.

    It’s the job of all of us to make sure we preserve that right.

     
  • Greg Collier 3:11 pm on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cook County, , , MasterCard, , sex trafficking, Sheriff Tom Dart, Visa   

    Defending what’s Wrong for the Right Reasons 

    It’s been many years since Geebo removed its personal ads section and I’m happy to say that, over the years, many other sites have followed. But not all of them. One, in particular, has continued to successfully fight legal efforts to shut down the site’s personals section, considered a facilitator of illegal prostitution and sex-trafficking industries.

    That site is Backpage.com and, under most circumstances, I’d use some pretty choice words to express my feelings about the site and its legal team, which invokes the First Amendment to protect its sex-ad revenue pipeline, even at the expense of human lives.

    But this week, as Backpage finds itself back in court over another effort to derail the questionable ads, I find myself having to support Backpage in its legal battle – not because I support what they do but because America is a land of laws and I believe that even the government – especially the government – should abide by them.

    In this case, the government comes in the form of Sheriff Tom Dart of Cook County, Illinois. In his effort to cut off the lifeline of Backpage’s advertising business, he sent letters to both MasterCard and Visa, calling on them to cease business with the site over concerns about the adult services section of the site – and a short time later, they did just that.

    To me, those letters sure do feel like government overreach, a threat by the head of the law-enforcement agency of the second-largest county in the nation. Naturally, Backpage wants a court injunction forcing Dart to rescind the letters, which is what a federal judge will be considering during a hearing later this week, according to USA Today.

    Meanwhile, the site has filed suit against the sheriff, accusing him of violating free speech rights of individuals who use the service to post ads, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    As much as I would love to see Visa and MasterCard pull the plug on Backpage once and for all, just as American Express has already done, the credit card companies would need to decide that out of moral conscience or what’s best for business or even and organized public pressure campaign. But this sheriff should not be allowed to bully the largest credit card companies a key player in the financial engine that keeps the dollars flowing in and out of a business, so long as that business is operating within the law.

    It pains me to note Backpage’s success in fighting off legal efforts to take it down, but, by all rights, this latest effort should be a clean win for them again. The courts should grant the injunction and force Sheriff Dart to rescind his letters.

    If that happens, I can only hope that MasterCard and Visa executives decide that doing business with Backpage isn’t worth the headaches that come with their relationship and they’ll just keep those ties severed for good.

    Then, I’ll truly feel like I’m back on the side of good again.

     
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