17 IMAGES THAT PROVE WE LIVE IN A DYSTOPIAN HELL

17 IMAGES THAT PROVE WE LIVE IN A DYSTOPIAN HELL -

 

 

 


10 Families That Control This World and Our Lives

10 Families That Control This World and Our Lives

 

You have probably heard the theory that almost all the money in the world is controlled by the richest families. Some of them spend it on things they want and others prefer to live quiet lives. But there is one thing that is similar among all of them: their social status and their position in society that is surrounded by many mysteries. Some people think that these clans control the presidents of all the countries and the entire world.

The Rockefellers

There are legends around the amount of money the Rockefellers have. Nobody knows the exact number but according to different sources, it is estimated to be from $1 to 3 trillion. The family became famous thanks to John Rockefeller, the first ever millionaire. At the end of the 19th century, the family controlled 90% of the entire oil market in the US. Almost all modern oil companies of the US began with the Rockefellers.

Both world wars only made the family’s situation better. They helped both the German side and the allies. Now, aside from the banks and the oil, the Rockefellers do charity and earn cryptocurrency.

Conspiracy theorists believe that the members of the Rockefeller family are the chairmen of a secret world government and they follow the idea of the “Golden billion.”

The Morgans

Multiple political theories believe that the Morgans determine the political course of the US and control all the banks in the world.

The first person in the Morgan clan John Pierpont Morgan started the first financial empire in the US. He sold weapons during the Civil War and was almost prosecuted for that. And in 1907, he stopped the collapse of the banking system.

Even now, the Morgans are one of the most influential families in the banking sphere. They have branches not only in the US but also in Europe. Some members of the family also used to control General Motors and General Electric.

The House of Saud

The House of Saud is the royal dynasty that has been ruling Saudi Arabia since 1932. The head of the family is king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the number of family members in this dynasty is about 25,000.

The head of the family has the absolute political power and family members have important governmental and military positions. The family members of the House of Saud can get any job they want inside the country. They also control about 20% of the global oil reserves.

The Rothschilds

The Rothschilds were one of the richest families in the world at the time of Napoleon. The dynasty was started by Mayer Amschel Rothschild. In Germany, he set up a huge banking business and created his own financial empire. When he was dying, Amschel left a will for his heirs where he expressed his views on how the empire should be controlled and the Rothschilds have been following these rules for more than 200 years.

There are have been a lot of different theories and rumors around their family. Some people say that they control all the money in the world and all the financial institutions. Others think that the Rothschilds sponsor and encourage most of the wars.

The amount of money the Rothschilds have is estimated to be around $2 trillion. They make investments, control trading and banking, and they own several vineyards and companies that produce oil and gas.

The Baruchs

The Baruchs have less money than the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers but they definitely have way more influence. Bernard Baruch, the person who started this clan, was the advisor for 5 US presidents and a close friend of Sir Winston Churchill. He was the person who came up with the term “Cold War,” and he controlled the inventions of the atomic bomb. Some people think he was the person who created the world government.

There is very little information about the heir of the Baruch empire. He had 2 daughters and a son. His son, Bernard Baruch Jr. died in the 90s. There is no information about the grandchildren of Bernard. Some people believe that they are hidden on purpose and that they still control the US government.

The Waltons

In 1962, Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store. This was how he made himself one of the richest people in the world. Over time, the Walmart chain became the biggest chain store in the US.

After Sam Walton’s death, the company has been controlled by his wife and 4 children. Aside from the supermarkets, the family controls Arvest Bank and they also own a collection of art pieces and run a family charity fund.

The House of Windsor

The House of Windsor is the royal family of Great Britain. Currently, the head of the Windsor family is Queen Elizabeth II. She is the head of the Church and the Commander in Chief of Great Britain’s military forces.

Aside from Great Britain, Elizabeth II is the reigning monarch of 15 independent countries. Any politician would be jealous of the Queen’s ratings and there is nothing surprising about that. All the members of the royal family live modest lives, serve in the military, and do charity work.

The Murdochs

The Murdochs started building their empire in Australia. Keith Murdoch was a political journalist in one of Melbourne’s newspapers. When Keith attained the position of the editor he increased the sales of the newspaper and later became the CEO.

His son Rupert was also a journalist. Once they had control of all of Australia’s leading media, they created News Corporation. Now, the Murdochs own 20th Century Fox, Fox News, Myspace, and Dow Jones. News Corporation was sued for illegal phone tapping of the royal family, celebrities, and bribery of the police and special forces.

Rupert is a very popular person in pop culture. He became the prototype of the villain in Tomorrow Never Dies, the TV series, Succession, and was mentioned in The Big Bang Theory and The Simpsons.

The Oppenheimers

The Oppenheimers own most of the world’s gold reserves. The first person in the clan, Ernest Oppenheimer, moved to Kimberley, South Africa where he became the mayor of the town and then the head of one of the diamond companies. Soon, he monopolized the world diamond market.

Now, the diamond empire is ruled by Ernest’s grandson Nicky Oppenheimer. The family produces and sells not only diamonds but also gold, iron, platinum, and industrial minerals.

The Pritzkers

This family of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine moved from Kiev to Chicago in 1881. The Pritzkers own the Hayat corporation. This is a hospitality company that sells hotels and tours to resorts. The company owns 777 hotels in 54 countries.

The Pritzkers have their own architecture award and now live in Chicago where they opened their architecture school. This family determines the way the city looks.

 


Google Employees No Longer Believe The Company Places Values Over Profits

Google Employees No Longer Believe The Company Places Values Over Profits

 

 

Google employees are calling on the company to cancel Project Dragonfly, an effort to create a censored search engine in China.

"Many of us accepted employment at Google with the company's values in mind, including its previous position on Chinese censorship and surveillance, and an understanding that Google was a company willing to place its values above its profits," an open letter signed by Google employees published Tuesday on Medium says. "After a year of disappointments including Project Maven, Dragonfly, and Google's support for abusers, we no longer believe this is the case."

Eleven Google employees had signed the letter as of its posting, and the number of signatures quickly grew, amounting to more than 100 several hours after it published. By 5 p.m. West Coast time, the letter had 300 signatures.

Project Dragonfly has drawn criticism from human rights groups and U.S. politicians since The Intercept first reported details about the internal effort this summer, and in August, thousands of Google employees signed a letter saying that it raised "urgent moral and ethical issues." Google CEO Sundar Pichai responded by saying publicly that the company is "very early" in its plans but that its experiments found that it could "serve well over 99 percent" of search queries in China. Meanwhile, Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy said last week that doing business in China requires compromising "core values."

In their open letter, the Google employees wrote that "leadership's response has been unsatisfactory" so far, and called for "transparency, clear communication, and real accountability." They published the letter in alignment with a petition and day of protests from campaign group Amnesty International.

Google originally withdrew its search service from China in 2010due to increased concerns about cyberattacks and censorship. Since then, the Chinese government has increasingly curtailed what its citizens can or and can't do online by blacklisting websites and access to information about certain historical events — like the 1989 protests at Tiananmen Square — and requiring people who use online forums to register with their real names.

Google's Chinese search app would have reportedly complied with demands to remove content that the government ruled sensitive and linked users' searches to their personal phone numbers. Critics say that by cooperating with the Chinese government, Google would have violated principles of free expression as well as users' privacy rights.

"We object to technologies that aid the powerful in oppressing the vulnerable, wherever they may be," the letter says. "Dragonfly in China would establish a dangerous precedent at a volatile political moment, one that would make it harder for Google to deny other countries similar concessions."

A Google spokesperson said in a statement the company's work on search has been exploratory and that it's "not close" to launching a product out of Project Dragonfly.

Two of the original signers of the public letter were among a core group of organizers behind an international walkout of Google employees earlier this month. In the past year, the tech industry generally and Google employees in particular have shown an unusually high level of labor organizing, with employees sounding off about multiple workplace issues, including diversity and controversial company business contracts.

Google made changes to its sexual harassment and misconduct policies after employees staged massive walkouts earlier this month (though the company ignored several of the organizers' demandslike adding an employee representative to Alphabet's board)

Here's the full letter from Google employees:

We are Google employees and we join Amnesty International in calling on Google to cancel project Dragonfly, Google's effort to create a censored search engine for the Chinese market that enables state surveillance.

We are among thousands of employees who have raised our voices for months. International human rights organizationsand investigative reporters have also sounded the alarm, emphasizing serious human rights concerns and repeatedly calling on Google to cancel the project. So far, our leadership's response has been unsatisfactory.

Our opposition to Dragonfly is not about China: we object to technologies that aid the powerful in oppressing the vulnerable, wherever they may be. The Chinese government certainly isn't alone in its readiness to stifle freedom of expression, and to use surveillance to repress dissent. Dragonfly in China would establish a dangerous precedent at a volatile political moment, one that would make it harder for Google to deny other countries similar concessions.

Our company's decision comes as the Chinese government is openly expanding its surveillance powers and tools of population control. Many of these rely on advanced technologies, and combine online activity, personal records, and mass monitoring to track and profile citizens. Reports are already showing who bears the cost, including Uyghurswomen's rights advocates, and students. Providing the Chinese government with ready access to user data, as required by Chinese law, would make Google complicit in oppression and human rights abuses.

Dragonfly would also enable censorship and government-directed disinformation, and destabilize the ground truth on which popular deliberation and dissent rely. Given the Chinese government's reported suppression of dissident voices, such controls would likely be used to silence marginalized people, and favor information that promotes government interests.

Many of us accepted employment at Google with the company's values in mind, including its previous position on Chinese censorship and surveillance, and an understanding that Google was a company willing to place its values above its profits. After a year of disappointments including Project Maven, Dragonfly, and Google's support for abusers, we no longer believe this is the case. This is why we're taking a stand.

We join with Amnesty International in demanding that Google cancel Dragonfly. We also demand that leadership commit to transparency, clear communication, and real accountability. Google is too powerful not to be held accountable. We deserve to know what we're building and we deserve a say in these significant decisions.

 


10 Incredibly Curious Food Lawsuits

10 Incredibly Curious Food Lawsuits

When it comes to lawsuits concerning the food industry, someone has to be in the wrong. Often, we’ll find that a company is trying to deceive its customers, but in some cases, the customers themselves can make some pretty outlandish claims.

While it’s true that most lawsuits are pretty straightforward, a select few of them stood out and made headlines across the world. Some were justified class-action lawsuits, while others just seem like feeble attempts at suing the food industry for something they weren’t responsible for. Here are ten utterly ridiculous, absurd, and astonishing lawsuits that involved the food industry.

 

10 The Amount Of Ginger In Canada Dry

Photo credit: Canada Dry

Ginger ale is often used to remedy common stomachaches and fevers because of the carbonation and, of course, the (naturally medicinal) ginger. Yet, in 2018, Julie Fletcher noticed a lack of the word “ginger” in Canada Dry’s list of ingredients and filed a federal lawsuit. The stated ingredients used to make Canada Dry are: carbonated water, high-fructose corn syrup, citric acid, sodium benzoate, natural flavors, and caramel color. According to her lawyer, Michael J. DeBenedictis, Fletcher believed that Canada Dry was using ginger root in their soda and thus believed that it would be a healthier alternative than regular sodas.

The company’s argument was that ginger is used in the process to make the “natural flavoring” that is listed in the ingredients. One factor that may have confused Fletcher further was a Canada Dry commercial that was aired back in 2011 which depicts a farmer and a crop of ginger. It certainly doesn’t help if the label says “Made from Real Ginger,” either.

A similar lawsuit against Dr Pepper (which makes Canada Dry) was filed in Missouri. Lab tests revealed that Canada Dry did not contain any ginger. The company argued that just because the lab tests couldn’t detect ginger doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. That suit was ultimately dismissed at the request of the plaintiff.[1]

9 Popeyes Sued By Customer After He Choked On Their Food


Usually, when someone chokes on their food, it’s because they ate it too fast or were negligent in making sure it was chewed thoroughly before swallowing. Apparently, this was not the case when a man from Mississippi filed a lawsuit against Popeyes. His complaint? He had to eat a large piece of fried chicken with his hands because of the fact that he didn’t get a knife with his drive-thru order, which ultimately made him choke on his food.

According to Paul Newton Jr., the man who sued Popeyes for this injustice, he only received a spork when the incident occurred late 2015. He ordered two chicken breasts with red beans and rice, a biscuit, and a soft drink. As with any order, the food came with napkins, packets of salt and pepper, and a spork. While driving back to his office, he started eating his food by using his spork to eat his beans and rice. Since he didn’t have a plastic knife with his food, he resorted to eating the chicken with his bare hands, which was (according to him) why he started to severely choke on his meal.

In addition to suing Popeyes for not including a plastic knife with his meal, Newtown also sought financial compensation for his pain and suffering and medical expenses since they had to perform emergency surgery to remove the piece of chicken from his throat. In the end, however, Newton dropped the suit.[2]

 

8 McDonald’s Sued For Millions Over Two Slices Of Cheese


In 2018, two Florida residents filed a $5 million lawsuit against the fast food giant, claiming that they’ve been charging customers up to $1 extra for pieces of cheese on their hamburgers that they didn’t ask for or receive. Leonard Werner was the one who realized that McDonald’s was charging him extra for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese while still giving him a cheese-less hamburger, as he requested.

According to Werner, the McDonald’s app menu includes a cheese-less Quarter Pounder, but their actual restaurant menus don’t. This means that up to 25 million customers may have been overcharged, and if the judge sides with the plaintiffs in this case, they could all be eligible to receive $10 and a free sandwich. Yet, McDonald’s is confident that won’t happen. In their opinion, the case is “without legal merit.”[3]

7 Fruitless Froot Loops


Back in 2009, a man by the name of Roy Werbel made headlines when he tried to sue Kellogg’s for their dastardly marketing that led him to believe there was actual, nutritious fruit in Froot Loops. The case got dismissed without prejudice because of the fact that Werbel had not successfully served Kellogg’s. It wasn’t long before he came back to start things up again and make sure that he served Kellogg’s correctly. Yet, Werbel still faced bigger problems with the lawsuit than just serving the defendant the right way . . .

Two federal judges made some valid points in the previous lawsuit. First of all, the word “Froot” cannot be interpreted as suggesting that there’s real fruit in the cereal. “Froot” isn’t real, and real fruit cannot come in the form of “loops.” There have been at least four cases made against Kellogg’s about Froot Loops (counting Werbel’s twice) over this same false assumption.[4]

6 Greek Yogurt That Isn’t Greek Enough


The makers of Chobani Greek Yogurt found themselves in hot water back in 2014 when two men sued them, claiming that there was absolutely nothing Greek about their products. According to them, Chobani’s Greek Yogurt is about as nutritious as a fudge ice cream bar. This is actually true, considering the fact that it shares the same amount of sugar (16 grams) as a Nestle Fudge ice cream bar. They also argued that none of Chobani’s products are even made in Greece and that they create further confusion among customers by placing a “0%” on their label without actually elaborating on what it represents.

The two men who filed the class-action lawsuit are Barry Stoltz from Scarsdale and Allan Chang from Queens. They sought an unspecified amount of compensation for damages after being tricked into believing that the “0%” on the label meant that there are zero calories/sugar. (The “0%” actually means that the product is nonfat.) Chobani did hit back at Stoltz and Chang, saying that the word “Greek” on their yogurt products simply refers to the way they make their yogurt, not where it’s from. They also pointed out that they’d managed to get a similar suit dismissed in California.[5]

 

5 The ‘Fast Food Made Me Fat!’ Lawsuit


In 2002, a 56-year-old man from New York named Caesar Barber filed a class-action lawsuit against multiple fast food companies, including KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s, for jeopardizing his health with their unhealthy food. Barber’s lawsuit claims that the fast food restaurants, where he says he used to eat at four to five times a week (even after suffering a severe heart attack), did not properly disclose all the ingredients in their food to him. In an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America, he said that “they never explained to him what he was eating.”

According to Barber’s lawyer, Samuel Hirsch, the fast food industry has the responsibility to warn their customers of the dangers of consuming their food. It is Barber’s opinion that the fast food companies involved caused him to sustain serious injuries, including two heart attacks, and made him diabetic. A spokesperson for the food industry could hardly believe that Barber made his legal argument with a straight face. While some nutrition advocates and doctor’s groups insist that the food industry should take some responsibility for the obesity epidemic, Barber’s lawsuit was the first known legal action to claim that the fast food industry knowingly contributed to the obesity problem in the United States.[6] A judge threw Barber’s case out in 2003.

4 The ‘There’s Sugar In Jelly Beans?’ Lawsuit

Photo credit: Gluten Free Is Life

In 2017, a woman from California filed suit against the makers of Jelly Belly jelly beans for tricking her into believing that one of their products was free of sugar. Her name is Jessica Gomez, and her complaint is about Jelly Belly’s Sport Beans, which are marketed as an exercise supplement containing carbs, vitamins, and electrolytes.[7] The problem is that the ingredients list does not specify sugar as an ingredient but instead uses the phrase “evaporated cane juice.”

Gomez’s class-action lawsuit claims that the wording used on the label is in violation of the state’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Business Practices Law, and False Advertising Law and that it is designed to intentionally confuse customers who are health-conscious. Jelly Belly called the case “nonsense” in a notion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying that no reasonable customer would miss the amount of sugar content listed on their product’s “Nutrition Facts” panel. However, the Food and Drug Administration is on Gomez’s side; in 2016, they stated that the term “juice” shouldn’t be used unless it’s referring to that of a fruit or vegetable.

3 Krispy Kreme’s Falsely Advertised Ingredients


A man from Los Angeles filed a lawsuit against Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in 2016, claiming that they’d falsely advertised the ingredients of their fruit-filled and maple-glazed doughnuts. Jason Saidian sought $5 million in damages from the pastry chain for the nonexistence of the “premium ingredients” advertised in their products. According to Saidian, Krispy Kreme conducts “false and misleading business practices” because of the fact that their “Chocolate Iced Raspberry Filled,” “Glazed Raspberry Filled,” “Maple Bar,” and “Glazed Blueberry Cake” doughnuts don’t actually contain any real raspberries, maple, or blueberries.[8]

Saidian said that he felt cheated because the company had used real fruit in other items, like the “Glazed Lemon Filled” and “Glazed Strawberry Filled” doughnuts. He also said that if he had known that the other doughnuts did not contain any actual maple syrup, raspberries or blueberries, he wouldn’t have bothered to purchase them. The case was voluntarily dismissed in 2017.

2 The ‘Nutella Isn’t A Health Food?’ Lawsuit


In 2012, the makers of Nutella, Ferrero USA, lost a class-action lawsuit against a parent who claimed that she was fooled into thinking that it was good for her kids. As part of the settlement, any US citizen who purchased a bottle of Nutella between January 1, 2008, and February 3, 2012, can file a claim. (California residents had different dates, specifically between August 1, 2009, and January 23, 2012.) Customers had until July 5, 2012, to file claims for up to five jars of Nutella, and they could expect to receive $4 back per jar, for a maximum compensation of $20 per household.

Athena Hohenberg, the Californian parent who proposed the class-action lawsuit, said that she fed her four-year-old daughter Nutella after she saw the advertisements which suggested that the spread was part of a healthy breakfast. She was shocked to find out that Nutella was, in fact, practically a candy bar. The lawsuit certainly underwent some degree of ridicule across the Internet, but the makers of Nutella agreed that their marketing campaign was misleading. Ever since then, Nutella has changed their labels and advertisements to better inform their customers of the chocolate spread’s contents.[9]

1 Subway’s Footlongs Come Up Short

Photo credit: Matt Corby/Facebook

Back in 2013, a teen from Australia took a photo of his Subway footlong sandwich next to a tape measure, in which the sandwich only measured up to 28 centimeters (11 in) instead of the promised 30 centimeters (12 in) usually portrayed in the media. His post sparked public outrage and went viral, which led to a class-action lawsuit. In 2016, Subway settled and promised to make sure that their bread rolls would be at least 12 inches to ensure more uniformity in their bread. The suing attorneys were just about to make $520,000 in fees, when the director for the center for Class Action Fairness at the Competitive Enterprise Institute objected to the settlement. According to him, the class in the class-action lawsuit received “negligible to no relief.”

The judge involved with the case agreed that the settlement didn’t benefit anyone but the attorneys involved. Ultimately, the settlement got thrown out in 2017. This was because of a few key facts that made the case quite weak. In the first place, the majority of the bread that was being sold at Subway restaurantswas at least 12 inches long, and anything that didn’t reach that length only missed it by a quarter of an inch. Also, all the raw dough sticks used to bake the bread sold at Subway restaurants weigh exactly the same. Due to the natural process involved with baking the bread, the final results could leave some loaves slightly shorter and wider than others. Lastly, the amount of meat and cheese included with each and every sandwich is standardized, which means that a sandwich that is slightly shorter than 12 inches still contains the same amount of meat and cheeses as it would have if it measured up to 12 inches.[10]


What The Year 2018 Should Look Like, According To Science Fiction

What The Year 2018 Should Look Like, According To Science Fiction

Between false alarms of nuclear bombings, the outing of predators, and a president who uses Twitter to address the country, 2018 already feels like a dystopian future to many. Movies about the future did not prepare us for this type of world. According to movies set in 2018, we should be living in a desert wasteland, fighting each other to the death, and fending off an alien invasion in Europe. In a twisted way, 2018 according to science fiction helps alleviate some of the anxiety that accompanies living in actual 2018. Some of the things that works of science fiction predicted - such as a second civil war - are much more horrifying than the reality in which we live.

Some of the greatest science fiction films may not accurately predict the future, but they do serve as an advisory on how society can progress if certain elements are left unchecked. Plenty of predictions sci-fi has made in the past have not come to pass, and hopefully in the next year, none of these (with the exception of curing AIDS and cancer) will come to fruition, either.


10 Mind-Blowing Things That Happened Last Week

10 Mind-Blowing Things That Happened Last Week

 

And what a way to start a week. For a few, brief, terrifying minutes last weekend, it looked like the state of Hawaii was about to vanish in a cloud of radioactive dust and nuclear fire. Thankfully, it turned out to be a false alarm. But elsewhere, nearly as crazy stories were unfolding. This time, they were the real thing.

10 Hawaii Got A Taste Of Armageddon

Photo via Wikimedia

Very few of us will ever experience the feeling of knowing with absolute certainty that we and everyone we love is about to be annihilated in a sea of fire. Very few of us, that is, who aren’t residents of Hawaii. On Saturday, the island’s official warning system sent out text messages and broadcast the words: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. This is not a test.” Understandably, residents went into panic mode.

As you’re probably aware from the fact that Hawaii isn’t currently a smoldering pile of ruins, the alert was a false alarm. Some bozo at the department had pushed the wrong button. Not a big deal, you might think, but you’d be wrong. Thanks to a terribly designed system, Hawaiian officials couldn’t send out an update for 38 whole minutes.[1]

For hundreds of people, that meant 38 minutes of panic unlike anything they’ll ever experience again. We can only imagine how it felt to be faced with imminent death, only to realize that they were going to live after all.

9 One Of Britain’s Largest Companies Collapsed

Photo credit: The Guardian

There are rumblings that it’s the next Lehman Brothers. A canary in the coal mine for a coming crisis. At the time British outsourcing behemoth Carillion collapsed on Monday, it had just £29 million banked against £1.5 billion in debt. It also had a workforce of over 40,000 whose jobs affected almost every aspect of British life. When the company imploded, the UK government found itself facing disaster.

Carillion worked by outsourcing its government contracts. It was responsible for paying people who did everything in Britain from maintaining veterans’ homes to serving school meals to building landmark national projects such as the rail network High Speed 2 (HS2). It owed some 30,000 small businesses money and held 13 separate pension pots covering thousands. At the time of this writing, it’s still not totally clear who will go bust and who will be bailed out by the taxpayers.

The Carillion collapse is a shameful black mark against Westminster. The company issued three profit warnings in the last year, yet it was continually handed lucrative government contracts. Following its collapse, Carillion’s directors attempted to use the remaining money to reward their failure with massive bonuses.[2]

8 Denmark Charged 1,000 Teenagers With Sex Offenses

Before we start this entry, it’s worth clarifying that the age of consent in Denmark is 15. This will become relevant shortly. On Tuesday, Danish police charged over 1,000 teenagers for sharing child pornography in a dragnet operation that’s probably one of the largest sex stings in legal history. The age of the two children shown having sex in the video? Fifteen.

The video was shared on Facebook, so the company tipped off the Danish police. It’s not known if the featured teens consented to being filmed and having the video shared or if it was distributed as a form of revenge porn. Nevertheless, many who subsequently shared the video were under 18 themselves. They now face charges relating to indecent images of children and could potentially receive up to six years in jail.[3]

It’s hard to know what to make of this case. Revenge porn is obviously an awful thing, and even unwitting distribution of underage videos can lead to real-world abuse. But when the act is legally consensual and those sharing the video are likely less malicious than they are stupid, is large-scale criminalization of kids really the best response?

7 The World Bank Was Accused Of Rigging Its Rankings Against Chile

Photo credit: bloomberg.com

The World Bank’s Doing Business Report is an important tool for investors. It ranks every country in the world against a series of data points to show how easy it is to set up shop there. The rankings can potentially affect inward investment into a nation and thus have to be unimpeachably fair. At least, that’s the idea. This week, it was revealed that the World Bank may have been deliberately rigging its rankings to damage Chile.

The controversy centers on Chile’s ranking during the socialist presidency of Michelle Bachelet. In each of the two, nonconsecutive terms Bachelet served, Chile’s ranking plunged. When her right-wing rival, Sebastian Pinera, took over, it jumped back up. While Bachelet’s policies were undoubtedly less pro-business than Pinera’s, it’s now alleged that the World Bank exaggerated the difference to damage her presidency.

This would just be a case of sour grapes were it not for two key details. First, the chief economist of the World Bank recalculated Chile’s rankings and found that they had indeed been manipulated. And two, one of Pinera’s close associates sits on the Doing Business Report’s advisory board. The bank has now ordered an internal investigation.[4]

6 One Of Kosovo’s Top Serb Politicians Was Assassinated

Photo credit: dw.com

Oliver Ivanovic was one of that rare breed of politician in the former Yugoslavia, a moderate who didn’t just toe the ethnic extremist line. He was not without his skeletons in the closet. Kosovo Albanians accused him of war crimes. He’d boycotted Kosovar institutions to prop up the Serbian shadow government there. Yet he was also known for taking a hard line against Belgrade and supporting Kosovo’s interests over Serbia’s. In short, he was a complex man.

The key part in that last sentence is “was.” On Tuesday, Ivanovic was murdered mafia-style outside his office in Mitrovica. His death threatens to bring yet more instability to Kosovo.[5]

A major issue is that we simply don’t know who killed him. Kosovo Albanians would be the obvious culprits had Ivanovic not spent his last few months railing against politicians in Serbia. Then there are the vicious drug gangs he’d recently pinpointed as the major problem in Mitrovica.

Whoever pulled the trigger, his murder has already caused talks between Belgrade and Pristina to collapse and may yet lead to a messy ethnic confrontation.

5 The #MeToo Backlash Reached The States

Photo credit: The Atlantic

In our yearly roundup, this column named the #MeToo movement as one of the biggest stories of 2017. Arguably, the backlash against it may be one of the biggest of 2018.

After months of splurges on Hollywood celebrities being accused of rape, harassment, and misconduct, feminist website Babe splashed on the weekend with a tale of Aziz Ansari, star of Netflix’s Master of None. Framed as a Weinstein-style case of assault, it promised to show how one night with Aziz had ruined a young woman’s life.

There was just one problem. For many readers, that moment never came. Had #MeToo finally gone too far?

The Babe story makes Ansari sound like a terrible date, but it doesn’t seem to suggest that he actually did anything wrong. Nonetheless, the website published it without giving Ansari time for a rebuttal (a slap to the face of journalistic ethics). The site ran a damning headline at a time when such headlines are ruining careers.

In The Atlantic, Caitlin Flanagan called Babe’s story “3,000 words of revenge porn.”[6] While many feminists online are using it as a rallying cry, many others are saying it trivializes the genuine assaults suffered by the victims of Weinstein and others.

4 Massive Protests Rocked Tunisia

Photo credit: middleeasteye.net

On Sunday, Tunisia marked seven years since the fall of its autocratic leader, Ben Ali. The historic irony will not have been lost on his supporters. Even as the new civil government congratulated itself, thousands upon thousands of Tunisians were again marching in the streets in some of the biggest protests since Ali’s forced exit. Just as in the Arab Spring, the government reacted by cracking down, arresting over 800 people.

The new Tunisian protests are the result of a faltering economy that’s now been hit with tough austerity policies. The results have been high unemployment, ghost towns devoid of jobs, and a whole generation left without work or hope. Protest deaths attributed to security forces have helped fuel anger across the nation.[7]

It wasn’t meant to be this way. Tunisia was the sole success story of an Arab Spring that produced three major civil wars (in Syria, Libya, and Yemen), a new dictator in Egypt, and a mixture of crackdowns and weak reforms elsewhere. Yet it now seems that Tunisia’s historic opportunity may have been squandered.

3 California Police Uncovered The Home School From Hell

Photo credit: thedailybeast.com

It reads more like a description of a cult. This week, California police raided a family home and discovered 13 starving people shackled to beds and covered in dirt. The youngest was a mere two years old. The eldest were in their late twenties, but they were so malnourished that they looked like teenagers. Far from being a sadist’s torture chamber, this house of horrors was something much more banal: a home school.

The victims were all children of David and Louisa Turpin, who’d apparently been holding the kids captive and torturing them for years. The fake home school they’d set up had never been inspected, and their families lived too far away to know what was going on. It was only after their 17-year-old daughter escaped that local cops were alerted and managed to shut down their disturbing home.[8]

Much of the fallout from the case has focused on how authorities could have failed to check in even once over the long years that the Turpins were torturing their kids, especially as local law required a fire safety check. Hopefully, some heads will roll.

2 We Found Out What Killed The Aztecs

Photo credit: National Geographic

In 1545, the New World was gripped by one of the deadliest plagues in human history. Cocoliztli caused bleeding from the eyes and mouth, high fevers, horrific headaches, and usually death. It wiped out 80 percent of the Aztec population, some 15 million people in total, a number made even worse for following on only two decades after a smallpox outbreak killed over five million.

For centuries, we had no idea what had caused cocoliztli, with suspects ranging from measles to mumps to the flu. This week, we may have finally cracked the answer. After doing DNA tests on 29 bodies buried in a cocoliztli plague pit, scientists identified Salmonella enterica bacteria on the teeth of all the victims. It’s thought now that animals brought by the Spanish may have allowed the disease (a relative of typhoid) to get into the local population.[9]

The case of cocoliztli hasn’t been completely laid to rest as it’s possible that an undetectable disease may have been the cause. For now, though, it seems safe to say that Salmonella enterica is the most likely culprit.

1 North Korea And South Korea Agreed To Unify For The Olympics

Photo credit: nymag.com

On Wednesday, Pyongyang and Seoul declared that their nations would march into the upcoming South Korean Olympics beneath a unification flag and field a joint ice hockey team. After several months where it looked like the North was just one cheese shortage away from Kim throwing a tantrum and blowing the South to smithereens, this was one heck of a reversal.

It is impossible to say how to read this. In some ways, it’s clearly positive, with the two Koreas meeting for the first time in two years. And anything that distracts Kim from his nuclear button should be cheered.

On the other hand, Pyongyang may simply be playing for time or, at the very least, trying to screw up Washington’s strategy for the region. Many in the South see it this way, with President Moon receiving an unexpected backlash from younger voters for playing Kim’s games. Whatever the truth, this unexpected news may defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula—even if only for a short while.[10]


15 Big Industry Secrets That Aren't Supposed To Be Known To The Public

15 Big Industry Secrets That Aren't Supposed To Be Known To The Public

 

Does your business have any secrets of their own?

1. astrath -- Now I'm curious just how different they taste.

Pretty much all 'wasabi' outside of Japan is actually just regular horseradish dyed green.

2. zerbey -- Google is the true technical support.

I work in technical support. If I put you on hold saying I need to research something, it means I'm frantically searching Google because I have no clue what the answer is. If I have to "call you back in a few minutes" it means I'm running around the office asking other people about your obscure issue. Finally if I'm "doing some internal research" it means I'm totally stumped and had to escalate to someone else (very rare).

3. TrentZoolander -- Noted.

10 years of radio tells me ... if you call in to win ... pretend to be excited. We don't even waste our time with Johnny Boring-AF ... Answer that phone with GUSTO and VERVE ... and you will win always!

We are looking for something that sounds good. Honestly, if your farts were interesting and written here, they'd make Canadian Content.

4. themightyshrek -- This explains why I am not a tennis superstar, yet.

Tennis: whatever racquet your hero is using, you won't be able to buy it. Babolat was actually sued because of this. They are mostly old models or prototypes, with a paint job to make them look like whatever the company is currently peddling. EDIT: because of the interest shown, here is a nice article about this practice.

5. EpicElk -- Pretty fucking scummy, indeed.

I work for one of Australia's largest online bookmakers (racing and sports betting).

At the end of our adverts, we tell you to 'gamble responsibly'. But what we don't tell you is that if you consistently win over a short period of time, we will limit/ban your account.

Either you lose your money, or you get banned. Pretty fucking scummy.

6. ferocitanium -- This is a wholesome lie, though.

From a family member who works in childcare: most babies in daycare take their first steps at daycare. The providers lie to the parents about it and tell the parents "they're nearly there."

7. Chef_Cutiecat -- Interesting.

Recycling is actually pretty profitable when it's done remotely well and the fact that it's charged for as a service is fucking stupid. It's gross managerial incompetence on the part of many recycling companies that leads to cities and municipalities paying for it with taxpayer dollars.

8. 12lawliet12 -- But really, what did you expect?

Most hotel room coffee pots have never been properly washed, just rinsed out in the bathroom sink. Also, the comforters and topcovers don't get washed between guests unless there's a visible stain.

9. WhoKilledZekeIddon -- This is kinda fucked.

Entering an online competition via social media? The company won't 'randomly' pick a winner - they'll spend time figuring out who has got the most followers/social influence, then pick that guy.

10. blueoysterpulp -- Cheesecake is good no matter where it comes from.

My friend works at a korean bakery... they sell cheesecake and a lot of people seem to like it a lot. They buy it from cheesecake factory but imply they make it.

11. hashtagsugary -- That's nasty.

Corporate office cleaning, I work really late some nights and see the same cloth they use to wipe out trash bins being used on kitchen counter surfaces.

Corporations always go with the cheapest contractor in the market, but good luck explaining the spread of germs or infection because you literally will Get what you pay for.

Gross.

12. bballer5455 -- We are eating old-ass apples.

Some of the apples you buy in the store today were picked more than a year ago and treated/stored in such a way that they stay "fresh"

13. Mathiasb4u -- C'mon phlebotomists.

When you get lab work done, and they tell you there was a problem and they need to test again... It's because the nurse/assistant/phlebotomist didn't properly handle the specimen.

14. Erikthered65 -- Well we talk shit about them too, so it's only fair.

Teachers absolutely talk shit about you and your kids in the staff room.

15. DrBalance -- TIL I could work in IT.

In IT we are just googling the exact error message you read out to us and using the first forum search result as the fix. We aren't actually geniuses.


22 Times People Tried VERY Hard To Be Hip With The Memes

22 Times People Tried VERY Hard To Be Hip With The Memes

 


15 Pictures Big Company CEOs Don’t Want You To See

15 Pictures Big Company CEOs Don’t Want You To See

In our capitalist society, most of what we know to be true is a false reality created by corporations that like to feed off of our fears to sell us products. We create beauty standards to trick women into buying weight-loss products and products that make us look different than what we actually do. Sales and deals are used to trick people into buying products in bulk, and sales people all over convince many to buy things they can’t afford or sign up for credit cards they can’t pay off. It’s a disturbing reality that most aren’t intelligent enough to realize is the life they live every day.

We buy fake designer products to convince people that we have money when, in reality, we can barely pay our bills. We create false identities to impress other people who aren’t being real themselves. All of this is cultivated, manipulated, and exploited by big businesses in order to help keep sales pouring in. Most companies use happy music, images, and social media accounts to keep people invested in their products and interested in their brands. In reality, however, most companies have dark realities that they would never want you to know about.

Terrible working conditions, low wages, and false identities plague most of the businesses we know and love. Big company CEOs don’t care about reality if they can create a false image for you to buy into. Through this article, however, we hope to expose a little bit of the truth. Here are 15 pictures big company CEOs don’t want you to see.

15. Breaktime At Pizza Hut

Everyone has had an itch they can’t scratch at one point or another. We’re human; it’s expected. For most of us, however, we wait until we’re in the privacy of our own home to take care of our bodily needs and urges. This Pizza Hut worker clearly has no shame when it comes to taking care of business, however. Knowing that this is the kind of person responsible for making our pizza is terrifying. Some might say that these people don’t deserve $15 an hour, but not all minimum-wage employees are as disgusting as this man. If CEOs of big corporations like Pizza Hut actually cared about their employees and paid them decent wages, maybe they’d have workers more willing to follow basic safety and health procedures, like not scratching your balls while behind the counter.

14. KFC Now Serving Fried Towels

Everyone’s heard the urban legend of finding a fried rat in a KFC fried chicken bucket. In reality, no such thing has ever been found. KFC has been able to keep a good reputation for their food until the photograph above surfaced. It reveals a strange blue object that was deep fried. After the customer complained, it was sent away and tested only for the object to be identified as a dish towel. Imagine biting into a piece of food expecting chicken but getting a towel! It’s a relief it wasn’t a strange animal, but it’s a startling discovery nonetheless. What does it take for an employee to dip a towel in batter, fry it, and serve it? How did nobody notice? Does it speak of the employee or the company’s lack of investment into their workers? What would you do if you bit into a fried towel?

13. Not Even Close To Being A Foot Long

Not only is this an embarrassing picture for the CEOs of Subway, but it’s an embarrassing picture for the employee as well. He’s basically putting his manhood on display and using a big scale to show off his assets. The bread isn’t even baked yet either! This employee clearly didn’t give any care at all when it came to his job, posting the photo on social media! It didn’t take long for him to get fired, but it’s still a terrifying picture nonetheless. Did someone end up eating the bread, or was it just a prank meant to get the employee some attention? If attention was the goal, they certainly got it. Who would want to be the guy known for putting his penis on the Subway bread, however? Subway is not a stranger to controversy; they used a pedophile as their spokesperson for so many years. Knowing stuff like this happens in their stores makes us mark down another place we’ll do our best to stay clear of.

12. Papa John Drunk AF

Papa John’s tries to create an image of that small-town, family-style restaurant. Their slogan is basically saying that they’re better than everyone else. In reality, it appears that Papa John doesn’t really know how exactly to hold his liquor. In the photograph above, you can clearly see their CEO sloppily drunk at a basketball game while posing with some fans. The picture caught the company some heat while many would say that it’s just an example of a businessman trying to take a break and have some fun. It seems a little strange, however, that this man is so wealthy yet has so much difficulty holding his own liquor. There’s no harm in letting loose every once in a while, but for someone who cares so much about his brand, it’s weird to see him in such an embarrassing state. What do you think? Does this picture make you want to eat at Papa John’s any less?

11. Taco-Licking

The photograph above was another picture that ended up getting an employee fired. He stated that it was a joke and that the shells were to be thrown out anyway as they were stale. It’s still hard to know for sure if this is the truth, however, or really just a cover-up to help him keep his job. Pictures like this are a reminder that anyone can get hired to work these jobs, and most of the time, those hired don’t really care about keeping their jobs anyways. It’s not something they’re passionate about or something they would spend their time doing if they weren’t getting paid. Stuff like this happens behind fast-food counters all the time and will continue to happen as long as the CEOs keep paying their employees minimum wage for bearing with bad working conditions.

10. Scratchy Service At The Bell

This has to be one of the worst “caught in the act” pictures on the list. For the rest of the employees, they were just trying to get some attention on their social media and were mostly goofing off behind closed doors. This guy, however, is an entirely different piece of work. He’s knuckle-deep in his cheeks without even an underwear filter between his dirty nails and dirty bits. It’s one thing to scratch an itch when you need to, but this guy is digging for gold. He’ll need that gold after losing his job for being a disgusting human being. Was it so bad it couldn’t wait until he could make it to the bathroom? What kind of person doesn’t think about scratching his butt in public? Unfortunately, it’s employees like this that make the rest of the hard-working minimum wage workers look bad.

9. Victoria’s Secret Racists

Victoria definitely has a secret: its racist agenda. OK, so that might be a bit dramatic, but it’s the truth for one store’s employees who targeted a young woman simply because she was black. The story goes that one African American woman was caught shoplifting at the store, so the employees asked all of the rest of the black women in the store to leave based only on their skin color! This situation would never happen to a group of white women but was the unfortunate reality for those women shopping at the time. Victoria’s Secret quickly did their best to fire the employee and cover up the whole situation; however, the entire situation is just a reminder that there’s no real way to screen racists! Stuff like this happens all around the country and will probably continue to do so as long as CEOs continue to just fire the employees and cover up the scandal instead of addressing the real problem.

8. Slave Labor At H&M

H&M is a clothing store known for selling trendy items to a younger clientele. Although they have so many inexpensive items, they’re still known for selling things that are on brand and trendy items celebs are sometimes seen wearing. The way they keep their clothes so cheap? Outsourcing to companies that use child labor in order to make textiles. The image above is a horrifying reality for many children in various third-world countries that are forced into working to keep themselves and their families alive. They work long hours in overheated factories to produce clothes for privileged youth to wear. Sometimes, when items aren’t sold, they’re sent back to some of the third world countries and thrown in landfills or donated to those in poverty. H&M isn’t the only company that uses child slave labor either; a quick Google search will give you some insight into some of the worst companies we know as staples.

7. Jimmy Johns Head-Hunting Wildlife

Jimmy Johns is a company that goes hard on the branding and capitalist ideologies that keep them afloat. They preach family values with classic quotes and décor that clutter their walls. One picture that their CEO might not want you to see is of him posing with a rhinoceros he killed himself. Imagine being so rich that the only way you feel any thrill or excitement in your life is to kill innocent animals. African wildlife hunting is a disgusting habit that’s gained popularity among the gross elite. When hunting deer and other common game becomes boring for the extremely privileged, they might turn to using helicopters and expensive guns to kill animals that will serve them no purpose in terms of food or clothing. At least most deer hunters eat their meat, but these guys just do it because they’re awful people.

6. Clorox Insensitive Tweet

Many companies have turned to social media to help keep up their brand and stay connected to youth. In an attempt to stay relevant, however, a lot of companies catch heat for being offensive and insensitive on their social media accounts. One company that was recently under fire after tweeting the tweet above was Clorox. It might not seem so bad at first, but they released the tweet a time right after Apple updated their emojis to include people of color as an option for the various stickers. Some thought Clorox asking about where the bleach was was an attempt to make a comment about white supremacy. They stated it was just an accident committed by someone who wasn’t really thinking things all the way through. Do you think a tweet like this is offensive or is it just a case of people overreacting?

5. Whole Foods’ Not-So-Picture-Perfect Image

Whole Foods likes to give the image of fresh, natural, and organic products. They’re a utopia where anyone can go and feel safe about the products being purchased and eaten. The dark reality behind such a beautifully stocked shelf, however, is that the majority of the vegetables being grown are simply thrown away. They care more about appearances than they do actually having quality products. If a fruit or vegetable has a bruise on it, the farmers are instructed to leave it behind to rot in the field. Instead of selling bruised products that are fine if you just cut the blemish off, they’d rather just throw the entire thing away. Everyone knows that a bruised apple or banana is still perfectly fine, but Whole Foods thinks otherwise. This causes an intense amount of waste of time, money, and food. While people are starving to death around the world, Whole Foods is literally throwing food away. Although we don’t have a picture for you to see, the image behind this photograph is something they certainly don’t want you to see.

4. Unforgettable Airlines Scandal

One of the biggest stories of the year so far has to be the scandal United Airlines faced after a video surfaced of an innocent man being dragged off of one of their planes. The man in the stills taken from the video is a doctor who was only trying to get home. He was kicked off of the flight because of an overbooking policy that is common to the airline. They sell tickets to more people than they have seats for on the plane in order to assure that they make as much money as possible. What ends up happening is that someone might end up not being able to ride the plane, the bumped-off passenger sometimes being offered money for the bad experience. This man refused to not make his flight and ended up being forcibly removed by security guards who removed him in an extremely violent manner. Eventually, United Airlines and the doctor reached a settlement, and the man will get a hefty payout; however, we won’t soon be forgetting this video United Airlines would love to be bleached from your memory.

3. Dirty Golden Corral Kitchen

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you know how crazy busy the kitchen can get sometimes. However, this kitchen pictured above taken in a Golden Corral is an entirely new level of disturbing. The picture shows overflowing dishes and garbage that’s very close to where all of the food is made. No one goes to a cheap buffet expecting fine dining, but knowing this is what’s behind closed doors is pretty alarming. Not only does it show how little the employees care about sanitary policies, but it also shows how greedy the owners are that they would allow their establishment to be so understaffed that it overflows with dishes like in the restaurant above! The few employees who are trying to keep up with the busy pace of the restaurant are also probably paid minimum wage and are expected to work the duties of two people.

2. Shoes On Burger King’s Lettuce

Lettuce tell you all about the photograph above taken inside a Burger King restaurant. Puns aside, the photograph above is one that we could have gone without seeing, as it’s a pretty disturbing look inside one fast food chain. The man who decided it would be funny to stand on top of these lettuce containers has since been terminated; however, we won’t soon be able to wipe this image away from our minds. Who knows how often this actually happens inside of restaurants and how little is done about it. With Burger King being one of the biggest chains in the country, there’s a good chance that shenanigans like this happen all the time. When you have entry-level employees who are paid very little, it’s not surprising that they would be careless on the job.

1. More Child Slave Labor At Nestle Farms

Unfortunately, there’s yet another child-labor photograph on the list. You might have found peace knowing that you don’t shop at H&M, so you’re not part of the problem pictured in the last child-labor photo. However, you likely use Nestle products. The image above is of yet another child forced into slave labor on a cocoa bean farm owned by Nestle. Nestle is known for their candy, but they also own many other companies. If you go to your fridge or pantry right now, there’s a good chance you’ll find some Nestle products. It’s a terrifying reality of the world we live in to see a kid who should be playing instead working on a farm. If we had fair wages for the employees of Nestle, however, they’d probably charge over $10 for what’s currently a $1 candy bar. If only the CEOs weren’t greedy, conditions might be better for the people who are actually working at their jobs.


13 Corporate Posts That'll Have You Laughing Through The Cringe And Facepalms

13 Corporate Posts That'll Have You Laughing Through The Cringe And Facepalms

Hey kids, you know how you like memes? Well what if we, a giant major corporation, co-opted said memes to try to sell you things? Pretty neat, huh! To be fair, some of self-aware and genuinely pretty funny (NOBBY'S NUTS)...but most of them are not.


Google Dropped Its Ban On Personally Identifiable Web Tracking

Google Dropped Its Ban On Personally Identifiable Web Tracking

 

Good news for people who hate online privacy: Google quietly lifted its ban on personally identifiable web tracking.

When Google first began tracking users’ web history as a way to target ads via the DoubleClick network back in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin insisted his company would never tie the data gathered to any personally identifiable information. Experts say it hasn’t, and I believe them, because fuck if I know how to tell if they’re doing that.

But over the summer, Google began tying users’ personal information with data gleaned from their online activity — including, oh no, what they write in their Gmail accounts — for the first time, asking existing users to opt into a new version of the company’s privacy agreement. (New Google users are opted into the new policy by default.) The language is as follows:

If that sounds like all the super personal shit you say in Gchat, the porn you jerk off to, and the serial killer documentaries you watch out of purely academic interest will now be stored in a database tied to your name and info, that’s because they will be!

From ProPublica:

The practical result of the change is that the DoubleClick ads that follow people around on the web may now be customized to them based on the keywords they used in their Gmail. It also means that Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct.

“The fact that DoubleClick data wasn’t being regularly connected to personally identifiable information was a really significant last stand,” said Paul Ohm, faculty director of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law.“It was a border wall between being watched everywhere and maintaining a tiny semblance of privacy,” he said. “That wall has just fallen.”

In a statement to ProPublica, Google spokeswoman Andrea Faville contended that the increased surveillance will only be used to target ads better on your various devices, and anyway, it’s easy to opt out:

Our advertising system was designed before the smartphone revolution. It offered user controls and determined ads’ relevance, but only on a per-device basis. This past June we updated our ads system, and the associated user controls, to match the way people use Google today: across many different devices. Before we launched this update, we tested it around the world with the goal of understanding how to provide users with clear choice and transparency. As a result, it is 100% optional–if users do not opt-in to these changes, their Google experience will remain unchanged. Equally important: we provided prominent user notifications about this change in easy-to understand language as well as simple tools that let users control or delete their data. Users can access all of their account controls by visiting My Account and we’re pleased that more than a billion have done so in its first year alone.

Right, because people always pay such close attention to what they’re agreeing to when a little box pops up and interrupts their cat video binge.

Even if you have faith that they’re only using this information to annoy you with the same ads across multiple devices, do you really trust Google to keep a lid on it? The company has already handed over quite a lot of goodies to the government, not to mention the havoc that could be wreaked by hackers. Can you even imagine the national gridlock that would ensue if Vladimir Putin posted everyone’s bitchiest Gchats? America would simply die.

Luckily, concerned parties can opt out — for now — using these instructions from ProPublica:

To opt-out of Google’s identified tracking, visit the Activity controls on Google’s My Account page, and uncheck the box next to “Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services.” You can also delete past activity from your account.

 

Just because it’s an uphill battle doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to resist molestation by Google’s grabby, ever-encroaching tentacles.


25 Things That “They” Don’t Want You To Know

 

So who is “they”? Good question. Let’s preface this by saying that we are not Illuminati/UFO people. Not at all. But the fact remains that there is a “they” behind almost every purchase you make (unless it’s the local mom and pop store). There is a “they” behind many of the things you do. This “they” is not some unified one world order. Rather, it is representative of every crooked capitalist, politician, and average joe that tries to take advantage of you by playing on your ignorance. There doesn’t need to be any “conspiracy” for people to get tricked into buying things not needed or sign contracts that should not be signed. Think of this list as a series of life hacks and tips that will give you the upper hand in a number of situations. Remember, knowledge is power. When you take your car into the mechanic, if that mechanic is not a straight shooter he is going to try taking advantage of your ignorance. The only way to combat this is to at least know the basics. And if you get taken advantage of, let your friends know. Don’t let the tricksters get away with it. These are 25 things “they” don’t want you to know.

25

In the United States, if you have trouble with a telecom company you can file a complaint with the FCC

In the United States, if you have trouble with a telecom company you can file a complaint with the FCC

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

24

Mr Clean "magic erasers" are just melamine sponges that you can get on eBay for a dollar

Mr Clean

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

23

Want to get an immediate response from a big company? Call them out on Twitter. Nothing gets corporate damage control moving like bad press.

Want to get an immediate response from a big company? Call them out on Twitter. Nothing gets corporate damage control moving like bad press.

Source: reddit, Image: pixabay

22

When buying a car, negotiate the price of the car and not the monthly payments. Focusing on what you pay each month is good way to get ripped off.

When buying a car, negotiate the price of the car and not the monthly payments. Focusing on what you pay each month is good way to get ripped off.

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

21

If you are shopping online and let your items sit in the shopping cart for a while, sometimes the retailer will contact you with a discount coupon to persuade you into completing your purchase

If you are shopping online and let your items sit in the shopping cart for a while, sometimes the retailer will contact you with a discount coupon to persuade you into completing your purchase

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

20

Diluted vinegar can replace a lot of cleaning products

Diluted vinegar can replace a lot of cleaning products

Source: reddit, Image: pixabay

19

If a debt collector comes after you, ask them to show proof that you have a debt to pay. Many times all they have is your name on a list with the hopes that they can coerce or scare you into paying. Also, once you pay them so much as a dollar, you're admitting to your debt. So be careful. That's why they ask you to make small, up-front payments in "good faith". Disclaimer – of course you should pay all your debts, just do so responsibly and knowing all of your rights

If a debt collector comes after you, ask them to show proof that you have a debt to pay. Many times all they have is your name on a list with the hopes that they can coerce or scare you into paying. Also, once you pay them so much as a dollar, you're admitting to your debt. So be careful. That's why they ask you to make small, up-front payments in

Source: reddit, Image: torange.us

18

Store brands and off-name brands are not always cheaper. Even if they are on sale, check the price tag

Store brands and off-name brands are not always cheaper. Even if they are on sale, check the price tag

Source: reddit, Image: pixabay

17

Repeatedly pressing 0 during an automated phone call will usually get you through to a human

Repeatedly pressing 0 during an automated phone call will usually get you through to a human

Source: reddit, Image: pixabay

16

In the US and Canada you are legally allowed to cancel your flight ticket within 24 hours of purchase for a full refund.

In the US and Canada you are legally allowed to cancel your flight ticket within 24 hours of purchase for a full refund.

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

15

Rather than ordering the Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe at Wendy's, order the Jr. Cheeseburger and ask for all the toppings. Toppings are free.

Rather than ordering the Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe at Wendy's, order the Jr. Cheeseburger and ask for all the toppings. Toppings are free.

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

14

All airfares in the United States are based on one way fares. This means that many times you can get better deals by booking two separate one way flights.

All airfares in the United States are based on one way fares. This means that many times you can get better deals by booking two separate one way flights.

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

13

In some states gift cards don't expire even if it says they do

In some states gift cards don't expire even if it says they do

Source: reddit, Image: pixabay

12

Instant oatmeal is just regular rolled oatmeal cut smaller so that the hot water will work more quickly (along with some sugar and powdered milk). Basically you could make the same thing with a blender

Instant oatmeal is just regular rolled oatmeal cut smaller so that the hot water will work more quickly (along with some sugar and powdered milk). Basically you could make the same thing with a blender

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

11

You are not legally required to stop for receipt checkers when leaving a store. The worst that could happen would be at places like Sam's Club where they may revoke your membership.

You are not legally required to stop for receipt checkers when leaving a store. The worst that could happen would be at places like Sam's Club where they may revoke your membership.

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

10

Some careers in the United States are almost completely unregulated in their qualifications. You can just call yourself a nutritionist, DJ, personal trainer, etc.

Some careers in the United States are almost completely unregulated in their qualifications. You can just call yourself a nutritionist, DJ, personal trainer, etc.

Source: reddit, Image: pixabay

9

Many states have laws on how speed limits are meant to be set, but quite often the limits are set arbitrarily without fulfilling all of the requirements (speed studies, etc). This means that they are unenforceable from a legal standpoint. Next time you get a speeding ticket, look into your state laws.

Many states have laws on how speed limits are meant to be set, but quite often the limits are set arbitrarily without fulfilling all of the requirements (speed studies, etc). This means that they are unenforceable from a legal standpoint. Next time you get a speeding ticket, look into your state laws.

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

8

The jewelry counter in Walmart is perfectly capable of ringing you up (as long as you don't have produce because they won't have scales)

The jewelry counter in Walmart is perfectly capable of ringing you up (as long as you don't have produce because they won't have scales)

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

7

In large chain retail stores if you are having issues or being refused (with regards to returns, etc) ask to speak to customer service. These complaints go straight to district managers so store managers do everything they can to prevent them. Disclaimer – only do this if you legitimately feel that the store should take back what you bought. We do not endorse abusing the system or returning used goods.

In large chain retail stores if you are having issues or being refused (with regards to returns, etc) ask to speak to customer service. These complaints go straight to district managers so store managers do everything they can to prevent them. Disclaimer - only do this if you legitimately feel that the store should take back what you bought. We do not endorse abusing the system or returning used goods.

Source: reddit, Image: picserver.org

6

If you're signing your kids up for recreation or educational programs, check local city and state governments for financial aid. Many times people don't know about it and it goes to waste!

If you're signing your kids up for recreation or educational programs, check local city and state governments for financial aid. Many times people don't know about it and it goes to waste!

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

5

Boric acid will destroy ants and cockroaches as good as any "professional" chemical. It also leaves a barrier that prevents them from returning for up to a decade. Needless to say, pest controllers don't like that stuff.

Boric acid will destroy ants and cockroaches as good as any

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

4

You can order most of your medications from India for a fraction of the price elsewhere. Keep in mind that this may go against the laws of whatever country you are currently in, but the fact remains that medication in some countries is drastically cheaper than in others.

You can order most of your medications from India for a fraction of the price elsewhere. Keep in mind that this may go against the laws of whatever country you are currently in, but the fact remains that medication in some countries is drastically cheaper than in others.

Source: reddit, Image: torange.us

3

While calling tech support in the US, if you don't want to get a call center in India then select the option for Spanish. Those call centers are usually within the country and will typically offer help in English as well

While calling tech support in the US, if you don't want to get a call center in India then select the option for Spanish. Those call centers are usually within the country and will typically offer help in English as well

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

2

The best way to raise your salary is by changing jobs every 2 years (you don't want to change too often or you'll seem like a loose cannon). At your new job you "innovate" by spreading best practices you learned from your previous job. Take all promotions, even unpaid ones. The only downside? No long lasting work relationships, but that's ok. You can develop those outside of your job anyway.

The best way to raise your salary is by changing jobs every 2 years (you don't want to change too often or you'll seem like a loose cannon). At your new job you

Source: reddit, Image: pixabay

1

When you are booking venues, DJs, flowers, etc. for weddings, don't use the term "wedding". At first just say "party". Later on when they find out it is a wedding they may try to up their rates. When that happens, ask them what they do differently for weddings.

When you are booking venues, DJs, flowers, etc. for weddings, don't use the term

Source: reddit, Image: wikipedia

SOURCE

 

 

25 Things That “They” Don’t Want You To Know


10 Disastrous Attempts By Corporations To Turn Movies Into Ads

 

In one of the more cynical moves by the movie industry, major corporations sometimes finance their own movies or muscle their unyielding influence behind the scenes of studio films, effectively morphing a movie into a feature-length advertisement.

But making a film that intends to sell more than cinema tickets often leads to disaster. Whether through poor box office receipts, awful reviews, or cinematic karma that derails the production, these thinly veiled advertisements litter cinema’s graveyard as rarely mentioned embarrassments.

10

The Internship
Google

Although Google didn’t hand the makers of The Internship a blank check with the words “Make people forget we’re mining their private data for profit” scrawled on the back, they were so highly involved in the film that they may as well have codirected it.

Throughout the production, Kyle Ewing, Google’s head of global staffing, advised the filmmakers on the inner workings of the goliath Internet firm. Google employees designed the film’s end credits and even added lines of dialogue. The production was also allowed to film scenes at Google headquarters without paying licensing or location fees.

Google executives were allowed to comment on the screenplay and view the movie’s final cut before release. The executives even had a scene—featuring Google’s self-driving car getting into a wreck—removed from the final cut.

Beyond the production, Google reportedly had a say in how the film was marketed, which probably explains why the movie’s poster looked like a picture of the Google home page that had been hacked by a group of rabidWedding Crashers fans.

Indeed, The Internship tried to soak up some of the lingering goodwill ofWedding Crashers, a raunchy comedy that also starred Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. But Google apparently refused to lend its name to an R-rated comedy, so the film had its teeth pulled out by being confined to a PG-13 rating.

A reedited, R-rated version was released on DVD and Blu-ray, but the damage was already done. The Internship flopped at the box office. It looks like the world wasn’t ready to pay for the privilege of watching a two-hour Google commercial.

9

Leonard Part 6
The Coca-Cola Company

Before Bill Cosby’s despicable offscreen antics were revealed, the actor was universally loved as the patron saint of TV dads. His sitcom, The Cosby Show, is considered the most successful TV show of the 1980s. Its success is credited with paving the way for other shows centered around African Americans, such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and In Living Color.

At the height of his fame, Cosby’s brand of warm, fatherly humor should have easily segued into movie success. But like a Chinese cameraman following Usain Bolt, Cosby’s 1987 film, Leonard Part 6, segued into disaster.

Leonard Part 6 was released by Columbia Pictures when The Coca-Cola Company owned the film studio. The 1970s was a difficult decade for the soft drink giant, and its acquisition of Columbia Pictures was an attempt toexplore new avenues in product marketing.

A film starring Cosby, who had appeared in a string of 1980s Coke commercials, should have been the perfect fit for a movie funded by The Coca-Cola Company. If he had just acted in the film and not cowritten and produced this unwatchable mess, it might have just been another bad 1980s movie instead of being widely regarded as one of the worst films ever made.

The plot follows the exploits of an old spy (Cosby) who is pulled out of retirement to once again save the world. The title, Leonard Part 6, is an inside joke referring to parts 1–5 being too top secret to be shown on-screen. You’re probably beginning to realize why you’ve never heard of this movie.

Vying for attention between the awful jokes is the almost ubiquitous presence of the Coca-Cola logo. After Ishtar, another high-profile Columbia Pictures’ flop, Coca-Cola sold the production company to Sony in 1989. As for Cosby, he concentrated on television for the remainder of the decade.

8

Mac And Me
McDonald’s

Mac And Me is an example of copy-and-paste filmmaking at its most shameless. Like Leonard Part 6, this unapologetic ET rip-off is considered one of the worst films ever made.

Mac and Me was completely funded by McDonald’s, although they didn’t try to hide this fact. Ronald McDonald introduces the trailer with the aggressive niceness of a serial killer.

The plot follows the alien Mac, who crash-lands on Earth with his family. After being separated from his parents, Mac meets a boy named Eric, and an adventure in cross-promotion of products begins. Not only was the McDonald’s logo highly visible in the movie, Mac and Me was also pimped out to other companies. Coke and Skittles made multiple appearances as the only food and drink that Mac consumes.

Besides Mac and Me being a crass attempt at marketing synergy, there are many other reasons for the film’s financial and critical failure. The design of the aliens—with their wild, rolling eyes and perpetually puckered mouths—is ugly, and the plot is meandering and dull. Nonsensical scenes that haveRonald McDonald dancing around with kids in a McDonald’s restaurant also didn’t help this doomed project.

Mac and Me’s infamy lives on to a certain extent on the American talk showConan. A running gag has Paul Rudd always playing the same clip from the movie when he appears on the show, which is a fitting legacy for this cynical piece of cash-grab cinema.

7

Somers Town
Eurostar

In an age when fewer American movies are made and individual film budgets are skyrocketing, Hollywood studios are increasingly using product placements, marketing cross-promotions, and general artistic compromise in exchange for corporate cooperation. In comparison, the independent film circuit may seem like a bastion of artistic integrity, but indie films are also awash in corporate cash as proven by 2008’s Somers Town.

Somers Town was conceived in a Eurostar boardroom. The train company initiated the film as a way to advertise their new high-speed Paris-to-London service.

Originally commissioned as a 20-minute short, Somers Town was fleshed out to a feature-length production when Shane Meadows, the acclaimed director of This Is England, loaned his indie cred to Eurostar. Unlike some of the other films on this list, Somers Town wasn’t savaged by critics. In fact, it was an awards darling.

Thomas Turgoose, one of the male leads, won various best actor honors. At the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Somers Town took home the Michael Powell Award for best new British feature film, which is the festival’s highest award.

Unfortunately for Eurostar, even with all these industry honors, Somers Town just disappeared. It had an extremely limited release. In America, it only opened on one screen. Unsurprisingly, this one screen didn’t attract enough business to cover the film’s estimated £500,000 budget. Although the film did better in the UK, it still only made about £121,500 on its opening weekend.

Somers Town became a film festival favorite and little else. Ignored by the general public, the movie’s audience was the film festival–going type, i.e., wealthy folks who are more accustomed to airlines than train stations.

6

Foodfight!
Various Food And Kitchen Products

Scheduled for a 2002 release, Threshold Entertainment’s Foodfight! was supposed to be the next Toy Story and Threshold Entertainment—as boldly proclaimed by the company’s CEO Larry Kasanoff—was supposed to be “the next-generation Pixar.” Obviously, that didn’t happen.

The script for Foodfight! was influenced by Toy Story in that food and kitchen product mascots like Mr. Clean and Twinkie the Kid came to life instead of toys. After all, kids love cleaning product mascots as much as they love their toys, right?

Kasanoff certainly thought so. After securing the film’s $50 million production budget, Threshold Entertainment approached a number of well-known kitchen brands. Using the promise of widespread advertisement as bait, Threshold convinced the brands to help pay the $100 million needed to promote the film upon its release.

It took two years of negotiations to determine what the brand mascots were allowed to do on-screen. For example, McKee Foods refused to allow a scene in which a Threshold original character made catcalls at Little Debbie, a McKee Foods mascot.

Foodfight! missed its planned 2002 release because of a supposed robbery at Threshold Entertainment’s Santa Monica headquarters. Hard drives containing all of the movie’s files were stolen. Nevertheless, the production was restarted, and a new release date of 2005 was scheduled after Threshold secured roughly $20 million in additional funding. But Threshold missed its rescheduled release dates for the next three years.

An all-star cast from the early 2000s—including Charlie Sheen, Eva Longoria, and Hilary Duff—had recorded their dialogue for the movie, and it had received a PG rating, which means that some version of the film did exist. So why all the missed deadlines?

Part of the reason appears to have been Kasanoff himself. The CEO appointed himself as the film’s director despite his lack of experience. After the alleged robbery, Kasanoff changed the animation technique from the traditional squash and stretch to motion capture. This created a gulf between Kasanoff and the animators, whom he directed with vague instructions such as “more awesome” and “30 percent better.”

Threshold Entertainment eventually defaulted on a loan, which allowed their insurance company to step in and finish the film as quickly and cheaply as possible. In 2012, Foodfight! eventually whimpered onto DVD, sporting animation that would have looked archaic on a PSone.

5

Green Lantern
Mattel

It’s not surprising that toy companies become embroiled in comic book movies. After all, films that feature superheroes saving the day offer a direct link to the imaginations of kids who suck toys off the shelf. However, few companies have exploited this relationship with the same reckless abandon as toy manufacturer Mattel did with 2011’s Green Lantern.

From the earliest stages of Green Lantern’s development, Mattel artists worked with the film’s artists in creating gadgets and vehicles that would translate from the silver screen to the toy shelf. One set piece, where the Green Lantern creates a glowing energy track to guide a crashing helicopter to safety, looks like an advertisement for Hot Wheels.

Mattel own the Hot Wheels brand and had a special Green Lantern Hot Wheels toy produced a full year before the film landed in cinemas. Mattelshamelessly used the film sequence in the toy’s advertisement, just in case the connection between the film and Hot Wheels was too subtle.

But Green Lantern flopped spectacularly, leaving Warner Brothers with an estimated $90 million loss. The movie’s failure was also attributed to delaying the beginning of the DC movie universe, which was supposed to kick off with Green Lantern.

However, after the film’s poor performance and critical backlash, this version of the DC movie universe was scrapped. Instead, it was rebooted with the release of 2013’s Man Of Steel, a film that didn’t have a Hot Wheels advertisement rammed in between the action.

4

Act Of Valor
US Navy

The 2012 action film Act of Valor was made with real Navy SEALs instead of actors, signifying an escalation in the military’s long-standing relationship with Hollywood filmmakers. It all started when Act of Valor was conceived deep in the bowels of the Pentagon. The film was commissioned by the Navy’s Special Warfare Command as a recruitment video that would rival any Hollywood blockbuster.

Immediately after its release, Act of Valor was criticized for appearing more like overt propaganda than entertainment. Critics of the military’s deepening involvement in Hollywood—such as David L. Robb, author of Operation Hollywood, and Tricia Jenkins, author of The CIA in Hollywood—felt that Act of Valor came dangerously close to violating US laws forbidding government agencies from partaking in publicity and propaganda.

The movie was a moderate success at the box office but was savaged by critics, who panned the ludicrous plot and the wooden acting of the Navy SEALs. Even as a propaganda piece, the film may have failed. Time magazine pointed out that the film’s most memorable scene was a funeral for one of the SEALs killed in action. Presumably, this was not the image the Navy intended for the audience to remember after they left the cinema.

3

Battleship
Hasbro

Hoping to capitalize on the huge success of the Transformers films—a movie franchise based on the Hasbro line of plastic robots—Hasbro was eager to create another successful film series based on another one of their licensed properties. As part of the deal with Universal Studios, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner chose the game Battleship as the next property to be adapted into a feature-length movie.

Unlike Transformers, which had a preexisting mythology, Battleship was based on a board game that had zero story or characterization. Undeterred,Battleship‘s director Peter Berg adapted the game into a naval warfare film that he had been hoping to make for some time. To properly integrate the board game into Berg’s vision, Goldner set up meetings between the director and game psychiatrists so that Battleship‘s “hook” could be explained.

After the film went into production, Hasbro referred to themselves as the movie’s producers. They even proudly showed off their involvement by having the company’s name appear in the Battleship trailer, reminding audiences of their past cinematic successes. A new Battleship toy was also put into production to coincide with the film’s release.

For all its bombastic action and cutting-edge CGI, Battleship sunk at the box office. Losing out to the mega success that was Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, Battleship‘s opening weekend was so bad that it surpassed Disney’s John Carter to become the worst US opening weekend flop when compared to its budget.

2

Need For Speed
Electronic Arts

Like companies within the toy industry, the video game developer Electronic Arts (EA) grew tired of ham-fisted film adaptations of their games. So instead of selling off the licensing rights to Need for Speed, one of theirbiggest game franchises, EA approached director John Gatins to create a film based on the driving simulator.

Gatins agreed to direct, and he worked alongside EA in developing a script for the movie adaption. Predictably for a film based on a computer game, Need for Speed was eaten alive by critics who tore into its shallow characterizationand unbelievable plot. With the American moviegoing public treating the film with relative indifference, Need for Speed underperformed during its opening weekend.

The movie’s worldwide reception, however, was much more positive, particularly in China where it completely recouped its $66 million production budget. The poor US results for Need for Speed and its success overseas may end up being a disaster for American audiences. The planned sequel to Need for Speed, currently being developed in conjunction with a Chinese movie company, is part of a growing trend of American movies made with an emphasis on being sold overseas.

This new business strategy could cause problems for certain film genres, especially comedy. American humor doesn’t translate well in Asian markets. In recent years, film comedies accounted for just 13 percent of the output from the four major studios. This is a huge drop from 2010, when one-third of film studio output was in the comedy genre.

1

United Passions
FIFA

United Passions—which was originally an ego trip for the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA)—became a catastrophe instead for the shamed football organization. The movie tells the tale of Sepp Blatter, the 2015 FIFA president, and two of his predecessors as they steered the organization through the ups and downs of the late 20th century.

As the principal investor in United Passions, FIFA bankrolled 80 percent of the film’s $30 million budget. The entire production appears to have been a battle between the film’s director, Frederic Auburtin, and top FIFA executives like Blatter.

Auburtin blamed FIFA for destroying his vision for the movie. According to the French director, FIFA demanded a script within four months and didn’t allow certain story elements to appear in the finished film. A subplot involving a corruption investigation was supposedly cut from the film’s script. United Passions’ final cut was also tweaked by FIFA before appearing at the Cannes Film Festival.

Ironically, United Passions—a film about the integrity of FIFA executives—was released in the US a week after seven FIFA officials were arrested on corruption charges, as if America really needed another reason not to care about a soccer movie.

United Passions was the lowest-grossing movie ever released in America,making a paltry $918 at the US box office. In total, the film was reported to have lost $26.8 million. It was also ripped apart by critics and currently holds a 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

As for Sepp Blatter, he is currently the focus of a Swiss investigation into his supposed criminal mismanagement of FIFA.

SOURCE

10 Disastrous Attempts By Corporations To Turn Movies Into Ads