Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Facebook Privacy Notice Is A Hoax

I thought that my Facebook news feed would end up being much more peaceful after the recent election. No such luck. Now, my Facebook news feed is clogged with innocently misguided folks posting a privacy notice on their walls because they mistakenly believe that it will protect their copyright and privacy rights.

Here's one example of the notice:

For those of you who do not understand the reasoning behind this posting, Facebook is now a publicly traded entity. Unless you state otherwise, anyone can infringe on your right to privacy once you post to this site. It is recommended that you and other members post a similar notice as this, or you may copy and paste this version. If you do not post such a statement once, then you are indirectly allowing public use of items such as your photos and the information contained in your status updates.

PRIVACY NOTICE: Warning – any person and/or institution and/or Agent and/or Agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to the United States Federal Government also using or monitoring/using this website or any of its associated websites, you do NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein including, but not limited to my photos, and/or the comments made about my photos or any other "picture" art posted on my profile.
You are hereby notified that you are strictly prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, disseminating, or taking any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee , agent , student or any personnel under your direction or control.

The contents of this profile are private and legally privileged and confidential information, and the violation of my personal privacy is punishable by law. UCC 1-103 1-308 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED WITHOUT PREJUDICE

The Facebook privacy notice is a hoax. In reality, nothing has changed about Facebook's privacy policy aside from Facebook changing the way in which they take feedback from users on future privacy policy changes. Facebook has not explained the new method for soliciting feedback, nor has Facebook made any privacy policy changes for which feedback would collected. Further, the fact that Facebook is now a publicly traded entity has no impact on copyright protection or privacy rights.

Here's are the things you need to remember:

  • You control all the content you post on Facebook
  • Facebook does not own your media
  • Before you can use Facebook, you must accept its terms of use, which you can not alter simply by posting something to your wall.
  • Very few of us post anything on Facebook that is worth copyrighting. 
  • UCC 1-103 1-308 covers the sales of certain goods and does not apply to Facebook

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Legend Of Zima: Part II

I hadn't planned on continuing the story any further, thus relegating my original movie to a mere one-off joke. After getting a number of nice compliments, though, I decided to see where I could take the story. So, here's Part II of our story. It picks up right where we left off.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Billboarding With Chex Cereal

Looks like Chex cereal has done a bit of creative advertising with their box covers. My daughter and I were trolling the breakfast cereal aisle recently when we happened upon the Check section of the shelf. When arranged correctly, the Chex cereal boxes make a continuous billboard. Our local grocery story is obviously missing a few flavors of Chex like "Yellow Shirt Chex" which is Apple Cinnamon Chex and "Purple Shirt Chex" which is Honey Nut Chex.

I wonder what happens when someone manages to put all of the Chex cereal boxes together. Perhaps a portal to Chex world opens up and you become a Chex warrior clad in Chex armor and set out upon a Chex quest. Or, maybe the guy that designed the boxes cries tears of joy because someone has finally noticed his hard work.

What Ever Happened To Frosted Mini-Chex?

Monday, November 19, 2012

TommyMac: Future Hero

This video was delivered to me from the future. Apparently, I'm going to come up with a world-changing innovation that will lead to a new era of global posterity and will culminate with me winning the 2020 Innovation Prize. I'll try to look surprised when it all happens, but, until it does, you can view the video for yourself:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hostess Goes Belly Up

A true American icon has died. I'm talking about Hostess, the makers of Twinkies and Ho Hos and Ding Dongs and, of course, Hostess Fruit Pies. The company closed its doors today after 82 years of operation. Almost immediately, Facebook erupted with the news and went into full-on psycho mode as many people re-posted articles blaming the closure on everything from Obamacare to the Mayan Apocalypse. In order to understand what's really going on here, a little background is needed.

Hostess didn't just suddenly decide to shut it doors based upon who won the recent Presidential election. No, Hostess' problems have been plaguing them since their merger with Continental Baking back in 1995. Since then, the company has filed for bankruptcy twice, with the most recent filing being in 2011. This recent filing came after Hostess gave  a 50% stake in the company to Ripplewood Holdings and had received a loan from GE Capital. Hostess soon began struggling to remain current on the $700 million loan while keeping up with mandatory pension payments. Depending on who you talk to, the reasoning for this will differ. Some say that poor management decisions from a corporation bent on milking every last dollar out of the company while inflating upper-managment salaries in an economy where consumer trends had turned against them killed the company. Some will say that greedy labor unions refusing to make financial concessions to keep the company afloat delivered the death blow to Hostess. The truth is probably somewhere in between.

What we have now is a shuttered company and 18,000 workers, both labor and management, out of the job. This is the free market at work. This would have been the likely fate of the Detroit automakers had the government not stepped in to bail it out. Now, the vultures will descend to pick at the corpse of Hostess. With Hostess being such a popular brand, it's very likely that the rights to its products and recipes will be picked up by a corporate entity or group of entities. Perhaps that insulin-inducing whore, Little Debbie will give some of those products a new home. The Twinkie will no doubt rise again.  It's just a matter of time.

Meanwhile, I'm stocking up on Hostess Fruit Pies and hunkering down in order to get through this Twinkpocalypse. I hope they're not gone too long. I don't think I can stand the switch to Mrs. Freshly's.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When Fast Food Takes Too Long

Call me uncultured, but I've got a thing for McDonald's breakfast. There's something about wolfing down two Sausage McMuffins from the dollar menu and washing them down with a large black coffee that gives me just the rush I need to jump start my day. I don't do it every morning, but, when I do, I always see it as $3.20 well spent.

I walked in to my local McDonald's early last Saturday morning to find that the line reached nearly outside the door. Only two people were working the registers and the line for the drive-through didn't look promising either. My hunger for sausage patties smothered with cheese-food nestled inside an english muffin would not be denied. I decided to wait. People were understandably frustrated.
I bided my time by reading some news articles on my phone and checking Facebook. I hardly noticed the line slowly oozing forward. My attention was eventually captured by some Stepford wife emitting a loud sigh and exclaiming "I hate this place" just loud enough for the rest of us to hear her.

"Then why are you here?", I asked.

"Because I like the sweet tea....although that's none of your business".

"When you say it loud enough for me to hear it 20 feet away, you're making it my business. But, fear not! The breakfast Gods have heard your anguished pleas and have taken pity upon you, for I will shell out a dollar to whomever is currently on deck at the register in order to buy you a sweet tea".

As I waved a dollar bill around in the hopes that the person next-in-line to order would take it and deliver a McDonald's sweet tea to the frustrated woman, I heard her huff and stomp out of the restaurant. I get it. You go to McDonald's because you want your food quickly and when there's a line practically out the door, it sucks. I've posted about this before, but it bears repeating: If the worst thing you have to worry about is that you've got to wait 10 minutes in line at McDonald's, then you're actually doing pretty good.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Legend of Zima: A Drink To The Past

One of my favorite games to play on the Wii is actually an old school Nintendo game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past. After playing for the past week, I decided that it would be fun to do a quick parody of
the opening scene.

When an evil wizard kidnaps Princess Zima, TommyMac must go on an adventure to find her and claim his reward of a bottle of Samuel Adams Utopias Beer

Thursday, November 8, 2012

DealDash The Fun Way To Shop

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of DealDash. All opinions are 100% mine.

Christmas time is just around the corner, so, if you're looking for a fun, inexpensive way to do some of your Christmas shopping, DealDash is the way to go.

Deal Dash is the best of all those new penny auction sites you see popping up lately. You sign up in order to purchase bids. Each bid costs $0.60 and raises the auction cost by $0.01. This fee makes the massive 95% off savings possible! The auction clock restarts from a maximum of 30 seconds every time someone bids. If no new bids are placed before the clock runs out, the last bidder wins.

It gets even better, though. DealDash wants you to win so bad that if you don't win after purchasing your first bid pack, they are willing to give you back those bids at no cost to you! Go check it out and see what you can win today!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

So, Who Is Moving To Canada?

It happens every four years. Every four years, we elect a President, and, inevitably, one of the big two party candidates wins, and one of them loses. Politics has become such an intense spectator sport that, inevitably, the outcome inspires mocking victory cries from those who backed the winner and statements of exasperation from those who backed the loser. My Facebook feed has been chocked with friends expressing a desire to run off to Canada in the face of Romney losing, or, worse, exclaiming that we as a country are sunk because Obama got another four years. I had silenced them all several months ago, but turned them all back on this morning in the hopes of getting a chuckle or two, but, instead, I got very shocked at what I saw. Many of my Romney backing friends have already moved past shock and guilt and are currently stuck in the anger stage. Meanwhile, many of my Obama backing friends are lording his re-election over everyone else. There's some scary stuff out there coming from my friends on both sides of the aisle that I would never have imagined I would have heard.

I understand where it's all coming from. It's tough to have your candidate lose after a long, intense campaign. This past one in particular seemed to be much more bitterly divisive than the last. But, running off to Canada or deciding that you'll just sit under a rock for the next four years while the country implodes is not realistic. That's not the America I know. Americans don't just give up when they lose a battle. They continue the fight because this country is worth fighting for. If your guy won last night, great. Don't be complacent. There's still a lot of work to be done to move this country into the direction that you want. Keep pushing for what you believe in. If your guy lost, step back, understand why he lost and how you can fix that in the next cycle. Until then, though, don't take your pail and leave the sandbox. The President is just one part of the this great system given to us by the Founding Fathers. Use the other parts that they put in place for us to work for the change you want.

I have to admit, though, that the concept of a staunch Republican moving away to Canada intrigues me. At the very least, it would make for a good sitcom. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Behind The Music: Pocket Cookies

This is the untold story of the most popular band you've never heard of. Pocket Cookies took the world by storm in the mid-90's and then faded off into obscurity with the turn of the millennium. Who were they then, and where are they now? Tune in and weep for what was and what might have been.