A new dating app just launched—and it features video profiles! [Refinery29]
You have to watch this video of President Obama “singing” Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” [BuzzFeed]
The first ever on-bag contest from popchips starts today: It’s kind of like looking for one of the golden tickets from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but the 25 winners get flown to L.A. to see Katy Perry in concert. [popchips blog]
Three-quarters of people in the U.S. are living paycheck-to-paycheck, according to a new survey. [CNN Money]
Recent Yellowstone visitors are not happy campers: There’s been a norovirus outbreak at the national park, as well as at Grand Teton. [UPI.com]
New research reveals that third-hand smoke can damage your DNA. [Huffington Post]
Apparently Cap’n Crunch (as in, the guy on the cereal box) only wears a naval commander’s uniform, not a captain’s…so the U.S. Navy has come out and announced that there is, in fact, no record of a Cap’n Crunch. Thanks for clearing that up, guys. [Newser]
A red panda went missing from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., yesterday evening. How does that happen?! Luckily, the animal has since been found and returned. [National Geographic]
The geeky stereotype associated with working in computer science is keeping more women from pursuing jobs in the field, finds a new study. [UPI.com]
Match.com just announced that they’re launching game nights for singles across the country. Not into Scrabble? Check out some other new ways online dating companies are playing matchmaker. [NYT]
If you haven’t come across the graduation cake with a picture of a cat on it instead of a cap, you need to see it ASAP. [USA Today]
Tens of thousands of unnecessary surgeries happen each year, according to a new USA Today study. [USA Today]
Stress could make you more susceptible to Alzheimer’s, finds recent research. [ScienceDaily]
Unattractive employees face more workplace bullying, according to a new study. [Michigan State University]
As if two varieties of Doritos Locos Tacos weren’t enough, it looks like Taco Bell will also launch Spicy Doritos Locos Tacos soon. [The Daily Meal]
A new bar in California is under fire for requiring that female customers “must wear heels” as part of its dress code. [Huffington Post]
It’s basically your worst nightmare: You gave an ex a sexy photo, and now it’s on the web. In Brevard County, FL, the situation was so common that the local sheriff encouraged the state legislature to pass a law criminalizing “revenge porn.” Now, Florida has introduced a bill that would make it a felony to tag a naked picture of someone online without their consent.
The Sunshine State’s obviously not the only place where this happens—and your exes aren’t the only ones who could post potentially incriminating pictures, either. Abusive partners or peeping Toms could take photos without your knowledge, and hackers sometimes steal existing nude photos—all of which can result in involuntary porn. “I’m proud of Florida for their leadership in bringing the criminalization of involuntary porn into the mainstream discussion,” says Erica Johnstone, a partner at the San Francisco law firm Ritter, Costa, and Johnstone and cofounder of Without My Consent, a nonprofit that seeks to combat online invasions of privacy.
Here’s the thing: Regardless of where you live, you do have legal recourse if someone posts graphic images of you without your consent. “A lot of states do have criminal invasion of privacy laws that are on the books,” says Johnstone. Even in states that don’t, a civil lawsuit may help you get your photos taken down. Here, the steps Johnstone recommends taking to help you regain some control over the situation.
Preserve the evidence
While making another copy of the photo may be the last thing you feel like doing when you discover naked photos of yourself online, taking a screenshot or making a PDF of the page is vital if you want to pursue legal action, says Johnstone. “I hear a lot of stories, and what really helps is when the client can say, ‘This is what happened, this is how I know it happened, and here are the PDF documents that prove what I’m saying is true,’” says Johnstone. “We really need that kind of organization coming from clients.”
Find the right lawyer
If you go to a lawyer who tells you that they can’t help you because there aren’t any laws about involuntary porn in place, you’re talking to the wrong lawyer. “There probably aren’t a ton of attorneys yet who are familiar with this type of law,” says Johnstone. You want one who specializes in Internet privacy. If your friends and family members can’t recommend anyone, try contacting your state’s bar association for a referral.
Take steps to remove the photo
Oftentimes you’ll start with a letter to the creep who posted your photo. It will request a settlement agreement that will likely include a restraining agreement where the defendant promises to (a) take down the content, (b) never post it again, and (c) stay far away from you in the future. The settlement agreement should also include a copyright assignment that gives you ownership of the copyright to the photo (you can use this get the owners of any website to take it down). Most likely, the terms of the agreement will also provide for liquidated damages (i.e., money) if the guilty party breaks any of these promises.
File a police report
Johnstone recommends doing this at the same time you contact a lawyer so that police can enforce any criminal laws against involuntary porn that may exist in your state. While Johnstone says civil action is often very effective, criminal action can help give the person who posted your pics even more incentive to take them down.
Use Google to your advantage
If for some reason you’re unable to take down the content or get it removed, you’ll want to use some search engine optimization strategies so that when people Google you, the incriminating photos show up as far down on the list as possible. “When you publish a lot of neutral to positive content online, it outweighs the negative content and pushes it off the first page of search results,” says Johnstone. So this would be the perfect time to spruce up your LinkedIn page, finally join Google+, and test recipes for that food blog you’ve been meaning to start.
Stuck in an endless cycle of reviewing your online dating matches, messaging promising guys, and repeating? It’s time to mix things up. The Internet dating industry now rakes in more than $ 2 billion a year, according to a new report from the market research company IBISWorld—and analysts only expect that number to go up.
That’s a whole lot of cash—so it’s no surprise that companies are trying to get a piece of the pie by introducing innovative twists on the concept. The upshot: You have more dude-meeting methods at your disposal than ever before. Here, a survey of some of the best new options to add to your arsenal.
To skip the online back-and-forth: Match.com Games
It’s hard to think of new things to say every time a guy messages you. Enter: Match.com games, all of which are designed to help you get to know each other better—minus any stress about what to say next. Play “Food Critic” for example, to see how your favorite taco, pizza, and burger joints stack up. Or gauge whether he has a sense of humor by inviting him to play a round of “Romance Rip-Off,” where you work together to create a cheesy romance one line at a time.
Cost of Match.com membership
To break out of your rut: Crazy Blind Date
Everyone has a mental checklist of what they’re looking for in a guy. The only problem? Eliminating men because they don’t meet your exact specifications could be keeping you from dating someone truly awesome (if unexpected). Read about why Mr. Right is a myth. Stay open-minded with this new app from the makers of OKCupid. Just designate when and where you want to meet up with someone, and Crazy Blind Date will connect you with a bachelor who’s game to join you. The catch? The only info you exchange is your age, sexual orientation, and a scrambled headshot. So you’ll likely get some misses—but maybe also a few hits.
To take dating offline: The Stir
The goal of online dating is to eventually meet up in person—so why not just cut to the chase? Match.com’s The Stir sets up hundreds of mixers across the country. Think: happy hours, cooking classes, rock climbing events, tequila tastings, and more. To start mingling, you’ll need to create a profile on Match.com—but you can skip the part where you chat up complete strangers who you might not mesh with in real life.
Cost of Match.com membership includes happy hours; membership + $ 50 for other events
To expand your options: Grouper
The big problem with first dates: If you don’t have chemistry with the guy, your entire night is shot. Grouper’s genius solution? Sending you on a group date with three single guys (and two of your unattached girlfriends) to increase everyone’s odds of finding someone they click with. The service uses your Facebook profile and a brief questionnaire to match you up with a dude outside of your social circle. Then, you each bring along two single friends. The big drawback: You won’t get photos or details about any of the men before you meet them. And of course, there are no guarantees that you and a friend won’t be into the same guy.
Available in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Toronto.
$ 20 per person per date, which includes the first round of drinks
To get a money-back guarantee: Tandem
If double dates are more your style, Tandem is for you. The site uses a method similar to Grouper to schedule a double date (you and your match each bring a friend to take off some of the pressure of a one-on-one meeting). The added bonus with tandem: If you aren’t satisfied at the end of the night, just let the company know and you’ll get a refund.
$ 10 for one setup, $ 40 for three
The one thing celebrities hope will never, ever be made public? Not talking about sex tapes here, but social security numbers. According to TMZ, an unnamed website posted SSNs, mortgage amounts, credit card info, car loans, banking account numbers, and more for as many as 12 celebrities and political figures, including Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Ashton Kutcher.
Of course, you don’t have to be a star or a politician to have your personal information hijacked. In 2012, identity theft topped the list of complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission—and it was the 13th year that identity theft nabbed the No. 1 spot. Lisa Schifferle, an attorney in the Federal Trade Commission’s division of privacy and identity protection, offers these tips to help you keep your private info under wraps:
Watch where you shop
Small online retailers may have cute goods, but be careful where you whip out your credit card online. You should only transfer personal or financial details over secure sites, which you can identify by a lock symbol that appears to the left or right of the URL, or by the fact that its address starts with “https” (as opposed to just “http”). The same goes for sites that ask you to give out bank or medical info (since health insurance can be stolen, too, says Schifferle). If the site isn’t secure, don’t give out your deets.
Beware of wifi
It’s not enough for the site to have a secure connection—you have to have one, too. Never share private information while using a public wireless network, like at a coffee shop or hotel (even if you have to log in to use it). When you’re at home, it’s safer to plug into a wall than to use wifi. If you are hooked up wirelessly, make sure to use a router with WPA2 encryption (the highest level available), to password protect your network, and to name your router (hackers can find routers more easily when they still have their default names). That said, it shouldn’t be your last name, either. “Change it to something unique that only you would know,” says Schifferle.
Avoid mobile banking
Many banks have smartphone apps now, but it’s not a good idea to use them for more than finding the closest ATM. While logging into your account through a mobile network is safer than through a public wifi network, Schifferle says it’s even more secure to log on through an internet connection you know is protected.
Update your anti-virus and anti-malware software
If you can’t remember the last time you checked out your security programs, open them up to make sure everything’s in order. “Even if you have a secure connection, someone could get in if these aren’t up-to-date,” says Schifferle. If you’re installing new software onto your computer, set it to update regularly or to alert you when it needs to be manually updated.
Become a password pro
You probably already know that passwords should be fairly long (the FTC recommends 10 to 12 characters); a mix of letters, numbers and special characters; different for every account; hard to guess; and changed regularly (about every 60 to 90 days). What you may not: Using any kind of program to store or keep track of your passwords is a bad idea. “Keep your passwords in a secure place out of plain sight, and don’t share them on the phone or by text or email,” says Schifferle. Don’t prompt your computer to save them on each site, either. While it may be annoying to type in your password every time you log onto Facebook or your credit card account, it’s not nearly as annoying as dealing with identity theft if your laptop gets stolen.
Keep an eye out for phishers
Even an e-mail that seems like it’s coming from a close friend or family member could be a scam. “A lot of us have probably gotten e-mails saying that a friend is stuck in London and needs money in order to get back or they’re in the hospital and they need money or they were robbed and everything was taken so they need money,” says Schifferle. “It’s really just an identity thief who’s hacked into their e-mail account and sent it out to all their contacts.” Delete the message and try to call the person before you fork over any info.
Be careful what you post on Facebook
Without even realizing it, many people put up information that could be used to answer their security questions and get into their accounts, says Schifferle. Is your mother’s maiden name, the name of your high school, or the name of your childhood pet on your profile? Anything that could be used to gain access to your personal information should only be given out on a need-to-know basis.
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