Monday, December 30, 2013

(What's Dope?) Terms and Conditions May Apply: A Sobering Look At Privacy (or the lack of it) in the US

Terms and Conditions May Apply is a very interesting film as it is very deceptive but in a insightful and sobering way as it opens with an innocuous act we all overlook when we sign up to use a service online but after watching this, we should become avid readers of the terms and conditions page before we mindlessly sign up to them. Most of our total ignorance comes from our trust of companies such as Google and Facebook to the point that we treat them we treat them like public goods instead of what they are, faceless corporations looking to make a buck by way of a profit.

These services are free and nobody is against these services being free but a problem presents itself when we are faced with the reality, as Terms and conditions May Apply shows, that if companies such as Facebook and Twitter aren't after your money, they're after something a lot more valuable and precious, your right to privacy. If we were to take this view, then the Terms of service agreements which may read like tax code but are essential reading if you value not having your privacy breached on a daily basis.   

The film then goes from the cumbersome topic of the terms of service agreement we all ignore when using a service online to the wider issue of the continual dissolution of  fourth amendment and persistent violation of privacy in general across the globe. The film also delves into the industries such as the surveillance technology industry that have benefited from the anti privacy climate in the US since 9/11 and the privacy denying policies that have become law since, the still controversial Patriot Act (2001) a prime example. The about face turn in the narrative was a little disorienting simply because I wasn't expecting the film to look at the wider political context.

What I like most about Terms and Conditions May Apply is that it doesn't let companies such as Facebook and Twitter off the hook regarding their role in the persistent violation  of the privacy rights of their users. The film is especially tough on Facebook and Google from its Privacy policies which have very little to do with privacy and their rather lousy treatment of the data of their users from warehousing data to allowing third parties (i.e. governments, spy agencies) access it.

I also like how it reveals the industrial strength hypocrisy of the heads of both Facebook and Google as the film does a great job of showing both Eric Schmidt and Mark Zuckerberg's indifference or outright disregard of the privacy rights of their users stressing the desire for a more "open society" but publicly state their anger (or blacklist magazines in Schmidt's case) when their privacy is breached pretty much how their respective companies the privacy of users on a daily basis.

My favourite moment of the film is when Cullen Hoback, director of the feature, tracks down Mark Zuckerberg to his home address and basically ambushes the Facebook CEO with the camera rolling as he walks hastily down the street doing his best to shake Hoback off his tail then stops to ask him Hoback to turn the cameras off.

This may seem unfair and a gross but entertaining breach of Zuckerberg's privacy but as Hoback spends the whole film demonstrating, tracking down Zuckerberg and getting in his face about his constant interview dodging is nothing in comparison to his companies rather disheartening practices regarding to the privacy of their users.  

All in all, Terms and Conditions May Apply is as dope a film about the state of privacy online and beyond you can get and if you don't watch this film and don't look at Google and Facebook in a different light, nothing ever will.

Check out the trailer Terms and Conditions May Apply trailer here

You can also the film's site here

(Note To The Reader) New Segment: Cause For Concern

As part of our new direction in 2014, we will add a new weekly segment entitled Cause For Concern that will report on issues that in the near future that might become a cause for concern for everybody. From potential market crashes, political tension, hazardous social trends to the excesses of modern corporate power with wide ranging effects, Cause for Concern will be your first port of call to make sure readers are aware of the trends and practices that matter in our world and affect all of us.

Cause for concern will be up on the blog next week Monday. Be sure to check it out, 

Thanks for reading,

Alex Clarke
The Carnage Report 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

(Note To The Reader) bye to 2013 and hello to 2014

2013 has been a year of change for the carnage report and 2014 will be no different as we will take a new direction as we attempt a new approach that will lift us over the average culture blog.  We have been using the same generic segments you can find on any blog on the web but in 2014 we will use original segments that represents an idea rather than a topic. 

With our recently established What's Dope? segment, we look to bring the best of modern culture to your attention and check put for yourself and in 2014, we will add new segment entitled "The Why" attempting to answer the most important in journalism and life in lieu of recent events of the week.

We will also add a new segment entitled The Wasteland which will dedicated to covering TV with an original and refreshing take. Its title is taken from a brilliant biting speech about the state of television in America made by Newton N, Minnow which is still serves as a ample starting point for any criticism to be made about modern television anywhere across the globe never mind the US. 

We also have a segment in the works for those among you who want to get something or want to learn how. it will appeal to the independent spirits among us and those looking ot get inspired so stayed tuned to the "Note to the Reader" Segment that will go up in the next few days

2013 was a good year for The Carnage Report and we made a lot of progress but 2014 will be the year where we distinguish ourselves from every other blog as we look not just to entertain or provide something for you to read but to actually provide content that you can make use of in your life and ideas that enrich your experience reading this blog.

Thank you for reading us this years and we hope you stay with us throughout 2014.

All of us at The Carnage Report wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Alex Clarke
The Carnage Report

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

White Bird In a Blizzard Official Teaser Trailer (2014) - Shailene Woodley Movie HD

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes - Caesar Teaser (2013) - Sci-Fi Movie HD

Rob The Mob Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Crime Movie HD

The Boxtrolls Official International Teaser Trailer (2014) - Simon Pegg Movie HD

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues REMIX (2013) Will Ferrell Movie HD

Grand Piano Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Elijah Wood Thriller HD

Welcome To Yesterday Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Sci-Fi Movie HD

The Square Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Documentary HD

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom Official Love Trailer (2013) - Nelson Mandela Movie HD

22 Jump Street Official Trailer #2 (2014) - Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill Movie Sneak Peek

(Movies) Blended Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore Comedy Sneak Peek

(What's Dope?) World Star Hip Hop: Life on Skid Row

For a site that's infamous for reveling in the lowest common denominator from scantily clad "WSHH Honeys", brutal scraps ranging from chaotic schoolyard rumbles to vicious street fights and other graphic acts of human cruelty, Worldstarhiphop, for once bucked its 8 year trend of capitalizing the darker side of human nature in the urban space.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

(What's Dope?) Blend About: Out to Eliminate Lone Dining One Dinner Date At A Time

Tired of your dining experience looking like this?

And want it to look like this?

Then BlendAbout might just be the fix you need escape the growing legion among us that is the lone diner.

That sad breed of human being among us known as the lone diner has grown in number in our disjointed and alienating globalized reality that is modern life and looks set to continue it's current upward trend. Most of us don't have time to make a social event out of shutting up a groaning belly but would rather  jump out of a window than experience the cringe inducing task of ordering a table for one.

To put a stop to the madness of eating alone, BlendAbout has aimed to stem this trend by getting them in one place online to get them to eat out offline. Not a revolutionary idea I grant you but the best ones rarely are.  

In an age were people have become more lonely and isolated, you might think the good people at BlendAbout are fighting a losing battle but fighting the good fight against isolation is why BlendAbout is dope.

Curious? check out the BlendAbout site below:

You can also connect with BlendAbout on Twitter @BlendAbout

Thursday, December 12, 2013

(What's Dope?) PixelPin: Solution To A Growing Problem

While we all have a thousand accounts, and as a consequence a thousand passwords, we can never remember, it doesn't mask over the soul destroying fact that most of us are shit at devising passwords.

It's not really our fault as we are forced to think of an elaborate and super complicated password that is at once is easy to remember and enough  make a email hacker consider the easy way out out of pure frustration but unsurprisingly, most of us are not up to the job when "Password" (really?) and "123456" (???) are the most commonly used passwords to protect our accounts in an age where services such as Google are pooling access to their services under one username and password.

To counter our hopelessness in devising passwords that a chimp wouldn't in five minutes, PixelPin have devised a fantastic way to protect our accounts online, instead of having to come up with an elaborate password you'll forget as soon as you came up with it , you just use what we as human remember best, images.

The internet has been around for some time now and it's strange no one has come up with an idea of using images to access our accounts given that most people (me included)) have bad memories and won't be climbing ladders in the field of cryptography anytime soon. PixelPin is pretty easy to to use (see the video above)  and is novel and fun way to combat a problem we all face which is for me and anybody with a zillion accounts on the net a godsend and pretty dope

Visit PixelPin to out more about the service here:

Also check out Silicon Real's Brian Rose (also host of the excellent London Real) extensive interview with PixelPin CEO and founder Brian Taylor here:

You can also connect with Brian (Taylor) on Twitter @Brian_PixelPin

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

(What's Dope?) Adam Curtis: The Medium and The Message

Image from Curtis's last film

We all know about Adam Curtis's work as a documentary maker (or at least we should)  from the excellent Century Of The Self to the haunting irony (a trademark in all his films in truth) of The Trap: What Happened To Our Freedom but what does deserve a mention is his work as a blogger.

Curtis's blog, The Medium and The Message, much like his films, is about the folly of elites attempting to impose their visions of the world upon the reality that confronts them and the horrifying, hideous, yet hilarious consequences of doing so but what's surprising is that the power that's often alluring about his films from the off kilter images to the eclectic and haunting soundtracks remain in his blogs without both of these great tools present.

Detailed, well researched, and supplanted with the odd quirky images and archival footage typical of his films, his blogs could easily be developed into a full documentary feature and after reading a couple of them, you're left with an overwhelming feeling that these excellent ideas are wasted on a blog even when they are the best blogs you'll read anywhere.

Maybe being a fan of his previous work has colored my opinion but a quick perusal of his piece of the world wide web might just make you a dedicated reader of his blog and watcher of his films. There isn't a blog of his I haven't liked but blog posts such as "Bugger", "Let Them Eat Plastic", "Madison Avenue", "Lada's Theme", "A Mile Or Two Off Yarmouth" and his most recent blog at the time of writing, "What The Fluck!",  stand out among some great reads

Adam Curtis, in the flesh
I believe that the great filmmakers and documentarians of our time have a number of powers disposal and have one that outshine all the others, Curtis's main strength displayed in his films from Pandora's Box to Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace was his ability to make us look at reality in a different context reminding us of the an often ill recognized truth that reality is hardly what you think it is and the attempts to make it match what you think is a surefire recipe for disaster.

Curious? go check out Adam Curtis's excellent The Medium And The Message blog here.

What's Dope? where whats dope gets its due

The world is full of cool and interesting things  and now with our new segment What's Dope?, they now have a home.

What's Dope? is dedicated to the new, the cool ,the great and what's next in modern culture and beyond and the individuals and groups behind it that make it possible. 

So if you are interested in What's Dope? in modern culture and beyond, What's Dope is your first port of call in navigating the ever-changing culture that confronts us.

This is for those among you who ask aloud when confronted with modern culture  What's Dope?, here is hopefully where you get an answer.

Good Reading

Alex Clarke
The Carnage Report 


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