Most are unaware of invasive geotagging
Feb21

Most are unaware of invasive geotagging

Several students release vital information about themselves without considering what they’re sharing with the virtual public. While some view geotagging as a privacy issue, others are unaware that they even have access to it. Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media such as photographs, video, websites, SMS messages, or RSS feeds. It’s a type of geospatial metadata. Director of Technology Information Shawn Kung believes that it is an interesting yet ambiguous tool. “For the people who use geotagging, the benefits are clear: Now I know this place is located at this specific location. Wow, that looks fun or pretty or interesting,” he said. “However, because of the non-obtrusive nature of geotagging, most people are completely ignorant of its prevalence.” Many students are unfamiliar with the term geotagging, which can be an issue. Being left in the dark about this application could cause people to release information about themselves without knowledge of it becoming public. Kung described how this ignorance of geotagging affects those with  certain phones. “Most of the smart phones available today are GPS enabled. Many automatically geotag all the pictures taken with that device,” he said. “Some phones do not even give the user any hint that the pictures are being tagged.” Though most students do not recognize the term geotagging, light bulbs went off at the mention of Facebook and tagging friends in posts and pictures. Junior exercise sport major Elbe Vargas discussed his awareness about the concerns involved in tagging friends on Facebook. “I think it can be a privacy issue obviously … because you’re telling everybody where you’re at,” he said. “I think a lot of people don’t realize it when they do it, though.” For the most part, Vargas believes geotagging is a great tool. He chatted about his amusing experiences with it. “I did it just to do it because it was fun,” he said. “I was eating some chicken and I put up I was at Bush’s Chicken with my friends.” Vargas assured people that they can remove themselves from tags if they are concerned about their whereabouts being exposed. He described a situation where he tagged a friend at the mall who untagged himself because he did not want his whereabouts known. Furthermore, tagging has not always been the thing to do. When Facebook first included this tool in the fall of 2010, it caused uproar among individuals seeking privacy. Many people notified their friends through e-mails about the dangers of geotagging and how it threatens personal safety. Kung revealed he has not had any dangerous encounters with geotagging. He explained his view on this...

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Choose words wisely

Critics are slamming public figures for using violent language in the media. As for journalists, they’re beginning to delay their speech before spouting off words that may power this debate of rhetoric. Battle-ready language is certainly more functional in combat zones but should not be restricted from newsrooms or the vocabulary of politicians granted that they use this type of word choice with caution. Critics, like former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, are attacking journalists for their violent word usage. As a result, journalists have taken these criticisms into consideration. Some stations, such as CNN, are shifting their language from battle-ready terms. In the past, Palin has received public ridicule for using various phrases that seem more appropriate on a battlefield rather than from a podium. The public has responded negatively to her expressions like, “Don’t’ retreat. Reload” and having districts in “the crosshairs” of a gun. Palin’s word choice has made her in many ways infamous. Chances are Palin does not literally mean the phrases in their conventional contexts. Most likely, she is letting words slip out of her mouth without giving much thought as to what she is actually trying to say to her audience. Nonetheless, contemplating speech before it reaches the public could save face for many people. Most recently, Palin’s ill-famed “cross hairs” quote from her political action committee resurfaced in the media. Ironically, the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords exposed how her warning against Palin’s “crosshairs” statement is accurate. “We need to realize that the rhetoric, and the firing people up and … for example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, the way she has it depicted, we’re in the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize that there are consequences to that action…” Giffords said. Consequences indeed. After the Tucson shooting, Palin accused “journalists and pundits” of committing “blood libel.” This is a term that refers to a fabricated accusation or claim that religious minorities, usually Jews, murder children to use their blood in various parts of religious rituals and holidays. Surely she did not mean to use “blood libel” in this context, either. Palin is not the only politician at fault, however. Democrats are also guilty of using violent language and symbols. They used bullseyes to target Republicans on district maps. Aggressive language is not solely responsible for vicious behaviors. But violent people are capable of creating violence despite battle-ready rhetoric. Critics recognize the lack of intelligence that public figures display when they utter aggressive expressions without first examining what they are conveying to the American people. The best...

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Super Bowl trafficking
Feb08

Super Bowl trafficking

A high demand for children and women for the sex trade persists in a global market that thrives on exploiting them. This demand increases around huge social and sporting events. During Super Bowl weekend in Dallas, the demand for trafficking children might have been supplied but not without a fight. According to the 10th annual Trafficking in Persons Report, 12.3 million adults and children are in forced labor, bonded labor and forced prostitution worldwide. As far as justice goes, there were 4,166 successful trafficking prosecutions in 2009. Various organizations geared up this weekend to rescue victims of sex trafficking in Dallas and to raise awareness about this global issue. Traffick 911 fought child sexual slavery with its campaign, “I’m not buying it.” They developed street teams to locate and rescue victims of human trafficking. According to the Traffick 911 website, the group wants the world to know North Texas is not OK with the buying and selling of American children. It hosted a tailgate party at the Aristide Event and Conference Center Saturday, Feb. 5. Many speakers, such as Dallas Cowboy and three-time pro-bowler Jay Ratiff and U.S. Congresswoman Kay Granger of the 12th district, attended the event. Coordinator of publications and social media at Waco’s Texas State Technical College Sarah-Jane (Sanders) Menefee supports Traffick 911. Menefee is a UMHB alumna and former editor of The Bells newspaper. Since she was unable to participate in the street teams, Menefee stood behind the outreach by seeking God’s favor. “We are following Traffick 911’s prayer guide which has daily scriptures and prayer requests. Our plan is to fast the full day of the Super Bowl in hopes that the Holy Spirit will move in awesome ways through the anti-trafficking outreaches,” she said. Menefee and her husband, Matt, did not participate in game day festivities. “We’re not attending parties or even watching the game. How can we celebrate when so many women and children are in slavery?” she said. Other organizations combating child sex slavery are aware of the influx of prostitution rings that appear around the Super Bowl and have listed information on their websites about the issue. Stop Child Sex Trafficking Now actively works to bring down the sellers of this trade. According to its website, its partners are trained and capable of bringing down predators and providing justice for victimized children all over the world. Like Traffick 911, Love 146 is an outreach that also runs rescue missions. According to the website, the group aims to fight child sex slavery and exploitation with the unforeseen and restore survivors. The organization hopes to create international round homes, housing for recovered...

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Timm ‘Compassion’ately paints
Jan25

Timm ‘Compassion’ately paints

Many aspire to be compassionate, but feeling sympathy for others is as far as some will venture. When it comes to acting on that pinching emotion inside that whispers “Do something,” some merely ignore it. Many students couldn’t resist the empathy they felt in chapel Jan. 19 when Christian artist, author and speaker Eric Samuel Timm painted a picture of Jesus as he spoke and encouraged Crusaders to sponsor a child through Compassion, a Christian child advocacy ministry. “The biggest thing I love about Compassion is that they do it in Jesus’s name,” he said. Timm has been involved with Compassion for almost a decade. It seeks to provide the needs of children tormented by poverty while enabling them to become mature Christians. Members of the Baptist Student Ministry displayed information about the ministry in the SUB. A photo of a child representing a region in Africa, Asia, Central or South America appeared on the front of each brochure. The leaflets contained general information about the children and sponsorship materials. Several Crusaders crowded around, seeking to enhance the quality of a child’s life. Freshman education major Laura Briner, along with her friends, decided to sponsor Benson Joab Mwamso, a child from Tanzania. “We picked him because he lives in a place where there’s AIDs,” she said. Briner and her friends, freshman nursing major Ciara Prailey, freshman computer science major Kate Schladenhauffen and freshman accounting major Maizey Cardy are splitting the payment on the donation to Benson each month. The friends learned that they share a common interest with Benson. “He plays soccer and … three of us play soccer,” Briner said. Briner believes sponsoring Benson will be a great experience because of her love for kids and desire to teach. She thinks the presentation in chapel showed students how fortunate they are. “It should be an eye-opener to people that we are so spoiled,” she said. Timm’s message on “repainting Jesus” was that enlightenment for some. “Repainting Jesus” refers to Christians leading by example and using their daily actions to reverse fallacies about God’s message. “We can go rescue, feed and clothe, and end malaria, but what would  profit a man if he gains all the food, the clothing that he needs, but he loses his own soul?” he said. Timm began his presentation in chapel receiving laughs from the audience, but quickly awed them with his painting. His canvas revealed an image of Jesus painted in black and red, previewing his message. However, Timm does not always speak when he paints. Sometimes he paints on stage as another speaker addresses the audience or during a concert while a...

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Seniors face the real world, challenge of tackling the job market
Jan25

Seniors face the real world, challenge of tackling the job market

Senior year rolls around, causing students to swell with anticipation. But anxiety also gets the best of them as they realize obtaining a career is the next achievement waiting to be accomplished post-graduation. Finding a suitable place of employment is a job for Career Services, located on the second floor of Mabee Student Center. Director of Career Services Don Owens described the job market. “Certainly the national picture is still double digit as far as unemployment,” he said. “Texas is (in) a little better shape than the nation, maybe close to 8.5, but it is still rather high for our state.” The unemployment rate for workers with college degrees was 4.6 percent in 2009. The rate for workers without a high school diploma was 10 points higher in 2009 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Owens believes job opportunities are available, but students must be proactive in searching for openings in areas where they would not generally look. He encourages students to network as well. Owens said at times the media’s portrayal of a harsh job market causes some students to end job searching, neglect attending job fairs and flee to graduate school. Because of this, Owens and other career centers across the nation fear people with graduate degrees will flood the job market, making the master’s degree what the bachelor’s is now. For now, a bachelor’s degree is still better than having no degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings of those with bachelor’s degrees were $1,137, which is 1.8 times the average amount for workers with only a high school diploma. Accounting, finance, computer science, information systems, health occupations and the sciences were distinguished as strong fields in the market, and liberal arts and social sciences as weaker employment areas. Owens thinks that most students are taking steps toward their career. “I’ve sensed that a little more proactive of students are being concerned a little earlier,” he said. “I still think Career Services is somewhat the best-kept secret on campus.” Senior elementary education major Rebecca Widmer has visited Career Services, but not for a job. However, she is aware of its resources. Widmer debated going to graduate school, but it is not high on her list. “I know … in the education world there is a lot of high demand for a lot of teachers … especially in Texas, so I’m not super worried about being able to find a job,” she said. “But I know it’s not going to be as easy as cake.” Christian ministry major Brianna Edwards plans to be a missionary, which requires her to attend seminary....

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