Facebook Look Back Videos Sweet, but a Little Off

For its 10th birthday, Facebook decided to give back to its users with "Look Back" videos complete with sappy piano music and information culled from your history on the social media site. It shows when you started, what your most popular posts have been, some of your photos, etc.

It's a pretty clever video that makes it feel like someone created it special for you, that is until some random image of some guy you met at a bar one night and have never seen again shows up. So special.

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Facebook Turns 10: Four Websites That Wish It Had Never Been Created

Happy birthday, Facebook.
The brainchild of Mark Zuckerberg, a website designed mainly to meet chicks, Facebook was born on this day ten years ago. Like so many tech projects of the last 30 years, it started with a kid who had an idea and some programming skills. Now it's a multibillion-dollar company and the most visited website on the planet. Dare to dream, nerds.

But Facebook left in its wake a number of websites that had been popular before it came along. Such is life on the Internet. One website is replaced with newer technology and a more interesting interface. In fact, some are predicting the same will happen to Facebook itself as younger kids turn away from the social media giant for other, more entertaining sites like SnapChat and locales that aren't inhabited by, dear GOD, their parents.

Still, Facebook is king for now, but like all kingdoms, it was built at least in part on the bones of its ancestors.

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Why New Organizations Are Trying on Upworthy Headlines: The Answer May Surprise You

Not cool, CNN.
In the world of social media marketing, there is something called "click bait." These are images or headlines that, because of their salacious or outrageous nature, make people click them to see where they ultimately lead. There may be some on this very page you're reading in the form of hot girl photos, for example.

This is not to say all click bait links are worthless, but the intimation is that the link makes them seem much more important or valid than they are. Much like the sensationalistic news headlines in the days of yellow journalism, click bait has the effect of over-hyping stories that rarely deserve it.

The most egregious organization when it comes to headline click baiting is Upworthy, the feel-good website full of videos and stories meant to make you feel good or angry or ready to act on...well, something.

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Isiah Carey Takes Another Social Media Star Turn With Arian Foster

Isiah Carey is back in viral video news again.
It wasn't exactly a grasshopper or the kind of YouTube moment that will land someone on Tosh.0, but it did go viral and Fox 26 investigative reporter Isiah Carey was right back in the middle of it. Last year, we gave Carey our Web Award for Best Media Personality on Twitter and he was certainly deserving. Not only is Carey wonderfully engaging on social media, but he's turned a very embarrassing moment -- a viral video of a grasshopper flying into his mouth during a reported news segment in Arkansas -- into a way of communicating with his viewers and even digging up story ideas.

But it would seem Carey is back in the viral video news again after visiting the home of Arian Foster last week. Foster, who was sued by his alleged baby mama and accused of harassing her to get an abortion, was clearly not in the mood to talk to Carey and went on a rant in his driveway. Carey, never out of line, said he understood and offered Foster his card if he did want to speak on camera. Foster refused.

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Let's All Stop Embarrassing Texas Now, Please

Photo by Global Jet via flickr
Texas, we're starting to earn our reputation.

When we look at the recent headlines out of Texas that have made national news, it's pretty easy to see why folks outside the Lone Star State think that we all ride our horses to work. Our antics are becoming the punch line for national jokes, and really, none of them are all that funny. Let's stop this madness, please, before someone loses a foot. Or a horse.

Here are the more recent Texas headlines that we could have done without the nation seeing. If we don't get our acts together, Rhode Island and Delaware are going to think we also pack our six-shooters and lassos by our hips, just in case there's a pregnant lady that needs lassoing.

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Has "Nut Country" (Dallas) Been Rehabilitated Since the JFK Assassination?

Blood Stains Are Hard to Get Out

"We're heading into nut country today," President John F. Kennedy said to Jackie on the morning of November 22, 1963 -- 50 years ago today.

Nut country was Dallas, Texas. The city had gained a reputation as "nut country" because of incidents like:

In the years and months before Kennedy was assassinated, Lyndon B. Johnson; his wife, Lady Bird; and Adlai E. Stevenson, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, were jostled and spat upon in Dallas by angry mobs. In sermons, rallies, newspapers and radio broadcasts, the city's richest oil baron, a Republican congressman, a Baptist pastor and others, including the local John Birch Society, filled Dallas with an angry McCarthyesque paranoia.

The immediate reaction of many in Dallas to the news that Kennedy had been shot was not only shock but also a sickening sense of recognition. Moments after hearing about the shooting, the wife of the Methodist bishop told Tom J. Simmons, an editor at The Dallas Morning News, "You might have known it would be Dallas."

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East Texas Lawyer's Anti-Semitic Jokes Cost Cisco $60 Million

In This Court, You Can't Say That
Otis Carroll of Ireland, Carroll & Kelley is an attorney in Tyler, Texas, where the vaunted rocket-docket patent litigation district court sits (a/k/a as the "Eastern District of Texas," at least one of its "divisions"). Carroll was retained as "local counsel" by Cisco in a piece of patent litigation when it was sued by an Israeli company, Commil.

In East Texas, you don't want some slick Coastie lawyer in front of your jury, you want a local attorney who can connect with the locals. And that's what Carroll endeavored to do, in his own East Texas way:

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Liberals: Stop Worrying About Concealed Carry Laws

It's Okay to Conceal This
Painting with broad brush strokes, liberals tend to favor stricter regulation of guns (although I do think conservatives tend to go out of their way to demonize anyone who dares "tread" on the newly found constitutional right to bear arms). At all events, concealed carry laws (i.e., you can walk around with a gun) have found success in many state legislatures (here's a cool chart that shows the success of concealed carry laws since 1986).

Liberals -- at least those liberals that I like to call "liberals who give liberals a bad name" (e.g., Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, college kids, James Carville, Eleanor Clift, Maureen Dowd) -- are generally against concealed carry laws. Indeed, the dreaded, liberal New York Times issued an editorial called "The Scourge of Concealed Guns."

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The New Segregation: Political Polarization in Houston and the U.S.

Simple, But Wrong, Explanation
Gerrymandering is always tossed around by lazy national media types as a reason for why our politics are so polarized. As I've noted before, this is not the case. Some of the alternative explanations are the urban/rural divide and people self-selecting to live (or move to) cities where they feel at home, ideologically thinking.

Now, there is some new research that helps flesh out this latter effect: Americans are increasingly living with like-minded folks. And if they feel they are not living in a place with like-minded compatriots (too many organic grocery stores, too many pick-up trucks, too many Nissan Leafs, too many gun stores), they are more likely to pick up and move to where they feel comfortable.

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Conservapedia: The Search for the Truth Ends Here

Andrew Schlafley: He Looks Harmless
You are surely aware of Wikipedia, the crowd-sourced online encyclopedia. While sometimes comically inaccurate (but rarely nowadays), Wikipedia is actually a fairly reliable resource for basic facts (How many touchdowns has Tom Brady thrown? Which years was Warren Harding president?). It is almost always one of the first few hits on your favorite search engine when looking up a basic fact. In short, it is useful.

But not everyone likes Wikipedia. Some conservatives, for example. So they formed "Conservapedia."

Tell me more, you say? "Conservapedia is a clean and concise resource for those seeking the truth. We do not allow liberal bias to deceive and distort here." Put another way: "We do not allow liberal censorship of conservative facts. Wikipedia editors who are far more liberal than the American public frequently censor factual information." Conservapedia does not give any actual examples of this.

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