Monday, June 30, 2014

Facebook’s New Bummer Buster Project Edits Negativity Out of User Posts: No More Suicidal Rants or Murder Threats

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Researchers from Cornell University in California admitted Monday to performing a series of dubiously ethical experiments in 2012 by manipulating the content in random Facebook users’ news feeds to gauge emotional reactions. Creepier still, Facebook suggested that such experimentation is routine, which explains how the project slipped past the eyes of ethics committees. Facebook attempted to defend its actions, stating that its overly vague data use policy allows it do whatever the heck it wants as part of “internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.” In a follow up announcement, Facebook also revealed that tests after 2012 have involved directly editing the content in users’ posts to make them “more positive. We see suicidal rants all the time; putting a happy spin on them makes others more likely to post, and increases traffic.”

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Frustrated Fan Pays $2 Million for “Like a Rolling Stone” Lyrics to Figure Out What Dylan is Actually Saying

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics to “Like a Rolling Stone” fetched a record-breaking $2 million at a Sotheby’s auction in New York this Tuesday. The purchase price easily topped the previous record of $1.2 million, which a buyer in 2010 paid to procure John Lennon’s personally penned manuscript for “A Day in the Life.” According to the auction house, an anonymous fan placed Dylan’s lyrics up for sale, saying he bought the document from the legendary folk artist directly. The identity of the winning bidder was not disclosed, but the man told Sotheby’s he was willing to “pay any amount to end decades of torture trying to figure out what the hell Dylan is mumbling about.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Obama’s Insidious Marine Sanctuary to Destroy Fishing, Oil Spilling and Trash Dumping Industries

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- President Obama once again abused his executive privileges Tuesday by unilaterally issuing a series of measures to close off parts of the ocean, pushing the United States one step closer toward economic ruin and communism. The president’s plan would create marine sanctuaries to protect wide regions of the central Pacific from fishing, oil exploration and waste disposal enterprises. The announcement, opponents say, demonstrates further evidence of Obama’s willingness to exercise his dubious executive powers to take over the world, kill thriving industries and destroy free markets.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Low-Tech Device Maker Timex Challenges Google and Apple with “Smartest Watch”

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Not long ago, software developers, hardware manufacturers and Internet pioneers began a battle of supremacy for “smart devices,” portable mini-computers designed to enhance and streamline the lifestyles of consumers. Now, these same technology leaders are duking it out over new lines of products that shrink the same core features into wearable accessories. Google launched Glass, a virtual-reality device that resembles eyeglasses and makes the functionality of an Android smartphone accessible through a display built into clear lenses. Samsung countered with a smartwatch. Now Google and Apple have announced plans to distribute their own unique smartwatches. But an unexpected challenger entered the technological fray Monday in the form of a struggling, low-tech Dutch company called Timex, which promises consumers “the smartest watch on the market,” in both digital and analog formats.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Virginia Voters Say Cantor Just Didn’t Have the Hate, Fundamentalism or Xenophobia He Campaigned On

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Key Republican leaders are still reeling from the shock of Rep. Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) crushing defeat Tuesday by political neophyte Dave Brat, a darkhorse Tea Party candidate. A day later, political analysts and GOP strategists continue to scratch their heads as they work to deduce how an unknown, inexperienced academic handily dethroned the man who would have become successor to House Speaker John Boehner. In a related story, Boehner wept openly at the news of Cantor’s loss when reporters cornered him at Trattoria Alberto, his favorite Capitol Hill eatery. He also sniveled when he discussed his deep affection for the restaurant, breaking the record for the most tears shed by a politician -- an honor formerly held by Ed Muskie.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Abducted 11-Year-Old Boy Freed by Kidnappers After Two Minutes of Singing Justin Bieber Song

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- In April, the inspirational story emerged of an abducted 10-year-old boy who secured his freedom by singing a gospel hymn to his captor for three hours. They boy’s account went viral across social media and communities of faith. Willie Myrick was kidnapped from the driveway of his Atlanta home but dropped off hours later in another part of town after his abductor hurled expletive-laden demands for him to stop signing. Hezekiah Walker, the song’s composer, attended an event held in Willie’s honor where he received a standing ovation for his heroic, self-professed role in shepherding the child to freedom. “I really believe that God spoke through me to save that young man's life,” he told attendees. But Walker’s songs may not be the most effective for thwarting kidnappings. On Thursday in California, Bryce Hessington, 11, was let go by his abductors after a record-breaking two minutes -- for singing Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

George R.R. Martin Criticizes Spanish Abdication, Sends Parliament Treatment of How It Should Have Happened

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- After serving nearly 40 years as Spain’s monarch, King Juan Carlos announced his abdication of the throne on Monday. Crown Prince Felipe, his son, will ascend to rule in his place. Early in the king’s reign, he proved instrumental in paving the way for Spanish democracy after the oppressive dictatorship of Francisco Franco. Carlos remained a popular figure throughout most of his rule, but many Spaniards have admitted losing confidence in him over recent years, preferring his son instead. The king’s decision to step down was praised by the majority of the country. Across the Atlantic, however, the announcement was received less favorably. “A Song of Ice and Fire” author George R.R. Martin publicly lampooned the political maneuver as a “wasted opportunity” and an unrealistic “representation of how the game of thrones is played. No bloodshed, no treason, no assassinations and not even a hint of incest. What are we teaching today’s kids?”

Monday, June 2, 2014

Neurologists Deem Donald Sterling Mentally Incapacitated...For Spending Billions on Awful Team

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The Donald Sterling saga reached another fascinating milestone on Friday when two neurologists told CNN they had deemed the disgraced 80-year-old Clippers owner mentally incapacitated. The NBA unleashed its harshest punishment against Sterling in April, issuing a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine. The decision came in the wake of racist remarks Sterling made to his mistress, which she took public. Sterling is now suing the NBA for $1 billion. Some news agencies reported that the neurologists attributed Sterling’s bigoted comments to his mental impairment, but the doctors confirmed Monday that their assessments were based on Sterling’s squandering of billions for one of the NBA’s worst teams.

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