MySpace, the popular social network, has donated their US sex offenders database to a center which helps track down missing children. It is well known that many sexual predators use social networking sites like MySpace to look for possible victims. The database is meant to help law enforcement in their investigation. It is hoped that with access to their database, further incidents can be avoided and the children will be safer.
The MySpace database actualy compiles the convicted sex offender registries of 50 US states. It is to be noted that each state had their own individual list. MySpace teamed up with Sentinel Tech, a background investigation company, to create a technology that compiled the lists into one database. It also has photo matching among its tools which cross-checks images submitted, as well as their descriptions, against the sex offender registries. MySpace is therefore better able to identify sexual predators and block or delete their accounts.
Many feel though that this is still insufficient action on the part of MySpace. People wonder why they have not put in place a simple program to determine people’s age from the outset; though since most predators would lie, that isn’t much of a deterrent.
Every December many children (and a few adults) are hopeful that they will get a visit from Santa. They are each hoping that they made it on the good list and not on the naughty one. Some do not believe that he exists at all.
Well, for those who do believe and hope that they will see him when he comes calling, there is a way to find out where the guy in the bright red suit is. North American Aerospace Defense Command is ready and waiting to help track Santa. Operation NORAD Tracks Santa will begin at 2am MST on December 24, Christmas Eve.
NORAD, and its predecessor CONAD, have been doing this for 50 years. They track Santa using the radar called the North Warning System. It has 47 installations along the North American border. The moment that Santa has been detected taking off from the north pole, the satellite network will now be used to track Santa’s flight. It works using infared sensors which can detect Rudolph’s red nose easily by its infared signature.
There are also Santa cams deployed this year. These high speed digital cameras are scattered around the world. Note that they are only used once a year – on Christmas Eve.
Lastly, there are NORAD (Canadaian and American) fighter pilots assigned to intercept Santa and welcome him at various points. They will fly will fly with Santa and his reindeers part way, taking turns.
Children can call or email to ask about Santa’s location. There will be over 800 volunteers taking turns to answer the lines and respond to the emails. They can also visit the website for updates.
If you are not from the US, one thing you’ll notice when dining out in America is that you HAVE to tip at least 20%. Unlike the UK, Spain, or even Asia, many tourists travelling to the US have found that their hometown practices are often greeted with a less-than grateful remarks, or worse, insults, simply because they don’t understand the tipping culture of America.
So its not a surprise that restaurant workers in the US have taken this a step further, and are not hoping for a new law to be passed, making their 20% gratuity a requirement.
In May of this year, website Fair Tip, as been gathering petitions for the 20% tip to be automatically added to all bills in US restaurants. Fair Tip‘s founder, Yakup Ulutas, who was originally from Turkey (where he was a waiter – and no, they don’t tip in Turkey) and now manages a restaurant in Georgia, sees this new measure as a way to lift up the status of servers, and make it into a more respectable profession.
Making several media appearances on radio and television to promote his cause, Mr. Ulutap felt that tipping was at a standstill in the US and it was needed to protect servers from small tippers.
”They work overtime, they work holidays, they work anytime you’re not working.. It’s time for the country to treat the servers with the quality they deserve as a professional. The system is not fair to servers.”