Unlike other parties that began campaigning immediately after the revolution, young activists spent less time on politics than on repeated protests against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which replaced Mubarak and expanded martial law. Protests broke out days before the elections, leaving 42 people dead in clashes between demonstrators and riot police.
“We were camping in Tahrir up until two days before election day,” said Khaled Sayed, a prominent activist who lost his race in a Cairo suburb. “The second reason we didn’t do well was the sectarian nature of the voting instigated by the Islamists. This made many liberals vote for Egyptian Bloc as a balance to the Islamists.”
Formed by six new political parties and the Jan. 25 Revolution Youth Coalition, the Continuing Revolution members are professionals in their 20s and 30s who used Facebook and other social media to rouse the Egyptian masses in protests that toppled Mubarak in February. But the young did not have the grass-roots support and the lure of religion that propelled Islamists. They also failed to reach beyond the Internet to connect directly with poor and middle class Egyptians.
Many Egyptians regarded the activists as brash upstarts and not politicians who could lead the country out of economic and social turmoil. Continuing Revolution members are not expected to perform much better in the coming rounds of elections in southern and central governorates dominated by Islamists and tribal leaders. The Muslim Brotherhood, as expected, is benefiting from its religious message and its decades-long reputation as the most credible opposition to Mubarak.
“The next parliament will be illegitimate because religious slogans were excessively used and religious parties violated elections rules and regulations,” Aboul Ezz Hariri, a member of Continuing Revolution, told reporters. “This did not give newly formed parties the chance to fairly compete.”
The second stage of elections is scheduled to be held on Dec.14 and 15. The final round will take place on Jan.3 and 4.
– Amro Hassan and Jeffrey Fleishman
Photo: Egyptian women walk past a poster promoting Freedom and Justice Party candidates in Cairo. Credit: Reuters
Facebook’s co-founder has admitted that his social networking website had made a “bunch of mistakes” when it comes to privacy issues.
In a lengthy post on the company’s official blog on Tuesday, Mr Mark Zuckerberg said a few “high-profile” mistakes, “have often overshadowed much of the good work we’ve done”.
The 27-year-old’s post came after the website was asked to get user consent for certain changes to privacy settings.
It is part of the settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which also subjects the company to 20 years of independent audits.
Facebook had faced charges that it deceived consumers and forced them to share more personal information than they intended, Reuters reported.
Mr Zuckerberg wrote: “Even before the agreement announced by the FTC, Facebook had already proactively addressed many of the concerns the FTC raised.
“For example, their complaint to us mentioned our Verified Apps Program, which we cancelled almost two years ago in December 2009. The same complaint also mentions cases where advertisers inadvertently received the ID numbers of some users in referrer URLs. We fixed that problem over a year ago in May 2010.
“In addition to these product changes, the FTC also recommended improvements to our internal processes. We’ve embraced these ideas, too, by agreeing to improve and formalise the way we do privacy review as part of our ongoing product development process.”
He said the website will establish a biannual independent audit of their privacy practices to ensure that they are living up to the commitments they make.
He added: “I also understand that many people are just naturally sceptical of what it means for hundreds of millions of people to share so much personal information online, especially using any one service.
“Even if our record on privacy were perfect, I think many people would still rightfully question how their information was protected.
“It’s important for people to think about this, and not one day goes by when I don’t think about what it means for us to be the stewards of this community and their trust.”
To ensure that Facebook did a better job, he said the company had created two new corporate privacy officer positions to oversee Facebook products and policy.
In its complaint, the FTC said that Facebook had repeatedly violated laws against deceptive and unfair practices.
For example, it said Facebook promised users that it would not share personal information with advertisers, but it did.
Also, the company had failed to warn users that it was changing its website in December 2009 so that certain information that users had designated as private, such as their “Friends List”, would be made public, the FTC said.
There is a limitless need on the part of social networks to make limitless amounts of money.
If you are Facebook and you might, possibly maybe, have an IPO shindig next year, you have to help potential investors believe that your revenues are rosier than an English country garden.
This might be why reports are emerging from the United Kingdom that Facebook is considering allowing casinos to operate within its virtual friendship facility.
When I say casinos, I mean ones with real money.
The Daily Mail fulminates at the prospect. It cites the knowledgeable people at eGaming Review in insisting that Facebook is in negotiations with around 20 gambling experts, consultants, and homes of online gambling.
You might wonder why the U.K. might be the testing ground for such a risk-positive venture. Well, the country is a little more welcoming to online gambling that some, more puritan nations.
Indeed, it’s barely possible to watch an English Premier League soccer game without one of the two teams wearing a logo from an online gambling site. And so-called betting shops bring a polished and charming presence to Britain’s high streets, mottled as they are by cheap clothing stores and imported American coffee houses.
Facebook reportedly doesn’t deny that meetings on this subject have taken place. I have asked the company to clarify just what stage such negotiations might have reached.
The Mail does quote eGaming Review editor James Bennett, who said: “Facebook is looking for new revenue streams and the gambling industry is looking for new markets. There is still a lot of work needed to be done, not least what percentage of revenues gambling companies would have to give away to Facebook and the issue of age verification.”
Of course there will be those who will worry that children’s minds will be polluted by the notion that gambling–like sex, drugs, and reality TV–is a sin that can only lead to pain and sorrow.
Some might think, though, that any child of reading age might have noticed events on Wall Street and mused that online gambling has been comfortably institutionalized into contemporary society.
Teen Mom‘s Farrah Abraham, perhaps not the most obvious person to dole out any parenting advice, took to Twitter to slam Kourtney Kardashian for being in the family way for a second time: “Im Shocked Kourtney Kardashian is pregnant again, Did she not learn anything from TEEN MOM? Maybe its a fake pregnancy like kims wedding. SAD.”
Responded Kardashian, who’s on the current cover of US Weekly announcing her bun in the oven: “Why would I have anything to do with teen mom? I’m 32 years old! I may look young honey, but don’t get it twisted. ”
Speaking of Twitter: Is Ashton Kutcher back to doing press, following his divorce announcement from Demi Moore? Glee‘s Lea Michele, who co-stars with Kutcher in New Year’s Eve, Tweeted the following after this weekend’s movie junket: “Just had so much fun doing press for #NewYearsEve! Got to see the amazing @aplusk .” That’s Kutcher’s Twitter handle.
Talk of Mack Brown being forced out at Texas ran wild on Twitter Sunday afternoon. And it appears to simply be rumors flying.
The talk started with a tweet by SportsByBrooks that reads: “Multiple sources, including one inside UT football program, told me today Mack Brown will likely be forced out at Texas.”
But Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls quickly shut down those reports, writing on Twitter: “UT higherup denies rumor that Mack is being forced out.”
Orangebloods.com reporter Chip Brown also wrote on Twitter: “Two UT sources close to the situation say there’s no truth to reports that Mack Brown is about to retire or be forced out.”
“Mack Brown” was a top trending item on Twitter for a couple hours Sunday.
The Longhorns finished 7-5 this season, the second straight disappointing season for the Longhorns.
There is plenty reason to be skeptical of this report, of course.
Brown is one of the most successful coaches in college football, is 140-36 overall at Texas including the 2005 national title.
SportsByBrooks is the only media reporting the news.
Bohls, as good a source on UT in the country, wrote a column for Sunday’s paper saying Brown will be back.
NEW YORK — New York City is already the US capital of advertising, fashion, finance and media. Now it wants to be its high-tech center too.
The Big Apple’s ambition to rival Silicon Valley with its own Silicon Alley received a big boost when Facebook announced Friday that it will open an engineering office next year in New York, its first outside the West Coast.
The plan was unveiled at Facebook’s Madison Avenue offices during an event attended by Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Senator Charles Schumer and other top officials.
“Facebook is capitalizing on what more and more tech companies are realizing: that New York City is the best place in the world to recruit and retain a talented workforce,” Bloomberg said.
“We’re well on our way to achieving our goal, and that is to become the world’s number one hub for information technology and social media.”
Sandberg said establishing its first engineering presence outside the West Coast was a “big step” for Facebook, “one we would take only if we found the right combination of talent and community support.”
New York may not yet be able to lay claim to the high-tech crown held by Silicon Valley — home to Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Oracle, to name just a few — but it does have a flourishing tech scene of its own.
Major Internet companies such as Barry Diller’s IAC have their headquarters here and the city has given birth to a number of successful Internet startups including Etsy, Foursquare, Gilt and Tumblr.
Online music sensation Spotify selected New York as the base for its US operations after launching in the United States in July.
“It’s quite amazing how far the tech sector in New York has grown, even in the last three years,” said Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for an Urban Future, a think-tank that focuses on the city’s economic and social development.
“A lot of things have changed. California-based venture companies have set up offices in New York, Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and others have opened offices,” Bowles said. “Entrepreneurial bootcamps like Tech Stars have come here.
“Five years ago, most of this wasn’t imaginable.”
Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s vice president of engineering, said New York will become an increasingly attractive destination as the high-tech scene here grows.
“You may be working for Facebook but you want to go meet and exchange ideas, best practices with other people who are doing similar jobs,” he said.
“I think that community has been part of the fuel that has made Silicon Valley a success, and it’s clear that New York has that as well. That’s why we’re here.”
As part of his plan to expand New York’s tech industry, Bloomberg has offered unused land belonging to the city to a university that pledges to build an engineering and applied sciences campus.
California’s Stanford University, breeding ground for many of the Internet stars of Silicon Valley, is among the seven candidate schools.
Lou Kerner, a social media analyst at LiquidNet, said New York may be emerging as the number two tech center in the United States but it is still Silicon Valley “whose beacon shines bright for every tech entrepreneur in the world.”
“They have the best engineers, and most importantly, the best culture to foster innovation,” Kerner said by email. “Innovation is core to the culture of the Valley, while it remains a (growing) side show in New York.
“That’s why Zuckerberg moved to the Valley when he left Boston, and not New York,” he said of the Facebook co-founder.
Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved.
(CNN) — A bomb exploded overnight near the British Embassy in Bahrain, prompting added security at all embassies in the capital, Bahraini officials said Sunday.
The explosive device was planted below a tire of a minibus parked near the fence of the embassy, about 50 meters (164 feet) from the main building, the Bahraini Interior Ministry said.
The blast occurred after midnight.
There were no injuries and the embassy was not damaged, embassy spokesman Altaher Mohammad Aljamal said.
Bahraini police and the Interior Ministry responded to the scene, Aljamal said.
It was unclear whether the embassy was targeted, he said, pending a police investigation.
On its official Twitter feed, the Interior Ministry said it was calling on “the public to immediately report any suspicious car stationed near vital establishments in the kingdom.”
The explosive device “was highly volatile,” the ministry said, but investigators had not yet determined its size.
The blast blew off a wheel of the minibus and damaged the front of the vehicle, the ministry said.
The incident comes days after protesters in Iran stormed British Embassy in Tehran. Britain closed the embassy and evacuated all its staff from the country.
When asked whether the incident in Bahrain was connected to last week’s developments in Iran, the Interior Ministry spokesman said investigators were considering all possibilities.
“Official Iranian incitement has reactions as well as dangerous training in Syria,” the spokesman said on Twitter.