SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. government is seeking software that can mine social media to predict everything from future terrorist attacks to foreign uprisings, according to requests posted online by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Hundreds of intelligence analysts already sift overseas Twitter and Facebook posts to track events such as the Arab Spring. But in a formal “request for information” from potential contractors, the FBI recently outlined its desire for a digital tool to scan the entire universe of social media — more data than humans could ever crunch.
The Department of Defense and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence also have solicited the private sector for ways to automate the process of identifying emerging threats and upheavals using the billions of posts people around the world share every day.
“Social media has emerged to be the first instance of communication about a crisis, trumping traditional first responders that included police, firefighters, EMT, and journalists,” the FBI wrote in its request. “Social media is rivaling 911 services in crisis response and reporting.”
The proposals already have raised privacy concerns among advocates who worry that such monitoring efforts could have a chilling effect on users. Ginger McCall, director of the open government project at the Washington, D.C.-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the FBI has no business monitoring legitimate free speech without a narrow, targeted law enforcement purpose.
“Any time that you have to worry about the federal government following you around peering over your shoulder listening to what you’re saying, it’s going to affect the way you speak and the way that you act,” McCall said.
The FBI said in a statement to The Associated Press that their proposed system is only meant to monitor publicly available information and would not focus on specific individuals or groups but on words related to criminal activity.
Analyzing public information is nothing new in the world of intelligence. During the Cold War, for example, CIA operatives read Russian newspapers and intercepted television and radio broadcasts in hopes of inferring what Soviet leaders were thinking.
But the rise of social media over the past few years has dramatically changed both the kinds and amount of freely available information. For example, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said at a recent conference that users of the micro-blogging service send out an average of one billion tweets every three days.
“It really ought to be the golden age of intelligence collection in that you’ve got people falling all over themselves trying to express who they are,” said Ross Stapleton-Gray, a former CIA analyst and now a technology consultant who advises companies on security, surveillance and privacy issues.
As a staffer in the early 1990s in what later became the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Stapleton-Gray said the U.S. intelligence community’s early efforts to better harness the increasing volume of information becoming available on the Internet ran into resistance from old hands who believed that secrets were more valuable than the information anyone could get.
But agencies’ requests for better social media tools indicate that resistance has wilted.
The system sought by the research arm of the national intelligence director’s office would fuse together everything from Web searches to Wikipedia edits to traffic webcams to “beat the news” by predicting major events ranging from economic turmoil to disease outbreaks.
The Defense Department’s tool would track social media to identify the spread of information that could affect soldiers in the field and also give the military ways to conduct its own “influence operations” on social networks to counteract enemy campaigns.
The intelligence director’s office and the Defense Department said they could not meet the AP’s deadline to answer specific questions about the proposed projects.
The FBI is seeking a web app that would automatically scrape social networks for data that could alert the agency’s operations center to breaking crises as they happen and plot them on interfaces like Google Maps
For such systems to work well, their developers would have to overcome several technological challenges, the easiest of which is handling the massive amount of data involved.
Developments in so-called “cloud computing” have made processing big data sets easier than ever before by spreading the work broadly across networks of computers.
Instead, experts in the field say the major hurdle is in effect teaching computers how to read. To sift the valuable information from the mundane, the software must understand the subtleties of meaning in tweets and blog posts to tell the difference between, for example, a serious statement and a joke.
Solving such problems falls to researchers in fields such as natural language processing and computational linguistics — the same specialties that brought the world the iPhone’s Siri voice-activated assistant and IBM’s Watson, which trounced its human opponents at Jeopardy.
San Francisco-based Linguastat Inc. worked with the Centers for Disease Control during the 2009 swine flu outbreak to track public fears and concerns on social networks and determine whether the CDC’s public health messages were gaining traction. Company co-founder John Pierre said that tracking public sentiment depended on much more than searching social media for specific words or phrases.
“Just because they mention it, do they like it, do they not, are they saying it in the right context? Is it a band called The Swine Flu?” Pierre said.
Authenticity also becomes an issue in analyzing social networks. Computer programs known as “bots” already plague services such as Twitter with junk posts similar to email spam. Researcher Tim Hwang has scripted his own bots to see how much influence they could wield over social networks and says the ability to create bots that closely mimic humans will only improve over time.
This matters in intelligence gathering because bots could fool analysts — and their software — into thinking they’re witnessing a genuine shift in social trends that in reality could be a government propaganda campaign driven by, for example, Twitter users that don’t really exist.
“We have all the data. How do we know what’s real and what’s not?” Hwang said.
William McCants, an analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses and a former State Department official, monitors al-Qaeda propaganda online. He said he worries that the systems the FBI and other agencies are seeking could create an overreliance on technology at the expense of carefully trained human analysts who are still better at zeroing in on the facts that matter most.
“The more data you use and the more complicated the software, the more likely it is you will confirm a well-known banality,” McCants said a friend likes to joke. “You didn’t need to be on Twitter to know that a revolution was happening in Egypt.”
Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/02/12/us-government-looks-to-mine-social-media-to-combat-terrorist-attacks-uprisings/
The Post MostMost-viewed stories, videos, and galleries in the past two hours
Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/malaysia-to-deport-saudi-journalist-accused-of-insulting-prophet-on-twitter/2012/02/12/gIQAztEn7Q_story.html
Twenty-seven minutes before mainstream media broke the news of Whitney Houston’s death on Saturday night, the story was on Twitter, reported by a man who tweeted the news out to his 14 followers.
A tweet — sent at 4:57 p.m. PT — from the Associated Press that confirmed Houston’s death by citing her publicist was retweeted more than 10,000 times, according to data from Topsy Labs. However, the first tweet to reveal the news was sent at 4:30 p.m. PT and was only retweeted once.
Mashable was unable to reach @chilemasgrande for comment.
UPDATE: Although Topsy’s data reveals @chilemasgrande announced the news, a Mashable reader informed us that a tweet sent from @AjaDiorNavy about 15 minutes before might have been first:
Her tweet also alludes to the rumor reported by TMZ that Houston drowned in the bathtub.
Saturday night, the Beverly Hills Police said Houston was pronounced dead at approximately 3:55 p.m. PT.
This isn’t the first time news a large-scale death announcement was first reported on Twitter. A computer programmer in Pakistan inadvertently live-tweeted the military raid on the Osama bin Laden compound. “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1 a.m. (is a rare event),” Athar wrote. His message later received global media attention following the news of bin Laden’s death.
The tragic news of Houston’s death spread fast on Twitter. In fact, about 2.5 million tweets and retweets occurred in the first hour, amounting to more than 1,000 tweets a second, according to Topsy Labs. Although this sent Twitter into a flurry of reactions, it still wasn’t enough to beat last Sunday’s Super Bowl record-breaking tweets.
The news of Houston’s death peaked at 5:23 p.m. PT with 61,227 tweets in that minute.
An article from MSNBC was the most re-tweeted news link, as 13,000 tweets linked to the story. Celebrity tweets also spread like wildfire throughout the site as many retweeted their messages and reactions.
Rapper Lil Wayne had the most retweets (29,000), followed by Justin Bieber (15,000), Nicki Minaj (9,000) Katy Perry (8,000), Mariah Carey (6,000) and Christina Aguillera (4,000).
For more Twitter reactions from celebrities, check out the gallery below.
Did you find out the news via a social media site? Do you think Twitter is the future of breaking news? Let us know in the comments.
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Graphic courtesy WhitneyHouston.com.
Article source: http://mashable.com/2012/02/12/whitney-houston-twitter/
Investors thinking of buying a piece of Facebook after it goes public are hoping it will perform like Google, whose stock has risen 500 percent since its debut seven and a half years ago.
But they may want to spare a thought for companies slightly less exciting — a truck leasing company, perhaps, or a manufacturer of ball bearings.
Stocks of those two have left Google, and the investors who didn’t get into it early, in the dust in the past several years. So have more than half the companies in the Standard Poor’s 500 index.
Since the stock market peaked on Oct. 9, 2007, Ryder System Inc., which rents moving trucks, has returned 26 percent, counting dividends. Timken, the ball bearing company, 49 percent.
And the staid Johnson Johnson, the 125-year-old maker of Tucks ointment to relieve hemorrhoids among thousands of other products, has trounced Google, too — returning 12 percent with dividends.
Google is up more than most stocks if you pick a different starting point, like 2004. But measured from the market peak, it’s down 1.5 percent. In other words, the people who got in then still haven’t broken even — four and half years later.
Even Microsoft, the lumbering software company whose best days are widely considered behind it, has done better, returning 12 percent, counting dividends.
The lesson is that when it comes to hot stocks, you can sit on losses for years if you happen to buy at the top and can’t make up ground with dividend checks.
“They move like rockets, straight up,” says Robert Russell, president of Russell Co., a wealth management company in Ohio. “But they can fall back to earth, too.”
In a filing earlier this month, Facebook said it plans to sell a yet-unknown stake for $5 billion, the largest for an Internet company’s initial public offering. The buzz is that the offering could value the whole company at as much as $100 billion — more than Hewlett-Packard, AOL and Yahoo combined.
Whether the newly public stock — ticker symbol FB — will prove profitable for investors is another matter.
For a taste of the dangers of buying stock in companies in the spotlight, check out the performance of Internet IPOs last year. You’ve done OK if you got in at the offering price, set before the stock starts trading. But that’s mostly reserved for the favored customers — pension funds, mutual funds, hedge funds and other institutions. The little guy isn’t doing nearly as well.
After sharp rises on the first day of trading, most stocks have fallen. That’s true for Groupon Inc., the online daily deals site, Pandora Media Inc., an Internet radio operator, and the consumer reviews site Angie’s List Inc.
Even the online professional network LinkedIn Corp., a stock that surged Friday on news of unexpected big quarterly profits, is down 4.6 percent from its IPO close.
In hindsight, people looking to strike it rich should have stuck with the IPOs of companies more obscure, like fertilizer maker CVR Partners. Since its public debt in April, the company, which sells nitrogen fertilizer to farmers from a factory in Kansas, is up 77 percent.
Its lucky owners also get something those of pie-in-the-sky Internet outfits can only dream about — dividends. CVR is expected to send checks to its shareholders over the next year of $2 per share, or 8 percent of its stock price even after the big run-up.
Article source: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/facebook-ipo-nears-case-dull-stocks-15558759
Facebook has announced several updates to Facebook Credits. There are three major news items you should know about: new payer promotions, updates to the Pay Dialog, and payout reports.
Starting with the first item, Facebook has begun sponsoring promotions to help developers convert game players into paying users. The current offer, which gives you $4 of value for free by purchasing 10 Facebook Credits at the regular price of $1, encourages gamers to make a first-time purchase using their credit card or PayPal account. Furthermore, the deal isn’t limited to American Facebook users; if you’re outside the U.S. you will see the same offer expressed in your local currency.
There are two versions of this offer currently running on the Facebook Platform, both of which are sponsored by Facebook. Developers will be paid out their full revenue share for purchases made by the user. It’s worth noting that the offer is only available to select users who have not previously purchased on Facebook. The deals also can’t be accessed via a direct link: you’ll have to see them on Facebook yourself while gaming. In this way, Facebook is minimizing the chance users will abuse the deal. The social networking giant promises it will offer more such deals in the future.
The first version of this offer is available to users through TrialPay’s Offerwall and DealSpot products (partners include Playfish, Playdom, Kabam, CrowdStar, and iWin). You’ll thus have to find games made by those developers. The $4 free value is redeemed by the user in the form of in-app currency (launched last month) if the developer has implemented in-app currency offers in their app, and in Facebook Credits otherwise. The second version of this offer will be displayed to select users onsite through Facebook’s promotional units. In this version, the user always redeems the $4 free value in Facebook Credits.
Facebook is trying to encourage developers to implement in-app currency offers by saying they will get maximum value (user conversion and revenue uplift) from such promotions. If you’re a third-party Facebook developer, check out the “Using Offers with Credits – In-app Currency Offers” section on Facebook Developers for more information.
With that out of the way, let’s look at the second and third items on the list. Facebook is trying to make it easier for developers to invoke the Pay Dialog by introducing a new Pay Dialog property called action, which more simply allows developers to specify the Pay Dialog’s purpose. This is not a breaking change: if you are already using the Pay Dialog, everything will continue to work as before, and the Pay Dialog property dev_purchase_params continues to be supported. For details, check out “Pay Dialog – Usage Notes” on Facebook Developers.
Last but not least, Facebook has added a new transaction type for its payments detailed payout reports: the new ‘K’ transaction type represents a chargeback reversal. Previously, when you saw a chargeback or ‘C’ transaction type, the amount of the transaction was deducted from your net payout. Now, when a chargeback is reversed, you will see a new ‘K’ transaction type which designates the chargeback has been reversed and that you should add the amount associated with that order back to your net payout during reconciliation. For details, check out “Reports and Payouts” on Facebook Developers.
Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/facebook-offers-gamers-5-of-facebook-credits-for-1/9042
When Tommy Jordan came across a bad-mouthing Facebook post written by his 15-year-old daughter, he chose not to ground her or cut off her Facebook access. And a simple comment on her wall just wouldn’t do. He decided, quickly and effectively, to pump her laptop full of bullets.
All of this, sure enough, was filmed by Jordan himself and uploaded to YouTube. The video is a whopping eight minutes long, with more than seven minutes of exposition before the bullets start flying. But that hasn’t deterred nearly 19 million views (and counting) of the video of Jordan giving his daughter Hannah a verbal lashing – and then taking out the remainder of his anger on the laptop.
(MORE: ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ Viral Video Nets Family $158,000)
This dramatic situation started when Jordan discovered a Facebook post from Hannah, complaining about her daily life at home. The note, which Jordan read and analyzed in his sit-down chat with the camera, takes issue with the slew of chores she’s forced to do each day. “To my parents: I’m not your damn slave,” the note begins. The teenage angst bleeds from the note, as Hannah proposes that her parents pay her for the chores that she does. This point, in particular, sets off Jordan, an IT worker from Albemarle, N.C., who proceeds to delineate how entitled Hannah sounds in the note. But that wasn’t the only punishment he planned for his daughter’s supposedly “hard” life.
“That right there is your laptop,” he explains, filming the newly-upgraded computer perched vulnerably in the grass. “This right here is my .45.” A quick cock of the gun, and Hannah’s laptop takes a shot through the screen. In the next 30 seconds, he proceeds to empty his gun, and the bullets shatter the computer’s plastic shell.
Naturally, the video has inspired an onslaught of commentary, from shocked teens distraught that a father could do such a thing, to praise from other parents equally annoyed at their children’s complaints. But Jordan has affirmed on Facebook that it’s outside observers that are the most outraged – enough to inspired Child Protective Services to show up at his home. “My wife is OK with it. My daughter is OK with it. My Mother is OK with it. I’m OK with it. We’re the only ones that matter,” he posted.
Though what rings truest is the idea that nothing is private online. Perhaps Hannah will ponder that as she faces an untold amount of time cut off from the Internet.
WATCH: January’s Top Viral Videos
Article source: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/02/12/angry-father-shoots-daughters-laptop-over-facebook-post/
- Defender latest footballer to receive racist tweets, following those sent to Stan Collymore and Louis Saha
Last updated at 1:39 PM on 12th February 2012
Logged off: Micah Richards has closed his Twitter account following the racist abuse
Manchester City and England defender Micah Richards has closed his Twitter account after receiving racial abuse, his agent has confirmed.
In the latest racism row to engulf English football, the Premier League defender closed his profile on the micro blogging site after receiving online abuse and deciding ‘enough is enough’.
The 23-year-old had been sent an abusive tweet last November, which saw an investigation launched by Lincolnshire Police.
After that incident, Richard posted an apparent tongue-in-cheek tweet which read: ‘Love the racist abuse. Keep it coming.’
The Manchester City star kept his @officialMR2 account open but has now reluctantly decided to close it after further incidences of the problem.
The news that Richards had closed his account, which had 120,000 followers, was repeated by his teammate Joleon Lescott.
Lescott tweeted yesterday: ‘Sorry to say tweeps it’s true about Micah is not on twitter any more. Sad day as he is a funny guy on here.’
Alex Levack, of the player’s representatives Sidekick Management, said: ‘Micah is upset about closing his account because he enjoyed the banter and engaging with fans.
‘It was for this reason he did not close his account when he first considered doing so in November.
The Manchester City defender had 120,000 followers and ‘enjoyed the banter with fans’ before quitting Twitter recently
Suffering abuse: Micah Richards (right) in action for City against Fulham last weekend
‘However, he has continued to receive occasional abuse and has decided enough is enough.’
Former Liverpool and England striker Stan Collymore has also received racist abuse on Twitter
Richards is not the first famous face from English football to receive racist abuse on Twitter.
Last month a university law student was reported to police after sending two ‘racist’ tweets to ex-player turned pundit Stan Collymore.
Joshua Cryer, 21, was arrested after the former Liverpool striker turned radio pundit contacted police earlier in January.
Cryer, a final year student at
Newcastle University’s acclaimed Law School, is accused of sending two
racist ‘tweets’ to the ex-player.
One message, sent from user @joshuacryer1, read: ‘Has anyone ever called you Stan ****ymore.’
A second message read: ‘Has anyone ever referred to you as semi pro as in a semi pro ****.’
Popular: Collymore regularly uses Twitter to post messages about football and his charity work
Collymore, who received three caps for England during his playing career, re-tweeted the messages to his 170,000 followers before sending a message back.
Cryer, from Burnley, Lancashire, will appear in court on Tuesday accused of a section 5 public order offence.
Earlier in January Tottenham’s French striker Louis Saha revealed he has also received racist abuse on the social networking site.
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Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2100005/Micah-Richards-forced-close-Twitter-account-receiving-racist-abuse.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
The storyline of “Republik Twitter,” an Indonesian romantic comedy to be released in Valentine’s week, exemplifies a growing trend of couples hooking up through social networking sites in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
In Indonesia, with its 240 million population scattered across a vast archipelago of 17,000 islands — some without even landlines — 40 million Facebook users and 20 million tweeters comprise the world’s third-largest Facebook community and fifth-biggest on Twitter.
And the button on a smartphone is often the gateway to love.
Social media manager Aulia Soemitro met his belle on Twitter. On Valentine’s Day, he wants to tweet his tale.
“I’ll post a short story about our love journey, confess when I started having feelings for her and what made me so crazy about her,” the 24-year-old said.
A young woman enjoys social networking by using her mobile phone devices in Jakarta on February 11. In Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 17,000 islands — some without even landlines — 40 million Facebook users and 20 million tweeters comprise the world’s third-largest Facebook community and fifth-biggest on Twitter.
Ilham Aji Prasetyo, a 22-year-old student, said he snared himself a cyberspace girlfriend after two weeks of flirting — but never got to meet her face-to-face.
“It was a virtual relationship, we never met. I checked out her Facebook photos and chatted online and she felt so right for me,” he said.
“But after three weeks we both felt we couldn’t get more serious because we were of different faiths so we split.”
He found another girlfriend last month — again online.
“This time we’ve met,” he said.” On Valentine’s Day I will send her a love tweet with heart icons, then we’ll go out to the malls.”
Marriages are not usually arranged in Indonesia, but social networking sites have become a popular way to find a partner — particularly over long distance in such a big country.
But some Islamic clerics have called for a ban of sites like Facebook, arguing they allow improper mingling between the sexes and encourage pornography and illicit sex.
“Republik Twitter” portrays not only Indonesia’s online romance scene, but also the nation’s collective love affair with social networking sites.
“We are a Twitter nation. Some use the medium to communicate and share news, others to find love,” said Kuntz Agus, 30, who directed the film.
“Numerous hook-ups and break-ups happen on Twitter. Many relationships end badly due to personality differences. After all, it’s hard to get to know a person well in 140-character bits,” he added.
On screen, love blossoms on Twitter between Sukmo and Hanum. But after Sukmo meets her and she turns out to be a glamorous and beautiful journalist, his confidence melts. He decides to reinvent his looks, and real love blooms when they meet again.
(c) 2012 AFP
Article source: http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-02-click-indonesia-twitter-republic.html
The death of Whitney Houston triggered a tidal wave of tributes from music legends, political powerhouses and regular fans.
“I’ve known Whitney since she was a little girl, and I have always loved her,” Smokey Robinson posted on Twitter. “She was like family to me.”
LISTEN TO WHITNEY HOUSTON’S MOST IMPORTANT HITS
The range of tributes was as wide as Houston’s voice. Testimonials poured in from actors and authors, comedians and crooners, politicians and pop princesses.
Reality-TV king Simon Cowell told “Access Hollywood” that Houston was “the benchmark” for talent show contestants.
“The No. 1 singer anyone ever wanted to emulate, if they really wanted to be a superstar, it was always Whitney,” said Simon, who said he and his “X Factor” team were planning to discuss inviting Houston to be a judge. “We would hear Whitney songs over and over again. She was the benchmark, she truly was.”
WHITNEY HOUSTON: HER LIFE IN PHOTOS
Lady Gaga, like many celebs, weighed in on Twitter, writing: “When I wrote ‘Born This Way,’ I imagined Whitney singing it because I wasn’t secure enough to be a star.”
Comic Joan Rivers said: “What a sad tragedy — the end of the life of an incredible talent. RIP to an amazing singer and legend.”
Houston is credited with paving the way for a new generation of female vocalists. Many of them took to Twitter to bare their souls over her death.
“She’s paved the way for every single singer in the music industry,” wrote Toni Braxton. “Iconic, legendary, innovating, amazing, humble . . . the best in the world.”
Christina Aguilera sounded a similar note. “We have lost another legend,” wrote Aguilera. “Love and prayers to Whitney’s family. She will be missed.”
Jennifer Lopez called Houston “one of the greatest voices of our time.”
Jessica Simpson credited Houston with inspiring her to focus on music. “I found my voice singing Whitney Houston ‘s music,” Simpson said. “Today I lost my idol.”
Gloria Estefan noted that she was touched by Houston’s gentleness. “Whitney was always so sweet to me!” Estefan wrote. “Was rooting for her through her struggles! Such a shame. . . . I’m truly saddened by this news!”
Nicki Minaj put it more succinctly. “Jesus Christ, not Whitney Houston. Greatest of all time.”
Of course, Houston’s influence wasn’t confined only to musicians. Several athletes also turned to social media to pay their respects.
“Wow just wow,” wrote tennis star Serena Williams. “This has ruined my whole day. #Iwillalwaysloveyou. #OneMomentInTime has propelled me to many of my grand slams victories.”
Added NBA superstar Dwyane Wade: “RIP to a legend . . . Sad day for music lovers . . . Whitney Houston should be celebrated 4 blessing us with her gifts . . . #Icon #mother #beautiful .”
Newark Mayor Cory Booker was among the politicos who paid tribute to the fallen icon. “RIP Whitney Houston, a Legend and great American artist,” Booker posted on Twitter. “And always, one of Newark’s and New Jersey’s treasured daughters.”
Actors also got into the act. “Such sad news about Whitney Houston,” wrote Neil Patrick Harris. “She was a legend, but what a life . . ! My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.”
Author Jackie Collins described Houston as “a beautiful and talented woman.”
Ricky Gervais, known for his caustic brand of comedy, was also moved to honor Houston. “RIP Whitney Houston,” Gervais wrote. “An amazing talent a tragic soul. So sad.”
Article source: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/whitney-houston-dead-music-stars-twitter-express-shock-admiration-article-1.1021113?localLinksEnabled=false
“I don’t normally like to respond to rumors, but as I’ve said all along, I want to finish my career with the Pittsburgh Steelers,” Ward posted.
The 14-year veteran is scheduled to make $4 million in 2012. He’s coming off a season in which he finished with 46 receptions for 381 yards and two touchdowns, the lowest totals in each category since he was a rookie in 1998.
Ward, who turns 36 next month, became the eighth player in league history to reach 1,000 career receptions in the regular-season finale against Cleveland. He and Jerry Rice are the only players in league history to reach 1,000 receptions and win multiple Super Bowls.
Yet Ward’s role within the offense diminished as Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders passed him on the depth chart and Mike Wallace became a Pro Bowler. Ward pushed aside speculation he would retire after the Steelers’ season ended with a 29-23 overtime loss to Denver in the wild card round.
“No, I’m not even thinking about that,” Ward said at the time.
The 2006 Super Bowl MVP did not catch a pass against the Broncos, the first time in Ward’s career he was held without a reception in a postseason game. His future is one of several questions that will need to be addressed during what’s already been an active offseason for one of the league’s most stable franchises.
Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was not offered a new contract and spent just over a week unemployed before taking the same position with the Indianapolis Colts. The Steelers hired former Kansas City head coach Todd Haley to replace Arians, though Haley didn’t mention Ward’s name at all during an introductory press conference on Thursday.
The Steelers will look for receiver depth after releasing veteran Arnaz Battle this week and the possible departure of Jerricho Cotchery, who will be an unrestricted free agent. Pittsburgh has just four receivers under contract for 2012, including Ward.
Wallace, Brown and Sanders have spoken at length about Ward’s leadership and all want his No. 86 to be on the field next season.
“He sets the tone in the room,” Brown said of Ward. “We definitely want to help a guy like him win.”
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/steelers-hines-ward-open-to-revamped-deal-to-remain-in-pittsburgh-according-to-facebook-post/2012/02/11/gIQArrSf6Q_story.html
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