Overheard on CNN.com: Android, Apple fans duke it out in the comments
Our readers are sharply divided between those who are fans of Apple products, and those who like Android and other platforms.
February 10th, 2012
08:06 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Android, Apple fans duke it out in the comments

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Think of this as a companion piece to the previous "overheard" post on privacy. There was a comment in the story about Google that provided some inspiration.

Pitt86: "Slightly off topic, but, in the 'Google vs. Apple' climate seemingly everywhere on this site, am I the only one that finds some humor in the fact that the picture at the top of the article shows a Google screen on a MacBook?"

We do have quite a division between people who despise Apple products and those who love them. There are devoted Android and Google fanbases, but also plenty of iPhone and Macintosh devotees. This division was fairly evident in a few stories this week, but maybe no more than in this piece about the cost of iPhones for carriers.

The iPhone is a nightmare for carriers

This was the most-liked comment:

Sinator: "It's not right that we non Apple users are subsidizing the posers through higher rates. They just need to tack on a sour Apple fee for those who can't feel cool without one.

This person agreed.

fingaz: "And this is why I will be getting the Droid 4 this Friday. Verizon knows that they can make more of a profit on this phone while still sell this awesome phone for cheap! Apple products are simply just wayyy over priced with tons less features then other phones. And you can't even customize them. Its Apples way or the highway! I still have no idea why people buy them!"

But this reader went for Apple.

zopaa: "So I got a brand spanking new Motorola Android-based phone last October. It was great, but I switched to iPhone as soon as it was available on Sprint. The reason? I was trying to show off my new Android phone to my friends after work, but couldn't because the batter was dead. All the bells and whistles are not worth anything, if the basic functions are not there. When in a few years Android make a usable product, I may switch back. I have no allegiance to Apple, but I want to have the best device and IMO iPhone is such a device for a mobile phone."

These commenters talked about the U.S. mobile market. Some of our readers said other countries do it better. FULL POST

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Filed under: Apple • Google • Overheard on CNN.com • Technology
Overheard on CNN.com: Can tinfoil hats be stylish? Google's fine print clouds privacy
Frida Ghitis says online hoarding of our private information is not something we can afford to "dismiss."
February 10th, 2012
05:57 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Can tinfoil hats be stylish? Google's fine print clouds privacy

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

"I've trained a bunch of pigeons. I write down my query, attach it to the pigeon's leg, and send it out into the world. Sometimes, they even come back. I'm finding the results about as relevant as using Bing or Yahoo. I'm a little worried, though I have no evidence to back this up at all, that they sometimes alight on the windowsill of a third party, who gets to see what I'm searching about. It's unsettling, really."
–1anony

Frida Ghitis, a former CNN producer/correspondent, wrote an opinion piece about Google's new privacy policies, and about the future of information security. Our readers had lots of thoughts about that.

Google knows too much about you

Readers debated how much users should worry about where their information is stored.

MeJustMe: "I am reminded of the cartoon of two pigs talking as they are loaded on to a truck. One pig says to the other, 'This is so great we have a warm place to sleep all the food we can eat and now we are going on a trip. And it is all for free!' The caption underneath reads if it is free and always will be free then you are not the customer.
Sums up Facebook and Google nicely. Yes it is free to you but who are you or your data being sold to and for what purpose?"

Some people said the fear was going too far, and referenced tinfoil hats, but others said there is much to worry about.

Cal78: "Your ISP knows every site you go to as well. Your phone company knows everybody you called. Your bank knows everywhere you've used your debit card. Better put on the tinfoil hats."

allanhowls: "Or, you could demand that that which actually belongs to you stay your property. Change the laws so that personal information stays personal, rather than bending over like the sheep you are."

maff: "I dont think it's tinfoil at all. If you live in the inner city and you sleep with the front door open, eventually you're gonna get robbed. In modern society we are in compromised and vulnerable positions. We have faith in people we have never seen before. And now with data mining and these supercomputers, all that information can be consolidated, and eventually it will be. You see the direction technology is going. I'm not saying now, but it's inevitable."

Do you read the fine print? How do you feel about Facebook's privacy versus Google? FULL POST

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Filed under: Google • Overheard on CNN.com • Technology
Madonna stalker re-apprehended after escaping from mental hospital
Madonna has testified that Robert Hoskins repeatedly scaled the fence to her home and gave her nightmares.
February 10th, 2012
01:42 PM ET

Madonna stalker re-apprehended after escaping from mental hospital

[Updated at 1:42 p.m. ET] A man convicted of stalking singer Madonna was re-apprehended Friday in California, a week after he escaped from a southern California mental hospital, the Los Angeles Police Department told CNN.

Robert Dewey Hoskins, 54, who once threatened to knife Madonna, was arrested in Long Beach, LAPD said. He walked away from Metropolitan State Hospital in the Los Angeles suburb of Norwalk on February 3, police said.

[Initial post, 1:36 a.m. ET] A man convicted of stalking singer Madonna, and who once threatened to knife her, has escaped from a southern California mental hospital and is being sought by police.

Robert Dewey Hoskins, 54, walked away from Metropolitan State Hospital in the Los Angeles suburb of Norwalk on February 3, police said.

Hoskins had served a 10-year prison sentence for stalking the "Material Girl," police said.

"Hoskins is highly psychotic when not taking his medication and has very violent tendencies," Los Angeles police said in a statement. "The public is being warned to notify police immediately if he is found, and to not engage him on their own."

FULL STORY
Obama announces contraception compromise
February 10th, 2012
12:23 PM ET

Obama announces contraception compromise

[Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama announced a compromise Friday in the dispute over whether to require full contraception insurance coverage for female employees at religiously affiliated institutions.

Under the new plan, religiously affiliated universities and hospitals will not be forced to offer contraception coverage to their employees. Insurers will be required, however, to offer complete coverage free of charge to any women who work at such institutions.

Female employees at churches themselves will have no guarantee of any contraception coverage - a continuation of current law.

There will be a one-year transition period for religious organizations after the policy formally takes effect on August 1.

"No woman's health should depend on who she is or where she works or how much money she makes." Obama said at the White House. But "the principle of religious liberty" is also at stake. "As a citizen and as a Christian, I cherish this right."

[Updated at 10:11 a.m. ET] The Obama administration's contraception compromise will expand the religious exemption for religiously affiliated universities and hospitals, a source tells CNN Friday. Individuals will be able to get contraceptive coverage directly from insurers.

[Initial post, 8:30 a.m. ET] The White House probably will announce a compromise Friday on a controversial rule requiring religiously affiliated employers to provide full contraception coverage to women, an administration source said.

News of the possible compromise comes after days of escalating partisan and ideological rhetoric over the pending rule, which many Catholic leaders and other religious groups oppose.

As currently written, the rule would exempt churches, but hospitals and schools with religious affiliations would have to comply. The new policy is set to go into effect on August 1, though religious groups would have a yearlong extension to implement the rule.

The administration has been examining laws in 28 states that have similar coverage requirements, senior administration sources said this week. Two sources have told CNN that the administration is particularly interested in the Hawaii model, in which female employees of religious institutions can purchase contraceptive coverage directly from the insurer at the same price offered to employees of all other employers.

Another possible solution, one source has said, would be legislation allowing women employed by religiously affiliated employers to get contraceptive insurance from the exchanges created under Obama's sweeping health care reform rather than from their employer's insurer.

FULL STORY
Young barista's abduction sparks fear in Anchorage
February 10th, 2012
11:56 AM ET

Young barista's abduction sparks fear in Anchorage

[Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET] Eighteen-year-old barista Samantha Koenig has been missing for more than a week, kidnapped on a dark, snowy Alaska evening from the parking-lot coffee stand where she worked.

Her father, at times, has feared the worst.

"I am hitting every place I can possibly think of to get any tip or inclination," James Koenig was quoted as saying by the Anchorage Daily News. "I've got to start thinking, where would I dump the ... body if I were this guy?"

The community is in fear, too, for the employees who staff many of the other coffee kiosks that dot the Anchorage area.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Alaska • Crime
Family releases first post-crash pic of pileup victim
A photo given exclusively to CNN shows Lidiane Carmo at a Florida hospital after a wreck killed most of her immediate family.
February 10th, 2012
10:26 AM ET

Family releases first post-crash pic of pileup victim

The family of a Brazilian teenager who was injured in a multivehicle wreck in Florida last month a wreck that killed at least 11 people, including four of her relatives, amid dense fog and smoke from a brush fire has released the first post-crash picture of her exclusively to CNN.

Lidiane Carmo, 15, is progressing at Shands at the University of Florida hospital, where she has been since the January 29 wreck on I-75 outside Gainesville, one of her uncles said.

The case of Lidiane, who has lived in the United States for most of her life, drew widespread attention after church members said she was an illegal immigrant, and they were afraid she could face deportation. But federal officials said last week that she would be allowed to stay in the United States.

Her father, Jose Carmo, was a pastor at International Church of the Restoration in Marietta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Lidiane came to the United States from Brazil when she was only 2, another pastor at the church told CNN; the family stayed in the United States after their visas expired, CNN affiliate WSB reported.

FULL POST

February 10th, 2012
07:15 AM ET

Friday's live events

The race to the Republican presidential nomination continues Saturday with the Maine caucus.  CNN.com Live is your home for up-to-the-minute coverage from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

7:45 am ET - Romney in Virginia - GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney begins his day in Reston, Virginia, where he'll address the Northern Virginia Technology Council.

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections • Politics • Republican Party
February 10th, 2012
05:42 AM ET

Europe lays out tough terms for new Greece bailout

Greece faces more uncertainty Friday after euro zone finance ministers laid out tough conditions that must be met before they will sign off on a new 130 billion euro ($172.6 billion) bailout deal for the debt-ridden country.

The main Greek party leaders agreed to a last-minute deal Thursday after lengthy negotiations, which was presented to the other 16 eurozone leaders by Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

But Jean-Claude Juncker, the prime minister of Luxembourg and head of the Eurogroup, which brings together euro-area finance ministers, said more assurances were needed from Athens before the bailout could be paid out.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Economy • Greece • World
February 10th, 2012
04:45 AM ET

Pakistan's top court rejects prime minister's contempt appeal

The Pakistani Supreme Court on Friday rejected the prime minister's appeal against its decision to charge him with contempt, his defense team said.

The ruling means Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will have to appear before the court Monday, the date it had previously set to charge him with contempt.

With the ruling, the court signaled it does not plan to budge from its stance that Gilani must send a letter to Swiss authorities urging them to reopen old corruption charges against President Asif Ali Zardari, among others.

Gilani's lawyers had argued that the prime minister had not followed the court's order because Zardari enjoys immunity in Pakistan and abroad as a president in office.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Pakistan • World
February 10th, 2012
04:41 AM ET

Attorney: Pakistani high court gives spy agency ultimatum

Pakistan's Supreme Court gave the country's secretive and powerful spy agency a midnight deadline to hand over seven detainees who were allegedly arrested without due process and injured while in its custody, a lawyer representing several of the detainees told CNN Friday.

A three-judge panel delivered the ultimatum after a lawyer representing the ISI, or Inter-Services Intelligence, failed to bring the detainees to court as earlier ordered.

"The court wants the detainees in court today and they're not accepting any excuses," said attorney Tariq Asad. "The court has said they have until midnight to produce the detainees, even if it means bringing them to court in a helicopter."

The court did not make clear what the consequences would be if ISI failed to produce the detainees by the end of the day.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Pakistan • World
February 10th, 2012
04:38 AM ET

Syrians to take to the streets to protest Russia's vote against U.N. resolution

Tens of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets across Syria on Friday to protest Russia and its recent vote against a United Nations resolution that would have condemned a brutal crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad.

The "Russia Is Killing Our Children" protest, organized by anti-government opposition groups, follows opposition reports that troops in tanks stormed a suburb of the besieged city of Homs. Syria's third-largest city has become a flashpoint in the nearly yearlong uprising.

The mass anti-government protest comes the same day state-run Syrian TV accused terrorists of two explosions Friday that rocked Aleppo, a city considered one of al-Assad's seats of power.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Syria • World
February 10th, 2012
01:30 AM ET

Myanmar authorities take activist monk from monastery

The Myanmar authorities have taken an activist monk away from a monastery in Yangon, a fellow monk said Friday, only weeks after he was released from years of imprisonment.

U Gambira, who was freed by the government last month along with other political prisoners, was taken away early Friday by about 10 men in plain clothes who said they were from the "Yangon Division," said U Thika, a monk who witnessed the events.

The men who took U Gambira away did not give details on where they were taking him or why, U Thika said. He added that the men said that they were not arresting U Gambira but wanted to talk to him.

The move comes after the Myanmar government has taken notable steps to improve its human rights record.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: World