Web

Perez Hilton wins legal battle over publishing hate mail

perezWe can start with the moral of the story, because it’s so often the moral of these kinds of stories: Always read the fine print. Especially if you’re planning legal action. It might just save costly mistakes later on.

The mistake in question belongs to Diane Wargo, a woman who wrote to blogger Perez Hilton in December of 2007 to inform him that he was a “FAT GAY PIG” and that Angelina Jolie was a “dirty whore.” You’d think that such opinions are best kept to yourself, and you’d be right; Hilton – real name Mario Lavendiera – published the entire email on December 27 as his Email of The Day, including Wargo’s name and email address, which led to her receiving all manners of threatening emails and eventually being fired from her job. As a result, she filed a lawsuit against Hilton, asking for $25 million in damages.

Now, five years later, the lawsuit is over – and things didn’t go Wargo’s way. Arbitrator Richard Neal found in favor of Hilton, noting that Wargo should have know that anything she shared with the popular blog would be potential publication fodder, especially considering one of the terms of conditions of the site is a warning that those who “post content or submit material … grant [Hilton] a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual … right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish … distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media.”

“The notion that a site specializing in raunchy gossip would promise privacy for such content or to the names of those providing the content is not a reasonable expectation,” Neal explained in his arbitration ruling. “Privacy of content is contrary to the essential function of the site. And in any event, the governing sections of the conditions, as noted, explicitly confer a license and right upon [Hilton] to use submitted material and name the submitter.”

That wasn’t the only bad news for Wargo; Neal also rejected her claim that Hilton’s publication of the email was the reason she lost her job, noting that her writing the email was to blame. He pointed to the company policy at her previous place of employment that not only prohibited the personal use of company email – and that email to Hilton was certainly not business-related – but also cautioned against using the Internet to distribute “offensive material,” which the email would also be in deep violation of. Whether or not the email had been published, he reasoned, Wargo was in violation of those guidelines.

So yeah, again, guys, you should read the fine print before expressing your opinions. There are, of course, other morals to be offered. For example: Don’t write offensive emails to gossip websites in the first place. And if you absolutely have to, don’t do it from your work email account.

Smart Home

Airbnb hosts are offering free rooms to those displaced by California wildfires

Several thousand Airbnb hosts in California are opening their homes to help those displaced by the devastating wildfires in the state. Free accommodation is being offered to those affected through November 29.
Computing

Save a heap with these Black Friday 2018 graphics card deals

The Black Friday 2018 sales period is finally here and it's brought with it a tonne of great component deals. We've been scouring websites and catalogs for days to find you the best graphics cards deals for Black Friday 2018.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.
Smart Home

Amazon has a huge team dedicated to enhancing Alexa and Echo

An Amazon executive on Tuesday, November 13 revealed the huge size of the team that's tasked with developing the Echo, the company's smart speaker, and Alexa, the digital assistant that powers it.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Social Media

Going incognito: Here's how to appear offline on Facebook

How do you make sure your friends and family can't see if you're on Facebook, even if you are? Here, we'll show you how to turn off your active status on three different platforms, so you can browse Facebook without anyone knowing.
Computing

Our 10 favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Outdoors

Aussies hope free Wi-Fi on their beaches will lead to fewer drownings

Lifeguards in Australia have hit on an idea to use Wi-Fi to make the nation's beaches safer. It's a simple but clever idea that plays on our need to stay connected around the clock.
Computing

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Smart Home

Amazon will bring a 7-foot-tall Christmas tree to your doorstep starting today

If you have fond memories of going out with your family and searching for the perfect Christmas tree, well, Amazon wants to create its own holiday tradition. Starting today, you can order a real, 7-foot tree from Amazon.