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Sex, secrets and lies in the closet of the Vatican
“Every cardinal who is in the closet is in his own little closet,” he says. “They may have a lover, a confidant, a protector, but they are isolated, which means that when they get in trouble, they fall, while the system remains. A lobby forms to change a system, but these people don’t want to change it. All they want to do is protect their own secret lives.
“That is why some bishops and cardinals I interviewed, even when they are themselves gay, seemed sincerely startled by the extent of homosexuality within the Vatican.”
Press_Column  Catholic  Schism  Christianity  might_write  leaders 
2 hours ago by seatrout
Statue of Polish Solidarity priest accused of pedophilia removed
Jankowski, who died in 2010 and was never convicted of any sexual crime, was a Solidarity chaplain in Gdansk.
He was defrocked in 2005 amid claims he had corrupted minors, a year after an investigation into accusations that he abused a 13-year-old boy was dropped.
In an article published by Gazeta Wyborcza in December, a woman who said she had been abused by him as a child told the newspaper there had also been other victims.
Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz, who was murdered last month, said having the statue in a public space was inappropriate, but city bishop Leszek Slawoj Glodz portrayed the accusations against Jankowski as attacks against the Church.
Press_Column  Christianity  might_write  sex  catholic  Leaders 
3 hours ago by seatrout
‘Prison isn’t working’: David Gauke calls for end to short jail terms
Gauke challenged the view that prison after conviction should be the only punishment for more serious offences. “I believe we are nearing a time when a combination of technology and radical thinking will make it possible for much more intensive and restrictive conditions to be applied in more creative and fundamental ways outside of prison.

“I think for some offenders we need to revisit what effective punishment really means. Home curfew, driving bans, alcohol bans and foreign travel bans are just some of the options that already exist and which might play a bigger role.”
Leaders 
2 days ago by seatrout
The Web’s Recommendation Engines Are Broken. Can We Fix Them?
Recommendation engines generally function in two ways. The first is a content-based system. The engine asks, is this content similar to other content that this user has previously liked? If you binge-watched two seasons of, say, Law and Order, Netflix’s reco engine will probably decide that you’ll like the other seventeen, and that procedural crime dramas in general are a good fit. The second kind of filtering is what’s called a collaborative filtering system. That engine asks, what can I determine about this user, and what do similar people like? These systems can be effective even before you’ve given the engine any feedback through your actions.

....

Some of this work is already underway. Project Redirect, an effort by Google Jigsaw, redirects certain types of users who are searching YouTube for terrorist videos—people who appear to be motivated by more than mere curiosity. Rather than offer up more violent content, the approach of that recommendation system is to do the opposite—it points users to content intended to de-radicalize them. This project has been underway around violent extremism for a few years, which means that YouTube has been aware of the conceptual problem, and the amount of power their recommender systems wield, for some time now. It makes their decision to address the problem in other areas by redirecting users to Wikipedia for fact-checking even more baffling.
adtech  Surveillance  video  Leaders 
4 days ago by seatrout
This wireless AI camera runs entirely on solar power
A big trend in AI is the transition from cloud to edge computing. Instead of AI devices doing their computation remotely via an internet connection, they’re increasingly handling things locally, with algorithms working directly on-device. Benefits of this approach can include faster results, greater security, and more flexibility. But how far can you push this model?
Seattle-based startup Xnor is certainly right at the bleeding-edge. This week the company unveiled a prototype AI camera that runs entirely off solar power — no battery or external power source required. The camera has a piddling 320 x 320 resolution, an FGPA chip to handle processing, and is loaded with a state of the art object recognition algorithm.
You could, theoretically, stick a device like this anywhere outdoors and have it transmit data back to you indefinitely. It’s compatible with a few different low-energy wireless communication protocols (because Wi-Fi drains too much battery) which let it send information over tens of kilometers. And, says Xnor, if you fit it with a battery, it can store enough power during the day to keep it running during low-sunlight hours and at night.
AI  Surveillance  nerd  Leaders 
4 days ago by seatrout
Very dirty work y facebook
On January 9th, Who Targets Me? And all other tools operating in this space lost access to this data. Facebook pushed a change, exclusively aimed at breaking tools that operate as ours does. We have not received a response from Facebook as to why they have made this change. We are not a newsroom and do not have a large platform with which to ask questions of this corporation. We call on members of the committee to hold Facebook accountable and ask for clarification on behalf of the public as to why this data has been obscured from ours, and the public’s view.
adtech  politics  Leaders  privacy 
4 days ago by seatrout
Transgender man in fight to be recognised as father of his child
The Government is opposing a transgender man’s battle to have his child become the first in the UK legally not to have a mother.
The individual – named only as TT for legal reasons – was born a woman but was legally recognised as a man by the Gender Recognition Panel. Subsequently, TT underwent successful fertility treatment and was confirmed to be pregnant, despite his new male status.
Following the birth of his child, the Registrar General said TT must be registered as its “mother” on the birth certificate as it was a legal requirement.
The man has now launched a High Court battle against the Registrar General and it is understood that lawyers on behalf of the Government will on Wednesday begin outlining their case against TT’s attempt to register himself as the child’s “father” or “parent”.
Leaders 
4 days ago by seatrout
How Facebook and YouTube help spread anti-vaxxer propaganda
Facebook search results for groups and pages with information about vaccines were dominated by anti-vaccination propaganda, and that YouTube’s recommendation algorithm steers viewers from fact-based medical information toward anti-vaccine misinformation.
adtech  Surveillance  video  vaccination  Leaders 
6 days ago by seatrout
Facebook under pressure to halt rise of anti-vaccination groups
o-called “anti-vaxxers” are operating on Facebook in closed groups, where members have to be approved in advance. By barring access to others, they are able to serve undiluted misinformation without challenge.
The groups are large and sophisticated. Stop Mandatory Vaccination has more than 150,000 approved members. Vitamin C Against Vaccine Damage claims that large doses of the vitamin can “heal” people from vaccine damage, even though vaccines are safe.
Health experts are calling on Facebook to do more to counter these echo chambers. Dr Wendy Sue Swanson, spokeswoman of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said: “Facebook should prioritise dealing with the threat to human health when falsehoods and misinformation are shared. This isn’t just self-harm, it’s community harm.”
adtech  Surveillance  vaccination  Leaders 
6 days ago by seatrout
Can teenagers get vaccinated without their parents’ permission?
Measles outbreaks are spreading in two neighbouring US states, Washington and Oregon, with the former declaring a public health emergency. These states are among 17 that have laws allowing parents to opt out of vaccinating their children on the basis of personal beliefs. The latest outbreak has seen teenagers turning to social media to ask how they can get vaccinated against their parents’ wishes.
Legally, it is a difficult question, because children can’t necessarily make their own medical decisions. Regulations vary from state to state, but in general, some minors can access certain treatments without parental consent. Vaccines are not always specified on this list, but in some states the law is vague enough that a minor could potentially have a legal right to a vaccination.
In Oregon, anyone 15 or older can get hospital care, dental and vision services, and immunisations without parental permission. In Washington, minors can receive immunisations without their parents’ consent if their doctor determines they are a “mature minor”, which takes into account their age, ability to understand the treatment and self-sufficiency, although they need not be legally independent to qualify.
vaccination  Leaders 
6 days ago by seatrout
[unknown title]
RT : Guess who is ringing the closing bell today? These great up and coming at Emerson joining us today f…
leaders  from twitter_favs
7 days ago by aaroncrews
“Damned if you do, damned if you dont”? I won’t.
In my three years as an accidental, and somewhat reluctant activist, I’ve ended up in a fair number of bizarre situations. I usually opt not to talk about these. The magnitude of this most recent experience, however, forces me to take a different approach. Last week I gave a brief, and rather vague, interview to Swedish paper Svenska Dagbladet, which was later picked up by Hong Kong Free Press and Radio Free Asia. Since then there has been some speculation as to what really happened, as well as a statement on the Chinese Embassy in Sweden’s website denying any involvement and accusing me of fabrication to gain publicity (!). My apologies if the following generates publicity. But I think it’s time for me to fill in some of the blanks.
In mid-January I was contacted by Anna Lindstedt, Sweden’s ambassador to China. Her and I had been in quite frequent touch over the phone since her assignment two and a half years ago. She asked me to travel to Stockholm for around the 24th of January, saying there was ‘a new approach’ to my father’s case. She didn’t explain very much, but said that there were some businessmen she thought could help, and that they wanted to meet me in Stockholm. She’d join too, and these were people she trusted, she reassured me. She put me in touch with one of these men, and he offered to cover my flights and hotel, asking me to send him my passport details.
Sweden  Swedish  China  Leaders 
8 days ago by seatrout
DNS Manipulation in Venezuela in regards to the Humanitarian Aid Campaign | Securelist
Really interesting piece of DNS poisoning to capture the details of opposition activists.
cybercriminals  security  nerd  leaders  politics 
8 days ago by seatrout
El Chapo Was Convicted. Here’s What Happens Next.
Mexican heroin production increased by 37 percent and seizures of fentanyl in places like Nogales more than doubled in 2016 and 2017, the years when the crime lord was most recently arrested and sent to New York for prosecution.
But drug enforcement officials said they believe El Chapo’s conviction is a major win in the drug war.
Leaders 
8 days ago by seatrout
opinion
Government officials said at the Feb. 4 news conference that Mexico has records of more than 40,000 people who have vanished, many in the areas where drug traffickers are strongest. Investigators have discovered 1,100 graves, and there are a stunning 26,000 corpses in public morgues that have not been identified. “This reveals the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis,” said Alejandro Encinas, Mexico’s under secretary for human rights. “Our territory has become a huge clandestine grave.”
Amid the details about Mr. Guzmán’s personal allure and venality presented during the three-month trial, it was easy to forget that his real significance was his position at the top of the Sinaloa drug cartel, one of the forces that plunged the nation into a painful armed conflict that has led to so many massacres, mass graves and refugees.
Leaders 
8 days ago by seatrout

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