Salon: Political correctness is rampant on the right wing — but no one ever admits it
Conservatives always talk about "political correctness" as if it's a concept that only liberals and progressives use when, in fact, they're just as likely to deploy political correctness whenever it suits their purposes.

At the same time, of course, their commitment to enforcing certain norms of respect even regarding veterans is not absolute. We know this because President Donald Trump famously insulted the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a Vietnam war veteran who spent five years as a prisoner of war.
communication  politics 
NPR: The Cost of Courage: The 2 Couples Who Rescued My Family From The Nazis
In recent months, I've learned that my life is bound together with two families who took enormous risks to save my father and my grandparents from the Nazis.

What I have discovered about the rescuers is both wondrous and bleak. One family, the Furstenbergs, has thrived; another, the Mynareks, is gone, seemingly without a trace.
people  history 
Vox: Period-tracking apps are not for women
In the past three years, an estimated $1 billion of investment has been poured into women’s health technology. This has nothing to do with the tech industry becoming pro-woman.

The “femtech” market is estimated to be worth $50 billion by 2025, but globally, only 10 percent of investor money goes to women-led startups. At Apple, women hold 29 percent of leadership positions and 23 percent of tech positions, and almost all of those women are white. This is very much the industry standard — if anything, slightly better than it. Because “femtech” is everywhere these days, it’s easy to forget that when Apple Health debuted in 2014, senior VP of software engineering Craig Federighi told users, “You can monitor all of your metrics that you’re most interested in.” This did not, for nearly a year, include period tracking.
app  gender  health 
2 days ago
Slate: Democrats Are Poised to Wipe Out Republicans’ North Carolina Gerrymander In Time for the 2020 Election
North Carolina Republicans have spent the last eight years ruthlessly undermining democracy in their state. The key to their extraordinary success is a series of partisan gerrymanders that dilute the power of Democrats’ vote, allowing the GOP to maintain a firm grasp on the state legislature. But Republicans failed to subvert the one institution capable of reversing this damage to fair representation: the state judiciary. Now voting rights advocates are poised to score a legal victory in North Carolina that could wipe out the GOP’s legislative gerrymander—with the help of civil rights attorney Anita Earls, who was elected to the state Supreme Court last week. The case could give Democrats a real shot at retaking the legislature in 2020, or at least contesting it on an even playing field.
usa  politics 
2 days ago
The Atlantic: Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex?
These should be boom times for sex.

The share of Americans who say sex between unmarried adults is “not wrong at all” is at an all-time high. New cases of HIV are at an all-time low. Most women can—at last—get birth control for free, and the morning-after pill without a prescription.

If hookups are your thing, Grindr and Tinder offer the prospect of casual sex within the hour. The phrase If something exists, there is porn of it used to be a clever internet meme; now it’s a truism. BDSM plays at the local multiplex—but why bother going? Sex is portrayed, often graphically and sometimes gorgeously, on prime-time cable. Sexting is, statistically speaking, normal.

But despite all this, American teenagers and young adults are having less sex.

To the relief of many parents, educators, and clergy members who care about the health and well-being of young people, teens are launching their sex lives later. From 1991 to 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey finds, the percentage of high-school students who’d had intercourse dropped from 54 to 40 percent. In other words, in the space of a generation, sex has gone from something most high-school students have experienced to something most haven’t.
3 days ago
The Needle and the Damage Done | FAIR
On Election Night, what’s the proper role for political journalism?

Of course, it’s easy to say: Just report the election results, and put it into context. But what happens when corporate media—in their zeal to give the public the big picture (and to draw eyeballs)—get too far ahead of the actual facts?

Projecting winners in individual races based on official returns, exit polls and precincts left to report is one thing. But extrapolating early results to make broad leaps in logic about what will happen hours later, across dozens of states where polls haven’t even closed yet, is quite another. That can be a reckless gambit, one that doesn’t take much to turn supposedly “objective” data journalism into flawed, rank speculation, as anyone closely following the whipsawing Election Night media narrative on Tuesday can attest.
politics  journalism 
3 days ago
The Hill: Is a world war coming, 100 years after the first? | TheHill
One hundred years ago on Nov. 11, the First World War ended. But instead of living up to its promise of being "the war to end all wars," it laid the foundations of fascism, Nazism, communism and a second, much more bloody world war. It wasn't just the defeat of Germany and its humiliation that paved the way for the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich. In the 1920s and 1930s - similar to what we see happening today - the entire world became more tribal and authoritarian. This eventually led to the Second World War, just as this could bring about a new war soon.
military  history  future 
4 days ago
Bloomberg: These Products Show How Hard It’ll Be to Beat China in Trade War
The U.S. and China are on the brink of a new Cold War, with experts such as former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson warning of a new “Economic Iron Curtain” between the world’s two largest economies if they cannot resolve their strategic differences.

Ahead of a meeting with China’s Xi Jinping at the Nov. 30-Dec. 1 Group of 20 summit, President Donald Trump has signaled his willingness to cut a deal. Yet, even if the two sides’ deep differences can be overcome, any peace is likely to take months to wrangle and is unlikely to bring immediate relief for companies from the tit-for-tat tariffs that have hit almost 60 percent of goods traded between the U.S. and China.

As a result, companies around the world are being forced to re-examine where they make and buy components and products, with one eye fixed on what has become a new long-term risk to their business models. And, as they do so, an awkward reality is emerging: Any decoupling is likely to take longer and be more disruptive than Trump’s “America First” protectionists argue.
usa  china  market 
4 days ago
CNN: A poisoned memorial to World War I: The forests of Verdun
Verdun, France. The guns of World War I fell silent 100 years ago here, but a quiet battle still smolders on in this forest. Roots of trees and arms of ivy grapple with the legacy of four years of war, fighting to reclaim the landscape from the scars of a past conflict.

WWI left behind a broken landscape: shell holes, trenches and soil sown with years of unexploded bombs. Today a forest blankets the battlefields. But it cloaks perhaps millions of dud shells, tens of thousands of bodies and one of the most toxic sites in France.
military  france  history 
6 days ago
Slate: Falls Like Ginsburg’s Don’t Seem Like a Big Deal. They Are.
As Ruth Bader Ginsburg has aged, she has earned a certain notoriety, thanks to her formidable career and, let’s face it, her celebrated workout routines. Her boxing, in particular, is evidence that she is a fighter in both the intellectual and physical sense. But she is also human, and sometimes humans, due to advanced age or bone density, fall. Ginsburg is reported to have fallen in her office Wednesday night, and per her doctor’s visit Thursday morning, she cracked three of her ribs in her fall. Given this, her age, and the fact that she likely takes blood thinners (standard practice for patients with cardiac stents, like the one she had placed in 2014), it must be acknowledged that, statistically speaking, her risk of developing dangerous and even deadly complications in the short term is alarmingly high, perhaps exceeding 50 percent. (I am not her doctor and have not evaluated her personally.) Fortunately, Ginsburg has a good track record of beating the odds. I am confident she has nothing but the best medical care and that she and her physicians are doing everything possible to maximize her chances for a swift recovery. But falls are also serious medical events, even though they seem trivial. The challenge for patients, their families, and their doctors is recognizing how serious such injuries can be and figuring out how to properly treat them before complications develop.
people  health 
6 days ago
The Atlantic: What Beto Won
You could fill a book with the differences between the Texas Democratic Party in 2018 and the state GOP in 1960, just as you could fill a book with the caveats necessary to write any article that suggests there’s anything at all of interest to national observers about Texas Democrats. Many of those caveats have real weight, and I don’t think I’d put any meaningful amount of money on the proposition that the Texas Democratic Party is going to start seizing the levers of power anytime soon.

But while the strong results the party scored across the board in Texas this year aren’t the end of the status quo, they just might be the beginning of the end. If we’re going to ask whether Texas might “turn blue”—the wrong question anyway, but let’s entertain it—it makes sense first to think about how Texas “turned red,” and how the state’s Democratic party got this weak in the first place. What happened in the state on Tuesday, from the marquee Senate contest between Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz down to the election for Harris County tax assessor, reflects that broader history. But the way many talk about Texas does not.
politics  history  people 
6 days ago
NME Live: ‘Fake band’ Threatin just played a UK tour to… pretty much no-one
Bands buying Facebook likes is nothing new. The (very silly) practise has been going on for as long as Facebook pages have existed, businesses and bands alike using bots to up their stats in the hopes of improving their social media standing. One LA band, who go by the name of Threatin, appear to have taken this mantra to its most baffling extreme.

Twitter users pointed out that Threatin’s seemingly well-sold UK tour wasn’t all it seemed. Sharing a Facebook post that referenced a Threatin show at Bristol’s The Exchange, the story unfolds thus: “We were expecting it to be a busy night because the promoter had supposedly sold 180 tickets.” But all was not as it seemed.
crime  music 
6 days ago
National Geographic: Under poaching pressure, elephants are evolving to lose their tusks
The oldest elephants wandering Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park bear the indelible markings of the civil war that gripped the country for 15 years: Many are tuskless. They’re the lone survivors of a conflict that killed about 90 percent of these beleaguered animals, slaughtered for ivory to finance weapons and for meat to feed the fighters.
6 days ago
Scientists Spy On Bees, See Harmful Effects Of Common Insecticide : NPR
A team of researchers peered inside bumblebee colonies and spied on insects individually labelled with a tiny tag to figure out exactly how exposure to a common insecticide changes their behavior in the nest.

They found that the insecticide — from a controversial group called neonicotinoids — made the bees more sluggish and antisocial, spending more time on the periphery of the nest. It also made them less-attentive parents, according to research published Thursday in the journal Science.
ecology  biology 
6 days ago
The City of Seattle Accidentally Gave Me 32M Emails for $40
The work done throughout this post has led to a massive trove of information that ought to be enormously useful in understanding the dynamics of one the US's biggest cities. A big hope in making this sort of information available to the public is that it will help in changing the dynamic of understanding what sorts of information is accessible.

That said, this is just one city of many which have given me email metadata. As more of it comes through, I’ll be able to map out more and more, but the difficulty in requesting those records continues to get in the way.

Once I get some of these bigger stories out of the way, I’ll start writing fewer stories and write more about public records requesting fundamentals – particularly for digital records.
opendata  bug 
17 days ago
Netflix is just going to keep killing its American Vandals
The reasons for a Netflix employee’s termination can be just as nebulous as those for a Netflix show’s cancellation. In the former case, at least those left standing will get a thorough explanation of why they’re down a coworker; your favorite show might not get that luxury. Take the recently canceled American Vandal, whose Peabody Award-winning legacy is now stained with the obscene graffiti of this corporate kiss-off: “American Vandal will not return for a third season. We’re very grateful to the creators, writers, cast and crew for bringing their innovative comedy to Netflix, and to the fans and critics who embraced its unique and unconventional humor.”
movies  business 
17 days ago
Vox.com: Clintons, Obamas, Soros sent explosive devices: “false flags,” explained
Within minutes of news breaking that explosive devices were sent to prominent critics of President Donald Trump, including Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and former CIA Director John Brennan (via CNN’s New York headquarters), many on the far right and even some people with close ties to the White House had a theory of the case: The bombing attempts on prominent liberals were ginned up by the left to help them win the midterms.
politics  communication 
21 days ago
Vox.com: How CO2 removal can help clean up the climate mess
In its most recent assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that we may have as little as 12 years to cut our greenhouse gas emissions in half compared to today’s levels to limit average global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, a benchmark to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change. It also reports that every scenario for doing this requires pulling carbon dioxide out of the air, also known as “negative emissions.”

The low-end IPCC estimate requires pulling 100 gigatons of carbon dioxide removal by 2100, roughly double the amount that humanity produces in a year today. The high-end estimate is 1,000 gigatons, effectively forcing humanity to undo 20 years of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Either way, it means that carbon removal is no longer just a potential strategy for fighting climate change. Given the very high likelihood we will overshoot our emissions reduction targets, carbon removal is now an absolute necessity for avoiding worst-case scenarios.
22 days ago
Ways people trying to do good accidentally do harm instead and how to avoid them
We encourage people to work on problems that are neglected by others and large in scale. Unfortunately those are precisely the problems where people can do the most damage if their approach isn’t carefully thought through.

If a problem is very important, then setting back the cause is very bad. If a problem is so neglected that you’re among the first focused on it, then you’ll have a disproportionate influence on the field’s reputation, how likely others are to enter it, and many early decisions that could have path-dependent effects on the field’s long-term success.
26 days ago
Slate: Liberals Must Embrace a Bankrupt Judicial Philosophy to Have Any Chance of Winning at the Supreme Court
It’s a great time for liberals to brush up on their knowledge of originalism and textualism. These judicial theories, which say that judges should interpret constitutional provisions or statutes by looking solely at their “original public meaning,” are embraced by many of the conservative judges and justices appointed by President Donald Trump who have begun to build a stranglehold on the federal judiciary. Despite recent work demonstrating the bankruptcy of these approaches, liberal lawyers trying to get progressive results at the Supreme Court have already begun trying to pick off conservative justices through a calculated embrace of the theories.
usa  law 
28 days ago
The Engineer In The Google Vs. Uber 'Stolen Tech' Case Might Be An Evil Genius
Anthony Levandowski is the key player in the unfolding legal fight between his former employer, Google’s self-driving car unit Waymo, and Uber, where he now runs the startup’s self-driving program. To put it lightly, the case has shown the dude has some seriously deep—but, crucially, alleged—conflicts of interest. The latest court documents filed this week by Uber to try and move the case to arbitration rather than a trial add another layer of questions to the story. But the documents only seemed to make his actions in leaving Google for Uber even more suspicious.
waymo  people 
4 weeks ago
Vox.com: Kavanaugh vote: the loneliness of being a conservative survivor of sexual assault
The real litmus test of whether our society cares about sexual abuse is how we respond when the allegations are against someone in our community. We have failed that test.

Just a few days ago, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to take his seat on the highest court of our land. A contentious hearing followed Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her as a teenager, and the impact of his confirmation will extend far beyond the decisions he may make while seated.
4 weeks ago
The Atlantic: A Fatal Abandonment of American Leadership
The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi drives home the consequences of the Trump administration’s refusal to champion democratic values around the globe.
usa  politics  middleeast 
4 weeks ago
Slate: Progressive Advocates Used to Write Briefs to Appeal to Kennedy. Their New Target: Gorsuch.
During Anthony Kennedy’s long reign as the Supreme Court’s swing vote, advocates perfected the art of “the Kennedy brief”: a legal argument designed to win his support by rhapsodizing about “dignity” and “liberty.” While the Kennedy brief went extinct upon his retirement, it may now be replaced by the Gorsuch brief, which replaces florid encomia to freedom with highly technical textualist arguments. The American Civil Liberties Union tested this strategy in a major immigrant-detention case this week. Gorsuch’s questions indicate it just might have worked.
usa  law 
5 weeks ago
The Supreme Court Loses Its Special Status - The Atlantic
Through the 20th century, the Court stood as an independent arbiter of the rule of law. It is a unifying, national institution no longer.
usa  law  history  politics 
5 weeks ago
HuffPost: The Enduring, Messy Power Of Rage-Filled Women
“Don’t look away from me! Look at me and tell me it doesn’t matter what happened to me.”

You can’t see Maria Gallagher’s face in most of the now-viral video footage from her elevator confrontation with Sen. Jeff Flake, but once you’ve heard it, it’s near impossible to forget her voice. She’s yelling at an elevated decibel through tears ― forceful, clear, direct and deeply pained.

Gallagher, along with Ana Maria Archila, both survivors of sexual assault, cornered the Arizona Republican on Friday as he tried to enter an elevator on his way to a meeting on Capitol Hill. As the senator cowered, looking pained, avoiding eye contact, Archila and Gallagher went off at him for nearly five glorious, heart-wrenching minutes. They weren’t merely sad that Flake had announced he would be voting to advance Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination out of committee and to the Senate floor. They were, as Archila explained on CNN the following day, “enraged.”
usa  gender  politics 
6 weeks ago
Vigilante engineer stops Waymo from patenting key lidar technology
A lone engineer has succeeded in doing what Uber's top lawyers and expert witnesses could not—overturning most of a foundational patent covering arch-rival Waymo's lidar laser ranging devices.

Following a surprise left-field complaint by Eric Swildens, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has rejected all but three of 56 claims in Waymo's 936 patent, named for the last three digits of its serial number. The USPTO found that some claims replicated technology described in an earlier patent from lidar vendor Velodyne, while another claim was simply "impossible" and "magic."
patents  transportation 
6 weeks ago
Test && commit || revert
I introduced “test && commit”, where every time the tests run correctly the code is committed. Oddmund Strømmer, the first programmer I’ve found as obsessed with symmetry as I am, suggested that if the tests failed the code should be reverted. I hated the idea so I had to try it.

The full command then is “test && commit || revert”. If the tests fail, then the code goes back to the state where the tests last passed.
6 weeks ago
Wieso es keinen Rechtsruck gibt, aber die extreme Rechte trotzdem wächst
Spätestens nach Chemnitz heißt es, Deutschland sei nach rechts gerückt. Doch das stimmt nicht. Warum sind extrem rechte Parteien trotzdem so stark? 

Es scheint ein Ruck durch Deutschland zu gehen. Und nicht nur durch Deutschland, nein, durch den ganzen Westen. Jedenfalls ist derzeit viel von einem Rechtsruck die Rede. Das Problem ist: Das Bild führt in die Irre, es verstellt den Blick auf das, was wirklich passiert. Wenn es im Flugzeug ruckelt, werden alle Passagiere durchgeschüttelt. Wenn man sich einen Ruck gibt, bewegt sich der ganze Körper. Rechtsruck, das klingt, als verrutsche eine ganze Gesellschaft.

Das stimmt aber nicht.
Die Wirklichkeit ist viel komplizierter.
politics  mime:german  racism 
6 weeks ago
auchenberg/volkswagen: Volkswagen detects when your tests are being run in a CI server, and makes them pass.
Volkswagen detects when your tests are being run in a CI server, and makes them pass.

If you want your software to be adopted by Americans, good tests scores from the CI server are very important. Volkswagen uses a defeat device to detect when it's being tested in a CI server and will automatically reduce errors to an acceptable level for the tests to pass. This will allow you to spend less time worrying about testing and more time enjoying the good life as a trustful software developer.
testing  humour 
6 weeks ago
Bloomberg: Brett Kavanaugh Is Cursed Either Way
One way or another, Brett Kavanaugh will have to pay.

He will not necessarily pay explicitly for whatever it was he did or didn’t do on that contested night long ago. Although if Christine Blasey Ford appears to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and if she acquits herself credibly, then Kavanaugh is unlikely ever to sit on the Supreme Court – no matter what Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says.
usa  politics 
7 weeks ago
Forbes: Kavanaugh: How The Republican Leadership Broke The Four Rules Of Crisis Management
In July 9, 2018, Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to fill the place on the U.S. Supreme Court vacated by Justice Kennedy, with the prospect of ensuring a Republican majority for another generation.

However, in its actions over the last ten days, the Republican leadership has jeopardized its goals through its failure to respect the rules of crisis management:

Recognize the crisis as a crisis.
Get out as much information as possible as soon as possible, particularly any negative information.
Avoid saying anything that has to be withdrawn.
Avoid doing anything that looks like a cover-up.
usa  politics  communication 
7 weeks ago
Welcome to the positive lexicography, an evolving index of 'untranslatable' words related to wellbeing from across the world's languages. Please note: This list is a work in progress. The definitions here are all provisional, and I am continually looking to refine and improve them.
8 weeks ago
The Positive Lexicography
This is an evolving index of 'untranslatable' words related to wellbeing from across the world's languages.
8 weeks ago
CNN: The power of a named accuser: Kavanaugh's future now hangs in the balance
Brett Kavanaugh's accuser now has a name, and the Republican Party's bid to swiftly lift him onto the Supreme Court may be spinning out of control.

The coming hours could decide whether the GOP can stabilize the confirmation process of President Donald Trump's nominee or whether his hopes of being the man to enshrine a conservative majority for a generation could begin to crumble.
usa  law  politics  people 
8 weeks ago
Why most female newscasters have the same hair
Esther Katro was 22 when she landed her first job as a reporter at a local TV station in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The recent graduate loved the thrill of breaking news and being on air. But when she was out chasing stories in the college town, people kept mistaking her for a student. She went to her news director for advice, and his response had nothing to do with developing her fledgling reporting skills. “He was like, ‘You have to cut your hair to look older,’” she recalled.
gender  fashion 
8 weeks ago
NBCNews.com: The crackdown on sanctuary cities gives birth to 'freedom cities'
If Attorney General Jeff Sessions is waging war to dismantle sanctuary cities, imagine how he feels about "freedom cities."

Austin, Texas, became the latest major city to declare itself a "freedom city" in June, when the city council passed resolutions instructing the city's police officers to arrest fewer people for minor crimes like possessing a small amount of marijuana and driving without a valid license, as well as taking steps to protect undocumented immigrants.

"Freedom city policies are basically an expansion of the old sanctuary city policies," said Austin Council member Greg Casar, who helped write the resolutions. "They pick up where sanctuary policies were cut off."
usa  law 
8 weeks ago
Yahoo Finance: Brutal map shows why U.S. farmers want Trump to 'end the trade war'
The ongoing battle over tariffs between President Trump and China is negatively affecting farmers across the US.

The conflict is expected to worsen as Trump instructed his aides on Friday to carry out his tariff plans of $200 billion in Chinese products. Even the cost of Hurricane Florence is made worse by the trade war.

“The trade war is having impacts on all agricultural sectors,” Gary Schnitkey, Professor in Farm Management at the University of Illinois, told Yahoo Finance in a phone interview.

According to a recent map, provided by the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service and highlighted by the farmdoc project at the University of Illinois, the net cash farm income has decreased in every American region in comparison to 2017.
usa  china  agriculture 
8 weeks ago
Democrats & Republicans: Vote for the Latter to Save the Former | National Review
If you’re a long-time Republican voter, you’ve likely by now heard the growing and insistent and highly concerned media refrain: Republicans who truly care about America will vote for Democrats this fall.

In RealClearPolitics last month, columnist Froma Harrop addressed the woes of Republicans in the age of Trump, offering her take on the only honorable options for this fall: “You can follow the lead of GOP strategist Steve Schmidt, conservative columnist George Will and others who have fled the party. Or you can stay in and help a Democratic sweep of Congress, with the aim of regrouping afterward. Sending good but spineless Republicans to Washington would only extend the nation’s agony.”
usa  politics 
8 weeks ago
National Review: In the Russia Probe, It’s ‘Qui S’excuse S’accuse’
Here, let’s stick with the essential point: The use of counterintelligence authorities to conduct a criminal investigation of Donald Trump in the absence of a predicate crime.

The FISA warrants show that this practice of launching a criminal investigation in the absence of a crime long predated Rosenstein and Mueller. It was the modus operandi of the Trump-Russia investigation from Day One, when Obama’s Justice Department and the FBI first targeted the Trump campaign.

This raises a question that should gnaw at those of us (like moi) who have championed robust national-security powers in an era dominated by international terrorism: Is this pretextual use of FISA something that the Justice Department and FBI designed specifically for the Trump-Russia investigation, or is it standard operating procedure in all counterintelligence cases? (We can’t answer that question at the moment. FISA warrant documents are highly classified, which is why it’s been so hard to get even partial disclosure regarding the Trump-Russia investigation; we do not know if FISA warrants in other cases mirror the ones we’ve been permitted to see.)
usa  law 
8 weeks ago
Politico: As financial crisis shook the nation, Trump’s team saw payoff
Millions of average Americans lost their livelihoods and homes as the global financial crisis spiraled out of control a decade ago. But not President Donald Trump and his administration's top financial advisers, who treated the meltdown as a chance to get richer.

Steven Mnuchin, now Treasury secretary, led a group of investors who bought a failed thrift with government help and then sold it at a profit. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, then CEO of a buyout firm, also made money from U.S.-backed purchases of failed banks. Former White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, then president of Goldman Sachs, once touted that the investment bank brought in $373 million in a single day betting against the mortgage market.
usa  money  people  trump 
8 weeks ago
CNN: What happened to Tucker Carlson? This journalist set out to find the answer.
Years ago, Tucker Carlson was a well-regarded conservative writer with award-nominated articles and praise from journalism's top editors. Now, he shouts about immigrants, cries that big tech is stifling conservative voices, and poses questions like "How, precisely, is diversity our strength?" on his nightly Fox News show.

Carlson's journey has puzzled media critics for years. "What happened to Tucker Carlson?" they want to know. Now, Lyz Lenz, a writer with the Columbia Journalism Review, may have found the answer: Nothing.
usa  people  journalism 
8 weeks ago
Loser's Lunch
Piirimets had also been kicked out of the US Open the year before, and during that first ouster he was given paperwork acknowledging that he was to be banned from the tournament grounds for 20 years. He said he didn’t think that threat was serious, and that he didn’t think he was bound by the forms because he didn’t sign the line at the bottom. Nor did he understand that trespassing was a crime that could get him arrested in the United States. After all, he said, he’s been kicked out of lots of tournaments, all over the world, and nothing like this has ever happened before. Because why would it? He’s not a criminal, he said, flummoxed.

What Piirimets is, he admitted, is a member of a rogue, impish species in the tennis ecosystem: a courtsider. But with their hunters getting more and more adept, courtsiders—arguably justifiably so—have become an endangered species. Only the most stubborn of their breed persist. Even though sports betting is becoming legalized in the United States, they will still be persona non grata at this year’s US Open, which they will attempt to attend again.
8 weeks ago
The Atlantic: How Will Police Solve Murders on Mars?
Mars P.D. will have to deal with new blood-spatter patterns, different body decay rates, and space-suit sabotage—and they won’t be able to fire guns indoors.
mars  law 
8 weeks ago
Business Insider: Russia reportedly warned Mattis it could use nuclear weapons in Europe, and it made him see Moscow as an 'existential threat' to the US
During the early months of the Trump administration, Russia reportedly told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis of its willingness to use nuclear weapons under certain conditions.
It's not clear in what context the warning was made, but both the US and Russia have stated under what circumstances they would use nuclear weapons.
Russia's warning to Mattis came in regard to the Baltic states, which have warned of Russia's growing interference.
russia  usa  military 
8 weeks ago
The Guardian: A new authoritarian axis demands an international progressive front | Bernie Sanders
There is a gobal struggle taking place of enormous consequence. Nothing less than the future of the planet – economically, socially and environmentally – is at stake.

At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, when the world’s top 1% now owns more wealth than the bottom 99%, we are seeing the rise of a new authoritarian axis.

While these regimes may differ in some respects, they share key attributes: hostility toward democratic norms, antagonism toward a free press, intolerance toward ethnic and religious minorities, and a belief that government should benefit their own selfish financial interests. These leaders are also deeply connected to a network of multi-billionaire oligarchs who see the world as their economic plaything.
politics  future 
9 weeks ago
National Review: End Qualified Immunity
Congress passed a law to restrain government actors. The courts should enforce it as written.

Qualified immunity flips the meaning of the statute upside-down. Section 1983 is a law designed to protect citizens and help them secure their rights. It was not designed to protect the “vigorous exercise of official authority” but instead to restrain that authority. Judges have defied Congress. They’ve granted lawless officials countless free passes for unconstitutional behavior.
usa  law 
9 weeks ago
USA TODAY: My new reform plan will drain Democratic and Republican ethics swamp: Sen. Ben Sasse
In 2016, Republicans promised to “drain the swamp.” Two years later, not only is the swamp still here — it's gotten swampier.

In the last 18 months alone, revelations of corruption have forced high-profile investigations and resignations across the government.

Two Republican congressman were indicted — one for insider trading, the other for using campaign funds to bankroll his family's lifestyle. For those keeping score at home, here’s the sad state of things: The folks who in 2016 didn't care about draining the swamp are clamoring about it now, while the folks who promised to drain the swamp have conveniently forgotten about it. This always happens. Everyone talks about draining the swamp, but nobody does it.

It’s time to drain the swamp — for real. Today I’m introducing a series of bills that will help do just that.
usa  politics 
9 weeks ago
The Atlantic: The NRA’s Catch-22 for Black Men Shot by Police
A National Rifle Association spokesperson says Botham Jean would still be alive if he’d had a firearm. But when African Americans legally bearing arms are shot by police, the organization’s media outlet doesn’t defend them.
usa  politics  racism 
9 weeks ago
The Root: The NRA is So Mad About Thomas the Tank Engine's Black Friends, They Put a KKK Hood on Him
This time their outrage stems from the discovery that one of their most beloved cartoon characters has a few new friends, including a black girl. Although I wasn’t even aware that trains had genitalia, apparently there is an entire segment of cartoon biology that they teach in white schools.

According to the Associated Press, Mattel will introduce two new characters on the upcoming season “Thomas and Friends,” the television series starring Thomas the Tank Engine. Although I have never seen the show, I’m pretty sure it’s about a tank engine named Thomas.
usa  racism 
9 weeks ago
The 'forgotten' Supreme Court decision and its impact on our politics | Fox News
Amid the current national debate over immigration policies, racial discrimination, LGBTQ rights, and executive power, the anniversary of an important legal and political dispute that has directly shaped that debate will pass quietly, its legacy all but forgotten.

In September 1958, sixty years ago next week, the United States Supreme Court finally earned its hard-fought reputation as a co-equal branch of the federal government, in a courtroom drama filled with urgency and uncertainty.
usa  history  law 
9 weeks ago
Study Confirms That Security Line In Airport Is A Hotbed For Viruses : Goats and Soda : NPR
When you go through airport security, you might wish you had a pair of gloves on like the TSA agents do.

Researchers have evidence that the plastic trays in security lines are a haven for respiratory viruses. The trays likely harbor more of these pathogens than the flushing button on the airport toilets, researchers reported last week in BMC Infectious Diseases.
health  transportation 
9 weeks ago
USA TODAY: Ocean Cleanup steams out to sea in test run to clean Great Pacific Garbage Patch
a flotilla of boats, drones and helicopters, the Ocean Cleanup machine, a system of lengthy drifting trash traps, was slowly was towed through San Francisco Bay beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and out to the open ocean Saturday afternoon.

The 2,000-foot long system was pulled by a large ship, bobbing in a bay full of sailboats, ferries and a few kayakers.
9 weeks ago
Fear the Reaper: Characterization and Fast Detection of Card Skimmers
Payment card fraud results in billions of dollars in
losses annually. Adversaries increasingly acquire card
data using skimmers, which are attached to legitimate
payment devices including point of sale terminals, gas
pumps, and ATMs. Detecting such devices can be difficult,
and while many experts offer advice in doing so,
there exists no large-scale characterization of skimmer
technology to support such defenses. In this paper, we
perform the first such study based on skimmers recovered
by the NYPD’s Financial Crimes Task Force over
a 16 month period. After systematizing these devices,
we develop the Skim Reaper, a detector which takes advantage
of the physical properties and constraints necessary
for many skimmers to steal card data. Our analysis
shows the Skim Reaper effectively detects 100% of devices
supplied by the NYPD. In so doing, we provide the
first robust and portable mechanism for detecting card
security  payment 
10 weeks ago
Embracing the Kobayashi Maru: Why You Should Teach Your Students to Cheat
Adversaries cheat. We don’t. In academic institutions around the world, students understand
that they will be expelled if they violate their college’s honor code or otherwise fail to play by the
institutional rules. The dissonance between how our adversaries operate and how we teach our
students puts our students at a distinct disadvantage when faced with real world adversaries
who inevitably do not play by the rules. Breaking through the paradigm where students selfcensor
their ways of thinking to a new paradigm that cultivates an effective adversary mindset is
both necessary and possible.
10 weeks ago
Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents – Foreign Policy
It was considered one of the CIA’s worst failures in decades: Over a two-year period starting in late 2010, Chinese authorities systematically dismantled the agency’s network of agents across the country, executing dozens of suspected U.S. spies. But since then, a question has loomed over the entire debacle.

How were the Chinese able to roll up the network?
china  usa  military 
10 weeks ago
Why the Most Important Idea in Behavioral Decision-Making Is a Fallacy - Scientific American Blog Network
Loss aversion, the idea that losses are more psychologically impactful than gains, is widely considered the most important idea of behavioral decision-making and its sister field of behavioral economics. To illustrate the importance loss aversion is accorded, Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics, wrote in his 2011 best-selling book, Thinking Fast and Slow, that “the concept of loss aversion is certainly the most significant contribution of psychology to behavioral economics.” As another illustration, when Richard Thaler was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in economics, the phrase “loss aversion” appeared 24 times in the Nobel Committee’s description of his contributions to science.

Why has such profound importance been attributed to loss aversion? Largely, it is because it is thought to reflect a fundamental truth about human beings—that we are more motivated by our fears than by our aspirations. This conclusion, it is thought, has implications for almost every aspect of how we live our lives.

However, as documented in a recent critical review of loss aversion by Derek Rucker of Northwestern University and myself, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, loss aversion is essentially a fallacy. That is, there is no general cognitive bias that leads people to avoid losses more vigorously than to pursue gains. Contrary to claims based on loss aversion, price increases (ie, losses for consumers) do not impact consumer behavior more than price decreases (ie, gains for consumers). Messages that frame an appeal in terms of a loss (eg, “you will lose out by not buying our product”) are no more persuasive than messages that frame an appeal in terms of a gain (eg, “you will gain by buying our product”).
10 weeks ago
Video: Dozens Of Dudes Got Duped In Mass Tinder Date At Union Square: Gothamist
This past Sunday afternoon, dozens of men arrived at Union Square thinking they were catching a DJ set with a Tinder date. Instead, they arrived to realize they were all just pawns in a classic, brilliantly executed New York City scam.

Spencer M. told Gothamist that he matched on Tinder with a woman named Natasha around a month ago.

"She contacted me, she said, 'Hey we should get a drink sometime. But, oh, I got held up by this presentation so let's do it later.' So a month goes by and she says 'Hey, I'm finally free, do you wanna meet me at Union Square for my friend's DJ set, we'll get a drink and we'll see what happens'" Spencer said, noting that Natasha used the winky face emoji at the end.
10 weeks ago
South Korea scrambles to avoid going the way of Japan
In the corridors of power in Seoul, among the policymakers, economists and businesspeople who drive Asia’s fourth-largest economy, conversation is dominated by one unlikely topic: crisis. From the outside this may seem odd, given the South Korean economy appears in robust shape. Growth this year is forecast to be just under 3 percent, while exports remain buoyant and unemployment less than 4 percent.

But these indicators mask a stark reality for the onetime Asian tiger economy. Looming on the horizon sits a confluence of factors that economists believe could dramatically affect the country’s growth trajectory, unless the government begins serious structural reforms immediately.

From the growing and potentially existential threat from Chinese competitors to a rapidly aging population, the South Korean economy must quickly transition to a new growth model, experts say, or risk a long-term slowdown akin to neighboring Japan.
10 weeks ago
Politico: Inside Stephen Miller’s hostile takeover of immigration policy
The 33-year-old policy adviser has made unprecedented power grabs as he seeks to slash immigration to America.

One major reason Stephen Miller remains a powerful player on immigration is that he’s so close to the president. But the White House adviser also has managed to set the agenda on Donald Trump’s signature campaign issue through another quality: sheer bureaucratic cunning
11 weeks ago
'Sleeper' case could torpedo Mueller report
A little-noticed court case stemming from the apparent murder of a Columbia University professor six decades ago could keep special counsel Robert Mueller from publishing any information about the Trump campaign and Russia that he obtains through a Washington grand jury.

The substance of the case is entirely unrelated to Mueller’s investigation into whether any of President Donald Trump’s associates aided Russia’s efforts to intervene in the 2016 election.
law  usa 
11 weeks ago
DOJ Finds 19 Illegal Voters, Not ‘Millions’
Nineteen foreign nationals have been charged with illegal voting in the 2016 election, the Justice Department said Friday.

The defendants are from numerous countries, including Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Nigeria and Germany.

Some of them were charged in an indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in Wilmington, N.C. They were accused of filing a false claim of citizenship in order to register, and then voting.

The announcement comes amid an intense debate at the state level over voter fraud and efforts by Republican lawmakers to impose voter ID restrictions.

There’s a rather obvious problem with this “AHA LIBERALS” reaction to the case, beyond the fact that the 19 people involved have not been convicted, and the details aren’t clear (in the one case where DOJ does provide details, it seems the alleged illegal voter had a fake passport, which is probably not going to get caught by voter ID requirements). We’re talking about 19 people, which is a bit short of “millions,” much less “millions of millions.”
uselection2016  crime 
11 weeks ago
Fortnite installer had a serious security flaw that Google just revealed
It seems that the concerns about Fortnite’s security were well-founded — although not necessarily for the reasons some people might have expected. Epic Games has been criticized for its decision not to make Fortnite available through Google Play, leading Google to show warnings to anyone conducting searches for the game.

Now a Google engineer just revealed that the first version of Epic’s installer had a serious security vulnerability, placing Android users at risk. A post on Google’s Issue Tracker shows that the installer could be abused to secretly download and install any app with any level of permissions — a Man-in-the-Disk exploit.
android  security  bug 
11 weeks ago
Defense experts sound alarms as summer passes without US-ROK war games - Business Insider
President Donald Trump decided to cancel joint military exercises with South Korea as a concession to North Korea during his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
The US and South Korean governments have attempted to downplay the effects on the alliance and military readiness, but defense experts are concerned.
Arguing that Kim's "ultimate objective is to get the US off the peninsula," one expert said that "undercutting alliance cohesion is a step towards this goal for North Korea."
korea  military  usa 
12 weeks ago
STEVE the Purple Beam of Light Is Not An Aurora After All | Smart News | Smithsonian
STEVE—the name given to strange purple ribbons of light that seem to accompany auroras—is weirder than we thought, a new study suggests.
ecology  universe 
12 weeks ago
Earth's magnetic field could FLIP sooner than previously thought | Daily Mail Online
When the magnetic poles flip, Earth’s protective magnetic field weakens
This would wreak havoc on electrical grid, leave surface exposed to radiation
Researchers found that field reversals can happen more rapidly than thought
12 weeks ago
Tesla hit Model 3 target by reworking thousands of cars - Business Insider
Of the 5,000 Model 3s that contributed to Tesla's end of June manufacturing target, about 4,300 of them required rework, according to internal documents viewed by Business Insider.
Within the auto industry, cars that make it through a manufacturing process without requiring rework are part of a factory or line's "first pass yield (FPY)."
That means the factory had a first pass yield for vehicles as low as 14% during the last week of June.
An industry expert told Business Insider that good auto plants have a first pass yield of about 80%.
A Tesla spokesperson said the number of labor hours required per Model 3 has decreased by almost 30% since last quarter.
business  transportation 
12 weeks ago
South Africa farm seizures BEGIN: Chaos as first expropriation of white-owned farms starts | World | News | Express.co.uk
SOUTH AFRICA's government has begun seizing land from white farmers, targeting two game farms in the northern province of Limpopo after talks with the owners to buy the properties collapsed.
southafrica  politics  business 
12 weeks ago
Harvard speaker busts coconut oil health myth calling it 'pure poison' - Business Insider Deutschland
A Harvard professor made some controversial comments concerning coconut oil in a lecture on YouTube.
The video, which has garnered 400,000 hits, comes after the American Heart Association has advised people to avoid coconut oil.
In the talk, titled "Coconut Oil and other Nutritional Errors" professor Karen Michels described coconut oil as "pure poison" and "one of the worst foods you can eat".
food  health 
12 weeks ago
Greece emerges from eurozone bailout programme - BBC News
Greece has successfully completed a three-year eurozone bailout programme designed to help it cope with the fallout from its debt crisis.

For the first time in eight years, Greece is now free to borrow money on the financial markets.

As a condition of the loans, the Greek government was forced to introduce a series of unpopular austerity measures.

The Greek economy has grown slowly in recent years but is still 25% smaller than when the crisis began.

Together with assistance from International Monetary Fund (IMF), the loans given to Greece since 2010 amounted to more than €260bn - the biggest bailout in global financial history.
greece  europe  money 
12 weeks ago
Why Trade Deficits Aren't the Bogeyman Trump Thinks
It’s fair to say that U.S. President Donald Trump abhors trade deficits. Shrinking them was a cornerstone of his campaign for the U.S. presidency. Once elected, he cited them as the reason for igniting a trade war with China and imposing tariffs on other countries’ exports of steel, aluminum and other products to the U.S. Trump says trade deficits -- the difference between what the U.S. imports and what it exports -- are a sign of a declining manufacturing base and loss of American might. And he blames weak U.S. leaders before him for negotiating bad deals that caused the trade gap to widen. Problem is, trade deficits don’t always mean what Trump says they do.
business  politics 
12 weeks ago
Trump Predicts 'Red Wave,' But Special Elections Show Democrats Poised For Big Gains
As the 2018 midterms draw closer, President Trump continues to claim there's a "Red Wave!" brewing.

The problem is, concrete voting data shows a very different type of wave forming — one that's poised to give Democrats a comfortable majority in the House.

Republicans may hold onto eight of the nine GOP-held seats in special congressional elections on the ballot since 2016 (one is still officially undecided), but the massive voter shift toward Democrats in what should be comfortably red territory shows plenty of warning signs for Republicans this fall.
usa  politics 
august 2018
The Economics of Hacking an Election
There have been many news stories of late about potential attacks on the American electoral system. Which attacks are actually serious? As always, the answer depends on economics.

There are two assertions I'll make up front. First, the attacker—any attacker—is resource-limited. They may have vast resources, and in particular they may have more resources than the defenders—but they're still limited. Why? They'll throw enough resources at the problem to solve it, i.e., to hack the election, and use anything left over for the next problem, e.g., hacking the Brexit II referendum… There's always another target.

Second, elections are a system. That is, there are multiple interacting pieces. The attacker can go after any of them; the defender has to protect them all. And protecting just one piece very well won't help; after all, "you don't go through strong security, you go around it." But again, the attacker has limited resources. Their strategy, then, is to find the greatest leverage, the point to attack that costs the defenders the most to protect.
politics  security 
august 2018
A Playbook for Taming Donald Trump
Politicians, pundits, and plenty of regular citizens love to argue about U.S. foreign policy. These discussions usually revolve around the question of what the United States should do with its extraordinary power and the influence it still enjoys around the world. Should the goal be “America First?” To be the “Indispensable Nation?” or a “Reluctant Sheriff?” How about being an “offshore balancer?” Something else entirely? Asking what the United States should do with its power is important, but so is the flip side: What should other states do about U.S. power? If you were running Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Poland, Afghanistan, Russia, India, Iran, Australia, etc., how would you deal with the 800-pound gorilla that still looms large on the world stage?
usa  politics 
august 2018
USA Temperature: can I sucker you? | Open Mind
There’s a graph going around the internet from Steve Goddard a.k.a. Tony Heller, claiming to show that temperature in the U.S. has been declining, using only high temperatures, using only summertime temperatures, using only data since 1918, based on a simple average without taking into account new stations coming online or old stations retiring or area-weighting or any of that “expert” stuff. Suppose I wanted to convince people that temperature in the USA wasn’t going up, it was going down. What would I show?
august 2018
“Lean In” Messages and the Illusion of Control
In a world in which men dominate leadership roles, should we focus on changing the systems and structures that favor men at women’s expense? Or should we emphasize the tactics individual women can use to get ahead?

Our research explored this question. The first message, that it’s processes and organizations that need to change, has been gaining traction in more recent years. But the latter message has been inspiring and motivating to many people; it’s solutions-oriented and individualistic, appealing especially to Americans who tend to appreciate DIY solutions to societal problems. Plus, it has the benefit of seeming to help women now, rather than waiting decades — or even centuries — for societal change.
august 2018
Russia's top 5 trump cards in the sanctions game against the US — RT Business News
Washington's reported plans to ratchet up sanctions against Moscow have sparked heated debates both in the US and in Russia over which country will be hurt more.
The US has hinted that it would target exports of sensitive national security goods to Russia, stop flights by Russia's Aeroflot airlines to the US, and could go as far as banning all US exports to Russia. According to the US State Department, the proposed measures come in response to the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK. Russia has denied the accusation and has repeatedly called for an objective international inquiry.

Considering the fact that Washington has sanctioned pretty much everything Russian there is to sanction and that Moscow has refrained from using its big guns against the US, Russia has some interesting options if it needs to respond this time around.
russia  usa 
august 2018
China warns off US reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea - CNNPolitics
The Chinese-controlled artificial island of Subi Reef in the South China Sea, as seen by CNN from a US reconnaissance plane on August 10.
The Chinese-controlled artificial island of Subi Reef in the South China Sea, as seen by CNN from a US reconnaissance plane on August 10.
Above the South China Sea (CNN)High above one of the most hotly contested regions in the world, CNN was given a rare look Friday at the Chinese government's rapidly expanding militarization of the South China Sea from a US reconnaissance plane.

After boarding the US Navy P8-A Poseidon in Okinawa Friday, CNN flew over the disputed waters, a large swathe of which are claimed by Beijing.
The crew received six separate warnings from the Chinese military during the flight, telling them they were inside Chinese territory and urging them to leave.
china  military 
august 2018
Spotify Is Done Fighting Apple Music — and Ready to Take On Apple – Rolling Stone
Spotify, by several measures the biggest music-streaming service in the world, has teamed up with Samsung, the biggest smartphone maker in the world. The two companies announced a major partnership on Thursday that makes Spotify the official music service provider for all of Samsung’s phones, televisions, tablets, watches and speakers. It means the Spotify app will be pre-installed on many new devices, as well as integrated into Samsung’s voice assistant program and better synced with Samsung’s smart-home apps.
music  phone  business 
august 2018
iPhone Bugs Are Too Valuable to Report to Apple - Motherboard
The iPhone's security is so tight that it's hard to find any flaws at all, which leads to sky-high prices for bugs on the grey market. Researchers I spoke to are reluctant to report bugs both because they are so valuable and because reporting some bugs may actually prevent them from doing more research.

"People can get more cash if they sell their bugs to others," said Nikias Bassen, a security researcher for the company Zimperium, and who joined Apple's program last year. "If you're just doing it for the money, you're not going to give [bugs] to Apple directly."
apple  security  business 
august 2018
Google hacker challenges Apple CEO Tim Cook to donate $2.5 million to charity - Business Insider Deutschland
Google runs a team called Project Zero that tries to find vulnerabilities in competitors' software.
One of its star members focusing on Apple products is Ian Beer.
He slammed Apple at the end of a talk at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas because he has not been invited to Apple's bug bounty program, he said.
apple  security 
august 2018
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